The relationship between Parks and Rec's Leslie Knope and Ben Wyatt is a treasured romance. Both worked for the Pawnee government where there's a strict no romance clause when working there. Starting a relationship could mean that they both lost their jobs. Knowing how much Leslie loved her job (and how good Ben was at his) meant that there was no way these two could be together while working for the same government. From afar, we all watched their mutual crush on each other grow over time. While Leslie was pretty good at faking her feelings for the safety of her job, Ben's facial expressions said it all. And as Parks and Recreation fans know, these two eventually got together and married.
However, although we all love the relationship between Ben Wyatt and Leslie Knope, many fans can't help but notice how much effort Ben puts into the relationship in comparison to Leslie. Does she know how good she has it or does work get 99% of her dedication while Ben gets the remaining 1%? Let's take a look at 10 times Leslie didn't deserve Ben's good heart.
10 HE QUIT HIS GOVERNMENT JOB FOR THEIR RELATIONSHIP
In "The Trial of Leslie Knope," we finally see Leslie and Ben taking their relationship to the next level: they become official. They decided their relationship and commitment to each other was worth the risk of losing their jobs and they went full throttle.
As city manager, Chris Traeger had no choice but to put these two on trial in fear they used their relationship for personal gain. Ben knew how much Leslie loved her job and the city of Pawnee, so instead of both of them losing their jobs, Ben took the blame for it all and quit so Leslie could continue her passion.
9 LESLIE DIDN'T WANT HIM TO TAKE THE JOB IN DC (AND HE ALMOST DIDN'T)
Toward the end of Leslie's campaign for city council, Ben was offered a job with competitor Jennifer Barkley to work with her in DC. As Leslie's campaign manager, bulldog Jennifer was impressed with his smarts. And though Ben was in disbelief when offered the job, Leslie looked mortified. Granted, he broke the news to her on one of the biggest nights of her life, she told him that she didn't want him moving to DC for his dreams because her dream was just beginning.
By the end of the night, Leslie eventually came around and pushed Ben to take the job in DC but it was infuriating how hungry Leslie was to have everyone and everything stay in Pawnee for her own comfortability.
8 AND THEN HE QUIT HIS GIG IN DC TO HAVE A FUTURE WITH LESLIE
After doing a kick-butt job in DC, Ben was ready to move back to Pawnee to start a future (and get a new job) with Leslie in Pawnee. Unbeknownst to him, Jennifer Barkley was ready for her and Ben to take on the next campaign (which took place in Florida).
This meant more time away from Leslie. Both he and Leslie were conflicted on what to do but Ben made the choice to quit his job (again) to move back to Pawnee and start a life with Leslie. He even proposed to her as soon as he saw her!
7 OH, AND BEN BROKE THEIR RELATIONSHIP OFF TO SUPPORT HER POLITICAL CAREER
A few weeks into Ben and Leslie's relationship, Leslie was approached about running for City Council. For her to successfully run, though, she couldn't have any skeletons in her closet. Of course, she and Ben dating was a big no-no that could have ruined her campaign. So while Leslie was freaking out in silence over what to do, Ben (once again) took the high road and broke up with Leslie so she could run for office with a clean slate.
It was a real gentleman move that made their relationship even deeper. As much as he loved Leslie, he knew her love for Pawnee was more important.
6 HE MADE HER HOMEMADE CHICKEN SOUP WHEN SHE WAS SICK
Before Ben and Leslie began dating, the two didn't get off on the right foot. Leslie was annoyed by Ben's dominating tone and didn't appreciate him trying to change how Pawnee was running. However, Pawnee needed Ben (and Chris) and he turned the city around for the better.
After becoming friendly, Leslie came down with the flu. And although she tried to fight the symptoms she still landed in the hospital. This is when Ben came over with her favorite meal from J.J.'s Diner along with some special homemade soup. Is there anything that says "I like you" more than a homemade soup for when the person is sick?
5 BEN (AND ANN) CHIPPED IN ON THE WAFFLE MAKER FROM J.J.'S DINER
Speaking of J.J.'s Diner, waffles from the Pawnee diner were Leslie's favorite. Whenever she's feeling down or happy, waffles are her go-to choice.
And knowing how much Leslie adored J.J.'s waffles, Ben decided to buy their waffle machine for one of their many anniversaries. (As we know, he and Ann decided to split it and buy it for her from both of them.) Although Leslie is known for her incredibly thoughtful gifts, getting the waffle maker for Leslie went above and beyond all expectations.
4 HE DROVE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT TO SPEND THE WEEKEND IN PAWNEE
When Ben got the job in DC, he brought April with him to help him out. April may be dry and annoyed at everything everyone does but she does do a good job when she's pressured.
While in DC, April was missing Andy and Ben was misplaced without Leslie. And although DC is around 10 hours away from Indiana, he decided to bite the bullet and take a road trip to Pawnee anyway. Leslie took a trip to DC too, of course, but Ben's spur of the moment decision shows how dedicated he was to their relationship.
3 AS HER MANAGER, SHE IGNORED HIS POLITICAL ADVICE
For some odd reason, Leslie decided to make Ann her campaign manager when she was running for the city council. Obviously, Ann was a nurse with no real passion for the government (she just really adored her BFF Leslie), so she didn't really know what she was doing. Once Ben stepped in and became her manager, he decided the best way to separate her from Bobby Newport was to create a smear campaign.
The problem with his direction is that Leslie despised smear campaigns and didn't want to do what he suggested. In the end, the two worked on a combination of smearing Bobby's name (but in a nice way?) in the campaign but Leslie fought Ben's professional advice through the end.
2 SHE STEAMEDROLLED HIM INTO BEING FRIENDS WITH HER EVEN THOUGH HE WASN'T READY
It's impossible to say who loved each other more. Despite their differences, Ben and Leslie really are a great couple. But when the two broke up so she could run a successful city council campaign, Ben wasn't sure he could be friends with her.
Leslie didn't want Ben to leave her life in any way so instead of giving him space, she planned things for them to do together as friends anyway. The Model UN episode was a great example of this. Ben clearly wasn't ready to be her friends but she ignored him until she got her way.
1 HE FOUGHT FOR HER SAFETY
In this episode of Parks And Rec, Ben and Leslie are finally dating and Ben was running her campaign for him. But once Leslie fixated on one patron who didn't like Leslie (and wasn't going to vote for her), she decided to take it in her own hands and do what she could to get him to life her.
Her buddy-buddy plan didn't work, however, and he ended up calling her some dirty names. To protect her name, Ben actually hit the guy in the face which totally could have ruined his career (again), but did he listen? No. He fought for her honor and still got the girl