Parks & Recreation hosts such a strong and memorable cast of talented comedic actors that most fans will have trouble singling out a favorite. Until you mention Ron Swanson, that is. The brusque, liberty loving meat enthusiast strikes a major chord with his direct, no-nonsense anti-euphemisms and conventional wisdom, while still managing to leave audiences in stitches with his trials, travails and antics.
Speaking of conventional wisdom, the Swanson family seems to be absolutely mired in it. Ron "Duke Silver" Swanson has certainly shared quite a bit of it over the course of Parks & Recreation's solid seven reason run, and that's precisely what brings Screen Rant here today. Here are ten rules that the Swanson family seems to live by. Peruse them at your leisure to see if you'd have what it takes to live life like the Swansons do. But whatever you do, don't mention anything about Duke Silver.
10 Handle Your Liquor
It's no secret that Ron Swanson can put away the drinks. His love for Lagavulin whiskey is second to none. But fans get a real look at his liver's fortitude when its put to the test during season four's second episode, Ron and Tammys. Apparently, it runs in the family.
With Ron having been wrapped around Tammy One's finger, his mother and Leslie enter into a drinking contest with the wicked witch in order to settle their differences. Leslie is thoroughly demolished, but Tammy and Mrs. Swanson continuously up the ante until Ron steps in and chugs an entire bottle of the Swanson family's famously potent mash liquor.
9 Hide Your Wealth
Although Ron would seem to be a man of modest means, he actually possesses a fairly considerable wealth - however, neither the bank nor the government would know about it. He keeps it in gold, and is pretty crafty when it comes to keeping it hidden.
He's known to keep it stashed in multiple locations, and even claims to have "decoy gold" to throw off would-be thieves. When he writes a will for his daughters, he allocates them five percent of his gold, the value of which sends Ben's jaw dropping to the floor.
8 Never Trust The Doctor
Ron is shown to have a particular distrust for doctors when he falls ill, preferring to tough it out. Ann Perkins has to practically force him to go see one when he manages to contract strep throat in season five's eighteenth episode, Animal Control.
When filling out his paperwork for the doctor, he redacts the majority of the information. And those questions he does answer are rendered in a hilariously vague and sarcastic manner. For example, when asked about his birthday, he simply answers "Springtime." In regards to his sexual history, it is, as he says, "Epic, and private."
7 Stay Off The Grid
The Swansons are obviously big fans of information privacy, something that Ron is less than shy about demonstrating. At one point, he destroys and discards his work computer when he learns that it retains information about him, and he expresses a preference for typewriters.
However, his most drastic (and hilarious) efforts are showcased during the sixth season's third episode, in which he enlists the help of Donna and Tom to help him remove himself from the grid entirely. He destroys his credit cards, finds and destroys every photo of himself that he can, and ditches his cell phone.
6 Obstruct The Government As Much As Possible
Ron Swanson is famous for his political outlook, which is hilariously at odds with his job as the head of the Parks Department. He's completely against government spending of most kinds, and believes firmly in his liberty over the limits imposed by laws that he finds extraneous.
Whether he's trying to block one of Leslie's expensive initiatives, justifying his right to slaughter and butcher a pig in a public park, or simply avoiding meetings, it can sometimes feel as if Ron puts more effort into not doing his job than he does into actually doing it.
5 Loathe Europe (And Then Learn To Love It)
There's being patriotic, and then there's being Ron Swanson. Ron regularly extols the virtues of his beloved country, and mocks virtually any other nation when they come up in conversation. Canada and France are routine targets of his criticism.
However, he does find a reason to give Europe a chance or two, courtesy of Leslie Knope. The first sign that he might come around is subtly provided when Leslie suggests he visits a nearby pub, but the best moment is provided when Leslie gifts him with a tour of the Lagavulin distillery in Scotland. Although he doesn't seem too keen to admit it, he's obviously touched by the island's beauty.
4 Be Able To Withstand An Immense Amount Of Pain
The Swansons are a tough and sturdy folk, a fact that is referenced time and time again across the entirety of the series' run. Although Ron's been hit by a school bus and shot in the foot with a nail gun as a child, nothing compares to his in-office display during season three's ninth episode.
During a meeting, Ron complains about a tooth ache, then takes matters into his own hand by pulling the tooth from his mouth with a pair of pliers for all to see, much to their shock and horror. However, he reveals afterwards that the tooth had already been pulled, and mentions that it's important to let your coworkers know that you can withstand an immense amount of pain.
3 Never Half-Ass Two Things, Whole-Ass One Thing
This is probably the most famous and universally applicable Swansonism to enter circulation. And it is most definitely one of the best. During season four, episode sixteen, Ron sits down with Leslie to convince her that she needs a break from her city council campaign.
He relates a hilarious story from his childhood, involving him screwing up because he was taking long hours at two jobs while trying to finish middle school. The idea of an eleven year old Ron holding down simultaneous jobs at a tannery and a sheet metal factory is gold, but the life lesson that it imparts is much more valuable.
2 Have A Sincere Appreciation For Breakfast Foods
Ron Swanson is a simple man. He enjoys pretty, dark-haired woman, and he loves breakfast food. Two facts that are classically expressed by a framed picture kept in his office. But his love of breakfast food absolutely cannot be understated.
Ron's even willing to brave a breakfast buffet at a strip club - if that's not the very definition of dedication, then you might have the wrong dictionary. And no one can forget him ordering "all the eggs and bacon (they) have" when he finds himself disappointed with the steak offered up to him at a diner during season three's sixth episode.
1 Possess A Deep Affection For Tiny Horses
Though really, can anyone claim to be immune to the charms of Li'l Sebastian? Still, when it comes to the gruff-natured Ron Swanson, his uncharacteristic affection for Pawnee's most treasured and beloved resident is a source of endless comedy.
He's serious about it, too. He's initially excited by the prospect of another bureaucrat biting the dust when he arrives at work to see the American flag at half-mast, but quickly asserts that half-mast is too high when he learns that it's in response to the passing of Li'l Sebastian. It is one of only two events over the course of Ron's life that have made him cry, as he later explains.