'Parks and Recreation': Crazy little thing called love


Image Credit: Mitch Haddad/NBC

Damnit, Chris Traeger! Your stupid office romance ban is ruining lives — specifically, Leslie’s and Ben’s. Those two wildflower mural-loving nerdburgers are meant to be, but Chris’s pesky policy is keeping them apart. (Where was it last week when Andy and April got married? I suppose shoe shinists aren’t under Chris’s purview.) Ah well; after all, the course of true love never did run smooth.

That’s the main takeaway from tonight’s installment of Parks and Rec, in which Leslie dipped a toe into the online dating pool after being rejected without explanation by Ben. After good ol’ Ann helped her BFF make her profile appealing rather than man-repelling (“Yellow-haired female likes waffles and news” became “Sexy, well-read blonde loves the sweeter things in life”), Knope was in business. The good news? Soon enough, they found that someone on the Indiana-centric dating site — hoosiermate.com; nice work, punsters! — was a 98 percent match for Leslie. The bad news? That person was the last person Leslie would ever want to go on a date with, besides Chris the MRI technician: Tom Haverford.

So, after warily observing Tom yell at a customer service rep over some unsatisfying under-eye cream, Leslie took him to lunch, promising that she’d even spring for apps and ‘zerts. (More on those later.) The meal didn’t go as well as she was hoping, of course; though the site’s algorithm found Tom and Leslie to be a virtual perfect match, in reality, they proved to be about as compatible as Ron Swanson and a slice of veggie bacon. Then Leslie made the fatal mistake of telling Tom why she had asked him to lunch, and he proceeded to tease her mercilessly… until she figured out how to shut him up for good. I think I could watch the moment when Leslie planted one on Tom and told him he “should be so lucky” to be dating her over and over again. (GIFers, on your marks — get set — GO!)

As Leslie was trying to escape her romantic rut, Ron and Chris were locked in an epic battle to prove once and for all what tastes better: health food or hamburgers. It should not be difficult to guess which ended up winning, since this is Pawnee, the fourth most obese city in the nation. (Though on the whole, the citizens we’ve seen tend to be pretty trim; if the show really wants us to believe Pawnee’s actually a fat town, they’re going to have to start casting some overweight background actors.) Ron’s jaunt to the health food store was amusing, but it also seemed a little too easy. We get that Ron f—in’ Swanson is a man’s man who loves animal flesh and hates vegetables; now it’s time to make some jokes about different facets of him before his character grows stale.

In all, “Soulmates” was a little too disjointed for me, especially since the two plots barely intersected with one another. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t find plenty of highlights in this episode, such as:

- Tom’s litany of weird names for things was so epic that I want to memorize it. Here it is, in its entirety: “‘Zerts are what I call desserts. Tray-trays are entrees. I call sandwiches sammies, sandoozles, or Adam Sandlers. Air conditioners are cool-blasterz, with a z. I don’t know where that came from. I call cakes big ol’ cookies. I call noodles long-ass rice. Fried chicken is fri-fri chicky-chick. Chicken parm is chicky chicky parm parm. Chicken cacciatore? Chicky catch. I call eggs pre-birds, or future birds. Root beer is super water. Tortillas are bean blankies. And I call forks…. Food rakes.” Be still, my heart!

- Chris  asks Ron if he’s ever had a turkeyburger. Ron’s response: “Is that a fried turkey leg inside a grilled hamburger? If so, yes. Delicious.”

- Chris: “What do I get if I win?” Ron: “The rarest jewel of all: Victory over me. Ron Swanson.”

- Leslie loves dogs, cats, and fish, but isn’t big on turtles. “They’re condescending.”

- Andy reveals that his favorite food is Skittles mashed between two Starbursts. “I call it Andy’s Mouth Surprise.”

- Ron buys all of his food, and most of his stuff, at Food ‘n Stuff.

- Chris, who catches Leslie kissing Tom, lets her know that she could get suspended if she can’t “keep [her] mouth to [her]self.”

- Oh, hello there, Kyle! Andy’s favorite shoe shine stand punching bag shows up as a judge of Chris and Ron’s cookoff. When he says that he enjoys the “umami flavor” of Chris’s turkeyburger, Jerry snaps, “Stop being so pretentious.” Does that mean that Kyle is Jerry’s Jerry?

- Turns out the only reason Tom and Leslie were a match is because Tom has a whopping 26 profiles on hoosiermate.com. Leslie got paired with Tom N. Haverford; the “n” stands for “nerd.” As Tom explains, “I never even check that one because no one ever responds to it. Tom N. Haverford, collects globes! His favorite movie is books!”

How did you like “Soulmates,” PopWatchers?

Comments (85 total) Add your comment
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  • Rob

    This is one of their very best episodes, except they’ve had so many this season I’m starting to sound like a broken record.

    • Samantha

      Swanson growing tired? NOT AT ALL. Give us a break. Swanson at the “100% meat-free” bacon stand was PRICELESS.

      • A joke

        swanson was great, but as for the other plot, i think the reason Leslie would not date Tom is the race factor. How many white women date indian men?

    • Eva

      I totally agree. It was so amazing! I love the psuedo father/daughter relationship that April and Ron have going on. When she threw that veggie bacon away I was cracking up. I loved April’s dead crows and Andy asking April which item should be his “one thing”. Parks and Rec is just getting better with time. How many more episodes are in this season? I had hoped it would come back this winter and show new eps straight through May but it’s been repeat heavy. I’m assuming it’s an abbreviated season (sad face).

      • Dave

        I believe this season is 16 episodes in total. I’m not sure how many there have been so far, so I don’t know how many more are left.

    • Regina Phalange

      Agreed! This episode, like so many others over this fantastic season, was AWESOME. Best show ever!

  • Hoboken Rec

    Chicky Chicky Parm Parm was my favorite. Still laughing at that one.

    Also enjoyed the April/Ron Swanson comraderie. As she asks for a piece of veggie bacon and throws it in the trash and gives Ron a knowing wink. Also how she got a call from Forbes? with no number. Ron done raised her right.

    • JenR

      I know, right? I’m calling it chicky chicky parm parm from now on.

      • CoolWhipLite

        It will forever be Chicky Chicky Parm Parm!! And don’t forget about Chicky Catch. Tom Haverford, you are crazy-sexy-cool.

    • BLM

      Long ass rice for the win!

    • Mr. Holloway

      I made Chicky Chicky Parm Parm on Tuesday…now I’m legitimately bummed that I didn’t wait a couple days so I could actually call it that.

  • LOL

    I thought it was pretty damn funny. Give it a 2nd viewing Hillary. You might like it more.

    • Cajo

      Agree. It was wonderful.

  • Melly

    Yeah, this episode was so wonderfully funny. Loved the N is for Nerd profile that Tom created on hoosiermatch.com. He was EN FUEGO tonight!

    • Mr. Holloway

      “His favorite movie is books!”

      I was laughing well into the beginning of “30 Rock” after that one.

    • ChristineOH

      I could NOT figure out how Leslie and Tom got matched by the computer, and when Tom revealed his 26 profiles, I couldn’t stop laughing. How could I not have seen that coming, because it’s SO PERFECT!!! Favorite movie: books… omg… so perfect.

  • KarenO

    I laughed out loud which is nearly impossible these sitcom days with P & R definitely being the exception. SO well written and acted. I love this show. 30 Rock had some wonderful stuff too tonight. Win win.

    • Samantha

      Archer was the best show on tonight.

      • Bobby’s Robot

        Wow, do you troll on EVERY page???

    • stevenjaba

      I agree, excellent episode – though I’d say that Community rocked it tonight too.

    • CoolWhipLite

      Karen O. — I so agree with you! It’s such a treat to actually have a laugh at a prime-time comedy. P&R has quickly become my fave.

  • Dave

    I thought it was a great episode. The trip to the health food store was funny. I loved when Ron and April were throwing the veggie bacon in the garbage. And when Andy asked April which item he should buy and she told him the pinwheel (I don’t know why I found that so funny, but I just did).
    And am I the only one who thinks a fried turkey like inside a hamburger sounds pretty tempting? On a more realistic note, I probably will actually try Andy’s Mouth Surprise.

    • Eva

      Haha! I just posted pretty much the same thing in response to someone elses post! I guess I should have scrolled down. Pin Wheel!

  • no cars go

    i really enjoyed this episode, there was a lot of tom and he was so funny. my fav was him singing along with the hold music. “forever young, i want to be forever young…”

    • Cajo

      I love that his character is really a sleeze, but it’s so easy to look past with his sincerity and naive charm.

    • justin

      OMG! His singing had me rolling out of my chair laughing!

  • MissM

    I enjoyed Chris and Andy becoming Dad and Son at the health food store – “Can I get all this?” “No, I told you, you can only have one thing.”

    • Elizabeth

      Then looking back to April – “pinwheel”… awesome!

  • kim in kentucky

    No mention of all the different men that showed up with Ann? “he lives in a barn” !!

    • Mr. Holloway

      Ann must be rocking that singles bar these days. Wonder what Donna thinks about that.

  • kate

    Oh goodness, I didn’t even catch that whosyourmatch.com was “hoosiermatch.com.” I cannot get enough of this show!!

  • arnold

    I love Tom’s surprised/gleeful face he makes sometimes- in this case the moment he realized why Leslie had asked him to lunch. It’s so hilarious. Also LOVED that Ben has a thing for the same mural as Leslie. Those two are just adorable.

    • Mr. Holloway

      Agree about Tom’s face…it’s the same reaction shot they use for Aziz Ansiri in the opening credits…and it’s great!

      • Bobby’s Robot

        Agree – hilarious!

  • jrs

    Grrrrreat episode. Sorry, I’ll never get tired of Ron Swanson, never! I’m gonna be watching this one again over the weekend.

  • steph

    I don’t know why, but the moment that cracked me up the most is when Leslie tried to pull the fire alarm, only to find out it didn’t work. I just burst out laughing.

    • Just Me

      I agree.. I was on the floor!

    • Chey

      I laughed through the entire commercial break, then rewound it to watch it again!
      “Um, we should probably get that fixed.”

  • Tony

    Favorite line: Ron explaining why he went to the health food store with Chris. “I’m here for the same reason people go to the zoo.”

    • Amanda

      lol I love how perfect they made the guy Ron pointed out. I see those dudes in real life shopping at Whole foods and just shake my head.

      • CoolWhipLite

        Yes!!! I love how Ron enjoyed observing the ‘wildlife’ in the store. I’m always afraid that some critter is going to hop out of their never-brushed clump of tangles and hop onto the exposed food.

  • Housewife in the Desert

    I thought it was STELLAR. Every person on this show deserves an Emmy. Saw sides of Amy Poehler I had never seen before – great actress. And as bonus, I got to see where Ron shops. And…BEEF! Loved it!

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