Parks and Recreation (2009–2015)
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The Bubble 

Leslie's mom makes a pass at Ben, not knowing that he and Leslie are dating. Meanwhile, Chris makes radical changes in the office, and nobody is happy with them.


Matt Sohn


Greg Daniels (created by), Michael Schur (created by) | 4 more credits »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Amy Poehler ... Leslie Knope
Rashida Jones ... Ann Perkins
Aziz Ansari ... Tom Haverford
Nick Offerman ... Ron Swanson
Aubrey Plaza ... April Ludgate
Chris Pratt ... Andy Dwyer
Adam Scott ... Ben Wyatt
Rob Lowe ... Chris Traeger
Jim O'Heir ... Jerry Gergich
Retta ... Donna Meagle
Pamela Reed ... Marlene Knope
Helen Slayton-Hughes ... Ethel Beavers
Jim Jansen ... Stuart
Tami D'Addio Tami D'Addio ... Kim
Sara Van Horn ... Gretel


Everyone in the office is unhappy when Chris decides to make some big changes in the parks department -- especially Tom who starts to question his career choices. Leslie is caught off guard when Ben has a meeting with her mom. Written by NBC Publicity

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

19 May 2011 (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?


In the scene where Ben stands up to Leslie's Mom for whatever reason Amy Poehler couldn't keep a straight face and she only has one line in the scene, which took about 23 minutes to get right, you can view it on the season 3 blooper reel. See more »


Just before Ben meets Leslie's mother Leslie spills coffee on his shirt and it leaves a large wet stain. Seconds later when Ben goes in and meets Leslie's mother the stain is perfectly dry and size/shape of the stain has changed; then as Ben and Leslie's mother talk the stain changes shape and size again several times as the scene progresses. See more »


Ron Swanson: Listen well, for I will not be saying this ever again: I have a compromise.
See more »


References The Six Million Dollar Man (1974) See more »

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User Reviews

One of the weaker Season 3 episodes, but still very funny
16 August 2018 | by brenbellaSee all my reviews

Just two more episodes to go until the end of season 3, and this season has been nothing but fantastic. We have seen one relationship lead to marriage (Andy and April), one end in a break-up (Chris and Ann), and now a new one that has just begun (Leslie and Ben). This episode is all about the secret relationship of Ben and Leslie that they are hiding from one another, with the risk of losing their jobs on the line. It's very much like "Season 5 Monica and Chandler from Friends" but still very entertaining to watch. Also very refreshing, because they are just adorable together!

The episode has two major storylines that take up the entire episode. One is great, and the other is ok. Let's start with the one that is ok. Ben has a meeting with Leslie's mom, unknown to the fact that its her mother. Leslie makes things very awkward for Ben and does not tell him its her mother until the very last minute. Leslie is scared this meeting will ruin "the bubble" which refers to the beginning of a romantic relationship. I was never a big fan of the character of Marlene Knope, but this whole storyline is so cringy that you can't help but laugh at a few moments here and there. The B-story, however, is much stronger.

Chris has initiated new changes in the Parks Department and has moved everyone to different positions and even different floors in City Hall. In this storyline, we get the introduction of one of my favorite Parks and Rec minor characters, Ethel Beavers, who works on the fourth floor where Tom and Andy now work. I love seeing Andy remain optimistic and positive even though he works on the fourth floor. It is still much better than his shoe-shining job. My favorite thing about this storyline is seeing Ron adjust to his new desk. A circular desk with no walls right in the center of the office. My favorite scene in the entire episode is when Ron avoids a Pawnee citizen who is trying to get his assistance by maneuvering his chair further and further away from her.

Overall, "The Bubble" isn't one of the strongest episodes in the season, but still funny with a few very entertaining scenes. I like seeing Leslie and Ben finally as a couple, even though they have to hide it from the public. Also there's some more classic Ron Swanson moments. In this season, there seems to be at least one classic Swanson scene or quote in every episode.

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