After Robin gets into a bar fight, her attorney tells her to become a U.S. citizen, or risk deportation. Barney helps her bone up (and yes, he makes that joke and many like it) for her citizenship test, and then he teaches her how to be a real American. This involves about as many Canadian jokes and Ugly Americanisms as you'd expect. By the time they've finished cramming (yes, he goes there, too), Robin is as boorish as the rest of us. But when she passes the Hoser Hut (a local Canadian-style pub), she can't resist going in for a beer. Soon she's singing along drunkenly to the Canadian National Anthem, and taking off for Toronto with a women's Curling team, in order to catch a Bryan Adams/Rich Little show. Barney tracks her down in her trashed hotel room, but when they stop at Tim Horton's for coffee, the cashier treats Robin like an American. She feels like she doesn't belong anywhere, so Barney stands on a chair and tells "Canada" (the customers at that particular Tim's) how and why they're so ass-backwards as to let a great woman like Robin Scherbatsky slip south of the border. So? The locals beat the stuffing out of him. When he and Robin return to NYC, Barney bitches about the wonderful healthcare he got in Canada -- because it was free. Soon, Robin has an epiphany -- she'll apply for dual citizenship, instead.
Meanwhile, Marshall and Ted learn the Chicago pizzeria they used to travel to during their college years is closing for good, so they plan one last old-school bros' road trip to the place. They load up on beef jerky and extra-caffeinated soda (Tantrum), but Marshall packs something he never used to bring on these trips -- Lily, who has to pee every five minutes. And instead of driving straight through, they stop at a couples-oriented Bed & Breakfast. Ted is disappointed in the trip, so while Lily sleeps, he tricks Marshall into thinking they're going out to buy beer. Once Marshall (who didn't bother to change out of his shorty robe) is in the car, Ted kidnaps him -- driving straight on through to Chicago. The pizza is as wonderfully bad as they remember it, but Marshall can't enjoy himself. The guys fight and drive back to get Lily, in relative silence, until Kenny Rogers teaches them the value of friendship. Not a typo.
Over a shot of Ted, Marshall, Lily and Barney bundling up to go ice skating, Saget!Ted reminds his (unseen in this episode) children that Aunt Robin grew up in Canada so sometimes, she did things a little differently. For example, she dressed a little differently. Robin, wearing a short sleeved shirt and miniskirt, comes out carrying her skates and yelling, "Let's DO this!" She takes off without even a jacket. Cut to MacLaren's, where Robin meets up with the gang. Saget!Ted says she sometimes talked a little differently. Robin holds up a bill in front of Ted. "Ted, this hydro bill is bigger than Louis Cyr's biceps. What? You leave the garburator on all night, eh?" If I'm recapping a show, I watch with the closed-captioning on, so I don't miss anything. My husband, who, unlike me, doesn't speak Canadian, had to shut it off so he could read the Canadian to English subtitles. "This electric bill is larger than a Quebec strong man's arms. Did you leave the disposal on all night, moron?" Over an exterior shot of the Hoser Hut, Saget!Ted says, "She hung out at different bars." Inside, there's a rip-roaring bar brawl, and Robin (wearing her Canucks jersey) is right in the middle of it, throwing a chair at someone. Saget!Ted notes, "And she enjoyed leisure time a little differently." Robin screams at her unseen victim: "Oh, you wanna go? You wanna go?!" Smash.
MacLaren's: Robin is sitting with Marshall and Barney, telling them to make fun of "The Great White North" all they want. She still says Canada is still the best country in the world. Barney proposes a social experiment. He stands up and chants, "U.S.A. U.S.A. U.S.A." The crowd joins right in. Robin says people will chant anything and rises to make her case. "Can-a-DUH. Can-a-DUH. Can-a-DUH!" Crickets. She allows that maybe they won't chant anything. Barney holds up his index finger as he grins. "Shrimp fried rice. Shrimp fried rice. Shrimp fried rice!" The bar joins right in, again. Ted, just entering, chants along, all the way from the door to the booth. Now I want shrimp fried rice, but not in Canada. I've never once had good Chinese food there.
Ted has crushing news for Marshall. Gazzola's, "a filthy Mecca of spectacular -- if undercooked -- pizzas" is closing. It's in Chicago. And when they were at Wesleyan (the one in CT, mind you), they'd occasionally take crazy, 22-hour, map-less road trips to this joint. Ted says, "We'd just jump in the Fiero and drive. We were like Louis and Clark, if Louis and Clark peed in empty soda bottles and had a bong made out of a cantaloupe." Soda bottles in the Fiero? Surely not. Perhaps Marshall made an exception to the no drinks, no food, not even groceries rule for long trips, though. Or, the writers forgot (more likely) that episode's details. Boo. The guys wax nostalgic about their Gazzola's trips. They ate nothing but jerky and drank nothing but Tantrum. Marshall says that's when they really became bros. From the future, Saget!Ted tells his kids that Tantrum was a super-caffeinated soda. As Saget!Ted narrates that eventually, the FDA took it off the market, we see a lab rat explode through the glass side of its cage. Marshall says they went through a whole case of the stuff on one trip. Ted was color-blind for two weeks after, and Marshall pegs his Tantrum over-consumption as the reason he still passes out at the sound of church bells. As Ted starts to detail how brutal those long road-trips were, Marshall smiles. "What time are we leaving for Gazzola's tomorrow?" Ted was thinking 9:00 or 9:30 AM. Hee.