Back in the present at MacLaren's, Marshall complains that the makeup took a month to come off and he's never looked like a bigger jackass. Barney says, "Until today...tell the story. Tell the story. Tell the story." Marshall tries to shut him up, but Robin wants to know the score. Barney tells her it's so funny, that nothing else will match up for the rest of her life. Eventually, Marshall gives in. He starts out explaining that he was at the GNB gym, playing basketball, but Barney interrupts his account to play the I-wanna-say it, no, you-say-it, no, I-wanna-say-it game which I won't recap here. Just as Marshall's about to spill, Barney yells, "Marshall forgot his pants."
We flash back to Marshall making his stealthy, pantsless little way to his office (he has his gym shorts on, but why he didn't wear whatever pants he wore to the gym -- in March -- in New York -- in the first place -- is beyond me). Barney is the only one who thinks this is funny. Expect this to continue throughout the episode, but right now, it's time for the...
Oh my, we're only at the theme song? I've got to tighten up this beast. Hang onto your hats. So...while Robin can see the humor in Marshall forgetting his pants, it's no, "Chimp wearing two tuxedos." But really, what is? Ted brings the conversation back to himself, and Karen's move to New York. Lily warns him about getting back together with her. Ted says he doesn't want to get back together with her, "But would it be the worst thing in the world if I gave her a call?" Marshall says, "It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. It would be the fourth worst thing." Here's his list:
1. Super volcano.
2. An asteroid hits the Earth.
3. All footage of Evel Knievel is lost.
4. Ted calls Karen.
5. Lily gets eaten by a shark.
Lily adds, "I'm Lily, and I approve the order of that list." Hee. She proceeds to tell Barney and Robin the whole story. Ted and Karen were off and on throughout college. They'd be having fun, "douching it up," and then Ted would catch Karen in (his!) bed with some meathead. The meathead would sniff and say, "Sorry, bro," Karen would tell him to read something rather high-brow (e.g. "Before you say anything, I think you should read Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du Mal.") Tu mettrais l'univers entier dans ta ruelle / Femme impure! L'ennui rend ton âme cruelle. You know? Ted would agree, and then get depressed. After a suitable amount of time had passed, Marshall and Lily would tell them how much they hated Karen. Lily explains: "And then Ted would build up a head of steam and finally take the bus to Providence, to give Karen a piece of his mind." We flash back to Ted arriving back at his dorm room, telling Marshall and Lily that "it" went "great" and then Karen enters the room behind him. Current-day Lily says, "And then sure enough, the whole thing would start all over again." It would and did, right down to a new meathead in Ted's bed with Ted's woman, sniffing "Sorry, bro," at Ted.