I mean, really, could the gang from the Pawnee Parks Department going on a group camping trip have been anything less than hilarious? No! These guys always bring the good stuff, especially when they leave the walls of city hall.
Leslie forced everyone to go on a group retreat so that they could brainstorm the Parks Departments’ next big idea. Chris is back, now working as city manager because the old one had a heart attack and grabbed Leslie’s boob, and he wanted the money from the Harvest Festival to be put to good use. This was “literally” excellent news, because from this episode on, I believe, Rob Lowe is a series regular.
The best part of this was that even though it’s the Parks Department, most everyone was completely out of their comfort zone at the campground. April moped and waited around for Andy, who’d accidentally set up the most romantic tent ever in the complete wrong location. Watching Andy trek through the forest hauling a bunch of heart-shaped mylar balloons was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. Ben didn’t even have a tent – he just had, like, a blanket to lay on on the floor. Sorry – ground. And Tom was the complete opposite – he’d ordered everything off of SkyMall and created “The Thunderdome” – a tent complete with a TV, TiVo, a head massager, a dog couch, and every other luxury you could imagine.
No one had any ideas because everyone knew that Leslie would. Only she didn’t. She couldn’t think of anything big enough and was panicking that she’d peaked with the Harvest Festival.
Eventually, everyone realized that they either hate camping or hate each other and tried to leave – but they were stuck, because Tom had used up all the energy, or gas, or whatever, to power Thunderdome. So they all headed to a nearby B&B, which was completely overridden with cats. (Do you think they all looked like Ron Swanson???) This part wasn’t quite as funny, if only because I thought it came in second to my favorite Scary B&B episode of all time, Gilmore Girls‘ “The Road Trip To Harvard”.
Of course, Leslie did end up coming up with about a million good ideas – all it took as a forced seven hours of sleep after Ron locked her in a room. That’s twice the sleep she usually gets! I’m sure much like this episode, whatever Leslie Knope does next will be a smashing success. Now let’s talk favorite moments and lines from “Camping”:
- “That’s the second most awkward way someone has grabbed my breast.” – Leslie
- “Fishing relaxes me. It’s like yoga, except I still get to kill something.” – Ron
- “This brook won’t stop babbling. Shut up!” – April, who reacted to camping just like I would
- “Oh, I got this one – they’re all rappists.” – Jerry, when Tom suggests bringing rappers to Pawnee
- “Luxury dog park. Poodles only. No pooping.” – Donna
- Chris humiliating Ann yet again, by being so positive that she thinks he wants to get back together. poor, beautiful Ann…at least this heartbreak has given Rashida Jones some great material!
- Tom returns everything he bought from SkyMall the nest day by crying. Because no one wants to see a grown man cry. Not even a boy-sized one.
- I can’t believe Jerry thinks leading an abstinence group is the way to get his 16 year-old daughter to not have sex. OK, I can believe it. But still…
- “We have nothing to eat, because Jerry scared all the fish away with his loud personal stories.” – Ron
- “I married Alf, and we’re pretty happy.” – A line from Leslie’s dream journal
- “Noooooo! I was TiVo-ing Cupcake Wars!” – Tom, when the power runs out
- What the f— is a German muffin?!?” – Ron
- “I’ve got some champagne. I had to drink most of it to survive, so I’m kind of buzzed right now.” – Andy