Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) and the Pawnee parks department all move on to fulfill their destinies: Donna (Retta) becomes a real estate mogul based in Seattle; Craig (Billy Eichner) becomes a singer at Tom’s bistro and marries Typhoon; Jerry (Jim O’Heir) serves 10 terms as mayor of Pawnee and dies on his 100th birthday; Andy and April (Chris Pratt and Aubrey Plaza) settle down in D.C. with two babies; Jean Ralphio fakes his own death for the insurance money; Tom (Aziz Ansari) marries Lucy and becomes a successful self-help author after losing all his money; Ron (Nick Offerman) runs Pawnee National Park; finally, Leslie and Congressman Ben (Adam Scott) are BFFs with the Biden family, and one of them may or may not be the President of the United States.
And it’s time for you to move on, too. Say a final goodbye to the best cast on TV by reminiscing on the five series finale moments that left you crying hysterically. Face it, you need to let it all out at least one more time.
Ron and Leslie’s Bonding MomentIt was a rocky season for Ron and Leslie’s friendship, but their pseudo-protective big brother/annoying little sister relationship prevails. In 2022, Ron takes Leslie’s word—”Don’t be a stranger”—when he seeks her guidance through a mid-life crisis. Knowing him better than anyone, she puts him in charge of Pawnee National Park. Now he can spend the rest of his days canoeing, and surrounded by the nature he loves so much.
Ben Reunites the Pawnee Gang for LeslieIn 2025, in an effort to gain perspective on the Indiana governor race Ben and Leslie are both thinking of running, the pair return to Pawnee. Remembering Leslie’s wish that she could once more see “the gang in the same room at the same time,” Ben arranges a reunion. In front of all their friends, perfect husband Ben makes the announcement that Leslie would be the one running for Governor.
Ann’s ReturnIt literally wouldn’t be a proper series finale without an appearance from Leslie’s beautiful tropical fish BFF, Ann (Rashida Jones), and her
April and Andy Finally Have a KidOne year after April and Andy spend a sad Halloween at Ben and Leslie’s house in D.C., upset over the children clearly missing their lives, April is seen in a hospital, giving birth to their first kid, Jack. (Side note: Jack’s also the name of Chris Pratt’s biological son). While the sight of Leslie with her godson is enough to burst your heart, it’s her first words to him that do you in: “Welcome to the team, little guy.”
Leslie’s Final Pep TalkDuring the gang’s 2025 reunion, and as Governor Leslie accepts her honorary doctorate from Indiana University in 2035, she gives this final speech. It simply needs to be read, felt, and remembered:
When we worked here together, we fought, scratched, and clawed to make people’s lives a tiny bit better. That’s what public service is all about: small, incremental change every day. Teddy Roosevelt once said ‘Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is a chance to work hard at work worth doing.’ And I would add that what makes work worth doing is getting to do it with people that you love. I started my career more than thirty years ago in the Parks and Recreation department right here in Pawnee, Indiana. I had a lot of different jobs, including two terms as your governor. And soon, a new, unknown challenge awaits me which to me, even now, is thrilling because I love the work. Not to say that public service isn’t sexy because it definitely is, but that’s not why we do it. We do it because we get the chance to work hard at work worth doing, alongside a team of people who we love. So I thank those people who walked with me and I thank you for this honor. Now, go find your team and get to work.
Bonus: This end-credits dedication to Parks and Recreation’s beloved late writer Harris Wittels.The show hasn’t been the only thing to get better over the years. Watch Chris Pratt’s trainer discuss how the superstar got rid of the Andy Dwyer pudge.
[Photo Credit: NBC]