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The Best Ron Swanson Quotes from Parks and Recreation

From Tammy shenanigans to simply loving meat, the director of Pawnee Parks and Rec was endlessly quotable. 

By Megan Lasher

Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) was a major staple in the Pawnee Parks and Recreation world. Between avoiding meetings at all costs — thanks to the help of April Ludgate (Aubrey Plaza) — and rolling his eyes at Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler)'s enthusiasm for public service, he offered number of sound bites that fans have been quoting long after the show stopped airing. 

How to Watch

Watch every episode of Parks and Recreation on Peacock.

Revisit Ron's most memorable quotes in this walk down memory lane. 

Ron Swanson's Best Quotes About Food

The Ron Swanson diet is pretty simple: a lot of bacon, eggs, steak, whiskey, and absolutely no vegetables. . 

"Dear frozen yogurt, you are the celery of desserts. Be ice cream, or be nothing.”

Inspired by Yelp, Ron decided to write negative reviews of "people and places." In Season 6, Episode 14 ("Anniversaries"), he took to his typewriter and began penning the letters, which he sent to places like a vegetable farm, a men's cologne brand, and a nonfat frozen yogurt bar. 

"Since I am not a rabbit, no, I do not." 

Chris Traeger (Rob Lowe) hosted Ron and Leslie for dinner in Season 3, Episode 6 ("Indianapolis"), and Ron said this in response to Chris asking if he'd like a salad. The meal was arranged after the three tried to go to Ron's favorite steakhouse, Mulligan's, but discovered upon arrival that it was closed due to a health violation.

"They just boarded her up like she was some common warehouse," Ron said. "I should have been there."

“Just give me all the bacon and eggs you have. Wait… I worry what you heard was, ‘Give me a lot of bacon and eggs.’ What I said was, give me all the bacon and eggs you have. Do you understand?”

In the same episode, Ron discovered that Chris was preparing to feed him and Leslie mushroom steaks in place of his Mulligan meal and he fled to a local diner. Upon seeing that the diner's steak was not up to par, he asked the waiter to bring him this instead. 

Ron's Best Quotes About Hating People 

It was no secret that Ron's biggest goal in the workplace was to avoid work, and particularly to avoid any kind of interpersonal meetings. In trying to help him avoid human interaction, however, April scheduled all of his meetings for March 31st — a day she thought was fake — and left him with 94 meetings to attend. 

Here are all of the other times Ron worked to push people (and work) away. 

“When people get too chummy with me, I like to call them by the wrong name to let them know I don’t really care about them.”

In Season 4, Episode 3 ("Born and Raised"), Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones) tried to get close to Ron and April by sharing gory hospital stories with them in the office. They immediately asked her questions about a patient whose hand got stuck in a Pringle's can, and she went on to outline more gross tales.

"That story's awesome," April told her. "Indeed, thank you for sharing, Jenny," Ron said to Ann. 

"Great job, everyone. The reception will be held in each of our individual houses, alone."

After learning that his girlfriend Diane Lewis (Lucy Lawless) was pregnant, Ron asked her to marry him in the courthouse. They went over to have the "shortest possible ceremony," in his words. Leslie attempted to make the quick wedding special and she was allotted 10 seconds for a speech, after which Ron and Diane were officially pronounced husband and wife and told everyone to go home. 

"If there were more food and fewer people, this would be a perfect party."

Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari) opened his own business, Rent-A-Swag, by renting his own fancy clothing to kids in Pawnee. Attempting to be thriftier than he was with Entertainment 720, he cut corners at all costs and asked the rest of the office to help him decorate the space he'd bought for the store in Season 5, Episode 8 ("Pawnee Commons").

He promised to buy them all pizza for their labor and, of course, didn't spend enough to feed everyone, hence Ron's criticism. 

Ron Swanson's Quotes About His Ex-Wives

Tammy Swanson, Ron Swanson, and Leslie Knope appear in a jail cell on Parks and Recreation.

Tammy 1 (Patricia Clarkson) and Tammy 2 (Megan Mullally) appeared a few times throughout the series, often turning Ron into an entirely different version of himself. The entire Parks and Rec office knew to be wary of his exes, so they would run to his side and try to prevent him from falling back under their spells before it got to be too late. Here's what Ron had to say about them. 

“On my deathbed, my final wish is to have my ex-wives rush to my side so I can use my dying breath to tell them both to go to hell one last time.”

In Season 2, Episode 8 ("Ron and Tammy"), Leslie had to work against the library in the fight to claim the open lot in town for a park. It immediately became clear that Ron hated his ex, Tammy 2, who was working at the library at the time.

He clarified that he still would get married again, though: "If you don't believe in love, what's the point of living?" he told the cameras. 

"My first ex-wife's name is Tammy. My second ex-wife's name is Tammy. My Mom's name is Tamara, she goes by Tammy."

Tammy 0 and Ron Swanson share a huge on Parks and Recreation.

While Tammy 2 proved to be pretty terrifying, nothing prepared the office for the visit of Tammy 1, Ron's first wife who turned him into a goody two-shoes every time she came around.

In Season 4, Episode 2 ("Ron and Tammys"), she visited Pawnee and lied that Ron was being audited just so she could find where he'd buried his gold. After he fell back under her influence, Leslie and the crew had to fight to keep Ron and they brought in his mother, the original Tammy, to do a drink-off competition. 

Ron Swanson's Quotes About Loving the Outdoors

Ron Swanson appears in Parks and Recreation.

While there are plenty of things Ron complained about, nature was never one of them. Everyone in his life knew that he was passionate about being outside, working with wood to build furniture and fishing — he even led a scouts-like group at one point. 

“It’s pointless for a human to paint scenes of nature when they can go outside and stand in it.”

In Season 3, Episode 11 ("Jerry's Painting"), the crew hosted an art show, particularly featuring art with nature depicted in it. Ron announced the show by saying, "This room has several paintings in it. Some are big and some are small," and he then went into the iconic quote questioning why the paintings existed in the first place. 

“Crying: Acceptable at funerals and the Grand Canyon.”

Ron famously didn't cry much. He admitted that the only two times he'd ever cried were when he was younger and got hit by a bus, and when the iconic miniature horse, Lil Sebastian, died. Pair this with his deep admiration for the outdoors and it's understandable why the Grand Canyon made his list for things that are worth crying over. 

Watch all of Ron's best quotes by streaming Parks and Recreation on Peacock.