This article contains spoilers for the Parks and Recreation show. Continue at your own risk.
Sir Benjamin "Ben" Wyatt KBE (born November 14, 1974) is a character on the NBC TV show Parks and Recreation. He guest-starred in two episodes in season two, and then became a regular character in season 3. He originally appeared as a state auditor who comes to Pawnee with Chris Traeger to evaluate Pawnee's funds at the end of season 2. Ben is straightforward and willing to tell the truth, even if it could offend someone. He could also be passive-aggressive at times.
Riding a wave of anti-incumbent sentiment, Ben Wyatt was elected mayor of the town of Partridge, Minnesota in November of 1992, at the age of 18. His immaturity and lack of experience led him to be unofficially banned from Partridge after he bankrupted the city by creating a winter sports complex called Ice Town. He attended Carleton College, where he had a radio show called "Zoot Suit Wyatt". After maturing, he becomes a state auditor and helps cities escape bankruptcy.
In Season Two when Ben first comes to Pawnee, he and Leslie Knope do not get along. Leslie yells at him on three different occasions for having an insensitive attitude about firing people from the Parks and Recreation team, as well as for cutting her budget. When he asks her out to have a beer, they begin to respect each other more. They become friends and he shares his history in politics with her, and tells her he became an auditor to show that he is responsible enough to run for mayor again.
Chris reveals that the town has virtually no funds left and the government will be shut down (which includes the parks of Pawnee) until further notice. He and Chris set up a budget task force with several employees of Pawnee's government, including Ron Swanson. Ron accidentally reveals that Leslie is secretly planning to put the canceled children's concert on an unused lot (Lot 48) behind Ann Perkins' house, he tries to stop her. When he sees how much effort she put into it, he lets her have the concert and even pays Freddy Spaghetti to come back after he agreed to perform at a library in Eagleton, which gets him back on Leslie's good side.
In the first episode of Season 3, "Go Big or Go Home", Ben starts a youth basketball league because of popular demand throughout Pawnee. In the same episode, Ben and Chris agree to re-start the tradition of the Pawnee Harvest Festival at the proposal of Leslie Knope. Ben brings Leslie to the hospital for the flu because she won't admit she's sick in the episode "Flu Season", due to the fact that she has an important presentation with the Pawnee Chamber of Commerce about the Harvest Festival. He brings her waffles from JJ's Diner in the same episode, and chicken noodle soup, hinting his interest romantically in Leslie.
Ben is slowly starting to be more impressed by the citizens of Pawnee and their "passion", as well as Pawnee itself. Ben embarrasses himself in "Media Blitz". This episode is mainly about Ben and his history as teen mayor of Partridge, Minnesota. He stammers and is awkward on the radio show, "Crazy Ira and The Douche". The Harvest Festival brings Ben and Leslie closer together because of the teamwork needed for the success of it. In "April and Andy's Fancy Party", he and Leslie stare at each other when Andy Dwyer is talking about doing what makes you happy after the wedding.
In the episode "Jerry's Painting", he admits to Andy that he has feelings for Leslie and that she might have feelings for him also. He moves out of the motel he's been staying in and moves into April and Andy's house since Wyatt "Burly" Burlinson moved out and left them the house. In "Road Trip", he and Leslie kiss. Season 3 leaves off with uncertainty as to which the relationship will continue because Leslie is contemplating running for office.
Season 4 starts with Leslie being confused over whether to continue her secret romance with Ben or to follow her dreams and run for office. The pair decides to split amicably, with Ben giving Leslie a “Knope 2012” button. However, this split does not rid the two of their feelings for each other. Tom and Donna attempt to help the clearly distraught Ben (although they still are oblivious to his relationship with Leslie) by taking him to their annual “Treat Yo Self” day. Ben eventually breaks down (while wearing a Batman suit he bought for himself) and tells Tom and Donna that he is having problems with women, but still not using Leslie’s name. Tom then cheers him up by reminding him that there are “other fish in the sea.” This does not completely rid Ben of his feelings for Leslie, and eventually, after several more fights and awkward situations, Leslie and Ben decide to make their relationship official, despite the consequences, in "Smallest Park".
Leslie and Ben then decide it is best to tell Chris about their relationship, which results to Leslie being put on trial to see whether she used her relationship with Ben to get special treatment. Chris also brings up a maintenance worker, George Williams, that saw Ben and Leslie kiss at Li'l Sebastian's funeral, and whom they bribed to keep quiet. Leslie then decides to confess to the bribe but insists she received no special treatment due to her relationship with Ben. Leslie is then surprised when she receives only a two-week suspension with pay. She is then informed that Ben has resigned from his job in order to save hers. Later, when Leslie has Ethel Beavers read the transcript from his resignation (on Chris’s recommendation), she finds out that Ben had said he was resigning because he loves Leslie. Leslie then has Ethel read a transcript of her saying she loves Ben to him.
Later, Ben attempts to find a job but then decides, with advice from Jean-Ralphio to take it easy and to try to find something that truly makes him happy. Ben then starts going crazy from having nothing to do and tries to find new hobbies. These include creating the idea for the Low-Cal Calzone Zone and making a stop-motion movie. When Ben is finally at his breaking point, Leslie decides to ask him to be her campaign manager, to which Ben accepts. Doing this, Ben often becomes unsure of his ability to be Leslie’s campaign manager (due to amazing performances by Bobby Newport’s campaign manager, Jennifer Barkley), and about Leslie’s feelings for him (most noted when Leslie’s ex Dave Sanderson returns), but is always reassured of his qualifications by Leslie's love for him. Right before the election results are announced, Ben is offered the chance by Jennifer Barkley, Bobby's former campaign manager, to run a congressional campaign in Washington D.C. for Congressman Murray. Originally, Leslie convinces him not to go, but the two eventually decide it is what is best for Ben and that they will continue their relationship long-distance when he leaves Pawnee. When Leslie wins the election, she tells him that one day she wants to read the concession speech he wrote for her. He then reveals that he never wrote one for her, knowing she would win.
Ben successfully runs a congressional campaign during the first five episodes of the season while often stating that he misses Leslie. He is offered another campaign manager job that would take him to Florida, but he turns it down because he loves Leslie too much to keep staying away from her.
When Ben returns to Pawnee, he proposes to Leslie and they move into a house together. Jonathan Banks and Glenne Headly guest star as Ben's parents when they appear at Ben and Leslie's engagement party.
Later, Ben turns down multiple job offers in Pawnee and provides Tom Haverford's company, Rent-a-Swag, with accounting advice.
Ben's male friends threw him a bachelor party, which consisted of beer and the board game "Settlers of Catan". Ben won and understood that his friends found the game boring. He agreed to go with them on a series of "bachelor parties" that they never had.
Ben and Leslie had a spontaneous wedding ceremony at City Hall, attended only by their close friends.
Ben subsequently ends up working for Sweetums, at a division dedicated to improving their public image by funding charities. He also takes on Andy as an assistant.
Ben loses his job at Sweetums after Leslie makes a public statement criticizing the company. During his time off, he invents a complicated game called "The Cones of Dunshire".
When Chris and Ann announce their intention to leave Pawnee in order to raise their baby, Chris decides to hand over his job as City Manager to Ben. Ben had taken a job at the accounting firm that he had turned down several times previously, but he accepts the City Manager job.
In "Anniversaries", Ben enlists Jerry's help in organizing surprises for his and Leslie's first wedding anniversary one day early. These include a couple's massage, a ride in a horse-drawn carriage, tango lessons and a meal. However, due to Leslie's busy schedule, Ben ends up spending the day with Larry and they have a wonderful time together. Ben eventually gives Leslie a scrapbook as a memento and she surprises him with a replica of the Iron Throne from 'Game of Thrones'.
In "Flu Season 2" Leslie learns that she is pregnant, and Andy finds out before Ben does, though when Ben does find out, he is happy. Ben and Leslie subsequently learn from Dr. Saperstein that they are having triplets. Ben becomes extremely tense and apprehensive about the cost of raising three children, but Leslie is able to calm him.
In the two-part season finale, "Moving Up", Ben enlists Andy's help in acquiring wireless Internet for the townspeople of Pawnee. He discovers that "The Cones of Dunshire" has become mass-marketed and is popular in gaming circles.
Ben urges Leslie to consider taking the job in Chicago but she later rejects the offer to move away from Pawnee, opting to establish the new Midwest office on the third floor of the Pawnee Department.
A time jump of three years shows that Ben and Leslie are now parents of two boys and a girl.
Season 7 Edit
In the year 2017, Ben is being honored at a gala for greatly improving the city's economy and bringing Gryzzl to Pawnee. The city appears to have moved on from the "Ice Town" incident.
In "Donna and Joe", Ben and Leslie are stopped by Jennifer Barkley, who shows the two a campaign ad for Ben potentially running for a seat in the House of Representatives. Leslie tells him to think about it for 2 days, even though she secretly wants him to run. At Donna and Joe's pre-wedding party, Ben and Leslie get drunk and realize the morning of the wedding that Ben had called Jennifer back and told her that he wanted to run. Since the campaign ad was already up, it was too late to take it back. When confronted by the press at Donna's wedding, Ben tells them that he is, indeed, running for office. In The Johnny Karate Super Awesome Musical Explosion Show, Ben was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire by His Royal Excellence Lord Edgar Darby Covington, 14th Earl of Cornwall-Upon-Thames and 29th Baron of Hertfordshire.
Ben and Leslie decide to move to Washington with April and Andy after Leslie is offered a promotion to work at the Department of the Interior and Ben runs for Congress in 2018. In the series finale "One Last Ride," Ben and Leslie spend their time saying goodbye to all of their friends. The gang gets together for a picture, as they are unsure when the next time they see each other will be and hope to cherish this moment. Ben asks Leslie if she's ready, to which she responds, "Yes. I'm ready."
Through a series of flash-forwards, it is revealed that Ben's congressional campaign was successful and is now a representative from Indiana for the House of Representatives. In 2025, he and Leslie are both given the opportunity to run as Governor of Indiana, Ben ultimately decides to let Leslie run (which she wins). By 2048, it is hinted that either he or Leslie has been elected President of the United States when a member of the secret service approaches both of them and says "It's time to go".
- Ben is a fan of model trains, Game of Thrones (his eBay username is "Tall Tyrion Lannister", a reference to a character from the franchise), Batman (he purchased a Batman suit when he joined Donna and Tom for Treat Yo Self), Star Trek (he writes Star Trek fanfiction, and had expressed a preference for Captain Picard over Captain Kirk), Fringe, Harrison Ford, Twin Peaks, Homeland, and Star Wars (among other things).
- Ben is a "nationally ranked" player of Settlers of Catan.
- He did not like Peter Jackson's movie adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings
- He loves "all things early 90's," as stated in the episode Filibuster, where he has an early 90's themed birthday party. Furthermore, he loves early 90's music. Especially alternative music, which has been shown on several occasions.
- His favorite band may be alternative rock band R.E.M. He has their albums on vinyl (along with Hüsker Dü and possibly others), came up with a synchronized roller skate dance with Leslie to their song Losing My Religion, and rushed to the office when Tom told him that lead singer Michael Stipe was there.
- His drink of choice is Point Honey Lite, though he claims that his signature drink is Miller Lite.
- His favorite food is a calzone.
- He has an immense fear of police officers.
- His parents are divorced and have an extremely acrimonious relationship.
- He is the inventor of the games "Cones of Dunshire" which later wins Pawnee free WiFi from Gryzzl.
- He was a radio DJ in College.
- Ben's father Steve has a girlfriend named Ulani who is much younger and whom Ben's mother dislikes. At the time of Ben and Leslie's engagement party, Steve announced that Ulani was pregnant with their daughter.
- In an episode, Ben stated that his parents are still divorced after thirty-six years (Ben's age in said episode).
- Ben stated that the song that was played when he was sworn in as Mayor of Partridge, Minnesota was "Whoomp! (There It Is)".
- He was the shortstop of his Junior Varsity baseball team.
- He drives a Saturn in Pawnee and a VW Tiguan in Washington.
- According to the Unity Quilt, his brother's name is Henry, and his sister's name is Stephanie. The image on the quilt for Henry was a tire swing, while Stephanie's was a bicycle.
- Henry Wyatt is the only member of Ben's family that is never shown.
- He played Ultimate Frisbee in college, though he later referred to it as just "Ultimate".
- During a heated interview, he asked, "Who hasn't had gay thoughts?"
- Ben often becomes extremely nervous and awkward when speaking into a microphone or camera (similar to his behavior around police officers), even though he's very straightforward and measured otherwise.
- According to Ron Dunn, his spirit animal is a baby snow owl.
- His favorite movie is The Box.
- Had a dog but after his parents divorced they couldn't decide who would keep it so he left it at a local synagogue. When he was drunk, he stated, "my dog is Jewish."
- Has a face Leslie calls the 'stupid surprise face.'
- He named his calculator "doctor buttons."
- Was knighted shortly after Andy Dwyer and amusingly thought to have gained mystical powers as evident by his physical reaction.
- He has a "thing" for 'Girls in Skates' as shown in the episode, Filibuster.
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