This article contains spoilers for the Parks and Recreation show. Continue at your own risk.
Thomas Montgomery "Tom" Haverford (born Darwish Sabir Ismail Gani) is a fictional character in the NBC comedy-drama Parks and Recreation. He is a sarcastic and underachieving government official for the city of Pawnee. He is portrayed by Aziz Ansari.
Physical Appearance[edit | edit source]
Personality[edit | edit source]
Background[edit | edit source]
Tom married his college friend Wendy, a Canadian resident, to get her a U.S. citizenship. This green card marriage was so successfully hidden because people always assumed Tom was the one who would need citizenship, which he could prove wrong because he was born in South Carolina. Despite the marriage, Tom aggressively flirts with other women, which has prompted confusion from people unfamiliar with his arrangement with Wendy.
He is constantly pursuing women even during his marriage, as far as going to strip clubs, hitting on Ann Perkins, and judging at the Miss Pawnee pageant. Tom has complete authority over the Pawnee tennis court reservation system, which has brought him into close contact with many attractive female tennis enthusiasts.
Storyline[edit | edit source]
Tom appears lackadaisical about his work at the parks department and regularly undermines Leslie. He plays online Scrabble against his superior, Ron Swanson, during work time and loses on purpose in order to further his career. Ron, who believes in as little government interference as possible, approvingly states of Tom, "He doesn't do a lot of work around here. He shows zero initiative. He’s not a team player. He never wants to go that extra mile. Tom is exactly what I’m looking for in a government employee."
Tom is often chosen to go on field projects with Leslie. He is also known for abusing his small amount of public power for self-benefit. Tom studies the culture of pickup artists and engages in a practice he calls "peacocking," which involves finding a visual element that makes him stand out in public like a peacock. On one such date, he wears a woman's orange hat, which others find ridiculous.
In the episode "Beauty Pageant," Tom pulls some strings so that he can be a judge. He routinely cheers for Trish Ianetta, despite her being unintelligent. He reveals at the end of the episode one of his pickup tactics is to give girls copies of keys to his house and tell them to show up whenever. He says that no one has shown up so far, but he has been robbed twice. Ron discovers Tom's arranged marriage with Wendy Haverford but agrees to keep it secret, especially after Tom discovers Ron secretly moonlights as nightclub jazz musician Duke Silver. Tom and Wendy get a divorce shortly after she gets her citizenship. Although he initially appears fine, Tom realizes he did in fact harbor feelings for Wendy and regrets the parting.
At the beginning of Season 3, in the episode "Go Big or Go Home," Tom is seen working at Lady Foot Locker as a sales associate while the government is shut down. When Ben Wyatt sets up a youth basketball league, Tom uses his uniform from the footwear outlet to act as the referee. He gives preferential treatment to Andy Dwyer out of jealousy that Ron Swanson is dating his ex-wife Wendy. In "Flu Season," Tom skips out on planning a presentation to small business owners for the Harvest Festival to go "spice up the spa experience" for a bunch of older gentlemen.
Later, it's revealed that Tom's spa buddies are, in fact, owners of several rental car dealerships who agree to donate a fleet of vehicles for the festival. In "Time Capsule" it is revealed that Lucy has broken up with Tom, and she reveals that their relationship ended because Tom spent too much time talking about his ex-wife Wendy Haverford's relationship with Ron Swanson.
As an attempt to exact revenge on Ron, Tom brings Ron's ex-wife Tammy 2 as a date to an event organized by the Parks department in "Ron & Tammy: Part 2." The night ends in chaos with Ron and Tammy being arrested and getting married. Tom tries to stop Ron from proceeding with Tammy, which causes Tammy to beat him senseless. Realizing Tammy is still a horrible woman, Ron breaks up with her and carries Tom off in a huff.
In "Indianapolis," Tom and Ben bond at a club where Tom hopes to pitch his cologne, "Tommy Fresh", to fragrance mogul Dennis Feinstein. Ben comforts Tom after Feinstein rejects and insults Tom's fragrance. In "Harvest Festival " Pawnee's beloved celebrity miniature horse Li'l Sebastian goes missing on Tom's watch from the Harvest Festival (although Tom puts the blame on Jerry). The bad press risks keeping visitors away from the festival, but things get straightened out when he's found in the festival's corn maze. In "Camping," he equips his tent with luxury and electronic items from Sky Mall, the powering of which drains the battery on the van and leaves the Parks Department stranded at the campsite, forcing them to seek refuge at the nearby bed and breakfast, The Quiet Corn.
Tom is thrilled to be named Andy Dwyer's best man in "April and Andy's Fancy Party," as he says it's on his bucket list, but is discouraged when he learns Andy has several "best men".
In "Soulmates," Leslie is matched up with Tom via an online dating service. He relentlessly teases Leslie and reveals he has multiple accounts at the site with the hopes of attracting all types of women. In "The Fight", the Parks Department comes out to The Snakehole Lounge bar for the debut of Tom's new drink "Snake Juice." Chris forces Tom to sell his shares in the Snakehole Lounge because it conflicts with his government job, much to his disappointment. In "Li'l Sebastian," Tom and his friend Jean-Ralphio Saperstein successfully organize Li'l Sebastian's memorial service, which helps inspire Tom to leave City Hall to start an entertainment company with Jean-Ralphio.
Tom begins working at Entertainment 720 and offers the shoeshiner at City Hall, Andy Dwyer, a job, which Andy turns down. In "Ron and Tammys", Tom tasks Ben with helping out with his grossly mismanaged new company. Entertainment 720 goes bankrupt after quickly blowing through their funding while doing little actual work. Tom decides to throw one last party which Lucy attends and he confesses to her that he is broke and jobless.
Ron tries to persuade Tom to take his old job back. Tom initially refuses but eventually agrees to return to the Parks Department in "The Treaty." Ann and Tom begin a tumultuous relationship after making her smile at Valentine's Day party in "Operation Ann". She decides to meet him for a date, and his antics immediately make her regret agreeing to go out with him. She struggles with his immaturity and he struggles with what he calls his "oh-no-no's," which include not sharing his taste in music. However, after several fits and starts, Tom has convinced Ann to keep seeing him.
Tom finally begins what appears to be a reputable business, based on an idea he came up with during a fundraiser for Jerry in "Halloween Surprise." The idea, aptly titled "Rent-a-Swag" is to rent his own high-end clothing to middle school boys whose mothers won't buy them nice things through puberty. Business at Rent-A-Swag is successful, however with Mona-Lisa Saperstein, Jean-Ralphio's sister, she is slowing things down and is lazy. Tom considers firing her, but she makes a move on Tom and then they become a couple in the episode "Bailout."
Tom says dating Mona-Lisa is great but he has no control over her and he is scared for his life whenever he is around her. He tries to get Ann to dump her but ends up not breaking up. Rent-A-Swag is offered a deal to be bought out, Tom suspects, Diddy or Jay-Z however the client is nameless and refused to reveal his/her identity. Tom rejects the offer and so a counter-attack, the client will open a store across the street from Rent-A-Swag called "Tommy's Closet" which is the exact same idea as Rent-a-Swag but sells baby's, grown-up and elder's high fashion clothes.
In the season finale, Tom briefly believed that he had gotten Mona-Lisa pregnant, but learned that she was not pregnant. He effectively ended their romantic relationship after this and began to pursue other women in the next season.
Business at Rent-a-Swag is dead because of Tommy's closet, and Tom and Mona-Lisa are no more. With help from Donna, he finds out that the owner of Tommy's Closet is Dr. Saperstein, Jean-Ralphio and Mona-Lisa's dad, he also finds out that Ann is pregnant with Chris' child. Dr. Saperstein is doing this because he thinks that Tom screwed Jean-Ralphio out of his business and that he took his daughter's virginity and stole her BMW. Jean-Ralphio and Mona-Lisa both made up those stories, and although Jean-Ralphio confesses his part, Dr. Saperstein doesn't back down and will ruin Rent-a-Swag.
Tom also develops a crush on Nadia Stasky (Tatiana Maslany), a doctor from Indianapolis who is from Doctors Without Borders, who wants to rent a park for their experiment for Pawnee. April helps Tom get him a date with Nadia before she goes to Rwanda in two weeks.
Tom goes on yet another business venture that he calls "Tom's Bistro," which turns out to be wildly successful at its opening after the Unity Concert.
In 2017, Tom's Bistro is one of the most successful businesses in Pawnee. After being persuaded by Andy, Tom goes to Chicago to visit his ex-girlfriend Lucy to try to get her back. After discovering that she has a boyfriend, he panics and asks her to work at the bistro. She agrees and moves back to Pawnee.
After going to visit her boyfriend, Lucy comes back to Pawnee to tell Tom that she and her boyfriend have just broken up. He later asks her to come with him to Donna's wedding, but nervously adds that they would only be going as coworkers. After much contemplation, he tells Lucy that he would like to go as her date, to which she agrees.
The night before the wedding, Tom tells Ron that he could see himself spending the rest of his life with Lucy. Ron tells Lucy this, and Lucy becomes uncomfortable. Lucy eventually forgives Tom, and confirms that they are dating.
In "Two Funerals," Leslie convinces Tom that he should propose to Lucy when he picks her up from the airport. With Leslie and Jean-Ralphio's help, he shoots a proposal action movie trailer for Lucy. When Lucy arrives at the airport, Tom tells Leslie that he can't give her the movie, and tells her to get a vase of flowers, pancakes from JJ's Diner, and a deck of cards, and to meet him at the Snakehole Lounge.
He takes Lucy to the lounge, where he sets up a table with the pancakes and flowers, reenacting his and Lucy's first date in the place they first met (Lucy was bartending at the Snakehole Lounge when they met). He recalls how he tried to show her a card trick and attempts to do it again. When Lucy picks her card, it says "Will you marry me?" Lucy says yes, and the two hug. In "One Last Ride", his future montage shows that at the advice of his Senior Advisory Board, he attempts to expand his business, which ultimately fails. He then authors two self-help bestsellers and reacquires Tom's Bistros.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Uses his spare bedroom room for a closet.
- He is called “Tiny” by many of the office staff.
- Created the annual holiday "Treat Yo' Self" with co-worker Donna Meagle.
- Has 26 different dating profiles to ensure constant matches (ie: Tom A, Tom B, Tom C, etc).
- Tom has an "Oh No No" system applied to his dating life.
- Missed his prom due to getting his Armani suit and tie dimple "juuuuust right."
- Wears pink for the cool effect.
- Often uses the term "boo" when talking to a girlfriend.
- He is always scheming a plan, invention, or company.
- He once moved because his refrigerator broke.
- His parents are from India.
- His shoe size is 6.5
- He claims that his real name was Darwish Zubair Ismail Gani before he changed it Tom Haverford to make it farther in politics due to racism towards Muslim names and his skin color at the time, though it's unclear if this is the truth.
- Fan of rapper Diddy.
- Tom’s heroes include Vin Diesel, Flo Rida, and Patrick Jane.
- Tom has 65,876 Gryzzl Points as of A Parks and Recreation Special.
Photos[edit | edit source]
This character has a Photo Gallery.
References[edit | edit source]
- Ellis, Mark (2009-12-06). "Monday TV: Parks and Recreation". The Sydney Morning Herald. http://www.smh.com.au/news/entertainment/tv--radio/tv-reviews/monday-tv-parks-and-recreation/2009/12/02/1259429436076.html. Retrieved 2010-01-01.
- Press Tour Journal: Poehler series' premise, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 15 January 2009.
- Weiner, Jonah (2009-12-02). "You Really Should Be Watching Parks and Recreation". Slate. http://www.slate.com/id/2237077/. Retrieved 2009-12-06.
- Pierce, Leonard (2009-12-10). "Parks and Recreation: "Christmas Scandal"". The A.V. Club. http://www.avclub.com/articles/christmas-scandal,36235/. Retrieved 2009-12.
- Fowler, Matt (2009-10-09). "Parks and Recreation: "The Practice Date" Review". IGN. http://tv.ign.com/articles/103/1033559p1.html. Retrieved 2009-10-23.
- Tobias, Scott (2009-04-23). "Parks and Recreation: Season 1: Episode 3: "The Reporter"". The A.V. Club. http://www.avclub.com/articles/the-reporter,27100/. Retrieved 2009-04-26.
- Keller, Tom (2009-05-19). "Aziz Ansari: Downtown comedy for the masses". Punchline Magazine. http://punchlinemagazine.com/site/aziz-ansari-downtown-comedy-for-the-masses/. Retrieved 2009-05-21.
- Fog, Henning (2009-10-09). ""Parks and Recreation" recap: Dirty little secrets". Entertainment Weekly. http://popwatch.ew.com/2009/10/09/parks-and-recreation-recap-dirty-little-secrets/. Retrieved 2009-10-23.
- Gonzalez, Sandra (2009-12-04). ""Parks and Recreation" recap: "Tom's Divorce" makes us love the show more". Entertainment Weekly. http://popwatch.ew.com/2009/12/04/parks-and-recreation-recap-toms-divorce-makes-us-love-the-show-more/. Retrieved 2009-12--05.