An Annotated Guide to Last Nights ‘Parks and Recreation’ David Foster Wallace References

Yesterday, Parks and Recreation showrunner Michael Schur alerted us via tweet that last night’s episode would include “a few IJ references. [“A few” = like 18]).” While it seems a little strange for the show — we can’t imagine any of the characters (other than Ben, maybe) having a working knowledge of David Foster Wallace’s epic postmodern novel — it makes total sense for Michael Schur, an established fan, who directed The Decemberists’s Eschaton-themed video. Ultimately, the references amounted to name dropping, with only one really good joke, but we still got a lot of nerdy fun out of looking for them. After the jump, we break down all the David Foster Wallace references we spotted in last night’s episode of Parks and Rec. Did we miss any? Let us know what else you noticed in the comments.


When horrible, horrible Councilman Jamm takes Ron Swanson to court for punching him in the face, we get a peek inside his law firm, which seems to be comprised of one Don Gately (onetime thief and drug addict, resident counselor at Ennet House), and three students (or ex-students, we suppose, if they’re lawyers) from Enfield Tennis Academy: John “No Relation” Wayne, the top ranked player in Hal’s day, sportscasting enthusiast Jim Troeltsch, and psychotic Eschaton player Ann Kittenplan. We don’t think there’s any reason that all of these people are together here, they just all have fun, recognizable names.