It's The Amazing Race, How I Met Your Mother-style in this actually cool and only-a-little-gimmicky concept episode that has our whole cast racing separately to a single location in downtown Manhattan. Basically, they get a call from a friend who sees Woody Allen at Gregor's Steakhouse. Robin thinks it would be cool to see him, but everyone else just teases her about not being a New Yorker yet if she hasn't seen Woody Allen. She tries to tell them she's seen Maury Povich, but they don't think that counts since he's everywhere (in this episode). Also, if she hasn't stolen a cab from someone who needed it more, cried on the subway without giving a damn what anyone thought, and killed a cockroach with her bare hands. (She will do all of those by end of this
day episode.) They discuss the quickest way to get to Gregor's, and each of them has a different theory. They all pretend there's, like, no way to know who's right anyway, and then they start racing...
Lily takes the subway, and Saget!Ted tells us she needs the win because she and Marshall haven't been able to get pregnant, so she feels like a loser. Maury Povich is there, and he calls her an idiot. Ted takes the bus, where he turns out to be the one crazy person no one will sit by. Maury Povich is there, and he looks at Ted derisively. Robin tries to take a cab, but Maury Povich steals it from her. (Then she steals one from another woman, who needed it more: check!). Barney eats a steak and then pretends to choke, since ambulance is his vehicle of choice. Unfortunately, he can't choose the hospital and finds himself going uptown instead of downtown. So he calls Ranjit and hitches a ride. Then he picks up Robin, who scolds him for not noticing how sad she's been. Then she jumps out. Barney passes Marshall. I'm sure Maury Povich pops up again somewhere. Everyone meets up at some point in the middle, then races some more. Barney takes and then drives a rickshaw. Robin cries on the subway (check!), and Lily consoles her. Then Lily calls Ranjit and gives Marshall a ride. But they decide to stop worrying about baby-making and racing and go to Coney Island instead. Ted, Barney, and Robin are in a dead-heat to the finish, when Barney tackles Ted and Robin wins. She has a nice dinner with Anonymous Friend Max, who points out Woody Allen (it's actually Maury Povich; he always gets them confused). Then Robin kills a cockroach with her bare hands, and -- check! -- she's a New Yorker. As long as it doesn't mean an end to the Canada jokes.
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At MacLaren's, Barney can't stop staring at a girl's face. When everyone is briefly shocked that he'd look at that part of a girl, he brings it back to Barneyland with "Puffy cheeks, smudged mascara, slightly red nose. That girl was just crying. She's so sad and defenseless. Anyone have a condom?" Lily gives him a timeout for being that offensive, and sends him to the corner booth. Marshall gets a text from his friend, Max, who says he's sitting two tables over from Woody Allen at Gregor's Steakhouse downtown. Max invites them to come check it out, and they all groan. Except Robin, who thinks it would be cool to see him. Marshall wonders how she can be a New Yorker if she hasn't seen him already, and she's like, "I see famous people; just last week I saw Maury Povich." Saget!Ted tells us how uncanny it is how often they see Maury. Then Lily and Marshall say the same thing to Robin, so I'm not really sure why we needed that particular Saget!Ted. I mean, nothing against the Saget!Ted or anything. But, actually, yes, I do have something against pointless narration, and that includes Saget!Ted sometimes. Sorry, Saget. I know you probably like phoning in your lines and getting paid, but I would like more.
Robin tries to say she is, in fact, a real New Yorker, since she's been here for six years. Everyone laughs at her, and Ted says she's not a real New Yorker until she's stolen a cab from someone who needs it more. Lily says you're not a real New Yorker until you've cried on the subway and not given a damn what anyone thinks. But Marshall says you're not a real New Yorker until you've killed a cockroach with your bare hands. Robin thinks this is stupid, since she's done none of those things. Saget!Ted: "By the end of the day, Robin will have done all of those things." See? Now, that's a perfectly fine use of Saget!Ted. Barney comes back from his timeout and asks what's up. Marshall fills him on Robin wanting to go see Woody Allen at Gregor's, blah blah. Barney's like: "Why would I do that? I'll see him at poker on Tuesday." Robin says they'll be there in twenty minutes if they jump in a cab, but Lily says a real New Yorker would know the subway's faster. Ted thinks the bus is faster on weekends. Barney says there's always one crazy person on the bus that no one wants to sit by, which is why he never takes the bus. And Marshall thinks he could run faster than the bus. But Ted says it's, like, seven miles! Marshall: "I can beat a bus, or a cab, or a train." Robin wonders if anyone else is craving Green Eggs & Ham. Marshall thinks someone needs to take machines down a peg. Barney says he could beat them all, even if he sat down and ordered a big, juicy steak first. Marshall asks how, and Barney replies, "Medium rare, but that's not important right now." Robin tries to say she knows the city better than any of them, and they all argue. Ted yells that they should all just forget about it, since there's no way to know who's right. Then they all get up and run out, with yelling, "First person wins!" "Doesn't matter how you get there!" Barney throws in a "Stay sad, I'll be back!" to the girl at the bar.