How I Met Your Mother Episodes

2005, TV Show

How I Met Your Mother Episode: "Last Cigarette Ever"

Season 5, Episode 11
Episode Synopsis: The friends try to quit smoking; Robin is bothered by a coworker. Harvey Fierstein provides Lily's smoking voice.
Original Air Date: Dec 14, 2009
Guest Cast Bob Odenkirk: Arthur Hobbs Lyndsy Fonseca: Daughter David Henrie: Son Bob Saget
Full Episode
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Season 5, Episode 11
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Length: 21:27
Aired: 12/14/2009
Also available on Amazon Prime and VUDU
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How I Met Your Mother Episode Recap: "Last Cigarette Ever" Season 5, Episode 11

Hey readers, did you know that Ted, Robin, Marshall, Lily and Barney are all smokers? Neither did I. Neither do Ted's kids — because he never told them. Or us. For four and a half seasons. But this week, we learn that they do all occasionally smoke and perpetually try to quit, but when one of them falls off the wagon, they all fall off the wagon. Meanwhile, Robin has issues with a new (and completely unprofessional) co-worker.

Future Ted reminds his kids (and us) that in 2009, Robin was the anchor for a super-mega-early-morning local newscast. And she's just gotten a new co-host — Don Frank, a TV-news veteran who has anchored newscasts for 38 stations all over the country. After telling Ted her exciting news, Robin goes up to the roof and stands around for five minutes — which is Ted-speak for "has a cigarette." Future Ted's kids are shocked to learn that their Aunt Robin used to smoke...a lot. It gets so bad that Robin is eventually smoking while brushing her teeth (!) and even exercising. Eventually, Ted, Marshall and Barney walk in on Robin doing push-ups while smoking a cigarette. Ted asks her to take it to the roof, and Marshall pretends to berate her as well — before asking if he can bum a cigarette. Future Ted's kids (and half the viewing audience) respond with a huge "WHAT??"

Turns out that Marshall started smoking at age 13, when a friend offered him a cigarette during summer vacation. (Hilariously, there's still snow on the ground during the summer in Minnesota.) He's sworn many, many times that each cigarette is his last ever, so Ted's annoyed when he finds out that Marshall wants to smoke with Robin. "You haven't had a cigarette in six months," he says. "Is this about the McRib? It's gone, dude. Get over it." Marshall explains that he's been stressed at work. It seems that GNB has just hired a new head of the legal department — Arthur Hobbs, last seen in "The Chain of Screaming" as Marshall's horrible boss. Apparently Hobbs has been firing people left and right. He doesn't remember Marshall at all and Ted thinks this is a good thing, but Barney explains that Hobbs is much more likely to fire someone he doesn't know than someone he hates.

Ted says that work woes aren't worth Marshall killing himself over, and besides, what's going to happen when Lily finds out? Marshall explains that he has a system which involves smoking outside in his skivvies, showering repeatedly, and spritzing perfume everywhere (even in his mouth, ew). But despite his valiant efforts, Lily can always tell if he's smoked the second he walks in the door. (I'd say the perfume is a dead giveaway.)

The next morning, Robin shows up for her job, excited to be working with a seasoned professional. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen. Don is absolutely useless. He goes off-prompter, says completely inappropriate things, and even parades around in his underwear in front of the cameras. His rationale is that no one watches the super-mega-early-morning news shows except a half-drunk slob sitting around in his underwear. Robin is naturally horrified and tries to keep a professional face throughout the newscast.

Later, at GNB, Marshall falls off the wagon completely when he heads to the roof and encounters Hobbs, who offers him a cigarette and hints strongly that he does his best employee-manager bonding during smoke breaks. Of course, Lily calls Marshall out on it the second he comes home. She forces him to hand over the cigarettes and the lighter, then she settles back on the couch and lights up. Why not?

Back at the news station, Robin is trying to set up an interview with the mayor. Don tells her it's a waste of time, and that the mayor isn't going to appear on a show with such a small viewership. Robin snarks that he's just bitter because he never got to be on a network. Don counters that he did spend one holiday weekend at an anchor desk, and it was glorious. But he got fired due to personal problems and drinking on the job. And now he's perpetually stuck doing lame local news shows that no one watches.

Later, Robin complains about Don to Lily and Marshall as they smoke outside MacLaren's, but she quickly realizes that even her friends don't watch her show. Inside the bar, Ted and Barney remember what it was like to be able to smoke in bars and realize that it's pretty lame that their group has been separated into smokers and nonsmokers. So they do what any concerned friend would do — they persuade the others to stop smoking. Just kidding! Instead, they head outside and light up, too.

Within a week, the smoking becomes a problem. Lily's the first one to suffer, as she can't sleep at night thanks to a hacking cough. Marshall asks her if she's okay, and Harvey Fierstein's voice comes out of Lily's mouth: "Actually, baby, my throat's a little bit sore." Ted starts having trouble climbing the stairs to his apartment. Barney is horrified to find a cigarette burn on his tie. Marshall has it worst, though. Hobbs actually has a heart attack during a smoke break with Marshall.

After Marshall's harrowing experience, the gang (minus Robin) hangs out on the roof and pledges to quit smoking. Marshall wishes he'd never started in the first place. (In a flashback to the first cigarette he ever had, Present Marshall storms in and punches 13-year-old Marshall in the gut.) Robin then arrives with some exciting news: she's going to be interviewing the mayor the next day on her news show! She doesn't want to quit smoking right before the biggest interview of her career, but Ted convinces her that interviewing anti-cigarette Mayor Bloomberg would be a bad idea. "It would be like interviewing a vegetarian smelling like a McRib." Marshall says, "Really? Like I'm not going through enough right now?" Robin agrees to quit with them. Ted assures them that the first 24 hours are the hardest, but 26 hours later, they're scarfing down greasy fried food and screaming at each other. (Present Marshall goes back in time and starts kicking 13-year-old Marshall.)

Later, at the news station, a pants-less Don walks up to Robin, who's working on her questions for the mayor. She tells him to not stress her out because she quit smoking for the interview. He asks her why. She says it's because she cares, and then flat-out tells him everything that's wrong with his unprofessional attitude. She even calls him a loser. Just as the show starts, Don tells her that the mayor canceled the interview.

Don forgoes any pretense of actually anchoring the news as a shaken Robin starts reading from the teleprompter. He tells her that he's accepted his fate as a loser and tells her that her career is at a dead end. He says that she's never going to be a network anchor, and she's never going to quit smoking. As he says this, he lights up a cigarette and offers it to her. She refuses, so Don faces the camera and asks any viewers who might have an issue with this to call the station. Defeated, Robin accepts the cigarette, but before she can take a drag from it, the phone rings. The rest of the gang has been watching from Ted's apartment. Awwww. Robin thanks them and throws the cigarette into Don's coffee mug, which causes a mini-explosion. Looks like Don's on-the-job drinking wasn't an isolated experience.

Back at Ted's apartment, Ted, Barney, Marshall and Lily celebrate Robin's ability to resist temptation, right before heading up to the roof for a cigarette themselves. Robin finds them after her show ends, but she's not upset. She stopped on her way home and bought a pack for herself. Marshall congratulates Robin on her show, and Lily says that she thought Don was a tool. Robin agrees, but then says he did apologize to her, so that's a start. "You should date that guy," Lily says. Future Ted tells us that in less than three months, Robin was dating him. (Ugh, really?)

As the gang watches the sun come up, Robin suggests having a real last cigarette ever. As they all light up, Future Ted explains that it wasn't anyone's last cigarette ever. Robin quits for good in 2013; Barney quits in 2017. Lily quits when she starts trying to get pregnant (no date for that, thank you, writers) and Marshall quits when his son is born. Ted gives up smoking two weeks into his relationship with the Mother. (Oh please, let us get somewhere with that soon.)

Thoughts? For me, this episode was a mixed bag. There were parts I loved, like Marshall beating up on his younger self and Harvey Fierstein's distinctive voice coming from Alyson Hannigan. As a whole, though, the smoking storyline didn't really work for me. They've established that most of the characters smoke at various points in the past, but it seemed odd to have an entire episode storyline revolving around it. And I really didn't care for Don. I'm not looking forward to having him around for future episodes. But enough about my thoughts. What did you guys think? This is our last episode in 2009, was it enough to hold you over until January? What did you think of Don? And did anyone really need a cigarette after the episode ended? Discuss!

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Hey readers, did you know that Ted, Robin, Marshall, Lily and Barney are all smokers? Neither did I. Neither do Ted's kids — because he never told them. Or us. For four and a half seasons. But this week, we learn that they do all occasionally smoke and perpetually try to quit, but when one of them falls off the wagon, they all fall off the wagon. Meanwhile, Robin has issues with a new (and completely unprofessional) co-worker.

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Premiered: September 19, 2005, on CBS
Rating: TV-PG
User Rating: (1,937 ratings)
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Premise: A man named Ted tells his kids how he met the love of his life, through flashbacks, years in the future. The bored kids sit on the couch and listen as dad regales them with tales of his pursuit of romance. The sitcom's secondary character, Ted's smarmy friend, Barney, is a real standout, often stealing the show.



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