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The "Parks And Rec" Cast Just Revealed A Bunch Of Behind-The-Scenes Secrets About The Show

I ~literally~ cannot believe it's been 10 years.

Next month will mark 10 years since Parks and Recreation first blessed our hearts and our TV screens, and all anyone's wanted since it went off air is a reunion.


And while a new ~episode~ isn't exactly on the cards, the cast did reunite for a panel at PaleyFest in LA yesterday to celebrate the milestone.

Jean Baptiste Lacroix / Getty Images

The show's main cast members — Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Rashida Jones, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Aziz Ansari, Retta, Jim O'Heir, Adam Scott, and Rob Lowe — got together with co-creator Mike Schur to chat about their time on Parks and Rec and even reveal some behind-the-scenes secrets.

Here's what we learned from the panel...

1. The show was originally supposed to focus on the friendship between Leslie and Ann, which is why the first episode is about them meeting.


According to Mike Schur, the saddest day on set was when Leslie and Ann had to say goodbye to each other, because Amy Poehler and Rashida Jones are such close friends IRL.

2. Rashida Jones' favourite nickname Leslie had for Ann was "rule-breaking moth".

The Paley Center /

3. It was important to the creators that the show's emotional scenes didn't include any jokes, even if they risked coming across as "uncool".


That approach was apparently inspired by Mike Schur's time working on The Office, which handled emotional moments in a similar way.

4. Mike Schur says the character of Chris Traeger "didn't exist" before he met with Rob Lowe and realised how frequently he used the word "literally".

The Paley Center /

When the show ended, Mike gifted Rob with the notes he'd taken when they met for the first time. One of them read, "He says 'literally' all the time."

5. While filming, the cast were allowed "fun runs" — five extra minutes scheduled at the end of a scene where they could improvise and do whatever they wanted.


Some of the show's most famous lines happened during fun runs, including Chris Pratt's line: "I typed your symptoms into the thing up here and it says you could have network connectivity problems."

6. The scene where all the characters get increasingly drunk on Snake Juice was also improvised.


The particular shot where Ron is dancing in April's hat came out of a bet the cast had with each other to make Amy Poehler laugh, since she was directing the episode.

7. Amy Poehler thinks we need a Leslie Knope in the current political climate, and called her "the Spider-Man of public service".


"We’re looking up to the sky, saying, ‘Where are you?’ We need her now," she joked.

8. She also revealed playing Leslie was good for her mental health, saying the character has gone on to represent "far and beyond what we could have imagined".

The Paley Center /

9. Aubrey Plaza takes full credit for April and Andy's relationship, saying she decided to act ~into~ Andy from the moment the characters met in Season 1.

The Paley Center /

10. Chris Pratt filmed a behind-the-scenes segment for the Parks and Rec DVD where he predicted one of his most famous Hollywood roles.

Universal Pictures

"I just got a text message from Steven Spielberg. God, it's so annoying" he says in the clip. "Sorry Steven, I was asked by Parks and Recreation/NBC to do behind the scenes, which is to say everyone else was asked and said no. But I have no shame, as you know by the endless gift baskets. I'll have to get back to you later about Jurassic Park 4."

11. Amy Poehler and Adam Scott had real-life butterflies when they shot Ben's proposal to Leslie, and revealed they stayed away from each other that day on set.


Adam also revealed that he and Amy had talked about how much they wanted their characters to get married during the hiatus before it actually happened.

12. They all said they'd carried elements of their characters' personalities into their real lives.

The Paley Center /

Rob Lowe joked that he thinks he's going to live until he's 150, while Retta said she lives by the mantra of "treat yo' self", and Adam Scott said he only got into Game of Thrones because of Ben.

13. And finally, they didn't rule out the chance of a reunion episode (or even a movie!), but if a single cast member said no, then none of them would do it.


"I think that in the world that we live in now, nothing is ever gone," Mike Schur said. "Everyone on this stage — and like six other people — would have to feel like there was a story that needed to be told. ... I think we’d only do it if we all felt like there was some compelling reason to do it. Everyone would have a veto. If one single person says, ‘No,’ we wouldn’t do it."

Contact Ellie Bate at

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