Parks and Recreation: Season 5 (2012 - 2013)


Season 5
Parks and Recreation

Critics Consensus

Heartfelt yet hilarious and snarky yet good-natured, Parks and Recreation remains one of the best sitcoms around and only continues to improve.



Critic Ratings: 24


Audience Score

User Ratings: 476

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Air date: Sep 20, 2012

The series 5 opener, which finds Leslie and Andy in Washington, D.C., visiting Ben and April at their new jobs. Back in Pawnee, Ron hosts a barbecue for the entire Parks and Recreation staff.

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Air date: Sep 27, 2012

Leslie decides to wage war on obesity in Pawnee in her first mission as city councillor by passing a city-wide soft-drink tax. Meanwhile, Andy tries to get in shape for his police-entrance exam, and Ben struggles to connect with the interns in his office.

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Air date: Oct 4, 2012

Leslie helps a local swimming team get more practice time by working on a new law that extends the hours at the community pool; Ron finds himself filling a pothole for a local woman as part of Chris's new plan to solve citizens' problems around the city; April and Ben take a road trip to Pawnee.

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Air date: Oct 18, 2012

Leslie responds to an STD outbreak among Pawnee seniors by conducting her own sex-education class. At the same time, Tom finds himself gadget-less and turning to Ron for help coping with life without technology; and Ben and April have their first encounter with Congressman Murray.

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Air date: Oct 25, 2012

Halloween brings some upsetting news for Leslie in the form of a job offer for Ben. At the same time, Ron and Andy go trick-or-treating with Diane's daughters, while Tom looks for a new business venture.

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Air date: Nov 8, 2012

Leslie is apprehensive about meeting Ben's divorced parents for the first time; Tom turns to Jean-Ralphio for help pitching his new business venture to Ron; and Chris finds himself on an emotional roller coaster.

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Air date: Nov 15, 2012

Leslie disapproves of April's plan to transform a lot into a dog park, while Ben gets roped into helping Tom launch his new business venture, and Andy finds himself playing crime-scene investigator.

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Air date: Nov 29, 2012

Leslie becomes suspicious when an architect from Eagleton responds to her public appeal for park suggestions. Meanwhile, Tom sets up his rent-a-swag business with help from the office; and Andy adds some excitement to his new gig as a security guard.

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Air date: Dec 6, 2012

Ron's new girlfriend, Diane, meets his ex-wife Tammy Two when they all attend a woodworking-awards dinner. At the same time, Jerry throws a party and not everyone is invited.

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Air date: Jan 17, 2013

Councilman Jamm inserts himself into the bachelorette party Ann has planned for Leslie; at the same time, Chris throws a game night with the guys in honor of Ben's last days as a single man.

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Parks and Recreation: Season 5 Photos

Tv Season Info

Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) does her best to improve Pawnee as a member of the city council, only to face frequent resistance from unhappy citizens, corporate interests and rival politicians. Elsewhere, Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones) decides to have a baby; Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari) starts a new business venture; Chris Traeger (Rob Lowe) tries to get over his depression; Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) dates a single mom; and Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) and April Ludgate (Aubrey Plaza) work on a congressional re-election campaign in Washington, D.C.


Rashida Jones
as Ann Perkins
John McCain
as Himself
Ben Schwartz
as Jean-Ralphio
Adam Harrington
as Congressman Murray
Brad Hall
as Wreston St. James
Jason Schwartzman
as Dennis Lerpiss
Jenny Slate
as Mona Lisa
Alison Becker
as Shauna Malwae-Tweep
Christie Brinkley
as Gayle Gergich
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Parks and Recreation: Season 5

Critic Reviews for Parks and Recreation Season 5

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (9)

No show on TV, comedy or drama, has been as steady or as wonderful as Parks these past few years.

Oct 10, 2019 | Full Review…

Parks and Recreation is a rare gem -- a TV comedy that's sweet, good-hearted and even inspirational, but also completely hilarious.

Sep 20, 2012 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

It seems almost redundant to say, but Parks and Rec remains funny, sharp and inventive.

Sep 20, 2012 | Rating: A- | Full Review…
Top Critic

"Parks" is not an overtly ideological show, but buried within it are thoughtful, complex political themes that extend into the larger world in a way that's rare for modern network shows.

Oct 10, 2019 | Full Review…

Bottom line: It's a classic.

May 3, 2013 | Full Review…

Parks and Recreation never barrels in with an over the top, ridiculously funny first episode. It eases you in and it gains momentum from there. This was a great start.

Oct 9, 2019 | Full Review…

Is Pawnee better off than it was a year ago? For our characters, the answer is most definitely yes.

Jun 12, 2018 | Full Review…

We're absurdly lucky to have Parks and Recreation back for a full fifth season, considering its status as one of NBC's most critically beloved, yet under-watched series.

Jun 11, 2018 | Full Review…

Leslie, and Parks as a whole, are going to face these new challenges with the same optimism and can-do spirit that made them so successful in the first place. And so far, I have little reason to doubt that they are up to the task.

Sep 26, 2013 | Rating: 8/10 | Full Review…

Seems a tad churlish to complain when Parks brought us such highs as Patton Oswalt's extended Star Wars story pitch, Leslie meeting dreamboat Joe Biden, a four-way bachelor party and Jerry's pseudo-retirement.

Sep 3, 2013 | Full Review…

I legitimately clapped at the end of the episode.

May 3, 2013 | Full Review…

It's filled with the witty humor and touching moments we have come to expect, while posing questions about our political, social, and personal systems.

Mar 14, 2013 | Rating: 9/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Parks and Recreation: Season 5

  • May 13, 2020
    Parks and Rec still finds new ways to keep fans entertained.
  • Mar 14, 2020
    Just Wow! This season is made of the laughs
  • Jan 24, 2020
    Just, normally, amazing.
  • Jan 12, 2020
    Excellent season of television, with great writing and an extraordinary cast.
  • Dec 19, 2019
    Some things start to dip in quality, but the show overall stays strong. My rating: A-
  • Jan 10, 2019
  • Nov 24, 2018
    The Lix & Ben couple is one of the best aspects of the show, but Ben's head-down, pathetic pathetic, depressive nature (w/ cops being a perfect example) can be a lil much (WAY much, at times).
  • Nov 17, 2018
    I have watched this show through over 10 times and I still laugh every time, it's truly perfection.
  • Apr 17, 2017
    Whatever criticisms I make about the show's previous season must be close to unanimous among critics / fans, as each season seems to be even better, thanks to specific repairs. I have already spoken much praise for Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Rob Lowe, Aziz Ansari, and even Jim O'Heir. The remaining cast members -- Rashida Jones, Adam Scott, and Retta -- have made far greater advancements in character development. On top of that, Councilwoman Knope (Poehler) can now tackle a broader range of political issues, which has actually sharped the focus of the show. In previous seasons, the fact that the show took place in some secondhand city in Indiana seemed trivial. Now, the issues at hand are of a distinctive Midwestern flavour, and Knope and her co-workers are coming to face a worse issue than an incompetent press or government: an incompetent population. I am impressed that the show has held onto its sweet nature, as it delves deeper into no-targets-left-standing satire.
  • Jun 27, 2016
    Continuing to improve in its fifth season, Parks and Rec finds new characters and more wacky scenarios to keep things fresh.

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