Marlene Griggs-Knope (born March 5, 1953) is the mother of Leslie Knope and a long-time fixture in the local politics of Pawnee. Marlene is widely regarded as unsympathetic and is known (fondly, according to her daughter) as "the Iron Cock-Shredder of Pawnee," a nickname given to her in 1994 by Ron Swanson.   [1]


Season OneEdit

In "The Banquet," she gave Leslie advice on how to blackmail the head of the zoning board. She received a Tellenson Award for Pawnee Public Service in the same episode.

Season TwoEdit

In "Galentine's Day", Leslie attempts to set Marlene up with Frank Beckerson, the lifeguard who saved her life back in 1968 when she was drowning. They had an affair for two weeks before never seeing each other again because her parents objected. At first, Marlene is excited to see Frank, but after he announces he got a job at a grocery store right out of college and he is completely unemployed currently, she isn't as interested. He suggests they pick up where they left off, but Marlene rejects him.

Season ThreeEdit

In "The Bubble", Ben Wyatt has a meeting with Marlene and he asks Leslie if they're related. She denies this, but later tells him how tough his mother is. Ben goes into the meeting with Marlene a nervous wreck, and immediately says yes to her request for four new school buses. Later, Leslie is disappointed to her hear mother call him a "spineless jellyfish". Ben receives another request from the Education Department, but this time for even more buses than originally asked for. Leslie teaches Ben about things her mother likes and also how to be tougher with her. In their meeting together, Marlene makes a pass at Ben, not knowing that he was dating Leslie. They later go into her office together and tell her that they're dating. Ben says that since he knows it could get Leslie fired, he trusts Marlene won't tell anybody. Marlene immediately bursts out laughing and tells them "that's hilarious". She tells Ben she'll take 4 buses, but Ben counters with 2, and she accepts. She tells Leslie after Ben leaves the room, "I like this one".


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