Ranked: The Best ‘Parks and Recreation’ Episodes

Parks and Recreation hit the air on NBC in 2009 as a show very reminiscent of The Office. Case in point: both shows featured a mockumentary formatting. While the characters were very laughable during the first season, fans generally agree the characters became more likable during later seasons.

The show revolves primarily around a mid-level bureaucrat named Leslie Knope, who works in Indiana’s Parks and Recreation Department. She strives towards beautifying her town, while simultaneously boosting her career, by assisting a local nurse named Ann to turn an abandoned construction site into a brand new community park. Of course, the project turns out to be much more complicated than it first appears and an entire cast of quirky characters both aid and stand in the way of Leslie and Ann’s progress.

Amy Poehler
This the ultimate ranking of the very best episodes of the Michael Schur hit series. | Photo by Rodrigo Vaz/FilmMagic

When the show went off the air in 2015, fans went crazy. Many still watch reruns of the series, which can be found online or on Netflix. But with seven seasons chocked full of funny episodes, which stand out among the rest? Here we have the best episodes of Parks and Recreation, ranked for your reading pleasure.

5. ‘Win, Lose, or Draw’ (Season 4, Episode 22)

In this episode, the season four political campaign story arc comes to a close with Leslie finding out about her appointment to the town council. By accomplishing this, she beats out the competition, which includes both Bobby Newport and a stripper. Her victory speech and the accompanying view of her team proudly looking on while she gives it is what makes this episode so worth watching. Yes, there are laughs along the way, but the speech is the epitome of inspirational comedy at its very best.

4. ‘One Last Ride’ (Season 7, Episode 13)

The big finale of not only the seventh season but the entire show deserves to make this list for perfectly rounding out all plot lines from the show’s run. It does this by jumping into the future to show where everyone ends up. By doing so, it effectively ends a story that centers around an entire town and gives viewers a warm optimistic feeling while still providing the laughs people have always watched it for.

3. ‘End of the World’ (Season 4, Episode 6)

When a local cult called the ‘Reasonabilists’ rents the park to welcome the coming apocalypse, everyone gets swept up in the hilarity that ensues. Each character has their own way to live out what is promised to be their very last day on earth and the results are exaggerated to hysterical effect. Thankfully, that promised last day is unfulfilled and another supposed apocalypse comes to pass without incident — thus allowing us another three and a half seasons of hilarity.

2. ‘Flu Season’ (Season 3, Episode 2)

When everyone, except Ann, comes down with the flu at the exact same time, the results are both pathetic and hilarious. Ann ends up taking care of some of her fellows, who tolerate (or don’t tolerate) their illness in a variety of ways — all of which annoy her to no end. The best scene in the entire episode, however, is when the super health-conscious Chris Trager is staring at himself in the mirror looking a mess and tells himself to “Stop. Pooping.”

1. ‘Andy and April’s Fancy Party’ (Season 3, Episode 9)

If viewers could watch (or rewatch) no other episode, this is the one who deserves the time of day. The show focuses on Andy and April holding a dinner party in their absolute mess of a house. Then, they surprise everyone by getting hitched right there in an odd wedding, which is also fitting for such a peculiar and seemingly mismatched couple.