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He's dark and mysterious, and he can sing. And he plays the organ.
Leslie Knope

"Soulmates" is the tenth episode of season 3 of the NBC television series Parks and Recreation. It originally aired on April 21, 2011 and had 4.88 million viewers.


Chris Traeger enacts a government-wide health initiative in Pawnee, starting by banning red meat from the city hall commissary, much to the displeasure of Ron. He challenges Chris to a burger cook-off to prove red meat is superior to Chris' lean meat, with red meat staying on the menu if Ron wins. Meanwhile, Leslie invites Ben out to dinner, but he turns her down, leaving Leslie confused because she was sure Ben was attracted to her. Ann, who is now dating multiple men after taking Donna's advice to be more adventurous, tells Leslie to join an online dating website called and sets up a profile for her.

Leslie finds a match that is 98 percent compatible with her – a "soulmate" rating – but is horrified to discover that it is Tom. Additionally, the crude sewage department employee Joe makes a romantic advance toward Leslie, prompting her to launch a "douche-vestigation" to find out why she attracts the wrong type of man. Meanwhile, Chris takes Andy, April, and Ron to a health food market called Grain 'n Simple, where he gathers numerous ingredients for the perfect turkey burger, but Ron is unfazed, simply buying a pound of red meat from his favorite food market, Food and Stuff.

In her investigation, Leslie quickly learns Joe merely hits on any woman as long as she is not elderly. She takes Tom out to lunch to learn more about him. He responds to all of Leslie's questions with his usual chauvinistic answers, annoying her to the point that she admits she took him out because they matched on HoosierMate. A delighted Tom teases Leslie the rest of the day by pretending they are a couple, but she finally silences him by kissing him. Chris notices the kiss and warns Leslie that he has a strict policy against workplace dating.

At the cook-off, Chris prepares his meticulous turkey burgers for the judges: Tom, Donna, Jerry, and Kyle. They all love it, but give much higher praise to Ron's simple hamburger on a bun. Initially surprised, even Chris comes to admit the burger is superior after trying it, so he reluctantly agrees to reinstate red meat on the commissary menu. Chris later tells Leslie his dating policy has affected others, explaining that he earlier warned Ben not to ask out a co-worker. Leslie realizes that is why Ben rejected her and is glad when Ben asks her to eat in front of her favorite city hall mural. Leslie deletes her profile on HoosierMate, and is relieved to learn that Tom has 26 different profiles on the site to match himself with any type of woman, although the one Leslie matched with was his "nerd" profile.


Chris: Pawnee is, as you all know, the fourth most obese city in America.
Tom: Soon to be number three. We're coming for you, San Antonio.

Leslie: Yellow-haired female... likes waffles and news.
Ann: [typing] Sexy, well-read blonde... loves the sweeter things in life.
Leslie: Much better.
Ann: Hobbies?
Leslie: Organizing my agenda. Wait, that doesn't sound fun...jammin' on my planner!
Ann: Favorite place?
Leslie: Upstairs there's this mural of wildflowers, and I like to sit on a bench in front of it.
Ann: Really? It could be anywhere in the world: Paris, Hawaii, the Grand Canyon...
Leslie: Nope. Just the bench in front of the mural.
Ann: What about an actual meadow, where wildflowers are?
Leslie: Eww, Ann, I'm scared of bees. Mural!
Ann: Okay, what do you think of dogs?
Leslie: Love!
Ann: Cats?
Leslie: Love!
Ann: Fish?
Leslie: Love!
Ann: Turtles?
Leslie: No opinion. They're condescending.
Ann: Describe your ideal man.
Leslie: He's dark and mysterious, and he can sing. And he plays the organ.
Ann: I think you just described The Phantom of the Opera.

Tom: Zerts are what I call deserts, tray trays are what I call entrees, sandwiches are sammies, sandoozles or Adam Sandlers, air conditioners are cool blasterz with a "z" ... I don't know where that came from. I call cakes big ol' cookies, I call noodles long ass rice, fried chicken is fry fry chicky chick, chicken parmesan is chicky chicky parm parm, chicken cacciatore is chicky catch, I call eggs pre-birds or future birds, root beer is super water, tortillas are bean blankets, and I call forks... food rakes!

Ron: [reading a message April gave him] Who the hell is 'Fwarp'?
April: I don't know. I couldn't really hear him. It sounded like his name was Fwarp.
Ron: Get his number?
April: No.
Ron: Good girl. [he crumples the message up]

Andy: Did you know that the food you eat becomes energy? Yeah! [punches his fist in the air] Boom! That's spaghetti! [throws some empty punches] Nachos! [does a high kick] The cookie.
April: [looks at the camera with pride] That's my husband.

Chris: [entering Grain'N Simple] Ahh, nirvana! Hey, guys! [the workers greet him] Amber, Annie, Bill, Johnny!
Ron: [uncomfortable] No, I don't plan to buy anything here. I buy my burger and food at Food N' Stuff, a discount food outlet equal distant from my home and my work. I came here for the same reason people go to the zoo. [looks behind him] Shhh, look at that thing. [gestures at one of the workers with dirty dreadlocks and no hairnet] Nature is amazing.

Grain'N Simple worker: Would you like to sample our vegan bacon? 100 percent meatless.
Ron: Yes, please. [the worker hands him a piece and Ron throws it in the trash] Another, please. [the worker looks hesitant, but gives Ron another piece - which he, again, throws it away]
Grain'N Simple worker: S-Sir, is there a problem?
Ron: I'm just making sure no one ever has to eat this.
Grain'N Simple worker: I-I don't think I can give you anymore.
April: I want one. [the worker hands her a piece and she throws it away, leaving him dumbfounded; April and Ron look at each other and smile]

Ron: [at Food N' Stuff] I love Food N' Stuff. It's where I buy all my food... and most of my stuff. [some of the items he goes through are meat, water hose, and a toilet seat; Ron looks very happy]

April: Hey, can I get these? [shows a pair of fake crows]
Ron: How much are they?
April: 2 bucks apiece.
Ron: Good deal. [April places them on the counter]
Cashier: Anything else?
Ron: Nope. Just the crows and the beef.

Andy: What's this? [holds up a dragon fruit]
Chris: Dragon fruit.
Andy: What's this? [holds up a kiwano]
Chris: Kiwano. Or horned melon.
Andy: What's this? [holds up a peach]
Chris: A peach.
Andy: I knew that.

Chris: Fresh lettuce is my all-time favorite food. What's your favorite food?
Andy: Oh, I take Skittles and I put it between two Starbursts. Know what I call it?
Chris: Skittle Sandwich?
Andy: ...That's pretty good. No, I call it Andy's Mouth Surprise. It's nice because the flavor of the Starbursts really bring out a similar flavor in the Skittles.

Leslie: Let’s play a different game. I’m gonna say stuff about me and you say, on a scale from one to ten, how interested in that thing you are. Ready?
Tom: Okay.
Leslie: I love sunshine and fresh air and early morning walks.
Tom: One.
Leslie: I’ve read five biographies of Eleanor Roosevelt.
Tom: One.
Leslie: I work at the Parks and Rec...
Tom: [interrupting] One.
Leslie: That’s what you do.
Tom: One.
Leslie: I once kissed a girl in college.
Tom: [smiling] Eight.
Leslie: Where I graduated summa cum laude in History.
Tom: One. Zero. Negative a billion. Don’t talk about it anymore, please.

Leslie: It's like... door number two on Let's Make A Deal. Do you want the thing that you have, that you know you like but isn't perfect? Or do you give it up for what's behind door number two?

Chris: I humbly place before you my East-meets-West patented Traeger Turkey Burger, an Asian fusion burger made with Willow Farms organic turkey, toasted Taleggio cheese crisps, papaya chutney, black truffle aioli, and microgreens on a gluten-free brioche bun. Enjoy!

Tom: [tasting Chris' turkey burger] This taste is delicious as Beyonce smells. I'm guessing.

Kyle: I love the Umami flavor.
Jerry: Stop being so pretentious, Kyle.
Kyle: Sorry.

Ron: Here's mine. It's a hamburger made out of meat on a bun with nothing. Add ketchup if you want, I couldn't care less.

Chris: Ron, I'm so disappointed. I thought that you and I were gonna have a real challenge.
Tom: [tasting Ron's burger] Never mind, this is better!
Donna: [tasting Ron's burger] WAAY better!
Jerry: [tasting Ron's burger] Mm, yep. Mm-hmm.

Andy: Kyle?
Kyle: [after tasting Ron's burger] Sorry, Andy. Ron's is better.
Andy: [snatches Ron's burger from Kyle] Dammit, Kyle. [he eats the burger and instantly caves] OH MY GOD, THIS IS SO MUCH BETTER! It's crazy!

Ron: Turkey can never beat cow, Chris. Sorry.

Chris: [stunned that Ron's hamburger beat his turkey burger] Well, I-I don't understand. I-I-I've tinkered with this recipe for years. Granted, it's been a long time since I've had a hamburger.
[Ron hands his own burger to Chris; Chris, in disbelief, takes the burger]
Chris: [tastes the burger and quickly caves] This is better.

Chris: [making an announcement] The commissary will continue to serve... horrifying... artery-clogging hamburger. [Tom, Donna, Jerry, and Kyle cheer]


  • The vehicles parked outside "Food and Stuff" have Californian license plates, even though the store (along with Pawnee) is set in Indiana. This is because filming takes place in California.