Ron Swanson's 7 Best Statements About Life

The year was 2009. While I was a late adopter, I soon became paralyzed with love for a show called Parks & Recreation, and eventually changed my religious beliefs on Facebook to “Ron Effin’ Swanson”. You know what they say – when it’s on Facebook, it’s official. (At least, they said that in 2009. Now they’re probably like, “I don’t care what Super Nintendo character you are, stop posting these stupid results!”)

The character of Ron truly touched the hearts of many people, possibly because he was different than the normal male leads you’d see on television. Ron is all man. Ron won’t listen to your rules without complaint, and Ron probably hates you – but you can’t help but love him. Because even if you’re a woman, you want to be more like Ron. You want to survive off of the wilderness, and build your own canoe. (Also, Nick Offerman is pretty darn great, and was totally deserving of a role bigger than Jackson’s brother Beau on Gilmore Girls. Yep – that was Nick.)

In his honor, here are seven valuable lessons that Ron has taught us about life.


1. “Frankness. Cut the B.S.” Sometimes it’s just really tough to get to the point, and you need to stitch together a few creative lies in order to spare feelings. However, Ron is fond of frankness – so much that he included it on his Swanson Pyramid of Greatness. Sure, you don’t want to bum anyone out. But if you stop dancing around issues, you might realize that it’s not even an issue, as much as a complete build-up of fear in your head.


2. Sometimes, the best things in life are simple. Remember when Chris and Ron had the burger cook-off? Sure, Chris made a healthier, more impressive lean burger. Ron used red meat and buns. Ron easily won. So, sure. While the fancy stuff might be impressive, the basic stuff in life is quite often better.


3. Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing. This one is self explanatory. But, I’ll spell it out anyway for continuity. Pour your heart out solely into the projects you believe in, since quality is worth way more than quantity.

4. One should always bring their own share of deviled eggs to a party. Perhaps one of my favorite Ron Swanson moments of all time. Not only did he make sure Leslie had the fridge space to occupy one of his favorite foods during her grand dinner party, but he brought his own, personal share to a group setting. Always bring something when you’re invited to someone else’s house. Not only is it proper and polite, but it’ll also guarantee that there will be food around that you’re into, and not (if it’s an issue) allergic to.


5. True romance starts with knowing what your loved one really needs. Sure, we haven’t heard too much about Ron’s new wife Diane since the two got hitched on the fourth floor, but we did see their relationship pan out between episodes. While you don’t need chocolate, you do need (and keep forgetting to buy) dish detergent. A true love will pick some up for you while he or she is at the grocery store – just to save you a trip.

Parks and Recreation - Season 5

6. “When a good person does something bad, they own up to it. They try to learn something from it, and move on.” Everyone makes mistakes, so you shouldn’t label yourself as “good” or “bad” after a mistake occurs. If you realize what went wrong, and try not to make the same mistake again, you’re what Ron would consider to be a good person. (And for the record, everyone else will feel the same way.)

7. “One rage every three months is permitted. Try not to hurt anyone who doesn’t deserve it.” Despite what you might think, having a bit of a breakdown is actually kind of healthy every once in awhile – especially if you’re the type to bottle in your emotions. Just make sure the breakdown is a productive one. Don’t bring anyone down, don’t cause any type of physical or mental damage, and realize that your flood of emotions is more of a gigantic revelation that you’re unhappy about something. From there, you can work on trying to fix the problem. Ron’s advice here is another key element to the amazing Pyramid of Greatness.

What have you learned from Ron Swanson?

Image Credits: Romance, Burgers, Chair, Thumbs, Featured


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  • Amber Nichole Singh

    I will have all of the bacon and eggs.

    • Stephanie Westley Chayrez

      “Do not bring me a lot of bacon and eggs. Bring me all of the bacon and all of the eggs you have.”

  • Ashley Price

    Why isn’t the graphic at top (pyramid) expandable? The writing is too small to read. Plus, #4 is incorrect. Unless it’s a potluck, or you cleared it with the host beforehand, it’s rude to bring food to a party–it makes it look like you’re questioning the host’s hospitality. The possible exception is to bring a bottle of wine as a gift to the host, minus the expectation that it be served at the party (it’s possible they had another wine picked out to go with that meal.

    • Ashley Price

      Plus, if the host specifically tells you not to bring anything, then *don’t,* not even wine. If you feel you owe something to them as a quid pro quo, then reciprocate in the future by entertaining them in your own home.

      • Ash Sandiego

        Where did you get your degree in party etiquette?

        • Ashley Price

          Seriously? College parties are one thing, but in the grown-up world, this is common courtesy. Don’t assume that bringing something is “the price of admission.” Again, if it’s not a potluck then it’s rude to not trust the menu planning to the host. If she has a full, several-course meal designed, and you bring one more thing that wasn’t part of the original meal plan, you’re stealing her thunder. People won’t have room for what the host made if people are eating your unwelcome addition. It will look as though you’re trying to outshine the host, and, once again, questioning her hospitality. Très déclassé!

    • Rebecca Coffin

      I don’t think it’s rude to bring food, especially if you have a food allergy or you are super picky.

      • Ashley Price

        It’s one thing to bring something for yourself if you have an allergy, *just in case* nothing at the party is safe for you to eat (if the host is aware, you should trust that she took that information seriously in planning the meal). Once again, like I already said, it’s a slur on the host’s hospitality to bring food if it’s not a potluck. It appears as though you’re questioning your host’s cooking skills or that you’re worried that they didn’t prepare enough. If it’s not your event then don’t bring food, especially if you were asked to bring only yourself. It’s common sense. Sorry you were never taught proper etiquette. A casual family get-together is one thing, but if it’s a nice dinner party with friends then let them plan their party their own way, then reciprocate later with your own.

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