Last Cigarette Ever

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"Last Cigarette Ever"
How I Met Your Mother episode
Episode no.Season 5
Episode 11
Directed byPamela Fryman
Written byTheresa Mulligan Rosenthal
Production code5ALH10
Original air dateDecember 14, 2009
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"The Window"
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"Girls Versus Suits"
How I Met Your Mother (season 5)
List of How I Met Your Mother episodes

"Last Cigarette Ever" is the 11th episode of the fifth season of the CBS situation comedy How I Met Your Mother and 99th episode overall. It aired on December 14, 2009.


Future Ted explains how frustrated Robin got at her early morning news show, and describes her taking a smoke break up on the roof, much to the surprise of his listening children. She is then joined by Marshall, who is stressed about his new department head Arthur Hobbs. Barney explains that Marshall's job is at risk because Arthur does not remember Marshall, even though Marshall worked for him before and made an angry, explosive speech when he quit. When Marshall takes a rooftop break at work, he bumps into Arthur, and to gain his confidence, they share a smoke.

Even though Marshall rigorously cleans himself, Lily can still smell the smoke on him, and uses it as an excuse to start smoking again herself (which leads to her voice lowering to a raspy growl). Finally, Ted and Barney feel left out as their friends smoke outside MacLaren's, and they join in as well. As the week continues, their smoking takes its toll, decreasing Ted's stamina on the stairs, worsening Lily's voice, burning Barney's tie, and giving Marshall's boss, Arthur, a heart attack. They all pledge to stop smoking, though Robin is reluctant at first.

Meanwhile, Robin is joined by a new co-anchor, Don Frank, a legend of the pre-6am television world, having broadcast in 38 media outlets. Robin is impressed at first, but is quickly disappointed by Don's lack of professionalism and total indifference to his job—to the point that he does the news in his underwear. She works even harder to prove that her job means something, even booking Mayor Bloomberg on the show. When Don tells her to stop taking her job so seriously, Robin loses her temper and calls Don a rude, unprofessional loser; in the middle of her tirade, Don tells her that the Mayor canceled. As Don lights up a cigarette and offers it to Robin, saying she'll never quit smoking, the gang calls from the apartment, pleading for her not to break their pact. She agrees, but when she returns to the apartment, she finds everyone smoking on the roof. Future Ted tells the audience in the voice-over that Robin and Don were dating within three months.

The gang agrees to have "one last cigarette" as the sun rises, but Future Ted reveals it took years for each member of the gang to actually quit, listing events in their lives that lead to the change: Lily quits the day she decides to try to get pregnant; Marshall quits the day his son is born; Robin quits in June 2013; Barney quits in March 2017; and Ted quits two weeks into dating the children's mother.

Throughout the episode, Marshall says he had his first cigarette when he was 13, and is shown periodically imagining himself traveling back in time and beating up his younger self for taking up the habit in the first place. At the end of the episode, Marshall once again visits his 13-year-old counterpart in 1991, but instead of beating him up, he apologizes and gives him a peace offering: a picture of Lily, to which Young Marshall replies "Wow she's hot". Marshall explains to his younger self that he will one day marry her. Surprised and excited, Young Marshall disappears into his tent with the picture to apparently masturbate; Present Marshall is disgusted at first, but then understands and walks away.

Critical response[edit]

Donna Bowman of The A.V. Club rated the episode with a grade A−.[1]

Joel Keller, reviewer at TV Squad described the casting of Harvey Fierstein as Lily's smoking voice as only the third funniest thing in the episode. He praises the flashback scenes to 13-year-old Marshall's first smoke as the funniest thing in the episode.[2]

Brian Zoromski of IGN gave the episode only 5.5 out of 10. Zoromski noted that he had never been a smoker and described this as the worst episode ever.[3]

TV Critic gave it 52 out of 100 commenting on the episode's humor: "These jokes wouldn’t happen in real life and so each time one appears it induces a groan rather than a laugh."[4]


  1. ^ Donna Bowman (October 14, 2009). "How I Met Your Mother: Last Cigarette Ever". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
  2. ^ Joel Keller (December 15, 2009). "Review: How I Met Your Mother - Last Cigarette Ever". Archived from the original on January 16, 2010. Retrieved December 21, 2009.
  3. ^ Brian Zoromski (December 15, 2009). "How I Met Your Mother: Last Cigarette Ever Review. The gang tries to quit smoking". IGN. News Corporation. Retrieved August 16, 2017. I see "Last Cigarette Ever" as the worst episode ever for How I Met Your Mother. I don't think there's an objective way to view comedy; either something works for you or it doesn't. I'm just glad this episode's over and we'll likely never hear about or see the characters smoke again.
  4. ^ "How I Met Your Mother: Episode 11 - Last Cigarette Ever". TV Critic. December 19, 2009. Retrieved August 16, 2017.

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