Parks and Rec ran for an impressive 7 seasons. The wholesome workplace comedy won over a sizeable and dedicated fan base with its quirky characters and ridiculous subplots. The show proved that you can be an adult who irrationally hates the library and sill be a beloved icon. As incredible as the show is, there are some plotholes that never get resolved. These loose ends deserved to be tied up but never saw their day.
10 Gail and Jerry
Much like Ben, many Parks & Rec fans just don't get the happy, healthy, and apparently passionate relationship between Gayle and Jerry. There is no situation Ben won't make awkward by interrogating the couple about their marriage. It seems that no matter how much information we get on the pair and their bond, it's never enough to paint a complete picture. The show implies that Gayle is so smitten because of Jerry's anatomy. The joke lands but Gayle and Jerry's characters both deserve a real subtext and backstory. Ben and Leslie's relationship is exhaustively documented. Tom's green card marriage is delved into. We even revisit both of Ron's ex-wives in big ways. Every other couple on the show gets a full romantic story.
Season one left an annoying plot hole in the show and in Ron's office. Behind the scenes, a legal issue surrounding a prop caused producers to swap it out but this noticeable change is never addressed on the show. Ron Swanson isn't a man who embraces change. In fact, he's had several public meltdowns when things get unfamiliar. Throughout season one, Ron's office features a large poster of college basketball coach Bobby Knight. Ron makes it a point to speak very highly of the colorful coach during the season finale. It doesn't make any sense why the poster would disappear. It's replaced in the second season by a canvas of a brunette eating breakfast. There's no explanation needed as to why Ron chose that painting for his office.
8 Ann Perkins
Ann Perkins is the biggest missed opportunity over all 7 seasons of Parks and Rec. She's the catalyst for Leslie's park project and becomes her best friend and advisor. Ann is tied to every major story arc so you'd think she would get a lot of exposition from the writers. Unfortunately, Ann's character is solely defined by her relationships with men. There was even a scene in which Leslie confronts her best friend about the massive personality changes she goes through to adapt to new boyfriends. Were the writers having some self-aware fun or signaling that the choice to leave Ann underdeveloped was intentional?
7 Ron's Dark Past
There's no question that Ron Swanson is one of the most beloved characters on the show. His over-the-top machismo makes the character a fun trope of old-fashioned manliness. It's hard to think of Ron as anything other than an impervious fortress, but behind that mustache lie some pretty dark secrets. When we meet Ron's first wife Tammy, a disturbing story begins to take shape. Tammy was there when Ron was born. She was also his babysitter. She became his lover when he was just 15, and then his wife. The relationship is abusive, controlling, and deranged. No one on the show even acknowledges the horror that Ron was sexually assaulted by his childhood caregiver. Some closure to that can of ugly worms would be great. How did Ron escape? Is he coping well now? Is the entire character a subtle jab at macho facades?
6 What's Up With That?
Leslie identifies as a feminist, but she has a few really problematic behaviors that are never addressed. She frequently tells best friend Ann that she's both beautiful and brilliant but her actions tell a different story. Leslie has a nasty habit of treating Ann like she's inept. She often comes off as condescending and sarcastic to her perfectly capable pal. She tries to push her own plans onto Ann's life quite a bit too. Remember when she set up that early morning interview Leslie set up without even ask Ann if she was interested? She clearly has some boundary issues. Considering Leslie's
5 Missing Plans
City Planner Mark Brandanowitz may not have believed in Leslie's dreams, but he begrudgingly supported them. Mark's character is a huge part of the lot 48 subplot. He called in a favor to Ron to get Leslie her subcommittee. Later, when Mark decides to resign, he's emotional as he hands Leslie the plans for her park. It was a touching gesture from a friend that was sentimental and saccharine. Leslie would never forget that Mark drew them up for her. She would never misplace them. For some reason when it's finally time to choose a design for the park on lot 48 the plans Mark drew up are nowhere in sight. Where did they go? A lot of valuable time went into the creation of those plans, we deserve to know where they went.
4 The Duke
Ron Swanson's secret life as local jazz legend Duke Silver is one of the most beguiling aspects of the character. His loyal fan base would do anything for him. Ron works so hard to keep his musical side gig a secret. He couldn't bear for any of his workplace proximity associates to know. As fate would have it April was familiar with his work from her first day at the parks department. According to her, her mom owns all of Duke's albums and is a huge fan. That's not too surprising; he's got a loyal fan base that seems to span Pawnee, Eagleton and beyond. If Mrs. Ludgate was such a fan of the Duke she would have recognized him immediately. She has no reaction whatsoever and we're left to wonder what is going on. Could April have lied to cover up her own love of the sax man?
3 Name Games
There are many on-going jokes about Jerry on Parks and Rec. The character just can't catch a break. No matter how sweet and sincere he is to her coworkers, they treat him like he's the office whipping boy. Jerry is such an afterthought that no one even knows his real name. He reveals in a hearing that his legal name is Gary. He claims someone made a mistake on his first day at the office, but he was too polite to make a fuss, so Jerry stuck. It's a believable enough story given the way he's treated however there is a glaring flaw. We eventually learn that Jerry's mother refers to him as Gerald in her diary. We're going to take her word for it considering she most likely chose the name herself. Why would Jerry lie? What secret is he hiding?
2 Wasted Talent
Andy Dwyer undergoes an incredible metamorphosis over the course of the show. We meet Andy a broken man. He can't even make himself a sandwich. After falling in the pit, losing Ann, and becoming homeless, Andy turned his life around. He got in better shape, got married, and landed a sweet career. But what about the band? Mouse Rat was such a huge part of the show that it seems odd the band didn't get its own happy ending.
1 Someone Tell Ron
No one is more clear about their stance on privacy than Ron Swanson. He refuses to own a cell phone and won't tell his own coworkers where he lives. Ron takes his privacy so seriously that he even keeps his date of birth a secret. Imagine; no office birthdays! There's a huge flaw in the story given Ron's insistence on being left alone. The whole premise is that the gang are being filmed by a documentary crew. Why would a man who doesn't want anyone to know the details of his life agree to be exhaustively documented? Perhaps this is just another intentional contradiction in everyone's favorite libertarian character.