Skip To Content

    12 Reasons "Parks And Recreation" Is Clearly Superior To "The Office"

    ...And why Parks and Rec is the epitome of the 21st-century sitcom.

    1. Leslie Knope is an ambitious, ass-kicking, girlboss queen:

    NBC / Via

    Aside from being a comedic genius, as every character in the show is, Leslie Knope is a hardworking, career-oriented woman who will stop at nothing to do what she thinks is right or beneficial. She works passionately for what she believes in and gives us more than a few good laughs along the way. You don't see those qualities in the typical boring white man that is Michael Scott (yeah, I said it!).

    2. Tom and Donna. That's it. That's the reason:

    NBC / Via

    This dynamic duo graces the screen with confidence, charisma, and unintentional (and sometimes intentional) humor in order to give them the legendary status that they so deserve. They live their lives unapologetically as high-fashion and proud characters who are absolutely vital to the show. Parks and Rec would not be the same without them, by any means whatsoever. Despite them not always being very major characters, whether it be together or separately, they light up the show with an air of class and a twinge of sass.

    3. Ron Swanson's entire existence:

    NBC / Via

    It goes without saying, without a doubt, that Ron Swanson is the comedic lifeblood of the show. Ron has given us countless hysterically funny moments and storylines that have had us doubling over with laughter and spitting out our drinks. The Tammys, Duke Silver, his priceless facial expressions, etc. contribute to Ron Swanson being an absolute icon, and the ultimate face of comedy in this comedic show. His almost unwavering pessimism, complicated history with the women in his life, and clinical narcissism make for a very bitter but comedically golden character. Where would the show be without battle-hardened, embittered old Ron?

    4. The Comedically Therapeutic Chronicles of April and Andy:

    NBC / Via

    There is not a sliver of doubt in this world, or at least in my mind, that April and Andy are the ultimate power couple. Forget Pam and Jim. Why would you idolize that bland, cliché office romance when there's April and Andy, who are quite the unconventional couple but in the most hilarious fashion? They may express their affection in more unorthodox ways, but that's what makes them the superior couple. Clearly, they love each other and are a happy couple, but how they express those qualities of their relationship makes it so unique, while also being adorable. Regardless of how different they are, with Andy being more perky and naive, and, let's say, a simple soul, while April is a more pessimistic and cynical type, they make it work so well, and never fail to provide their fair share of knee-slapping relationship moments.

    5. The sheer weirdness of Jean-Ralphio and Mona-Lisa:

    NBC / Via Peacock

    This brother-sister duo brings enough chaos and causes enough havoc and destruction on the show for several lifetimes. However, once again, it wouldn't be the same without them. First introduced during Season 2, Jean-Ralphio Saperstein came to be known as Tom's unstable friend/business partner who tries too hard to be cool and ends up annoying everyone around him, except for Tom. Then, once his sister, Mona-Lisa, is introduced in Season 5, shit gets even wilder. Just as strange as him, if not more, Mona-Lisa and Jean-Ralphio go through a self-induced tragic, albeit hilariously funny, roller coaster ride of failed businesses, betrayal (of Tom, by them) and sabotage (again, it was of Tom, perpetrated by them).

    6. Poor, sweet Jerry:

    NBC / Via

    Oh, Jerry...that poor, delightful, horribly undervalued old man. He's so lovely and is always just trying to be helpful, but everyone just pushes him away and undermines him. Although, as twisted as it may sound, and as shameful as it is, it is kinda funny how the rest of the cast roasts Jerry...sometimes...or maybe slightly more often. Jerry undeniably adds an extra element of levity to the show. Poor Jerry is so very awkward and amusingly dull, as warm and pleasant as he may be. He's such a cute old man who really deserves better, but there is a fair amount of material to make fun of him with. Sorry, Jerry. But at the end of the day, I think we all appreciate him for the loveable klutz that he is.

    7. Chris, always the optimist:

    NBC / Via

    Chris Traeger — who was introduced as a guest star in Season 2 as an auditor for the state of Indiana, then incorporated as a main character in Season 3 — quickly became a staple in the cast with his overly positive demeanor. After surviving a rare blood disease as an infant, Chris became a super-optimistic, overzealous person, who irritates everyone with his incessant positivity. Nonetheless, his continuous effort to avoid unhappiness and despair makes for a very unintentionally funny guy, who really grows on you as the episodes go by.

    8. Lil' Sebastian:

    NBC / Via

    Who could forget about the beloved Lil' Sebastian? Although he appeared briefly in Season 3, this locally renowned miniature horse certainly made his mark on the show...and in our hearts. Lil' Sebastians's memorial service was undoubtedly one of the highlights of the show, which brought us to tears — tears of both laughter and heartbreak. And ever since I saw that episode, "Bye Bye, Lil' Sebastian" has been my personal anthem.

    9. The Tammys:

    NBC / Via

    Ron's two ex-wives, both named Tammy, are actual comedic gold in this show, especially Tammy #2. Tammy #1 is a cold, manipulative, shrewd woman who can bend anyone to her will, and has Ron running from her wherever she shows her face. But Tammy #2 is the real star of the show. Appearing in several episodes throughout the show, Tammy #2 is a scheming seductress, but in the most awkward and riotous way, and her and Ron's dynamic whenever she is on the show is just absolutely hysterical and has me crying every time.

    10. Ben and his love for calzones

    NBC / Via

    Inducted into the show as a state auditor in Season 2 and eventually becoming a major character, Ben Wyatt comes to be a beloved name in the Parks and Rec universe, slowly but surely. On multiple occasions over the course of the show, Ben is involved in several storylines related to calzones, which he is obsessed with. At one point, he even claims to invent a dish that is actually identical to a calzone. And while unemployed, he comes up with the idea (in a state of madness) for a low-calorie calzone restaurant. And along with the Cones of Dunshire and the 18-year-old mayor storylines, Ben makes for a white male character who happens to not be so boring.

    11. April's relatability:

    NBC / Via

    April Ludgate is definitely among the top three funniest characters on the show, and one of the reasons is that she is simply a very relatable character. She's a millennial, so she knows the stress and trials and tribulations of being a young person in this constantly growing and advancing society, so seeing her on the screen, just being an average millennial and not doing anything and everything and "having it all" can be comforting for many viewers. It also doesn't hurt that she does it in the most casually funny manner.

    12. And just the overall relatability:

    andy says "i have no idea what i'm doing, but i know i'm doing it really really well"
    NBC / Via

    Aside from the characters themselves, Parks and Rec is in some ways quite a relatable show. Of course, the plot is obviously very much not realistic, but I think that many, if not most of us can relate to the chaos and dysfunction that this show portrays. It chronicles many struggles, discords, and issues that are all too common in real life, but gives them a ton of comic relief, to make the show relatable but funny. And I think that's really what so many of us appreciate so much about Parks and Rec.