10 essential Parks and Rec episodes to watch when you’re missing Pawnee

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Season 5, Episode 14: “Leslie and Ben”

Leslie’s relationship with Ben is one of the focal points of Parks and Rec, a love rivaled by only April’s relationship with Andy. Leslie and Ben start off as work enemies, with Ben coming in as a state auditor inspecting the usage of the town’s funds—and severely implying that the Parks Department isn’t the best use of Pawnee’s money.

As Ben spends more time with Leslie and her coworkers, however, he begins to warm to the Parks Department and the city of Pawnee. Fans begin to see him as a likable character, and Leslie starts to view him as a potential love interest. The feeling is mutual, though their jobs threaten to get in the way, so they keep their relationship a secret.

Even with the hurdles that stand in the way of their relationship, Ben and Leslie manage to make it work. They even turn gender norms around, with Ben agreeing to forfeit his already established career so that Leslie can continue doing what she loves. Their understanding of one another, along with their willingness to do whatever it takes to be together, makes the two of them the definition of “relationship goals.”

And in “Leslie and Ben” all of their efforts come together when the two get married in Leslie’s favorite place in the world: the Pawnee Parks Department. It’s a touching wedding, with only the most important people in their lives present: the characters we’ve come to love over the past five seasons. It’s one of the sweetest episodes of the entire series, even with all of Leslie’s friends threatening Ben if he ever hurts her.