Over the course of its 7 season run, Parks and Rec (recreation) became a major hit.
What made Parks and Rec so special? Every season brought chaos and friendship and progressively, the world fell in love with the characters involved.
But who are the Parks and Rec characters, really? If we had to dive deep and assess each character’s DISC type, well... we have a few opinions on the matter.
Parks and Rec Characters
Dc: Ben Wyatt: Calculated, Straightforward, Logical
When he’s first introduced to the show, Ben Wyatt is a blunt, no-nonsense kind of person. He can find every flaw in the Parks Department and create a plan to address them. He eventually warms up to Pawnee and everyone in it, but he never loses his career aspirations, focused energy, and problem-solving skills.
“I don’t even have time to tell you how wrong you are. Actually, it’s gonna bug me if I don’t.”
D: April Ludgate: Direct, Assertive, Unemotional
Throughout the show, April is consistently herself. She frequently shares her thoughts, even when they’re rude, and seems to have little desire to build relationships with others. Despite the criticism she receives for following her own path, like when she chooses to quit Veterinary school, April remains confident in her own life and continues to do exactly what she wants.
“I love games that turn people against each other.”
Craig is a bit more complicated than the others. His volume may make you think he’s more closed-minded or judgemental than he actually is. He’s direct when communicating his needs, sure, but he also caring (sometimes) and wildly melodramatic. His tenacity, boldness, and desire to seek interest in life make him a fearless and eccentric Parks Department employee.
“I WILL BURN THIS PLACE TO THE GROUND IF YOU PICK THAT ONE!”
DI: Donna Meagle: Unapologetically herself, confident, likes new things
Though she doesn’t share this often with others at the Parks Department, Donna has an interesting, party-driven private life. She has a condo in Seattle, she travels to Venezuela spontaneously with April, and she’s spotted by other characters in clubs or at parties many times over the course of the show. Donna appreciates her friendships with others, but is ultimately an independent soul.
“If you don’t like what I post, don’t follow me.”
Id: Tom Haverford: Creative, Confident, Expressive
Tom is undeniably creative and entrepreneurial. His constant need to come up with new, innovative ideas, even if they’re not always good, makes for some laughable episodes, like when he invents a new “high-end Kahlua-style liqueur” called “Snake Juice”. His ideas also lead him to success through his business “Rent-a-Swag”, though temporary, and his restaurant “Tom’s Bistro”. Tom’s unparalleled confidence and charisma make him a dramatized, but classic, example of an Id.
“Make-A-Baby Tuxedo clothing line. A department store with a guest list. White fur earmuffs for men. Contact lenses that display text messages. Invent a phone that smells good. Own a nightclub, call it Eclipse, that’s only open for one hour two times a year. Cover charge? Five thousand dollars.”
I: Andy Dwyer: Open-Minded, Idealistic, Imaginative
Andy is a goofy, fun-loving, spontaneous adventurer whose zeal for life helps brighten the otherwise routine days of the Parks Department. He’s comfortable with risk and great at coming up with new ideas, even if they aren’t always appreciated. He thinks outside-the-box and dreams up crazy scenarios, like when he invents an alternate persona: FBI Agent Burt Macklin.
“I have no idea what I’m doing but I know I do it really, really well.”
Is: Chris Traeger: Enthusiastic, Cheerful, Uplifting
Chris Traeger is nothing if not enthusiastic. He’s open minded, confident, and reassuring. His ability to see the bright side of every situation and the unwavering encouragement he offers everyone he meets might annoy some of the other employees, but ultimately help them feel more optimistic and confident as well.
“I consider myself a caddie to everyone in my life.”
IS: Leslie Knope: Optimistic, Organized, Encouraging
Leslie is all about pursuing new ideas in hopes of bettering her community. Often, what makes the Citizens of Pawnee dislike her is her passion for doing whatever it takes to make their lives better. She’s unapologetically enthusiastic about holidays, unbelievably encouraging to her friends, and powerfully optimistic about the future. No matter how tricky the situation, her energy and generosity will fuel her to find a solution that helps everyone in the long-run.
“What I hear when I’m being yelled at is people caring really loudly at me.”
Si: Ann Perkins: Attentive, Supportive, Even-Tempered
Ann Perkins is generous, open-minded, and upbeat. She cares for Andy when he’s injured at the beginning of the show, works as a nurse even when having to split her time at the Parks Department, and helps Leslie stay calm and stable when overwhelmed throughout her many highs and lows in the show. She remains patient with most people, but recognizes when she needs to advocate for someone. Ann wants to be well-liked by everyone and consistently works to build relationships with others, like when she tries to befriend April.
“They’ve all failed, so now I’m just gonna constantly hug her.”
S: Jerry Gergich: Reserved, Conflict-Avoidant, Respectful
Jerry is the ultimate supporter. He is consistently kind and warm to everyone around him, even when they’re being cruel to him. He works hard to accomplish what others ask of him, even if the request is ridiculous and requires all of his time and energy. Jerry is so supportive and conflict avoidant that his real name is Garry－he just allows them to call him Jerry (and Larry/Terry) because he doesn’t want to cause any trouble.
“So I go by Terry now. They already had a Larry in the Parks department, and they suggested that they change my name to Terry. I told them my real name was Garry, and they said ‘who cares?’ What a fun bunch of guys.”
Sc: Gayle Gergich: Orderly, Friendly, Easy-Going
We don’t meet Gayle until Season 5 of the show, and she doesn’t appear often, but she’s frequently brought up by Jerry and other members of the Parks Department. She’s a devoted supporter of her husband and daughters, a lovely hostess for dinners and parties, and helps maintain an immaculately clean house.
Ok, I’ll admit that this is a stretch. But we can’t talk about Parks and Rec without bringing up Li'l Sebastian, who is even-tempered, consistent, and loyal to the people of Pawnee. Everyone loves him because, as a miniature horse, Li'l Sebastian has a heart of gold. Sure, he’s not technically a person, but that doesn’t make him any less of a stabilizing, peaceful presence.
“Sebastian may have been li'I, but his impact on this town and the Parks Department was anything but li'I.” - Leslie Knope
Cs: Mark Brandanawicz: Analytical, Friendly, Quiet
Mark is a pragmatic, but disillusioned worker. Though he isn’t a main character for long, we have an opportunity to see that, under his private, guarded, and, at times, standoffish demeanor, he is caring and supportive, like when he helps Leslie work toward turning The Pit into a park, even though he doesn’t really believe it will work out.
“Why does anyone want to run for public office? You're just asking to have your entire life exposed.”
C: Perd Hapley: Literal, Logical, Straightforward
Perd is very literal, logical, and organized on his show. He’s known for being very calm and collected when reporting, which lends to his somewhat awkward demeanor, as he maintains his reporter demeanor on and off the camera. He doesn’t entertain unrealistic or fantasy ideas. In fact, it’s mentioned that when Perd was younger, he was the only film critic to give E.T. one and a half stars because it was “a good story, but it's just not believable.”
"I'm Perd Hapley, and I just realized I'm not holding my microphone"
Tammy Zero, Ron’s Mom, is similar to her son in her logical, independent demeanor. A true lone-wolf, she is tough, focused, and unemotional.
“This is America, isn't it? Then I don't have to answer stupid questions while standing on my own property.”
CD: Ron Swanson: Skeptical, Stubborn, Private,
Ron Swanson is skeptical and distant. His desire for complete autonomy and privacy leads him to owning a secret cabin, a private woodworking studio, and erasing all evidence of his newborn son, in later seasons. He tries to avoid others by stationing himself in his office, but is frequently frustrated by interruptions from others. He openly shares his opinions, even when they may be hurtful to others. His logic, pragmatism, and search for total independence make him a strong counterpart to his countless enthusiastic coworkers.
“I'd wish you the best of luck but I believe luck is a concept created by the weak to explain their failures.”