Parks and Recreation (season 5)

Parks and Recreation (season 5)
Region 1 DVD cover art
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 22
Original channel NBC
Original run September 20, 2012 (2012-09-20) – May 2, 2013 (2013-05-02)
Home video release
DVD release
Region 1 September 3, 2013 (2013-09-03)[1]
Region 2 May 19, 2014 (2014-05-19)[2]
Region 4 July 17, 2014 (2014-07-17)[3]

The fifth season of Parks and Recreation originally aired in the United States on the NBC television network, from September 20, 2012 and concluded on May 2, 2013. This season consisted of 22 episodes.


  • Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope, is the council woman for the town of Pawnee, with a strong love of her home town, who has not let politics dampen her sense of optimism; her ultimate goal is to become President of the United States.[4] Poehler departed from the NBC sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live, where she was a cast member for nearly seven years, to star in Parks and Recreation.[5][6] It was only after she was cast that Daniels and Schur established the general concept of the show and the script for the pilot was written.[7]
  • Rashida Jones as Ann Perkins, a nurse and political outsider who gradually becomes more involved in Pawnee government through her friendship with Leslie. Jones was among the first to be cast by Daniels and Schur in 2008, when the series was still being considered as a spin-off to The Office, where Jones had played Jim Halpert's girlfriend Karen Filippelli, who formerly worked at the Stamford Branch but was soon transferred to the Scranton Branch in the 3rd season.[7][8]
  • Aziz Ansari as Tom Haverford, Leslie's sarcastic and underachieving subordinate,[9] who eventually begins to consider leaving his city hall job to pursue his own entrepreneurial interests.[10] As with Jones, Daniels and Schur had intended to cast Ansari from the earliest stages of the development of Parks and Recreation.[7][8]
  • Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson, the parks and recreation director who, as a libertarian, believes in as small a government as possible. As such, Ron strives to make his department as ineffective as possible, and favors hiring employees who do not care about their jobs or are poor at them.[9] Nevertheless, Ron consistently demonstrates that he secretly cares deeply about his fellow co-workers.[11]
  • Aubrey Plaza as April Ludgate, a cynical and uninterested parks department intern who eventually becomes the perfect assistant for Ron.[12] The role was written specifically for Plaza; after meeting her, casting director Allison Jones told Schur, "I just met the weirdest girl I've ever met in my life. You have to meet her and put her on your show."
  • Chris Pratt as Andy Dwyer, a goofy and dim-witted but lovable slacker. Pratt was originally intended to be a guest star and the character Andy was initially meant to appear only in the first season, but the producers liked Pratt so much that, almost immediately after casting him, they decided to make him a regular cast member starting with season two.[13]
  • Adam Scott as Ben Wyatt, a competent but socially awkward government official trying to redeem his past as a failed mayor in his youth.[14] Scott left his starring role on the Starz comedy series Party Down to join the show.[15]
  • Rob Lowe as Chris Traeger, an excessively positive and extremely health-conscious government official.[16] Unlike Scott, Lowe was originally expected to depart after a string of guest appearances,[17][18] but later signed a multi-year contract to become a regular cast member.[18][19]
  • Jim O'Heir as Jerry Gergich, a sweet-natured but painfully incompetent longtime city employee who is the main target of the office petty unkindness, yet enjoys his life as the husband of a gorgeous woman and the father of three awesome daughters.
  • Retta as Donna Meagle, a no-nonsense administrative assistant in the department, who comes from a wealthy family, and frequently mentions her many boyfriends, both past and present.


Season five featured cameos from senators Olympia Snowe (left) and Barbara Boxer (right)


Portions of the season premiere "Ms. Knope Goes to Washington" and later episode "Leslie vs. April" were shot in Washington, D.C. in July 2012.[20] These episodes featured cameos from senators Barbara Boxer, Olympia Snowe and John McCain, and then vice-president Joe Biden.[21]

The tenth episode of the season, "Two Parties", featured scenes shot in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium and St. Elmo's Steak House in December 2012.[22] This episode included cameos from Indianapolis Colts players Andrew Luck and Reggie Wayne and owner Jim Irsay,[23] Indiana Pacers players Miles Plumlee and Roy Hibbert,[24] and Newt Gingrich.[25]


The fourteenth episode of the season, "Leslie and Ben", was initially written to serve as the season finale of a 13-episode run as the writers were unsure how many episodes would be commissioned. Eventually, 22 were ordered and the episode "Women in Garbage" was shown earlier in the schedule despite being written as one of the season's back nine.[26]


No. in
No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date U.S. viewers
69 1 "Ms. Knope Goes to Washington" Dean Holland Aisha Muharrar September 20, 2012 (2012-09-20) 3.50[27]
Leslie and Andy visit Ben and April in Washington DC, while Ron attempts to organize a barbecue for the staff.
70 2 "Soda Tax" Kyle Newacheck Norm Hiscock September 27, 2012 (2012-09-27) 3.27[28]
Leslie faces obstacles while trying to pass a soda tax, while Andy trains for his upcoming police physical examination. In Washington, D.C., Ben tries to connect with his interns.
71 3 "How a Bill Becomes a Law" Ken Whittingham Dan Goor October 4, 2012 (2012-10-04) 3.53[29]
Leslie negotiates with a hateful fellow City Councilman to pass a bill extending public pool hours. Chris creates a 3-1-1 hotline for citizens to call with their problems leading Ron to help a citizen fix a pothole in front of their house.In Washington, D.C. Ben and April try to take a road trip to visit Leslie and Andy.
72 4 "Sex Education" Craig Zisk Alan Yang October 18, 2012 (2012-10-18) 3.46[30]
Leslie holds a sex-education class following an STD outbreak among senior citizens in Pawnee; when Tom's gadgets are taken away, Ron helps him acclimatize to life without technology; April and Ben meet Congressman Murray.
73 5 "Halloween Surprise" Dean Holland Michael Schur October 25, 2012 (2012-10-25) 3.34[31]
Ben gets a job offer to run a political campaign in Florida, forcing Leslie to think about their future. Ron and Andy take Diane's girls trick-or-treating and Tom looks for a new business idea. Ben returns to Pawnee and proposes to Leslie.
74 6 "Ben's Parents" Dean Holland Greg Levine November 8, 2012 (2012-11-08) 3.46[32]
Leslie meets Ben's unhappily-divorced parents while Jean-Ralphio "helps" Tom prepare the pitch for his new business idea. Elsewhere, a depressed Chris has mood swings.
75 7 "Leslie vs. April" Wendey Stanzler Harris Wittels November 15, 2012 (2012-11-15) 3.52[33]
April tries to get Lot 48 turned into a dog park, upsetting Leslie; Andy improves his crime scene investigation skills. Ben takes a job at an accounting firm, but in the course of helping Tom secure funding for his new clothes rental business Rent-A-Swag, receives several other job offers.
76 8 "Pawnee Commons" Morgan Sackett Alexandra Rushfield November 29, 2012 (2012-11-29) 2.99[34]
Leslie asks the public for design suggestions for the park on Lot 48 - now called the Pawnee Commons, but is suspicious when the best design comes from an Eagleton architect, Wreston St. James (Brad Hall); Tom asks the office for help with his new business; Andy, with help from April, tries to make his new job as a city hall security guard exciting.
77 9 "Ron and Diane" Dan Goor Megan Amram & Aisha Muharrar December 6, 2012 (2012-12-06) 3.27[35]
Ron and Diane go to a woodworking award show to recognize one of Ron's pieces, when Tammy II shows up. Jerry and his wife throw a holiday party and some of Jerry's co-workers are not invited, while others are quite shocked by Jerry's stunningly happy domestic life.
78 10 "Two Parties" Dean Holland Dave King January 17, 2013 (2013-01-17) 3.92[36]
Ann throws Leslie a bachelorette party that gets interrupted by a scheming Councilman Jamm's attempts to put a fast food restaurant on Lot 48. Chris holds a bachelor party for Ben but ends up throwing one for each of Jerry, Tom, Andy and Ron when he learns they did not have one before their weddings.
79 11 "Women in Garbage" Norm Hiscock Harris Wittels January 24, 2013 (2013-01-24) 3.94[37]
Leslie and April work a garbage route to show the sexist Pawnee government officials that women are qualified to do so. Elsewhere, Tom's lack of basketball ability leads to dubious help from Andy and Ben, while Ron must babysit Diane's kids and asks Ann for help.
80 12 "Ann's Decision" Ken Whittingham Nate DiMeo February 7, 2013 (2013-02-07) 3.76[38]
Ann decides she wants to be a single mother, and the unimpressive candidate pool for potential sperm donors leads to meddling from Leslie. Meanwhile, Ben, Chris and Ron all get food poisoning when choosing a caterer for the wedding, and April is tasked with running a public forum on the Pawnee Commons project.
81 13 "Emergency Response" Dean Holland Norm Hiscock & Joe Mande February 14, 2013 (2013-02-14) 3.18[39]
An emergency response drill interrupts Leslie and Ben's fundraising gala for the Commons, while Andy prepares for his Police Academy exam. After Councilman Jamm sabotages the drill, asking the state representative to make the drill longer than it has to be, Ben takes over planning the gala. Leslie goes along with the drill until she realizes Jamm's scheme, when she decides to "kill" the whole town to end the drill sooner. She returns to the gala where Ben suggests they get married that night.
82 14 "Leslie and Ben" Craig Zisk Michael Schur & Alan Yang February 21, 2013 (2013-02-21) 3.07[40]
Leslie and Ben decide to get married at the gala, cramming months of planning into two hours, but the ceremony is crashed by Councilman Jamm.
83 15 "Correspondents' Lunch" Nick Offerman Alexandra Rushfield February 21, 2013 (2013-02-21) 2.95[40]
Leslie is excited to be speaking at a luncheon for journalists, but when an obnoxious tabloid reporter steals her jokes, she sets out to get revenge. Ben is unsure how to handle his new job running a charity for the Sweetums company, until some sound ideas from Andy help him set a new course. Ann continues to search for someone with whom to have a baby.
84 16 "Bailout" Craig Zisk Joe Mande March 14, 2013 (2013-03-14) 3.00[41]
Leslie tries to save a video store from going out of business, declaring it a cultural and historical landmark, but the government bailout has an adverse effect. Meanwhile, Chris helps Tom with a difficult employee, and Ann is determined to make April her friend.
85 17 "Partridge" Tristram Shapeero Dave King April 4, 2013 (2013-04-04) 2.93[42]
Ben and Leslie travel to Ben's hometown of Partridge, Minnesota, of which he was mayor as a teenager, for a ceremony to give him the key to the city. Ann and Chris take tests to determine their compatibility as parents but do poorly on them all. Councilman Jamm sues Ron for punching him during Leslie and Ben's wedding in "Leslie and Ben". April, Andy and Tom testify on Ron's behalf, and later, the three blackmail Jamm into dropping the lawsuit.
86 18 "Animal Control" Craig Zisk Megan Amram April 11, 2013 (2013-04-11) 3.15[43]
Leslie sets her sights on fixing the animal control department. Elsewhere, Ron needs medical help from Ann that he strongly resists; Ben, Tom and Andy continue working for the Sweetums charity foundation and find themselves trying to get Dennis Feinstein to make a large donation.
87 19 "Article Two" Amy Poehler Matt Murray April 18, 2013 (2013-04-18) 3.35[44]
Leslie sets out to remove the town's outdated laws, but receives opposition from a local history buff. Ron and April take a management training course led by Chris, while Ann and Ben struggle to get a great gift for Leslie.
88 20 "Jerry's Retirement" Nicole Holofcener Norm Hiscock & Aisha Muharrar April 18, 2013 (2013-04-18) 3.34[44]
Jerry is retiring and Leslie wants to help him achieve the goals he listed when he first started working for the government 40 years ago. Leslie feels bad for not being able to do so, but he shows Leslie his family albums and reminds Leslie that there is more to life than work achievements. With Jerry no longer working, Tom becomes the butt of the office's jokes and insults. Ron later brings back Jerry for a few hours a week to help deflect the insults from Tom. Chris and Ann talk more about having a baby and restart their relationship.
89 21 "Swing Vote" Alan Yang Joe Mande & Alan Yang April 25, 2013 (2013-04-25) 2.59[45]
Ron issues some budget cuts and Leslie finds herself going overboard to save a local mini-golf facility, trying to win the vote of Councilman Jamm to do so. Tom asks Ann for relationship advice when he can't handle his horrible girlfriend.
90 22 "Are You Better Off?" Dean Holland Michael Schur May 2, 2013 (2013-05-02) 2.99[46]
At the end of her first year as a city councilwoman, Leslie's changes in the town prove to be unpopular and several locals launch a campaign to have her recalled from office. Andy brings Burt Macklin back to help with a case, while Tom looks to further his business but faces competition. Ron finds out he is becoming a father.


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External links

  • siteParks and RecreationOfficial at
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