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Character Appreciation: Leslie Knope from ‘Parks and Recreation’


The sad news that the Parks and Recreation ensemble is going to be down two of its players next midseason (Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe are both leaving the show) has got me thinking about the other cast members that will be sticking around.

Naturally, I’ve thought about it so long and hard that I decided to write a Character Appreciation post about one of them.

But, who do I choose? The most humorous? The most scary? The most random? It’s a hard choice in a cast filled with hilarious characters. So, I opted for the main one: Leslie Knope herself. I really can’t think of someone more deserving of this illustrious honor. This, right here, is the knighthood of the entertainment industry. Yes, I have that kind of power.

Let’s begin.

L is for Loving

Like all things, Leslie throws herself completely into her relationships. Be it romantic or platonic, chances are, she has about 342 anniversaries mapped out on a calendar to celebrate with whatever person she considers herself close to.

She can get so intense about it that, for example, when the anniversaries get out of hand, best friend Ann and husband Ben condense all of them into one day (negotiated into a week).

E is for Earnest

Leslie is not and would never be considered a hipster. Not only does that aforementioned love go toward people, but also – namely Pawnee, IN, her hometown.

Leslie works hard every day to make sure the town doesn’t fall apart, and every step of the way, her actions are accomplished with an innocence and earnestness the likes of which no real life human is capable.

S is for Stockpiler

As far as I know, we have only seen Leslie’s house in one episode. The reason for this is that it’s terrifying. Despite her super-coordinated and mapped out tendencies in just about every other facet of her life, Leslie is a hoarder.

This means that her house is full of crap – a maze of old periodicals that threaten to collapse at any moment. Even Ann is kind of afraid of the place.

L is for Leader

For three seasons, Leslie worked hard at her mid-level job as a Park and Recreation Department employee. However, she finally pushed herself farther in season four and got herself elected to City Council.

From this new place of power, she’s worked hard to steer the council away from the 1700s-style sexism and sometimes racism that it’s famous for.

I is for Intrepid

Leslie has worked hard in just about every aspect of her life. As I said above, she braved the terrifying world of campaigning to get her council seat.

In my opinion, that doesn’t compare in the least to running a town meeting. With all the hillbilly level crazies coming out of the woodwork to ask the most random questions, it would take an army to get me onstage and engage with them. Leslie, of course, does it effortlessly.

E is for Equipped 

As I have already said, Leslie is super organized. Unlike a normal person, she takes it to the point of having a binder for just about every major event of her life (and some small ones, too).

Those city council meetings? Binder (and sometimes a Power Point). Her wedding? Binder. River clean-up proposal? Binder.

Who’s your favorite Parks and Recreation employee?