The Best Burger in New York

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"The Best Burger in New York"
How I Met Your Mother episode
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 2
Directed by Pamela Fryman
Written by Carter Bays, Craig Thomas
Production code 4ALH02
Original air date September 29, 2008
Guest actors

Regis Philbin (Himself)

Season 4 episodes

"The Best Burger in New York" is the second episode in the fourth season of the television series How I Met Your Mother and 66th overall. It originally aired on September 29, 2008.


Future Ted begins by stating that when he first moved to New York City, it was an ugly, dirty place, but goes on to say that it changed, unfortunately, with good bars becoming banks, like Goliath National Bank, the bank Barney's company just bought, which he advises Marshall to get a job with. Lily rebukes this suggestion, saying even though Marshall had been to a lot of bad job interviews, he was still going to be an environmental lawyer.

Later, the group goes to the bar, and are advised by Wendy the waitress to have the burger, a new special. After an argument, they agree to try the burger, mainly because Robin hadn't eaten anything in two days due to a new diet. Once the burgers arrive (Robin's is late), the group all say how good the burger is, except for Marshall, who says it's just 'OK', seeing as he had the best burger in New York eight years ago.

Marshall explains that he was scared and bewildered when he first moved to New York, but quickly finds the city is nicer than he thought. While taking a walk, he accidentally finds a burger joint, and has the 'best burger in New York'. He also notices an autographed picture of Regis Philbin on the wall, saying how good the burger was. Afterwards, he rushes to tell Ted about the place, but quickly forgets where it was, being new to the city. Since then, Marshall has tried every burger joint he can in an attempt to find the place, even meeting with Regis, who says he can't find where the place is either, and is also desperate to find it. He gives Barney his number so he can call him if he finds the joint.

When Robin says she knows the place, the group rushes downtown to find it (before Robin can try her burger). On the way, Barney texts Regis telling him where to find the place, causing him to leave a TV show recording. They all order the burger (Robin's is late, again), and once more they agree it's an incredible burger. Unfortunately, Marshall says it's not the right burger. Marshall becomes desperate, and Lily says he's really upset about not getting a new job. The group resolves to find the place for Marshall, and ask a waitress for help. She tells them "this burger joint was modeled after another one, uptown".

Again, the group rush to the new joint. On the way, Regis calls, and Barney tells him about the new place. In frustration, Regis mangles a post box with his bare hands. Once they arrive, Marshall is sure it's the right location, but in its place is a Goliath National Bank ATM from Barney's bank. Lily attacks Barney, and Marshall admits the reason Barney's been talking up the bank is that Marshall got a job there. While they talk, a guy nearby promoting a strip club tells them the place isn't gone, but has just moved. After paying him, thanks to the ATM, he tells them where the place is.

Finally, the group reaches the joint, Marshall deems it to be the exact place, and the gang finally enjoys the burger together, as well as fulfilling Marshall's long search for it.

Cultural references[edit]

  • The Zagat Guide, a famous restaurant guide book for New York is mentioned. The Corner Bistro, the highest rated restaurant in the guide is suggested.[1]
  • The three places mentioned in the opening that had closed down (The Elbow Room, McHale's, and Fez) are all real places in New York that had recently closed.
  • Marshall's description of the taste of the best burger uses music that alludes to the 1984 film Amadeus, when Antonio Salieri describes the same music (Serenade for Winds, K. 361, 3rd movement by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart) with the same passion with which Marshall speaks of the burger.
  • Regis Philbin is hosting a show called "Million Dollar Heads or Tails" a parody of Million Dollar Password, when Barney text messages him about finding the burger place. Neil Patrick Harris would later appear on the series premiere of Million Dollar Password.
  • Robin uses a quote from the film Ghostbusters for at least the third time in the series.
  • Marshall says he wants to be a Harlem Globetrotter and be paid in candy.
  • When Marshall mentions the burger joint is between a taxidermist and an adult bookstore, Barney says, "Name two places where things get stuffed." and continues to act out Johnny Carson's skit "The Great Carnak" on The Tonight Show.

Barney's blog[edit]

In his blog Barney compares himself to Regis Philbin and suggests some possible game show he would love to host such as: Is She Legal?; America's Wettest T-shirt; Fathers And Sons; The Next Great Tailor; Don't Forget Your Wallet.[2]

Critical response[edit]

Noel Murry of The AV Club grade the episode B+.[1]

IGN gave the episode 8.6 out of 10.[3]

Cindy McLennan of Television Without Pity rated the episode D.[4] This is the lowest rating given by Television Without Pity of all the episodes in season 4.[5]


  1. ^ a b Noel Murry (2008-09-29). "How I Met Your Mother: The Best Burger in New York". The AV Club. The Onion. Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  2. ^ Stinson, Barney (2008-09-29). "Barney's Blog: The Host with the Most". Archived from the original on September 2008. Retrieved 2009-11-30. Below are a few shows that I'd love to host. Let me know your favorite and I'll pitch it to Reeg the next time I see him at the gym. 
  3. ^ How I Met Your Mother: "The Best Burger in New York" Review. It's like Christmas in your mouth. September 30, 2008 by Michelle Zoromski IGN News Corporation
  4. ^ How I Met Your Mother: Is That Your Final Answer? Episode Report Card Cindy McLennan: D Season 4 | Episode 2 | Aired on 2008.09.29 Pages 9
  5. ^

External links[edit]