Chris Traeger is literally the most positive person in television history, with a never-ending dialogue of words and phrases to live by no matter what life throws in the way.
Even when the world seems to have conspired against him and despair begins to overwhelm his days, Chris finds a way to spin the situation around, even if it is at his own expense. A man that always knows what to say to make himself or those in his orbit feel better, every one of his quotes is perfect but here are 10 of the best.
10 “If I keep my body moving and my mind occupied at all times, I will avoid falling into a bottomless pit of despair.”
Chris Traeger has an answer for everything, and that answer is always health and exercise. Be it a ten-mile run, a deep mediation or excessive consumption of vitamins, taking care of his body will keep even the darkest of thoughts at bay.
This quote sums up everyone’s favorite city manager because while it has a tragic undertone that cannot be ignored, it does give insight into his mindset that there is no problem that cannot be solved without a path towards constant self-improvement.
9 “I am 100% certain that I am 0% sure of what I’m going to do.”
These simple words perfectly encapsulate a feeling that every human being has felt at some point in their lives. The feeling of being utterly unable to decide on the correct course of action can take hold at any moment and completely derail the course of a day.
Of course, Chris somehow finds a way to create some positive energy by flipping the maths and proclaiming that while he may not be sure what to do, he is completely sure that he is correct about that. Only Chris Traeger can turn 0% into 100% without actually changing anything.
8 “If I had to have anybody tell me that I had cancer, I would want it to be me.”
There may be no better quote in the Parks and Recreation canon that showcases both Chris’ confidence in himself and love for others in a single sentence.
Firstly, he has so impressed himself with his skill level at relaying bad news that he can think of no one better for the job should he ever need the same done for him. But secondly, and perhaps more importantly, he would not want someone else to carry the burden of delivering bad news so he feels it would be best to just do it himself. Classic Chris.
7 “The world is my gymnasium, Ron!”
Ron Swanson, unimpressed by all (with the possible exception of April) but particularly unimpressed with the cheery attitude of Chris Traeger, makes a fairly reasonable point when he discovers Chris hanging upside down from a door frame. His question of if there is a gymnasium nearby that could accommodate his fitness regime is quite legitimate.
Chris’ response is as inspiring as it is simple. Chris looks upon the world not as a chore, but as a playground for him to constantly better himself and his health, with every inch of it able to be used in the pursuit of excellence. Every door frame is a step on the path to self-improvement. Words to live by.
6 “There is literally nothing in this world that you cannot do.”
Perhaps the most straightforward Chris Traeger quote in the whole series, this would surely sit somewhere in his yearbook or even on his bathroom mirror to be reinforced daily.
The absolute beauty of Chris is that he doesn’t need to say these words often, his actions live them out and inspire others to believe in their meaning every day. What matters the most is that he truly believes it, no matter who he is speaking to. Everyone in this world can achieve anything they want to. Period.
5 “I consider myself a caddie to everyone in my life.”
No one wants to be the caddie, they want to be the golfer that claims the glory when that final putt sinks. Chris Traeger thinks that is all nonsense though, he knows what is truly important in life, either on or off the golf course.
Someone to lean on, to offer advice and to always be there no matter how bad the situation gets. And sometimes, to wear silly outfits. The fact that Chris realizes that the people who truly matter are those that help from the shadows and ask nothing in return shows why he is the greatest of friends anyone could have, fictional or otherwise.
4 “How we deal with tragedy defines who we are.”
Relentlessly positive, it can be easy to forget that Chris Traeger understands what it feels like when things don’t go your way. In moments like these, he often offers advice that cuts through false platitudes and quite literally sets the listener on a path of healing.
When Andy fails his entrance exam for the police force, Chris hits him with this nugget of worldly wisdom that succinctly explains why the experience will only make him stronger. Chris would have been there for Andy in success or failure, and it was how he dealt with his friend’s tragedy that defines who he is as a person.
3 “I have run 10 miles a day, every day, for 18 years. That’s 65 thousand miles. A third of the way to the moon. My goal is to run to the moon.”
Who else but Chris Traeger can genuinely claim that their goal is to run the moon? The most beautiful thing about this is that while he cannot physically run to the moon, it is the perfect metaphor for the way he lives his life.
He does not place limitations on his path, he knows he can achieve anything and will do all he can to cultivate happiness and success. He is aiming for the moon and won’t let anything get in his way. The pure numbers here also reveal a strict self-discipline that few, if any, could claim to match.
2 “If Tom were a bag of flour, that flour would never grow up to be a happy, well-adjusted loaf of bread. Much less a bran muffin, which is the highest honor flour can achieve.”
Not many hypothetical situations that start out by referring to someone as a bag of flour end up being overly complimentary. Not only is that where this quote lands, but it somehow goes even further.
Chris is confident that his good friend Tom will not only go on to be a happy and confident person, but he will be the best of the best. Without having to say it, we all know that this is what Chris believes to be true of every single person in the Parks Department. Except perhaps Jerry.
1 “As city manager, I play no favorites, but as a private citizen, I’m free to support whomever I choose. And I support Team Knope, because they’re the best! Everybody’s the best. We’re all winners.”
Chris once hauled Leslie over the administrative coals in a move that many didn’t like, but all had to admit was admirable given he was willing to do his job no matter what personal conflicts may arise. This quote shows that while his job is important, nothing is more important than his friends and family.
Always wearing his heart on his sleeve, Chris will follow whoever he loves into battle safe in the knowledge that, no matter the result, he is on the winning team. Not only does he have one of the healthiest bodies on the planet, he has the healthiest attitude as well.