Parks and Rec "Main" Characters, Ranked
In order and with brief justification for their order, I give you my favorite Parks and Rec characters.
- 1.Ben WyattAh, Ben. I love this character so much, he's incredibly relatable—always trying to help the people he loves while trying to maintain order and a cool demeanor. Also, just like Ben and Leslie 5ever you know? 💖 (full disclosure: I do have a bit of a bias when characters who are supposed to be from Minnesota come into play, but I swear I love Ben for so much more than just being from Partridge).
- 2.April LudgateHonestly, her character development is just amazing. And at such a perfect time. April starts so apathetic and angsty and clearly disenchanted with the "small-town high school" experience and we all get to see her grow into a caring, loving, wonderful human bean and it's just so nice and warming. Also she is the embodiment of inner monologue (but out loud) for all of us 20-somethings trying to figure out how to adult. ✨
- 3.Leslie KnopeI firmly believe that Leslie Knope is an amazing role model for everyone. She NEVER gives up, her optimism is unmatchable, but she still has her off days, her doubts, and her own struggles too. Leslie messes up sometimes, and teaches us all that that's alright. She treats her friends like the most important people in the universe and is so determined to make the people she loves happy. #knope4ever
- 4.Donna MeagleThis character gives me life. Donna is amazing, she IS girl power that I'm so here for, she's clearly a well-read businesswoman who does well for herself, and it is so great. She's also shamelessly yet subtly a pretty romantically involved character, and honestly I love the way it's played into the show. To me, Donna is balance. She's "hey, it's cool to work hard and have stuff you want—and it's also cool to chill for awhile and treat yo self sometimes". ✨
- 5.Andy DwyerWhat started out as a character I thought was so lame, so pointless, turned out to be one of my top 5. Andy (though he begins as kind of an annoying butt) ends up being so hilarious, so kind, and a reminder that we don't all need to be so serious to be there for those we love. Andy is a reminder to keep the kid in us alive, and Chris Pratt did a fantastic job portraying this character.
- 6.Tom HaverfordTommywestside, I just find Tom to be pretty inspiring. Like, he's such a dreamer and always aims super high—and has failed, a lot, but he teaches us how to deal with that and not let it crush our hopes and spirits and that's why Tom is one of my favorites.
- 7.Chris TraegerWhile Chris can be an exhausting character, I feel like his optimism and then subsequent break down ends up feeling strangely relatable. Mostly I love how open of a person Chris is. He LITERALLY just opens right up in any situation and isn't embarrassed to talk about his therapy, diet, or deepest fears—which is really impressive to me.
- 8.Gary/Jerry/Larrry/Terry GirgichI know some of you may lose your minds that I put Gary above Ron, but honestly, I think he's a consistently more valuable role model. He teaches us to roll with the punches, and despite being the office joke, he shakes it off and keeps being a kind and loving friend and co-worker, and clearly life rewards him now and again.
- 9.Ann PerkinsWhile as a stand alone character, I'm not Ann's hugest fan—her development as a character does definitely provide important lessons to any single person still trying to find their way. Ann starts off molding herself into whatever man she's with, but eventually realizes that that's not working for her, and things kind of start falling into place for her once she realizes that—and I think that's a super important thing for people to learn.
- 10.Ron SwansonI know a lot of people really look up to Ron, but frankly, I felt the "man-up" norm he had in the first few seasons really sucked. That said, I think Ron developed into a great person. He let the women who eventually came into his life (Leslie, Diane, April, Diane's daughters) teach him things about life and himself he would've otherwise never learned and I think Ron really stepped up and became a great friend too.