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Fans Came Up With The Best Way To Think About The Male Characters On Parks And Recreation

No doubt about it, Andy Dwyer (Chris Pratt) grew a lot during the run of "Parks and Recreation." When we first met him at the beginning of Season 1, he had a generally selfish and irresponsible disposition. However,  over the course of the show's seven seasons, we watched this dopey man-boy with no job or ambition turn into a dopey man with a sense of purpose and responsibility. It's funny to think that Andy started out as a more peripheral character considering how integral to the show he would end up becoming. 

Like Andy, Pratt himself underwent quite the transformation throughout the run of "Parks and Recreation." By the time the series wrapped up in early 2015, Pratt was in the process of establishing himself as a franchise star, with a lead role in "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "Jurassic World" on the horizon. After the final season's premiere, Pratt was asked at the Television Critics Association press tour (via IGN) why he stayed on with "Parks and Recreation." He replied: "Oh, man, it's funny that you would ask that because it never once occurred to me... I've never even asked myself the question. That was never... That would never happen." 

It's a good thing he stuck around because that meant we got to see Andy grow into a veritable Renaissance man: musician, TV show host, Knight of the British Empire, and, of course, loving father. And some fans on Reddit have a theory about how Andy's transformation over the years is also the story of the other male characters on "Parks and Recreation."

Most of the other men on Parks and Rec are Andy's father figures

The discussion about Andy's growth and the other male characters on "Parks and Recreation" began with a Reddit thread dedicated to the Season 5, Episode 3 moment when Andy uses some sidewalk chalk graffiti to nudge Diane Lewis (Lucy Lawless, aka Xena, the Warrior Princess), aka the future Mrs. Lewis-Swanson, to ask Ron (Nick Offerman) out on a date. Redditor u/smolperson kicked off the thread with a screengrab of the moment and the caption, "Never forget the unexpected hero who initiated Ron's relationship with Diane..."

This led several users to point out that Andy's good deed was him paying Ron back for all of the fatherly kindness he'd shown him over the years. And throughout the thread, other users took that analysis one step further. According to u/cleancalf: "I kind of imagine all the men in the show are Father Figures to Andy. Ron, and Chris as his friendly bosses. Jerry/Garry/Larry is the father that you're embarrassed of. Ben also gives him a tough love relationship."

Looking back through the series, the theory seems to hold. Ron takes it upon himself to go tool-and-fixture shopping so he can make some repairs around Andy and April's house, whereas Chris Traeger (Rob Lowe) shows Andy how he can best take care of his dog Champion. Meanwhile, it's up to Ben (Adam Scott) to get Andy to go buy some actual furniture and other home necessities. And though we do meet Andy's grandmother (Pat Crawford Brown), and learn that he has six brothers, we never actually hear much about his father. This isn't to say the women of the Parks Department didn't also play a role. It's just that maybe it really does take a village. A village named Pawnee, Indiana.