Lit-erally, something terrible will befall the town of Pawnee, Indiana on the next season of Parks and Recreation. Something so serious that not even waffles could fix this tragedy. Buzzfeed has reported that Rob Lowe and Rashida Jones are leaving Parks and Recreation and are, in doing so, breaking our hearts. It has not yet been announced whether or not the departure is Jerry's fault, but until the time that the reason behind the departure is made clear, we can assume that it is definitely Jerry's fault.
Ever since Rob Lowe joined the cast of Parks and Recreation in season two, replacing the leaving Paul Schneider, his character's appeal as the constantly happy, fitness freak has made Chris Traeger become a fan favorite. His chipper, upbeat attitude has endeared him to critics and audiences and his role on Parks and Recreation is among the strongest that he has ever done (a list of work which includes The West Wing and, unfortunately for him, St. Elmo's Fire).
Rashida Jones has been a cast member of Parks and Recreation since the original pilot episode, and her ability to play the straight-woman has made her a perfect foil to Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) and a constant goldmine of relationship jokes. Ann Perkins is a no-nonsense, romantically unlucky, career driven woman, and she excels at providing the sane voice in any debacle.
It can be assumed that since (spoilers) in season 5, Chris Traeger and Ann were trying to raise a child together, their departure from the show will somehow relate to their (as of yet, unborn) child. It will be interesting, to say the least, to see how the citizens of Pawnee (especially Leslie and Ben Wyatt) react as two of the town's most liked residents leave amidst the Leslie Knope Recall Effort.
Chris Lowe and Rashida Jones will be missed on the Parks and Recreation roster, and it will be insanely difficult to replace these characters. The weight of the show will now fall more on the backs of Leslie Knope, Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott), Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman), and Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari).
Let's reflect on some of Chris Traeger's and Ann Perkins' best moments: