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Parks and Recreation Wiki

My problem is I don't know how to tell if we're doing good, because when you play a rock show, it's really easy to know if you're doing great because chicks will flash their boobs at you. When you're up on stage. And you're like, "That must've sounded pretty good." But I can't, if that happens here my eyes will fall out of my head and I'll die.
Andy Dwyer

Galentine's Day is the sixteenth episode in the second season of the NBC television series Parks and Recreation. It originally aired on February 11, 2010 to 4.98 million viewers.


Leslie and Justin reunite her mother with an old flame for Valentine's Day; Andy's band is nervous about playing a gig at the Senior Center.


Leslie throws her annual "Galentine's Day" brunch party for her female friends, a ritual celebrated the day before Valentine's Day. One of the traditions is her mother, Marlene Griggs-Knope, recalling the story about how she had a romantic encounter with a lifeguard that saved her from drowning in 1968, but the two had to break it off over objections from Marlene's parents. Leslie later tells the story to Justin, who is amazed by the tale and wants to reunite the two. He successfully tracks down Marlene's old flame, Frank Beckerson, so they decide to drive to Illinois and reunite the two on Valentine's Day at the Edward Phillips Senior Center Valentine's Dance, which the Parks Department is overseeing.

Tom meets with Wendy, hoping to start an actual romance with her, but when she realizes what he's doing, she turns him down. Andy's band Mouse Rat has been booked to perform for the dance, but they aren't sure about the old songs they're expected to play. Ann and Mark are also celebrating the holiday, with Mark giving Ann every cliched gift he could find. Meanwhile, April's boyfriends want to go The Bulge for Valentine's Day, but since April has to work at the dance, Ben and Derek decide to accompany her because they think "old people are funny".

Leslie and Justin meet Frank, a strange and depressed man who is also unemployed and has frequent panic attacks. Leslie feels uncomfortable about reuniting him with her mother and tries to call it off and only relents when Justin convinces her to "let this unfold". At the dance, Frank meets up with Marlene; while Leslie is worried Frank might be crazy, Justin excitedly recounts the story to the rest of the Parks Department. April becomes increasingly annoyed with Ben and Derek when they insult the seniors and tells them to cut it out; Ben and Derek argue back April's become boring ever since she started hanging out with Andy, prompting April to break up with them. Wendy storms in and calls out Tom for serving her alimony papers to force her to call off their divorce. While Ann says she has nothing to complain about in her relationship with Mark, she doesn't seem to be convinced entirely. Marlene is not impressed with Frank's unemployment and overall failure at life. She turns down his offer at a second chance at love, prompting him to storm onto the stage and denounce her over the microphone before leaving. Leslie apologizes to her mother for bringing Frank while Justin is surprised things didn't work out.

Leslie is upset with Justin, but has trouble pinpointing why. Ron explains that Justin is a "tourist" who takes vacations in people's lives and only cares about telling interesting stories to impress other people, which makes him selfish. Two old women then recognize Ron as jazz saxophonist Duke Silver, but he tells them they're mistaken. Andy dedicates a song to April, making Ann wonder if there is something between them. The seniors tell Mouse Rat they did a good job playing the old songs, much to Andy's delight. Tom and Wendy, after a long discussion, go their separate ways.

Leslie later breaks up with Justin, which Tom takes especially hard, reacting as if his parents were getting divorced.



Leslie: What's Galentine's Day? Oh, it's only the best day of the year. Every February 13, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it breakfast style. Ladies celebrate ladies. It's like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas.

Leslie: [telling Ann what Marlene's story will be] It's the most romantic story ever. It makes The Notebook look like Saw V.

Leslie: But if you find him and he's weird, like a ventriloquist or a puppeteer or anyone who pretends toys are people, then abort the mission.

Leslie: It's not just a job, gang. We're gonna learn a lot from these seniors. Some of them have been married for half a century. And, no offense, but everybody here is terrible at love. [points to Tom] Divorced, [points to April] dating a gay guy, [points to Ron] divorced twice, [points to Ann and Mark] jury's still out on you two, [points to Jerry] and Jerry, who knows.
Jerry: I've been happily married for 28 years. You've met my wife Gayle many times.
Leslie: Whatever.

Wendy: Tommy, I just want you to know I'm so grateful for everything you did for me, but I only see us as friends.
Tom: For now. But think how much better our friendship would be if we added...doin' it.

Leslie: Or, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. Oh, Jen. I really want you to be happy. Stay away from John Mayer!

Wendy: You're suing me for alimony?
Tom: Yes. When we were married I got accustomed to a certain lifestyle and I'm entitled to money to maintain that lifestyle.

Frank: Marlene! [leans in for kiss]
Leslie: Ooh, no, Poo-Paw! Poo-Paw, no! I'm not Marlene.
Frank: Oh, so sorry. I really should wear my glasses.

Frank: Well, it's been an interesting ride. I got a job at a grocery store, right out of college. Just for a way to make money. Here I am, 40 years later, completely unemployed.

Frank: Take one last look, Marlene, because you'll never see this body again.

April: God, why does everything we do have to be cloaked in like 15 layers of irony?

Ron: He's a tourist. He vacations in peoples' lives, takes pictures, puts them in a scrapbook, and moves on. All he's interested in are stories.


  • There are many Cultural references:
    • At the dance, a senior citizen approaches Ron Swanson and asks for an autograph from Duke Silver. This is a reference to the previous second season episode, "Practice Date", which establishes Ron's secret identity as a jazz musician.
    • Leslie referred to her Galentine's Day breakfast tradition as "Lilith Fair minus the angst and plus frittatas", a reference to the concert tour and traveling music festival. She also said the love story between Marlene and Frank makes the 2004 romantic comedy film The Notebook look like the 2008 horror film Saw V.
    • Mark gets Ann a necklace similar to the Heart of the Ocean, the fictional jewelry given to Kate Winslet's character in the 1997 romantic drama film, Titanic.
    • During one scene in "Galentine's Day", Leslie does a voice impersonation of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. Tom mistakes the impression for that of the Arnold Schwarzenegger character Terminator, which prompts Leslie to do that impression as well.
    • Among the songs performed by Mouse Rat in "Galentine's Day" were "The Way You Look Tonight", originally performed by Fred Astaire in the 1936 film, Swing Time. Andy's bandmate suggests he sing a song more like jazz musician and trumpeter Louis Armstrong, who Andy admits he has never heard of.
    • Leslie said reuniting Marlene and Frank would be like reuniting Romeo and Juliet, the* protagonists of the William Shakespeare play of the same name, or reuniting actress Jennifer Aniston and actor Brad Pitt. Ironically, Justin Theroux, the actor who plays Justin on the show, would go on to marry Jennifer Aniston in real life.
    • Leslie also warns to the camera for Aniston to "stay away from John Mayer", the musician who previously dated Aniston. In the days prior to the original broadcast of "Galentine's Day", Mayer publicly apologized for a number of explicit sexual and racial comments he had made in the past months, which prompted news outlets to praise Parks and Recreation for the timeliness of their Mayer joke.