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If there's anyone who can bring my parents together, it's no one. No one can bring my parents together.
Ben Wyatt

"Ben's Parents" is the sixth episode of season 5 of the NBC television series Parks and Recreation. It originally aired on November 8, 2012 to 3.46 million viewers.


Leslie Knope and Ben Wyatt announce their engagement to their friends at City Hall. They begin to comb out the final details of their engagement party with Ann Perkins. Everything seems to be in place, but Ben is intent on canceling the party altogether since both of his parents are coming. His parents got divorced 30 years ago, and they still hate each other with a burning passion. So much so, they can't even be in the same room together. Leslie is determined to change this and assures Ben that the Knope-Wyatt Unity Quilt she made will fix everything.

Meanwhile, Tom Haverford and Jean-Ralphio Saperstein work on a pitch for Tom's next big business venture: Rent-A-Swag. Ron Swanson has agreed to listen to Tom's pitch and consider investing some start-up money. Tom and Jean-Ralphio rehearse their flashy presentation in front of April Ludgate and Andy Dwyer, but it is not well received, forcing the pair to re-consider aspects of the presentation to better suit Ron.

Chris Traeger has an emotional breakdown at Leslie and Ben's engagement party, completely raw from therapy. He's so happy for his friends, but at the same time so depressed at the realization that he's completely and totally alone. Ann has no choice but to comfort Chris, and recruits April and Andy to try to help bring him out of his depression and back to reality.

When Ben's parents finally arrive, all hell breaks loose. Ben's father, Steve Wyatt, brings his much younger girlfriend, Ulani, whom Ben's mother completely detests. The two waste no time taking shots at each other, and their catty behavior becomes completely unbearable. Leslie does her best to diffuse the situation, but Ulani's presence was something Leslie and Ben hadn't predicted.

In a last ditch effort, Leslie unveils the Knope-Wyatt Unity Quilt in all its glory. For a moment, the two families are awestruck by Leslie's amazing creation; it's truly a beautiful quilt. Each family member is represented with his or her own square on the quilt, which Leslie thoughtfully created by hand. However, the moment is ruined when Ulani requests a square of her own, as adding Ulani did not cross Leslie's mind at the time. Leslie crudely adds Ulani, but Ben's mother, Julia Wyatt, immediately cuts the square out. Ulani later drops a bomb: Ulani really is about to be a part of the family because she's pregnant with Ben's father's baby.

Ben and Leslie are forced to sit down Ben's parents to give them a talking to. They explain that they don't expect them to like each other – in fact they'd prefer it if they didn't socialize – but they both have to come to the wedding and at least pretend to have a good time. Both apologize for their childish behavior and agree to the terms.

Tom's got his work cut out for him and is ready to pull an all-nighter redoing his pitch for Ron. Jean-Ralphio on the other hand has no interest in the project and is straight forward with Tom about his position on the matter. Tom is forced to part ways with his best friend. The next morning, before his pitch, Tom lets Ron know that Jean-Ralphio is no longer a part of the company because he wasn't ready to take it seriously. Ron agrees to fund Tom on the spot, stating that dropping Jean-Ralphio for the good of the business was the only convincing he needs.


Main Cast

Recurring Cast

Guest Stars


April: When Andy proposed to me, he gave me a Ring Pop. But then, he ate it first.

Leslie: Ben and I are getting married, and I've been telling everybody about it! I'm so happy, I want to shout it from the rooftops.
Ben: And she has - we've gotten several noise complaints.

Leslie: I know you're scared, but I love you and this party is gonna go great.
Ben: [calmly] Well, if there's anyone that could bring my parents together... [becomes serious] it's no one. No one can ever bring them together!

Tom: Be super critical.
April: You're short.

Leslie: Ben and I are weaving our lives together. So I have woven this quilt. It represents every member of our new united family. [some of the squares include the Washington Monument, Game of Thrones, Li'l Sebastian, and Smallest Park to name a few] Of all my metaphorical art projects, this is by far the coziest.

Ann: Leslie, you deserve the best and you found it. Ben? Don't you dare hurt her. [she chuckles]
Ben: [also chuckles] I won't.
Andy: Don't laugh. She means it.
Ben: [a little nervous] I-I won't.
Ron: Seriously, son. Don't hurt her.
Ben: [becoming more nervous] Okay, I'm not planning on... hurting her.
Jerry: You better not be.
Ben: [serious] I'm not!
Donna: Hey, Ben? You best watch yourself.

Ben: [surprised at everyone's warnings] Why would any of you think I would hurt Leslie? You're all my friends, too.
April: Ehh. [Ben gives a confused look at her]

Ron: I'm always looking for new investments. Ever since I got my first job at the age of nine, I've put all my money in gold, which is currently at an all time high. So I have a certain amount of money. [he pauses, then realizes] I've said too much.

Jean-Ralphio Saperstein: What are those, shrimp? [reaches for one, but Ron grips him by the wrist] Aah! Okay.
Ron: Rethink that move, son.

Andy: Alright, Chris. Here's the plan - I'm just gonna list off happy things until you're cheered up. Pizza, the beach, rock n' roll music...
April: And I'll list terrible things to bring you back down. Smallpox, botched surgery, snails crawling out of your mouth...

[realizing their happy/terrible lists are making Chris feel better]
Andy: Laughter!
April: Snails crawling out of your mouth.
Andy: The beach!
April: Snails crawling out of your mouth.
Andy: Cute cats!
April: Snails crawling out of your... butt.
Andy: Dave Matthews Band!
April: Dave Matthews Band.

Jean-Ralphio Saperstein: [approaches Ron to shake his hand] Swansong! What up, my man? [Ron pokes him in the hand with his kebab] OW! Are you kidding me?!?

Ron: [to Tom] I like doing business with serious people. And when you removed yourself from the company of that moron, you showed me you're a serious person.