13 Things You Didn’t Know About Leslie Knope

13 Things You Didn't Know About Leslie Knope

Leslie Knope established herself as a fan-favorite character on Parks and Rec. thanks to her unrivaled ambition. She saw herself as a future POTUS and modeled herself after popular female political figures like Hilary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, and Nancy Pelosi. Even though her ambition rubbed her colleagues the wrong way at times, she is never bothered by their perspective of her.

Leslie was an expert at blocking any hate and negative energy that was directed toward her. When angry Pawnee residents yelled at her at a rally, she claimed that they were “caring loudly at her.” The character was played to perfection by Amy Poehler, who sold the character of Leslie to millions


Updated on July 28th, 2022, by Lynn Gibbs: Leslie Knope was an open book on Parks and Rec. As the Deputy Director of the Pawnee City Parks and Rec. Department, she led her team with honesty and integrity, which inspired many. Because of her transparency with her coworkers and townspeople, viewers feel like they know Leslie just as well. However, there were a few notes about her character that are often overlooked and forgotten.

She Doesn’t Sleep Much

Parks and Recreation Leslie Ron

Leslie can compete with Batman for the title of “Least Nap Time.” In the eighth episode of season 3 titled ‘Camping,’ she reveals that she only averages 3.5 hours of sleep every night.

RELATED: Leslie Knope & 9 Other Great TV Female Role Models

In the episode, Leslie confesses to Ron that her poor sleeping habits have resulted in a mental block. She is even worried that she will never come up with a better idea than the Harvest Festival. As a good friend, Ron decides to lock her up in a bedroom (knowing she’ll get out if he doesn’t) and orders her to get some sleep. Leslie gets a full night’s sleep for the first time in her adult life and wakes up the next day with plenty of ideas. Her dedication to her career made her one of TV’s best female role models.

She’s Called An Array Of Nicknames From Her Friends & Colleagues

Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope and Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson

Further on this list explains an important nickname Leslie was given as a teen. However, there were other hilarious nicknames given to Leslie that viewers heard throughout the series. While fans know how funny the nicknames and compliments Leslie gave Ann were, Leslie’s names were just as silly.

Ron has called her Leslie Fu**ing Knope, the student bully named Greg Pikitis called her Parks Lady, Tom shortened her name to Les-Kno, and Andy’s code name for Leslies was I’d Be Lying If I Said I Hadn’t Thought About It. Leslie’s names are as endearing as Ann’s but they’re funny.

Leslie Was A Top-Notch Student

Leslie sitting at her desk in her office smiling on Parks and Rec

It’s obvious that Leslie was a great student because of her attention to detail, organization, and communication skills. However, she was far more educated than people gave her credit for.

According to her Fandom page, Leslie graduated high school in the top 5%. While attending Pawnee North High School, Leslie was an active member of the student body. She was Vice President of her class, was a founding member of the Young Independents, played field hockey, and was even a part of the Drama Club. Leslie did it all in high school, which translates to how she was in the office as an adult. Her high school credentials landed her graduating with honors from Indiana University.

A Committee Member & Leader

Parks and rec soda sizes with ann and leslie

Knowing Leslie’s background as a student-athlete who did it all, it tracks that she’d also be a member of multiple committees as an adult who worked for the government.

Because she loved the strange town of Pawnee so much, being a part of these committees made her more familiar with the town she loved and cared for. Leslie was attached to Pawnee’s Equal Opportunity Committee, the Clean Restroom Task Force, the Committee for Repainting Handicapped Parking Spaces Task Force, and numerous others. She joined multiple committees so that she was prepared for the hilarious happenings in Pawnee’s public forums, among other reasons too.

Her Favorite Rock Band

Leslie Knope Pawnee Public library Parks and Rec

Leslie is a big fan of the alternative rock band R.E.M. She is even able to quote their lyrics. In the sixth episode of season 4 titled ‘End of The World,’ she discusses the details of an article about the apocalypse with newspaper reporter Shauna Malwae-Tweep.

The Reasonabilists—a Pawnee cult that worships a lizard-like god named Zorp the Surveyor—claim their god told them the world is about to end. Forced to make a statement, Leslie tells Shauna to note down the words, “It’s the end of the world as they know it and Pawnee feels fine.” This is a slight alteration of lyrics from the R.E.M song “Its The End Of The World As We Know It (And I feel fine).” It was a quote that proved Leslie was the ultimate queen because she could be relatable as well as professional.

She Has A Crush On Joe Biden

Leslie has a huge crush on the current US President, Joe Biden, who made two cameos on the show. She ranks him first on her celebrity sex wish list. Biden first appears in the show in 2012 when Lesley’s fiance Ben arranges a meeting with him as an engagement present to her. Joe Biden was one of Parks and Rec.’s more surprising guest stars.

Leslie can’t contain herself after meeting her idol. The funniest moment happens while she is on her way out. She yells at one of the secret service agents, telling him to keep Joe safe. She adds: “He is precious cargo!”

Her Favorite Thing To Eat

Leslie Knope Flu Parks and Rec

Leslie loves Belgian waffles more than anything else. She often goes to the local diner, JJ’s to have her fix. Whenever she is too busy she orders waffles with special seasoning. Leslie also got upset when she went to JJ’s late only to be told that their closing time was 9 o’clock.

RELATED: 10 Of The Most Iconic Foodie Moments In Parks & Rec.

It’s reported that JJ’s has been the most popular diner in Pawnee since 1976. The specialty is the world-famous waffles which apparently cannot be replicated by any other restaurant chain. Their time at JJ’s had some of the more iconic foodie moments on Parks and Rec. 

Leslie Has Made Quite The Career For Hersel

Leslie Knope’s good work and ambition have seen her serve as the City Councilor of Pawnee as well as the Deputy Director of the Pawnee City Department of Parks and Recreation. She has also held the position of Deputy Director of Operations at the United States Department of Interior.

In flashforward scenes, it is implied that Leslie becomes the Governor of Indiana in the year 2025 after running on a Democratic ticket. She also becomes President of the United States in 2048. Leslie’s redeeming qualities were what made her such a strong candidate in every field.

Her Middle Name

Parks and Recreation Ann Leslie

In the fifth episode of season 4 titled ‘Meet N Greet,’ Leslie seeks Tom Haverford’s services so that he can use his company Entertainment 720 to help her campaign for a City Council position.

RELATED: The 10 Most Annoying Characters On Parks And Recreation

It turns out that Tom doesn’t like Leslie very much because he attempts to sabotage her on several occasions with self-centered promotional videos. Fans viewed Tom’s character as annoying as this because the event meant so much to Leslie. Towards the end of the episode, the two reconcile, with Tom showing her a biography video that he made for her. In the video, her full name is listed as Lesley Barbara Knope.

A Chaotic Romantic Life

Cupid doesn’t like Leslie that much. She doesn’t go on many dates in the show but she has plenty of stories to tell. She had numerous weird dates in the past, including one in which a date stuck his finger in her mouth as she slept. An unnamed man also fled during a dinner date and left her with a bill.

While traveling back from Indianapolis with her best friend Ann, Leslie tells her how dozens of men broke up with her in rude ways. Apparently, an ex took her to a picnic and instructed her not to eat anything because his girlfriend Rebecca was on her way. Another ex’s mom also called her to break up with her on his behalf. Her romantic life was chaotic but she won in the end when she married Ben.

Her Teenage Nickname

Leslie once reveals that when she was in high school, fellow students used to call her Angela Lansbury. This was because she had a weird haircut that other students couldn’t stop making fun of.

Lansbury is a British actress who had a successful career that covered eight decades in Hollywood. She is currently recognized as the earliest surviving Oscar nominee and one of the last living actors who worked during the Golden Age of Hollywood. In 2014, Queen Elizabeth honored her by making her a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. So if there was anyone to be compared to, Lansbury was a great decision.

Leslie Is An Ocean Loving In A Landlocked State

Although Leslie lived in Indiana, she enjoys being in the ocean. In the 12th episode of season 2 titled ‘Christmas Scandal,’ she reveals that she started taking surfing lessons when she was only 9 years old. She is also SCUBA certified.

When she gets thrown into a scandal, she panics and considers moving to the Caribbean island of Cozumel so that she can spend her days deep-sea diving and not worrying about a thing in the world. Luckily, the scandal clears up and she stays in Pawnee.

Leslie’s Number Of Gryzzl Points

The Pawnee tech company Gryzzl has a habit of data mining residents. It watches and reads the moods of every Pawnee resident that uses its advanced devices. It also gives them Gryzzl Points.

in the 2020 special episode titled “A Parks and Recreation Special.” Leslie is reported to have accumulated 24,794 Gryzzl Points. Donna Meagle is the character with the most Gryzzl points, having been awarded elite gold status. She is followed by Andy Dwyer who has 3,394,446 points. Leslie ranks fifth among her friends. While Gryzzl Points aren’t a real thing, there were other life lessons that Parks and Rec. fans learned from instead.

NEXT: 10 Life Lessons Reddit Fans Learned From Parks & Rec

Stranger Things Eddie Tattoo

Epic Stranger Things Eddie Tattoo Perfectly Immortalizes His Hero Moment

About The Author

Philip Etemesi
(1345 Articles Published)

Philip Etemesi is an author, journalist, screenwriter, and film critic based in Nairobi. Kenya. As a child, he preferred watching movies like Goodfellas instead of Home Alone. His girlfriend constantly has to pull him from the front of the TV but he just keeps returning. Stubborn dude! An animal lover, Philip also has a pet giraffe called Refu.

Twitter: @Etemessy

More From Philip Etemesi