Treat Yo’ Self Day is the perfect day to get manicures, buy fine leather goods or eat sushi made out of fish formerly owned by celebrities. These are things that Donna Meagle (played by Retta) and Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari) treated themselves to across the seasons of Parks and Recreation on October 13 every year.
In Parks and Recreation Season 4, writer Alan Yang introduced Treat Yo’ Self Day in Episode 4, “Pawnee Rangers.” In that episode, Tom describes the day: “Treat. Yo. Self. Once a year, Donna and I spend a day treating ourselves. What do we treat ourselves to? Clothes. Treat yourself. Fragrances. Massages. Treat yourself. Mimosas. Fine leather goods…It’s the best day of the year.”
The day soon took on a life of its own, appearing in a number of subsequent seasons. In fact, the day became so ubiquitous that Yang actually had to apologize to Ansari and Retta. He told Vulture in September 2018: “I apologize to Retta and Aziz because the amount of times they get yelled at on the street I’m sure is annoying.
“But it’s really fun! You’re writing for a sitcom on a network—why not have a catchphrase? And to go back to character: There’s nothing more on-character than those two characters treating themselves.”
He added: “That’s what they had in common. Finding the relationship between their characters and seeing it grow and blossom was one of the joys we had. That’s one of the fun things about doing 100 episodes.”
Speaking on Seth Meyers, Retta said of this: “If I don’t hear it 10 times a day I haven’t left my house. People tweet me all the time and nothing I post doesn’t have the comment ‘treat yo’ self’ in it. But I love that people think they’re discovering new land with it. I’ll post a new purse that I bought and they’re like, ‘girl, you know what you just did, right?'”
For Parks and Recreation and its original network NBC, Treat Yo’ Self Day 2020 is a special one, as it is the first where the show is on its new streaming home, Peacock. To celebrate, the streamer will be running sweepstakes to give away a selection of indulgences.
The streamer is also taking the opportunity to pay tribute to real parks and recreation employees. In a video streaming on Peacock on October 13, Jerry Gergich actor Jim O’Heir will be interviewing these inspiring individuals and presenting them with an award allowing them the treat themselves this Treat Yo’Self Day.
Fans who want to celebrate the day by watching a collection of Parks and Rec‘s Treat Yo’ Self Day episodes can do so on Peacock, which has all seven seasons of the NBC comedy. The episodes set on that day are Season 4, Episode 4, “Pawnee Rangers” and Season 7, Episode 6, “Save JJ’s.”