Let’s talk about Ron and Leslie. Earlier this week, Parks and Recreation had a bottle episode mainly featuring Ron and Leslie locked in the parks department. The rest of the old parks team had locked them in because the two of them needed to hash things out. Ron and Leslie had one of the greatest relationships on the show, and it was affecting both of them negatively by no longer being friends.
The series began with Ron as Leslie’s boss who was anti-government, while Leslie was pro-government. They were exact opposites, but over the course of the show they became incredibly close.
The first real appearance of this great friendship was in 2.08, “Ron and Tammy.” At the beginning of the episode, Leslie does not realize how evil Tammy 2 is, and tries to reunite her with Ron. However, as the episode continues Leslie begins to see the error in her ways. In the end, Leslie is willing to give up the lot for the park so Ron can be free from Tammy’s clutches. Leslie cares more for Ron than getting her park, and Ron knows how much the park means to her.
You just put my needs in front of your own. No woman has ever done that for me before.
Leslie will always be in Ron’s corner when one of the Tammys tries to ensnare him. She even joined a drinking contest with all the Tammys to save him from them.
When Tammy 2 makes her fourth appearance while Ron is dating Diane (5.09,”Ron and Diane”), Leslie tries to run interference because she knows how good Diane is for Ron. What is most interesting about this episode is Diane is not threatened by Tammy 2, but she does feel threatened of Leslie. Ron is not known to have real close friendships, but Leslie is an exception.
Leslie understands Ron. Both Ann and Ben have commiserated together about Leslie being this gift guru, and Leslie is a gift guru to all. When Leslie finds out when Ron’s birthday is, she lets him freak out the whole week thinking she is going to go crazy with his birthday. However, her gift to him is a night of peace and quiet with his favorite meal and films. The one gift that tops this one happens in 6.02 “London: Part 2.” Leslie gives Ron detailed instructions for a trip ending up at his favorite scotch distillery, and the poem (“O Were My Love Yon Lilack Fair”) he is supposed to recite there.
What solidified this relationship was Ron gaining a respect for Leslie in 2.10, “Hunting Trip.” Ron goes through half the episode believing Leslie shot him in the back of the head. At the end of the episode, it is revealed Leslie is not the one who shot Ron. Tom is the one who shot Ron, but Leslie took the blame because Tom didn’t have a hunting license. When Ron learns Leslie took the fall for Tom, he gains a new respect for her.
Even when Ron and Leslie disagree they are still able to come to terms. In 4.04, “Pawnee Rangers,” Ron’s rangers desert him for Leslie’s group. However, Leslie makes an advert in the paper for a new group of children called The Swansons.
Are you tough as nails? Would you rather sleep on a bed of pine needles than a mattress? Do you find video games pointless and shopping malls stupid? Do you march to the beat of your own drummer?Did you make the drum yourself? If so, you just might have what it takes to be a Swanson. Pawnee’s most hardcore outdoor club starts today. Boys and girls welcome. Pawnee City Hall – Dept. of Parks & Recreation
Later, Ron and Leslie butt heads again when the compete for Allison Gliffert’s future plans in 6.18 “Prom.” Ron wants Allison to learn a trade while Leslie wants Allison to work for the government. Leslie sees herself in Allison, but more importantly Leslie would feel better if the Pawnee government was in safe hands if she decided to leave. Leslie has a fantastic job offer, but she doesn’t want to see Pawnee fail with the Pawnee-Eagleton merger. Ron, is able to give Leslie sound advice when she confesses her worries to him. It is another thing that makes this a beautiful friendship. They may not always agree, but Leslie can always count on Ron to give her sound advice.
They are so important to each other. Ron not only makes Leslie’s and Ben’s wedding rings, but he is also the one who gives Leslie away.
As for Ron’s wedding, he actually lets her be involved with his simple wedding to Diane.
It is hard to believe these two stopped being friends at one point. What makes it hurt even more is that in 2.20, “Summer Catalog.” Ron and Leslie are seen at the diner eating breakfast food. Ron is comforting Leslie in his Ron fashion about her ideas on how the picnic she planned with all the former Parks directors was a disaster. She thought it would be fun, but instead she finds out they all hate each other. She confides in Ron about what she wanted and also her fears.
Are we going to hate each other some day?
I don’t think so. I think we’re going to be fine.
I decided to rewatch this episode after this week’s Parks and Recreation because of the breakfast line. What I forgot were the lines before it. Ron and Leslie did get in a fight. It was a terrible fight, and if it wasn’t for their friends they would still be fighting. Instead we saw Leslie hugging Ron from behind while they went off to eat more breakfast food because people who don’t always eat breakfast food are idiots.