Ben and April are the perfect pair to prove Parks and Recreations greatest strength. The NBC comedy series became popular for a variety of reasons the best of which was the varied friendships present throughout the show. Of course theres the iconic duo of Leslie and Ron plus Tom and Donna Leslie and Ann Donna and Jerry Tom and Jean Ralphio and so many more. The friendships in the show are so great because the writing and performances reveal how much the characters truly care about each other even if those involved have differing personalities. The friendships feel natural and realistic because people have diverse types of friends in real life. And this is particularly evident in Ben and Aprils unexpected but delightful dynamic.
On paper they shouldnt work as friends Played by Aubrey Plaza April Ludgate is cynical and very sarcastic while Adam Scotts Ben Wyatt is nerdy and a bit uptight. April has a tendency to not take things too seriously which is why she and Ben initially clash. His dorky type A attitude is just something that April doesnt normally vibe with and so she gets annoyed with him on occasion. And vice versa. They definitely have clashing personalities and dont seem to have mutual interests so its a wonder how Ben and April are able to become friendly at all let alone turn out to be one of the best pairings on Parks and Recreation.
The fact that they do manage to find common ground is the greatest evidence of the shows strength in forming bonds between characters either immediately or over time. For Ben and April it takes some history between them for the two to evolve into such good friends. When Ben decides to stay in Pawnee permanently during Parks and Recreation season 3 he moves out of the motel hes been living in and into April and Andys spare room. April doesnt exactly welcome him with open arms but Ben sticks it out determined to teach April and Andy how to live like responsible adults. By the end of Parks and Recreation season 4 when Ben is invited to Washington D.C. to run a congressional re election campaign he brings April to work as his assistant. And their working together leads Ben and April to appreciate each other and begin to get closer despite their differing personalities.
On another show Ben and April would likely have been enemies but Parks and Recreation is all about friendships and so it pushes for them to learn to care for each other. It was a good move for Ben to reject Barneys job offer in Parks and Recreation season 4 because it leads to him and April developing more of a friendship in D.C. in spite of their discordant personalities. Though things get off to a rough start especially when its revealed that April has made a drawing making fun of Ben the two of them soon start to bond. Theyre able to laugh together about aspects of their D.C. experience from the robotic mannerisms of the congressman theyre working for to their road trip to Pawnee getting stalled because of a presidential motorcade.
April shows that she cares for Ben during season 5 by threatening his laziest intern into doing his assigned tasks. Though this isnt an emotional moment it illustrates that April will help out those she cares for in her own special way. She isnt upfront about it but she proves then that she values Ben as a friend. Then in Parks and Recreation season 7 he works to help April find a new job that will make her feel more fulfilled. He is so dedicated to helping her because he is finally doing something he loves and he knows how difficult it is to get to that place. Despite claiming that shes never cared for Ben April hugs him. Ben has seen Aprils potential ever since he first invited her to D.C. with him and its touching to see how much he wants her to thrive.
At one point Ben refers to April as the little sister I never had because the little sister I do have is normal and not terrifying. They do have a great chaotic younger sister and concerned older brother dynamic throughout the show. There arent a ton of moments between the two of them but when they are paired up together in a storyline a la Aprils job working for Ben in D.C. they shine especially bright due to their contrasting personalities. This is why Ben and April are the best proof of Parks and Recreations greatest strength they show that even a Star Trek fanfiction writing nerd and a deadpan emo goth woman can care for each other as friends.