The Perfect Cocktail

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"The Perfect Cocktail"
How I Met Your Mother episode
Episode no. Season 6
Episode 22
Directed by Pamela Fryman
Written by Joe Kelly
Production code 6ALH21
Original air date May 2, 2011 (2011-05-02)
Guest actors

Jennifer Morrison (Zoey Pierson)
Bob Odenkirk (Arthur Hobbs)

Season 6 episodes

"The Perfect Cocktail" is the 22nd episode of the sixth season of the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother and the 134th episode overall. It was aired on May 2, 2011.


In the cold opening, Future Ted narrates that on the day Marshall resigned from GNB, his boss Arthur Hobbs asked to be put as his character reference when applying for a new job at an environmental organization. However, the organization rejects his application, revealing that Hobbs gave them negative feedback by recalling his supposed unprofessionalism and stories about his disdain for the environment (including clubbing a seal with an even cuter seal). Marshall returns to GNB to confront Hobbs and runs into Zoey, who offers him a job as her group's lawyer.

At MacLaren's, Barney hands out invitations to the Arcadian's demolition. Zoey comes over and introduces Marshall as her lawyer, which upsets Barney because he helped Marshall land a job at GNB in the first place. He launches a prank war against Marshall by doing questionable disgusting things to anything Marshall's mouth touches and sending photographs to him. Marshall retaliates by ruining Barney's hookups at the bar over several days, for instance by pretending to be a doctor and telling Barney he had "super-herpes". The pranks go too far and Carl bans the gang from the bar (including Lily and Robin, who were irritated by a woman lurking by their booth for the chance to sit there with her friends). Distraught by the rift, Lily and Robin decide to have them make up using various drinks and discover that certain party drinks trigger various situations (e.g. daiquiris = narcissistic behavior, or red wine = self-pity). Armed with this knowledge, the two plan a drinking binge for Marshall and Barney by ordering drinks in such a way that they would get angry at each other first, then eventually reconcile. However, while the plan is underway, Marshall and Barney drink tequila shots and return to MacLaren's, where Barney tries to hit on a lesbian and Marshall eats chicken wings while smoking. The two forgive each other after a round of beer and Carl lifts the ban on the gang. However, a round of champagne that Lily ordered results in Marshall and Barney blacking out and resuming their feud at Ted's apartment the next morning. Seeing their plan go to waste, Robin suggests that she and Lily drink absinthe, which puts them in a dream-like state.

Meanwhile, Ted goes off to spend the weekend out of town with Zoey at Martha's Vineyard. When Lily tells him what happened between Marshall and Barney, he confronts Zoey while on the road (despite an agreement to never talk about the Arcadian) and told her that it was okay for her to disrupt his own plans, but seeing his friends turn on each other was too much. Ted proposes that if Zoey can spend one night in the decrepit hotel, she will have him on her side to save it from demolition, a proposal which Zoey accepts. Ted asks her why saving the Arcadian was so important to Zoey. She reveals that she grew up in the hotel as a child, and its destruction would see part of her identity gone with it. When they see the cockamouse creep around the room and discover its offspring, Zoey admits defeat and they spend the night at Ted's apartment. The next morning, Ted tells Barney that he is on Zoey's side.

The last scene of the episode shows Lily and Robin pulling a prank on the women who stole their booth. When Barney's assistant shows the women a photograph, they scramble out of the bar in disgust. Lily and Robin immediately come back to clean up the booth.

Barney's blog[edit]

Barney provides an invitation to the demolition of the Arcadian, which is set for September 4, 2011.

Cultural references[edit]

  • During Robin's absinthe flashback, Marshall can be heard saying they can drink "water, soda, purple stuff." This is a reference to an old Sunny Delight commercial.
  • Hobbs' version of Marshall has a shoulder tattoo reading "TMNT" (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
  • Robin says Barney drinking peppermint schnapps turns him to Richard Dawson, particularly his habit in Family Feud of kissing female contestants on the lips. Robin and Lily's exclamations of "Good order, Ted!" are a reference to the tendency of the show's contestants to yell "Good answer!" in response to their teammates' successful answers.
  • Ted brings up the end of the The Oprah Winfrey Show and Lily thinks Marshall and Barney should reconcile "like they do on Oprah."
  • Erik Satie's "Gymnopédie No. 1: Lent Et Douloureux" plays during Robin and Lily's absinthe hallucination scenes.
  • On planning the Arcadian's demolition, Barney is thinking whether to train a coyote to press the Acme dynamite plunger or hotwire Eddie Van Halen's guitar as the detonator upon hitting the last note for the song "Hot for Teacher."
  • Robin thinks the woman who is trying to get their booth wanted a seat "Lionel Richie-style," referring to his song "All Night Long".


Reviews of the episode were mixed.

The AV Club's Zack Handlen gave the episode a B-, stating the prank war was funny, but the execution of the drink gag was not well-timed.[1]

Lindsey Bahr of Atlantic Monthly said it had "fast-paced energy" that the Zoey and Ted angle spoils, and nothing is resolved by the end of the episode.[2]

James Poniewozik of said the episode was a "single, extended running gag." [3]


  1. ^ Grade it (2011-05-02). ""The Perfect Cocktail" | How I Met Your Mother | TV Club | TV". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  2. ^ "'How I Met Your Mother': Not All Alcohol Is Created Equal - Lindsey Bahr". The Atlantic. 2011-05-03. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  3. ^ "The Morning After: Shaken and Stirred | Entertainment |". 2011-05-03. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 

External links[edit]