I'm Screaming Over These Tiny Details In The 'Parks & Rec' Reunion Special
If you can still see through your tears after watching Leslie, Ron, Ann, and the rest of Pawnee's best residents get together to virtually lift fans' spirits, congrats. But get ready to release the waterworks all over again, because there were definitely some tiny details hidden throughout the half-hour period of heaven you definitely missed. These easter eggs from the Parks and Recreation reunion special will make you sob tears of nostalgic joy all over again.
The special, which was aired on NBC as a fundraiser for Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund, was basically a 30-minute love-fest for many of Parks and Rec's beloved characters. The episode centered around Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), who set up a phone tree among her former coworkers and current best friends to make sure everyone was staying safe and mentally well during the coronavirus pandemic. All of the main players from the beloved sitcom were there, including Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman), Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones), Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari), Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott), Chris Traeger (Rob Lowe), Andy Dwyer (Chris Pratt), April Ludgate (Aubrey Plaza), Donna Meagle (Retta) and Garry/Jerry/Larry/Terry/Barry (Jim O’Heir), and well as a ton of other characters fans came to know and love throughout the series (though Craig Middlebrooks, played by Billy Eichner, was conspicuously absent).
The co-creator of Parks and Rec and mastermind behind the reunion special, Mike Schur, knew what he was doing when he was making this thing. The storyline and character interactions were Parks and Rec at its finest: silly, uplifting, and full of heart. But while fans were busy laughing at Garry's poop-filter face or singing along to perhaps the most emotional rendition of "5000 Candles in the Wind" ever, you may have missed the more subtle moments that made the episode so perfectly nostalgic:
1. Bobby Newport's Hoodie
Seeing Paul Rudd's face at any time is a blessing, but seeing Paul Rudd's face when he's playing Bobby Newport and introducing the Parks and Rec reunion special? Iconic. It only get better once you realize what Leslie's former political opponent was wearing in the scene — a hoodie emblazoned with the Knope 2012 logo, aka merch from Leslie's campaign against Bobby to become a member of the Pawnee City Council.
2. Leslie & Ben's Wedding Photo
Of course Leslie has a picture of one of the happiest days of her life set up in what is likely one of the happiest places in her life (aka her office). I'd like to think Poehler had this framed photo in her home this whole time, and it wasn't simply shipped to her along with all the other recording equipment she received to make this episode happen.
3. The Gryzzl Calls
Though the tech company was kind of a nightmare to deal with in the final season of the show, the reunion's fictional phone tree would not have been possible without Gryzzl. All of the calls made during the episode were done via Gryzzl technology (take that, Zoom), and the attention to detail on the calls were perfection. Ron, for example, had his Gryzzl ID blocked, whereas Donna, a social media queen, was labeled Elite Gryzzl Gold. Garry, on the other hand, had negative Gryzzl points.
4. Ben's Quarantine Hobbies
Ben's mind goes to strange places when he's left without something to do, and the reunion special reminded fans of this quirk in the best way. While stuck at home in quarantine, Ben combined two of his best activities, claymation and The Cones of Dunshire, to create the nerdy mashup movie of his dreams.
5. Perd's Spirit Animal
OK, this one is a bit of a deep cut. Viewers were thrilled when Pawnee's resident bumbling news reporter, Perd Hapley, returned to screens on the special, but it was his sign-off at the end of his scene that really stole the show for superfans. When saying goodbye to Leslie and Ben, Perd told them he was going to go back and look at photos of "doggys," which is cute and totally relatable on its own. Even better — it's actually a callback to Season 5, Episode 15, when Perd revealed to Ann and Chris his sprit animal is — wait for it — "a doggy."
6. Andy's Shirt
Just when you thought you couldn't take any more adorable Parks and Rec nostalgia, they hit you with one to round it all out. Andy was already serving major throwback vibes while wearing his Johnny Karate getup, but it was after he revealed what he was had on underneath that fans really lost it. For the final scene and Li'l Sebastian serenade, Andy ditched his alter-ego's clothes to reveal an "I Met Li'l Sebastian" shirt. It was a perfect nod to the majestic beast watching over them from up in horsey heaven as they came together to comfort each other — and all the viewers at home, singing along.
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