Parks and Recreation: 10 Best Season 4 Episodes, Ranked By IMDb

It’s been more than 5 years since Parks & Recreation left the air and audiences still continue to watch the show with relentless loyalty, loving every second that Leslie Knope and company are on screen. The seven seasons that the show aired on NBC were some of the most comedic of the decade, always delivering hilarious content.

By the time the show had reached its fourth season, it was well-established as one of the most popular sitcoms on television as it was broadcast alongside other such comedic staples like The Office and Community, and its fourth season continued that tradition with some of the highest-ranked episodes of the series.

10 Operation Ann, Episode 14 (8.3)

She had overcome her own love-life problems earlier in the season when Leslie and Ben finally got together, prompting her to play Cupid on Galentines Day for Ann. She does so by setting up a cavalcade of blind-dates for her best-friend… all of which turn out to be absolutely horrible. As it turns out, Ann ends up hitting it off with Tom (while he harasses the losers that try to get with Ann) and the episode begins their very strange on-again/off-again relationship that never really felt right to fans.

9 Pawnee Rangers, Episode 4 (8.4)

Ron Swanson was always a person who seemed to be made from different kind of stuff. So, it was no surprise when he started the Pawnee Rangers, a wilderness club for young boys, that his methods were a little ‘drastic’ and definitely not fun. This resulted in one of the boys wanting to join the Pawnee Goddesses, a girls-only wilderness-club started by Leslie in response to Ron’s boys-only club. As it turns out, every single boy decides that they’d rather be a Goddess, causing Ron to feel like the odd-man-out. Feeling bad for ruining Ron’s club, Leslie puts out an ad for tough-as-nails kids who want to become “Swansons”, so that Ron can bond with kids like him.


8 The Trial of Leslie Knope, Episode 9 (8.5)

Most of the first half of season 4 revolved around the story-line that Leslie was running for City Council, which unfortunately meant that she had to break up with Ben. However, she decided to declare her love for Ben and face the consequences anyway, which resulted in a trial to see if she was guilty of any corruption.

Chris brought several cases against her and she was seemingly able to refute them all… until a man that Leslie and Ben had bribed to keep quite was brought to the stand. Because of this corruption, Leslie is set to get fired – but Ben steps in and takes the bullet by accepting all responsibility for any wrong-doing and gets himself fired instead.

7 Citizen Knope, Episode 10 (8.5)

It was never a secret that Leslie came on a little strong and was incredibly passionate about every little thing in her life. So, when Leslie gets suspended for two weeks following her trial and has to stay away from City Hall, it stands to reason that any normal person would take a vacation or get some rest – but Leslie’s not normal. Instead (since she can’t work on any of the issues she wants to resolve) Leslie forms a committee full of regular citizens to complain about all of the issues that she wants to get fixed. Sadly, because of her scandal with Ben, Leslie is also let go by her campaign managers during this episode, but she isn’t down for long since her friends reveal that they’re all going to be helping her run her campaign instead.

6 Campaign Ad, Episode 12 (8.5)

The world doesn’t deserve Leslie Knope – a politician so pure that she refuses to run a negative campaign ad. During this episode, after Ben takes the job as Leslie’s official campaign manager, they decide that their first move should be a television ad – the only problem is that Ben and Leslie completely differ on what the theme of the ad should be. Ben wants to go negative, while Leslie always wants to take the high road, resulting in the couple eventually compromising and editing their opponent’s ad into their own simply to make Leslie look like the more professional candidate.

5 End of the World, Episode 6 (8.6)

Hail Zorp! One of the funniest running gags of the show was that Pawnee had a group of people known as the Reasonablists who worshiped a 20-foot-tall lizard-God named Zorp (a cult). Said group was introduced during this episode when the group decided to spend the end of the world (a belief in their religion) by having a picnic in the park. Meanwhile, Tom and Jean-Ralphio have to declare bankruptcy and close Entertainment720, but they decide to throw one last incredible party to close it out and it is a truly epic shindig.

4 The Comeback Kid, Episode 11 (8.6)

In between the episode where Leslie’s friends decided to run her campaign and the episode where Ben accepted the job as her sole campaign manager, there was a very sad (and very hysterical) episode where Leslie and her friends tried to get endorsements for he campaign and support from the public (two must-haves for anybody running for public office).

The end result was Leslie and her team giving a horribly prepared rally at a local hockey-rink, whereupon their new spokesperson slips on the ice while trying to dunk a basketball. It’s a really good thing Ben stepped in to help.

3 Bowling for Votes, Episode 13 (8.7)

Leslie Knope never struck viewers as the greatest athlete, but she certainly proved how well she could bowl during this episode when she spends the entire time trying to impress one particular citizen (whose vote she wants for the campaign). After the man makes a comment during a focus group that Leslie doesn’t seem like a person “he could go bowling with”, Leslie literally sets up a bowling-night and sends an invitation to the man just to prove that she is a laidback person. Unfortunately, after Leslie kicks the guys butt in bowling, he calls Leslie a “b*tch” – prompting Ben to rightfully punch the jerk in the face.

2 The Debate, Episode 20 (8.9)

Politicians everywhere should study Leslie Knope’s speech from this particular episode when all of the City Council nominees debate each other in front of nearly the entire town. The episode follows the candidates as they give outlandish and obscene answers to questions that don’t seem to make much sense in the first place, only for the episode to conclude with Bobby Newport threatening to move Sweetums, Pawnee’s biggest employer, to Mexico if he loses the election. In response, Leslie gives one of the most impassioned and bad-ass speeches that has ever been delivered on a sitcom about how much she loves her hometown and gets a standing ovation from the crowd.

1 Win, Lose, or Draw, Episode 22 (9.1)

After an entire season of campaigning and dealing with the ramifications of her scandal with Ben, it all came down to this episode – the City Council election. Leslie, her team, and all of her biggest supporters gather-in for a long night of vote-counting as they await the results, doing everything they can to avoid thinking about it. Meanwhile, Ben gets a job offer from Jenn Barkley to run a Congressional campaign from Washington D.C… and he and Leslie both decide that he should take it. Then, after an initial scare that she had lost, it’s revealed that Leslie won the campaign by 21 votes, the season ending with Leslie looking forward to her first term as a City Counselor.

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About The Author

Jonathan Meschutt (212 Articles Published)

Jonathan Meschutt is a writer based in Upstate New York. He’s had every job you could think of, including garbage man, dishwasher, administrative assistant, catering cook, and a dozen more, but now works as a list writer for Valnet Inc, and is covering entertainment topics for Screen Rant. He has a B.S. Mass Communication degree, focused on Film (see what he did there?) and has spent the past three years as the writing assistant to an Emmy nominated television screenwriter.

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