Catch Up With the Parks and Recreation Characters In Time For Their Return

Before Parks and Recreation returns in a one-off special on NBC, catch up with where we left them all in the series finale back in 2015

By Lauren Piester Apr 30, 2020 8:13 PMTags
Parks and Rec, Parks and RecreationNBC

The day we never imagined coming is finally here. 

Tonight, Parks and Recreation returns for a special one-night event, featuring nearly the entire cast reprising their characters for one episode set in present times. Amy Poehler, Adam Scott, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Rashida Jones, Rob Lowe, Retta, Aziz Ansari, Jim O'Heir and more will be on our screens tonight in an episode filmed in each of their own homes, by themselves. 

You can read all about how the special came to be, but you might also want to refresh yourself on how the series originally ended in 2015, and remember where everyone is now as well as what's going to happen to them in the future, thanks to a plethora of flash forwards. 

The finale started with one last reunion in the Parks department before everyone went their separate ways, with Leslie, Ben, April, and Andy all moving to Washington D.C. while Donna headed to Seattle. Garry had become the interim mayor, and Tom was doing pretty well with Tom's Bistro, and was engaged. Craig had been left behind to run the Parks department. 

Parks and Recreation Then and Now

Flash forwards took us from 2017 to 2019 to 2022, then 2025, 2035, and even 2048, when Garry dies at age 100 and someone could be the president, if that's how we're supposed to interpret a Secret Service-looking man telling either Ben or Leslie that it was time to go. 

To find out where everybody was in the finale, see below! 

Leslie Knope

Leslie and Ben moved to Washington D.C. where she became the Deputy Director of Operations at the Department of Interior, which is her current job as of 2020. In 2025, she'll run for Governor of Indiana and win, serving two terms. By 2048, either she or Ben may or may not be the President of the United States.

Ben Wyatt

Ben ran for congress in 2018 and won, and either he or Leslie may or may not be POTUS in 2048, but we may never know. 

Ron Swanson

For now, Ron is still running the Very Good Building company and raising his family with Diane (Lucy Lawless), but in 2022, he'll resign as chairman and become superintendent of the Pawnee National Park. 

April Ludgate

April got a job in Washington D.C. at the American Service Foundation, helping people find jobs. In 2023, Janet Snakehole and Burt Macklin are still going strong, and even deciding to have children. Their first kid, Burt Snakehole Ludgate Karate Dracula Macklin Demon Jack-o-Lantern Dwyer (Jack Dwyer for short) will be born on Halloween 2023. April is pregnant again in 2025. 

Andy Dwyer

Andy followed his wife to Washington D.C., but before that, he was hosting a Johnny Karate TV show. Baby Jack's full name is his idea. 

Donna Meagle

Donna (Retta) moved to Seattle and became a successful real estate agent after marrying school teacher Joe (Keegan Michael Key), and together they take many luxurious trips. In 2023, she and April will establish a program for after school education for teachers like Joe.  

Garry/Jerry Gergich

Jerry, whose name was Garry all along, became the actual mayor of Pawnee after a stint as interim mayor. He'll remain the mayor for decades, and he'll happily celebrate his 100th birthday with his huge extended family in 2048 before dying in his sleep that night in 2048.

Tom Haverford

Tom married Lucy (Natalie Morales) and tried to franchise Tom's Bistro, but ended up losing everything because "the stock market tanked, credit dried up" and the country ran out of beef! But then he'll write two self-help books about failure and become a massive success. 

Ann Perkins

Ann decided to raise her son away from Pawnee, so she and Chris moved to Michigan before the final season of the series. They return for a Parks dept. reunion in 2025 with their son Oliver and their daughter Leslie. 

Chris Traeger

Chris moved with Ann to Michigan to work at the University of Michigan before the final season, but they return in 2025 for a reunion, where Chris announces they will be returning to Indiana where he will be Director of Admissions at Indiana University. 

Jean-Ralphio and Mona Lisa Saperstein

Jean-Ralphio was up to his usual scams in 2017, pretending to be disabled to skip the line at Six Flags. In 2022, he'll fake his death for insurance money with his sister Mona Lisa by his side, and then they will be caught immediately. 

Watch: Amy Poehler: Leslie Knope Would Be Disappointed By Our Politics

A Parks and Recreation Special airs tonight at 8:30, after a Paley Center Salute to the show at 8 p.m., on NBC. 

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