Okay Leslie, I am so, so sorry. Diaphena... she is this powerful goddess and I've been thinking about a lot of powerful women and subconsciously I... painted you.
Jerry Gergich

"Jerry's Painting" is the eleventh episode of Season 3 of the NBC television series Parks and Recreation. It originally aired on April 28, 2011 to 4.71 million viewers.


Leslie Knope feels powerless at work because a policy set by Chris Traeger, which forbids workplace romances, is preventing her from dating Ben Wyatt. Meanwhile, now that he is staying in Pawnee permanently, Ben decides to move out of the motel where he has been living. Andy Dwyer and April Ludgate offer him a spare room in their house, since their previous roommate moved out and left the house to them. Although the two have been living by themselves for only a week, the house is a complete mess with no everyday items like plates or utensils available. Ben decides to teach a reluctant Andy and April how to properly live like adults.

Meanwhile, the Parks Department employees attend an art show exhibiting paintings that will later be hung in government buildings. Jerry Gergich displays his painting of the fictional topless centaur Greek goddess Diaphena, which looks exactly like Leslie. Jerry explains he subconsciously painted Leslie while thinking about powerful women. Instead of being embarrassed, Leslie feels empowered by the painting. Tom, however, is humiliated because a pot-bellied cherub in the painting shares his likeness. The next day, local conservative activist Marcia Langman compares the painting to bestiality, deems it unsuitable for a government setting, and demands it be destroyed.

Leslie goes on the news program Ya Heard? With Perd! to rouse public support for the painting by portraying it as a depiction of a powerful woman. However, she is undermined when reporter Perd Hapley also has on pornographic film actress Brandi Maxxxx, who defends the painting by comparing it to pornography. Chris convenes a meeting of the Pawnee Public Arts Commission to rule on whether the painting is acceptable. Despite Leslie's eloquent defense, the commission fears the nudity is offensive and decides to destroy it instead of risking public backlash. Leslie retaliates by stealing the painting.

Meanwhile, after cleaning up around the house, Ben gives Andy and April money to buy common household items. Although they almost waste their money on frivolous items, Andy insists they need to take Ben's advice. April admits she is afraid of growing up because she does not want them to lose their unique personalities, but Andy assures her they will not change.

Chris angrily demands Leslie bring the painting to city hall the next day to be destroyed. When Leslie reluctantly agrees to do so, Jerry expresses disappointment that she would give up so easily. Feeling empowered again, Leslie asks Jerry to quickly paint another, similar painting, only this time with Tom as the centaur. Leslie tells Marcia the new painting is the original one but painted over. With no more nudity in the painting, a frustrated Marcia gives up her quest to have the painting destroyed. Ben later confides to Andy he likes Leslie but is unable to ask her out because of Chris, but Andy tells him if they truly care about each other, then it will eventually happen.


Leslie: Ron, can you make the opening remarks? I-I just... I'm not in the mood.
Ron: Neither am I, ever. What's wrong with you? You live for this kind of stuff.
Leslie: I don't have it in me, right now. Ron, please? Do it for me. Make the speech. Ron, please? Please? Give the speech, Ron.
Ron: No.
Leslie: Yes. Please? Ron? Please? Please, give the speech.
Ron: No. No. I won't. No way. No.
Leslie: Yes, yes, yes. Please, please, please? Yes, yes.
Ron: Alright! Dammit, woman!

Ron: OK, everyone. SHUT UP, and look at me! [everyone quiets as they turn to listen to him] Welcome to Visions of Nature. This room has several paintings in it. Some are big, some are small. People did them and they are here now. I believe that after this is over they'll be hung in government buildings. Why the government is involved in an art show is beyond me. I also think it's pointless for a human to paint scenes of nature when they can just go outside and stand in it! [some of the guests look confused and uncomfortable at Ron's speech] Anyway, please do not misinterpret the fact that I am talking right now as genuine interest in art and attempt to discuss it with me further. End of speech.

Leslie: I'm like that light bulb. Weak, flickering, barely giving off any light, unable to make out with the light bulb I wanna make out with.

Andy: You can use as much free electricity as you want, it's free.

Ben: [on laundry] You always separate your lights from your darks.
April: That's racist.

Ben: [picks up a pan] Are you guys... frying marbles? [shows the pan to the camera, revealing some marbles both melted and intact]

Andy: The biggest challenge to picking the perfect roommate is finding someone who's willing to pay more than their share of rent without knowing it.

Tom: That's what you see when you close your eyes at night Jerry: topless Leslie glued to a horse! [laughs]

Leslie: Public Art Commission. Filled with hippies who love public art and sometimes weed. Jackpot.

Leslie: That painting is not gonna be destroyed. Every great work of art contains a message. And the message of this painting is get out of my way unless you want an arrow in your ass, Marcia.

Andy: Yes, we're gonna get a dish rack, and shower curtains, and a cutting board, but if you think for one second that I'm not also gonna get that marshmallow shooter so I can shoot you in the face with marshmallows when you're asleep, then you're the dumbest woman I know.

Tom: [admiring Jerry's new painting] I look awesome!
Andy: [confused about the centaur's anatomy] Is your penis between the front... arms, or the back legs?
April: [also confused] Yeah, where's your penis?
Tom: [looks back at the painting, then at Jerry feeling very upset] Dammit, Jerry!

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