Return of the Shirt
|"Return of the Shirt"|
|How I Met Your Mother episode|
|Episode no.||Season 1
|Directed by||Pamela Fryman|
|Written by||Kourtney Kang|
|Original air date||October 10, 2005|
|Season 1 episodes|
|List of How I Met Your Mother episodes|
"Return of the Shirt" is the fourth episode in the first season of the television series How I Met Your Mother. It originally aired on October 10, 2005. The episode was written by Kourtney Kang and directed by Pamela Fryman.
Ted (Josh Radnor) wears a shirt he owned for six years but had never previously liked. He meets everyone else at the bar, and discovers that he likes Bourbon, which he thought he hated. Realizing that his tastes have changed, he decides to reconsider girls he has previously dated but did not seem right at the time. Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) objects, saying there are only "two reasons" to date a girl you have already dated: breast implants. Ted thinks back to some of the women he dated and thinks fondly of the times he had with Natalie (Anne Dudek) but he hadn't been looking for a serious relationship at the time. Initially Ted isn't sure if she would remember him, but she has not forgotten Ted and hangs up the phone when he calls. Lily (Alyson Hannigan) angrily confronts Ted about why Natalie would be so upset with him, especially when he admits that he broke up with her on her birthday, and did so by leaving a message on her answering machine. Ted then visits Natalie's apartment, apologizing for his past behavior, offering a giant sock monkey toy as a belated birthday gift. Natalie explains she has even more reason to be angry than he knows; her friends were waiting to give her a surprise party and they all heard the message he left. Ted begs her to give him another chance, even just a cup of coffee. They soon end up in bed together.
Ted and Natalie start dating again, and after three weeks things appear to be going well. His friends like Natalie and agree she is the best girl he has dated in years. Ted says he has to break up with her, because he realizes she isn't "the one". The next night Ted takes Natalie out to dinner to break up with her face to face. She tells him it is her birthday but there is no need for a present since he has already given her the best present: she "can trust again". She says her mother can't wait to meet him, and unable to wait any longer Ted tells her he wants to break up. Natalie is furious and Ted's attempts to be honest only make her angrier. She demands a good explanation, and when Ted can't give her a satisfactory response, she uses what she learned in Krav Maga class to beat Ted up. Ted returns to the bar in pain and with the shirt that started it all ripped, and decides that there really is no good way to break up with someone. Future Ted tells his kids that as a result, all of his happy memories of Natalie were replaced with the memory of her beating him up. He later states that Natalie eventually found a better guy, got married a year later, and raised three children. However, Ted's son mocks him for being beat up by a girl.
Barney dares Robin (Cobie Smulders) to say or do questionable things on the news for money. She refuses at first, but performs the dares as she feels insulted by the seemingly unimportant stories she's assigned to cover and realizes that no one watches her show. After doing three dares, Robin is challenged to do the "Ickey Shuffle" at her next news report. Barney has the bar turn on the television to Robin's news show and tells everyone to watch for something amazing. Robin plans to carry out the bet, but changes her mind at the last minute. While interviewing New York City's oldest Hansom cab driver she realizes her job is important to the people she is interviewing even if no one is watching. She stands up but accidentally slips and falls into a pile of horse droppings and curses on live television. Barney thinks this is better than anything he could have planned and everyone in the bar was watching with him. Robin is very embarrassed, especially when Ted reveals that he too saw the incident on the internet.
- While at the bar Marshall asks Ted "You're finally gonna watch Goonies again?" referring to The Goonies, a film directed by Richard Donner and written by Steven Spielberg.
- On discussing how Ted should properly break up with Natalie, Marshall claims "I'm not ready for a commitment" is the "Stairway to Heaven" of break-up lines.