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Looking Back on "The Fight," Parks and Recreation's Iconic Snake Juice Episode
From the broken coffee machine to the infamous libation, "The Fight" occupies a special niche for fans.
From the improvised drunken scenes to the quote-worthy one-liners, Parks and Recreation's Season 3, Episode 13 ("The Fight") regarded as a must-watch fan favorite
The gist: After a promising job became available at the health department, Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) went out of her way to prepare her best friend Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones) for the gig. Despite Leslie jumping hoops for her BFF, Ann wasn't too jazzed about the opportunity.
Meanwhile, Tom (Aziz Ansari) was throwing a party at his club, the Snakehole Lounge, to promote his new liquor, Snake Juice. The tension all came to a head at the Snakehole when the Parks and Rec crew got too drunk from Tom's debut libation. The resulting madness was a pandemonium of unforgettable gags.
Premiering in 2011, "The Fight" was ridiculous, charming, and wonderfully wacky, a testament to the Parks and Rec cast's dynamite hilarity.
Below, take a look back on "The Fight" and learn a bit about the episode's creation.
"The Fight" was Written and Directed by Amy Poehler
It should come as no surprise that one of the most beloved episodes of Parks and Rec was written by Leslie Knope herself. Poehler served as the writer and director of the episode, yet another comedic flex from the Saturday Night Live alum.
Jean-Ralphio's mystifying rap lyrics? The crew's hungover platitudes? That's right: All Poehler's immaculate pen.
Poehler also gave us one of Leslie's most memorable quotes ever in this episode: "We need to remember what’s important in life: Friends, waffles, and work. Or waffles, friends, work. Doesn’t matter. But work is third.”
The Broken Coffee Machine Cold Open
Like The Office, the cold opens of Parks and Rec contained some of the juiciest jokes of the series. The cold open of "The Fight" is the perfect testament to the hilarity to come. It kicked off with Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) demanding that whomever broke the office coffee maker come forward. The group angrily squabbled over the potential culprit... but the workplace menace turned out to be Ron all along.
"I broke it. It burned my hand so I punched it," Ron secretly admitted. "I predict in 10 minutes, they'll be at each other's throats with war paint on their faces and a pig head on a stick. Good. It was getting a little chummy around here."
Nick Kroll Guest Starred as "The Douche"
Parks and Rec had some amazing guest stars on its roster, from comedian Bill Murray to America's Got Talent Judge Heidi Klum. Big Mouth star Nick Kroll guest starred in "The Fight" as Howard Tuttleman, a.k.a. "The Douche," the shock jock of Pawnee's morning zoo-style radio program, Crazy Ira and The Douche.
Ann goes on a date with The Douche at the Snakehole Lounge in the episode, leading to several side-splitting moments between a baffled Leslie and the gregarious radio host.
"The Fight" was the debut of "Bert Macklin" and "Janet Snakehole"
The episode was also the introduction of two hysterical alternate identities adopted by the characters: Bert Macklin & Janet Snakehole. April Ludgate (Aubrey Plaza) and Andy Dwyer (Chris Pratt) were newlyweds at the time and, in hopes of spicing up the night, decided to dress up as totally new people for their date at the Snakehole Lounge.
Enter April's Janet Snakehole, a widowed heiress with a twisted secret, and Andy's Bert Macklin, an FBI agent framed for "stealing the president's rubies." Of course, Snake Juice did a doozy on their role-playing game, but an iconic couple was born, leading to several reprisals of the alter egos later on in the series.
The Drunk Confessions Were Improvised
Despite that "snizz" being "straight up dee-loy-cious," the biggest punchline of "The Fight" is Snake Juice's disastrous impact on the group.
In an effort to keep the drunk scenes authentic, the montage seen toward the end of the group's Snakehole shenanigans was improvised by the Parks and Rec cast. Better yet, they were all recorded independently, meaning Poehler got a gold mine of hilarious solo takes from her co-stars, the best of which fans have obsessed over for over a decade.
The typically tight-lipped Ron busting a move in a tiny pillbox hat, April's gibberish Spanish ranting, the ridiculous "Bababooey" drunkenly slurred by Ben (Adam Scott): It's hard to select one favorite quote from the sequence. It's no wonder Poehler described filming the montage as "the most fun I’ve ever had."
Plaza, echoed the sentiment in 2020 while looking back at the episode. "It came at a time when it was like, everybody knew their characters so well... The part of your personality that comes out [when you're drunk] is like the deep, deep one that's been buried inside," Plaza told Too Fab. "With those characters, it was such a fun game to decide, if Jerry was drunk, what is his deep personality behavior that's gonna come out?... Nick Offerman putting that stupid hat on and actually smiling, dancing, you would never expected to even see him happy..."
"It was like a very selfish fun exercise for Amy where she was like, 'I'm just going to write my ideal thing I want to see these people do, and then they'll have to do it because it's in the script,'" Plaza teased. "And she knows us all so well, so I think she wrote to our strengths, and it was like, let loose and have fun. It was a very special time."