Ronald Ulysses Swanson is a fictitious character played by Nick Offerman and developed by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur for the NBC situation comedy Parks and Recreation. Ron is the director of the Parks and Recreation Department in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana, and Leslie Knope’s immediate boss in the series (Amy Poehler). Knope and Swanson are polar opposites in terms of demeanor, political philosophy, and work ethic: where Knope is sunny and outgoing, decidedly liberal, and always working, Swanson is distant, and as a staunch libertarian, is a strong supporter of small government—stating his belief that government must be privatized—and thus believes that the parks department should not exist at all.


Ron Swanson Quotes

1. “There’s only one thing I hate more than lying: skim milk. Which is water that’s lying about being milk.”


2. “Dear frozen yogurt, you are the celery of desserts. Be ice cream, or be nothing.”

3. “The less I know about other people’s affairs, the happier I am. I’m not interested in caring about people. I once worked with a guy for three years and never learned his name. He best friend I ever had. We still never talk sometimes.”

4. “When I eat, it is the food that is scared.”

“When I eat, it is the food that is scared.”

5. “Fishing relaxes me. It’s like yoga, except I still get to kill something.”

6. “The whole point of this country is if you want to eat garbage, balloon up to 600 pounds and die of a heart attack at 43, you can! You are free to do so. To me, that’s beautiful.”

7. “There is only one bad word: taxes.”

“There is only one bad word_ taxes.”
“There is only one bad word_ taxes.”

8. “Great job, everyone. The reception will be held in each of our individual houses, alone.”

9. “I have a hernia. I’ve had it for a while, and I’ve been ignoring it successfully. But uh, this morning, I made the mistake of sneezing. But as long as I sit still and don’t move my head or torso, I’m good. I got this.”

10. “Literally everything is a weapon, son. That folder, in my hands, is far deadlier than this bow of yours.”

11. On bowling: “Straight down the middle. No hook, no spin, no fuss. Anything more and this becomes figure skating.”

12. “Just give me all the bacon and eggs you have. Wait … I worry what you heard was, ‘Give me a lot of bacon and eggs.’ What I said was, give me all the bacon and eggs you have. Do you understand?”

13. “I’ve cried twice in my life. Once when I was 7 and hit by a school bus. And then again when I heard that Li’l Sebastian had passed.”

14. “Don’t start chasing applause and acclaim. That way lies madness.”

15. “I call this turf ‘n’ turf. It’s a 16-ounce T-bone and 24-ounce porterhouse. Also, whiskey and a cigar. I am going to consume all of this at the same time because I am a free American.”

16. “I’m a simple man. I like pretty, dark-haired women and breakfast food.”

17. “When people get too chummy with me, I like to call them by the wrong name to let them know I don’t really care about them.”

18. “If there were more food and fewer people, this would be a perfect party.”

19. “That is a canvas sheet, the most versatile object known to man. It can be used to make tents, backpacks, shoes, stretchers, sails, tarpaulins, and I suppose, in the most dire of circumstances, it can be a surface on which to make art.”

20. “Any dog under 50 pounds is a cat, and cats are useless.”

21. “I regret nothing. The end.”

22. “I’d wish you the best of luck but I believe luck is a concept created by the weak to explain their failures.”

23. “Clear alcohols are for rich women on diets.”

24. “Crying: Acceptable at funerals and the Grand Canyon.”

25. “There are three acceptable haircuts: high and tight, crew cut, buzz cut.”

There are three acceptable haircuts_ high and tight, crew cut, buzz cut.”

26. “Under my tutelage, you will grow from boys to men. From men into gladiators. And from gladiators into Swansons.”

27. “On my deathbed, my final wish is to have my ex-wives rush to my side so I can use my dying breath to tell them both to go to hell one last time.”

28. “Normally, if given the choice between doing something and nothing, I’d choose to do nothing. But I will do something if it helps someone else do nothing. I’d work all night, if it meant nothing got done.”

29. “When I walked in this morning and saw that the flag was half-mast, I thought ‘All right, another bureaucrat ate it!’”

30. “I like Tom. He doesn’t do a lot of work around here. He shows zero initiative. He’s not a team player. He’s never wanted to go that extra mile. Tom is exactly what I’m looking for in a government employee.”

Only skim milk, which he claims is water masquerading as milk, irritates him more than lying. Ron is also demonstrated to enjoy rich, high-cholesterol foods such as red meat.

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