Parks and Recreation had a lot of in-your-face characters, but none of them can compare to Craig Middlebrooks. Played by the hilarious Billy Eichner, Craig is part of the Eagleton Parks Department and is the only member of that team to stay on in Pawnee.
Craig is a passionate character and he often manifests that passion in the form of overdramatic yelling. He easily could have been an extremely annoying character but is saved thanks to Eichner's performance and some hilarious one-liners. In the end, despite the volume, Craig was the kind of character we could learn a lot from. Here are some of Craig Middlebrooks' quotes to live by.
10 "That is the perfect name for you. I love it. Never change it!"
Though he rarely smiles, Craig is not shy about throwing around some very nice compliments. His delivery might sound incredibly aggressive, but it only helps to show how sincere he is with the nice things he says to his co-workers.
His very first line in the show is loud and startling praise of Donna's name. That's a very nice way to meet a new person regardless of how loud it is said. Donna is understandably taken aback but it introduces Craig as a kind yet eccentric new addition to the team.
9 "I have a medical condition all right, it's called caring too much. And it's incurable! Also I have eczema."
As shocking as Craig's personality can be at first, it does seem to help him be quite productive at his job. When Donna is getting upsold on some products, Craig is quick to jump in and set the person straight. It is helpful but Donna is again put-off by the behavior.
When Donna asks Craig if he should be on some sort of medication, he responds "I have a medical condition all right, it's called caring too much." He is passionate about his work and not about to change that for anyone. Also, he has eczema.
8 "I love my nephew very much but he's a horrible little tyrant so don't ruin this day for him!"
It's hard to imagine what Craig is like outside of the work environment. While you would think he might calm down a little once he leaves the office, it is clear that he brings that same fiery attitude to all aspects of his life, including family.
When Craig asks Andy if his band can perform at his nephew's birthday party, he explains in no uncertain terms how important this is. He has strong feelings about the little birthday boy but clearly cares enough to yell at Andy. That's a good uncle.
7 "You look like Meryl Streep at the end of Ironweed… you wish."
Given Craig's demeanor, it can be hard to know when he is giving criticism or a compliment, and they do often walk a thin line. So when Andy comes into the office distraught, he makes the comment that he looks like Meryl Streep in Ironweed, a movie in which she plays a terminally ill woman. But Craig follows up the comment by adding under his breath "You wish."
It's less a comment about how bad Andy looks and more a comment on how no one can ever compare to Meryl Streep in any way. Which is obviously very true.
6 "This is my friend Madison. She's amazing and she drove me here!"
Craig has a lot of strong opinions and he likes to express them strongly. But he also likes to express everything strongly, even pointless and mundane comments that don't really mean anything.
When introducing his new friend Madison to the group, he inexplicably throws in an aggressive comment about her driving him to the office. It makes no sense and is like he is daring someone to challenge that fact. But he proves that if you say something forcefully enough, you will certainly get your point across.
5 "I will burn this place to the ground if you pick that one!"
The Parks Department can be very professional but they can also get distracted with ridiculous and fun activities, like matching each co-worker with a dog photo that resembles them. Craig seems like he doesn't have fun ever, but he joins in and predictably gets very intense about it.
When someone chooses a small and wide-mouthed dog for Craig, he has a pretty big reaction to it. Once again, he is not someone who is afraid to share how he feels and we should all strive for that kind o honesty.
4 "I'll bring it down a thousand notches if I have to!"
It's unclear just how much Craig is aware of his huge personality. He terrifies most of the people he talks to but shows no desire to take a more laidback approach. But when Craig wants to become the wine expert at Tom's new bistro, he learns that his personality can sometimes get in the way of what he wants.
Tom suggests that if Craig is going to work with him, he's going to have to bring it down a few notches. Craig responds in his usually yelling fashion, "I'll bring it down a thousand notches if I have to!" That sort of misses the point but at least he's willing to commit.
3 "I need to go lie down for 45 minutes. No, an hour. A full hour!"
It must be tiring being Craig. He seems like he is always going in top gear no matter what the situation is. So more than most people, it's probably very important he knows his limitations and when to give himself some genuine time to relax.
After a particularly emotional moment, Craig knows exactly what he must do. Of course, he knows precisely how much relaxing time he will need before he is recharged and ready to get stressed out all over again.
2 "Somebody follow me, I'm distraught!"
Craig is a guy who likes attention and there's nothing wrong with that. He is not selfish or rude about it but he wants everyone to be a shoulder he can cry on and unload all of his problems whenever he feels like it. While most people would be subtle about wanting such things, subtlety is not in Craig's repertoire.
After making some comments about a past trauma and saying "Don't ask" before storming out of the room. Craig returns to say "Somebody follow me, I'm distraught!" He is a man who is not afraid to ask for what he wants.
1 "My name is Craig Middlebrooks and this is my debit rewards card!"
One thing you have to say about Craig, his life must never be boring. He has a way of making even the most mundane things seem more dramatic and epic than they really are. It is a talent that must bring a lot of excitement and energy to his life.
Craig puts himself out there with full gusto and presents himself with so much confidence that you can't help but stand up and take notice. Only someone like Craig could make a debit rewards card sound like the most impressive thing in the world.