Barney complains the pickings are slim at MacLaren's and when his friends point out an attractive group of young women, he tells the gang about the Cheerleader Effect (and several of its permutations). Basically, sometimes women look hot in a group, but when you look at each one individually, you realize it was just an illusion. Soon after, he gets news that a recent lover might be pregnant. The Hell!?! This episode is supposed to be about Lily and Marshall, and I've been expecting that. Bracing myself for it, even. But Barney? Arrrrrrrrrrrrrgh. (Grr. Arrgh.)
Marshall and Lily have come down with baby fever, thanks in part to their Dowisetrepla neighbor, Charlotte, and her bouncing baby boy, Jeremy who's leaving his bewitching socks all over Dowistrepla. On the night they've set aside for their first attempt at conception, Marshall has to stay late at work for a teleconference with China, so Lily has Ted and Robin over to Dowisetrepla to talk about the big baby decision. Marshall only seems to see the cute side of babies like their socks and sockless feet, while Lily's been getting insider information from the strung out, sleep-deprived, sex-deprived, adult-conversation deprived Charlotte, so she's less gung-ho. Ted's pro-kids and Robin's not, so Lily pours herself a(nother) big glass of red wine (just like me!) and listens to their arguments, which are what you'd expect. After downing the whole bottle of wine by herself, Lily is aboard Robin's train of thought, until she finds one of Jeremy's socks and melts into a puddle with a blood alcohol content that would get you arrested. Baby socks are like that. Baby toes are even worse. Er…unless you find them lying around your apartment. Anyhow, while Robin and Ted argue about Lily's future, Lily disappears.
Barney, meanwhile, is so excited to find his…er…lady friend is not in the family way, that he decides invents a holiday: Not A Father's Day. He's even set up a website where people can get T-shirts, mugs, greeting cards, and bless the creators, they've done it again. Check out NotAFathersDay.com (sponsored by GNB, no less). Uninformed about Marshall and Lily's latest discussions, he of course shares this celebration with Marshall at every turn.
Ted and Robin bicker all the way to MacLaren's where they hope to find Lily, but instead find Barney inducting men into his new Not-A-Father cult. He's baptizing them with Scotch, and making them recite a pledge (which you can read at the website). Back at GNB, Marshall's beginning his teleconference with China, while Lily's outside the conference room, performing a suggestive pantomime, and eventually disrobing. Marshall can't concentrate on his presentation, knowing Lily is raising Cain in the hallways of GNB, so he makes his excuses and goes after her. When Lily wants to go dancing, he remembers that whenever she gets drunk, she falls asleep in the cab, so rather than arguing with her, he agrees, and she passes out immediately. He has the cabbie do a couple of rounds around the block for good measure.
While Robin's in the MacLaren's lady's room, Marshall calls Robin's cell phone to let her know he's got Lily. Ted takes the liberty of answering it, and finds Jeremy's sock in her purse. Even Robin can't resist the pull of the baby sock. She has a heart to heart with Ted. She's unemployed and homeless, and sleeping on Lily and Marshall's couch has her down. Ted invites Robin to move into his spare bedroom. Barney joins them at the table, and tells them about his latest Not A Father's Day ideas. He thinks his new gang of bros are cool, 'til Robin and Ted point out he's just fallen victim to the latest permutation of the Cheerleader Effect. Once they've convinced him, they're off. Robin leaves behind the sock, and it casts its spell over an unsuspecting Barney.
The next day, Lily makes Marshall a special breakfast to atone for her drunken behavior. Marshall confesses that caring for her while drunk helped him to realize he's not ready for the commitment yet. They decide to wait a while, but will have fully protected sex, just as soon as Marshall's eaten his bacon. Thanks for sharing, guys.
End Tag: Barney's singing a particularly angsty version of "Cat's In the Cradle" at some club on open mike night. As part of his big finish, he pulls Jeremy's sock out of his hand. Oh, Barney. You're think you're torn up, now. Wait 'til you find out Robin's moving into Ted's place.
Wait for it... Wait for it... the full weecap is coming on Wednesday. Until then, see our favorite HIMYM catchphrases.
Barney is unimpressed with the talent at MacLaren's tonight. "And the more I drink, the less attractive they get. I am one scotch and soda away from the Cantina scene in Star Wars. Watch it, Barney. You keeping going in that direction and you'll end up talking yourself into marriage. Ted points out six attractive young women occupying the rounded booth in the corner. Barney says they're not hot. Lily disagrees. She knows they're hot because she hated them as soon as she spotted them. "In fact, I hated them almost as much as I hated Robin when I first met her." In her savant-like way, I think she just nailed Barney's issue with the talent. They're not Robin. Robin says, "You hated me?" Lily replies, "A lot." Robin, who is looking particularly hot tonight, is touched. Marshall thinks the women are hot, too. Barney's disgusted at his friends' lack of discernment, and tells them they've just become victims of the Cheerleader Effect. "The Cheerleader Effect is when a group of women seems hot - but only as a group. Just like with cheerleaders - they seem hot, but take each one of them individually? Sled dogs." When Ted says that's insane, Barney encourages everyone to take a good, hard look at each woman. And oh, my. Sled dogs on the way to Hell. The last one shown is played by Jason Segal, and you know all I can think is that I'm grateful I don't have to look at his real hair for a moment (although it looks better in the cold open than in most of the episode). Marshall and Lily both agree that last one is kind of cute. Hee.
On the way from the barstools to their table, Barney lists some permutations of The Cheerleader Effect: "The Bridesmaid Paradox; Sorority Girl Syndrome; and for a brief window in the Nineties, the Spice Girls Conspiracy. Scary Spice, indeed." Oh c'mon. Who's scarier than Posh? Once they're seated, Barney's phone rings. After intentionally mumbling his name, he has a short conversation. "Oh, hi! Okay. Got it. Great, we'll be in touch." After he hangs up, he simply says, "Huh." Ted says, "What?" Barney says, "Apparently, I'm going to be a dad."
That kept your ass on the couch, didn't it? Ted says, "What do you mean you're going to be a dad? How did this happen?" How do you think, Ted? Oh - look, Robin's giving him the "How do you think, Ted?" look. Thanks, Robin. Barney explains it was some girl he hooked up with a few weeks back. She's not sure yet; she's going to the doctor in the morning. The more interesting story, and the one we never hear, would be how this woman got Barney's real name and phone number. Lily suggests the pregnancy could just be a false alarm, but Barney's ego won't hear of it. "Lily, no part of Barney Stinson does anything less than 110%." Oh, Barney, don't be that guy. I don't mean with the women; I'm a realist. I mean with that 110% garbage. You get 100 or less, you hear? "If one of my little Michael Phelpses got loose - he's swimming for the gold." Voice shaking, Barney stands. "Oh, this is a nightmare. I don't want kids. Who in their right mind would want ever kids?" Hand to forehead, he walks out of the bar.