This week, Ted finds himself at the mercy of a hot girl and refuses to see that she's just stringing him along. Meanwhile, Lily's ex-boyfriend Scooter returns — and he still thinks he's got a chance with the happily married Lily. Oh, and there's an impossibly cute teacup pig that you just have to see.
Future Ted opens this story by explaining to his kids that they're not going to hear a starry-eyed fairytale of valor and love. In this story, Ted is kind of a jerk. In the present, Ted arrives at MacLaren's and announces to the group that he's taking his newest girlfriend, Tiffany (Carrie Underwood), up to his apartment to look at his antiques collection. Barney exposits that Ted's referring to "bait" — an item of interest meant to disguise a guy's real intentions behind inviting a girl to his apartment. He explains that bait has to be interesting enough to interest the girl, but not so interesting that it takes the focus off the guy. For example, slot machines are too much fun, while trampolines are too dangerous. Barney's finally stumbled upon the perfect bait, though — a teacup pig. Ted is skeptical, but Robin, Lily and Marshall just about fall out of the booth, they're so enamored with the idea of a teacup pig. Ted sighs and asks if he can borrow the pig.
The teacup pig works like a charm. It gets Tiffany up to Ted's apartment and reduces her to a puddle of goo as she snuggles it. Ted asks her if she was always so pretty. She gives him an answer, but I can't hear her over the sound of how freaking adorable this teacup pig is. It's all snuggling up with its half-closed eyes and tiny pink head and flat ears and ridiculously adorable little snout and...aww.
Tiffany looks at Ted. "Do you know who else would love this pig? My boyfriend." Apparently Tiffany has an on-again, off-again boyfriend. She explains that she really likes Ted and doesn't want to lose him, so she asks him to be patient while she figures out the whole boyfriend issue.
Later, at MacLaren's, Ted's friends break the bad news to him — he's on "the hook." In other words, Tiffany doesn't necessarily want to date Ted, but she likes him enough to keep him around just in case, so she's stringing him along. Marshall explains that he's been on the hook before, in high school. (The girl made him be her secret boyfriend who did her homework for her.)
Ted insists that's not what's happening between him and Tiffany. He explains that Tiffany specifically told him that she's really into him, but can't be with him...right now. Robin groans and explains that "right now" is the biggest cliché of being on the hook.
Lily says that her old boyfriend Scooter is still on the hook for her, and that things are still weird at work, where he works the lunch line as an excuse to be close to Lily. She's been trying let him know that there's no way they can ever be together, but he always gives her such a pitiful sad look that she can't help but add, "...right now." Marshall tells Lily that she has to let Scooter off the hook. Lily resolves to do so. (Incidentally, if you didn't already know this, David Burtka, the actor who plays Scooter, is Neil Patrick Harris' real-life significant other.)
A couple of days later, Ted and Barney wait at MacLaren's for Tiffany, who said she might stop by. Barney points out that this is a waste of time. In a cute bit, Ted spouts off about how wonderful Tiffany is while Future Ted berates him for being stupid. Barney is in the middle of telling Ted that Tiffany is a poison when Tiffany walks in with a bunch of her coworkers — super hot coworkers. Turns out that Tiffany is a pharmaceutical sales rep, which is the current cutting-edge profession that attracts hot women. For the curious, past "hot girl" professions have included:
- gatherers (during caveman days)
- airline stewardesses
Barney advises Ted to drop Tiffany and go for the entire gaggle of pharmaceutical reps.
Meanwhile, at Dowistrepla, Marshall thinks he's found the solution for Lily's problem with Scooter. Since she's always slayed by Scooter's sad eyes, Marshall decides that she should try to break up with something much cuter — the teacup pig. Of course, Lily can't do it because the pig is that cute.
Later, Ted tells the gang that Tiffany broke up with her boyfriend. They spent the previous night cuddling and eating chocolate cake (which Ted made), plus Ted gave her a foot rub. But things didn't progress past that. So yeah, he's still on the hook. Lily tells Ted that it's okay — they've all been on the hook and they've all kept someone on the hook. Ted disagrees, saying he's never done that to anyone. Robin reminds him of a girl named Henrietta, who is seriously in love with Ted and is always hanging around. Ted calls Robin out on her own hook, a camera guy at work who does Robin's laundry for her. Then, to prove that Henrietta is not on his hook, Ted calls her up and invites her to hang out, "as friends."
Of course, when he gets to Henrietta's apartment, she's put together a huge spread of hors d'oeuvres and invited her parents to meet Ted. Of course, Ted doesn't know this, and as soon as Tiffany calls him, he splits (leaving Henrietta's parents to think their daughter is a crazy person with a made-up boyfriend).
Flash forward to a future night, when Ted is preparing for some serious romance with Tiffany at an out-of-town wedding. There's only one problem — Tiffany forgot that she invited Ted, and brought along her (now on-again) boyfriend, who's the best man at the wedding. Ted has a flash of realization — he is on Tiffany's hook, just like Henrietta is on his hook and Tiffany is on her boyfriend's hook. Ted tells Tiffany it's over, grabs his jacket and leaves.
Meanwhile, Lily has finally had success "breaking up" with the teacup pig, so she's ready to let Scooter down. Marshall comes with her for support. Lily looks Scooter square in the eyes and says, "There is no way you and I will ever be together." Scooter gives her such a heartbreaking look that Marshall is the one who can't handle it and jumps in saying, "Right now!"
At MacLaren's, Barney is regaling Robin with his tales of pharmaceutical trysts, and she reminds him that since they recently dated, she's probably not the best sounding board. Then, one of Tiffany's coworkers comes over and introduces Barney to Gladys, a new pharmaceutical rep who's older, a little pudgy and definitely not in the same camp as the other pharma girls. Barney realizes that this marks the end of pharmaceutical sales as the current "hot girl" profession. "It's over," he mourns.
That night, Ted heads to Henrietta's place to let her off the hook. He knocks, then kneels down to tie his shoe. As he bends forward, a wedding ring falls out of his jacket pocket. Turns out he'd accidentally grabbed Tiffany's boyfriend's jacket on his way out, and he's now in possession of the ring for that wedding. Of course, Henrietta opens the door while Ted's on his knees, ring in hand. (Sigh. Come on, show...that was contrived when Friends did it eight years ago. You're better than this. But I digress.) Henrietta squeals, puts the ring on her finger, and tells her parents that she and Ted are engaged before Ted ever has a chance to explain himself. Later, as Ted regales Robin with the events of the night, he says that he almost decided to marry Henrietta anyway just out of sheer awkwardness. But instead, he told her the truth, broke her heart and finally let her off the hook. "It was brutal," he says. Robin tells him that it was the kind thing to do, and she resolves to do the same with her camera guy...as soon as he finishes washing her delicates.
So. How did the show fare after two weeks off the air during the Olympics? Did you enjoy the episode? Do you have any stories about being on the hook or of having someone one your hook? And was that pig not the most adorable thing in primetime TV? Chat all about it in the comments!