‘Parks and Recreation’ Final Season Promises Buff Chris Pratt and Lots of Tears

Aly Semigran

The seventh and (weep!) final season of the low-rated, but majorly loved comedy Parks and Recreation kicks off on Tuesday, Jan. 13 on NBC at 8 PM ET. As fans prepare to say goodbye to all of their friends over in Pawnee, like Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman), Andy Dwyer (Chris Pratt), April Ludgate (Aubrey Plaza), Donna Meagle (Retta), and Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari), we’ve got what you need to know about Parks and Rec before it wraps up.

The Final Season Will Go By Very Quickly

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Cherish every moment of Season 7 of Parks and Rec, because it will go by in a blink. The already-condensed season (just 13 episodes in all) will play out over the course of just seven weeks. With the exception of the series finale (which will air on Tuesday, Feb. 24), NBC will double up on episodes, airing two per Tuesday night. While we love the idea of back-to-back Parks and Rec, we know that each episode means we’re one closer to the very end, for which we will light ten thousand candles in the wind.

Be Sure to Remember Where They Left Off

Now, if you’re not already all caught up on Parks and Rec… first of all, for shame. But even if you aren’t, you’re in luck because the first six seasons are all available to watch on Netflix. The final episode of Season 6 was crucial for any fan, as the series pulled off a very surprising time jump. The show moved three years into the future to 2017, where Leslie has her dream job with her husband Ben (Adam Scott), their three kids, and all of their friends by their side. (Oh, and Jon Hamm.) That’s exactly where Season 7 will pick up.
Chris Pratt Will Still Be in Guardians of the Galaxy Shape

Chris Pratt’s lovably dopey Andy has always been lovably soft around the middle, thanks to his love of cuisine like “meat tornadoes” and hating running. But when the actor got seriously buff for his role as the Star-Lord Peter Quill for the smash Guardians of the Galaxy, the adorably chubby and scruffy Andy quickly became a thing of the past. In fact, you won’t see “Fat Pratt” ever again. The actor told GQ last year that he’s “done with” being overweight. Sorry, Pawnee, but Andy Dwyer is going to bring your obesity stats way down in the final season.

Find out how Pratt felt jumping into the Marvel universe this summer.

Paul Rudd is Returning!

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The adorable actor will be reprising his role as the dopey, but lovable Bobby Newport for Season 7. So what, exactly, is Leslie’s former political rival Bobbbbbbbyyyyyy Newwwwwpoooooort coming back for? As the show’s executive producer Michael Schur told EW, “Ben needs to fill a certain position and he thinks that Bobby might be a good candidate.” The words “Bobby” and “good candidate” together is something pretty rare in the Parks and Rec world.

So Will Ann and Chris!

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 Leslie’s BFF, beautiful tropical fish Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones) literally moved away with her baby daddy, Ben’s manic BFF Chris Traeger (Rob Lowe) in Season 6. But the attractive, dynamic duo will — thankfully — make an appearance during the final season.

Actually, There Will Be a Ton of Familiar Faces

Billy Eichner (a.k.a. Crazy Craig), Natalie Morales (Tom’s delightful lady friend Lucy), and Megan Mullally (Tammy 2) are just some of the familiar faces that will get their final moments to shine before the series ends.

And Some New Ones

Before Parks ends for good, some lucky stars will still get their chance to appear on the show for the first time. According to EW.com, in addition to returning favorites, there will also be cameos from the likes of Rachel Dratch, Blake Anderson, and Jorma Taccone.

There Will Be Tears

The cast reportedly couldn’t keep it together on their last day of shooting, you better believe it will be a total sob-fest for their devoted fans, too. We blame Jerry (Jim O’Heir). Dammit, Jerry/Gerry/Garry/Larry/Terry.

You Can Easily Throw a Parks and Rec-Themed Party
Not only is a Parks and Rec menu pretty easy to throw together, but it’s also incredibly delicious. What you’ll need: waffles (preferably from JJ’s Diner, but any waffles will do, just make sure there’s plenty of whipped cream); Andy’s Mouth Surprise (take Skittles, and put them between two Starbursts); a regular hamburger on a bun, ketchup if you want (just no turkey burgers); Snake Juice (must have a designated driver for your guests); calzones; and, of course, all the bacon and all the eggs you have. But, hey, don’t forget to supply food rakes!

[Photo Credit: NBC]