Parks & Recreation: 10 Hidden Details About The Series Finale Only True Fans Noticed

Parks and Recreation is one of the most beloved shows in recent memory. The comedy explored the lives and misadventures of the employees inside the Parks Department of the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana. Led by the eternally optimistic and hard-working Leslie Knope, the show ran for seven seasons before ending with an acclaimed finale.

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The last episode, entitled "One Last Ride," was a perfect example of everything that made the show so special. It was funny, sweet, smart and gave all its wonderful characters their time to shine. While most fans were satisfied with how things ended, the die-hard fans might have found even more to love. Here are some hidden details from the Parks and Recreation finale only true fans noticed.

10 Slide Man

The show kicked off with Leslie bringing the department together to clean up a vacant lot in Pawnee. It makes sense that the final episode saw the team coming together to perform one more clean up in their beloved town. And there is a special individual who kicks things in motion.

In the pilot episode of the show, Jon Daly plays a drunk man who is stuck inside the tube slide at one of the park playgrounds. Daly returns in the finale as the man who asks the parks team to fix a swing in a local park. It looks like the drunk slide man got his act together and cleaned up nicely.

9 Star-Lord

Chris Pratt found his breakout role as Andy Dwyer on the show. Though Andy was initially meant to be a small role in the first season, Pratt's performance turned him into one of the main characters. As the show went on, Pratt became a massive star thanks to Guardians of the Galaxy and the finale nods to his newfound stardom.

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In one of the episode's flashforwards, Andy answers the door for trick-or-treaters on Halloween. For a brief moment, you can see one of the kids dressed up as Star-Lord, Pratt's character from the MCU.

8 Jack

Chris Pratt Aubrey Plaza

Though April and Andy are not the most responsible people in the world, they do seem like a loving and caring couple. So it's not too surprising that the finale includes a storyline about them becoming parents. The flashforward reveals their decision to have a child who is born on Halloween.

Though having a child does seem to make them a little more responsible, they are still April and Andy. When naming their son, April wants a Halloween-themed name and Andy suggests Burt Snakehole Ludgate Karate Dracula Macklin Demon Jack-o-Lantern Dwyer — Jack for sort. In reality, Jack is the name of Pratt's real-life son.

7 Leap Year

Despite being a happy and friendly guy who always tried to help out the team, Jerry was often mistreated by everyone else in the show — although he never seemed to mind. But it was nice to see he lived a long and happy life.

The finale shows in flashforwards that Jerry served a long career as mayor of Pawnee before dying on his 100th birthday in the year 2048. Appropriately, that year is a leap year and Jerry is a leap year baby so he would indeed be celebrating his birthday that year.

6 Tombstone

It is true that Jerry did live a long and happy life in the end and that is readily apparent with his tombstone. At his funeral, the tombstone shows just what kind of a person Jerry was and all that he did with his life. It reads "Beloved mayor, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, notary, citizen."

Of course, the show can't help but get one last dig in by misspelling his last name, as Ben points out. This is a nod to the fact that his real name is Gary but people had mistakenly been calling him Jerry for years.

5 Jean-Ralphio

Jean-Ralphio is one of the most entertaining side characters on the show and he deservedly gets a moment to shine in the last episode. Though he seems to bounce from woman to woman constantly, he finally confesses his love for Leslie to which she is indifferent to.

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Oddly enough, actor Ben Schwartz was originally up for the role of Dave Sanderson (played by Louis CK) who would indeed become a love interest for Leslie Knope.

4 Mouse Rat

Not only did Parks and Rec provide us with heartwarming moments and great laughs for seven seasons, but it also gave us a few very memorable songs. Luckily, the finale gave us one last chance to listen to some of the classics written by Andy's band Mouse Rat.

During one of the flashforwards, Leslie and Ben return to Pawnee and reunite in their old department with their old friends. As everyone catches up and shares plans for the future, we can hear the songs "The Pit" and "5000 Candles in the Wind" playing in the background.

3 Canoe

One of the most satisfying aspects of the final episode is how it takes the time to give all the characters we've come to love their own happy endings. While a perfect happy ending can be annoying in some cases, it's hard to complain about this one. And perhaps the most satisfying ending goes to Ron.

RELATED: Parks & Rec: Ron Swanson’s 10 Most Badass Quotes

After leaving behind his business, Leslie gives Ron his dream job as managing Pawnee's national park. We see Ron enjoying the new position as he paddles a beautiful canoe out on the lake. As proof Nick Offerman is just like Ron Swanson, the actor made that canoe himself.


Leslie and Ben have both had incredibly successful political careers which only seem to get more impressive as the series goes on. Unsurprisingly, the finale indicates one of them has reached the highest political office possible and been elected president.

The show doesn't quite reveal which one of them is actually president in the future and the showrunners confirmed that was intentional. They laid hints that could point to either one of them taking the position but decided it was better kept ambiguous.

1 Harris Wittels

Leslie Chris Harris and Brett on Parks and Rec Animal Control

While the show was filled with happy goodbyes to these beloved characters, it also took some time to honor an important member of the Parks team who had passed away. Harris Wittels was a comedian and writer who worked extensively on the show and appeared several times as one of the animal control officers.

Sadly, Wittel died days before the final episode aired. The finale was dedicated to his memory and the final frame of the episode includes a message that reads "We love you, Harris."

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