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Parks And Recreation Funniest Moments Ranked

Can you go an entire "Parks and Recreation" episode without laughing once? Survey says: Not likely. The Michael Schur series took the comedy world by storm in 2009 when it managed to be simultaneously hilarious, kooky, heartwarming, and deeply political without missing a beat. Set in the Parks Department in the fictional town of Pawnee, the series pokes fun at small-town life, municipal feuds, and how much of a headache public forums can be.

Let's face it, Michael Schur has probably created at least one of your favorite sitcoms. He offers a particular brand of comedy that's woke and self-aware in the best way without losing an ounce of comedic value. Anyone who says you can't have humor without insulting women or minorities needs to tune into a Schur show and learn from the master. If problematic behavior does occur in his shows, it's met with the offending characters being properly scandalized, and that's where the comedy comes in — not at the expense of different cultures, genders, or sexualities. Of course, picking just a few of the funniest moments from any of his shows is nearly an impossible task, but these hilarious "Parks and Recreation" moments, ranked in reverse, are among the best of the best. Did your favorite make the cut?

12. The most dangerous game

If you've ever had a nightmare boss, just be happy they've never made thinly veiled threats to hunt you (and if they have, please quit). Dennis Feinstein, played by the endlessly hilarious Jason Mantzoukas, brings delightful chaos to every scene. While he's had many iconic moments in the series, none stand out more than Ben, Andy, and Tom's attempts to enlist the cologne savant's help for their Sweetums charity initiative in the Season 5 episode "Animal Control."

Dennis goes through the motions of hearing the group out before savagely turning on them, toying with their vulnerability and the fact that they need something from him. During a particularly bizarre rendezvous at the local smoke lounge, Feinstein asks odd questions about how fast Tom can run and inquires whether he wants to go hunting sometime. The kicker? Feinstein states, "Wear whatever you want as long as it's not too ... bright or reflective ... You know. I want you blending into the surroundings?"



Clearly, Feinstein has a deeply disturbing superiority complex when it comes to his $20 million net worth. When he tries to poach Ben earlier in the series, he tells Ben to treat one of his employees, "dumb-dumb Eddie," like you would treat "a guy you paid $25,000 to hunt." So Tom isn't without cause when he looks like a deer in the headlights and says, "I think that guy wants to hunt me!" It's absolutely absurd, which is why it's so genius.

11. Mo networks mo problems

During a Paley Center for Media talk, Michael Schur revealed what he believes to be the most hilarious line on "Parks and Rec" — and lamented that he wasn't the one to write it. He said, "The funniest line ever spoken on our show was improvised by Chris Pratt," recalling Andy's attempt to help a flu-ridden Leslie, during which the lovable goofball announces from behind the computer, "Leslie, I typed your symptoms into the thing up here, and it says you could have 'network connectivity problems.'" Schur continued by saying, "Improvised line! And I'm not kidding, as a writer, it made me furious. I am still really upset and angry." He noted that Pratt only did the line once and that the camera just happened to catch it. However, Schur restated multiple times that it's the funniest line on the show.

Now, the line in question, appearing in the episode "Flu Season," is certainly hilarious, but is it the funniest in the show? If you ask Schur, then yes, but there are certainly more iconic and hilarious moments in the series. The line in question might just be the most on-brand thing Andy has ever said. No matter where it falls on anyone's personal list of funniest moments, it certainly deserves a high spot. It's Michael Schur-approved, after all, even if he hates admitting it.

10. Friendly fire

He may act tough as nails, but underneath Ron Swanson's rough exterior (and the pile of meat he collects in his mustache), the guy is a bit of a drama queen. And while some of his actions are on the ridiculous side — like traveling across state lines to bury the remnants of a government award — his freak-outs are occasionally justified. For instance, he has every right to get fired up when Tom shoots him in the head during "Hunting Trip." Since Ron typically subsists on dark liquor and meat on a good day, it's no surprise that he would chug almost an entire bottle of scotch after such a traumatic ordeal ... Though the eight or nine PMS pills he took from Donna's stash aren't exactly helping matters, and Ann forces him to throw up the toxic cocktail.

So what exactly is funny about this exchange? Oh, just the image of two women wrangling a bear-sized, completely plastered human and forcing him to throw up. Ron turns into a giggly, petulant child when he's genuinely wasted, and we only see him that drunk a few times in the show: As a guy who drinks "one shelf" of alcohol a week, his tolerance is off the charts. Drunk Ron always gives "Parks" fans a good time. But kids, don't try this at home.

9. DIY dentistry

There's nothing like the sweet sight of your boss pulling out his tooth in the middle of a conference room meeting to put your life into perspective. Ron Swanson is here for a good time, not a long time. He'll "live the way he lives. He'll eat the things he eats. And he'll die the way he'll die." End of discussion. And one of those ways of life involves terrifying his coworkers into submission by showing them he's "capable of withstanding a tremendous amount of pain." Who would dare defy a boss who was unhinged enough to pull out his tooth during a work meeting? 

Now, the audience knows that Ron had the tooth pulled by a dentist a day earlier and is putting on a fabricated show for his coworkers, making their reactions that much funnier. The best part of the moment isn't the act itself, though. It's everyone's very particular and characteristic reaction that makes it stand apart. April looks entranced (and a little turned on if we're honest). Meanwhile, Ben runs out of the room, Donna screams a bleeped out, "What the f***," and of course, Tom faints. Donna's reaction is arguably the most hilarious, but as Ron says, "It's always fun to watch Tom faint." What a romantic start to what ends up being the episode where April and Andy get hitched during a dinner party. 

8. A craze-mazing bond

It's no secret that April is the biggest troll on "Parks and Recreation." She has a particular brand of Slytherin humor, spoken with a monotone yet still reeking with sass. So obviously, when she meets her affluent, ditzy Eagleton counterpart in the Season 6 episode "Doppelgängers," she has to have a little fun with her new BFF Tynnyfer — that's with two "y"s, everyone, and don't you forget it. As April notes, Tynnyfer is "the worst person she's ever met, [and] she wants to travel the world with her."

To mess with Tynny, April starts acting like a superficial space-case and talking like a strung-out valley girl. After making up a fake yoga instructor, getting a lavish manicure, and defying every dark impulse she's known for, April finally gets tired of good ol' Tynnyfer. Like any average person would, April tells Tynny to take a vacation, offering to let her stay in her Miami house and instructing the less-than-bright socialite to "let herself in" and jump the gate if it won't open. Of course, the address is actually Dwyane Wade's, so Tynny is probably in jail (just like her husband) for breaking and entering. Still, worth it for the laughs.

7. 'Where the cops at?'

In a town with as many raccoons as Pawnee, animal control really needs to be on its game. But with guys like Brett and Harris running the show, it's no surprise that all they manage to do is install a "Flintstones" dead bird bell at their office and injure people with misplaced coyote traps. The fact that they sell and imbibe enough weed to supply an entire nursing home probably doesn't help. But though they are wholly incompetent at their jobs, anytime Brett and Harris show up, you know it's going to be a good scene.

Shockingly, the dynamic duo keep their jobs until the fateful Season 5 episode "Animal Control," at which point Chris and the Parks Department have to find their replacements. And just who do they end up interviewing for the opening? A very high Brett and Harris take ages to realize they're applying for the same job they just got sacked from. Of course, Brett wants the interview committee to know that he likes burgers, and that he's very high right now.



The committee needs to move on to more serious candidates, and no one can clear a room quite like a very determined April. She asks if Brett and Harris know why there are cops nearby, and a panicked Brett asks, " Where the cops at?!" before they hastily flee the scene. Thankfully, the pair never get their jobs back at animal control, but they should definitely open a dispensary.

6. Team Edward, Team Jacob, or Team Move To Canada

There are Twi-hards, and then there are people so obsessed with "Twilight" that they handcuff themselves to a chair in the Parks Department to demand that the young adult book series be placed in the town's time capsule. That kind of dedication might even weird out the likes of Edward Cullen — and that's saying something. Most of "Parks and Recreation" tends to be fairly timeless, but the hysterical Season 3 episode "Time Capsule" plants this scene firmly in the era of its 2011 air date without losing an ounce of relatability over a decade later.

Almost as if the guy, Kelly Larson, is trying to get people to join a pyramid scheme, he quickly gains the favor of a few Parks employees, getting Tom hooked on the books. There's nothing quite like starting an impromptu book club to discuss shirtless vampires and werewolves while you're handcuffed to a chair overnight. The episode is a stellar depiction of straight-up nonsense, but it works because it absolutely could and would happen in reality. Given that Kelly was doing it for his daughter all along, his story inspires a bit of compassion amongst the cry-laughing, but it's still pretty high up in the show's funniest moments.

5. 'Poncho!'

Before Kathryn Hahn was hanging out with Wanda in the MCU, she played a no-nonsense, extremely successful campaign manager named Jennifer Barkley on "Parks and Recreation." Jennifer does not care about anyone's feelings and will always put herself and her career first. However, she remains a valuable and challenging character without really becoming a villain — and that's such an underrepresented ability among TV women. As she tells Leslie, "I don't care enough about you to lie." Savage, but honest. We see you, Jennifer.

During the final season, with that trademark honesty, Jennifer notes how gross it is in Ben and Leslie's house. She comments on their sticky children, opting to wear a poncho over her no-doubt ridiculously expensive pantsuit. Then, one of Leslie's kids runs up and throws a wad of blue paint at Jennifer, who yells, "Poncho!" while holding up the soiled plastic tarp to make her point about its utility. It's great to see a self-assured woman who knows exactly what she wants — which is nothing to do with children. Jennifer is refreshing in so many ways, but Hahn's comedic timing and intense yet aloof and disinterested vibe as Jennifer make her one of the best comedic characters the show has seen.

4. Burt Macklin and Janet Snakehole

Proving once again that Season 3 is the best season of "Parks and Recreation," the episode "The Fight" features the debut of our favorite roleplay couple, Janet Snakehole and Burt Macklin. While Janet is "a very rich widow with a terrible secret," Macklin is "the best damn agent [the FBI] had until he was framed for a crime he didn't commit — stealing the President's rubies." The introduction of their playful rapport as a relatively new couple sets the tone for a marriage full of spontaneity, deep love, and endless hijinks. 

Adopting a ridiculous accent, April announces that her husband buys her the finest clothes from Bergdorf Goodman — and Burt Macklin, FBI, declares that she's the one who stole the rubies. All in all, it's a night of ridiculous shenanigans, but April and Andy always find a way to have a good time — and it's a reminder that getting hitched doesn't mean that you have to abandon your fun, adventurous side. You can get all of the dishes you need from the home goods store and still come home with the marshmallow shooter. 

3. 'Does it, white man?'

Every Ken Hotate scene is golden, but when he "plays white people like a fiddle," namely the terrible Jeremy Jamm, it's "incredible to watch," as Leslie notes. After a shady and drunken move by Leslie to hide Wamapoke artifacts in Lot 48 so Jamm can't shut down her park project, Leslie deeply apologizes to Ken, acknowledging that it was a messed-up thing to do. She owns up to how her actions further the sins of the Pawnee colonizers who frequently backstabbed (and even slaughtered) the Native American tribe on their own land. Ken ultimately forgives her, and they decide to troll Jamm.

Leslie announces in a meeting with the antagonistic councilman that they should dance on the table wearing authentic Wamapoke headdresses. Now, Jamm is the kind of white guy who's terrified of getting called out for his problematic behavior, despite saying something offensive every time he opens his mouth. Of course, Jamm says Leslie's plan "sounds highly offensive," and Ken yells, "Does it, white man?" Taken aback and not wanting to offend Ken, Jamm puts on the headdress. Ken immediately says, "It is offensive."

Jamm apologizes, another rightful victim of Ken's endless trolling of Pawnee's oblivious white folks who are "terrified of curses." It's just another example of Michael Schur using culture as a plot point without making the culture itself the joke. The oblivious white dude is the joke, and it's amazing.

2. 'Don't be suspicious'

Jean-Ralphio Saperstein has arguably never worked a day in his life, opting for one get-rich-quick scheme after the next — but despite the significant payouts his lawyer always seems to secure, it's never enough. Occasionally along for the ride on her twin brother's ridiculous plots (or carrying out her own), Mona-Lisa Saperstein is a lot to handle herself (possibly even more than her brother). But after dozens of schemes and hundreds of thousands of dollars flushed down the toilet, the wonder twins are ready to flee the country after one last stunt: Jean-Ralphio faking his death for the insurance money.

However, you'd be hard-pressed to find a pair of people more self-absorbed, so while they could have gotten away with the scheme if they'd stayed away, Jean-Ralphio just has to attend his own funeral. But honestly, isn't that everyone's morbid secret dream — to see what people really have to say about you when you're dead? Unable to keep their cool when Jean-Ralphio's favorite song, Lil Jon's "Bend Ova," bizarrely plays during the service, the twins decide to make a sneaky exit.



Except a sneaky retreat to Jean-Ralphio and Mona-Lisa means loudly belting a song they composed on the spot called "Don't Be Suspicious" while dancing their way to freedom in an open graveyard. When the individual reading Jean-Ralphio's will, presumably his friend, catches them fleeing the scene, the twins book it. Hopefully those kooky kids are okay, but their farewell was very on-brand — and hysterical.

1. Drunk caricatures

Given that "The Fight" is one of the most hysterical episodes in sitcom history, it's earned two spots on the list. Our favorite business mogul Tom invites the whole Parks Department to the Snakehole Lounge, trying to build hype for his newly invented drink, Snake Juice. Of course, the concoction, which Ann compares to arsenic and Donna to rat poison, gets everyone plastered. Due to Leslie steamrolling Ann by forcing her to take a job in the government, Ann and Leslie get into a huge, drunken fight where things get pretty heated. And while their spat is undoubtedly hilarious, the most epic moment of the episode comes during a montage of everyone's particular brand of drunkenness.

The scene is comedy gold. We have Ron grooving like a 12-year-old at his first dance, April rapidly speaking Spanish, Ann trying to pick a fight with the "b**** over there," Leslie crying about their fight, Ben doling out '90s slang, Tom making a bad joke, Andy badly singing, and Jerry cough-laughing. The scene gives us our favorite characters' personalities displayed in one delightfully drunken outing, with caricatures of intoxicated behavior that many of us can relate to. The series never quite topped this incredible moment, and we're not mad about it.