Let April From ‘Parks And Rec’ Show You How To Be A Loveable Cynic

Easily the greatest ensemble cast on television in the past decade (with apologies to 30 Rock), Parks and Recreation won viewers hearts with its diverse array of quirky characters. One of the key reasons that the series connected with viewers was because its leads were more than just archetypes of optimists (Leslie Knope, Chris Traeger), doers (Ben Wyatt, Donna Meagle), lovable goofballs (Andy Dwyer, Tom Haverford), and so on, but were actually fully realized individuals who were given the chance to grow during the show’s run. The character who did the most growing during Parks’ seven seasons was Aubrey Plaza’s April Ludgate. Originally a world-weary cynic driven only by laziness, the acerbic April eventually softened a bit to become a devoted wife to Andy. April also eventually found her calling by helping people find their perfect vocation working for the American Service Foundation, but she was still caustic to the end. As such a biting character, it’s no surprise that April gets a lot of Parks and Rec‘s best lines. With that in mind let’s take a look at April Ludgate’s most sarcastic and/or world-hating quotes.

“Yes, I am very powerful and feared by many.”

She may have said this to a representative from a Venezuelan Parks department in the episode “Sister City” in an effort to be sarcastic, but this line is most definitely not a lie. (As evidenced by this clip). The lesson here: April is not to be trifled with.

“The air is too fresh. It’s disgusting. I can’t breathe.”

As someone who would like the outdoors so much better if it were, say, indoors, this particular quote hits uncomfortably close to home.

“I think I may have found a project I’d actually enjoy doing. Helping these cats and dogs. They should be rewarded for not being people. I hate people.”

April is a charming misanthrope, but it’s thanks to the performance of Aubrey Plaza (whom the character was created for) that April becomes much more layered than just another lovable grump. And yes, the same line of thinking applies to Nick Offerman’s Ron Swanson.

“I’ve never used a phone in my life.”

Commitment is a virtue, even when it’s a commitment to ceaseless rudeness.

“I wanted to make fun of stupid people while I get drunk. My two true passions.”

Not a mere TV character, an icon whose words feel at once familiar and in line with our own internal fantasies and revelatory. Can we dream of such basic and magical things? Yes, we apparently can.

“Time is money. Money is power. Power is pizza. Pizza is knowledge. Let’s go.” 

First, this makes a lot of sense. Who’s the most popular and thus powerful person at a party? The one who brought the pizza. What gives the mutant turtle ninjas who are also teenaged the power they need to battle The Foot? Pizza. So… sorry that the heavy logic I just put into your arms made your knees buckle.

Secondly, this quote literally motivated me to finish this post. I don’t care what the finale showed. April is a motivational speaker in my fantasies about the Pawnee crew’s post-show life.

“I will kill you slowly with a giant syringe.”

As the above super-cut adeptly reinforces, April was no fan of Ann Perkins. (Or, as she sometimes refers to her as, “Man Perkins.”). However, the pair eventually sang Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” together and all was well…ish. Still, there is much we can all learn from P-Rec. Maybe the diplomatic corps should try this strategy. Just get… whoever the opposing world leader of the moment is into a classy airport hotel bar and start playing a little Lauper. Some “She-Bop”, “Time After Time”, whatever. See what happens. Maybe a slight violation of the Geneva Convention. Maybe peace in our time.

“Is this going to be one of those cool bachelorette parties where things get out of control and we murder someone and then we all have to take a blood oath to never reveal our secret?”

One gets the impression that a young April Ludgate was raised on a steady diet of Tim Burton and Giallo films…with perhaps the occasional episode of The Get Along Gang thrown in for good measure. That might explain her authority issues.

“Looks like the only other day he has open is Marchtember oneteenth. Does that work, sir?”

Admit it, April and Ron have the working relationship you wished you had in your life. There’s no shame in wanting to try to change/destroy the system from within. So have fun at your job, April would want it that way!

“I’m an eyebrow girl. I want to make out with him and chew his eyebrows off.”

To close out this list, let’s look at the softer (yet still as strange) side of April Ludgate. In Andy, she found a soulmate who is the wacky yin to her world-weary yang. They shouldn’t work together, and the fact they hooked up on the show in a way that felt natural instead of being a contrivance plays to the strength of the writing staff. That said, did anyone truly buy the Ann/Chris romance? Discuss.