'Parks and Rec' Series Finale: 7 Moments So Perfect They Made Us Cry
By Meredith B. Kile
Cue up the emotional GIFs, the Parks and Recreation series finale was an emotional roller coaster of big laughs, big guest stars and even bigger heart-twistingly nostalgic moments.
As the Parks crew tackled one last menial mission, fixing a broken swing, we flashed forward to their future lives. Some were pure comedy gold (Jean-Ralphio faking his own death and Craig as a still-manic old man), but mostly this nostalgic trip to the future just made us wish we had seven more seasons with our favorite Pawnee residents.
"When we worked here together, we fought, scratched and clawed to make peoples’ lives a tiny bit better," Leslie told her team in the finale. "What makes work worth doing is getting to do it with people that you love."
Here's a look at the moments from tonight’s finale that made us tear up (and a few that made us laugh until we cried).
1. The Team’s All Here
As 2017 Leslie worried about the next time her favorite people would all be back together again, we saw them reunite at the Parks Department in the flash forward to 2023, as Leslie and Ben struggled to decide who in the political power couple should run for governor of Indiana. Bonus: Ann and Chris were there! And they’re moving back to Indiana!
2. Ben's Big Call
Leslie and Ben decide to flip a coin to figure out who will run for governor, but as Leslie assembles their closest friends to make their announcement, Ben makes the decision for them, interrupting her and tells the group that she will be running.
Everyone has kids and they’re adorable! Leslie and April shared an adorable heart-warming moment after April gave birth to baby Jack, but the real treat was seeing all the kids together back at the Parks Department in 2023. BFFs Ann and Leslie pretending to disapprove as their kids fell in love was THE CUTEST. Plus, ANN NAMED HER DAUGHTER LESLIE!
4. Tom and Donna Still Know How to "Treat Yo’ Self"
Tom turned his business failures into best-selling books and Donna conquered the Seattle real estate market AND founded an educational non-profit (amazingly called "Teach Yo’ Self") while still rocking diamond watches. It warmed our hearts to know these two are still doing it up right. Plus, Tom naming his business types after his Parks co-workers? Adorable.
5. Ron Gets the Perfect Job
After resigning his role at the still-successful Very Good Building Company, Ron visited his old friend Leslie for advice on his next career move. Unsurprisingly, Leslie had the perfect career in mind: managing the Pawnee National Park.
6. Garry Gets It Right (Everything Except His Name)
The man who couldn’t do anything right finally found his niche as the mayor of Pawnee, winning the office 10 times after being named interim mayor in 2017. We see him surrounded by his happy family at his 100th birthday, and celebrated by friends and family (and still smoking hot wife Gail) at his funeral. Of course, they still spelled his name wrong on the tombstone.
7. Ready For The Future
Leslie wins the governor's race! Twice! We see her accepting an honorary doctorate at the University of Indiana. Plus, were those Secret Service agents with them at Garry’s funeral?!
BONUS: Moments That Made Us Laugh Until We Cried
-Ben made a sequel game to Cones of Dunshire
-April gives birth on Halloween, in full makeup, to the sounds of "Monster Mash"
-Leslie coming up with Ann-isms for Chris
-Porn star Brandi Maxxx is president of the city council?!
-“I’m gonna take this energy and I’m gonna go crush Joe Biden in charades” -Leslie, of course
-Hypochondriac Chris is worried about getting cancer from his futuristic health scanner bracelet
-Governor Knope gets a library dedicated to her!