A Look At Nick Offerman And Megan Mullally's Decades-Long Romance

As far as Hollywood "it" couples go, there are not many who have the staying power, comedic chops, and swoon-worthy connection that Megan Mullally (of "Will & Grace" fame, of course) and Nick Offerman (the fan-favorite Ron Swanson on "Parks and Recreation") share. If you were a fan of "Parks and Rec's" Ron and Tammy 2, you probably have some insight into the absolute blast that Mullally and Offerman have as real-life partners, since they no doubt infused some of their own intimate tidbits and natural chemistry into the comedy mix on television (more on this below).

Whether it's business or pleasure, it seems there's nothing these two can't conquer from appearing on screen together to simply doing the hard work of making sure their busy schedules allow ample time together. Hello, #RelationshipGoals. While appearing on "Good Morning America" in 2018, Offerman and his famous wife, who ultimately decided not to have children, were asked how they make their longtime romance work. Mullally replied, "It's one thing to be in love and love someone, and it's another thing to like them. And I just really like him." (Cue a chorus of awws.)

In 2023, Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally celebrate 20 years of marriage, so it's the perfect time to look back over the span of their decades-long relationship and recapture some of the more incredible moments they've shared together.

Megan Mullally met Nick Offerman while in a play

It's not all that unusual in Hollywood for actors to date their co-stars, but in the case of Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally's blossoming romance, it was more than just life imitating art. Back in 2000, the actors both had parts in the play "The Berlin Circle." In 2018, Offerman explained to Conan O'Brien that everyone else in the play seemed to know each other, apart from himself and Mullally. The "Parks and Recreation" alum had just arrived in Los Angeles for work and was sleeping on a pal's couch. Meanwhile, as the newly famous Mullally later told SundanceTV, "I think they wanted to like ignore me before I ignored them because it was right after the second season of 'Will & Grace.'"

As outsiders from the rest of the cast, Offerman (who'd never seen the sitcom) and Mullally paired up. Offerman's first impression of his future wife was that she was hilarious, and he told her so after a group reading, further sharing on "Conan" that, "Her casual comments to me — she just was filthy immediately." Whether or not she was similarly impressed with him is unclear. When he asked for her phone number, she gave him a fax number — but Offerman took the opportunity and left her a message to go out anyway. While she didn't notice it for two weeks, during which time they continued flirting during rehearsals, his patience thankfully paid off.

"When I realized that he left that message, I thought it was really sweet," Mullally told SundanceTV.

Nick Offerman had fun with the proposal

Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally soon reunited onscreen with Offerman's Season 3 portrayal of Nick the Plumber on "Will & Grace." They also quickly developed a habit for throwing zingers at each other (which they've since become known for across the Twitterverse). In 2002, the couple were vacationing in Europe together — and though Offerman planned to propose to Mullally, he wanted to have a little fun with her first. 

Offerman revealed to Playboy (via HuffPost) that he'd enlisted the help of a "Will & Grace" costume designer, who supplied him with three fake engagement rings, all in different sizes, with the plan to drop each one in different locations: a Parisian grate, the top of the Eiffel Tower, and off an old standing bridge. Some might think his plan was risky, but Offerman knew his future wife quite well. "I thought it was hilarious," Mullally told Playboy. "But the rings got progressively bigger, and for a moment I thought the last one might be real."

The actual proposal sounds much more romantic and as if the stars aligned (though Mullally admitted she knew something was up). Instead of Paris, Offerman chose London, which he told The Guardian is their favorite city. "It was in Regent's Park that I bent my knee and presented my hand-carved, walnut, heart-shaped ring box," he explained, adding, "Magically, the ducks on the water and birds in the air began to furiously copulate all around us." We're guessing Offerman was pulling the interviewer's leg there, but of course, Mullally said yes.

Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman had a surprise wedding

In 2003, Megan Mullally was nominated for a Primetime Emmy for outstanding supporting actress for a fourth time (she'd previously won the award in 2000) for her work on "Will & Grace." So, she and her then-fiancé, Nick Offerman, decided to take advantage of the opportunity. "We had our family and closest friends fly out, and told people we were having an Emmy party," Mullally shared with ET (via People), noting that the couple's co-stars on "Will & Grace" — Eric McCormack, Sean Hayes, and Debra Messing — were also in attendance.

Offerman took credit for the initial idea during an appearance on "Larry King Now," explaining that he'd previously seen the paparazzi put a damper on Messing's wedding, which he'd attended with Mullally. His plan, however, was to skip the Emmys and just have the wedding. "No one will see it coming," he said. "Everyone will be at the Emmys." The compromise was to have it the night before at their Hollywood Hills home, but to tell everyone (20 guests) that it was a dinner party. Offerman said, "Our mothers cried and said, 'I knew you were up to something, you rascal.'"

The couple was wed by Offerman's Kabuki theater teacher from the University of Illinois, Shozo Sato, who performed a traditional Japanese tea ceremony. Years later, Offerman — a woodworker and carpenter — expressed his gratitude toward his mentor by building a gazebo for the campus' nearby Japan House.

They're committed to not being apart for long

It's perhaps no surprise that celebrity marriages come with their own special set of challenges — one of them being the busy schedules acting jobs demand, as well as the travel involved. For Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman, those things are prioritized with special consideration when accepting a job, by ensuring they don't spend more than two weeks apart.

This longtime couple has taken this self-imposed rule very seriously since the onset of their relationship, as they shared during the 2018 Q&A for their "The Greatest Love Story Ever Told" memoir (more on this book below). "We've never been apart for more than two weeks in 18 and a half years," Mullally shared with the audience (via Variety). Offerman then added that it's prioritized during contract negotiations with producers, so they will know to take the condition of their employment seriously. Of course, it also helps that these two have worked together on several occasions over the years, including movies like "Speaking of Sex" and "Kings of Summer," as well as appearing on episodes of "Parks and Recreation," "You, Me and the Apocalypse," and "Will & Grace."

True to form, when Mullally was asked on "Good Morning America" about the couple's two-week rule, she jokingly replied, "Yeah, we spend two weeks of the year together," to which the audience, as well as the host, burst out laughing.

The married pair co-starred as exes on Parks and Rec

Nick Offerman played Ron Swanson, director of the Parks and Recreation for Pawnee, Indiana, from the first episode of "Parks and Recreation" that aired in 2009. Ron is twice divorced and ends up settling down with Diane (Lucy Lawless), but his second wife — library employee Tammy 2, played by Megan Mullally — shows up about a third of the way through Season 2 and goes on to appear on a total of nine episodes.

Just as Offerman and Mullally are a winning combination in real life, they were magic on screen together. At least, according to Entertainment Weekly, who wrote that Tammy 2's first appearance "staged one of the greatest battles of all time: Parks versus the library." Indeed, it must have been difficult to keep a straight face when Offerman's character had things like this to say about ex-wife No. 2: "She's a grade-A b***h. Every time she laughs, an angel dies."

As much as Ron believes Tammy 2 was put on this Earth to make him suffer, she probably loves torturing him even more. Despite those two realities, they often can't keep their hands off each other and find themselves in compromising positions throughout the series. In a joint 2009 interview, in addition to sharing how much fun she was having filming the show, Mullally admitted with a laugh, "Now that I've read the script and know some of the stuff that we've done, I'm really glad it was me, because I would have been really jealous if it was somebody else."

Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally don't mind posing nude

In February 2010, New York magazine did a joint interview with Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally entitled, "Our Valentine Gift to You." That could have been directed to readers in regard to the article featuring one of the most popular and arguably adorable couples in Hollywood — or, perhaps it was because of the image accompanying the article, in which both Mullally and Offerman appear completely nude. Of course, you can't see anything you shouldn't, between Mullally's positioning behind Offerman, and the pile of grapes strategically placed in front of him.

Given the industry's unattainable standards for beauty — tanned, toned, hairless perfection — this particular image said so much about the couple and the changing times. Offerman shared, "I'm very hairy, and men in film and TV are no longer allowed to be hairy." Explaining why she was the one who suggested they pose in the buff, Mullally compared the duo to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, saying, "Neither of us are paragons of physical perfection." Mullally also shared how her husband often tells her she's beautiful. Whether or not she agrees, she admitted it's nice to hear as someone who works in showbiz — and those are the things dream relationships are made of.

This wasn't the only time they've posed nude, either. Mullally and bandmate (yes, Mullally sings in Nancy and Beth) Stephanie Hunt did so for an album cover. As for Offerman, Mullally quipped on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," He'll get naked for a baked potato."

These two really love doing puzzles

When you try to picture celebrity couples at their homes, you might imagine lavish mansions, maids, smart dinner parties, and flowing champagne. Sitting at the dining room table doing a puzzle might not be an image that comes to mind, but that's what you would see if you peeked into the window at the home of Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman. Not only do the pair love to spend time with one another, but they love doing jigsaw puzzles together. Lots of them.

Of course, like anything else this couple does, they put a little something extra into the mix. Many times, after they've completed the puzzle, Offerman and Mullally will dress up like the image they've revealed and post the snap on social media. Probably coolest of all is that they had a 1000-piece puzzle made of the book cover for their co-written memoir "The Greatest Love Story Ever Told."

Another twist on their puzzle-building activities? As Mullally shared on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" in 2018, they will sometimes listen to audiobooks while doing a puzzle. Mullally joked with DeGeneres that she could win a Nobel Prize for figuring out this particular connection in the brain: "The part of your brain that you use to do the jigsaw puzzle is one thing, and then to listen to the audio book is another, so the two really complement each other, and you can actually focus on both better when they're mixed together."

Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally went on a comedy tour

When you have a rule with your spouse that you can't be apart for more than two weeks at a time, it means that sometimes you have to get creative — or maybe comedic. Which is what Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally did in 2015, when they began their comedy tour "Summer of 69: No Apostrophe." Offerman later shared with People, "I look at us as one of those old-fashioned showbiz couples. We write the show together and head out on the road." While Offerman had experience with comedy tours, Mullally brought her Broadway experience to the table, and said of working on the show, "We have so much fun together."

A reviewer for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel saw the show at The Riverside and, while he didn't have only great things to say about the show, he did call the couple "the Beyoncé and Jay-Z of alternative comedy." The reviewer also described the show, which included skits, songs, banter, and choreographed dance numbers, as clever and funny.

In 2017, the comedy duo came out with a DVD of the special, and in 2020, Offerman offered it to rent or buy from his website with the following note: "If you rent or download this video I'll donate 100% of the profits to America's Food Fund. They're providing safe food to America's most vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 outbreak."

The longtime couple wrote a memoir together

It didn't take long for the world to become endeared to Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman — both separately as artists, but arguably even more so as a couple, who appear to love hard and out loud. During a joint appearance on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon," Mullally shared that, after they began sharing their lives on Twitter and Instagram, fans couldn't seem to get enough of them. And so, together they wrote "The Greatest Love Story Ever Told: An Oral History," as previously mentioned.

According to the book's blurb, the content includes "the philosophical mountains they have conquered, the lessons they've learned, and the myriad jigsaw puzzles they've completed." But it's not just the text that makes the book special — there are also hilarious, creative shots of the lovebirds (coordinated by Mullally) in various outfits (like a rock-themed one, where they both donned black and white as Mullally shredded on the electric guitar).

The couple explained to USA Today that, as they stayed in different hotel rooms while on tour, they would lie in bed and record discussions about various topics. "It was very interesting," Mullally said of the process. "... I think we learned a little bit about each other and a few things came out that we weren't necessarily aware of." Offerman agreed, adding, "When you get into a relationship you learn by accretion. ... So when you sit down and say, 'OK, let's talk for an indefinite period about our families, our early careers,' you get a much more complete sense of the biography."

Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally launched a podcast

Given the unique way in which Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman wrote their memoir, it makes sense that they named their podcast, which began in late 2019, "In Bed with Nick & Megan." The premise? According to the description on Earwolf, "A special guest joins Nick and Megan in their actual bed to get intimate about whatever's on their mind." 

Up first was guest Bill Hader, who previously told Parade in 2013 that it was Mullally who had discovered him doing standup and recommended him to Lorne Michaels for "Saturday Night Live." Other funny guests included Rob Lowe, Rashida Jones, Jack Black, Travon Free, and countless others. But just to let listeners in the know right off the bat, while each episode would feature a loose topic, Mullally also said during their first episode, "We are going to talk about whatever we darn well please." Meanwhile, Offerman explained that the podcast idea came about while working on their book together.

While a guest on "The View" in March 2020, Offerman gave a succinct explanation of their podcast's casual feel, saying, "You know, it's like the end of a party when everybody's left, but one or two friends stick around, and you flop down and you have those really good talks." Unfortunately, as of this writing, the last episode aired that September, and it's unclear whether there will be additional seasons.

They both voice characters on The Great North

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many were forced to pivot in terms of their jobs and lifestyles — and that, of course, included actors. One of the things Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally did was go camping during lockdown. During a remote appearance on "The View" in 2021, Mullally revealed that, not only did the two want to get out of the house, but Offerman also has an affinity for the outdoors — much like his character, Beef Tobin, in the animated series "The Great North," in which he plays a fisherman in Alaska.

The show, about a single father raising four kids in a small Alaskan town, actually started production before the pandemic, so the voice actors did go into the studio initially — but once the quarantine was issued, Offerman and Mullally set up a full recording studio in their guest room. Mullally plays the character of Alyson, who is Beef's daughter's boss.

In Season 2, Alyson takes Beef out on a date. As one might expect, Mullally's character plays it up with lots of sexual innuendo and blatant seduction. Offerman said on "The View," "It got so steamy in the studio that they actually quit writing scenes for us together because the technicians had to leave the room at one point." Whether or not that was true, later in the episode, the two characters have a sweet moment of connection over their mutual interest in permafrost.

Megan Mullally convinced Nick Offerman to do The Last of Us

A few years into the pandemic, it seemed Hollywood was ready to get back to a sense of normalcy, while also bringing forth projects with pandemic storylines — as in 2023's "The Last of Us," a post-fungal-outbreak drama-adventure starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey. Offerman plays Bill, a prepper and loner who takes in a man, Frank (Murray Bartlett), who is the lone survivor of his group. The two bond over shared interests and end up sharing an intimate kiss, which leads to a whole touching relationship spanning over years via flashforwards. However, taking on the HBO role — definitely a departure from what Offerman has been known for — wasn't an easy decision.

When Offerman received the script, he decided he didn't have time play the part, even though it would only be for one episode. He shared on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" that he gave the script to Megan Mullally to get her advice. "My incredible goddess of a wife read it," he explained. "And she said, 'You're going to Calgary, buddy. Have fun. You have to do this.'"

It turned out, of course, to be the absolute right decision — and viewers quickly took to social media in droves with their positive reactions to the episode's beautiful storyline and Offerman's performance. Even Jeff Bezos chimed in on Twitter with, "Episode 3 of Last of Us is unbelievably good story telling. I am in awe of @Nick_Offerman performance. Incredible."