Parks and Recreation (2009–2015)
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The Master Plan 

Everyone is excited about celebrating April's 21st birthday except Leslie, who is preoccupied with the prospect of her budget being cut by the state auditor's office.


Dean Holland


Greg Daniels (created by), Michael Schur (created by) | 3 more credits »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Amy Poehler ... Leslie Knope
Rashida Jones ... Ann Perkins
Paul Schneider ... Mark Brendanawicz
Aziz Ansari ... Tom Haverford
Nick Offerman ... Ron Swanson
Aubrey Plaza ... April Ludgate
Chris Pratt ... Andy Dwyer
Adam Scott ... Ben Wyatt
Rob Lowe ... Chris Traeger
Phil Reeves ... Paul Iaresco
Natalie Morales ... Lucy
Jim O'Heir ... Jerry Gergich
Retta ... Donna Meagle
Ben Schwartz ... Jean-Ralphio
April Eden ... Trish (as April Marie Eden)


Leslie is disappointed when her new park plans are put on hold by a visit from two state auditors. April has plans for Andy at her birthday party, and Ann tries to piece together a romantic mystery. Written by NBC Publicity

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

13 May 2010 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


While listing the guest stars in the opening credits, the the phrase "and introducing" precedes Rob Lowe's name, an obvious joke as at the time of airing, Lowe had been appearing in television and films for over 30 years. See more »


Ben states that when he was 18, he chose "Whoomp! (There It Is)" as the song to play at his inauguration ceremony as mayor of Partridge, Minnesota. However, according to the newspaper article from February 18, 1993, he was elected mayor on November 7, 1992, and presumably had already been in office since January 1, as the article goes into detail about how he has spent his time as mayor. "Whoomp! (There It Is)" was not released until May 1993 and became popular later that summer. See more »


Ron Swanson: Leslie, what do we do when we get this angry?
Leslie Knope: We count backwards from 1,000 by sevens, and we think of warm brownies.
Ron Swanson: Go do that in your office.
See more »


Danger Zone
Written by Giorgio Moroder and Tom Whitlock
Performed by Rashida Jones
See more »

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User Reviews

Game-changing episode
7 August 2018 | by brenbellaSee all my reviews

To say that this episode is important to the series is an understatement. I consider seasons 3 & 4 of Parks and Recreation to be the best of the series, and it all really all started with this episode. The episode introduces two major characters who will both become key members of the show's cast. Both of them great characters that add even more comedy depth to this show's already stacked roster of talent.

They are of course Adam Scott's Ben Wyatt and Rob Lowe's Chris Traeger. The two state auditors who come to Pawnee following a huge budget crisis. They work like the state government's version of a good cop and bad cop, and let's just say Leslie is not too happy when she finds out that they need to slash the budget of every department by nearly 40 or 50 percent. Ron, on the other hand, is very pleased by this news. "What exactly will you be cutting and how much of it and can I watch you do it while eating Pork Cracklins?"

Meanwhile, April is getting ready to turn 21, and she plans on having a big celebration at the Snakehole Lounge, in hopes that she will finally get to hook up with Andy. We get many great moments at the Snakehole Lounge including Leslie drunkenly yelling at Ben, Rashida Jones showing off her incredible drunk acting skills, and Jean-Ralphio makes another memorable appearance as he proves once again why he might be the worst human-being imaginable.

"The Master Plan" is an episode that puts the final pieces in place to create what will shortly be known as "Parks and Recreation in its prime." Having seen the series from beginning to end, I can say that it was this particular episode that took the show to its highest levels of content.

Quick side note: We get a great scene at a bar between Leslie and Ben where we find out more of Ben's backstory. I just love how much attention the show puts into its characters. Ben could have easily been a one-dimensional, antagonistic type character, but the show seems to have other ideas for him.

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