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Swing Vote

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"Swing Vote" is the twenty-first episode of Season 5 of the NBC television series Parks and Recreation. It originally aired on April 25, 2013 to 2.59 million viewers.


Leslie storms in Ron's office, questioning him about his latest budget cut proposal concerning the Pawnee Palms Public Putt-Putt for the Jeremy Jamm's funding to be cut, Leslie asks Councilman Milton how he's going to vote, to which he responds that he's voting for the budget cuts because he sees "kids of all races getting along there". She realizes that Councilman Jamm is the swing vote because Milton and Dexhart are voting no and she and Howser are voting yes on the issue and asks him what he's doing later that night, inviting him out to the Pawnee Palms with her.

Andy, April, Ben, and Tom are all at Paladino's celebrating a big donation they closed for the Redwood Music Program, a charity that Andy discovered. When the band starts to play, Andy realizes it's a Mouse Rat song that he wrote and that his band members are playing without him, under the name Rat Mouse. Elsewhere, Tom is pestering Ann to break up with Mona-Lisa Saperstein for him in exchange for a blanket, to which she agrees.

Back at the Pawnee Palms, Chris Traeger is acting as the caddy for Leslie and Councilman Jamm. Ron suddenly shows up in the middle of their game and asks to join in.

At Paladino's, Andy decides to confront Burly about the band playing without him. Burly explains they called him twenty times to tell him about the show and never heard back. Frustrated, Andy tells him he dropped him cell phone in a bowl of cereal the previous week and if Burly had bothered to call him, he would know that.

Meanwhile, Leslie is purposely losing the putt-putt game against Councilman Jamm to ensure he has a good time at the course and decide to not cut its funding. Ron points this out, as well as the fact that she's buying Jamm all the snowcones he wants, and accuses her of pandering for votes.

Ann approaches Mona-Lisa, telling her she used to date Tom. Mona-Lisa pulls a screwdriver out, expecting Ann to want to fight her. Instead, Ann tells her that Tom is broke and when he isn't with Mona-Lisa, he drinks tap water. Mona-Lisa runs up to Tom, breaking up with him because she doesn't "eff with poorsies", and calls Ann her new best friend, pulling her along to dance with her. Still watching Mouse Rat play, Andy announces to Ben and April that he's done with the band because he works two part-time jobs and decides to write a farewell song, which he's going to perform on stage that night.

Back at the course, Chris tells Julie, the snowcone girl, that she can go home because it's getting late. Leslie and Ron ask Jamm which way he's going to vote, to which he replies that he's still on the fence. He suggests Ron and Leslie play 9 rounds against each other, with the winner being the side he votes on. Ron wins the sudden death round against Leslie, earning Jamm's voting along with it.

Ann then comes up to Tom, demanding he get her out of this friendship with Mona-Lisa, who has given Ann a "Mona-Lisa-esque" makeover. Mona-Lisa approaches them, and Tom and Ann start making out in front of her. Mona-Lisa then says that she gets it: they want to have a threesome with her. Ann walks away disgusted and so Mona-Lisa asks a random girl sitting nearby if she wants to have a threesome, to which she agrees.

Meanwhile, back at the Parks and Recreation Department, Andy walks in wearing a suit, claiming he's an adult and a professional now. April demands that Andy call Burly and ask if they'll let him back into the band. Ron walks into his office, where Leslie and a statue of a gorilla are there to greet him. She explains that she put the gorilla in his office because his blood was on his hands. Ron explains that he lives his life according to a certain set of principles and he doesn't deviate from them.

Ann questions Tom how his threesome went, to which he explains how Mona-Lisa and the random girl she grabbed got into a fist fight in the parking lot. Mona-Lisa then broke into the girl's car, stole her birth control pills, and then sold them as ecstasy to some college kids. He tried to break up with her again, he explains, but it didn't go well. Ann asks if the cast on his hand is from her assaulting him, but he says it was a sexual injury.

Jamm strolls into Leslie's office and asks what kind of deal they can arrange for him to vote on her side. Leslie is confused, since Jamm shook Ron's hand and gave him his word, but Jamm explains that his word is garbage. He tells her to not act so shocked, reminding her she traded him her office for the swimming pool bill a few months ago. He tells her that "this is simply how people like us operate".

Leslie bursts into Ron's office, listing off six things she wants to tell him. At the end, she tells him that she respects him for sticking to his guns and not flip-flopping on his principles just to go with what she wanted. She realizes this makes her respect Ron even more, even though it means she doesn't get what she wanted. She explains she forced Jamm to keep his vote with Ron, but that she's already introduced a ballot measure to save the Pawnee Palms.

Burly is at Pawnee City Hall with Andy, who is apologizing to him for the way he's treated him. Burly explains they never wanted to kick him out of the band; he just didn't answer his phone and they really like to play. Andy asks if they'll let him back in the band and Burly agrees.

Leslie is reflecting in Ron's office how she expected being in the City Council would be like working with Ron. Ron tells her there will be a lot of people like Jeremy Jamm in politics, but that she needs to figure out if this is the path she truly wants to walk.


Leslie: Hey! What the hell is this?
Ron: I’m guessing it’s my latest budget cut proposal based on your rage sweat.
Leslie: First of all, I am rage-glowing.

Leslie: Ron is very anti-government, and he has that philosophy, but there are just certain things you don't cut. Schools, police, mini-golf, merry-go-rounds, parades, gazebo repair. Roads and bridges, whatever. Pretty gardens. Hummingbird feeders.

Ron: I believe in cutting useless government projects. I also believe in cutting useful government projects, future projects, and past projects. The Hoover Dam is a travesty.

Leslie: That putt-putt is going to be around forever and when I am done with it, it will attract more visitors than the Hoover Dam. And it'll produce double the amount of electricity.
Ron: How?
Leslie: I'll figure it out! It already has windmills. Who cares?

Leslie: Hey, what are you doing tonight?
Councilman Jamm: More like, who am I doing tonight? [laughing] No one. I'm free. What's up?

Andy: That is my band. I didn't recognize them without me because I'm the only one that matters.

Mona-Lisa Saperstein: Hey baby, can I borrow your car for a month?
Tom: I already lent you my car. Do you not know where my car is?
Mona-Lisa Saperstein: Ugh! I'm so sick of the third degree! It's like dating a cop.

Tom: Dating Mona-Lisa is awesome. Except that I live in constant fear for my life. So I guess it's time to do the mature thing and have someone dump her for me.

Leslie: I need to have Jamm fall in love with this place, so I'm rolling out the red carpet. I need you to stay upbeat and keep things light.
Chris: Absolutely! I can be a sort of...conversational lubricant.
Leslie: Yeah, there's probably a less gross way to say it, but sure.

Leslie: Councilman! Nice putter.
Councilman Jamm: Oh, thank you very much. Some fat Hawaiian guy left it in my waiting room. When he came back, I was all like, 'Oh, uh, yeah, yeah. I haven't seen it. I don't know.' [laughs] Classic!
Leslie: [awkwardly laughs] What a great and funny story.

Burly: First of all, your nachos are terrible. No one's had the guts to tell you. Why don't you melt the cheese?!

Andy: Well, I dropped my cell phone in a bowl of cereal last week, you idiot! If you'd bother to call me, you would have known that!

Chris: I have two important pieces of caddy information: Councilman Jamm leads by eight strokes and you are both about to set a course record...for friendship!

Ann: I just want to talk to woman-to-woman because I know Tom pretty well.
Mona-Lisa Saperstein: Do you know his ATM pin? Because I cannot crack that little bitch's code.

Mona-Lisa Saperstein: How did I not know that Diddy was on Instagram, you jagweeds?

April: To be perfectly honest, Mouserat's music is not my thing. I really only listen to like German death reggae and Halloween sound effects records from the 1950s. And Bette Midler. Obviously.

Andy: I need a piece of paper, a pen, I need four more beers, I need a computer fan, I need a lighting bolt of inspiration. It's song writing time!
Ben: What do you need a computer fan for?
Andy: Sometimes when you use a computer, it gets hot. And the fan cools it down.

Ann: When you're not around, Tom drinks tap water.

Chris: Guys, I'm going to let Julie go home now. It's getting late and Jeremy's eaten all the syrup.
Councilman Jamm: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Snowcone's are half the fun.
Leslie: Yeah, Julie, could you stay please?
Julie: I have calculus homework.
Leslie: Oh well, math is worthless in real life. I mean, there's an app for calculating tips. That's all you need. [leans in and whispers] Math is very important, especially for young women. Stay in school.

Ron: Why is there a gorilla guarding this gingerbread house?

Mona-Lisa Saperstein: I've been single for an hour now and it's the tits!

Andy: Well, hello fellow employees. Coworkers. I bid you adieu.
Donna: Whoa! Fancy Andy.
Andy: Oh, me? No, this is just how I dress now. Funny, goofball music Andy [blows raspberry] is gone. You're left with the professional remains. I'm an adult now, I'm going to focus on business. Which is good, it'll give me more time to play video games.

April: Call Burly and ask him if they'll let you back in.
Andy: Why, so they can steal my swan song? Ha! Joke's on them, I already forgot it.

Leslie: Your office shall serve as his monkey tomb!

Ron: Thank you for my new silverbacked friend. I like him very much. I will call him '$9000 Dollars of Taxpayer Money' the gorilla.
Leslie: That is a terrible--his name is Mr. Fuzzy Face!

Leslie: I am sorry that I said that the gorilla's blood was on your hands, 'twas Leslie that killed the beast.

Leslie: Your rigid code of honor, which drives me nuts, makes you a wonderful human being and I am proud to call you my friend and don't ever change.
Ron: Want a drink?
Leslie: Very much.

Andy: Hey, I'll even try melting the cheese on the nachos.
Burly: Alright!
Andy: It won't work. [laughing] You're going to look like such an idiot.

Leslie: I have been in the city council for almost a year and I'm proud of what I've done. But every once in a while, I end up in a situation that makes my stomach queasy.
Ron: You're in politics, what did you expect?
Leslie: Frankly, I'd hope it would be like dealing with you. People with strong opinions, hashing it out respectfully. And then you either realize that I'm right or you get hungry and go home and then I win.
Ron: There are a lot of Jeremy Jamms along the path you're walking. I suppose you just need to figure out whether it's a path you truly want to walk.
Leslie: Yeah. I'm taking that gorilla with me and putting it back in the putt-putt when it reopens.
Ron: Sorry, no. That gorilla was a gift from a very determined coworker whom I respect. And there's a certain code of honor that accompanies gift giving. Leslie: God, you're the worst.

Andy: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Mouserat's Reunion Show, featuring me, Andy Dwyer and, for the first time, Andrew "Burly" Burlinson on lead vocals. That's right! Two lead vocalists. Name one other band that's done that.
Ben: The Beatles!

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