It's hard not to love Indiana's most dedicated public servant on Parks and Recreation, Leslie Knope. She gives her heart and soul to Pawnee even when the city's terrible citizens treat her horribly for her efforts, and she always bounces back with bigger ideas and brighter energy.
Even so, we can't deny that Leslie has had many less-than-perfect moments. It would be a boring show if she didn't! Occasionally, Leslie has even been a bit of a menace. She wouldn't be Leslie if she failed to apologize for many of these moments, and she often does graciously ask for forgiveness when she messes up.
10 She Uses Her Husband's Position For Personal Endeavors
When Leslie is furious about how disreputable the chard booth at the farmer's market has become, she attempts to use her power as the city manager's wife to shut them down. When Ben tries to set boundaries between work and home business, she doesn't respect them and puts him in a tough position.
Ben had already quit a job to open the way for a relationship with Leslie, and her criticism of Sweetums led to him losing another. The least she could do is try to respect Ben's proposed boundaries for his new job and avoid putting him on the spot again.
9 She Completely Destroyed Model U.N.
To be fair, Ben helped to destroy the local high school's beloved Model U.N. in "The Treaty," an episode where he and Leslie try to be friends after breaking up and everything goes horribly, but Leslie was mostly to blame. Between scheduling photo ops at the same time of the event and not honoring the thoughts and ideas of anyone around her, Leslie became a tyrant in the worst way, leading to a failed event and a bunch of disappointed kids who no longer felt excited about the thing Leslie loves - government.
As she often does, Leslie tried to make it up to the teens later, but this episode really demonstrated Leslie tendency to lose sight of the larger picture when she's after a goal.
8 She Let Morning Star Come Between Herself And Ron
No matter Ron Swanson's behavior in the past, the curmudgeon has always had a close workplace proximity associate relationship with Leslie. Leslie's let all kinds of things slide, even when he regressed in the clutches of his exes, Tammy 1 and Tammy 2, but she refused to forgive Ron when his construction company tore down Ann's old house to put in new luxury apartments in town.
It's understandable that Leslie would be upset about Ann's house being destroyed, but she knows better than to let business come between friendships... or does she? Although it made for some very entertaining episodes, particularly "Leslie and Ron," it really demonstrated the lengths both parties are willing to go whilst holding a grudge.
7 She Acts Like Ann Is An Idiot
Leslie loves to compliment her best friend, Ann Perkins, but she also tends to underestimate her, usually under the guise of said compliments. She often remarks how Ann's prettiness is the reason why she can't be clever, which is outrageous since Ann is an educated nurse who owns her own home, brings issues to the attention of the city, and is in the business of saving lives.
Sure, she dated Andy and let him take advantage of her good nature, but who among us has not been in a bad relationship? Leslie also comments on Ann's "ambiguous ethnicity" a lot, which distresses her friend. Then she even tried to auction Ann off for a date once...! She's really not always the best of BFFs.
6 She Vetted Her Friends For An Ann Replacement
Leslie's annual Galentine's Day is such a beautiful celebration of friendship that people were inspired to have their own similar celebrations in real life. When she opted to taint that special day by making it a discreet competition for the role of her new best friend after Ann moved away with Chris, it broke the hearts of everyone.
Leslie brought a bunch of questions to ask her potential BFFs, who included women she's not really friends with like Ethel Beavers and Shawna Malwae-Tweep, and even told some of them that their answers to opinion-based questions were flat out wrong!
5 She Tried To Use Wamapoke Artifacts For Her Own Gain
Leslie will do anything to turn the pit behind Ann's house into a park, so when Lot 48 is threatened because Councilman Jamm promises it to a Paunch Burger in "Two Parties," Leslie does the unthinkable and plants a bunch of Wamapoke tribe artifacts there so they can't continue with construction.
Not only is this one of the most unethical things Leslie has ever done, but it also made her friends spend their night digging up artifacts instead of enjoying her bachelorette party. Ben had an epic bachelor party with the guys! While Leslie did apologize to Ken Hotate for her actions, it does not negate the fact she did this terrible deed.
4 She Made Her Staff Volunteer For A Telethon
Asking your employees to volunteer for a telethon is one thing, but forcing them to do it is a jerk move. It's even worse to spring it on them on the exact same day, making them lose sleep in the process. We get that Leslie is a beast who never rests but most people do.
To make matters worse, in order to improve the ratings, she demands Mark propose to Ann on live TV. It's not only a terrible thing to do to any random person, but it's a horrible thing to do to your best friend. Besides, shouldn't she know that Ann isn't that into Mark since she's her best friend in the first place?
3 She Steamrolls Her Friends
Leslie thinks she knows what's best for everyone, and while her help is often handy, sometimes it's overwhelming or even harmful. She ignored the signs April gave her about wanting a different career path, she pushed Ann into interviewing for a job she didn't even know existed, and she pressured Tom into proposing to Lucy just to have something good to celebrate in town.
Leslie also forces hugs on people who don't want them routinely, and while it's meant to be cute it's just another example of her ignoring the boundaries that her loved ones have clearly set for themselves.
2 She Made Jerry's Birthday All About Proving She Could Do Everything
All of the terrible joking about Jerry aside--which is often the main major issue fans have with the show in the first place--Leslie totally ruined his beautiful, simple birthday at home, jeopardized his health and kind of ruined everyone else's time by throwing him a last minute birthday party at Donna's family home.
Let's not forget all of the meaningless work she's given Jerry, the time she made him stand in a corner at a social event, all of the terrible things she's said about him and more. She did give him that wonderful sendoff when he became mayor but after all those years it seemed a bit late--not to mention the fact that it was a last-minute change from Tom's proposal.
1 She Sabotaged Ben's Possible Love Life Without Her
It was agony when Leslie and Ben couldn't date because he was her boss, but a choice had to be made and once it was done, Leslie should have let Ben find happiness elsewhere. Due to campaigning, she wasn't privy to just how down their separation left him, and while people like Donna and Tom attempted to cheer him up, he remained pretty lonely.
Instead of being sympathetic, which is something Leslie is usually good at, she attempted to sabotage his possible date with Shauna Malwae-Tweep. She also refused to respect Ben's plea for space and boundaries, which was completely unfair.