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50 Best Parks And Rec Episodes Ranked

For seven seasons from 2009 to 2015 (with a special reunion in 2020), we were invited to the town of Pawnee, Indiana to see the comical lives of government employees in the NBC sitcom "Parks and Recreation."

We were introduced to the passionate and headstrong Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), the tough but lovable Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman), the dependable friend Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones), the ideas man Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari), the morbidly deadpan April Ludgate (Aubrey Plaza), the childlike goofball Andy Dwyer (Chris Pratt), the adorably geeky Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott), the incredibly chipper Chris Traeger (Rob Lowe), the office punching bag Jerry/Larry/Terry/Garry Gergich (Jim O'Heir), the classy and successful Donna Meagle (Retta), along with loads of other quirky and hilarious Pawnee residents.

After a wobbly first season, the show invested more deeply in its world and characters, leading to one of the sweetest, kindest, and still amazingly funny television shows ever made. But of the 126 produced episodes, which ones were the most effective? Read on to discover the 50 best "Parks and Rec" episodes, ranked.

50. Park Safety (Season 2, Episode 19)

After firmly establishing Jerry as the office punching bag, this Season 2 episode manages to add new dimensions to the character's relationship with everyone. When Jerry is hospitalized after being mugged in the park, Leslie convinces the rest of the office to be nicer to Jerry. This is made incredibly difficult when Jerry returns and puts on a truly terrible (and absolutely hilarious) presentation.

"Park Safety" also features a guest appearance by Andy Samberg as Carl Lorthner, a very loud "Avatar"-loving park ranger. Depending on your tastes, this is either comedic genius or an incredibly annoying and repetitive bit.

While the mixed nature of Samberg's appearance drags the episode down a little bit, the strong comedy featured in the rest of the episode still places it into the top 50 best "Parks and Recreation" episodes, even if it's right at the bottom. For once, Jerry did something right.

49. Eagleton (Season 3, Episode 12)

In the Season 3 episode "Eagleton," Leslie Knope finds herself in a feud with the neighboring town Eagleton's Parks and Recreation director Lyndsay Carlisle Shay (Parker Posey) after she separates Pawnee and Eagleton by building a fence in a park shared between the two cities. The feud builds to a climactic and memorable garbage fight that concludes, in true "Parks and Rec" fashion, with a reconciliation and a wiffle ball field.

Meanwhile, Ron Swanson discovers that Leslie has figured out when his birthday is and dreads whatever she has planned. His anxiety only increases when he gets hints and clues pointing to a huge shindig. But the actual birthday party turns out to be far sweeter and perfectly designed for Ron.

While some of the upper-class Eagleton jokes can be seen as going a tad too far over-the-top, the legitimately touching ends to both plotlines makes this a "Parks and Recreation" episode worth seeing.

48. Go Big or Go Home (Season 3, Episode 1)

The "Parks and Rec" team reunite for the Season 3 premiere "Go Big or Go Home," in which a lot of exciting things are established.

First off, Ben Wyatt and Chris Traeger are promoted to series regulars and instantly feel like an integral part of the show. Ann Perkins and Chris begin dating (even if it initially starts out as a sneaky scheme concocted by Leslie). Ron coaches a youth basketball team and reveals the truly amazing Ron Swanson Pyramid of Greatness. And finally, Leslie proposes bringing back the annual Harvest Festival to raise money for the Parks department, a storyline that would continue for the next six episodes.

While the episode juggles a lot of plots and some aren't as successful as others, the show had finally collected all of its main players and everything was beginning to gel. While there were great episodes before this one, this truly felt like "Parks and Recreation" becoming the show it was meant to be.

47. The Cones of Dunshire (Season 6, Episode 9)

While between jobs, a Letters To Cleo t-shirt-clad Ben Wyatt puts his down time to good use and invents the greatest, most overly complicated fictional board game of all time: The Cones of Dunshire. Later, Ben begins his second round of employment with Tilton and Radomski Accounting, after having worked there for one day in the previous season's "Leslie vs. April." Ben fits in perfectly and everyone loves him, even throwing him a calzone party. Unfortunately, he breaks their hearts again by accepting another job offer. But at least this time, he leaves them with a parting gift: The Cones of Dunshire.

The Season 6 episode also sees Leslie teaming up with Chris in an attempt to sway Councilman Jeremy Jamm (Jon Glaser) to vote for a project Leslie has been working on. She resorts to singing gender-swapped "Grease" karaoke in order to get it.

While some people find Jamm's antics can get a bit annoying, the hilarious karaoke scene is a highlight that even persuades Chris Traeger to buy 20 copies of it on DVD. That along with Ben's genius board game and his fun time at the accounting firm places "The Cones of Dunshire" as one of the best "Parks and Recreation" episodes.

46. Animal Control (Season 5, Episode 18)

In Season 5 episode "Animal Control," Leslie and Chris drop by the Animal Control department and discover it is being handled in the most inept manner possible by stoners Harris ("Parks and Rec" writer Harris Wittels) and Brett (Colton Dunn). After Chris steps in a coyote trap, Bret and Harris are fired. Leslie tries to place April Ludgate as the new head of the department, but April comes up with a solution of her own.

Meanwhile, Ben, Tom, and Andy try to drum up money for charity from the despicable perfume-slinging Dennis Feinstein (Jason Mantzoukas) whose every line is awful and awfully funny.

Also Ron gets sick and Ann makes him eat a banana. The result is comedy gold — or should we say comedy potassium?

While the plot relies on bringing back multiple recurring characters, "Parks and Recreation" knows exactly what to do with them. Plus, Ron Swanson smashing a banana into a burger is reason enough alone to watch this truly great episode.

45. Bus Tour (Season 4, Episode 21)

As the penultimate episode of the "Parks and Recreation" Season 4, and more specifically the arc of Leslie running for Pawnee city council, Leslie is thrown a curve ball at a press conference when she learns the father of her opponent Bobby Newport has died. After stumbling through her response, she attempts to have a private conversation with Bobby (Paul Rudd), but instead accidentally interrupts the funeral by driving her tour bus through it.

While this catastrophe is occurring, Andy Dwyer has adopted his persona of FBI agent Burt Macklin to track down the perpetrator of a pie-slinging at Leslie. In order to aid his investigation, Macklin gives everyone incredibly specific codenames and re-enacts the crime by smooshing pies into Jerry's face.

In addition to silly codenames and pies to the face, this episode also resolves a lot of the tension with Bobby Newport in a heartfelt scene that culminates with him endorsing Leslie in a public speech. Great comedy and genuine heart combine to make "Bus Tour" another great episode of "Parks and Rec."

44. Pawnee Rangers (Season 4, Episode 4)

In "Pawnee Rangers," we learn that Ron Swanson and Leslie Knope run opposing scout troops. Ron teaches his own harsh brand of survival techniques to the all-boys Pawnee Rangers, while Leslie is a lot more laid back, giving out tons of badges to her all-girls Pawnee Goddesses. Things start to heat up when the Rangers begin to defect to the Goddesses.

In the B-plot, Ben is feeling down after being dumped by Leslie, so Donna Meagle and Tom Haverford invite him out to their annual Treat Yo' Self extravaganza. After many failed attempts to cheer up Ben, they finally make a breakthrough when they convince him to purchase a highly-detailed Batman costume. It's enough to make you cry. And indeed, Ben does.

While the plot with Ron and Leslie can get a little repetitive and a minor plot with Chris dating Jerry's daughter doesn't quite take off, the Treat Yo' Self segment is truly one of the greatest all-time "Parks and Recreation" moments, securing the episode a spot on this list.

43. Telethon (Season 2, Episode 22)

In the first "Parks and Recreation" episode written by Amy Poehler herself, Leslie Knope volunteers the Parks Department to host a four-hour block of a charity telethon. Unfortunately, that block lasts from two to six in the morning and Leslie has already been awake for over 24 hours preparing for the event.

Fighting exhaustion by eating loads of Sweetums candy bars, Leslie is at her most gloriously manic and loopy. The disastrous night is filled with poorly recounted "Friends" recaps, coin tossing, pants removal, failed proposals, Jerry annoyingly playing the piano beautifully, a Mouse Rat performance of "Sex Hair," and retired Indiana Pacers basketball player Detlef Schrempf.

The hilarious chaotic energy of "Telethon" led to Amy Poehler being nominated for an Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series in 2010. It also led to it being on this list of the best "Parks and Recreation" episodes.

42. Greg Pikitis (Season 2, Episode 7)

While you may feel a little uncomfortable watching Louis C.K. play the super nice police officer Dave Sanderson in this Season 2 episode, Leslie going to absurd lengths to bring down her arch-enemy Greg Pikitis (Cody Klop), is filled to the brim with comedic excellence.

Leslie isn't the only one who gets to shine in "Greg Pikitis"– Andy gets to show off his no-nonsense persona of FBI Agent Burt Macklin for the first time in an interrogation with the teenage vandal Pikitis, only for Andy to immediately be driven to tears. It must be his allergy to jerks.

While a subplot with Tom successfully helping Ann host a Halloween party doesn't quite take off, the convoluted and comedic twists and turns of the case of Greg Pikitis makes this "Parks and Rec" episode one of the best. It even led to a return appearance of Greg Pikitis further down the line in the Season 6 episode "Prom."

41. Practice Date (Season 2, Episode 4)

When the Parks and Recreation department plays a game to see who can dig up the worst dirt on the other players, a variety of secrets are revealed. Mark Brendanawicz (Paul Schneider) accidentally reveals that Jerry is adopted, Ron discovers that Tom had a green card marriage, and Tom discovers that Ron secretly performs jazz under the name Duke Silver.

Meanwhile, Leslie is nervous about going on her first date with Dave Sanderson, so Ann helps her by taking her on a fake practice date. After some hilarious initial runs, Ann finally helps Leslie feel confident in herself. Maybe a little too confident, as she shows up drunk at Dave's house later that night, bragging about how good she's going to be on the date.

The Season 2 episode "Practice Date" helps firmly establish who these characters are after a rather shaky first season. Some of it is funny, like Ron's musical identity, and some of it is dramatically revealing, like the truth of Tom's marriage. It's also the first episode where the Parks and Rec department begin to poke fun at Jerry, the first appearance of news anchor Perd Hapley (Jay Jackson), the first mention of Ron having two ex-wives (and a mother) named Tammy, and the first episode written by the late, great Harris Wittels. All that adds up to one of the best episodes of "Parks and Recreation."

40. Pie-Mary (Season 7, Episode 9)

In the Season 7 episode "Pie-Mary," Leslie is conflicted about whether to enter or leave a pie-making contest. She debates the perception of the contest being misogynistic versus the idea of her being above pie-making as anti-feminist. Leslie and Ben work together on a plausible solution: Ben will enter the contest instead and, more importantly (to Ben), he's going to make a pie that's actually a dessert calzone. Unfortunately, this change-up gets them in trouble with The Male Men, a men's rights movement, who claim that Leslie is keeping Ben from being a real man.

Elsewhere in the episode, April, Ron, and Andy go on a scavenger hunt to find a key to Ron's house that April hid somewhere while high on pain medication from having her wisdom teeth removed.

Both plots are layered (like pie!) with not only jokes, but with a little extra meat in there as well. The scavenger hunt ends with a delightful scene reaffirming just how much Ron and April mean to each other. Meanwhile, the Pie-Mary scandal ends with Leslie and Ben giving an amazing speech tearing down not both the MRA and the idea of gender stereotypes. Everything in this episode comes together to tell a powerful (and powerfully funny) story.

39. Are You Better Off? (Season 5, Episode 22)

The Season 5 finale of "Parks and Recreation" sees Leslie Knope feeling concerned when a disastrous town meeting sees criticism of her work, ultimately resulting in a full-on parade float urging for Leslie to be recalled from her position on the city council.

Andy-as-Burt Macklin also returns in the episode, tracking down the owner of a positive pregnancy test. Macklin's list of suspects include Leslie Knope, Donna Meagle, his wife April Ludgate, his ex Ann Perkins, and Tom's girlfriend Mona-Lisa Saperstein (Jenny Slate). Of course, it turns out to be none of them.

"Are You Better Off?" calls into question whether Leslie's quest to make Pawnee a better place is even worth it, considering all the opposition against her. Her decision to stay and fight is exactly what makes Leslie Knope the strong character we love. Top that off with a Macklin investigation that concludes with a sweet baby of a cliffhanger and the result is one of the best "Parks and Rec" episodes.

38. Campaign Ad (Season 4, Episode 12)

Paul Rudd's first appearance on "Parks and Recreation" is the Season 4 episode "Campaign Ad," in which he plays the spoiled and not very bright Bobby Newport, Leslie Knope's opponent in the city council election. Since Newport has a 70 point lead over Knope, Leslie's team go to work on creating a campaign ad. They soon find themselves having to make a decision between Leslie's positive but poorly constructed ad or Ben's polished but mean takedown of Newport.

Meanwhile, Andy and April go to a series of doctors after Andy's most recent head trauma reveals a surprising amount of other medical issues. These issues begin to pile up as he continues to hurt himself while getting checked out.

Chris Pratt's physical comedy, everyone's dramatic ad campaign voice, a hilarious turn by Paul Rudd, and a sweet compromise made for Leslie's final campaign ad make this one of the highlights of "Parks and Rec."

37. Ron and Tammy (Season 2, Episode 8)

In the Season 2 episode "Ron and Tammy," Andy starts his job as a shoe shiner in the town hall, where the Parks and Recreation department is located. While this has its comedic moments, the real star attraction of this episode is the introduction of one of Ron's ex-wives, Tammy (played by Nick Offerman's real-life wife Megan Mullally).

When a lot of land that Leslie wanted for a park gets scooped up by the greatly despised Pawnee Library, she goes to discuss it with them prepared for a fight. However, she discovers the head librarian is Ron's ex-wife Tammy, who is super nice and just wants to reconnect with Ron. Leslie facilitates a reunion, completely unaware of the toxic and publicly passionate situations that occur when Ron and Tammy get together.

The comedic sparks fly as the real-life couple portray this trainwreck of a relationship. And like with most of the Tammy(s) episodes, it reveals a side of Ron Swanson we haven't seen before. This all adds up to a great episode of "Parks and Rec."

36. Flu Season 2 (Season 6, Episode 19)

The flu strikes again in the Season 6 episode "Flu Season 2." After throwing up, Leslie is worried she caught the flu from Larry, but she remains determined to get country music star Chipp McCapp (Bo Burnham) to headline a concert she's putting together. She soon learns that she doesn't have the flu, but is in fact pregnant.

She tries to call Ben and tell him the news, but he getting hilariously drunk on blueberry wine after finding out his father sold their family home without consulting anyone. After asking Ron Swanson for advice and failing to get any, they stumble across the other Ron (Sam Elliott) who summons a wild bird and gives Ben campfire wisdom.

Supported by hilarious guest spots from both Burnham and Elliott, the episode features strong moments from both Amy Poehler and Adam Scott, whose two paths eventually dovetail into one of the sweeter "Parks and Rec" endings.

35. The Johnny Karate Super Awesome Musical Explosion Show (Season 7, Episode 10)

In a deviation from the usual format, this Season 7 episode operates as an episode of Andy Dwyer's kids show "The Johnny Karate Super Awesome Musical Explosion Show" — complete with fake ads for businesses around Pawnee and elsewhere in the "Parks and Rec" universe.

In Johnny Karate's series finale, he learns carpentry from Carpenter Ron Swanson, fails to learn geography from Professor Smartypants (Ben Wyatt), karate chops his mailman Barry (Jerry), and dunks John Cena in a water tank.

The idea of the "Parks and Recreation" characters essentially starring in a different television show is a fun idea that gets adequately explored for all of the comedy contained within it. The episode then ties it all together in a heartwarming moment between Andy and April, fulfilling the final step in Johnny Karate's 5-step Karate Plan to Success: Being nice to someone.

34. Donna and Joe (Season 7, Episode 7)

Donna is getting married to Joe (Keegan Michael-Key), and April makes sure the wedding goes off without any Meagle family drama in the Season 7 episode "Donna and Joe."

At the same time, Jennifer Barkley (Kathryn Hahn) returns and asks if Ben wants to run for congress. After drunkenly agreeing to it, Ben begins to wonder if he's made the right choice.

By the end of the episode, everyone has said "yes" and the Meagles are let loose for a little bit of microwave-related drama. A lovely wrap-up for not only Donna, but also for her co-worker Jerry. After Donna arranges for his dinner nameplate at the reception to read "Garry," everyone jokingly says that's his new name now, not knowing that's his actual name. Donna and Garry share a smile and a wink that's icing on top of an already incredibly sweet episode.

33. Citizen Knope (Season 4, Episode 10)

When Leslie is forced to take time off of work due to the revelation of her relationship with Ben, she starts the Parks Committee of Pawnee. While she's out, everyone in the office decides to chip in to get her an amazing Christmas present, since she's always gotten them something memorable. They decide to build her a gingerbread replica of the office they all share.

The Season 4 episode "Citizen Knope" also sees Ben Wyatt's attempts to find a new job. After striking out at Dennis Feinstein's perfume company, Ben settles for working at an accounting firm. But after a surprisingly inspiring speech from Jean-Ralphio Saperstein (Ben Schwartz), Ben quits. Jean-Ralphio swoops in for the job and is promptly hired ... and immediately fired.

The fallout of Ben and Leslie's scandal only seems to strengthen their relationship. The whole team coming together to build the gingerbread office (complete with marshmallow Ron Swanson) also shows the strength of the whole cast. Everyone telling Leslie they will help her with her campaign to run for City Council strengthens this episode as one of the best.

32. The Trial of Leslie Knope (Season 4, Episode 9)

After Leslie and Ben reveal the nature of their relationship to Chris Traeger, he is forced to put them on trial. This conflict of personal feelings and professionalism drives Chris to intense workouts and consuming loads of vitamins.

The trial features many character witnesses, flashbacks to previous episodes, and unexpected twists and turns, managing to invoke real tension in whether or not Leslie would be fired. Ultimately, Ben Wyatt convinces the board of how great Leslie is at her job and quits his own to allow her to continue doing it.

Including one of the best cold opens ever in which Ron Swanson learns about Google Earth, the reveal of Jerry's real name, and April holding herself in contempt of the court, "The Trial of Leslie Knope" goes to show that "Parks and Rec" can be incredibly funny while still raising the dramatic and emotional stakes.

31. Soulmates (Season 3, Episode 10)

In the Season 3 episode "Soulmates," Ben turns Leslie down for a date. Disheartened, she turns to Ann, who has been going on a tremendous amount of dates. Ann's advice is for Leslie to sign up for a local dating site called Hoosier Mate. When she does so, she is shocked and mildly disgusted to be a 98% match with her womanizing co-worker, Tom Haverford.

Meanwhile, Ron Swanson and Chris Traeger are preparing for a cook-off. Chris plans to make healthier turkey burgers while Ron plans to stick to good old reliable beef. Joining them on their grocery store preparations are child surrogates, Andy and April, who respectively learn how food becomes energy and how to properly dispose of vegan bacon.

This episode is a great example of putting characters together in interesting combinations. Chris's healthy tendencies versus Ron's meat and potatoes lifestyle, Chris attempting to teach Andy about fruit, and April bonding with Ron are all realized to their fullest comedic potential. Leslie and Tom's lack of chemistry is also hilariously explored, especially after Tom finds out about the match and leans into being as obnoxious about it as possible. This ultimately culminates in a climactic kiss that is not only funny, but sets up a dramatic plot twist that pays off a full season later.

30. Two Funerals (Season 7, Episode 11)

In "Two Funerals," the last episode before the two-part series finale, the mayor of Pawnee (Bill Murray) passes away. Ben is put in charge of finding a new interim mayor which leads to a montage of returning fan favorite secondary characters. But in a series of things somehow working out for him, the role goes to Garry (who is no longer called Jerry at this point).

The other funeral in the episode belongs to Ron Swanson's barber. He gets uncharacteristically emotional about his passing and we soon learn it's because he fears the change happening around him. Everyone is moving on and leaving him behind. Even Tom has proposed to his girlfriend. But after one final visit from a surprisingly shaven-lipped Ron Dunn (Sam Elliott) and some help from Donna, Ron finds a new hair stylist that he can bond with over disliking Europeans.

A series of welcome cameos, touching send-offs, and a surprise appearance by Murray make this "Parks and Recreation" episode one of the best.

29. Emergency Response (Season 5, Episode 13)

Leslie needs $50,000 for a project she's working on, so she begins to put together a fundraising event. However, Councilman Jamm has arranged for an emergency response drill that will interrupt her preparations. It's up to the rest of the Parks and Rec team to make sure the party goes off without a hitch.

Part of this plan involves Ron Swanson promoting the event on "Pawnee Today." When the host Joan Callamezzo (Mo Collins) passes out due to her allergies (or, rather, her intense hangover), Ron takes the lead and begins answering phone calls.

The Season 5 episode "Emergency Response" is a great showcase of how smoothly these characters can operate after having worked together for so long. Even though things can go comically wrong, they manage to pull off an amazing event and raise the money. And in an incredible cliffhanger, Ben suggests that he and Leslie get married immediately.

28. Road Trip (Season 3, Episode 14)

The romantic tension mounts between Ben Wyatt and Leslie Knope in the Season 3 episode "Road Trip." It's made even worse when Chris Traeger asks them to drive to Indianapolis together for work-related reasons. After attempting to distance herself from Ben with a truly terrible road trip playlist, Leslie comes around and is finally ready to admit her true feelings. However, just as she's about to do so, Chris plants himself between the two as a completely unaware third wheel.

Back in Pawnee, Andy and April fare poorly in Tom's "Newlywed Game" ripoff, resulting in their first big fight after getting married. Also, Ron Swanson gives a lesson in libertarianism (and a landmine) to a small child who is their on a school field trip.

These three hilarious plots combined with Ben and Leslie's first kiss make this a truly excellent episode of "Parks and Recreation."

27. A Parks and Recreation Special

Five years after "Parks and Recreation" went off the air, it returned to television for a special charity-based reunion episode. With everyone stuck at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, Leslie makes sure to establish a daily phone call to check in on everyone.

Ben has returned to his depression projects; Ron has caught Tammy 2 breaking into his cabin; Andy locked himself in his shed; Ann has returned to nursing; Chris donates his super healthy blood; Tom pretends to be in Bali; and Garry has a poop emoji for a head. Even separated, everyone slips right back into their characters and the relationships they formed.

All of this along with some great cameos from other minor characters made the world seem a little brighter for at least a little while amongst a worldwide pandemic. At the end, when everyone comes together to sing "5,000 Candles in the Wind," it's impossible not to join in with them.

26. End of the World (Season 4, Episode 6)

Everyone gets their own end of the world scenario in this Season 4 episode of "Parks and Rec." Most literally, a cult called the Reasonabilists believe that a being known as Zorp is coming to destroy the world and hold an annual ceremony in the lot where Leslie wants to build a park. When Ben and Leslie go to keep an eye on it, Ben connects with reporter Shauna Malwae-Tweep (Alison Becker) which makes Leslie feel like her world is ending.

Meanwhile, Tom and Jean-Ralphio's business Entertainment 720 is on its last legs, so they decide to go out with a bang and throw an amazing End of the World party with the remainder of their money. The end of Tom's world seems less certain when his ex-girlfriend Lucy (Natalie Morales) shows up.

Finally, Andy and April get bored of the monotony they've been sinking into, so they decide to cross off everything on Andy's bucket list – which includes holding $1,000 in cash, making a perfect grilled cheese, and seeing the Grand Canyon. You know, the one with all the president's faces.

Luckily, the world didn't end and the show continued for another three seasons. But the threat of it made for a great episode of television.

25. 94 Meetings (Season 2, Episode 21)

In the Season 2 episode "94 Meetings," April accidentally schedules 93 meetings for Ron Swanson on March 31st due to the fact that she thought the month only had 30 days. Ron gets everyone involved to help tackle the meetings, but Leslie immediately runs off to protect a historic landmark, Andy keeps saying yes to everything out of guilt, and Ann doesn't even work there.

In addition to these external issues, everyone has to deal with their personal issues as well. Leslie is worried about losing her friends Ann and Mark, Andy is uncomfortable with the age difference between him and April, and April feels like she let down Ron and schedules a 94th meeting to tell him she's quitting.

The episode balances the heart and the humor perfectly. Tom helps Leslie realize she has nothing to worry about, Andy tells Ron how great April is, Ron tells April how great she is, and finally April begins scheduling meetings for actual made-up dates. It's a wonderful ending to a wonderful episode.

24. The Comeback Kid (Season 4, Episode 11)

With her new campaign team behind her, Leslie prepares to make her comeback and anything that can go wrong, absolutely does goes wrong in the most hilarious way possible. It all culminates in an event that takes place in an ice hockey rink with a too-short red carpet, a botched podium, a urinating dog, an injured athlete, and the best use ever of Gloria Estefan's "Get On Your Feet."

Meanwhile, worried about their recent relationship scandal, Ben doesn't join Leslie's campaign despite being perfect for it. Instead he pursues some hobbies at home, including making terrible calzones for what he hopes will one day be for his restaurant The Lo Cal Calzone Zone, as well as making the shortest claymation film ever made. Ben's barely animated film "Requiem for a Tuesday" includes the best use ever of R.E.M.'s "Stand."

"The Comeback Kid" features two hilarious plots about people being (or falling) down while juxtaposed with songs about standing up. It's a very clever touch in an incredibly funny episode.

23. The Master Plan (Season 2, Episode 23)

The Season 2 episode "The Master Plan" introduced two new cast members, with Rob Lowe and Adam Scott respectively stepping into the roles of Chris Traeger and Ben Wyatt. They instantly clicked into place, with Chris literally being the most positive character in the show and Ben being an adorable everyman. They also instantly connected with their eventual romantic partners, with Ann making out with Chris while she's drunk and Ben sharing his past mayoral failings with Leslie.

The early stages of April and Andy's relationship are also featured when Andy comes to April's birthday party. After April sees Andy talking to his ex, Ann, she tries to make Andy jealous by flirting with Jean-Ralphio. This backfires, but it's made clear that they both have feelings for each other, especially when Andy sings a song that's clearly about April ... called "November."

In addition to romantic tension, the episode culminates in a dramatic revelation that the government is shutting down, much to the glee of Ron Swanson. It's an exciting twist in an episode full of laughs, love, and budget proposals.

22. Ron & Tammy: Part Two (Season 3, Episode 4)

Ron Swanson's ex-wife Tammy 2 (Megan Mullally) returns to wreak havoc on his life. Ron, however, is able to resist Tammy's charms and devilish ways. That is, until Tom Haverford brings her as a date to a party in an effort to make Ron jealous for having dated Tom's ex-wife Wendy (Jama Williamson). The following day, it is revealed that Ron and Tammy have gotten married and arrested after a series of drunken escapades. Ron sports some cornrows and a rubbed-off section of mustache — from friction.

Elsewhere in "Ron & Tammy: Part Two," Ben Wyatt hilariously struggles to interact with the police department while the constantly dour April Ludgate temporarily becomes the assistant to the ceaselessly chipper Chris Traeger.

This conceptual sequel to Season 2's "Ron and Tammy" manages to surpass the original with its hilarious escalations and its commitment to well developed characters.

21. Halloween Surprise (Season 5, Episode 5)

There's quite a few surprises to be had in this Season 5 episode. Perhaps the most blatant is when Ann and Leslie attempt to scare Tom, but wind up surprising Jerry instead, giving him a heart attack accompanied by a lot of flatulence.

A more subtle surprise takes place when Ron Swanson shows a more vulnerable side to his girlfriend Diane (Lucy Lawless) when he apologizes for not doing a good job trick-or-treating with her children.

But the best surprise of all is saved for the end of "Halloween Surprise." When Ben gets an offer to work with Jennifer Barkley (Kathryn Hahn), it seems like his time in Pawnee will have to come to an end. Leslie goes to cancel the lease on a house they were going to purchase together, only to find Ben there. What follows is one of the sweetest marriage proposals ever seen on television.

20. London (Season 6, Episode 1 and 2)

In the two-part Season 6 premiere "London," the show had to deal with the fact that Chris Pratt needed time off to shoot "Guardians of the Galaxy." Since the movie was being shot in London, the "Parks and Recreation" premiere was written to be set there. While in London, Ben and Andy visit Lord Edgar Covington (Peter Serafinowicz) to hopefully expand a charity they established in Pawnee. The childlike Eddie immediately hits it off with Andy and agrees to help them out, but asks that Andy remain in England to help get the charity started.

Leslie is in London to accept an award for women in government, though has a bit of a meltdown after realizing that her work is not appreciated in Pawnee. Later, April reads the letter she sent in order to nominate Leslie for the award, and its as heartwarming as you'd expect.

After Ron gets married to Diane, he also travels to London as part of his honeymoon, though he is sadly not joined by his wife because she is sick. Instead he has to suffer the indignities of Europe on his own. However, Leslie sends him to a brewery that makes him rethink his prejudices.

Jam packed with laughs and sweetness, both at home and abroad, "London" proves that you can still pull off a great episode even if it's written to deal with real-life complications.

19. Bowling for Votes (Season 4, Episode 13)

After a potential voter says he wouldn't vote for Leslie Knope because she doesn't seem like someone he could go bowling with, Leslie calls him out on this and invites him to go bowling with her. After Leslie lets him win a game and gives him free food and beer, he says he still wouldn't vote for Leslie. So she challenges him to another game and thoroughly demolishes him. The voter says he still won't vote for her. He then goes a step further and calls her a very derogatory word, prompting Ben Wyatt to punch him in the face.

Meanwhile, Tom, Ann, and Ron bowl at a nearby lane and Ron Swanson is humiliated by the underhanded technique Tom affects while bowling. He's even more humiliated when it actually works and Tom gets a higher score than him. Later, it is unclear if Ron slamming a bowling ball into Tom's pinky is intentional or not.

The Season 4 episode "Bowling for Votes" ends with Ben and Tom suffering hand injuries and everyone learning a lesson or two. In the case of Ron Swanson, who later bowls a perfect game using Tom's method, it may be a lesson he wishes wasn't true.

18. Ron and Tammys (Season 4, Episode 2)

In this Season 4 episode, Ron Swanson is audited by his first ex-wife, Tammy 1 (Patricia Clarkson), who then proceeds to take complete control over his life. Ron transforms into a seemingly nicer person and even shaves his signature mustache. In an attempt to restore Ron to his former glory, Leslie recruits the help of Ron's mother, Tammy Zero (Paula Pell). It all ends with everyone fighting for Ron in a moonshine drinking contest.

Elsewhere in "Ron and Tammys," Ben looks into the finances of Tom and Jean-Ralphio's new business venture Entertainment 720. After seeing that they are spending money on professional athletes, models, and literally printing money while seemingly making no money whatsoever, Ben figures they will go bankrupt before he even finishes his sentence.

Throw in another subplot with Ann filming take after take after take of Chris doing a diabetes PSA, and you've got a "Parks and Recreation" episode "literally" overflowing with character-based comedy.

17. Freddy Spaghetti (Season 2, Episode 24)

In "Freddy Spaghetti," the government has shutdown – much to the delight of Ron Swanson, who begins to help Ben and Chris on their budget cuts. One of the cuts involves canceling a park concert featuring children's entertainer Freddy Spaghetti. Leslie bands everyone together to keep the concert going, despite the shutdown.

This Season 2 finale shows just how much the show has grown since its uneven first season. Leslie has grown from the somewhat annoying Michael Scott clone to a fully competent and lovable force for the good of Pawnee. Andy has shifted out of being a childish jerk obsessed with Ann into a childlike goofball in love with April. Mark Brendanawicz realizes things aren't working out and leaves the show, giving Leslie a lovely parting gift on the way out, while Chris and Ben comfortably slide into the world of "Parks and Recreation." And though Ron experiences a large amount of glee slashing the government's budget, when it is suggested that Leslie Knope should be fired, Ron comes to her defense and offers himself up instead — because he truly believes in Leslie Knope.

And that feeling extends past this wonderful moment with Ron Swanson. Perhaps for the first time, it feels like the show fully believes in itself and its eccentric world and cast of characters, making "Freddy Spaghetti" one of the best episodes of "Parks and Rec."

16. Jerry's Painting (Season 3, Episode 11)

In this Season 3 episode of "Parks and Rec," Jerry displays one of his paintings at an art exhibit. The painting depicts a topless centaur who happens to greatly resemble Leslie Knope. Instead of being offended, Leslie finds it empowering. However, the painting is protested by activist Marcia Langman (Darlene Hunt), so Leslie finds herself defending the art on a news program hosted by Perd Hapley (Jay Jackson). Joining her in her fight for the nude arts is adult film star Brandi Maxxxx (Mara Marini).

Meanwhile, Ben moves in with recent newlyweds April and Andy and discovers they have no idea how to live as responsible adults. They eat out of frisbees, clean their clothes with bubble bath soap, and store their unpaid bills in the freezer. Ben proceeds to take it upon himself to help them begin to function as human beings.

Seeing Ben interact with characters he usually doesn't helps lock the new character into the world of "Parks and Recreation," while the painting storyline helps us see how Leslie Knope thinks of herself through the medium of very steamy art. Plus, Tom is also in the painting as a chubby cherub, and that's hilarious.

15. Harvest Festival (Season 3, Episode 7)

The culmination of a seven episode arc, this Season 3 episode sees the Pawnee Harvest Festival finally come together. While initially running smoothly, things take a turn for the worse when the star attraction — a mini-horse named Li'l Sebastian – goes missing after Tom fails to keep an eye on it. Disasters continue to pile up as word gets out that the festival might be under a Native American curse placed there by Wamapoke chief Ken Hotate (Jonathan Joss).

Personal disasters also abound in "Harvest Festival" – April tells Andy that she loves him and he replies in a less than satisfactory manner, Ben starts to think he's the source of the curse due to his prior failure as a teen mayor, and Tom blames Jerry for losing Li'l Sebastian even though it was clearly Tom's fault.

Leslie manages to smooth things over with the Wamapoke tribe, who performs a ritual to remove the curse. While stuck on a Ferris wheel, Ron manages to resolve the conflicts between April and Andy, as well as between Tom and Jerry. Everything and everyone comes together to make a Harvest Festival worth remembering.

14. Hunting Trip (Season 2, Episode 10)

After feeling left out of the annual all-men hunting trip, Leslie convinces Ron to let her, the rest of the women at the office, and Tom tag along. Leslie struggles to fit into the group and upstages Ron by bagging more quail than he does. Things take an even worse turn when someone winds up shooting Ron in the head.

Back at the office, April is left alone to call about a budget issue and winds up on hold for hours. Fortunately, Andy is there to help relieve her boredom by playing blind Marco Polo, practicing spit takes, and letting April give him hickeys to make Ann jealous.

"Hunting Trip" sees Ron and Leslie coming closer together after she takes the blame for an unlicensed Tom shooting Ron, thus protecting Tom from jail time. Meanwhile, one of the best couples on television begins to form, as the introduction of April and Andy's relationship starts in this Season 2 episode.

13. Ann and Chris (Season 6, Episode 13)

Leslie throws a going away party for Ann and Chris that covers every imaginable future holiday, just in case Leslie can't be there for any of them. Her last surprise was going to be breaking ground on the park that used to be the pit outside of her house, but some legal complications get in the way. Leslie and Ann team up for one last absurd quest to celebrate their five year friendship.

Meanwhile, Chris has given everyone very thoughtful gifts that make the gift card they got him feel trivial. The Parks and Rec team come together to make a handmade memory box for his future child, and everyone burns their initials inside it (including all of Jerry's aliases).

The episode ends with a heartfelt and tearful goodbye as Ann and Chris drive off into their new life together, leaving behind some truly memorable performances by Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe.

12. Two Parties (Season 5, Episode 10)

In the Season 5 episode "Two Parties," Ann throws a bachelorette party for Leslie while Chris throws a bachelor party for Ben. Both wind up diverging wildly from the initial plans. Leslie's party winds up moving to the much-contested Lot 48, where Leslie buried fake Native American artifacts in order to stop a fast food franchise from being built there. Feeling guilty about it, her bachelorette party spends the rest of the night digging up the planted artifacts.

Meanwhile, Ben's bachelor party consists mostly of playing "Settlers of Catan," boring nearly everyone. The group collectively agrees to go to a bar Tom recommends, which turns out to be more of an art experiment than a bar. Quickly realizing that no one else in the group actually had a bachelor party, Chris arranges for everyone to finally experience one of their own. They go to an ice cream parlor for Jerry, meet NFL players for Andy, and end the night at a steakhouse for Ron.

A night of unmitigated disaster and a night of unbridled friendship come together in a perfect union to make one of the best episodes of "Parks and Recreation."

11. The Debate (Season 4, Episode 20)

In this season four written and directed by Amy Poehler, Leslie Knope finally goes head-to-head with her opponent Bobby Newport (Paul Rudd) in the city council debate. Comedic twists and dramatic turns abound in the intense debate which also include adult star Brandi Maxxxx (Mara Marini), gun enthusiast Fester Trim (Brad Leland), and animal rights activist Manrico Della Rosa (Gary Carlos Cervantes).

However, no one at Leslie's donor viewing party sees any of this as Andy and April are hosting and forgot to pay their cable bill. In an attempt to entertain the donors, Andy begins re-enacting his favorite films, including a particularly moving version of "Babe."

Ron Swanson does manage to fix the cable just in time for everyone to see Leslie's closing statement. It's an incredibly impactful speech that impressed not only the Pawnee audience (including Bobby Newport), but also viewers at home. "The Debate" earned Amy Poehler an Emmy nomination for writing and a spot on this list of best "Parks and Rec" episodes.

10. Li'l Sebastian (Season 3, Episode 16)

The Season 3 finale of "Parks and Recreation" deals with the tragic aftermath of the death of everyone's favorite miniature horse, Li'l Sebastian. Teaming up with Jean-Ralphio's company Entertainment 720, the Parks Department puts together a moving memorial in honor of Pawnee's biggest animal celebrity.

Despite a handful of problems caused by Ben and Leslie attempting to hide their office romance, the event mostly goes off without a hitch. The show concludes with the debut of Mouse Rat's tribute song "5,000 Candles in the Wind" and an explosive eternal torch finale.

The episode ends with a series of exciting cliffhangers sure to keep people tuned in for Season 4: The success of the event convinces Tom to leave his job and join Entertainment 720, both Ron and Tammy 2 fear the arrival of Tammy 1, and finally, Leslie is approached to run for city council.

9. The Fight (Season 3, Episode 13)

In the Season 3 episode "The Fight," Tom invites everyone to the Snakehole Lounge to try out his new drink, Snake Juice. Everyone proceeds to get absolutely hammered. Andy and April drunkenly roleplay as FBI agent Burt Macklin and mysterious widow Janet Snakehole. Ron dances in a silly hat. Leslie dances with Jean-Ralphio. Ann dances with radio personality The Douche (Nick Kroll). But most upsettingly, Ann and Leslie get into their first big fight. Ann thinks Leslie is pushing her too much and Leslie thinks Ann doesn't appreciate her.

The following morning, everyone is incredibly hungover and full of shame, regret, and the need to vomit. That is, except for Ron, who brings everyone burgers. Ron also shows more kindness when he attempts to help Tom, who can no longer promote Snake Juice after Chris says it's against the rules. Ron is unable to convince Chris otherwise, but he shares a nice moment with Tom by making him a case for the Snake Juice.

Finally, with the help of Ben, Leslie and Ann apologize to each other and Ann interviews for a job at the Parks Department. It's a sweet ending for a raucous episode of drunken debauchery.

8. Ron and Diane (Season 5, Episode 9)

When a chair Ron made is nominated for an award, Leslie Knope tags along with Ron and his girlfriend Diane (Lucy Lawless) for the ceremony. Leslie approves of the relationship immediately, though Leslie's familiarity with Ron makes Diane feel a little insecure. Diane feels even stranger when Leslie goes to great lengths to keep Tammy 2 from interfering with the new couple. Ron explains that Leslie is doing it for the both of them and, though Leslie is a great friend, he has no romantic interest in her. Then Ron shares something with Diane that he has not shared with Leslie: His jazz persona of Duke Silver.

The Season 5 episode also sees the rest of the "Parks and Recreation" characters attending Jerry's Christmas party, where everyone is confused to learn Jerry's been living the perfect life with a beautiful wife and three lovely daughters. Feeling guilty for being consistently rude to Jerry, the group decides to give him money they had collected throughout the year for every time Jerry did something stupid or embarrassing.

Between Ron and Diane, as well as Jerry and his family, love brings everyone together in this sweet and hilarious episode ... even if Tammy 2 ultimately winds up in handcuffs and Leslie winds up in a trunk.

7. Andy and April's Fancy Party (Season 3, Episode 9)

After dating for less than a month, Andy and April throw a party that turns out to be a surprise wedding. While initially trying to stop Andy and April from getting married, Leslie eventually realizes that it's not her place to interfere. The ceremony continues, the couple exchange adorable vows, and one of the best television couples get married.

While love is in the air for Andy and April, Ann has less success at a singles mixer – until Donna feels pity for her and gives her some advice on how to flirt. Temporarily distracted by the news of Andy's wedding, Donna gets Ann back on task by making her realize Andy is in the past and Ann needs to concentrate on herself.

A charming wedding, some self-realization, and one of the best cold opens of all time (where Ron Swanson pulls his own tooth), all add up to make one of the best episodes of "Parks and Recreation."

6. Flu Season (Season 3, Episode 2)

The flu season hits Pawnee, but it hits Leslie Knope and Chris Traeger the hardest. Leslie tries to push through her sickness in order to give an important presentation to secure funding for the Harvest Festival. However, Chris goes off the deep end – and in the process completely embarrasses himself in front of his new girlfriend, Ann. However, Ann finds this a relief, as she was beginning to wonder if he was too perfect.

April also gets the flu, but mostly uses it as an excuse to torture Ann for recently kissing Andy. Ron also winds up in the middle of April and Andy's relationship drama, despite his protesting. Still, Ron does his best to help mend the rift between the two.

The flu not only allows these characters to be at their most loopy and absurd, but also shows that Chris has flaws and that Leslie can persevere through nearly anything — something that Ann and Ben respectively find appealing. Hopefully you'll find it appealing as well.

5. Win, Lose, or Draw (Season 4, Episode 22)

In the Season 4 finale of "Parks and Rec," the votes for city council are counted and the winner is announced: It's Bobby Newport, Leslie's opponent. On top of that, Ben has been offered a job in Washington D.C. that would separate them for at least six months.

Meanwhile, April has accidentally deleted all of the files from the Parks Department computers. Andy and April begin to contemplate the new lives and identities they might have to take in order to escape the consequences of this terrible mistake.

Things certainly seem at their most dire towards the end of the episode. Ben decides to turn down the job to stay in Pawnee, but Leslie convinces him to take the job — because it would be selfish of her to keep him from pursuing his dream. Donna comes in and restores the files, saving April her job. Looking over their options for new lives, they realize Andy wants to be a police officer.

Finally, the city council results were so close that a recount was ordered. The results come in and Leslie wins. It's a well-earned victory for Leslie Knope and a emotionally satisfying end to a wonderful season of television.

4. Leslie and Ben (Season 5, Episode 14)

After the cliffhanger in the previous episode "Emergency Response," the Parks Department rushes to throw together a spur of the moment wedding for Leslie Knope and Ben Wyatt. Ann Perkins makes Leslie's dress, Ron Swanson makes the rings, and Tom Haverford attempts to get ordained in time to officiate the union, though ultimately has to let Jerry do the legal parts.

Despite a few hiccups, they manage to get the wedding together just in time for the end of the gala. Unfortunately, an annoyed Jeremy Jamm crashes the wedding and stink bombs the venue. Ron punches Jamm unconscious, and the wedding is canceled as both are arrested.

Ann posts Ron's bail and a much smaller and more intimate wedding takes place inside the Parks Department. Leslie and Ben exchange emotional vows (though Leslie wasn't able to read her 70-page first draft) and the two kiss for the first time as a married couple.

3. Moving Up (Season 6, Episodes 21 and 22)

The two-part Season 6 finale of "Parks and Recreation" features loads of cameos including Michelle Obama, Ginuwine, Letters to Cleo, and Jon Hamm, as well as appearances from recurring favorites like Joan Calamezzo, Perd Hapley, Tammy 2, and Jean-Ralphio. In addition, we also see the return of Ben's overly-complicated board game, The Cones of Dunshire, when Ben plays the game against the owner of Gryzzl (Blake Anderson) in exchange for free Wi-Fi for Pawnee.

Elsewhere, Tom's initially horrible soft opening of his bistro turns into a learning experience that actually benefits the restaurant.

Meanwhile, Leslie puts together the amazing Unity Concert that concludes with a Mouse Rat reunion and a reprise of "5,000 Candles in the Wind" — complete with a 3D hologram of Li'l Sebastian and a surprise accompaniment by Duke Silver.

Finally, when faced with a decision of whether to move to Chicago for a National Parks job, Leslie pitches that the position be moved to Pawnee. In a daring three year time jump, the episode ends with her in full swing of her new job. "Moving Up" is a delightful ending to the season and an exciting beginning for what's to come.

2. Leslie and Ron (Season 7, Episode 4)

The first four episodes of Season 7 showed us that a rift had formed between Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson sometime during the three year jump between seasons. The details weren't fully there, but we were given clues. It all exploded into a big fight in the previous episode "William Henry Harrison." This resulted in Ben locking them in the old Parks Department offices until they finally resolved their differences.

What followed is one of the best "Parks and Rec" episodes that defies its typical format to instead dive deeper into its two most central characters: Leslie and Ron. The night begins with Leslie trying to get Ron to talking by utilizing various torture techniques, eventually breaking him with a misquoted rendition of Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire." Ron eventually opens up and explains that everyone had left the Department and he was lonely. He went to ask Leslie for a job, but everyone had moved on.

Now understanding each other, they redecorate the office to look the way it was when they worked there. They share one last time together in the familiar location, giving us one last moment as well with two of the characters we most cherish.

1. One Last Ride (Season 7, Episodes 12 and 13)

The two-part series finale of "Parks and Recreation" once again changes its format to skip around in time to show us what will happen to nearly every Pawnee resident in years to come. These include minor character vignettes that range from the unexpected sweetness of Craig (Billy Eichner) and Typhoon (Rodney To) getting married to the absolutely hilarious consequences of Mona-Lisa Saperstein helping Jean-Ralphio fake his death.

Framed within a present day plot of the Parks team getting together one last time to fix a swing in a park, the flash forwards also show us the long, happy, and fulfilling lives of the main characters. April and Andy decide to have kids, Garry lives to 100, Ron runs a national park, Tom finally becomes successful talking about his failures, Donna runs a successful real estate firm, and Leslie becomes governor (with subtle hints of becoming president).

There's a lot to juggle and wrap up, but it nails the landing, perfectly balancing the heart, the humor, and the genuine kindness the show was always great at conveying. "One Last Ride" is one of the best series finales of any television show, and the overall best episode of "Parks and Rec."