Ron Swanson's most memorable moments from 'Parks and Rec'
NBC

Ron Swanson's most memorable moments from 'Parks and Rec'

Ron Swanson. The man, the myth, the legend. When “Parks and Recreation” debuted on NBC, the draw for most was Amy Poehler starring in a show from the folks behind “The Office.” Quickly, though, Nick Offerman’s Ron Swanson became a breakout star. There were so many great, classic moments for the mustachioed man with the contempt for government —  despite working in the government of Pawnee. Here are some of our favorite bits of Ron Swanson goodness from “Parks and Recreation.”

 
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Ron dances drunk in a tiny hat

Ron dances drunk in a tiny hat
NBC

Ron held his alcohol quite well. Snake Juice, though, was a lot even for him. One night everybody gets completely hammered at the Snakehole Lounge, and Ron celebrates by wearing April’s tiny hat from her costume and dances with glee. It’s one of the show’s iconic images.

 
2 of 20

The Ron Swanson pyramid of greatness

The Ron Swanson pyramid of greatness
NBC

Ron made a splash pretty much right away, but the thing that really codified his character was when he introduced his life lessons within his “pyramid of greatness.” Ron’s pyramid teaches you important lessons, like avoiding skim milk and appreciating old wooden sailing ships.

 
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Introducing Duke Silver

Introducing Duke Silver
NBC

Ron Swanson is a private man. In the final season, Leslie found out Ron had brothers, and Ron’s brothers discovered he used to work at the Parks Department. His biggest secret, though? In his free time, he is Duke Silver, a smooth talking jazz saxophonist whom the ladies love.

 
4 of 20

Ron and Tammy 2’s wild night

Ron and Tammy 2’s wild night
NBC

Ron and his second wife, Tammy 2 (his first wife is also named Tammy), have a tumultuous relationship. Sometimes they reconnect, and sometimes that ends with Ron in prison with cornrows and the middle of his mustache missing. Oh, and Tammy 2 is played by Megan Mullally, Nick Offerman’s wife in real life.

 
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Ron fights his hernia

Ron fights his hernia
NBC

Ron doesn’t like taking help. This was true even when he had a hernia at work. Unable to move from his chair, he refused to accept anything was wrong. Ron was willing to go so far as to try and throw his food into his mouth instead of just going to a doctor.

 
6 of 20

Nick Offerman takes a tumble

Nick Offerman takes a tumble
NBC

Though Ron is a serious man, Offerman is a much sillier guy. He’s even willing to commit to a bit of physical comedy. In one memorable moment, a frantic Ron runs up to Leslie — and slips and falls. It’s a hilarious pratfall, made all the better by the fact it is Ron Swanson taking the spill.

 
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All the bacon and eggs you have

All the bacon and eggs you have
NBC

It’s maybe the most memorable Ron Swanson quote and the one that perhaps best exemplifies his personality. Let’s hear from the man himself: “Just give me all the bacon and eggs you have. Wait, wait. I'm worried what you just heard was, ‘Give me a lot of bacon and eggs.’ What I said was, ‘Give me all the bacon and eggs you have’ Do you understand?

 
8 of 20

Ron tours England

Ron tours England
NBC

Unsurprisingly, Ron isn’t big on travel. He goes to London for Leslie’s sake, but he is not wowed. In a montage, we see him going around London, unimpressed with sights like Big Ben. Of course, Leslie knows Ron, so she surprises him with a scenic trip to the distillery that makes his favorite alcohol.

 
9 of 20

Ron takes over Joan’s show

Ron takes over Joan’s show
NBC

Though he is a particular man, Ron Swanson can also roll with the punches. Take, for example, the time he appeared on Joan Callamezzo’s TV show. Joan was just a biiiit hungover, which is to say she was effectively catatonic, so Ron basically takes over the show. He happily gives advice to callers and seems to genuinely have a good time.

 
10 of 20

Ron swivels (and swivels)

Ron swivels (and swivels)
NBC

Of all the things that Ron hates about government work, No. 1 is probably dealing with the problems of the citizens of Pawnee. At its worst, Ron was given a new circular desk in the middle of the Parks and Rec office where everybody could just come talk to him. Not that he had to engage. He could instead just swivel…and swivel…and swivel. Eventually people have to give up trying to talk to him, right?

 
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Ron’s will

Ron’s will
NBC

Ron keeps his will simple. That is to say, it’s scrawled on a small piece of paper and he wrote it when he was 8. In his will, everything is left to the person, or animal, who kills him. As for the weird symbols on his will? Well, as Ron puts it, “The man who kills me will know what they mean.”

 
12 of 20

Ron visits a strip club’s breakfast buffet

Ron visits a strip club’s breakfast buffet
NBC

On occasion Ron shows passion for a lady, but he has a particular type. He was not finding any of his ladies of choice at Pawnee’s biggest strip club. However, Ron did find one thing to make him happy: a complimentary breakfast buffet. Worried that a strip club would have low quality food? This is a man whose favorite restaurant is at the bowling alley. He can get a hot dog there for a buck and a hamburger for $1.35. That’s perfection to him.

 
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Ron loves riddles

Ron loves riddles
NBC

Over the course of “Parks and Recreation” we find out about some of Ron’s passions. They usually fit his persona. Ron loves woodworking, dark liquors and cooking meat. Oh and, surprisingly, he loves riddles. The glee in his face when he exclaims this in a talking head is a delight.

 
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Leslie and Ron make up

Leslie and Ron make up
NBC

During the final season of “Parks and Recreation” there was a time jump. After that jump, we find out Ron and Leslie had a falling out and Ron has left the Parks Department. Eventually, their friends basically force them to spend time together to reconcile. It takes all night, but in the morning the gang finds Ron and Leslie delirious and hanging out. Ron is playing the sax. Leslie is singing a parody of “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” It’s maybe the most fun they’ve ever had.

 
15 of 20

Ron marries Diane

Ron marries Diane
NBC

Some people have big, crazy weddings. Ron is not that kind of person. When he and Diane decide to marry, it’s a casual decision. There is no fanfare, and instead they just get a marriage license and have the ceremony there. Of course, they also bring Leslie along to be the witness, and she’s a little more enthusiastic, personality wise.

 
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Ron loves Lil’ Sebastian

Ron loves Lil’ Sebastian
NBC

Everybody loves Lil’ Sebastian, the tiny horse that is a folk hero in Pawnee. Well, everybody except Ben, who just doesn’t get it. Ron is no stranger to Lil’ Sebastian’s charms. However, you might not expect him to giggle over seeing a little horse. He does, though. He very much does.

 
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You had me at “Meat Tornado”

You had me at “Meat Tornado”
NBC

Ron loves meat. How much. Andy tells him about a burrito called the “Meat Tornado” that “literally killed a guy last year.” Ron’s response? “You had me at meat tornado.”

 
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Ron solves everybody’s problems

Ron solves everybody’s problems
NBC

Though he doesn’t like to get involved in people’s lives, Ron sometimes finds himself having to deliver advice. Take, for example, the time at the Harvest Festival when Ron was stuck on a Ferris wheel having to overhear the problems of Andy, April, Tom and Jerry. Fed up with the bickering, Ron angrily provides the needed wisdom to sort everything out.

 
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Ron pulls his tooth

Ron pulls his tooth
NBC

Ron may seem serious, but he’s not above a joke. Of course, he has a somewhat distinct sense of humor. One time he complained about a toothache in front of everybody at the office and decided to handle it himself by pulling out the tooth with a pair of pliers, much to everybody’s disgust and horror. In reality, the tooth had been pulled by the dentist the previous day. It was just a gag. A brutal, gory gag.

 
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Ron finds a job he enjoys

Ron finds a job he enjoys
NBC

For the bulk of “Parks and Recreation,” Ron doesn’t enjoy his job. Even when he leaves the Parks Department to start his own company it is only so fulfilling. So let’s end with what happens with Ron in the series finale of the show. Ron takes a new government job, which may seem shocking. However, the job he gets, with Leslie’s help of course, is as the new superintendent of Bryce Canyon National Park. Sure, it’s a government job, but it’s in the beauty of nature. That’s enough for Ron.

Chris Morgan is a sports and pop culture writer and the author of the books The Comic Galaxy of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and The Ash Heap of History. You can follow him on Twitter @ChrisXMorgan.

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