It's a guest star-fest this week, when Ted takes Judy Greer (Dr. Plimpton! But her name is Royce here) on a date, to a movie called The Wedding Bride, and somehow, inexplicably, doesn't realize until he's watching it that it's a movie based on his relationship with Stella, written by her husband, Tony. Jason Lewis plays Tony in the movie (of course! They're always hotter in the movies), and Malin Akerman plays Stella. And who plays Ted? Chris Kattan. Okay, not hotter, but funnier. Judy Greer is seriously underused, because the movie-within-a-show is overused. And then, if you think too hard about it, you'll find yourself wondering why, if Stella's not and never will be the mother, we keep going back to her for what aren't even that hilarious of laughs. No, really: why? Nobody really knows with this entire season of filler. But I'll leave that for the weecap (and, even better, your usual recapper). But, seriously, what was accomplished this season to move any of these characters even remotely forward? Anyway, in the movie, Tony's a super-hot hero who saves children and puppies or something, and Ted (er... Jed) is a jerky architect (hey! That one is right on!). I have to congratulate Tony for making a movie that, though cheesy, was a least better than certain real-life bride-themed movies. And this one is a hit, and makes a ton of money. Ted's date loves it, but no worries: She's not Your Mother.
There's also a whole running joke about everyone's baggage, which is pretty funny because everyone carries around a suitcase with their actual "baggage" written on their "baggage." Get it? Oh, and Robin's somehow back with the gang, and Don's nowhere to be seen. So apparently this is one of the moments where they've drifted together again, and there's really no reason for the show to explain that to us, is there? I mean, that would be really inconsistent with the inconsistency of this season. Marshall's too nice. And Barney swears inappropriately all over the place.
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Saget!Ted tells us (you know, his kids) that dating is great in your 20s, but basically sucks in your 30s because of everyone's baggage. He says you can pretend it's not there, but sooner or later you see it. He's with a girl, who gets a call from her ex, calls him "Pumpkin!" and discusses their trip to Maui. Camera pans out and she's carrying a suitcase with giant "IN LOVE WITH EX" on the side. Get it? Baggage. Credits.
Then Ted's telling us about the girl he's dating, Royce (Judy Greer), as we see them at the movie theater. Cut to McLaren's earlier that same night, with Ted telling the gang (including Robin; what happened to all that space she needed to make it work with Don?) that they're very happy together. No "buts." Except the "no 'buts'" is the "but," because he knows there's a "but" coming. It's totally not about her butt. It's about when he finds out her baggage. Barney thinks emotional baggage is important, because only women with major baggage go into porn. Ted and Robin salute: "Major Baggage." Robin tells Ted to look past the baggage, but he says last time he did that was with Stella, and we all know how that worked out. Ted recaps his heartbreak, but Cindy's already done that, so I'll just link.
Marshall thinks it's a good thing he and Lily met young enough that he didn't develop baggage, but everyone cites his "mother issues," "grandmother issues," "great-grandmother issues" (those exist?) and "being too nice." He doesn't think that one is actually baggage, so Robin reminds him what he's like walking down the street. Cut to Marshall walking down the street talking to and helping everyone he sees. He even break-dances for a group of break-dancers. Back at McLaren's, Marshall says that's normal, but Barney says that's normal only on Sesame Street. He tries to turn that into a joke, but it's not funny, so I'll skip it. Ted will be happy if Royce's only baggage is "too nice." Barney says "too nice" is the worst baggage. The best? "Hates her dad" and "Thinks she's fat but isn't." Because with that combination, it's angry sex and then she's gone when you mention breakfast. Even Barney finally realizes he's gone too far, all, "Why do you guys hang out with me?"
That night, Saget!Ted narrates, he's on a date with Royce, just waiting to see what her baggage will be. First she says that her dad got her working in porn, which he thinks is it, duh, and we even get a giant "WORKED IN PORN" suitcase. Then she's like, "You know PORN: Parents Offering Recreation and Nutrition"? Uh, no, he doesn't know that. Nobody does, and if they did, no one would casually call it "porn." Then says she killed her brother (giant "KILLED HER BROTHER" suitcase) with a joke she told him. The joke: "A barber, a stripper, and a Jew (giant suitcase says "TED, WAIT FOR HER TO FINISH HER SIP") Liard (as in Juilliard)-trained violinist walk into a bar. Ted says he looked and looked, but couldn't find any baggage to worry about, until they went to see a movie. They sit down, munching popcorn, at The Wedding Bride, which the opening credits say is "a film by Tony Grafanello." That would be Mr. Stella, of course. Ted: "Oh no."