13 Times ‘Parks and Recreation’ Predicted the Future

Parks and Recreation isn’t only a sweet ensemble comedy, it’s also one of the most clever shows on television. With a talented cast that includes Amy Poehler, Chris Pratt, and Aubrey Plaza, the sitcom is packed with improv comedians trained in the art of winking at the audience.

Now that series is ending its seven-season run tonight, we decided to look back on all the callbacks us loyal fans might’ve missed over the years.

The Baseball Easter Egg

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Creator Michael Schur is better known as “Ken Tremendous,” one of the writers behind the Fire Joe Morgan blog, so of course some baseball jargon would end up on the show. In season five, there’s a subtle baseball-themed law firm, “Law Offices of Babip, Pecota, Vorp & Eckstein” Attorneys at Law.” In season seven, it seems there were some additions to the law firm, making it, “Fwar, Dips, Winshares, Gritt, Babip, Pecota, Vorp & Eckstein.”

Ron and Leslie: Frenemies

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Way back in season two, the episode “Summer Catalog” showed Leslie asking Ron, “Are we gonna hate each other one day?” On the opening of the final season, their feud became as painful to watch as it was funny.

Trish Ianetta

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When Tom Haverford listed all the loyal Pawnee celebrities in season seven, he included Trish Lanetta, the girl who won the beauty pageant back in season two.

The Marijuana Plant

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In the second episode of season two, “The Stakeout,” a marijuana plant is found in a community garden. Eighteen episodes later in “Summer Catalog,” the former Parks Director, admits to planting marijuana in community gardens all over Pawnee.

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Breakfast Foods

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Nothing brings great minds together quite like breakfast foods. In season two’s “Summer Catalog,” Leslie asks Ron, “Why would anybody ever eat anything besides breakfast foods?” To which Ron responded, “People are idiots, Leslie.” In season seven’s “Leslie and Ron,” after their feud ends, the roles (and lines) are perfectly reversed.

The Cones of Dunshire

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The Cones of Dunshire, a game Ben invented while he was unemployed back in the ninth episode of season six, reappears 15 episodes later, when he has to win a game against the president of Gryzzl for free Wi-Fi in Pawnee.

Bobby Knight

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In the pilot, Rob Swanson has a poster of infamous college basketball coach Bobby Knight hanging in his office. In season six, Andy mentions having booked a band called Bobby Knight Ranger for the Pawnee/Eagleton Unity Concert. Later, viewers see them in the flesh played by the members of Yo La Tengo.


[Photo Credit: NBC]

In the sixteenth episode of season four, Tom finds out that Retta’s cousin is Ginuwine, and in season six, he appears in the Unity Concert. Of course, with Retta getting married in season seven, fans were excited to see him again at her wedding ceremony.

Ben’s Calzones

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Leslie has her waffles and Joe Biden, but Ben’s calzones are almost a character themselves. Not only does he prefer them over pizzas, as we found out in his first appearances on the show, but he also strives to open a restaurant in season four, called The Low Cal Calzone Zone. In season five, he can’t believe the calzones betrayed him and gave him food poisoning, and in season seven, he attempts to win a pie-baking contest by making a calzone.

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Letters to Cleo

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During Ben’s unemployment period in season five, he repeatedly wears a Letters to Cleo shirt. This pays off in the finale of season six, when he’s basically the only one fangirling for them at the Unity concert.

Leslie’s Triplets

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Back in season two, Ann sets Leslie up on a date with an MRI tech (Will Arnett), who, when he found out Leslie never had an MRI, takes her to get one. While it’s a terrible date, he does mention that Leslie has an excellent uterus, and “could easily have triplets right off the bat.” Leslie has triplets at the end of season six.

Tom’s Bistro

[Photo Credit: NBC]

In season two, the Indiana Organization of Women gives Ron an award for Leslie’s Camp Athena project, which he refers to as “Camp Xena.” It may be a coincidence that the woman he marries is played by Lucy Lawless, but in the same episode, Tom mentions he wants to open a place called Tom’s Bistro, which he does in season six.

Ron’s Scavenger Hunts

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In season four, Ron helps Ben with Leslie’s difficult Valentine’s scavenger hunt. In season seven, he gets giddy for it again when he helps April solve her own mystery to find his house keys.

Did we miss any of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

[Photo Credit: NBC]

Tara Aquino is an entertainment writer based out of L.A. She likes people, places, and things.