Parks & Rec: Orin's Only Weakness is Chris Traeger

Keeping in mind that everyone on Parks and Recreation was a little odd, April Ludgate was the resident weirdo of the Pawnee government. Honestly, it often seemed like the only reason she didn't burn the place down was that people expected her to. But as strange as April could be, she paled in comparison to her friend Orin, someone the rest of Parks Department feared. But there was one person who could scare Orin and that man was Chris Traeger.

If there was one thing that set April apart from her friends in the Parks Department, it was the fact that she was an unsettling person. Everyone knew that when she said something strange or made an odd threat, she was 95% kidding. Keeping that in mind, there was always a remaining 5% lingering in the back of even her closest friends' minds. They wondered if she might not be kidding. April lived and thrived in that 5%.

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In the case of her friend Orin, people were 100% sure that he meant what he said, even if they didn't understand it. This was someone who prided himself on being as creepy as possible at all times, which was most likely why April befriended him in the first place. Andy, on the other hand, pretty much liked everyone. He found the positive in everyone in any situation and probably also considered Orin a close friend of sorts.

The rest of the Parks Department didn't cut Orin the same kind of slack, particularly Leslie Knope. She was constantly on April's case about hanging out with him, not that April cared. Leslie even bullied Orin a bit and was extremely judgmental of his style and his behavior. In Leslie's defense, Orin made it hard to like him. She did catch the guy hiding under a refreshments table at a party in Season 4, Episode 14.

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Though he was mentioned earlier in the same season, Orin made his debut in Season 3, Episode 9. This was the night of April and Andy's surprise wedding. Some of the Parks crew had encountered him before and knew to steer clear of him. But Orin had never run into Chris Traeger before. And like many people, he was not prepared for this overwhelming fountain of positivity that had recently moved to Pawnee.

Orin was used to being the one who put people off balance with his dark demeanor. But Chris turned the tables on Orin by bringing his intense positivity to bear on him. This was the first time viewers had met Orin, but as they would get to know him over the seasons, they would come to realize that this was abnormal for him. His faceoff with Chris was the one and only time that Orin had actual fear in his eyes.

These two characters would never cross paths again at any other point in the series. But that may have been by design. It's quite likely that Orin did everything in his power to avoid Chris after their only meeting in Season 3. And it's hard to blame him. No one enjoys feeling powerless, not even Pawnee's prince of darkness. That's exactly what happened to Orin when he faced off against Chris Traeger and the power of positivity.

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Ian Goodwillie (775 Articles Published)

Ian Goodwillie is a freelance writer based out of Saskatoon, SK, Canada. He has a BA in English Literature from the University of Saskatchewan and completed the Writing Program at Vancouver Film School. More importantly, Ian is also a wrestling fan, comic book reader, video game player, and photographer. He loves to write and writes about what he loves. Ian's also an unrepentant, unapologetic Cougar Town fan, a show he will defend until the day he dies. Follow him on Twitter at @ThePrairieGeek.

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