In the final episode of Parks and Recreation, we are fast-forwarded to 2048, to see Garry/Jerry/Larry/Terry/Barry's funeral. We are shown Leslie and Ben, surrounded by Secret Service agents, who at the end tell them that it's time to go:

animated GIF of the scene described above

This suggests that one of them became the president of the United States of America. However, the member of the Secret Service that addresses them does so in a deliberately ambiguous way, so that we aren't really able to get who became president.

I understand this means that was left purposely ambiguous, but I was wondering if there's anything, either in the show or said by the creators or cast members, that suggests which one of them became president (or at least which one is more likely to have become president).

I think it makes sense that it was Leslie, given that she is the main character of the show, but the fact that it seems to have been left purposely ambiguous kinda threw me off there.

  • 2
    As a point of deference, a secret service agent would typically address POTUS first, as that's their main charge. So if nothing else, the actor's cues in who he addresses first (Ben) is evidence that he's the one who became President of The United States. Also typically it's the elected official who wears a flag lapel pin, not their spouse.
    – TylerH
    Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 13:30
  • @TylerH The lapel pin isn't on the lapel because the collar is turned up. It is affixed to the coat which is a bit silly because it looks like the lapel is big enough to cover the pin when turned down.
    – Erik
    Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 22:25
  • @Erik Yes, but it's still called a lapel pin. The style of the coat looks to be one where you don't turn the collar down, judging by the buttons.
    – TylerH
    Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 22:29

1 Answer 1


According to the writer, it's intentionally ambiguous.

You get to decide. "We declared a lot of things explicitly about what happens to all the characters," Mike Schur tells me. "And I wanted there to be one point of real ambiguity. I declared it in the writers' room as the 'David Chase end of The Sopranos moment.' Lower stakes probably, but I just wanted there to be one thing where people would look at the information and then suss it out in their own minds what they think happened. And so I told the gentleman [at the funeral] who said, ‘It's time to go'…I said, 'You're not addressing either of them individually.'"

There's also no solid indication that either of them are actually the President. Again, this is intentional

"He doesn't say Madame President. He doesn't say senator. He doesn't say Mr. Secretary. He just says ‘It's time to go' and it's unclear who he's talking to and he appears to be a Secret Service agent, but he also could be a limo driver. I wanted it to be ambiguous and I wanted there to be a way that fans of the show and people who were invested in those characters could make up in their own minds what they think happened. You don't have to say everything. "

  • 7
    Er, sure, Mr. Schur, they're surrounded by limo drivers with earpieces. Whatever you say ;)
    – Walt
    Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 11:58
  • 5
    @Walt - This is the future. Maybe all limo drivers wear earpieces...
    – user7812
    Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 12:33
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    And congregate? Nah, I'd sooner guess cloned\robot servants. ;) [Actually, the one on the left has glasses suspiciously like Agent Smith's...]
    – Walt
    Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 12:38
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    The President isn't the only one who gets Secret Service protection. The Vice President does as well, as well as some members of their close families. Senators and congressmen will also often have some form of protection (possibly not Secret Service, but similar). During election seasons, even candidates for the Presidency or other high profile offices will be given protection. Possibly even Supreme Court justices or Cabinet officers, not sure on that. Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 14:22
  • 1
    Heck, never mind politicians: The man who shot Reagan has a Secret Service detail.
    – Yakk
    Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 19:42

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