Hard not to compare Office and Parks and recreation. Both series are mockumentaries produced by NBC, they’re both office-inspired comedies, and producers/creators Greg Daniels and Michael Schur have their hands on both comedies. More than that, even the characters seem to blend in, including Ron Swanson (Parks and recreation) and Dwight Schrute (Office)
Both characters are incredibly dry but light up when something they’re passionate about happens, and they’re both devoted to their hometowns with no intention of moving, even when lost. However, the characters also have extreme differences that make them unique in their own way.
Ways Ron and Dwight Look Alike
Both are outdoors and enjoy working with their hands
Both Ron and Dwight are macho in that they love working with their hands, going out and working to see their passion fulfilled. It’s a running gag in Parks and recreation that Ron enjoys woodworking and hunting. Ron even eventually leaves the government to work outdoors in the wilderness.
Likewise, Dwight is a beet grower who enjoys getting down on the ground and seeing his hard work become a reality through food. Viewers saw Dwight’s sense of the outdoors come to life when Michael tried living in the woods for a few days.
They don’t want to admit that their best friend is their colleague
Ron doesn’t often show his true feelings, but it’s evident in later seasons that Leslie Knope isn’t just his co-worker, she’s his best friend. Both have what the other lacks and respect each other’s voice. Ron being quieter than Dwight, he is more sensitive with Leslie when things are not going well between them.
At the same time, Dwight and Jim are best friends undercover. Even though Dwight wanted Michael to be his best friend, it’s Jim who supports him more than Michael. It took Dwight nine seasons to admit that Jim was his “best man,” but it proves these two have found their best friends in their co-workers.
Both characters prefer to be alone
Ron Swanson may have a desk job where he has to mingle with people, but that’s why he has Leslie – to do the mixing for him. Ron enjoys spending time alone and dislikes being around people. For her birthday, Leslie treated her to an evening alone in Ron’s office with steak, scotch and a movie – her perfect evening.
Dwight loves people more than Ron, but if Dwight had to choose to be with his colleagues at Dunder Mifflin or be alone on the farm, he would choose the farm.
Don’t meet these two in a dark alley
Ron and Dwight are both self-defense enthusiasts. In the Parks and recreation episode “Park Safety”, Ron was pensive and taught his co-workers an emergency self-defense course. He taught everyone how to protect themselves from attackers.
Likewise, Dwight has repeatedly shown his love for self-protection. He kept small weapons in his office and all over the office, he showed off his purple belt in the dojo, and he taught everyone martial arts in “Murder”. A crossover episode of these two fighters would be legendary.
They both work with very similar characters
Leslie Knope and Michael Scott are incredibly similar characters. Both characters love their jobs, consider their co-workers family, and would rather be at work surrounded by people than alone at home.
Ron is technically Leslie’s boss, but it’s Leslie who runs the show while checking in with Ron from time to time. It is their friendship and mutual respect that drives their friendship. Michael is Dwight’s boss on Office but there is no doubt that Dwight works harder and puts in the same energy as Leslie.
The things that separate Ron and Dwight
Dwight really likes selling paper
As similar as Dwight and Ron are, they’re also incredibly different. For starters, Dwight loves his job. Although he enjoys farming, selling paper is one of his passions. Achieving the title of regional manager is a goal he has been waiting for for a long time.
Ron, on the other hand, doesn’t care about his job. He doesn’t like governments or the way governments run things, which is ironic since he works as a government employee. Ron doesn’t believe in his job, but the perks of working for the government are high, which is why he stayed.
Ron loves jazz so much he has an alter ego
Ron had amazing quotes throughout Parks and recreation — especially when he’s her alter ego, Duke Silver. Duke is a kind of pseudonym that Ron transforms when performing with his jazz band. Using the saxophone and performing in front of an undercover audience gave Ron a burst of energy.
Safer Office, Dwight did not show a great love for music or the performing arts. In fact, he even told Angela, “You’re not stupid. Jazz is stupid.” Dwight would probably think less of Ron for being in a jazz band.
Dwight respects the rules and the higher government, while Ron doesn’t care
Dwight loves the law and respects it Office. In fact, he fears the law. Breaking the law is something Dwight refuses to do. In previous seasons, it was shown that Dwight was actually the volunteer sheriff’s deputy. He wore the outfit to work when conducting a personal workplace drug investigation. When he broke the law and peed in a cup in Michael’s name, he returned his uniform because he had broken the law.
Ron, on the other hand, didn’t care about the rules or the government. He tried to quit his job several times, but the other job in question never had the same benefits as his job with the parks and recreation department.
Ron is a mentor (and Dwight wishes he was)
Even if Ron doesn’t want to admit it, he’s a mentor and a power person. Leslie, Tom, Andy, April and Donna all learned things from Ron’s way of life. April, in particular, is a mentee of Ron. In Ron’s eyes, one of the worst things April did was set dates so he actually had to do his job. In return, April learned a lot about her daily life.
Dwight would love to be a mentor to others in the office, but his erratic personality made it difficult. He thought he was a mentor to Clark (aka Dwight Jr.) but it was never at Ron’s level. Parks and recreation.
Dwight embraces those in power (Ron never would)
Whether it was Chris or Ben, Ron never embraced those in power. He respected those above him as human beings, but he would never alter his personality or work ethic to please those above him. Dwight, however, would.
Dwight sucked in Michel, Charles, Jo and even Andy when he served as regional manager for a brief period. Some of Dwight’s (and Jim’s) most cringe-worthy moments were when they were sucking off Charles to get them going at work. Ron has too much self-esteem for that.
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