Parks & Recreation has been absent from our screens for a few years now, but this sweet, hilarious show will probably never leave our hearts. It's almost impossible to not like the characters in this show, not least among them City Manager Chris Traeger. Played by Rob Lowe, Chris is a man obsessed with health and positivity, to the point where his incessant happiness begins to rub people the wrong way.
While Chris may mean well, it cannot be denied that in a real-world setting, he would be pretty terrible at his job and he certainly would not be able to get away with everything he does in this show. So while we still love him, here are ten reasons why Chris should probably have been fired.
10 Ben Does Everything
When Chris first arrives in Pawnee, he has former mayor Ben Wyatt with him. They have a reputation for being the best city auditors in Indiana, and yet let's look at what he actually does.
Chris will frequently promise everyone everything they've wanted, point at them, say their name, and then smile and leave. Ben then steps in and does pretty much everything else. So Chris should probably be fired for going on runs and working out instead of doing what he's paid to do.
9 Dating Ann Perkins
When they first meet, Ann is not a City Hall employee at that point, so Chris isn't breaking any rules. However, the ground gets a little rockier when Ann is hired to work for the Pawnee Health department.
This is mainly a fireable offense for the sheer hypocrisy of it all. Chris is nothing if not an adamant follower of the rules, and when Ben and Leslie are found to be dating, he launches an entire ethics hearing which puts their jobs on the line. But, when Ann joins the government (and when they start hooking up again further down the line) there's no investigation, no trial—seems a little too convenient, doesn't it?
8 Dating Jerry's Daughter
Chris' relationship with Millicent Gergich must definitely cross some kind of ethical line. For one thing, Chris has a lot more power than Jerry, so when he asks him for permission to date his daughter, it's a bit of a moot point. Jerry isn't going to say no to a man who manages the city he lives in!
Furthermore, Chris (while admittedly just his usual positive self) can't help but openly talk about how much he likes Millicent and dance with her provocatively right in front of her father, who is helpless to stop it. That's an abuse of power if there ever was one.
7 Uses His Political Connections For Personal Gain
In one really great episode, "Two Parties," all the men in the Parks department go out to celebrate Ben's engagement. At his rather subdued board game party, they all talk about how they never had a Stag Party for their respective weddings, and so they decide that each one of them should have a Stag Party that very night.
All is well and good until Andy's dream party, where Chris arranges for them to go and meet the Indianapolis Colts and play with them at their field. For someone who's supposed to be the model of ethics, this is a pretty dodgy move that in real life would be scandalous and definitely a fireable offense.
6 Forces Tom To Sell The Snakehole
In yet another act of base hypocrisy, Chris forces Tom to sell his shares in the Pawnee night club, The Snakehole Lounge. Tom's offense is that he promoted the club while on City Hall property using City Hall equipment.
This is such a double standard it should make any sane, fair person's mouth drop. And yet Chris casually forces Tom to give up the thing that gave him so much joy. The fact that Chris has never been tried for his ethics is unbelievable.
5 When He DJ'd Valentines Day
DJ-ing is a highly desirable and much sought after job (just ask Tom Haverford), and usually, someone as enthusiastic and positive as Chris would be ideal for getting people happy and dancing. Just not when he's sad. Unfortunately for Chris, he was dumped just before Valentines and so he's determined to make everyone else miserable with him by playing slow and droning music.
While firing from government completely this time may be a little unfair, he should certainly have been fired as DJ. He was literally doing the opposite of what a DJ is supposed to do.
4 He Might Be Insane
When Chris falls into the depths of depression, he gets help to bounce back from his therapist, Dr. Richard Nygard. The work the doctor does for Chris is amazing, but the man himself is curiously absent from the show.
We'd think no more of it but for a line from Leslie when she says that she thinks Dr. Nygard might just be Chris talking to himself in a mirror. And the more we think about it, the more that starts to make sense. Clearly, then, this man is not fit for office; his mental well-being is entirely dependent on an imaginary man who lives in his head!
3 He Nearly Dies When He Gets the Flu
Now, Chris can't really be fired just for getting sick, but the extent to which he gets sick must have been brought up when he was offered the job in the first place. Chris is a health fanatic and his body is a perfectly balanced temple, so anything that upsets that balance could bring everything tumbling down.
Watching Chris get the flu is one of the highlights of the entire series, but a government can't trust that much power to a man who could die every time someone sneezes near him!
2 Helping Leslie's Campaign
While the show works around Chris' involvement with Leslie's campaign by saying he's allowed to do whatever he wants as a private citizen, in the real world, this is surely some dodgy ethics again.
As a City Manager, Chris has access to almost all the Pawnee government's power; he could close the streets to block oppositional rallies or cut the power to the opposition's campaign office. He's meant to be a neutral player, but even when he's in his official duties, it's clear that his opinions and his behavior are anything but.
1 He Should Just Be A Health Coach
If it wasn't clear already, what with Ben doing all the work and Chris unable to doing anything other than the things that make him happy, Chris really shouldn't be in government. He should be a life coach or a health coach. In fact, when he and Ann have a baby, he was apparently so good as a birth coach that he was asked to help the other women on the ward!
Good taxpayer money is spent on this man who uses his office as a gym, who really should never have been in politics anyway. So hopefully, to save his souls and to stop his dodgy ethics, Chris will finally realize his true calling and leave government altogether.