| First aired:|
March 9, 2009
Marshall goes into work with no pants and Barney makes fun of him. Ted hooks up with his pretentious ex-girlfriend, Karen, whom Lily and Marshall despise.
With Robin hosting Come On, Get Up New York! at 4 AM, she feels like she's been missing a lot. So she relies on the gang catching her up after a week of being out of touch as she adjusted to her new schedule.
Barney says that something incredible happened to Marshall at work but the tale gets interrupted by the news of Ted being reunited with his high school and college girlfriend, Karen. Marshall and Lily hate Karen, recounting tales of her being a douche in college.
Ted reveals he has been hooking up with Karen all week. He explains that Robin has been so out of it on the sleeping pills she has been taking that she didn't even notice. Marshall and Lily think that this is a big mistake but Ted dismisses Lily's hatred in part because its based on a time that Karen was caught checking out a nude Marshall in college. Marshall and Lily warn that Ted is just going to end up in the same place as in college, with Karen cheating on him.
- Karen has been mentioned in other flashbacks of Ted's college days (Arrivederci, Fiero, How I Met Everyone Else); this is the first time she is depicted on screen.
- The painting Lily is working on when Karen "lingers" is the nude picture of Marshall the gang finds in Columns.
- Lily refers to her break-up with Scooter, depicted in Best Prom Ever.
- Robin and Barney refer to their break ups with Curt Irons and Wendy the Waitress respectively. These relationships and breakups were shown in The Platinum Rule.
- Marshall says he has been wearing his ripped pants all day because they show off his calves, which Lily likes. This refers to events during Brunch, where Marshall used his calves to seduce Lily.
- In a flashback, Robin ate ribs while asleep. This is a reference to The Bracket, when Ted says that Robin does not know how to lie, he asks her if she had ever fallen asleep while eating ribs. She answers "no", but she starts laughing, which Robin often does when she tries to lie.
|Karen:||I love how you guys live in a dorm. It's so American. It's like, "Let's all eat bologna sandwiches and be racist."|
|Barney:||A hug is like a public dry hump.|
|Marshall:||I think you're hugging wrong.|
|Ted:||You are unbelievable! You don't have the guts to break up like a decent human being so instead you pull this crap!|
|Karen:||Okay, you're right. I'm great with books. I'm great with art. I'm great at identifying French wine to within a mile of where the grapes were grown. But I'm really bad at looking someone in the eye and telling him the truth about how I really feel.|
|Ted:||Well, we're both bad at that. But I think we both need to change. So why don't I go first: Karen, you're a really hurtful and reckless person and I never want to see you or speak to your again. Au revoir.|
|Karen:||Ted, wait. Actually, 'au revoir' means 'until we see each other again.' So, I'm assuming that you mean we will in fact see each other again?|
- —Ted finally tells off Karen
Notes and Trivia
Goofs and Errors
- Lily claims she was painting Marshall nude because he ate her bowl of fruit. In Columns, it was explained that she was painting Marshall because he was uncomfortable with her working with another nude male.
- Lily depicts Marshall looking to his left towards her in the flashback scene where Karen lingers. But as can be clearly seen in Columns, Marshall is seen looking to his right in the painting, which means he was looking in the wrong direction in this episode's scene.
Allusions and Outside References
- Marshall claims that Karen is the "heiress to the Massengill fortune" referring to a brand of douches.
- In urging Marshall to tell the pants story, Barney chants, "Pants story! Bomaye!" referring to a chant associated with a famous boxing match, "The Rumble in the Jungle", between Mohammed Ali and George Foreman. The chant, "Ali, bomaye!" was shouted by the crowd in Zaire. It translates to "kill him" in the local language.
- The belt worn by Marshall is the same one as the belt in Third Wheel.
List of the Most Terrible Things in the World (according to Marshall and Lily, with the latter agreeing on the order of the list)
- Supervolcano eruption
- Asteroid hits the Earth
- All footage of Evil Kinevel is lost
- Ted calls Karen
- Lily gets eaten by a shark
List of Motives Behind an Ex Lunch (according to Barney)
- The Ex wants to get back together (reinforced by Lily's lunch with her high school boyfriend, Scooter)
- The Ex wants to kill you (thought to be reinforced by Barney's lunch with Wendy the Waitress, although she actually wanted to give him back a tie)
- The Ex wants to return the person's items that they might have accidentally have gotten when they were dating [reinforced by Robin's lunch with Curt, who wanted to give her back one of her guns, much to her (and Curt's) relief]
- The Ex wants to show off how much they're doing better (reinforced by a younger Marshall's lunch with Nicole Barsamian)
- Laura Prepon - Karen
- David Burtka - Scooter
- Taran Killam - Blauman
- Bryan Callen - Bilson
- Charlene Amoia - Wendy the Waitress
- Hayes MacArthur - Curt "The Ironman" Irons
- Koby Rouviere - 8-year-old Marshall
- Laura Ann Kesling - 8-year-old Nicole
- Patrick Moote - Darren
- Houston Rhines - Jeremy (Karen's boyfriend)
- Rowly Dennis - Trevor
"Despite its foolish mistakes, this is a solid episode of comedy. Quantity, not quality, but you still get enough to keep you happily occupied." The TV Critic's Review 
Donna Bowman of The A.V. Club rated the episode with a grade B+. 
Michelle Zoromski of IGN gave the episode 8.3 out of 10. 
Cindy McLennan of Television Without Pity gave the episode an A grade. 
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