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Recap / How I Met Your Mother S 2 E 03 Brunch

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Ted's parents stop by for a visit, and Ted learns a shocking truth they've been keeping from him for years. Lily and Marshall find it hard to get along when they're forced to spend time together with Ted's parents.


This episode provides examples of:

  • Amicable Exes: Ted's parents. Zig-Zagged by Marshall and Lily.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Played for Laughs with Marshall and Lily.
  • Black Comedy: The finale of the Running Gag regarding Ted's parents having poor communication skills involve them avoiding to tell Ted that his grandmother is already dead.
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  • Broken Pedestal: Ted is obviously shaken by his parents' revelation that they secretly divorced a few years ago.
  • Call-Back: Ted's mom compliments Lily's hair while avoiding discussing the latter's breakup with Marshall, much like Robin did upon meeting Lily again at the previous episode.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Ted's sister, who was mentioned a few times, will appear in Season 4.
  • Coitus Ensues: After having a blatant Belligerent Sexual Tension throughout the episode, Marshall and Lily ultimately hooked-up.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The color of the clothes Ted's parents are wearing were used to hammer the Generation Xerox between them and his relationship with Robin.
  • Comically Missing the Point: While Ted is left reeling from the revelation of his parent's divorce and how their problems parallel his and Robin's, Robin is stoked that his parents like her.
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  • Distracted by the Sexy: Marshall and Lily use this to spite each other. Ultimately, Coitus Ensues.
  • Event Title: The episode refers to the Brunch arranged for Ted's parents'.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The episode centers around a brunch.
  • Gag Penis: Invoked by Barney when Marshall told him that he'll fight back at Lily for "sexually spiting" him.
    Marshall: See at brunch, I'm gonna torture Lily right back. Yeah! There's a part of my body that she has a weakness for too!
    Barney: Dude! You can't whip that out at brunch!
    Marshall: No, not that. I'm going to unleash my calves.
  • Generation Xerox: Ted's parents reveal the reasons their relationship fell apart over exactly the same issue that causes tension between Ted and Robin. Particularly noticeable when in the same scene, both couples are shown wearing identical colors to their counterpart.
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  • How We Got Here: The episode shows events in different perspectives leading up to the event.
  • Lady in Red: Lily dressed in a revealing red dress to spite Marshall.
  • Like Brother and Sister: When Ted's parents asked Marshall and Lily if they are fine being around each other after their breakup, Marshall responded that they with this trope. Lily doesn't take that well.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: Ted to his dad due to the above.
  • Not So Different: Ted and Robin's relationship in comparison with that of Ted's parents. They met at a bar, the dude wants kids, the woman doesn't, he's a dreamer, she's down to earth... and none of them like having difficult conversations (see above re: Call-Back).
  • Poor Communication Kills: Ted's parents. Also counts as a Running Gag.
  • Sex with the Ex: Marshall and Lily.
  • Something Else Also Rises: Invoked. After Lily spends the entire dinner sexually spiting Marshall, he decided to sit somewhere else but couldn't.
  • The Tease: Lily goes Lady in Red to sexually spite Marshall.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Played for Laughs. Barney keeps insisting that he has a "connection" with Ted's mom.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Ted mistakes his dad as this after the former made out with Wendy the waitress.
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