The Fight (How I Met Your Mother)

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"The Fight"
How I Met Your Mother episode
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 10
Directed by Pamela Fryman
Written by Theresa Mulligan Rosenthal
Production code 4ALH10
Original air date December 8, 2008
Guest actors

Will Sasso (Doug Martin)

Season 4 episodes

"The Fight" is the tenth episode in the fourth season of the television series How I Met Your Mother and 74th overall. It originally aired on December 8, 2008.


A bartender, Doug (Will Sasso), gets Ted and Barney involved in a fight with a group of guys sitting in the gang's favorite booth (Doug is very loyal to the regular customers). Marshall and Lily try to warn them off, but Barney vows to join in when Robin reveals that she thinks fights (particularly fight scars) are sexy. Ted also joins in as an experience he thinks he should have sometime in his life.

When they arrive in the back alley, Doug has knocked out the guys single-handedly. Ted and Barney try to give him credit, but he insists they were in the fight as well. Afraid of appearing unmasculine, they take the credit after Barney creates "battle wounds" by blackening his own eye and punching Ted in the nose. They earn the admiration of everyone except Marshall, who claims that he used to fight with his brothers and Ted and Barney wouldn't stand a chance. Ted and Barney laugh it off.

Later, Ted and Barney are sued by the losers of the fight, and they admit to Marshall and the others that they had no role in the victory. Robin, who had been extremely attracted to Barney, cancels a date to a hockey match. Marshall gets the boys out of the lawsuit with their admission of no involvement.

However, another consequence arises - Doug is now the only person named in the suit. As loyalty is extremely important to him, he now plans to pulverize Ted and Barney for their betrayal. Barney runs away in fear. Doug then tells Ted that he was quick to throw him in the fire rather than take any blame for himself, and brings up Stella leaving him. Enraged, Ted punches Doug, who subsequently knocks him out cold. Marshall, however, proves his earlier stories of fighting prowess by knocking out the much larger Doug with one blow; it turns out that his childhood fights with his brothers were not mere horseplay, but vicious brawls. Barney returns to find both Doug and Ted on the floor in pain.

At school, Lily struggles with two kids in her class who are also fighting. First, she has Marshall come to class to preach pacifism, but the kids call him a wuss. She later has Ted come to class (after he has been hit by Doug) to preach the consequences of fighting. The kids are still unmoved.

At the end of the episode, Marshall is shown with Lily at his parents' house 3–5 years later for Thanksgiving. True to his word, Marshall pulls out a lightsaber to carve the turkey, which he earlier mentioned as being available on the market "in 3–5 years".


  • The song playing during the scene in which Marshall and his brothers are seriously fighting is "Murder Train" by the Foreskins, from the episode "Sandcastles In The Sand".
  • "This Man He Weeps Tonight", heard on a couple of occasions, is performed by Dave Davies of The Kinks.

Cultural references[edit]

  • Barney uses the names of sitcoms from the 1970s and 1980s to fake a conversation, specifically using Good Times, Gimme a Break!, What's Happening!!, Diff'rent Strokes and What's Happening Now!!.
  • Before going out into the alley to fight, Ted says "It's clobberin' time," referencing the catch phrase of comic book character The Thing from The Fantastic Four and former WWE Champion CM Punk.
  • The scene where Marshall is actively brawling with his brothers (especially the angle of his punching shot) is reminiscent of the brawling scenes from the movie Fight Club. It is also discussed in the Eriksen's Fight Club featurette in the Season 4 DVD set. Similarly Barney punching himself and then Ted is reminiscent of the narrator's first fight with Tyler Durden in Fight Club.
  • After Barney punches Ted in the nose, he says that Ted's nose will swell up and references actor Owen Wilson, who is known for his crooked nose, which he broke in a fight.[1]
  • At the end of the episode Marshall uses a lightsaber to carve the turkey, referencing Star Wars.
  • When Marshall is trying to explain the kids not to fight, he mentions Master Shifu as Martin Luther King and Po as Mahatma Gandhi.
  • When joking about Marshall's femininity, Barney and Ted mention Sex and the City.

Critical response[edit]

Donna Bowman of The AV Club rated the episode B+.[2]

Michelle Zoromski of IGN rated the episode 8.2 out of 10.[3]

Television Without Pity gave the episode a rating A.[4]


  1. ^ "Owen Wilson Interview". 2004-03-24. 
  2. ^ How I Met Your Mother "The Fight" B+ by Donna Bowman December 8, 2008,13419/ The AV Club The Onion
  3. ^ How I Met Your Mother: "The Fight" Review. Barney kicks his own ass. December 9, 2008 by Michelle Zoromski IGN News Corporation
  4. ^ How I Met Your Mother Fight Club By Cindy McLennan | Season 4 | Episode 10 | Aired on 2008.12.08 Pages 11 Television Without Pity

External links[edit]