Parks and Recreation Wiki

Marlene Griggs-Knope (born March 6, 1953[1]) is the mother of Leslie Knope and a long-time fixture in the local politics of Pawnee. Marlene is widely regarded as unsympathetic and is known (fondly, according to her daughter) as "the Iron Cock-Shredder of Pawnee," a nickname given to her in 1994 by Ron Swanson.   [2]


Season One

In "The Banquet," Marlene receives a Tellenson Award for Pawnee Public Service and gives Leslie advice on how to blackmail the head of the zoning board.

Season Two

In "Galentine's Day", Leslie and her current boyfriend Justin attempt to set Marlene up with Frank Beckerson, the lifeguard at the beach who saved her life back in 1968 when she was trapped in a current. They had an affair for two weeks, but when Frank proposed to her she had to decline since her parents believed she was too young. At first, Marlene is excited to see Frank, but after he announces he got a job at a grocery store right out of college and he is completely unemployed currently, she isn't as interested. He suggests they pick up where they left off, but Marlene rejects him.

Season Three

In "The Bubble", Ben Wyatt has a meeting with Marlene and he asks Leslie if they're related. She denies this but later tells him how tough her mother is. Ben goes into the meeting with Marlene a nervous wreck, and immediately says yes to her request for four new school buses. Later, Leslie is disappointed to her hear mother call him a "spineless jellyfish". Ben receives another request from the Education Department, but this time for even more buses than originally asked for. Leslie teaches Ben about things her mother likes and also how to be tougher with her. In their meeting together, Marlene makes a pass at Ben, not knowing that he was dating Leslie. They later go into her office together and tell her that they're dating. Ben says that since he knows it could get Leslie fired, he trusts Marlene won't tell anybody. Marlene immediately bursts out laughing and tells them "that's hilarious". She tells Ben she'll take 4 buses, but Ben counters with 2, and she accepts. She tells Leslie after Ben leaves the room, "I like this one".



  1. In Galentine's Day (season 6), it is revealed that the newspaper headline on the day of Marlene Griggs-Knope's birth was "Josef Stalin Dies." Since Josef Stalin died on March 5, 1953, Marlene Griggs-Knope was born on March 6.