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Life Among the Gorillas

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Life Among the Gorillas

HIMYM episode 1x17 (17)

Life Among the Gorillas
First aired:
March 20, 2006
Pamela Fryman
Craig Thomas
Carter Bays

Images (6)

Marshall changes his personality to fit in at his new job. Ted struggles with his long-distance relationship with Victoria.


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Marshall starts his internship at Barney's company, AltruCell, and hates his coworkers in the legal department. They tease him about Lily making his lunch and Marshall is uncomfortable with the fictional scenarios that they construct that make Marshall choose between two women. At the end of his first day, Marshall is ready to quit, but Barney manipulates him into staying. Barney convinces Marshall that he would be happier knowing that he could provide a better life for Lily with a bigger income. Marshall asks Barney for advice on how to deal with his coworkers, and Barney suggests behaving more like his coworkers and blending. When Marshall tells Lily about his plan, Lily doesn't think that it's a good idea, but Marshall thinks that he can keep his work persona separate from his real personality. Barney shows Marshall how to act like the guys at work and Marshall gains their acceptance. Marshall's work persona begins to bleed over into his home life to Lily's displeasure. Marshall asks Lily to give his work friends a chance and they go out to a karaoke bar. Lily is not having a good time and when Marshall accepts a job offer at Barney's company Lily leaves the table. Lily asks Marshall when he decided to give up his values. He says that he hasn't abandoned his values but he wants to make good money for a couple of years so that he can give Lily a better life. Lily tells him that he can give her a great life with what he has already. The two make up by performing their favorite karaoke song on stage.

Meanwhile, Ted struggles with his long distance relationship with Victoria. He feels guilty that Victoria has sent him three care packages and he hasn't sent her any. When he calls to thank her for the most recent care package, he impulsively says that he sent her a care package a few days ago. Ted asks Robin for advice about how to cover up his lie. Robin suggests that he assemble a care package with New York-themed things and top off the package with a New York Times from three days ago. When Victoria calls Ted to thank him for the care package, he accidentally falls asleep on the phone. Feeling guilty and frustrated, Ted plans to fly to Germany to visit Victoria. But when he is buying his ticket, Victoria sends him an email telling him that they need to talk that evening. Ted worries that Victoria is going to break up with him, but Robin reassures him that he is worried for no reason. The phone call from Victoria is four hours late. Future Ted ends the episode by using Bilson's game, and says 'Here's the real question, it's 2a.m. your friends are still out singing karaoke, but you're home early because you're expecting a call from your girlfriend in Germany who was supposed to call 4 hours ago. And then... the phone rings' Ted answers it, and Robin is on the other end, asking if he wants to come over. Future Ted then asks 'What do you do? Go.'


  • This episode marks the first appearance of Bilson and Blauman at Barney and Marshall's office.
  • Marshall wanting to go into environmental law is established, as is his conflict over going into corporate law instead to make more money for his and Lily's future.
  • Barney manipulated Marshall into taking an internship at AltruCell in Cupcake.

Future References (Contains Spoilers)Edit

  • Ted ends up going to Robin's apartment, as seen in Nothing Good Happens After 2 A.M., where the rest of Robin's day, parts of which are seen here, is shown.
  • When Lily asks about Barney's job in World's Greatest Couple, he responds the same way he does to Marshall's questions here, as do he and James when Robin inquires about how they are related in Single Stamina.
    • Barney's job is finally revealed in Unpause, where it is also revealed that he has been responding honestly; PLEASE is an acronym ("Provide Legal Exculpation And Sign Everything") and Barney's job is being a legal scapegoat for his company's corrupt activities.
    • This is hinted at in The Goat, where Marshall finds a contract detailing the poisoning of the water supply in Lisbon, Portugal in Barney's office, and in Last Cigarette Ever, where Barney mentions that the company might murder him one day because of how much he knows.
  • Marshall's dilemma of choosing between environmental and corporate law comes up again in several episodes, including I'm Not That GuyThe Chain of Screaming, and Natural History, and is resolved when he quits Goliath National Bank in The Exploding Meatball Sub and starts working for the environmental law firm Honeywell & Cootes in The Naked Truth.
  • Lily says she wants Marshall to be an environmental lawyer even though they would have less money, a sentiment she reiterates in Natural History. However, in I'm Not That Guy, she tries to push him to accept a high-paying job at Nicholson, Hewitt, and West to pay off her credit card debt, and in The Exploding Meatball Sub, she gets upset at him for quitting GNB and taking an unpaid internship at the NRDC.


  • Marshall reading Dr. Vasquez's book that inspired him into becoming an environmental lawyer.
  • Ted opens a care package from Victoria.
  • Marshall sees himself living among the gorillas of AltruCell Company.
  • Robin asks Ted to come to her apartment.
For a listing of all images on the wiki tagged as being from this episode, see Category:Life Among the Gorillas images.

Memorable QuotesEdit

Marshall: So, dude, check it. I'm in San Diego with two of my Brosephs from Kappa and they're all, "Yo, Eriksen, let's roll to the strip club!" So I'm like, "Snap-a-do!" So we find this choice nudey-nest near the airport...And that is when the bouncer kicked us out. Now, I have no idea if "Svetlana" ever got her green card but, dudes, fake diamond ring? Worth every penny, bra!

Marshall: Wow, that is a boatload of motivation posters!
Barney: Yeah, I got them all! Team work, courage, awesomeness…
Marshall: There is one for awesomeness?
Barney: Yeah, I had it made.

Marshall: Blauman, it's E-dog. We still on for karaoke tonight? Dope. Catch you on the flip. (falsetto) Butt puppet.
Marshall behaving like a "gorilla" while talking on the phone with a co-worker

"Dude, rockuppied!" -Barney

Notes and TriviaEdit

Goofs and ErrorsEdit

  • When Ted is eating cupcakes at the bar and talking to Robin about the long-distance relationship, the side shot and the shot on Robin show a glass of milk in front of Ted. But when the shot focuses on Ted, there is no glass.
  • When Marshall is looking in the mirror, seeing himself as a gorilla, we can see the mask on the side of the screen.
  • In Best Prom Ever, Marshall's and Lily's song is said to be Good Feeling, while here it is said to be Don't Go Breaking My Heart.

Allusions and Outside ReferencesEdit


Other NotesEdit

  • This marks the first time a cast member's spouse has appeared in an episode.



  • The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 7.5 out of 10 stars. "Your package has always been big enough."


External LinksEdit

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