Season 1, Episode 2: Canvassing
Leslie: It is my dream to build a park… that I one day visit with my White House staff on my birthday. And they say President Knope, this park is awesome. Now we understand why you’re the first female president of the United States.
Season 1, Episode 5: The Banquet
Ann (at a formal dinner for Leslie’s mom, who told Leslie to blackmail a zoning woman): I think your mom is giving you bad advice.
Leslie: I don’t think so.
Ann: You just do everything your mom tells you to do?
Leslie: You just do everything your boyfriend tells you to do? Make any pancakes lately?
Ann: He has two broken legs.
Leslie: Yeah, and he’s got three crutches, and one of them is you, and the other two are crutches.
Ann: I don’t need to be here (walks off).
Season 2, Episode 2: The Stakeout
Leslie: I would like to be president someday, so no I have not smoked marijuana. I ate a brownie once at a party in college. It was intense. It was kind of indescribable, actually. I felt like I was floating. Turns out there wasn’t any pot in the brownie, it was just an insanely good brownie.
Season 2, Episode 10: Hunting Trip
Leslie (coming along on the hunting trip that Ron wanted to do alone with the guys): I think this will be a really good bonding session for me and Ron. Guys love it when you can show them that you are better than they are at something they love.
Season 2, Episode 11: Tom’s Divorce
Leslie (to Andy, after she decided to take Tom to a strip club to cheer him up after his divorce): You’re gonna take April home.
April: No, I wanna go to the Glitter Factory
Leslie: Well, drop out of school and start doing meth. Let’s go everybody.
Tom: Leslie, I appreciate what you’re trying to do, but once you go in there, you will see things you cannot unsee.
Leslie: I’m a feminist, ok? I would never ever go to a strip club. I’ve gone on record that if I had to have a stripper’s name it would be Equality. But I’m writing to sacrifice all that I’ve worked for just to put a smile on your little face. So don’t blow this.
Leslie (after confronting Ron about the fact that he wanted to ask out Tom’s ex-wife Wendy): I don’t get men. If they’re not wagering their girlfriends in pool, then they’re trying to steal each other’s wives. It makes me question the whole notion of those bromance movies.
Season 2, Episode 16: Galentine’s Day
Ron (sitting down next to Leslie at the Senior’s Ball): Everything ok, Knope?
Leslie: My boyfriend is a lawyer, and he’s smart and interesting and there are a lot of things about him I really like. But he acted like a real jerk today. I don’t know, it’s something about the way he treats people or something.
Ron: He’s a tourist. He vacations in people’s lives, takes pictures puts them in his scrapbook and moves on. All he’s interested in are stories.
Ron: Basically, Leslie, he’s selfish, and you’re not, and that’s why you don’t like him.
Season 2, Episode 17: Woman of the Year
Leslie (trying to mediate between arguing soccer coaches): Apparently the girls team does not have a field assigned to them for practice, but the boys team does. No, not on my watch. Every child has a right to play, no matter how boring the sport.
Season 3, Episode 10: Soulmates
Leslie (to Ann, who was creating an online dating profile for Leslie): Yellow-haired female who likes waffles and news.
Ann: Sexy, well-read blonde, loves the sweeter things in life.
Leslie: Much better.
Leslie: Organizing my agenda. Wait that doesn’t sound fun. Jammin’ on my planner.
Ann: Favourite place?
Leslie: Upstairs there is this mural of wild flowers and I like to sit on a bench in front of it.
Ann: Really? It can be anywhere in the world. Paris. Hawaii, the Grand Canyon.
Leslie: No, just the bench in front of the mural.
Ann: What about like an actual meadow with wild flowers on it.
Leslie: Ew, Ann, I’m scared of bees. Mural!
Season 3, Episode 13: The Fight
Season 4, Episode 1: I’m Leslie Knope
Ron (at his cabin): You choose, Knope, hunting, fishing, or drinking?
Leslie: I’d really like to shoot a gun right now.
Ron: Fishing it is.
Season 4, Episode 3: Born & Raised
Season 4, Episode 7: The Treaty
Leslie (after Ben calls for the UN assembly at a local high school to formally condemn Denmark represented by Leslie for declaring war on Peru, represented by Ben): That’s no problemo, Peru, because Denmark no longer recognizes the authority of this international gang of thugs. And history will be unkind to those who stand opposed to justice. Together we stand (takes off her high-heeled show and bangs on the podium), and I ask all of you, who is ready to join the coalition of the willing?
April (stands up, representing the moon): The moon shall join your coalition.
Leslie: We got the freakin’ moon, what are you gonna do without tides, Peru?
Ann (to Chris, rehashing their relationship): I was so into you, ok, and you basically turned me into a female version of yourself, and then you got bored dating me cause you were dating yourself.
Ann: I mean I was jogging , I hate jogging.
Chris: Jogging is amazing!
Ann: Jogging is the worst, Chris. I mean I know it keeps you healthy, but god, at what cost?
Chris: Well, I’m sorry that I added five years to your life.
Season 4, Episode 8: Smallest Park
Linda Lonegan (in a lecture in the Intro to Women’s Studies course that Andy pick at the community college): Many societal institutions were established solely to oppress women. To this day some feminists have even condemned marriage as a glorified form of slavery.
April (after the class): That class was awesome.
Ron: I wholeheartedly agree. If that woman weren’t so violently opposed to marriage, I think I would propose to her.
Andy: Well then it’s decided. Andy Dwyer will be taking Women’s Lasers.
April: Women’s Studies.
Andy: Sorry, god, I cannot stop thinking about lasers. Is there such thing as Women’s Lasers? That’d be my number one pick.
Ben (to Ann, after a fight with Leslie about not wanting to work together anymore): Ok is this Health Department business or Leslie business?
Ann: You need to go talk to her.
Ben: Why? So she can force me to spend time with her again? No, no way. I’m done talking.
Ann: Listen, I know she can be strong-willed and difficult, ok. She once made me eat an entire cheesecake at a potluck so she didn’t look bad. But I really think she is ready to listen.
Ben: You ate an entire cheesecake? Why didn’t you just throw it away?
Ann: Because with everything she’s done for me I would eat ten cheesecakes for her. Also because it was delicious and amazing, like everything she does. Will you please just talk to her for my sake? I don’t have unlimited texting and when she can’t talk to you, she texts me.
Leslie (to Ben at the smallest park they built together): Hey, I wasn’t sure you were gonna come.
Ben: Well, I got very curious when you only left me one voicemail message instead of your usual twenty.
Leslie: I’m trying to be a little less intense and a little more considerate. Here have a seat. But only if you want to.
Ben: Ok. I want to.
Leslie: I never listened to what you wanted, or how you wanted us to be when things ended between us. I just decided what I wanted and I got upset when you didn’t want the same thing. I know that’s not fair, and I’m very sorry.
Ben: Well, thank you, I appreciate that.
Leslie: if you don’t want to have any more contact with me, I finally understand.
Ben: I don’t want that, really. But I just think it’s for the best.
Ben: Ok (starts walking away).
Leslie: There is another option. We could just say screw it and do this thing for real.
Leslie: I miss you like crazy, think about you all the time, I wanna be with you. So let’s just say screw it.
Ben: We would have to tell Chris, it could turn into a scandal, it could hurt your campaign. How would you imagine we do this?
Leslie: I don’t know. But I know how I feel and I want to be with you. But I’m done steam-rolling people. This is how I feel. How do you feel?
Ben kisses her.
Season 4, Episode 9: The Trial of Leslie Knope
Leslie (to Ron, after Chris discovers that she tried to bribe someone to cover up her relationship with Ben): I’m a bad person.
Ron: It’s not that simple. You know what makes a good person good? When a good person does something bad, they own up to it. They try to learn something from it and they move on.
Season 4, Episode 10: Citizen Knope
Leslie (after her campaign managers tell her to sit tight, take a beat, and relax, while they figure out how her suspension affects her campaign): Sit tight? Take a Beat? Relax? I don’t really do any of those things. In fact, while I was in that meeting I was also planning my mother’s birthday party in my head.
Season 4, Episode 13: Bowling for Votes
Leslie (after listening to people responding to her campaign ad in a focus group): Well, my campaign has a little momentum, so we’re trying to capitalize on that by doing a focus group. Some things are very helpful, other things are not so helpful. All of the things make me feel a lot of feelings about myself.
Season 4, Episode 22: Win, Lose, or Draw
Leslie (to Ann, as the election poles are closing): OMG, that’s it. It’s not Bobby Newport who’s gonna beat me, it’s Brandi Maxxx, the port start. What is this, Italy?
Season 5, Episode 3: How A Bill Becomes A Law
Leslie (getting her hair permed in her new office): Ann has told me repeatedly not to get a perm. But Ann’s not here, so when the Ann’s not here, the mice get perms.
Season 5, Episode 4: Sex Education
Ann (to Leslie): You’re not acting like yourself.
Leslie: Really, you wanna go there?
Ann: Go where?
Leslie: You know where we’re going.
Ann: No, I have no idea, honestly.
Leslie: Ok, I guess we’re going there.
Ann: Are we leaving?
Leslie: You want me to act like myself. You’re dressed like a cowboy.
Ann: So? It’s fun and I like it.
Leslie: When you dated Andy, you dressed in flannels. When you dated Chris, you dressed in spandex. Ann, please do not lecture me about acting like myself.
Ann: You’re dressed like an abstinence girl on the outside. God, I’m off my comeback right now. You know what, I don’t care, do whatever you want.
Season 5, Episode 14: Leslie and Ben
Ann (when Ben and Leslie decide to get married that evening): I’m perfectly calm. I feel like every crazy thing Leslie’s ever had me do has been like a drill and today is the real thing. I’m ready because I had the greatest teacher in the world, Leslie, who is crazy!
Ben (to Leslie in his wedding vows): In my time working for the State government my job sent me to 46 cities in 11 years. I lived in villages with 8 people, rural farming communities, college towns, I was sent to every corner of Indiana. And then I came here, and I realized that this whole time I was just wandering around everywhere just looking for you.
Leslie (to Ben in her vows): The things that you have done for me, to help me, support me, surprise me, to make me happy go above and beyond what any person deserves. You’re all I need. I love you and I like you.
Ben: I love you and I like you.
Season 6, Episode 2: London
Leslie (to Ron in London after her award acceptance speech): Pawnee has really been pissing me off lately.
Ron: Leslie, for god’s sake, you’re the adult here. When your kid screams I hate you, you don’t sink to his level and yell I hate you back. You have to be the grown-up.
Leslie: You’re right, I know, I have to be the grown-up. But it’s so hard, Ron. And nobody ever thanks you.
Ron: You choose a thankless job, you can’t be upset when nobody thanks you. And by the way, April thanked you. She nominated you for this award.
Leslie: Well, April does that all the time. She nominated Ann for Motor-Cross Driver of the Year Award just so she could get a rejection letter.
Ron: April respects you. And so do many others. Don’t start chasing applause and acclaim, that way lies madness.
Season 6, Episode 7: Recall Vote
Ann (to drunk Ben and Leslie after she was voted out of City Council, they got drunk and they tried getting tattoos together): Ben, what is the first rule of the Leslie Knope Emotional Support Task Force?
Ben: Don’t let her get a tattoo.
Ann: What the hell happened?
Ben: I couldn’t help it. She’s so cute when she’s coming up with destructive ideas.
Ann: Never send a husband to do a best friend’s job. Out Wyatt! Walk it off!
Ben: Fine. (High-fives Leslie.)
Ann (to Leslie who wants to follow Ben): No, Knope, sit down. You are avoiding your problems.
Leslie: What? No I’m not. Can we talk about this tomorrow?
Ann: You were down in the poles. Your opponents were well-funded and well-organized, you must have known this would be a possibility.
Leslie: Intellectually, I knew that I might be in trouble, but deep in my heart I never really thought…
Ann: Ben and I tried to help you, but as usual, you’re the best person for the job. I wrote this, you need to hear yourself read it.
Leslie (reading): They held a recall election and I lost. I was voted out of office. In thirty days I will no longer be a Pawnee City Councillor. But I am Leslie Knope. I am more than a City Councillor. I am an unstoppable force of energy. And I will use those days to work as hard as I can.
Season 6, Episode 8: Fluoride
Tom (to Leslie after she yelled at someone on the phone): Wow, you just talked to that person like I talk to you. You can’t do that.
Leslie: Why not? What are they gonna do? Kick me out of office? Why did it take me so long to realize this? There are no consequences to my actions anymore. No matter what I do literally nothing bad can happen to me. I’m like a white male US senator.
Season 6, Episode 10: Second Chance
Jenn (to Leslie about considering running for City Council again after she was voted out): You might win, but why would you want to?
Leslie: Because it’s my dream job!
Jenn: Then dream bigger! Look, you love this town, but it’s run by morons, get a better job! Rise above their heads, affect change at a higher level! Don’t be the kid that graduates high school and hangs out in the school parking lot. Be the woman who moves away, climbs the ladder and then comes back and has sex with her old English teacher just for kicks.
Leslie: Is that what you did?
Jenn: Yeah, Mr. Baker. Sex was pretty good thanks to me. Look, Pawnee has done you a favour. You’ve outgrown them. you’ve got talent, you’ve got name recognition, which means that you have a bright wide-open future with a thousand options. State Senate, federal jobs, even Congress. All of these are doable for you. You can trust me (takes her face in her hands) because I don’t care enough about you to lie.
Leslie (on vacation in Paris with Ben): In times of stress or moments of transition sometimes it can feel like the whole world is closing in on you. When that happens, You should close your eyes, take a deep breath, listen to the people who love you, when they give you advice, and remember what really matters.
Season 6, Episode 13: Ann and Chris
Leslie (to Ann, sitting in the empty lot behind Ann’s house at night): Can I still call you when I have thoughts on Jennifer Aniston’s future?
Ann: Not if I call you first!
Leslie: And can we still be on the phone for every State of the Union address, and every Oscar red carpet coverage, and every single viewing of Tootsie?
Ann: Of course!
Leslie: Oh, Ann Perkins, you perfect sunflower. You totally changed me, you know? You taught me how to balance my life, how to be patient (Ann frowns) how to be more patient.
Ann: Yeah, that’s better.
Leslie: How to throw bureaucratic caution to the wind when it came to Ben. But most importantly you taught me that I can’t pull off a tulip skirt.
Ann: It’s not your shape.
Leslie: Well, I don’t think the ceremonial ribbon-cutting guy is gonna make it. Either he flacked or he tripped and impaled himself on his own giant scissors.
Ann: We wait for n man. Let’s do this! (They shovel some soil, breaking the ground ceremoniously to start the park construction.) Alright, I got my park, that’s all I wanted from you. Friendship over.
Leslie (laughs, then seriously): Don’t even joke about that Ann!
Season 6, Episode 14: Anniversaries
Leslie (to Ben on their first wedding anniversary): Happy anniversary!
Ben (stunned): It’s the iron throne!
Leslie: Yes, it is. I had a guy at the model store make a replica. He was a bigger Game of Thrones fan than you are.
Ben (sitting down, stunned): I know I’m making that dumb surprised face , but I can’t help it, this is the greatest gift I’ve ever received, Leslie! (In a funny voice) When you play the Game of Thrones, you win or you die. Yes. No. Yes. No. (to Leslie) Come here, come hither, peasant. Who are you?
Leslie: Our starship is in trouble!
Ben (breaking character): Ok, Leslie, listen, if you don’t know… what you’re talking about…
Season 6, Episode 16: New Slogan
Leslie (at JJ’s Diner going over questions about the new job she was offered at the National Park Service): Martha, I’m gonna need two hours’ worth of waffles!
Season 7, Episode 2: Ron & Jammy
April (questioning her career choices, to Donna): Donna, what do I do? If working around corpses isn’t right for me, then nothing is. I feel totally lost.
Donna: Saturn’s return.
Donna: Saturn’s orbit around the sun takes roughly 29 years. And when it gets back to where it was when you were born, lots of turmoil, self-discovery. When I was your age, I got banned from every river boat in Germany.
Season 7, Episode 4: Leslie & Ron
Ron (to Leslie): Why does anyone ever eat anything but breakfast food?
Leslie: People are idiots, Ron.
Season 7, Episode 7: Donna & Joe
Leslie (opening the front door of her house on her way out with Ben): Jenn, what are you doing here?
Jenn: You idiots won’t answer my calls, and what I have to tell you cannot wait (walks in). What’s that horrible sound?
Jenn: Uh, your life is gross. My life is amazing.
Leslie: Jenn, thank you so much for coming, but we have to go. I have never been late for an event that requires an RSVP.
Jenn: You guys live in Pawnee Indiana, where do you have to go?
Season 7, Episode 8: Ms. Ludgate-Dwyer Goes to Washington
Leslie (to Senator John McCain in Washington): Hello, Senator, do you have a minute to chat?
McCain: No I can’t right now. I’ve got a meeting.
Leslie: Well, actually I checked with your staff and they said that you have a free half hour.
McCain: Did anyone ever tell you that your tenacity can be intimidating?
Leslie: Yes, everyone in my life since fourth grade. Now, let’s talk about national parks.
Season 7, Episode 12/13: One Last Ride
April (freaking out about whether to have kids or not, to Leslie): I don’t know what to do. Please tell me what to do.
Leslie: It’s not about trying to make your life perfect. Nobody’s lives are perfect. You have kids because you and Andy are a team, and you wanna bring in some new team members.
April: So you think we should?
Leslie: I don’t know if you should have kids, I really don’t. But I do like your team.
Ben (after he and Leslie were both approached about running for governor of Indiana, to Leslie): So, did you have any insights on our running for governor situation?
Leslie: I’ve been so busy catching up with everyone, I haven’t had a chance to ask them.
Ben: Yeah, me neither.
Leslie: Here’s what I think. I hate when we’re on opposite sides. It stinks. Plus, if one of us runs it doesn’t mean we’re gonna win.
Ben: Right. And it’s not like this is the only career option for either of us. So all that matters is that we are good.
Leslie: Right. Which is why I have an idea. I think we should flip a coin. I mean it. Let’s literally flip a coin because whoever runs is gonna do a great job, and whoever doesn’t run is gonna be right alongside the other one, offering advice and support and whatever they need. So it doesn’t matter, so let’s flip a coin.
Ben: Ok, you, Leslie Knope, the queen of planning and binders and pro and con lists, you wanna leave this to chance?
Leslie: Yes, because whatever is next, you and I are in it together. So let’s go tell everybody and they can participate and sign the coin, and then you know the coin will eventually make its way into the Smithsonian (walks over to everyone). Ok, everybody, gather around. Ben and I have an announcement.
Ben (to everyone): Leslie is running for governor of Indiana! (Everyone cheers.) She got approached by the DNC and they think she’s got a great shot to win. Indiana native, supremely qualified, and she wrote that she wanted to be governor in her kindergarten dream journal. This makes sense.
Leslie (is touched, looks at Ben, then turns to everyone with confidence and without skipping a beat): So I’m running for governor (everyone cheers again). Ben is gonna be running my campaign because he’s a super genius and he’s got a tight compact little body like an Italian sports car. But right now I’d like to make a toast. When we worked here together, we fought, scratched and clawed to make people’s lives a tiny bit better. That’s what public service is all about, small, incremental change, every day. Teddy Roosevelt once said: “Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is to work hard at work worth doing.” And I would add that what makes work worth doing is getting to do it with people that you love. [Flash forward to Indiana University 2035 commencement address.]
Leslie (to an auditorium of graduates): I started work more than 30 years ago in the Parks and Recreation department with here in Pawnee Indiana. I’ve had a lot of different jobs, including two terms as your governor, and soon a new unknown challenge awaits me, which to me even now is thrilling because I love the work. Not to say that public service isn’t sexy because it definitely is, but that’s not why we do it. We do it because we get the chance to work hard at work worth doing, alongside a team of people you love. So I thank those people who’ve walked with me, and I thank you for this honour. Now, go find your team and get to work.
Some of the best moments: