No episode of Parks and Rec is complete without a highly bizarre, extremely quirky, and utterly infeasible idea thrown at the audience by Tom Haverford. Haverford, played by Aziz Ansari, is one of the most loved, cute, spoilt, and dapper serial entrepreneurs to be ever written.
One definitely has to appreciate the tenacity and the consistent creativity with which Tom comes up with new ideas. Nothing can stop him, neither the fact that none of his prototypes work nor that it is simply impossible to create a prototype for the said idea. Come what may, he keeps churning out new entrepreneurial ventures, often more outlandish than the previous one.
10 Best: Rent-A-Swag
This was one of the most feasible ideas to ever come from Tom in the entire duration of the show. Tom gets the idea to open Pawnee’s only teen clothing rental service while trying to sell one of his jackets at the garage sale in “Halloween Surprise.” It was financed by Tom’s colleagues with a significant investment from Ron Swanson.
Even though it was quite successful, it started bleeding cash once Dr. Saperstein opened up a similar rental shop right across the street. Ultimately, Tom had to sell it to Saperstein and settle for $32,000, which he used as an investment for his next venture.
9 Worst: Tommy Fresh
This is a perfume specially designed by Tom. There is a party at the Snakehole Lounge celebrating the local perfume magnate Dennis Feinstein who had just launched his new scent. Tom wanted to pitch his scent to Dennis and his plan was to simply go to Dennis and spray it and announce his tagline, “Looks like you just inhaled your future.”
Andy is surprised by the possibility that this plan might just work out. However, his interaction with Dennis goes worse than expected with him claiming that Tom’s scent smells awful.
8 Best: SnakeJuice
The Snakehole Lounge, Pawnee’s “sickest nightclub,” is partly owned by Tom Haverford who is also the Promotions Director. This becomes one of the favorite hangout spots for the parks and recs department to wind down after a hectic day of work or to just chill and drink some Snakejuice.
He uses the Snakehole Lounge to launch his high-end VIP liqueur called the SnakeJuice. The fans completely agree with April when she says it sounds like he “took a snake and twisted it like a rag until its blood and guts came out.” Surprisingly it becomes a hit with the parks and rec department but causes all of them to get wasted.
7 Worst: LASIK For Fingernails
Very crudely put, the idea is that you cut your fingernails once and you never have to cut them again. However, there is only one tiny hitch which Tom himself points out, “All we need is a complicated laser and I have no idea how to build one.”
He pitches this idea first as a sounding board to a very amused and attentive Ben Wyatt, who, being the voice of reason, shuts him down immediately.
6 Best: Know Ya Boo
Tom introduces the “dope new game show,” where he asks “couples scandalous questions and they have to guess what the other one answered” and titles it “Know Ya Boo.” Jerry calls him out saying it sounds exactly like the “NewlyWed” game. Even though Tom accepts that it is totally the Newlywed game to the audience, he defends his “original” idea, like he always does, to his coworkers.
Tom’s plan is to test it on Andy, April, Donna, and Jerry, “work out the kinks, then hire actual attractive people, and make a demo.” He even planned on having a CGI puppy co-host Bobby the Boo. This is one of the very few ideas viewers actually see happening, even if it’s just a prototype.
5 Worst: Sparkle Suds
This brilliant entrepreneurial idea is to just put glitter in the laundry detergent so that your clothes sparkle. It’s called “Sparkle Suds – Dress Loud.” He first experimented with this when Ann Perkins moved in with him as a result of a drunken promise.
Ann also complains that he put glitter in the butter, which is apparently a new and a worse venture, “Disco Dairy: Spread the Party.”
4 Best: Tom’s Bistro
Tom starts his new business venture, Tom’s Bistro after he sells Rent-a-Swag. This was a business idea Tom has had since season 2, as he mentions he would like to open a bistro because the word ‘bistro’ sounds “classy as hell.”
He pitches the idea to Mitch, an investor who is impressed by Tom’s sparkle and passion. His elevator pitch is that the bistro will be an “old-fashioned, old-world Italian restaurant; classy, authentic ambiance in a small-town setting.” It eventually becomes one of the most successful businesses in Pawnee.
3 Worst: Talking Tissues
Tom pitches the idea for talking tissues along with its prototype to his colleagues at the Parks and Rec department. The idea behind it is that every time one pulls a tissue out of the holder it says a little message to hype you up.
The messages include, “Blow that nose playa,” “Yo dawg, life is what you make of it,” “Clear them sinuses, playboy,” “Someone’s got the sniffies,” “Tell your mama you love her,” and “Step up your Vitamin C game bro.”
2 Best: Failure: A Success Story
According to “One Last Ride,” Tom fails miserably while attempting to expand the Bistro. In order to continue as a business mogul in Pawnee, he authors a book titled Failure: A Success Story.
The book basically documents the ups and downs of Tom’s Bistro’s five-year run. The best thing about this business plan is to capture the essence of entrepreneurship, making even your failures worth it.
1 Worst: Entertainment 720
Tom and Jean Ralphio launched Pawnee’s first and only high-end all-media entertainment conglomerate. Tom names the shortly-lived venture Entertainment 720 because he is willing to go around the world twice for his clients. The impressive-looking dreamatorium, a.k.a Entertainment 720’s headquarters, includes a pool table, a ping-pong table, a couch with a ceiling on it, an in-house DJ, and former NBA superstar Detlef Schrempf on retainer.
It clearly was one of the worst ideas ever. When Tom hires Ben Wyatt to go over his accounts, Ben reveals that the company has gone bankrupt after which they had no choice but to shut it down.
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