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19 Times Waffles Guest Starred on Parks and Recreation

19 Times Waffles Guest Starred on Parks and Recreation

Because this is important information. Waffles are my latest Favorite Thing. If I had Oprah’s clout, and released a list of my Favorite Things every year, there would be a lot more people walking around in Look Human cat tank tops and Under Armour compression leggings, eating waffles and tacos. (Ooh, waffle tacos!)

Parks and Rec is also one of my Favorite Things. It took me a while to get hooked — the first two seasons are classic, albeit not at the caliber they achieved starting in Season 3, when Adam Scott and Rob Lowe became permanent cast members and helped the show really hit its stride.

I credit Parks and Rec for reintroducing me to waffles. Of course I’d had them before, but for some reason I decided in my childhood that I didn’t like them. I think it was because we never remembered to take the butter out of the fridge early enough, so there would inevitably be a small group of waffle pockets filled with unspreadable butter, the rest of the pockets left dry and sad. It hurt my blossoming type A. Waffles were too high-maintenance. I had my parents’ divorce and early puberty to deal with — I didn’t have time to worry about proper buttering. So I stuck to pancakes with a side of self-loathing.

Nowadays, life is pretty grand. I’m more willing to try new things — or in this case, re-try things I’d previously relegated to the “No” list, if the reasoning behind that designation has either disappeared or lessened in severity.

In short, waffles are amazing. And pancakes are just waffles who couldn’t get it up. (Although they’re still delicious little losers.)

I want waffles. All the time. I want to waffle-ize everything. This is very difficult, because I don’t possess a waffle-maker. Buying one is on my to-do list, along with cleaning out the closet (which will allow me to store said waffle-maker) and establishing a regular workout routine (because waffles).

So, without further ado, I present the Reason Waffles Came Into My Life and I Will Therefore Be Forever Grateful to Parks and Rec.

{all images belong to nbc/universal. please don't sue me and take all my waffle money, nbc.}

19 Times Waffles Guest Starred on Parks and Rec

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Season 1, Episode 3: The Reporter

Leslie pretends to have had food poisoning during an interview with Shauna Malwae-Tweep, explaining why the interview was so terrible. She arranges a re-interview with Shawna, only to order waffles and try to sneakily devour them. Shawna asks, “Are you sure that’s the best thing for you right now?” to which Leslie vehemently replies: “Oh. It’s the best thing on the menu.”


Season 2, Episode 20: Summer Catalog

S2E20 Why would anyone ever eat anything other than breakfast food.PNG

Leslie and Ron share a meal. Leslie asks, “Why would anyone ever eat anything besides breakfast food?” Ron replies: “People are idiots, Leslie.” A beautiful, illogical friendship blossoms. Waffles for the win.

Season 3, Episode 2: Flu Season

Several characters are hospitalized with the flu. Leslie breaks out and delivers an impassioned speech to the Chamber of Commerce, before hallucinating that someone’s face has gone all swirly and checking back in. Ben brings her waffles and homemade chicken soup. Of course she goes for the waffles. Ben and Leslie’s love for each other begins — with waffles.


Season 3, Episode 12: Eagleton

Leslie’s former best friend turned Eagleton snob, Lindsay Carlisle-Shay, claims that the only reason she travels into Pawnee to JJ’s Diner is because their waffles make great dog laxatives. But we all know the truth. Lindsay can’t get enough of them because they are perfect and delicious.


Season 4, Episode 3: Born & Raised

Leslie writes a book about Pawnee, then experiences an existential crisis when she learns that she was actually born in Eagleton. She eventually comes to her senses and realizes that home is where the heart and the waffles are. They have a big book launch party, catered with — you guessed it — waffles.

Season 4, Episode 5: Meet ‘n’ Greet

S4E5 Cheering up Tom after company goes bankrupt.JPG

After Tom’s company goes bankrupt, Leslie takes him out for conciliatory waffles. Because waffles make everything better.

Season 5, Episode 1: Ms. Knope Goes to Washington

Leslie visits Ben in Washington, D.C., while he’s there running a congressional campaign. She can barely hold in her excitement about the opportunity to meet political leaders, tour museums, and eat food truck waffles — not necessarily in that order.


Season 5, Episode 12: Ann’s Decision

After the guys get food poisoning while sampling potential caterers’ fare for Ben and Leslie’s wedding, Ben has en epiphany and realizes that the ideal wedding caterer is obviously JJ’s Diner. WEDDING WAFFLES!!!!!! Naturally, they celebrate this momentous decision by eating waffles.

Season 5, Episode 14: Leslie and Ben

Ben and Leslie decide to be spontaneous and get married on the night of a big fundraiser. Unfortunately, an outburst from Jeremy Jamm ruins that venue, but fear not — Leslie’s cohorts scramble and arrange an even better, intimate ceremony at City Hall. JJ is there, serving up the Wedding Waffles. I think I need to get married again, just for the Wedding Waffles.

Season 5, Episode 22: Are You Better Off?

This is a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment of Side Waffle. Leslie’s upset because a group of citizens has organized a “Recall Leslie Knope” group in an effort to kick Leslie off of the city council. So naturally, she goes to JJ’s, because the only thing that can make you feel better when the whole town is turning against you and you’re about to get fired is waffles.

Season 6, Episode 3: Doppelgängers

Ann has to tell Leslie that she and Chris are moving away from Pawnee. What better tool to smooth things over than … DISTRACTION WAFFLES!

via GIPHY / via GIPHY

Season 6, Episode 13: Anniversaries

S6E13 Anniversary waffles.PNG

It’s Ben and Leslie’s anniversary. So of course, they start their day with waffles. LOVE IS REAL.

Season 6, Episode 15: New Slogan

A rep from the National Park Service is in Pawnee, trying to convince Leslie to take a job with the federal government. They arrange a breakfast meeting at JJ’s, so that Leslie can throw her second “Questions About the Job” binder at him. Knowing it’ll be a long meeting, she tells Martha, the waitress, “I’m gonna need two hours’ worth of waffles.” A beautiful example of the old saying: When you’re thinking about changing jobs, waffles will point you in the right direction.

Season 6, Episode 16: Galentine’s Day

Leslie is on the hunt for a new best friend, now that Ann has moved away. She decides that a classic pros and cons list comparison of all of her current girlfriends is the obvious answer in selecting her new bestie. She hosts an impromptu Galentine’s Day — it’s like Valentine’s Day, but with WAFFLES.

Season 6, Episode 18: Flu Season 2

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In a classic sitcom fashion, Leslie thinks she just has the flu, but — surprise! except not surprise because this is SO cliché — she’s pregnant. She and Andy are on the road trying to secure a musical act for an upcoming festival when she takes the pregnancy test. They stop at a diner and she eats some Pregnancy Shock Waffles.

Season 7, Episode 6: Save JJ’s

S7E6 Save JJ's.PNG

Pawnee is growing and changing, and JJ’s Diner is in danger of closing, and Leslie goes on a mission to save it. (She’s just lost a bid to turn a large tract of land into a national park, so she’s looking for another just cause.) “They may have taken that land, but I will be damned if they take my waffles.” She organizes a protest rally outside the company that’s bought out JJ’s. PROTEST WAFFLES!! What do we want? Waffles! When do we want them? ALL THE TIME!

Season 7, Episode 7: Donna & Joe

S7E7 Hangover waffles ben congress.PNG

After a night of way too much fun at Donna’s wedding, Leslie and Ben go to JJ’s for some Hangover Waffles and panic about the fact that the previous night, Ben drunk-dialed campaign manager extraordinaire Jen Barkley and agreed to run for Congress.

Season 7, Episode 8: Ms. Ludgate-Dwyer Goes to Washington

S7E8 Waffles in DC with Madeline Albright.PNG

On a trip to Washington, D.C., Leslie is so preoccupied by April’s announcement that she doesn't want to work for the government anymore that she accidentally eats Madeleine Albright’s waffle. Classic.

Season 7, Episode 12: One Last Ride

S7E12 Last get together.PNG

In the series finale, we jump around between present day and the future, and we get to see how the character’s lives turn out. In one flash-forward scene, Ben surprises Leslie with a reunion party at the old Parks and Rec department at City Hall. Among the rest of the snack food, there’s a platter of waffles. Because Ben knows Leslie so well and as I said before LOVE IS REAL.

So there you have it. Nineteen delicious instances of waffles gracing our television screen and stealing the show in their syrupy, crunchy way.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go Park myself in a diner booth and Rec a plateful of waffles.

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