Christopher "Chris" Traeger is a fictional character played by Rob Lowe in the American comedy television series Parks and Recreation on NBC. He began on the show as an Indiana state auditor who visits the fictional city of Pawnee to help solve their crippling budget problems, and eventually becomes Pawnee's acting city manager. Chris is an extremely positive person who is constantly upbeat and energetic. Extremely health-conscious, he exercises constantly and eats only healthy foods, and hopes to be the first human being to live 150 years.
Chris first appeared on the penultimate second season episode "The Master Plan". Originally expected to appear in eight episodes as a guest star, Lowe eventually signed on to remain on the show as a permanent cast member. Chris was a romantic interest for Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones) for several episodes, but the two split up in the third season. Chris imposes a strict policy against workplace dating at city hall, but series protagonist Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) and Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) begin secretly dating anyway.
The idea of Chris as a state auditor was inspired by real-life reports of government shutdowns amid the global financial crisis. The Chris Traeger character has received generally positive reviews from critics, and has been described as "one of the great comedic creations of the past couple years" and "one of the funniest performances of [Rob Lowe's] career"
Portrayed by Rob Lowe, Chris Traeger begins the show as an auditor working for the Indiana state government in Indianapolis, but eventually becomes the acting city manager of Pawnee, the fictional Indiana city where Parks and Recreation is set. He is an excessively positive and optimistic person, who is constantly upbeat and extremely energetic. As a baby, Chris was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder and was not expected to live longer than three weeks, but miraculously survived. As a result, he sees every day he is alive as a gift, which results in his intensely cheerful and enthusiastic personality. Chris is extremely health-conscious and exercises constantly; he runs 10 miles during his lunch break alone, and considers a 15 km run to be "light" exercise. He avoids eating red meat and fatty foods in favor of dishes like lean turkey burgers and vegetable loaf sweetened with fruit reduction, and takes a huge assortment of unusual vitamins. Chris always stays extremely well-hydrated, and as a result of his extreme exercise regimen has only 2.8% body fat, which makes him very susceptible to illness due to a weakened immune system. His ambition is to become the first human being to live 150 years. Chris always greets people with a firm handshake and direct eye contact, and to remember their names often points directly at people and repeats their names upon first meeting them. His constant desire to make everyone around him happy means Chris hates having to deliver bad news, a task he often assigns to his subordinates. He often declares things to be "literally" the best thing he's ever seen or done, strongly emphasizing the word and pronouncing it "LIT'rally"