‘Parks and Recreation’: Tom Haverford Business Ideas That Kinda, Sorta Exist in the Real World

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‘Parks and Recreation’: Tom Haverford Business Ideas That Kinda, Sorta Exist in the Real World

The Parks and Recreation gang each have very clear-cut defining characteristics. Leslie Knope is an optimistic overachiever, Ron Swanson is a crusty libertarian and Jerry Gergich is routinely psychologically tortured for no goddamn reason. As for Tom Haverford, played by Aziz Ansari, he was always coming up with wacky new business ideas, like a talking Kleenex box, cologne for toddlers or a… quaint Italian restaurant. Okay, admittedly, that last one is a little less wacky.

But as wildly out there as some of Toms entrepreneurial ideas may have been, it turns out that several of his fictional brainstorms actually exist in the real world to some extent. And not just because so many billion-dollar tech companies take the Entertainment 720 approach to burning money. Such as…


Before its sold off to a vindictive Henry Winkler, Tom opens Rent-A-Swag, a business that capitalizes on both his diminutive stature and his penchant for treating himself to fancy clothes by renting out his extensive wardrobe to teens and preteens.

In the real world, if you see a 14-year-year-old kid wearing a Louis Vuitton cravat, you may have, not Tom, but Rent the Runway to thank. The company that rents out designer clothes expanded to include children a few years ago, presumably to help with weddings, graduations and formal paste-eating parties.

Sparkle Skin

Tom and Anns brief, mostly fake, romance was doomed from the start — but Toms habit of putting glitter everywhere (including in his butter) presumably didnt help.

Ann gets back at him by putting glitter in his moisturizer, mockingly dubbing it Sparkle Skin. Technically, this was Anns idea, but Tom sees value in the prank and immediately offers to buy the idea from her. Well, he may have been on to something because shimmer body lotion is a real thing now.

Society has yet to catch up to Toms glitter-filled laundry detergent, though.

Yogurt Platinum

To secure the vans needed for Leslies campaign for city council, Tom suggests a counter-bribe to Bill, the rental guy, whos already pocketed $10,000. He offers to let him in on the ground floor of a business idea worth way more than 10 grand: Yogurt Platinum, a gourmet alcoholic yogurt.

If that sounds like a terrible idea, wed like to introduce you to Bols Yogurt Liqueur, a boozy Dutch beverage that presumably has been bought and willingly ingested by actual human beings.

Contact Lenses That Display Text Messages

While rattling off a number of his ideas, Tom mentions that he wants to create contact lenses that display text messages. This may sound dangerously irresponsible, but it is now technology developed by researchers at Gent Universitys Centre of Microsystems Technology, presumably in their Advancement of People Wandering into Traffic Division. 

Snake Juice

Toms hazardously potent cocktail, Snake Juice, memorably tore through the Parks and Recreation department like an alcoholic hurricane — according to Donna, it was basically rat poison.

Tom mentions that Snake Juice is just a bunch of alcohol together with some sugar and coffee, and some other junk, which kinda tastes like Kahlua. And while its, thankfully, not on the market in real life, that hasnt stopped several intrepid fans from creating Snake Juice for real.

One recipe even calls for a dash of absinthe, which… Checks out, actually.

Meanwhile, a Parks and Recreation-themed pop-up bar also offered Snake Juice to fans, who were presumably never seen again.

You (yes, you) should follow JM on Twitter (if it still exists by the time you’re reading this). 

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