|First Appearance||"The Master Plan"|
|Born||Partridge, Minnesota, 1971|
|Family|| Steve Wyatt (father) |
Julia Wyatt (mother)
Stephanie Wyatt (sister)
Henry Wyatt (brother)
|Spouse||Leslie Knope (wife)|
|Children||Two Boys and One Girl|
|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)
Pawnee City Manager
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. He attended Carleton College, where he had a radio show called "Zoot Suit Wyatt". After maturing, he becomes a city manager and helps cities escape bankruptcy.
In Season Two when Ben first comes to Pawnee, he and Leslie Knope do not get along. Leslie yells at him on three different occasions, 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 an 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 her 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.
Ben successfully runs a congressional campaign during the first five episodes of the season. He is offered another campaign manager job that would take him to Florida, but he turns it down to be close to Leslie.
When Ben returns to Pawnee, he proposes to Leslie and they move into a house together. Jonathan Banks and Glenne Headly guest star as Ben's parents when they appear at Ben and Leslie's engagement party.
Later, Ben turns down multiple job offers in Pawnee to join Tom Haverford's company, Rent-a-Swag, though he does try to help Tom's company by providing accounting advice.
Ben's male friends threw him a bachelor party, which consisted of beer and the board game "Settlers of Catan". Ben won, and understood that his friends found the game boring. He agreed to go with them on a series of "bachelor parties" that they never had.
Ben and Leslie had a spontaneous wedding ceremony at City Hall, attended only by their close friends.
Ben subsequently 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.
Ben loses his job at Sweetums after leslie makes a public statement criticizing the company. During his time off, he invents a complicated game called "The Cones of Dunshire".
When Chris and Ann announce their intention to leave Pawnee in order to raise their baby, Chris decides to hand over his job as City Manager to Ben. Ben had taken a job at the accounting firm that he had turned down several time previously, but he accepts the City Manager job.
In "Anniversaries", Ben enlists Jerry's help in organizing surprises for his and Leslie's first wedding anniversary one day early. These include a couple massage, a ride in a horse-drawn carriage, tango lessons and a meal. However, due to Leslie's busy schedule Ben ends up spending the day with Larry and they have a wonderful time together. Ben eventually gives Leslie a scrapbook as a memento and she surprises him with a replica of the Iron Throne from 'Game of Thrones'.
In "Flu Season 2" Leslie learns that is pregnant, and Andy finds out before Ben does, though when Ben does find out, he is happy. Ben and Leslie subsequently learn from Dr. Saperstein that they are having triplets. Ben becomes extremely tense and apprehensive about the cost of raising three children, but Leslie is able to calm him.
In the two-part season finale, "Moving Up", Ben enlists Andy's help in acquiring wireless Internet for the townspeople of Pawnee. He discovers that "The Cones of Dunshire" has become mass-marketed and is popular in gaming circles.
Ben urges Leslie to consider taking the job in Chicago but she later rejects the offer to move away from Pawnee, opting to establish the new Midwest office on the third floor of the Pawnee Department.
A time jump of three years shows that Ben and her are now parents of two boys and a girl.
- Ben in a fan of model trains, Game of Thrones (his eBay username is "Tall Tyrion Lannister",a reference to a character from the franchise), Batman (he purchased a Batman suit when he joined Donna and Tom for Treat Yo Self), Star Trek (he writes Star Trek fanfiction, and had expressed a preference for Captain Picard over Captain Kirk), Fringe, Harrison Ford, Twin Peaks, Homeland, and Star Wars (among other things).
- He did not like Peter Jackson's movie adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings
- He is a fan of the musical groups Letters to Cleo, R.E.M. and Early 90s music in general.
- His drink of choice is Point Honey Lite, though he claims that his signature drink is Miller Lite.
- His favorite food is a calzone (though this may no longer be the case after "the calzones betrayed him" in S5E12 Ann's Decision).
- He has an immense fear of police officers.
- His parents are divorced and have an extremely acrimonious relationship.
- Ben's father Steve has a girlfriend named Ulani who is much younger and whom Ben's mother dislikes. At the time of Ben and Leslie's engagement party, Steve announced that Ulani was pregnant with their daughter.
- Ben stated that the song that was played when he was sworn in as Mayor of Partridge, Minnesota was "Whoomp! (There It Is)". However, this could not have been true as the song was recorded in 1992, and he became the mayor in 1989.
- 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.
- He played Ultimate Frisbee in college, though he later referred to it as just "Ultimate".
- During a heated interview, he asked "Who hasn't had gay thoughts?"
- Ben often becomes extremely nervous and awkward when speaking into a microphone or camera (similar to his behavior around police officers), even though he's very straightforward and measured otherwise.
- He has a "thing" (i.e. fetish) for women in roller-skates.
- His favorite movie is The Box.
- Had a dog but after his parents divorced they couldn't decide who would keep it so the left it at a local synagogue. Some viewers interpreted this as an indication that Ben's family is Jewish, but this seems unlikely given Ben's surprised reaction to his realization (as an adult) that his his dog "is Jewish". It's more likely that his parents deposited the dog at whichever charitable organization would accept it.
This character has a Photo Gallery.