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Recap / How I Met Your Mother S 5 E 19 Zoo Or False

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Marshall scares Lily when he tells her that he got mugged, but in order to keep her from getting a gun he must find a way to make the experience sound less intense.


This episode provides examples of:

  • Consummate Liar: Barney. Future!Ted even discussed it at the opening.
  • Does Not Like Guns: Despite what happened, Marshall doesn't want Lily to get a gun.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: The main premise(?).
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  • Immediate Self-Contradiction: Marshall claims he was and was not "mugged" by a monkey in Central Park Zoo. He was mugged by a person and said it was a monkey to stop Lily from being a gun enthusiast, then feels guilty when said monkey is being deported and seperated from its lover as punishment for the "mugging".
    Lily: You weren't mugged by a monkey?
    Marshall: Yes I was!
    Robin: So you were mugged by a monkey?
    Marshall: No I wasn't!
  • "King Kong" Climb: The very last scene.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: While he is hitting on a girl, one of Barney's past conquests calls to "Neil," since he told her he was Neil Armstrong, the astronaut. The new girl asks, "The cyclist?"
  • Mind Screw: On what really happened the night of Marshall's mugging.
  • Pun-Based Title: Was Marshall really mugged by a monkey? True or false?
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  • Reckless Gun Usage: When Marshall was telling the gang that he got mugged, Robin tells him "Maybe this will help you" and pulls a large gun out of her purse with her her finger close to the barrel earning horrified reactions from her friends. Ted tells her to put it away and Robin assures them that the safety is on, but looks at the gun and THEN puts the safety on.
  • Riddle for the Ages: How did Marshall lose his wallet? The two stories presented by Marshall are equally plausible given his character, and he has valid reasons for making up either story. The episode leaves it intentionally ambiguous, with a message about how sometimes you have to choose which version of the truth you prefer.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Not wanting to get the monkey whom is the suspect of his mugging separated from his mate and Lily getting a gun, Marshall just walked out on Robin's show.
  • Shout-Out: The episode nods some famous movies.
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    • Ted is shown reenacting Sleepless in Seattle with dolls and his model of the Empire State Building, with the implication he'd reenacted other scenes earlier.
    • The very last scene is a nod to King Kong (1933), complete with a "King Kong" Climb.
  • The Unreveal: Whether or not Marshall was mugged by a monkey or an actual criminal is never revealed. A specific example from near the end of the episode, where it seems it's about to be revealed:
    Marshall: The truth is...I'm going back to bed.
  • Totem Pole Trench: Lampshaded by Barney when Marshall claims he lied about being mugged by a monkey to stop Lily from buying a gun.
    Barney: Are you sure it wasn't one monkey standing on top of another monkey's shoulder wearing a man's trenchcoat?
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