‘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 Tom’s 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 it’s 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.
Tom and Ann’s brief, mostly fake, romance was doomed from the start — but Tom’s habit of putting glitter everywhere (including in his butter) presumably didn’t help.
Ann gets back at him by putting glitter in his moisturizer, mockingly dubbing it “Sparkle Skin.” Technically, this was Ann’s 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 Tom’s glitter-filled laundry detergent, though.
To secure the vans needed for Leslie’s campaign for city council, Tom suggests a counter-bribe to Bill, the rental guy, who’s 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, we’d 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 University’s Centre of Microsystems Technology, presumably in their Advancement of People Wandering into Traffic Division.
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 University’s Centre of Microsystems Technology, presumably in their Advancement of People Wandering into Traffic Division.
Tom’s 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 it’s, thankfully, not on the market in real life, that hasn’t 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.
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