Original Illustrations Inspired by Literary Jokes on ‘Parks and Recreation’


Parks and Recreation fans know that there’s no love lost between the public servants of the Parks department and those who work for the library — they think it’s the worst place in the world. “Pawnee’s library department is the most diabolical, ruthless bunch of bureaucrats I’ve ever seen,” Leslie Knope explained back in Season 2. “They’re like a biker gang. Only instead of shotguns and crystal meth, they use political savvy and shushing.” Considering this stated animosity for “punk-ass book jockeys,” you might find it surprising that Parks and Rec is no stranger to literary humor. Click through to enjoy a slideshow of some the show’s most notable bookish moments as illustrated exclusively for Flavorwire by Sky Friedlander.

Season 4, Episode 3: “Born & Raised”

Image credit: Sky Friedlander for Flavorwire

This episode, in which Leslie authors a book on Pawnee, is understandably chock full of literary references, but this is our favorite. Manifestos?! If only we could get our hands on them.

Season 5, Episode 3: “How a Bill Becomes a Law”

Image credit: Sky Friedlander for Flavorwire

Classic Jerry. He gets his 311 information line mixed up with the 911 emergency line, and spends the episode frantically horrified as Donna casually reads Fifty Shades of Grey. Good thing Ron knows how to deliver a baby that’s coming out face up (in a “corkscrew” fashion, apparently).

Season 4, Episode 4: “Pawnee Rangers”

Image credit: Sky Friedlander for Flavorwire

Yes, Ben is referring to the HBO series Game of Thrones here, but come on! Well said! And you just know he has already read all of George R.R. Martin’s books and keeps them next to him on the couch as he watches each episode. For reference!

Season 3, Episode 14: “The Fight”

Image credit: Sky Friedlander for Flavorwire

Leslie: So I got you some energy drinks, and some chocolate-covered espresso beans, and the book Freedom by Jonathan Franzen.

Ann: Why am I reading this?

Leslie: Because I’m almost done with it, Ann! And I want to talk to you about Patty!

Season 3, Episode 3: “Time Capsule”

Image credit: Sky Friedlander for Flavorwire

Oh Donna. You make every episode ever so much brighter with your presence. Also, what are these books about beasties to which you refer? We’re intrigued.