The big issue now is, who is this mystery woman? She and Knope are standing very close to each other, and anytime you see two women standing very close to each other you immediately assume... lesbian.
Donnie Rotger

"Christmas Scandal" is the twelfth episode of season 2 of the NBC television series Parks and Recreation. It originally aired on December 10, 2009 to 5.62 million viewers.

In the episode, a meeting with a disgraced councilman puts Leslie in the middle of a sex scandal that forces her to hide from the press.

Storyline Edit

The Parks Department performs in the annual Pawnee City Government Follies that riffs local politics, including one sketch that skewers Councilman Bill Dexhart, who was recently discovered to be involved in many bizarre sex scandals. Leslie Knope is later asked to meet Dexhart for lunch, where she learns the sketch was accidentally accurate about another bizarre sex scandal that has not been made public. After assuring Dexhart that it was merely a coincidence, Leslie discovers that the local tabloid, The Pawnee Sun, has taken pictures of their lunch and is reporting that Leslie is Dexhart's new mistress.

The speculation about Dexhart and Leslie quickly spins out of control, upsetting her because it is distracting the townspeople from the Winter Wonderland that she set up on the Sullivan Street Pit. Ron Swanson decides to give Leslie the day off to lay low and distributes her daily duties among the rest of the staff. Everyone is amazed how much Leslie does by herself each day and the entire group struggles to complete their tasks. Leslie has lunch with Dave Sanderson, who reveals that his unit in the US Army Reserve has been called up to active duty in San Diego for a year to eighteen months, and he invites Leslie to join him since he has fallen in love with her. Leslie confides to Ann Perkins that she is considering the move, as the treatment of her in the media has soured her on Pawnee.

After local show "Pawnee Today" digs up an old video of Leslie shaking hands with Dexhart and overanalyzes every aspect of the short clip, Ann and Leslie confront Dexhart and demand that he clear Leslie's name. He refuses because the fake scandal is so docile compared to his real transgressions that it is actually positive press for him. Soon after, Ann is horrified to discover that a news crew secretly followed Dexhart to her home and took a photograph of the meeting, resulting in speculation that Ann is Leslie's lesbian lover. A furious Leslie schedules an appearance on "Pawnee Today" to clear her name once and for all. On the show, host Joan Callamezzo surprises Leslie by bringing out Dexhart, who tries to prove their affair by claiming that Leslie has a mole on her buttocks. To finally end the scandal, Leslie pulls down her pants on live television and moons Callamezzo. Since there is no mole, Dexhart is forced to admit that he fabricated the sex scandal.

Over dinner, Leslie tells Dave that she will not move to San Diego with him, as her life is in Pawnee. Dave, although sad, understands her choice and the two split up. At Pawnee's tree lighting ceremony, Leslie is congratulated by everyone, including Marlene, who is proud that her daughter successfully fought off the media. Leslie returns to work the next day much to Ron's immense relief, as he could barely handle just a portion of her daily duties. Everyone is visibly glad that Leslie is back.

In a subplot, April Ludgate asks Andy Dwyer what to get her gay boyfriend for Christmas. All of Andy's ideas are well-meaning but dumb, although it seems that April is just happy to talk with him. To thank Andy, she gets him a Reggie Wayne jersey for Christmas, to his delight.


Leslie: Our tree lighting ceremony will be simulcast on Internet radio.
Tom: That's a really big deal.
Leslie: It is. Thank you.
Tom: Listening to that tree lighting's gonna be dope.

Crazy guy at public forum: I'm not worried about the swine flu. I already have the swine flu. I'm worried about the turtle flu!

Ron: [pondering] Turtle flu...

Leslie: I have nothing to apologize for... except for maybe being too incisive.
Councilman Dexhart: I don't want to you apologize. I want to know who told you.
Leslie: Who told me? Nobody. Nobody told me nothin'. What are we talking about?
Councilman Dexhart: Well, based on that skit, I know you've heard about the new scandal that's about to break. Who told you? Was it the babysitter, was it the nurse who delievered our love child?
Leslie: What?
Councilman Dexhart: Stop playing dumb. You know damn well what happened. I got the babysitter pregnant. Then, when she was in the delivery room, I had sex with not one but four nurses in the supply closet, as well as a woman whose husband was getting a liver transplant. Hmm. Now, which one of them told you? Was it the liver lady?
Leslie: Well--I--no one--I haven't--I haven't heard any of this. Ever. In my whole life.
Councilman Dexhart: Oh.
Leslie: Believe me, I would've remembered this.
Councilman Dexhart: Okay. Well, in that case, everything I just told you was just a funny prank. [laughing]

Tom: There isn't a woman alive who doesn't love diamonds. Even the super left wing chicks who saw Blood Diamond and cried. When they get a diamond, they like, "yeah, bitch, get more of them blood diamonds. Make 'em extra bloody."

Ron: We can't have raccoons for the Christmas thing. They'll hunt the kids for sport.

Perd Hapley: The mystery woman who met with Councilman Dexhart last night appears to be a government employee named Leslie Norp. According to unconfirmed reports in the Pawnee Sun, the two bent an elbow at this local watering hole, and although they left separately, no one knows whether they woke up... together.

April: Do you want me to seduce Perd Hapley?
Leslie: How would that help?
April: I don't know. I just want to see if I could do it.
Leslie: April, I appreciate that, but I don't think it's something worth losing your virginity over.

Leslie: In a 24-hour news cycle, the tiniest story gets dissected over and over again. In 2004, a kid from Pawnee went to the Olympics, and it was reported on for over a year. He wasn't even competing or anything. He was just going literally to watch the Olympics.

Leslie: It's gotten a lot harder to work in government. You think Winston Churchill ever had to pull his pants down and show his butt? No. But would he have? Yes. Now could he have? Well maybe not towards the end of his life. But, he would have. Because he loved his job.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.