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For the last time, and I won't say this again, there will be no human or feline ashes in either one of the time capsules.
Leslie Knope

"Time Capsule" is the third episode in season 3 of the NBC television series Parks and Recreation. It originally aired on February 3, 2011 to 4.95 million viewers.


Leslie is organizing the making of a time capsule to be opened 50 years in the future Pawnee. A citizen named Kelly Larson comes to City Hall and makes a passionate plea for the Twilight books to be included. When Leslie refuses because the books have no connection to Pawnee, Kelly handcuffs and she reconsiders. He is able to stay several days because he brought food, water and a pillow. During his stay, Kelly notices Tom Haverford appears sad, and correctly deduces Tom is having romantic issues; Tom's girlfriend Lucy has dumped him because Tom cannot get over the fact that his ex-wife, Wendy Haverford, is dating Ron Swanson. Kelly encourages Tom to read Twilight, to which he initially scoffs, but after reading them finds he loves the books. Lucy later visits Tom and tells him she still likes him, and that if he ever gets over Wendy dating Ron, he should call her.

After Leslie notices the name "Liz Waverly" in one of Kelly's Twilight books, Kelly admits she is his 12-year-old daughter. He is divorced from her mother, and wants to put Twilight into the time capsule to impress her. Leslie now wants to include it, but Ben Wyatt retorts the idea because it could start a bad precedent whereby anyone who wants something from Leslie could just handcuff themselves to a pipe. Leslie decides to hold a public meeting so all citizens can make suggestions for capsule items. The meeting descends into chaos when the participants argue over what to include and make absurd suggestions, like human ashes and dead cats. Conservative activist Marcia Langman argues Twilight should not be included because it is too anti-Christian, while a civil liberties organization member says that the book isn't suitable because it is pro-Christian. Leslie tries to compromise by making multiple time capsules, but she ultimately decides to stick to one capsule and include nothing except a video recording of the meeting, which she feels represents Pawnee because it shows "a lot of people with a lot of opinions arguing passionately for what they believed in". Ben Wyatt says he thinks the residents of Pawnee are strange, but he is impressed by their passion.

In a subplot, Andy Dwyer still pines for April Ludgate, who remains angry at Andy and is still dating Eduardo. Chris Traeger suggests Andy tap into the aspects of his personality April was attracted to in the first place. However, the only things he can think of are that he is nice and he is in a band. Andy decides to be nice to Eduardo, and the two realize they have similar musical tastes (they both like the Dave Matthews Band) and end up bonding over a guitar session. April becomes frustrated because she only dated Eduardo to make Andy jealous. She dumps Eduardo, which Chris interprets as a sign that his efforts are succeeding. Ann Perkins, who was nervous about Andy and Chris spending time together, is relieved when Chris tells her that Andy had nothing but positive things to say about her. The episode ends with the Pawnee residents — including Kelly and his daughter — watching an outdoor screening of the Twilight film.


Leslie: Okay, Jerry. What have you chosen to put in the time capsule?
Jerry: [holds up two books] These are my mother's diaries.
Leslie: [touched] Wow.
Jerry: Yeah, she lived in Pawnee all of her life and recorded everything she ever did. And so, it's kind of like a living document about the town.
Tom: Hmm, a disappointingly good idea from Jerry.
Leslie: Better than good, Jerry. Perfect.

April: [reads aloud one of the diary entries] January 18, 1964. Gerald starred in his school production of Peter Pan. He was a beautiful Tinker Bell. [Tom and Donna burst out laughing]
Jerry: It was an all-boys school!

Tom: For my item, I chose a picture of my ex-girlfriend Lucy, with a mustache drawn on her face and stink lines coming off her. 'Cuz she stinks! [explaining later to the crew] She broke up with me. Didn't really tell me why. Luckily when you're the guy you can just tell people she's crazy. "Hey, Tom, I heard you and Lucy broke up." "Yeah, man. Turns out, she's crazy." That's what they always do on Entourage.

Ron: I am submitting this menu from a Pawnee institution - JJ's Diner, Home of the World's Best Breakfast Dish, "The Four Horsemeals of the Egg-Porkalypse". Wendy loves it, too. [Tom glares at him with jealousy]

Leslie: [reading aloud Pawnee's various former slogans] "Pawnee, the Paris of America". "Pawnee, the Akron of southwest Indiana". "Pawnee, Welcome, German soldiers". After the Nazis took France, our mayor kind of panicked. "Pawnee, the factory fire capital of America". "Pawnee, Welcome, Vietnamese soldiers". "Pawnee, engage with Zorp". For a brief time in the '70s, our town was taken over by a cult. "Pawnee, Zorp is dead. Long live Zorp". "Pawnee, it's safe to be here now". "Pawnee, birthplace of Julia Roberts". That was a lie, she sued and so we had to change it. "Pawnee, Home of the World Famous Julia Roberts lawsuit". "Pawnee, Welcome, Taliban soldiers". And finally, our current slogan: "Pawnee, First in Friendship, Fourth in Obesity".

Leslie: [after Kelly handcuffed himself in Leslie's office] He brought handcuffs with him. This whole thing was planned.
April: I think it's kinda cool.
Leslie: It's not cool. It's trespassing, and that is breaking the rules. Cool people make the rules. They don't break the rules. And if those kids want you to break the rules, then they're not really your friends.
April: Whoa, who are you even talking about?
Leslie: I don't know. I'm sorry - I'm just annoyed.

Leslie: While we're on the subject, you're friend Orin - with the long black nails and the cloak - he concerns me.
April: He's a genius. [gives a knowing look at the camera]

Ron: [pulls out a hacksaw from his desk] I'll take care of this trespasser. Just give me 30 seconds.

Donna: Oh, I love any book about vampires, werewolves, monsters, zombies, sorcerers, beasties, or time-traveling romances. And if I had an hour alone with Robert Pattinson, he would forget all about Skinnylegs McGee; I'll tell you that much.

Kelly Larson: Hey, Leslie! I'm making some sleepy-time tea! You want any?

Ann: I just started dating Chris, and I don't know how, but Andy is going to screw it up. Andy screws everything up. When we were dating, I bought him a fish, and I don't want to get into it, but somehow that fish ended up dead in a cowboy boot.

Tom: Am I Team Edward? Yes. Do I share his concerns about turning Bella, though? Absolutely not.

Leslie: I think we should put Twilight in the time capsule.
Ron: Leslie, no. We don't negotiate with weirdos.

Leslie: Please remember, this is a government project. So, we need to refrain from corporate promotion and religious items. Who'd like to start?
Man: I think we should put in the Bible.
Leslie: Great.

Woman: Why should the Bill of Rights be in the official Capsule, but this painting of my dog is in Time Capsule 7?

Leslie: So, enjoy watching it. Assuming you still have electricity. And sorry about the weird blank gap in the middle. A man named Jerry Gergich screwed up the recording somehow. He had one job to do.