screenrant.com Parks & Rec: 10 Jean-Ralphio Ideas, Ranked From Worst To Best
Parks and Recreation has an extensive cast of endearing main characters and memorable supporting characters.Of these frequent guest stars, none is more divisive than Jean-Ralphio Saperstein, the fast-talking best friend and business partner of Tom Haverford.Jean-Ralphio is the kind of character that viewers either love or hate, but there's no denying that his many appearances on the show are memorable and that his quotes live rent-free in many fans' heads.
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Each time Jean-Ralphio makes an appearance, he has some new (and frequently illegal) scheme in mind.While most of these ventures prove to be bad ideas, from time to time Jean-Ralphio hits upon a truly brilliant plan. These are some of his most noteworthy scams, starting with "the W-O-O-O-O-O-R-S-T," as Jean-Ralphio would put it.
10 When He Betrays Tom
When it comes to business, Jean-Ralphio and Tom are inseparable, which is not necessarily a good thing.Their toxic friendship leads to the downfall of many of their business ideas, but their friendship appears to survive - until Tom dumps his partner to save his Rent-A-Swag business.
Moving on from Jean-Ralphio is undoubtedly a sound business decision for Tom, and things seem to be going well until Jean-Ralphio decides to ruin things.When he lies to his father about Tom, Dr. Saperstein retaliates by taking over Tom's business, which is one of the saddest things that happen to Tom in the series.The real tragedy is not that the business failed, as this happens frequently to Tom, but that his supposed friend has gone behind his back.It's a low move, even by Jean-Ralphio's standards.
9 When He Writes A Speech
Even when he's trying to be helpful, Jean-Ralphio often misses the mark, although he's too self-confident to see how foolish he sounds.The best man speech he crafts for Tom at Andy and April's wedding is a great example of this confidence gone wrong.A Vince Vaughn quote in a wedding speech would be bad enough, but one can only imagine which quote from Fred Claus Jean-Ralphio could have in mind.
It's also never a good idea to bring up the groom's ex-girlfriends in the best man speech.In the end, Tom doesn't get the opportunity to give his epic speech, so viewers are left to imagine what a trainwreck it would have been.SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
8 When He Bankrupts His Business
In more capable hands, Entertainment 720 could have been a viable business.Unfortunately, under Jean-Ralphio's influence, Tom does not have capable hands.The extravagant office space they rent, along with the pro basketball players they keep on retainer for no discernible reason, may look cool but have no value for their business.
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Jean-Ralphio undoubtedly has a swagger, but there is no substance behind it.His saving grace is that when the business fails, he doesn't take it to heart.He has an easy-going personality that allows him to accept his many failures without feeling defeated.
7 When He Lies On His Resume
Exaggerating skills on a resume is a questionable workplace choice in Parks and Rec and real life, but Jean-Ralphio is adept at making questionable choices.Oddly enough, he knows exactly what to say to get hired, inventing a proficiency with Quickbooks on his application to work for an accounting firm.To his credit, he also immediately admits that nothing on his resume is true and that he's only interested in pursuing his coworkers romantically.
Unsurprisingly, he's fired, but it doesn't seem to bother him or affect his mood in the least.If he put as much effort into learning actual skills as he does in coming up with scams, he'd be a very successful man.
6 When He Ruins A Salespitch
Buying shares in Pawnee's popular Snakehole Lounge is not a bad business idea, but Jean-Ralphio finds a way to mess it up.His disastrous pitch to Donna, including his awkward flex of owning a "pre-owned Acura Legend" and his promise of "daggering" her on the dance floor, prompts Donna to pass on the deal.
His speech is memorably awkward and hilarious, but viewers can't help but wonder why Tom lets Jean-Ralphio make the pitch at all.Even though Donna doesn't join Tom and Jean-Ralphio, their plan to purchase the shares succeeds, so it's not as awful as some of his other ideas.
5 When He Fakes His Death
Jean-Ralphio comes so close to succeeding when he fakes his death for insurance money in the series finale of Parks and Recreation.Even Mona Lisa, his partner in the scheme, praises his plan to open a casino with the proceeds as his "best idea ever."Unfortunately, the plan has a weak point, and he blows his cover by attending his own funeral and loudly calling attention to himself.
Even though he gets caught, this is one of his better ideas and has become an iconic scene.His and Mona Lisa's chant of "don't be suspicious" lives rent-free in Parks and Recs fans' heads, and is now a frequently used TikTok sound.
4 When He Gets Run Over
To a rational person, getting run over under any circumstance is a terrible idea, but Jean-Ralphio is not rational, and amazingly, this is one of his more successful schemes.The details of how he successfully plans it out are never shown, but his description of making money "the old-fashioned way" is one of his most iconic and hysterical quotes.
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It's also a scheme that he's willing to share, offering to hook Tom up with a "super gentle" guy to run him over.It shows how far Jean-Ralphio is willing to go to make money, even to the point of sacrificing his physical well-being.His level of dedication to his cons is staggering.
3 When He Creates Snakejuice
To be clear, drinking Snakejuice is not a wise life choice, as is evident from the aftereffects that everyone who tries it (except Ron) suffers.However, Snakejuice does exactly what Tom and Jean-Ralphio hope that it will: it tastes delicious, and it sells.
Jean-Ralphio and Tom even convince Ron to give Snakejuice his seal of approval, which is significant considering how much Ron hates Jean-Ralphio on principle.It may basically be "rat poison" as Donna points out, but it is one of Jean-Ralphio's few ventures that doesn't fail from the get-go, and it makes for a truly hilarious episode.
2 When He Memorializes A Legend
Jean-Ralphio is a low-key Parks and Rec villain, but from time to time he does something right.The Memorial concert for Pawnee icon Lil' Sebastian is one of those times.Nearly every part of the program succeeds (with the notable exception of the eternal flame burning off Ron's eyebrows).Tom tells Jean-Ralphio that his gift is "creating spectacle."
Although Jean-Ralphio doesn't quite understand what that means, Tom is right.With his confidence, exuberance, and outrageous ideas, he and Tom are able to pull off an unforgettable event.The Memorial event is so well-executed, viewers almost believe that the pair can succeed in the entertainment business.
1 When He Throws An Epic Party
One of Jean-Ralphio's most notable characteristics is that he seems impervious to failure.He fails constantly, but it never bothers him, and he immediately moves on to the next idea without skipping a beat or losing his smile.It comes as no surprise, then, that the failure of Entertainment 720 gives birth to his most epic success - the "End Of The World" party that he and Tom throw in their vacant office space.
Granted, it's Tom's idea, but as with most of Tom's ideas, he needs Jean-Ralphio to make it happen.Featuring a live tiger, money booth, drumline, and bouncy pirate ship, Jean-Ralphio and Tom throw the perfect party.Even Donna is impressed.
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