The amazingly performed wide cast of characters in beloved ‘office’ sitcom Parks and Recreation offers a range of reliability and humor for its audiences. There’s something for everyone as the characters all have their time to shine at one point or another, allowing for flaws, arcs, and opinions to fly for comedy and comfort’s sake.
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Much like how in the show, everyone chooses a dog breed to represent them, the Myer’s Briggs Personality Test® can be used to help categorize who the characters are, their behavior patterns, and how closely an audience member can associate with them.
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Updated on March 13th, 2022 by Stacie Rook: From Leslie Knope’s admirable work ethic to Ron Swanson’s deadpan demeanor, the characters of Parks and Rec have defining characteristics which guided their actions over the show’s seven seasons, and the time viewers spent with them gave audiences insight into the characters’ personality types, which can be aligned with MBTI® categories.
Jerry Gergich – ISFJ
Jerry is an ISFJ, the Defender Type: someone who protects at all costs. Defenders are incredibly kind, enthusiastic, and generous, ready to support their loved ones at their own expense and share their resources. In their relationships, Defenders take great joy in harboring and taking care of their family.
This makes sense as Jerry, despite the sadder parts of his character, is always prepared and willing to do whatever he can to help out anyone he comes across, in addition to being a very loving husband and father to a picturesque family who he takes great pride in taking care of.
Chris Traeger – ENFJ
Despite not necessarily being the protagonist of Parks and Rec, Chris Traeger certainly belongs in the ENFJ, Protagonist category. A leader and positive enforcer in many of his relationships, Chris acts on behalf of the whole’s needs rather than the individual, usually believing it’s on everyone’s behalf.
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He’s active, athletic, and inspiring, though sometimes he can steamroll over other people’s efforts, happiness, and situations when he believes it’s for the greater good. He’s a learning type, open to change and listening, but only after it’s proven to him that change is necessary.
Donna Meagle – ESTP
Donna, the co-creator of the phrase “Treat Yo-Self” from one of Parks and Rec’s sweetest friendship scenes, is defined as an ESTP, the Entrepreneur type, same as Tom. These individuals are extroverted, incredibly observant, and adventurous. This completely aligns with Donna’s personality as she loves new ventures, investing, traveling, and hates being bored, mistreated, or underestimated.
She feels free to treat herself and others (if they deserve it) and holds her environment up to certain standards. She’s kind and knows her worth, while always being willing to speak up and stand up for issues as she sees fit.
Andy Dwyer – ENFP
Andy is an ENFP, the Campaigner type. These individuals are extroverted and agreeable people who enjoy making connections and having new experiences. They’re energetic and compassionate, as Andy has often shown himself to be.
Andy gets along with most people, even having a successful relationship with April (who hates people in general), and imbues every relationship he has with trust, effort, and emotion. Though admirable, this can lead to Andy’s feelings getting hurt, as he is a sensitive individual.
Tom Haverford – ESTP
The other originator of “Treat Yo-Self,” Tom is an Entrepreneur type, and literally considers himself an entrepreneur. Like his ESTP counterpart Donna, he hates being bored and being preoccupied with work and chores he considers below him.
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He uses his ventures, relationships, and gimmicks as an escape and means to try and get rich quick to change his environment. Tom is extroverted and likes to be on people’s good side. Even so, he can still be selfish and steamroll over other people. As a result, he needs to grow internally before moving forward and becoming successful.
Ben Wyatt – ISTJ
ISTJs, or Logisticians, are all in the name: knowledgeable, analytical, and introverted types. They work things out using logic and reason, considering trust and relationships built namely on integrity, honesty, and reliability. They’re dutiful and are always working towards some goal, and can display great patience and time when it comes to the task at hand.
Ben is someone who understands things through this lens, taking the time to either get to know people (although this leads at times to him coming off as incredibly awkward) or working on his projects with immense care and detail, no matter what they may be.
April Ludgate – INTP
April is an INTP, the Logician, not to be confused with Logistician. Logicians are intuitive and introverted thinkers who pick and choose their relationships based on their worth and importance. She enjoys always staying a step ahead of her peers, and if she isn’t, she tries to get around the obstacle using unconventional approaches, usually intimidation or cutting remarks.
April is brilliant and uses this to her advantage, building her career over the course of the show. She’s imaginative and open to things that others usually aren’t, which is part of what makes her and Andy such a great pair, a relationship developed in one of the show’s best storylines.
Ann Perkins – ISFJ
Ann Perkins is also an ISFJ, the Defender, much like Jerry. While Ann is more self-aware than Jerry, she’s willing to lend her time at the drop of a hat. She’s incredibly attentive to both her friendships and acquaintances. She can notice small details about people, likely due to her career as a nurse, and is a nurturer, something she carries through in her quest to become a mother.
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Ann is always willing to lend a shoulder or an ear to anyone who needs it, as a means to both communicate and support them, although, like Jerry, she often has a difficult time realizing her self-worth and standing up for herself.
Ron Swanson – ISTJ
Like Ben, Ron is an ISTJ, the Logistician. This makes sense in that Ron always needs a good reason to do something, and can reason his way through or out of anything. He is knowledgeable and wise, choosing most of his relationships and connections wisely, as proven time and again through his best quotes from the show.
Though he’s not one to ever crack when it comes to having fun, like his ISTJ counterpart Ben, he likes to take great time and pride in his hobbies and expressions of art, such as woodworking.
Leslie Knope – ESFJ
Leslie is an ESFJ, the Consul personality. These individuals are jugglers, actively trying to take on as much as they can for the sake of the care, wealth, happiness, and safety of others. Leslie does this in her career, both working for Parks and Recreation and as a politician, actively doing what she thinks is best for everyone, including rude strangers that she owes nothing.
Leslie also makes up holidays as an excuse to give people presents. As a Consul she’s incredibly social and makes sure to always insert herself into whatever her friends are doing, though this is sometimes to the point of overcompensating or getting too personal.
NEXT: The 10 Most Annoying Characters On Parks And Recreation
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About The Author
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Chaiana Galicia is a Screen Rant writer as well as a creative/screenplay writer, film critic, working artist, and graphic novelist with an in-depth education on all things pop culture, art, and underground. She has also appeared in short films and worked on features as a storyboard artist, art director, and props creator. If you don’t want to see it, chances are she has, supplementing her knowledge of the fascinating, nerdy, and obscure. Find her on Instagram at limina_1999 and Twitter at Chai_Simone
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