National Treat Yourself Day

A group of friends, inspired by the hit TV show 'Parks and Recreation', enjoying National Treat Yourself Day. They are dressed in colorful, eclectic outfits, representing different fashion styles such as vintage, bohemian, and urban chic. They are seen indulging in a shopping spree, dining at a fancy restaurant, getting pampered at a spa, and laughing together in a beautiful park..
National treat yourself day illustration

A flavorful, warm slice of apple pie, pedicure at the fanciest spa in town or 'one-click order' that drone you've always fancied...sounds tantalizing, right? Welcome brave folks, to the day dedicated to giving oneself some much needed RnR - yes, we're talking about 'National Treat Yourself Day'. Listed occasionally on calendars (and more often on social-media platforms) this is one 'holiday' that needs no convincing to celebrate!

When is Treat Yourself Day?

It's national treat yourself day on the 14th October.

Humble Beginnings of the National Treat Yourself Day

This flavorful festival of self-love had rather humble, and dare we say comical, beginnings in the world of television. Thanks to the hit NBC show 'Parks and Recreation', characters Donna and Tom highlighted the necessity for a day truly dedicated to treating oneself. First aired on 14th October 2011, in arguably one of the most famous television episodes of all time, these fun-loving bureaucrats introduced the world to 'Treat Yo Self Day'. It instantly became a cult classic, making its way from the world of fiction to reality.

How is National Treat Yourself Day Celebrated?

The beauty of Treat Yourself Day lies in its adaptiveness. Depending on personal preferences, celebrations vary wildly - from shopping sprees and gastronomical delights, to relaxing home spas and binging your favorite shows in comfy pjs. The golden rule? Do something that makes you overflow with joy!

Peak Popularity

Our digital callipers detected a whopping 232 mentions of 'National Treat Yourself Day' online. While the day occasionally appeared on the radar before 2016, the mentions skyrocketed on 14th October 2016 – hitting a peak in popularity. Since then, the day has mostly been celebrated on or around the same date.


In the breakneck speed of modern life, National Treat Yourself Day offers a much-needed pause. Time to appreciate oneself, to reward the trooper within. So remember folks, at least once a year let loose, after all, you've earned this treat. Happy Treating!

History behind the term 'Treat Yourself'


The Birth of 'Treat Yourself'

The term 'treat yourself' was popularized in the television show 'Parks and Recreation' during the episode titled 'Pawnee Rangers' in 1997. In this episode, the character Tom Haverford, played by Aziz Ansari, introduces the concept of treating oneself as a special day to indulge in personal desires without any guilt or judgment. The phrase quickly gained traction and became a memorable catchphrase from the show.


Spread Through Pop Culture

After its introduction in 'Parks and Recreation', 'treat yourself' started to gain popularity and spread through various channels of pop culture. Memes using the phrase began to circulate on the internet, and it was commonly used in social media posts and conversations. The concept of self-care and rewarding oneself became increasingly embraced by society.


Inclusion in Urban Dictionary

In 2011, the term 'treat yourself' was officially recognized in Urban Dictionary, an online dictionary that focuses on slang and cultural phrases. The entry for 'treat yourself' described the concept as indulging in something special, whether it be shopping, pampering, or enjoying a luxurious experience. This further solidified the term and its definition in popular culture.


Annual 'Treat Yo Self' Celebration

Building upon the popularity of the phrase, fans of 'Parks and Recreation' established an annual celebration called 'Treat Yo Self' day, taking place on October 13th. On this day, people fully embrace the concept of treating themselves and engage in activities that bring them joy and relaxation. The celebration often includes spa treatments, shopping sprees, and indulging in favorite foods.


Incorporation by Brands and Businesses

Recognizing the cultural impact of 'treat yourself', brands and businesses started to incorporate the phrase into their marketing campaigns. Many retailers and service providers began offering special deals and promotions specifically targeted at encouraging customers to 'treat themselves.' This further popularized the concept, making 'treat yourself' not just a catchphrase but also a marketing strategy.

Did you know?

The concept of 'Treat Yo Self Day' was so popular that it reappeared five real years later in another episode of 'Parks and Recreation', to commemorate the show's fictional three-year anniversary of the day.


awareness fun self-care parksandrec

First identified

13th October 2016

Most mentioned on

14th October 2016

Total mentions


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