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The Xena Easter Egg You Never Caught In Parks And Rec

It's hard to believe, but nearly seven years have passed since NBC's beloved TV workplace comedy Parks and Recreation aired its final episode. While it was beyond cathartic to see the Pawnee gang get back together via that brilliant Zoom reunion episode a couple of months back, Parks and Recreation is still sorely missed in the television sitcom landscape. Luckily, the series has continued to earn new fans, and sate the appetites of longtime Parks and Rec die-hards, through the streaming realm. And as fans — new and old — laugh their heads off at the kooky antics of Leslie (Amy Poehler), Ron (Nick Offerman), Andy (Chris Pratt), and the rest of the Pawnee Parks Department, they continue to uncover cleverly hidden little Easter eggs along the way.

One of the more recent discoveries came via a sharp-eyed Redditor, who picked up on a pretty slick Easter egg that many a Parks and Recreation viewer likely missed in the series initial small screen run. That Easter egg popped up in season four's holiday-themed episode titled "Citizen Knope," and found Poehler's Leslie gifting Aubrey Plaza's April a peculiar piece of artwork. Crafted by their perpetually tormented co-worker Jerry (Jim O'Heir), said painting featured the infamously indifferent intern standing in a desolate landscape in full warrior repose, and holding the severed heads of the Black Eyed Peas ... of whom she's no particular fan. In fact, April could not be more pleased with Leslie's gift, dryly proclaiming in an aside that, "These are the Black Eyed Peas, and I finally killed them." 

It's as pure an April moment as you'll ever see on Parks and Recreation, and it's made all the better as the endlessly quippy character is clearly depicted in the painting as Xena, the Warrior Princess.

Parks and Rec creatives were apparently big fans of Xena: Warrior Princess

It uncertain if Leslie requested that Xena depiction, or if Jerry subconsciously engineered the likeness (as he did with his notorious Leslie-slash-Diaphena work), but April beheading the Black Eyed Peas in Xena regalia couldn't be more on point. As it happens, the hilarious painting was far from the first (or last) time some Xena-love made its way into Parks and Recreation

Savvy Parks and Recreation fans no doubt recall Xena got her first series namedrop back in season two, when Nick Offerman's bureaucracy-hating Ron surprisingly won Pawnee's "Woman of the Year" award. In true Ron style, he chooses to torment Leslie with his win, going so far as to take credit for the "Camp Athena" project she herself championed, and cheerfully referring to it as "Camp Xena."

The ongoing Xena jokes reached their high point later on, when the former Warrior Princess herself (the great Lucy Lawless) actually joined the Parks and Recreation cast in season five. She played Diane Lewis, a fiercely independent single mom, who becomes the first non-Tammy to win the heart of the ever-stodgy Ron Swanson. Lawless' memorable run as Diane lasted all the way through Parks and Rec's sixth season, in which she and Ron eventually tied-the-knot. 

While the pair apparently remain together, Diane was noticeably absent in the series' seventh and final season. Still, her presence on Parks and Recreations remains the biggest  — and easily the best — Xena Easter egg of all.