Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Only Parks And Recreation Episode That Doesn't Feature Ron Swanson

Show creator Michael Schur has become a major name in the television landscape over the past few years, with one of his most notable shows being the NBC sitcom "Parks and Recreation." Co-created by Schur and Greg Daniels, the show follows the employees of the Parks Department in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana, as they deal with professional and personal hurdles.

One of the most famous and enduring characters from the show is Ron Swanson. Played by Nick Offerman, Ron was an employee of the Pawnee municipality who was not fond of government as a whole. Ron endeared himself over the course of the show's run with his skill in woodworking, general self-reliance, tumultuous relationship with his ex-wives, and his friendship with characters such as Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) and April Ludgate (Aubrey Plaza).

Ron Swanson was a major presence on the show, indicated not only in the character's storylines and relationships but also in the fact that Offerman appeared in all but one of the show's 124 episodes. This is the only "Parks and Recreation" episode where Ron wasn't featured at all. 

Ron's absence was tied to his hernia in the previous episode

The only episode of "Parks and Recreation" that Nick Offerman doesn't appear in is "Beauty Pageant," which is the 3rd episode of the show's 2nd season.

The episode revolves around Leslie Knope judging the Miss Pawnee Beauty Pageant, alongside Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari), while an in-home date between Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones) and Mark Brendanawicz (Paul Schneider) gets interrupted when Ann discovers her ex, Andy Dwyer (Chris Pratt) is living in the pit next to her house and invites him inside on Mark's insistence. April Ludgate also enters the Miss Pawnee Beauty Pageant, hoping to gain the prize of $600, but quits when she discovers that the prize is not in cash, but in the form of gift cards to a fencing company.

There was an in-series explanation for Ron's absence, as the previous episode heavily focused on him suffering from a hernia, being unable to move even to eat his lunch. Leslie mentions that she got Ron a bouquet while he recovers from hernia surgery, and says her Parks Department co-workers owe her $90 each for it, both resolving the previous episode's storyline, and explaining Ron's absence.

Ron Swanson returned in the next episode, in which Tom discovers his secret alter-ego of Duke Silver while trying to dig up dirt on him as part of an office dare.