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The Parks & Recreation Fan Theory That Pegs Andy As A Secret Genius

When Parks and Recreation first premiered in 2009, critics quickly wrote it off as a reimagining of creators Michael Schur and Greg Daniels' other NBC hit, The Office. For the first season, that seemed like a fair accusation. While Parks and Recreation traded a corporate environment for public government, it shared the same faux-documentary style, featuring plenty of talking-head interviews and mining real-world awkwardness for humor. However, as the show moved into its second season and beyond, it found its footing and followed long story arcs to Parks and Recreation's satisfying ending. The series excelled at exploring real depth among its characters, who grew and changed as the show evolved. Perhaps no character embodies the positive progression that Parks and Recreation encouraged than Andy Dwyer, played by Chris Pratt. Andy transformed from the loser ex-boyfriend of Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones) into a hilarious and trustworthy central figure who became a best friend to pretty much every other character on the show.

However, one thing that remained consistent about Andy from season 1 to season 7 was his general confusion and difficulty grasping new concepts. Or did it? According to some fans, Andy may not have been as dim-witted as he appeared. Here is the Parks and Recreation fan theory that claims Andy was a secret genius the whole time.

Fans think Andy hides his intelligence to live an everyday life on Parks & Rec

In support of the idea that Parks and Recreation's Andy Dwyer is a hidden savant, fans took to Reddit to lay out the theory. User GosmeisterGeneral says "Andy isn't nearly as stupid as he lets on. We know that he got a 1500 on his SATs and he scored 100% on his written police exam as well as every now and then coming up with insanely clever ideas totally 'by accident.'" Beyond that, fans note, Andy managed to work his way from living in a tent to being a local celebrity and eventually landing an international position at a charity he pioneered. Other fans support the concept that there is much more to Andy's flashes of intelligence than meet the eye. "I think he's one of those guys that while very intelligent, completely lack anything resembling common sense," user Hendy853 said. Another noted that this fits the exaggerated nature of TV, explaining, "I think this especially makes sense because they take everything to extremes in TV shows. So Andy is this concept times a million."

In a separate Reddit thread, one fan even put together a photo montage of some of Andy's surprising moments that seem to indicate a much deeper knowledge than he usually shows. In one scene, Andy exhibits a better understanding of stocks than Ben (Adam Scott), who's an accountant; at other times, he mentions deeply pondering the meaning of existence. Beyond that, on multiple instances Andy shows familiarity with complex concepts like religious oligarchies and a puzzle like a cryptex. Whatever Andy's secret is, he was an integral part of some of Parks and Recreation's most memorable episodes and helped take Chris Pratt from living in a van to playing Star-Lord.