Parks and Rec's Ron Swanson is a simple man with few demands. He likes meat, woodworking, and women. He enjoys getting away from society for a few days at his cabin in the woods and thinks the modern-day way of living is pathetic — just look how he treats Tom.
However, for a man who despises the government, it's rather strange that he works for them as the Director of the Pawnee Parks and Rec. Department. Then again, as a libertarian, it was Ron's goal to make sure sure the taxpayers were getting as much as they could out of their civic duty.
Throughout seven seasons, we've seen Ron sit back and watch his department run through the thick of it without so much as batting an eye. Leslie totally does a majority of the work without Ron even knowing what's going on half the time. And although we love how honest and raw Ron is, he sure has had his horrible moments. Here are 10 of them.
10 TELLS APRIL TO AVOID SETTING UP ANY KIND OF MEETING
We all know Ron adores working with April because she's dry, sarcastic, and hates everything Ron hates. He doesn't ask for much, but he does want April to take care of his phone calls so that he doesn't need to come into contact with the outside world.
In "94 Meetings," however, Ron is bewildered when he literally has 94 meetings in one day. April scheduled all meetings for March 31st because she didn't know it was a real day, and instead of Ron rolling with it, he scolds April for, you know, doing her job. Seeing how he treats April after one mistake was pretty telling — especially when meeting with the town's people is part of his job.
9 WAS HAPPY WHEN THE GOVERNMENT SHUT DOWN
It's not until Chris and Ben came into town that we realize how broke Pawnee really was. Leslie may have spent all night planning a budget proposal, but it was too late. The former City Manager decided to have a government shutdown so that they could have a better grasp on how to turn Pawnee's debt around. This news, of course, broke Leslie's heart and she went into meltdown. Ron, on the other hand, couldn't help but smile, even though this affected the town he ran and lived in — not to mention the people he worked with.
8 ...AND WAS HAPPY WHEN HE HAD TO FIRE PEOPLE FROM HIS DEPARTMENT
The Pawnee government was slowly finding its way back to opening with a solid financial plan. But after joining a budget meeting, Pawnee's Parks and Rec. Department realized they had to cut their budget by 32%. That meant firing someone and making other cuts to a department that already had so little.
While every government worker seemed devastated by the news, Ron was sitting there laughing about it. While this scene is funny for viewers, when you really think about it, it's pretty sinister coming from the Park's director.
7 HURT DIANE'S GIRLS BY RUINING THEIR HALLOWEEN
It doesn't take much time to realize that Ron likes his alone time. But that all changes when he meets his future wife, Diane. Diane came with a packaged deal; she had two young girls who didn't have a father figure in their life. If Ron and Diane were going to work, he would have to step in and be there for her kids. No matter how much he loves his alone time.
When he and Diane first begin dating, she invites Ron and Andy to join them on their Halloween route. When Diane has to leave trick-or-treating early, Ron is now in charge and ends up spoiling the night by breaking one of the girl's tiaras. This led to a crying match and one upset mama.
6 WHEN HE SCARED A STUDENT FROM RESPECTING THE GOVERNMENT
With Leslie, Ben, Ann, and Chris on a road trip, and the rest of a gang playing "Know Your Boo" with Tom, Ron is left alone in the office. When a young girl named Lauren enters the office hoping to speak to a government employee, she's stuck with Ron.
Ron uses this time to teach the young girl that the government is greedy and is going to take advantage of her hardworking money for the rest of her life. When it was time to write a report on why the government matters, she simply wrote "It doesn't." Ron loved her response but her mother, on the other hand, was very upset over Ron's blunt delivery.
5 HE DATED TOM'S EX-WIFE
To be fair, Wendy and Tom's marriage may have been legal but it definitely wasn't filled with love, trust, and devotion. It was a green-card marriage done to keep Wendy in the country instead of being deported back to Canada. Once her divorce to Tom was finalized, Tom had a really hard time because he silently loved being married to a hot doctor. But when she hit on Ron at a party, Ron took that as a green light that it was okay to date her, not even thinking if it would upset Tom or not. Even though their marriage wasn't "real," Ron should have checked with Tom before solidifying a relationship with her.
4 HE EXPLOITS HIS HARDEST WORKER
Although Ron is Leslie's boss, Leslie definitely does a majority of the work. In fact, she doesn't even need a boss. She doesn't even go to Ron half the time when she's implementing something; she just takes charge because she knows Ron is going to back her on the decision.
He even said it himself that "Leslie does 95% of the work."Although he's an extreme libertarian, Leslie does all of the work and Ron looks like a genius for having such a fair-running department. And let's not get into his prank about being nominated for Woman of the Year over Leslie...
3 GIVING THE LOT TO THE LIBRARY BECAUSE HE WAS SLEEPING WITH TAMMY 2
In the episode "Ron and Tammy," we come head-to-head with the raw and gross relationship between Ron and his second wife, Tammy 2. In this episode, both Leslie and Tammy 2 are going after the rights to the pit. Tammy 2 worked for the library department and believed the pit would make a fantastic library for Pawnee. Ron, of course, sided with Leslie but Tammy 2 comes out of the woodwork and starts putting the moves on Ron. And almost overnight, Ron decides to give the library department the rights to the abandoned lot. Thankfully, Leslie breaks up this raunchy relationship and kicks the library department to the curb. But it was still twisted of Ron to give the lot to Tammy 2 just because he was sleeping with her.
2 TAKING THE FUN FROM THE PAWNEE RANGERS
In the episode "Pawnee Rangers," we see Ron come alive as he leads a group of young boys (the Rangers) into the woods for a "boys only" weekend. Leslie, of course, was upset with the fact that the group wasn't inclusive, so she made her own "girls only" group called the Pawnee Goddesses.
In the episode, we eventually see a young boy wanting to leave the Pawnee Rangers in hopes of joining the Pawnee Goddesses because the Rangers weren't as fun. Ron was annoyed that a boy would rather do "girly" things with the Goddesses and didn't change many of his tactics. By the end of the episode, most of the Rangers left to join the Goddesses, leaving Ron hurt and upset. But if he just listened and respected the young boys he was leading, that wouldn't have happened.
1 RON DOESN'T OPENLY PICK ON JERRY BUT HE DOESN'T UTILIZE HIS TALENTS EITHER
Ron has to be the only Parks and Rec. employee who doesn't openly pick on Jerry. Ron makes sly comments about him, of course, but they're always behind his back. In a way, this makes his behavior almost crueler because Jerry feels like he has a friend in Ron. In reality, Ron feels the same way as the rest of the department; he just chooses not to say anything until the moment strikes. And though Ron's remarks weren't the most hurtful in the group, they certainly don't help, as he's the man in charge.