After watching entirely too many episodes of Parks and Recreation and The Simpsons, I’ve come to the conclusion that Leslie Knope could be a grown up version of Lisa Simpson. It’s not too much of a stretch considering that Parks and Recreation is often compared to The Simpsons and that creator Greg Daniels was a producer for The Simpsons. The characters feature many similarities, like their love of work and their overall do-goodery, among many others.
Both characters are overly enthusiastic about their work and surrounded by others who are not. Much like Leslie finds mundane Parks Department assignments to be exciting, Lisa actually enjoys going to school and doing homework. They’re each members of a large amount of organizations and clubs. Leslie is on the Equal Opportunity Committee, the Fun In The Sun Committee, the Clean Restroom Taskforce, and several other restroom related taskforces, while Lisa is yearbook editor, “Grammar Rodeo Head Buckaroo”, Teacher’s Pet, bathroom timer, started “The French Table”, and various others. They’re both often made fun of for their enthusiasm toward their work yet it never deters them.
Both Leslie and Lisa have incredible loyalty as well. Leslie will do just about anything to help her co-workers, for example, taking the blame for shooting Ron Swanson in the head or taking credit for breaking his coffee pot. Lisa features a similar loyalty to her family. No matter how big of a doofus Homer is or whatever crazy thing Bart does, at the end of the day, she always ends up on their side.
Even with many other similarities, what seems most similar is that they are both hard working feminists who want to improve their community. Lisa is constantly fighting for different political causes and for the advancement of women. The same could be said for Leslie, who wants to help her town no matter how mean people at the city forum are to her. Like Lisa, Leslie can be seen as a feminist. Her goal is to be president one day and she even has pictures of many successful women on her desk, like Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, and Janet Reno. Much like Leslie, Lisa has a large interest in government and successful women.
Parks and Recreation’s Pawnee is often talked of being a live-action Springfield due to all of it’s similarities like rival towns and strange characters. Yet, when comparing characters between the two shows, I think it would be hard to find a closer match than Leslie Knope and Lisa Simpson. Even with all of their differences, like Lisa’s vegetarianism and Leslie’s love of waffles and whipped cream, it’s not hard to imagine Lisa Simpson ending up being a hardworking government employee like Leslie Knope.