Parks & Rec Theory Reveals The Dark Real Reason Everyone Bullies Jerry

Although the Parks Department crew in Parks & Recreation got along quite well and were very close, they all bullied Jerry Gergich at any given chance, and while this was used for laughs, a dark theory explains the real reason why everyone bullied Jerry so much. Among the most successful TV shows of the 2000s and 2010s is Parks & Recreation, created by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur, and even though it had a rough start, it eventually found its own voice and tone and became one of the best TV shows of the decade – but that doesn’t mean it didn’t have its weaknesses.

Set in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana, Parks & Recreation introduced the audience to the crew at the Parks Department, led by the always cheerful and optimistic Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler). Through Leslie, the audience met her coworkers and closest friends, taking a close look at their dynamics inside and outside City Hall. Leslie even shared the spotlight with some of her friends and many of them became fan favorites, such as Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman), April Ludgate (Aubrey Plaza), and Andy Dwyer (Chris Pratt). Others were at the center of many, many jokes and pranks, as is the case of Jerry Gergich (Jim O’Heir), though the way he was treated by his coworkers wasn’t exactly something to laugh at.

Related: Parks & Rec: Jerry's Fart Attack Made The Show's Biggest Problem Even Worse

Jerry (whose real name is Garry Gergich) was one of Leslie’s coworkers at the Parks Department, and he stood out for being the one everyone in the office constantly bullied, even though he was always kind, gentle, and patient with everyone, even when they were making fun of him. A reason for everyone being so mean to Jerry all the time was never given, though it was established that he was quite clumsy and often found himself in embarrassing situations, and a theory gives a possible explanation that makes the whole situation even more concerning.

At the beginning of Parks & Recreation, the main characters (except for Ann Perkins) all worked at the Parks Department, but as the series progressed, they all found their true paths and eventually left City Hall to go on to better things. Parks & Rec gave everyone a happy ending by changing all their jobs – for example, Leslie ended up as Deputy Director of Operations at the United States Department of Interior (and later Governor of Indiana and possibly President of the United States), Ron became Superintendent of National Park, April found her ideal job at the American Service Foundation, and Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari) finally became a successful businessman and best-selling author. Ron even mentioned at some point that the Parks Department was a “way station” for talented people on their way to bigger and better things, which was true for all the characters that worked there at some point… except for Jerry.

A theory, posted on Reddit, suggests that the real reason Jerry was bullied all the time by his coworkers and supposed friends is all about his performance at work. When viewers met Jerry in Parks & Recreation season 1, he was the office manager of the Parks Department, and it wasn’t until many years later that he changed jobs, working at the National Park Service Midwest Region and later becoming acting mayor of Pawnee, which then led him to become Mayor of Pawnee for three decades.

The author of the theory points out that Jerry is the opposite of what Ron mentioned about the office being a “way station” for talented people, as he was a below-average bureaucrat who spent decades in the same job and didn’t show ambition nor drive to do something different. Jerry, then, was his coworkers’ worst nightmare as he represented everything they never wanted to be, and so they constantly took those fears and concerns out on him and bullied him all the time.

Even though he was bullied every day all day at the Parks Department (and everywhere he went if his coworkers were also there), Jerry was always patient and kind and deeply cared about his coworkers/friends, and he never let the way they treated him affect him. Jerry was the one character in Parks & Recreation who was always truly and genuinely happy as he had a beautiful, loving family and that’s all he needed to be happy. This even helped Jerry live for many, many years, as the flashforwards in the Parks & Recreation finale revealed he died on his 100th birthday. The theory about Jerry being bullied because he represented what the rest never wanted to be completely misses that Jerry actually had a great life, a beautiful and loving family, and was truly happy, something that the rest of the characters struggled to find and have in their personal lives.

Next: Sweet Parks & Rec Theory Explains Why Andy Dwyer Changed So Much

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