When he least expects it, Ted meets PhD candidate Cindy (Rachel Bilson) in Columbia's storied halls. She's surrounded by frat boys (who seem more like rejects from Ridgemont High) toting (not sporting) six packs, and they're trying to tempt her into going up on the roof and getting trashed. Ted steps in, pulls rank, confiscates the hooch (although he lets "Boomer" keep his hard lemonade, which is CRAZY TALK because that stuff's awesome on a hot summer night). Cut to Ted and Cindy downing the boys' beer in an empty lecture hall and ragging on underclassmen and their underclass ways. Cindy confesses that she was in Econ 305 on T-Dawg's first day -- when he was in the wrong class. Saget!Ted reminds us that what Ted didn't know on that day was that the mother was somewhere in that class. "She thought I was a complete idiot." Flash to Cindy: "I thought you were a complete idiot." Oh, well, she's not the mother. We'd never get her that fast. Back to Cindy -- she allows that Ted was a cute idiot, so he's thrilled when she also allows that she almost exclusively dates cute idiots.
The Apartment: Ted tells the gang (sans Marshall) that Cindy is totally his speed: a PhD candidate who reads philosophy for fun and finishes the Sunday crossword puzzle. When he announces he has a date with her, the gang raises their beer bottles in celebration; Robin lets out a little "YAY," and then a huge cheer rises up from the street below. We soon find out the cause of the hubbub is Karina (wrestling goddess Stacy Keibler).
Cut to MacLaren's: Karina tends bar in a slow-mo sexy montage set to Warrant's "Cherry Pie." And oh my, babies, that song is older than many of you, isn't it? All right, setting aside my crisis for a moment, what you need to know is that there are more guys than we've ever seen in MacLaren's and they're crowding around the bar, enchanted by Karina. Robin and Lily are less than thrilled. Lily: "Oh no, the sidewalk's going to smell like pee pee, now." Robin says they'd better start looking for a new bar. If I were Robin, I'd be looking for a new apartment. Barney tries to sell the three girls (Lily, Robin, and Ted) on the wonders of a hot female bartender. He's been waiting to land a bartender for yonks and lists all the types of women he's been with. Barney: "Lawyers, teachers, poets, doctors, professional equestrians, amateur equestrians..." Time passes. "A butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker. Yes -- we're to the rhyming section, now. A math professor, a tax assessor, a weight guesser..." More time passes. "A puppeteer, a blackjack dealer, a stay at home mom. That's a job too, guys." Wordy McTired, Barney. "A circuit court j--" Robin interrupts, telling him to get to the point. And the point is that he's never scored a hot bartender, "Until tonight." Robin says Karina isn't all that hot. Ted teases her about being jealous and fancying herself the hottest girl in the bar. Robin protests too much. But Barney can't let the conversation stray away from himself, so he steers it back, noting that although all the other guys are falling at Karina's feet, he is an alpha dog and will land where he belongs -- on top. "Then after a few minutes -- on the bottom. Why should I do all the work?" Raise your hand if you're surprised Barney's a bottom. Me, neither.