Bone, Marry, Kill: Parks and Rec’s Ben Wyatt, Ron Swanson, Chris Traeger

Look, I don’t mean to imply that EVERYONE loves Parks and Recreation but if you don’t…uh, what are you doing?

On top of great, funny writing and hilarious acting, the show’s got some of the best, most well-rounded, loveable characters on TV. There’s cute nerd Ben Wyatt, grumpy woodsman Ron Swanson and high-energy health nut Chris Traeger, for starters.

Here, we will analyze in the most scientific fashion (B,M,K) whether we’d want to bone, marry or kill three of the show’s most alluring gentlemen. (Sorry Tom Haverford, your time will soon come!)

Ben Wyatt

Parks and Recreation

Oh cute, adorable, nerdy Ben Wyatt. He came on the scene as Leslie Knope’s bureaucratic enemy and slowly revealed himself to be a human being with feelings — and an emotional, embarrassing political past. (He was an overly-ambitious kid mayor who ran a whole town into the ground.) Once they grew closer, it became clear Ben and Leslie were falling in love. And so the rest of us and Pawnee got to know and love Ben Wyatt.

Ben can be strange and fumbling. He was once described on a Pawnee television program as a “human disaster.” As a comic book and sci-fi nerd, he can be awkward and weird.

Parks and Recreation

During the Treat Yo Self shenanigans with Donna and Tom, Ben’s ideas of relaxation were revealed to not be a spa or shopping, but running around in a full-on Batman suit. You see, Ben’s geeky but he’s not a caricature. He’s relatable. He wears his interests in niche culture as a badge of honor that no one else seems to get.


In his relationship with Leslie, he is supportive and goofy. When their sex games and dirty talk accidentally get left on Ron’s voicemail, the two of them are role-playing as various old-timey politicians. And when Leslie runs for office, Ben is by her side as her campaign manager. He’d be a great boyfriend and is worthy of a fun, sexy boning.

Verdict: Bone Ben Wyatt.

Ron Swanson

Parks and Recreation

Ron Swanson is the man you want with you if your plane crashes and you’re stranded in the wilderness. He’s a caretaker, and he knows his way around survival skills. He’s also grumpy and incredibly picky about the humans he chooses to interact with so you know if he’s with you or spending time with you, it means he really cares. He also loves meat, breakfast food and dark-haired women.


Ron’s been married twice to women named Tammy. And in his relationships, he’s very hot and cold. He’s passionate and devoted, but being in love sometimes makes him lose his judgement. (Though he has said, in one rare, sincere talking head that without love, what’s the point of living? Aw!) He seems like he’d be a devoted, steadfast man to be married to.

You have to think long-term on this: Ron is a virile, strong man. He can take care of a household — fixing the house, chopping wood, cooking bacon. He could also probably provide a brood of healthy children if you want to have them — and could get them all the meat and nutrients they need, plus teach them survival skills beyond what any Boy Scouts troupe could do.


Ron is also a long-term thinker, with a plan. He made the Swanson Pyramid of Greatness after all and so he knows what he wants out of life and his priorities are set. He’s a secret softie, too. He cares about April and Leslie and his gruff exterior can be shed when he truly loves someone. In terms of a strong, stable marriage, Ron Swanson is it. Plus, have you seen that mustache?

Verdict: Marry Ron Swanson

Chris Traeger

Parks and Recreation

Chris Traeger is played by the impossibly handsome Rob Lowe, which might have made him a shoo-in for the first two positions of Bone or Marry, but alas, he doesn’t hold a candle to the others for a few reasons.

Chris is lovely. He’s a sweet, genuine person who always maintains a positive attitude. He’s a health freak and loves running, cooking vegetarian, nutritious food, and keeping himself in tip-top condition. One time, when he had a minor illness, he was sure he was going to die and it revealed his immense fear of his own mortality.


One of his signature quirks is his overuse of the word “literally.” He also insists on calling people by their first and last names — even when he was dating Ann, he always referred to her as “Ann Perkins.” That shiz is annoying. Literally annoying.


So would Chris be a good bang? Sure. He’s super in shape and hot and fit. I bet he can go for a long time and he’d be real enthusiastic about everything. Would Chris make a good husband? Yeah. He’s nice and sweet and he’d care about your health and the health of your potential offspring.

But he’s kind of a distracted, naive baby (as his actions often prove) and as his relationship with Jerry’s daughter showed, WAY too intense about relationships — just like he is about life. If you wanted a one night stand, he’d probably propose marriage and if you wanted to just chill at home and watch a movie one night after you were married, he’d probably suggest kayaking white water rapids. It’s just way too much. Chris is way too much.

Verdict: Kill Chris Traeger. TC Mark

More From Thought Catalog