Tom Haverford is creative, flashy, and most importantly, An aspiring mogul. In Parks and Recreation, Tom is the office trendsetter, and often frustrated that people aren’t on the same page he is. In his pursuit of the perfect lifestyle befitting a mogul, he gets himself deeply in debt and crashes two major businesses.
Still, he always bounces back, and besides, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Tom always takes the shot, and one of the funniest ways he does so is with the random nicknames he assigns his friends. Here are ten of his best ones for the surly director of Parks & Rec: Ron Swanson.
10 Dwayne “The Rock” Swanson
Tom’s nicknames for Ron tend toward puns–see literally every other name on this list. This is one of the few that incorporates his last name. While the nicknames are often just a product of whatever is on Tom’s mind, he seems to use this one to butter Ron up for a huge favor he needs. This is the episode when Tom decides to move the opening of his bistro up and needs Ron to make all his chairs faster.
Of course, The Rock might have just been on one of the writer’s minds. In the same episode, Andy also brings up The Rock when looking at Alcatraz.
9 Video Ron Demand
This nickname is practically a love letter coming from Tom, who loves technology more than any human. After all, this is the man that helped Ben and Leslie create their wedding registry with the quote, “love fades away. But things…things are forever.”
So, this little term of endearment shows us how much Tom really respects and cares about Ron, even after all their ups and downs.
8 Ron Solo
This is one of Tom’s more simple nicknames for Ron. It’s perfectly executed when he uses it, because it comes just when Ron is being his most isolationist and surly self, mid-way through Season Two. Ron has always built himself up as a lone wolf with only his hunting weapons to keep him company. It’s only natural that Tom would remember Han Solo and think the two might have something in common.
After some trials searching for a not-awful assistant (and our first introduction to Jean-Ralphio Saperstein), Ron eventually finds the surly Chewbacca to his Han Solo: April Ludgate.
7 LeRon James
After he gets into a car accident while tweeting, all of Tom’s screens are taken away from him. He goes through screen withdrawal and struggles to adapt. When he’s an hour and a half late for work because he can’t use his GPS, he enters Ron’s office for breakfast with this nickname.
Ron, of course, is not to be distracted and points out Tom’s problem. They spend the rest of the episode together as Ron tries to help Tom recover from his addiction. It does not go well.
6 Rondoleeza Rice
Tom calls Ron “Rondoleeza Rice,” after (of course) Condoleeza Rice. It comes in Season Two, in the episode where Tom announces his divorce from Wendy. Ron has been giving him some advice on how to handle it.
Was this nickname very subtle foreshadowing that Tom’s advisor Ron would later betray Tom by dating his ex-wife, Wendy?
5 Rontanamo Bay
In Season 2, Episode 4, Tom makes not one but two good puns on Ron’s name. Rontanamo Bay is, of course, a reference to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. It’s maybe not the nicest nickname, but Ron puts him on the spot by greeting him as Tom-ato Sauce so we can forgive Tom for having to think quickly.
We know Tom works in government, but we never realized how much Tom was actually paying attention at the federal level. Could we be blamed for thinking he was paying more attention to fashion news? But apparently, Tom does know his stuff.
4 Ron Corleone
This reference to The Godfather seems more up Tom’s alley. Linking Ron to the infamous Corleone Mafia family is a compliment, in Tom’s book. While Ron is definitely too much of a softy to really find his place in the bloodthirtsy Corleone family, he does have that big boss energy that engenders respect in everyone that meets him. It makes perfect sense that when Tom’s girlfriend Lucy meets him she immediately concludes, “that guy rules.”
Season Two was when Tom’s nicknames for Ron peaked, but there were a few more to come in later seasons.
3 Ron P. Diddy Combs
It’s doubtful that Ron understood this reference to rapper Sean “Puff Daddy/P. Diddy” Combs. Earlier in the same episode, Leslie catches him listening to turkey calls at work in preparation for his “work trip” to survey trails. When she calls him on it he asks, “is this not rap?”
Considering Ron’s hatred of all things new and not jazz, it’s likely he doesn’t listen to rap and has no idea who P. Diddy is.
2 Ron In Sixty Seconds
Yet another of Tom’s pop culture loves becomes fodder for his nicknames for Ron. This one comes in Season 5, when everyone gets together to celebrate Ben’s and Leslie’s engagement. Tom only puts in a token appearance because he’s busy prepping a presentation for Ron about his new business.
We never see Tom watching Gone in Sixty Seconds, and her certainly doesn’t seem to know much about cars, but it’s totally conceivable that Tom loves this movie. Everyone in it looks cool and has the best of the best, which is usually Tom’s highest priority.
1 Ron-Fire of the Vanities
Does Tom have a secret depth that we don’t know about? This nickname is a play on Bonfire of the Vanities, a book and a movie. The 1990 movie was a flop; it only grossed $15 million against its $47 million budget, so it’s hard to believe that Tom would have ever seen it. The book is satirical social criticism about ambition and greed. Has Tom read it? That would be a secret depth that Tom has never hinted at before.
Though Ron would probably hate the book itself, he’d probably agree with some of the ideas it espouses, like the destruction of unnecessary art.
NEXT: Parks & Rec: Pawnee’s Best Government Employees, Ranked from Worst to Best