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The Banquet

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I enjoy government functions like I enjoy getting kicked in the nuggets with a steel toed boot.
Ron Swanson

"The Banquet" is the fifth episode of season 1 of the NBC television series Parks and Recreation. It originally aired on May 7, 2009 to 4.64 million viewers.

Storyline Edit

Leslie Knope is proud that her mother, county school system employee Marlene Griggs-Knope, is to receive a Tellenson Award during an upcoming banquet. Ann Perkins, excited to go to a social event after spending so much time taking care of her injured, freeloading boyfriend Andy Dwyer, is told by Leslie to dress very formally. Believing she is following a proud tradition of political movers and shakers, Leslie visits an old-fashioned barber, Salvatore Manfrellotti, at the Modern Barber Shop. Unbeknownst to her, Salvatore only gives men's haircuts; she is given a very short, mannish hairstyle, which she is very proud of. Leslie and Ann, who is extremely overdressed in an expensive pink dress, arrive together at the banquet, where they are mistaken for a lesbian couple by many of the attendees. Tom Haverford sucks up to Marlene during his banquet speech, while Ron Swanson sticks to a "fact-based" speech ("It is true that you have won this award.") Ron enjoys the banquet's bacon-wrapped shrimp, "my number one favorite food, wrapped around my number three favorite food".

Leslie sees Jeanine Restrepo, an influential zoning board member who could help Leslie with her plans to turn the Sullivan Street pit into a park. Marlene suggests Leslie try sucking up to Jeanine in her speech, but it comes across awkwardly when Leslie claims to "love" Jeanine. When Leslie tries to approach her later, Jeanine suggests Leslie make an appointment with her secretary. Marlene says this means Jeanine is blowing them off, and tells Leslie to blackmail Jeanine with the knowledge that her husband has a DUI offense in Illinois. Leslie shares the advice with Ann, who says she believes it is unethical and wrong; offended, Leslie accuses Ann of pampering Andy. ("He's got three crutches, and one of them is you. And the other two are crutches.") Ann subsequently leaves the event and returns home. Leslie confronts Jeanine about her husband's DUI, but when Jeanine grows angry, Leslie is unable to go through with the blackmail; Jeanine splashes water in Leslie's face, and she leaves ashamed. Leslie visits Ann and apologizes, and Ann acknowledges Leslie was partially right about Andy.

Tom goes bar-hopping with Mark, wanting to use him to pick up women. Tom wears a goofy orange hat at the bar, which he calls "peacocking", or standing out in a public setting like a peacock. Mark leaves after losing interest and returns to the banquet, but is disappointed to find that the banquet is over and Leslie is gone.


Main CastEdit

  • Amy Poehler
  • Rashida Jones
  • Paul Schneider
  • Aziz Ansari
  • Nick Offerman
  • Aubrey Plaza

Guest StarsEdit


Ron: I enjoy government functions like I enjoy getting kicked in the nuggets with a steel toed boot. But this hotel always served bacon wrapped shrimp. That's my number one favorite food wrapped around my number three favorite food. I'd go to a banquet in honor of those Somali pirates if they served bacon wrapped shrimp.

Leslie: In a town as old as Pawnee there's a lot of history in every acre. This wooded area is the site of the murder, actually, of Nathanial Bixby Mark. He was a pioneer who was killed by a tribe of Wamapoke Indians after he traded them a baby for what is now Indianapolis. They cut his face off then they made it into a dreamcatcher. And they made his legs into rainsticks. That's the great thing about Indians back then, is they used every part of the pioneer.


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