Nerds Gets Spooky: Tricks and Treats Ahead in ‘Parks and Recreation’s “Halloween Surprise”


Let the spookiness continue! Welcome back to our spooky series where the staff here at Nerds and Beyond are recapping some of our favorite Halloween episodes each day in October. Today, we will be revisiting season 5, episode 5 of Parks and Recreation, “Halloween Surprise.”

Halloween is in full swing in Pawnee! In this episode, Ron (Nick Offerman) is invited to go trick-or-treating with Diane (Lucy Lawless) and her daughters. After some pushing by Andy (Chris Pratt), Ron agrees to go. We later see Andy, Diane, the girls, and Ron all in costume trick-or-treating and all seems to be going well, until Diane is called away by her job. Andy and Ron’s efforts to watch the girls go poorly resulting in an angry voicemail the next morning from Diane. Later on, Diane apologizes for the voicemail, but Ron does not apologize for what he has done, causing Diane to say goodbye and walk away.

Courtesy of NBC

Meanwhile, Leslie (Amy Poehler) and Ann (Rashida Jones) are looking at houses since Leslie and Ben (Adam Scott) planned to move in together once he returns from Washington DC. Back in Washington, Ben has announced he has completed the campaign he had been working on, and they have won. As Ben is about to return to Pawnee, he is approached by Jennifer Barkley (Kathryn Hahn) to talk about his future career, who offers him the opportunity to work on another campaign.

Courtesy of NBC

Back at the Parks Department, Chris (Rob Lowe) screens the movie Death Canoe 4: Murder at Blood Lake in honor of Halloween. He intends to dress as his greatest fear and is later shown dressed as an old man. The entire Parks Department is in costume except for Donna. Leslie discusses her problems with Ben to Ann and they decide to try to scare Tom to cheer her up. Instead of Tom, they end up scaring Jerry, who has a heart attack which they call a “fart attack.”

Courtesy of NBC

One of my personal favorite parts of this episode was how the Halloween antics were mixed with the heartfelt atmosphere of this episode. We get to see almost the entire cast in costume for Halloween, and Leslie as Rosie the Riveter is pretty iconic! We also get to see Ron go out of his comfort zone for Diane and go trick-or-treating with her daughters. Ron even dresses up as a pirate while they are princesses.

While this is one of Parks snd Recreation‘s Halloween episodes, it was also one of the staple turning points in the show which makes it all the more special. Many big things happened in this episode, such as Leslie and Ben getting engaged, Diane and Ron solidifying and furthering their relationship, and Tom being inspired to create Rent-a-Swag.

Courtesy of NBC

While this episode isn’t very scary, it really does embody how Halloween can bring people together in many different ways and how the future can be uncertain but everything does work out in the end. To continue your Halloween watchlist, here are some other Parks and Recreation Halloween episodes!

  • “Greg Pikitis” (Season 2, Episode 7)
  • “Meet ‘N’ Greet” (Season 4, Episode 5)

For more Halloween episode recommendations, make sure you check back here tomorrow!

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