|First Appearance||"The Master Plan"|
|Age||1971 (42 years old)|
|Family|| Steve Wyatt (father) |
Julia Wyatt (mother)
Stephanie Wyatt (sister)
Henry Wyatt (brother)
|Spouse||Leslie Knope (wife)|
|Occupation|| President of the Sweetums Foundation|
Campaign manager and strategist (former)
Assistant City Manager of Pawnee (resigned)
Indiana State Auditor (former)
Mayor of Partridge, MN (impeached)
Ben Wyatt is a character on the NBC TV show Parks and Recreation. He guest starred in two episodes in season two, and then became a regular character in season 3. He originally appeared as a state auditor who comes to Pawnee with Chris Traeger to evaluate Pawnee's funds at the end of season 2. Ben's personality is very straightforward and serious, willing to tell the truth without thinking about how bad it is.
Riding a wave of anti-incumbent sentiment, Ben Wyatt was elected mayor of the town of Partridge, Minnesota, at the age of 18. His immaturity and lack of experience led him to being unofficially banned from Partridge after he bankrupted the city by creating a winter sports complex called Ice Town.
In Season Two when Ben first comes to Pawnee, he and Leslie Knope do not get along. Leslie yells at him for having an insensitive attitude about firing people from the Parks and Recreation team, as well as for cutting her budget. When he asks her out to have a beer, they begin to respect each other more. They become friends and he shares his history in politics with her, and tells her he became auditor to show that he is responsible enough to run for mayor again.
Chris reveals that the town has virtually no funds left and the government will be shut down (which includes the parks of Pawnee) until further notice. He and Chris set up a budget task force with several employees of Pawnee's government, including Ron Swanson. Ron accidentally reveals that that Leslie is secretly planning to put the cancelled children's concert on a unused lot (Lot 48) behind Ann Perkins' house, he tries to stop her. When he sees how much effort she put into it, he lets her have the concert and even pays Freddy Spaghetti to come back after he agreed to perform at a library in Eagleton, which gets him back on Leslie's good side.
In the first episode of Season 3, "Go Big or Go Home", Ben starts a youth basketball league because of popular demand throughout Pawnee. In the same episode, Ben and Chris agree to re-start the tradition of the Pawnee Harvest Festival at the proposal of Leslie Knope. Ben brings Leslie to the hospital for the flu because she won't admit she's sick in the episode "Flu Season", due to the fact that she has an important presentation with the Pawnee Chamber of Commerce about the Harvest Festival. He brings her waffles from JJ's Diner in the same episode, and chicken noodle soup, which is a large hint that he might be interested romantically in Leslie.
Ben is slowly starting to be more impressed by the citizens of Pawnee and their "passion", as well as Pawnee itself. Ben embarrasses himself in "Media Blitz". This episode is mainly about Ben and his history as teen mayor of Partridge, Minnesota. He stammers and is awkward on the radio show, "Crazy Ira and The Douche". The Harvest Festival brings Ben and Leslie closer together because of the teamwork needed for the success of it. In "April and Andy's Fancy Party", he and Leslie stare at each other when Andy Dwyer is talking about doing what makes you happy after the wedding.
In the episode "Jerry's Painting", he admits to Andy that he has feelings for Leslie and that she might have feelings for him also. He moves out of the motel he's been staying in and moves into April and Andy's house since Wyatt "Burly" Burlinson moved out and left them the house. In "Road Trip", he and Leslie kiss. Season 3 leaves off with uncertainty as to which the relationship will continue because Leslie is contemplating running for office.
Season 4 starts with Leslie being confused over whether to continue her secret romance with Ben, or to follow he dreams and run for office. The pair decide to split amicably, with Ben giving Leslie a “Knope 2012” button. However, this split does not rid the two of their feelings for each other. Tom and Donna attempt to help the clearly distraught Ben (although they still are oblivious to his relationship with Leslie) by taking him to their annual “Treat Yo Self” day. Ben eventually breaks down (while wearing a Batman suit he bought for himself) and tells Tom and Donna that he is having problems with women, but still not using Leslie’s name. Tom then cheers him up by reminding him that there are “other fish in the sea.” This does not completely rid Ben of his feelings for Leslie, and eventually, after several more fights and awkward situations, Leslie and Ben decide to make their relationship official, despite the consequences, in "Smallest Park".
Leslie and Ben then decide it is best to tell Chris about their relationship, which results to Leslie being put on trial to see whether she used her relationship with Ben to get special treatment. Chris also brings up a maintenance worker, George Williams, that saw Ben and Leslie kiss at Li'l Sebastian's funeral, and whom they bribed to keep quiet. Leslie then decides to confess to the bribe, but insists she received no special treatment due to her relationship with Ben. Leslie is then surprised when she receives only a two-week suspension with pay. She is then informed that Ben has resigned from his job in order to save hers. Later, when Leslie has Ethel Beavers reads the transcript from his resignation (on Chris’s recommendation), she finds out that Ben had said he was resigning because he loves Leslie. Leslie then has Ethel read a transcript of her saying she loves Ben to him.
Later, Ben attempts to find a job but then decides, with advice from Jean-Ralphio to take it easy and to try to find something that truly makes him happy. Ben then starts going crazy from having nothing to do, and tries to find new hobbies. These include creating the idea for the Low-Cal Calzone Zone and making a stop motion movie. When Ben is finally at his breaking point, Leslie decides to ask him to be her campaign manager, to which Ben accepts. Doing this, Ben often becomes unsure of his ability to be Leslie’s campaign manager (due to amazing performances by Bobby Newport’s campaign manager, Jennifer Barkley), and about Leslie’s feelings for him (most noted when Leslie’s ex Dave Sanderson returns), but is always reassured of his qualifications by Leslie's love for him. Right before the election results are announced, Ben is offered the chance by Jennifer Barkley, Bobby's former campaign manager, to run a congressional campaign in Washington D.C. for Congressman Murray. Originally, Leslie convinces him not to go, but the two eventually decide it is what is best for Ben and that they will continue their relationship even when he leaves Pawnee. When Leslie wins the election, she tells him that one day she wants to read the concession speech he wrote for her. He then reveals that he never wrote one for her, knowing she would win.
Jonathan Banks and Glenne Headly guest starred as Ben's parents in the fifth season. He successfully runs a congressional campaign during the first five episodes of the season. When Ben returns to Pawnee, he proposes to Leslie, and they move into a house together. Later, Ben turns down multiple job offers in Pawnee to join Tom Haverford's company, Rent-a-Swag; concurrently, he ends up working for Sweetums, at a division dedicated to improving their public image by funding charities. He also takes on Andy as an assistant.
- Loves Game of Thrones.
- Enjoys model trains
- He did not like Peter Jackson's movie adaption of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings
- He writes Star Trek fanfiction
- His drink of choice is Point Honey Lite
- His favorite food is a calzone
- He has an immense fear of cops
- His parents are divorced and loathe each other
- His father has a girlfriend who is much younger than him and Ben's mother dislikes the new girlfriend.
- Ben's father's girlfriend is pregnant with a little girl.
- He is a fan of Batman and purchased a Batman suit when he joined Donna and Tom for Treat Yo Self
- The song that was played when he was sworn in as Mayor of Partridge, Minnesota was "Whoomp! (There It Is)"
- He claims that his signature drink is Miller Lite
- He was the shortstop of his Junior Varsity baseball team
- He drives a Saturn and a VW Tiguan in Washington
- According to the Unity Quilt, his brother's name is Henry, and his sister's name is Stephanie. The image on the quilt for Henry was a tire swing, while Stephanie's was a bicycle.
- His eBay username is Tall Tyrion Lannister
- He played Ultimate (Frisbee) in college.
- During a heated interview, he asked "Who hasn't had gay thoughts?"
- He's really bad to watch when behind a microphone or camera even though he's very straight foward and measured otherwise.
This character has a Photo Gallery.