The world would be a better place if we were all a little more Jean-Ralphio and a little less Councilman Jamm. Okay, so maybe Parks and Rec's Jean-Ralphio isn't perfect, but his boundless optimism, constant catchphrases, and supremely coifed hair are all traits that the world could use a bit more of. And while it doesn't look like the world is trending in that direction, thankfully we have the world of Pawnee to escape into whenever we need a little of Jean-Ralphio's sage advice. Because "when life gives you lemons, you sell some of your grandma's jewelry and you go clubbing."
It's no coincidence that the best Parks and Recreation episodes almost always feature a bit of the OG, Jean-Ralphio. While Parks and Rec is known for its optimism and absurdity, whenever an episode leans a little heavier on the Jean-Ralphio action, that optimism and absurdity are amped up by 1000. The best Jean-Ralphio episodes of Parks and Recreation often have seen the Ben Schwartz-portrayed character annoying the hell out of the Parks Department, starting a new business with Tom, or just generally not understanding how life works. So while Jean-Ralphio himself would hate the responsibility that comes with being in some of the best episodes of the show, as fans of Parks and Rec we're here for letting Jean-Ralphio turn our frizown upsidizity.
So let's put on our best clothes washed with Sparkle Suds, head on over to Entertainment 720, get run over by a Lexus, and rank the best Jean-Ralphio episodes of Parks and Rec.
When Entertainment 720 plans the event for Li'l Sebastian's memorial, Jean-Ralphio encourages Tom to come work with him on the company, but Tom is reluctant to leave his city hall job. The show proves to be a great success – thanks in part to unexpected pyrotechnics – and Tom decides to leave his government job to work at Entertainment 720.
Jean-Ralphio: I hope you brought a change of clothes, because your eyes are about to piss tears.
Jean-Ralphio: I made my money the old fashioned way. I got run over by a Lexus.
555Isn't he the wooo-ooorst?!
- Original Airing: May 19 2011
- Season: Parks and Recreation - Season 3
- Episode Number: 16
Woman of the YearPhoto: NBC
Tom reveals that part-ownership in a nightclub is a long-time dream of his, so he seeks assistance from Jean-Ralphio, who contributes $5,000. Donna considers joining Tom in the business venture, but she quickly reconsiders after meeting Jean-Ralphio. Elsewhere, the fast-talking budding-entrepreneur finds time to hit on April.
Jean-Ralphio: What up, Big Teeeeeee...stop. This must be the lovely Donna. Enchanté. Listen beautiful, let's cut the bull, alright? You want this. I definitely want this. T.H. wants this. Let's seal this devil's threeway right here, right now. Step one: We buy into this club. Step two: We roll over to the club, either in your Mercedes-Benz or my pre-owned Acura Legend. Step three: I dagger you on the dancefloor. Just bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce, now all the ladies sayin', bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce. What do you say, sexy?
Donna: I'm out.
Donna: I hate that guy.
Jean-Ralphio: You wanna come home with me?
April Ludgate: Don't you work at Lady Footlocker?
427Isn't he the wooo-ooorst?!
- Original Airing: Mar 04 2010
- Season: Parks and Recreation - Season 2
- Episode Number: 17
The Set UpPhoto: NBC
Tom introduces Ron - and the rest of the Parks Department - to Jean-Ralphio for the first time as he puts him forward as a candidate to be Ron's assistant. Jean-Ralphio does not get the job, but April does. This episode was Ben Schwarz's first appearance on Parks and Recreation.
Jean-Ralphio: Mr. Swanson, two things: One, it is an absolute honor to meet you. Two, who is that hot intern chick out there? Because, honestly, DAAMMN!
Tom: [referring to Jean-Ralphio] So what do you think about your new assistant?
Ron: I want to punch you in the face so bad right now.
Tom: Okay. Message received; I'll keep looking.
Ron: Thank you. Bring me the opposite of him.
3811Isn't he the wooo-ooorst?!
- Original Airing: Jan 14 2010
- Season: Parks and Recreation - Season 2
- Episode Number: 13
Dr. Saperstein, Jean-Ralphio's father, tells Tom he is destroying Rent-A-Swag to get back at him for ruining his children's lives. Tom asks Jean-Ralphio and Mona-Lisa to confess their lies to their father – that Rent-A-Swag was Jean-Ralphio's idea and Tom stole it – but Dr. Saperstein is not interested in closing Tommy's Closet. Tom ends up selling Rent-A-Swag to Dr. Saperstien and moves on to his next business venture, Tom's Bistro.
Jean-Ralphio: When life gives you lemons, you sell some of your grandma's jewelry and you go clubbin'.
Tom Haverford: [Speaking to Dr. Saperstein about Jean-Ralphio and Mona-Lisa] Your son, he's my best friend, he's like a brother to me, but he's a disaster. And your daughter, she needs to be put in a mental institution. On an island. In space.
272Isn't he the wooo-ooorst?!
- Original Airing: September 26, 2013
- Season: Parks and Recreation - Season 6
- Episode Number: 1 & 2