Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation

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Updated Sep 20, 2013 at 12:21AM EDT by opspe.

Added Sep 19, 2013 at 06:31PM EDT by amanda b..

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Parks and Recreation is an American comedic sitcom that premiered on NBC on April 9th, 2009. The show stars former Saturday Night Live cast member Amy Poehler as the central character Leslie Knope, a mid-level bureaucrat who is introduced in the beginning as the deputy director of the Parks and Recreation department, before working her way up to an elected city council member in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana. The show is filmed in a single-camera mockumentary style similar to that of The Office, with an ensemble supporting cast.


In 2007, The Office’s lead writer Greg Daniels was invited to create a spin-off series for his show. After spending months trying to decide whether or not to actually create a spin-off or start with something fresh, Daniels signed Amy Poehler, known for her work with Chicago improv troupe Upright Citizens Brigade in the 1990s and on Saturday Night Live from 2000 to 2008. With Poehler, The Office alumna Rashida Jones and comedian Aziz Ansari on board, Daniels began to write a political sitcom about a beaureaucrat (Poehler) and her subordinate (Ansari) helping a civilian (Jones) transform an empty pit outside of her home into a park.[9] After attending local city council meetings and talking with Californian elected officials and city planners, the pilot script was written in 2008 and the show premiered on April 9th, 2009. As of September 2013, the series has aired five seasons, with a sixth scheduled to premiere on September 26th.


The first season received mixed reviews, only scoring 59/100 on MetaCritic[11] with many reviewers calling Poehler’s character Leslie Knope too similar to The Office’s Michael Scott.[10] This criticism led the writing team to hone the characters and storylines, resulting in a successful second season that received 72/100 on MetaCritic.[12]


The show and its cast have been nominated for dozens of awards since 2010[13] including the Emmy Awards, the People’s Choice Awards and the Golden Globe Awards. As of September 2013, the series has won Outstanding Individual Episode at the 2010 GLAAD Media Awards, Best Comedy Series at the Comedy Awards in 2012, and Outstanding Comedy at the 2013 Gracie Awards. Poehler has also won several awards for her portrayal of Leslie Knope including Best Comedy Actress in TV at the Comedy Awards in 2012, Best Actress in a Comedy Series at the 2012 Critics’ Choice Television Awards and Outstanding Female Actor at the 2013 Gracie Awards. Nick Offerman also won Individual Achievement in Comedy at the 2011 TCA Awards for his portrayal of Ron Swanson.

Online Presence

NBC maintains a number of official social media accounts for the show including a Tumblr blog[3], Twitter account[2], Google+ profile[13], a Pinterest account[14], Instagram page[16] and YouTube channel.[15] As of September 2013, their Facebook fan page[4] has accrued more than 1.1 million likes.


Online, many of the characters have developed a cult fan following, including Nick Offerman’s Ron Swanson[35] and Aubrey Plaza’s April Ludgate.[36] In March 2009, the first Parks and Recreation fan community launched on LiveJournal[37] and has since posted more than 1,200 entries. The subreddit /r/PandR[5] launched in January 2011, accruing more than 40,000 readers as of September 2013. That May, Fuck Yeah Parks and Rec[6] was establish on Tumblr, followed by the A Softer World parody blog, A Softer Pawnee[7] (shown below), that August.

In December 2011,[8] was created as a fan news source for show updates. As of September 2013, there are dozens of Parks and Recreation themed Tumblr blogs, many of which are linked on Fuck Yeah Parks and Rec.[38] Additionally, there are more than 3,200 pieces of fan art for the show on deviantART{39] and more than 350 works on fanfiction on Archive of Our Own.[40]

Fan Art

Treat Yo Self

Treat Yo Self” is a catchphrase first uttered in the season four episode “Pawnee Rangers” which originally aired on October 13th, 2011. In the episode, Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari) and Donna Meagle (Retta) are celebrating their annual “Treat Yo Self” day, in which they splurge on expensive goods and services including fancy clothes and massages. The show premiered to 4 million U.S. viewers.

The same day, a Facebook fan page[17] for Treat Yo Self Day was created, gaining nearly 3,000 likes as of September 2013. The corresponding hashtag #TreatYoSelf is also frequently used on Twitter[19], Tumblr[20] and Instagram[21], where there are more than 93,000 photos that use the tag. Additionally, a number of fashion and lifestyle websites including Self[23], Style[24], One Fine Day[25] and Rookie[26] have used “Treat Yo Self” for titles of editorial pieces. NBC has also launched an official Treat Yourself online game[18] and maintains an official Pinterest board[22] for the phrase, featuring photos of items Donna or Tom would purchase.

Tom Haverfoods

Tom Haverfoods is the name of a single serving site inspired by a scene in the third season episode “Soulmates,” which originally aired on April 21st, 2011. After Knope invites Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari) out to eat, he asks if she will buy “apps and zerts,” his personal slang terms for appetizers and desserts respectively. The camera then cuts to a talking head of Haverford alone, where he lists off a number of other slang terms he has coined including “chicky chicky parm parm” for chicken parmesan and “big ol’ cookies” for cakes.

On April 25th, the generator[27] launched, offering other slang terms made up as an homage to Haverford’s style. Corresponding Tumblr[28] and Twitter[29] accounts launched the same day. The following week, the site was featured on Vulture[30], The Frisky[31], Eater[32], The Laugh Button[33] and Trend Hunter.[34]

Ron [Paul] Swanson

On January 1st, 2012, a single topic blog titled Ron [Paul] Swanson[41] was created, pairing photos of retired U.S. congressman and then-presidential candidate Ron Paul with quotes from likeable Libertarian Ron Swanson, a character from the NBC comedy Parks and Recreation. The site was featured on Uproxx[8] and the Atlantic Wire.[9]

Patton Oswalt’s Star Wars Filibuster

In April 2013, Patton Oswalt guest-starred in an episode of Parks and Recreation as a filibustering citizen who pitches his multi-verse script for the upcoming Star Wars film in a non-stop, nine-minute-long improvised speech. The clip, which was uploaded via YouTube as a sneak preview on April 17th, has received more than 2.3 million views in the first five days.

Search Interest

External References

[1]WIkipedia – Parks and Recreation

[2]Twitter – @parksandrecnbc

[3]Tumblr – NBC Parks and Rec

[4]Facebook – Parks and Recreation

[5]Reddit – /r/PandR

[6]Tumblr – Fuck Yeah Parks and Recreation

[7]Tumblr – A Softer Pawnee

[8] – Home

[9]The New York Times – It’s Not ‘The Office.’ The Boss Is a Woman.

[10]Wikipedia – Parks and Recreation: Reviews

[11]MetaCritic – Parks and Recreation: Season 1

[12]MetaCritic – Parks and Recreation: Season 2

[13]Google+ – Parks and Recreation

[14]Pinterest – Parks and Rec

[15]YouTube – Parks and Recreation

[16]Instagram – nbcparksandrec

[17]Facebook – Treat Yo Self Day

[18]NBC Parks and Recreation – Treat Yourself Game

[19]Twitter – Tweet Results for #treatyoself

[20]Tumblr – Posts Tagged #treat yo self

[21]Statigram – Photos Tagged #treatyoself

[22]Pinterest – nbcparksandrec: Treat Yo Self

[23]Self – Treat Yo Self… Like Retta of Parks and Recreation

[24]Style – Treat Yo’ Self

[25]One Fine Day – Three Words: Treat Yo Self!

[26]Rookie – Treat Yo Self

[27] – Home

[28]Tumblr – Tom Haverfoods

[29]Twitter – @TomHaverfoods

[30]Vulture – Check Out the ‘Tom Haverfood’ Snack-Name Generator

[31]The Frisky – New Obsession: Tom Haverfoods

[32]Eater – Website of the Day: Tom Haverfoods

[33]The Laugh Button – Tom Haverfoods: It’s Aziz Ansari Meme Time

[34]Trend Hunter – ‘Tom Haverfoods’ is a Site for Tom Haverford of Parks & Recreation

[35]Tumblr – Posts Tagged #Ron Swanson

[36]Tumblr – Posts Tagged #April Ludgate

[37]LiveJournal – Parks and Recreation Fan Community

[38]Fuck Yeah Parks and Rec! – Parks and Rec related Tumblrs

[39]deviantART – Search Results for “parks and recreation”

[40]Archive of Our Own – Parks and Recreation Works

[41]Tumblr – Ron [Paul] Swanson

Recent Videos 3 total

Recent Images 70 total

Top Comments


How is there no Ron Swanson section (not counting the Ron Paul thing)? He is the first person I think of when talking about the show and memes. In particular his connection of Overly Manly Man.


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