Christopher "Chris" Traeger is a main character in the third fourth fifth and sixth seasons and a guest star in the second and sixth seasons. Chris Traeger is very cheerful and energetic, usually leaving the hard truths to Ben Wyatt.
Parks and Recreation co-star Adam Scott described the character as, "It's like Sam Seaborn, just on speed and less smart," a reference to the character Sam Seaborn that Rob Lowe played on the TV series The West Wing.
As a baby, Chris Traeger was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder and was only supposed to live for 3 weeks, but he survived and is therefore always an optimistic person. He frequently compares his body to a microchip, saying that "a grain of sand could destroy it." He has 2.8% body fat. He believes he will be the first person to live to 150. It is also known that his parents separated (through death or divorce) and at least one remarried at some point as he mentioned he has a step brother who lives in London. His mother lives in Wisconsin. He also commonly refers to people by their first and last name. (Ex: Chris Traeger commonly calls Ann Perkins by her full name, even while dating.)
Chris Traeger is an auditor, sent by the Indiana state government in Indianapolis, who comes in to Pawnee to review the town's funds at the end of the second season along with his partner Ben Wyatt. He seems constantly at pains to remain cheerful and optimistic, frequently attempting to avoid harsh truths, and engaging in the somewhat peculiar practice of saying "hello" and "goodbye" to people by pointing at them and saying their full names, as if to reassure them that he remembers who they are. He also seems rather preoccupied with maintaining his physical fitness, taking large amounts of dietary supplements and running ten miles every day. He states that he believes he could possibly be the first human being to live to 150 years old, and that his heart could pump jet fuel. During April Ludgate's 21st birthday party, a drunken Ann Perkins kisses him, he then makes an attempt to ask her out later on, but she declines as she is trying to avoid relationships following her breakup with Mark Brendanawicz.
Following the reopening of the Pawnee government, Chris Traeger goes on a date with Ann Perkins, who is told to do so by Leslie Knope so she can convince him to give more funds to the parks department. When Ann Perkins asks him why he's so positive all the time, he says that he was born with a blood disorder and had three weeks to live, so he feels happy to still be alive many years later, a revelation that leads Ann Perkins to grow more attracted to him. He is upset when Leslie Knope accidentally reveals the motive behind the date, but Ann Perkins makes it up to him by asking him on another date. He is later shown to be moved to tears by the Pawnee Harvest Festival proposal.
Ann Perkins is annoyed that Chris Traeger seems too perfect, but when he is struck with the flu, he seems to have a complete breakdown, much to her delight. As Chris Traeger is set to go back to Indianapolis soon, Ann Perkins has doubts if he wants to the relationship to continue, especially when he asks April Ludgate to come with him as his assistant. Ann Perkins finally gets Chris Traeger to talk about the future of their relationship one night, where Chris Traeger breaks up with her, without Ann realizing it. In "Indianapolis", Ann Perkins is worried that Chris Traeger is cheating on her and confronts him, but learns that Chris Traeger already broke up with her, and she didn't realize it because of how optimistic he was at the time.
Chris Traeger returns to Pawnee in "Camping" as the interim city manager, following Paul Iaresco's massive heart attack. He enthusiastically encourages Leslie Knope to come up with more great ideas, and tries to rekindle his friendship with Ann Perkins - however, once again due to his overwhelming positivity, she mistakenly thinks he wants to start dating again.
In "Ron and Tammys", Chris Traeger helps Ann Perkins shoot a health-related PSA. His determination to make it perfect, filming take after take, reminds Ann Perkins of some of her reasons not to date him.
In "Pawnee Rangers", Chris meets Jerry Gergich's daughter Millicent Gergich (Sarah Wright). The two start dating and Chris Traeger makes sure that it is okay with Jerry Gergich. Jerry Gergich says that he is fine with the two of them dating, much to Chris Traeger's delight. Chris Traeger and Millicent Gergich go together to April Ludgate and Andy Dwyer's Halloween party, with Chris Traeger dressing as Sherlock Holmes, his favorite character. After Chris Traeger starts to lose contact with Millicent Gergich, he enlists Donna Meagle, Ann Perkins and a reluctant Jerry Gergich to help him. Ann Perkins tells him that he is too accessible and needs to back off a little bit. In "Bowling for Votes, Millicent Gergich terminates the relationship, leaving him depressed.
In "Operation Ann, Leslie Knope convinces Chris Traeger that he is still a likeable person and that he should disregard Millicent Gergich's opinion. This appears to cheer Chris Traeger, however in "Dave Returns", Chris Traeger discovers Tom Haverford's relationship with Ann Perkins and has a moment of self-realisation when he confronts Tom Haverford about it. In the same episode, when Andy Dwyer asks Chris Traeger to sing for him (since he is working as a backing vocalist on Andy Dwyer's campaign song for the campaign), he sings "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" out of tune and with the wrong lyrics, causing everyone else there to wince.
In season five, Chris Traeger still working as Pawnee's City Manager. His depression is kept at bay through frequent sessions with a therapist, Dr. Richard Nygard.
Ann Perkins asks Chris Traeger to be the father of her child via in vitro fertilization. He is hesitant at first and turns to Ben Wyatt and others to help him make a decision. After "Bailout", he tells Ann Perkins that he will be the father and the two begin parenting compatibility testing to see how well they will work together with raising a child. During "Jerry's Retirement", they resume a romantic relationship after doing the nasty, but Ann Perkins is not sure if they should continue their relationship the way they are now.
In season six, Ann Perkins and Chris Traeger are excited about the prospect of being parents. They go to see Dr. Saperstein, who is Jean-Ralphio Saperstein and Mona Lisa Saperstien's father, for an ultrasound and he gives them a piece of paper bearing the sex of their child. The suspense gets to them, and they open it. However, they are unable to read it. Dr. Saperstein arranges another appointment and reveals that they are having a boy.
Ann Perkins and Chris Traeger make the decision to leave Pawnee in order to raise their child in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Chris Traeger decides to hand over his job as City Manager to Ben Wyatt.
In 'Ann and Chris', a going away party is thrown for them, incorporating all of the main public holidays throughout the year. Chris Traeger has prepared thoughtful, personalized gifts for all of the men in the Parks Department, which leaves them feeling guilty. At the end of the episode, Ann Perkins and Chris Traeger bid a tearful farewell to their friends and leave for Michigan.
in "Galentine's Day", Ann Perkins gives birth to their son, Oliver Perkins Traeger. Ann Perkins states that Chris Traeger was such a good birthing coach that the nurses have asked him to assist with another birth that is taking place in the hospital.
Season 7 Edit
Ann Perkins and Chris Traeger return to Pawnee in 2025 for a parks-crew reunion, along with Oliver Perkins Traeger and a new daughter, Leslie Perkins Traeger. Ann Perkins and Leslie Knope express a desire that Oliver Perkins Traeger and Leslie Knope's daughter Sonia Knope Wyatt fall in love.
Chris Traeger has a Photo Gallery.