The more I watch this episode, the more I love it. This is the fourth time I’ve watched season one and have a lot of the dialogue memorized because of that. “The Sweet Taste of Liberty” is the first filler episode, meaning the story to find the mother is not furthered. Future Ted and his children even have a discussion at the end of the episode about how this story doesn’t pertain to the mother. Regardless of the plot, this episode is great because it has the How I Met Your Mother humor that you grow to love and the sincere life discussion that encourages you to get out of bed in the morning.
The story begins with the gang trying to decide where to spend the evening. Barney convinces Ted to come with him and skip MacLaren’s because that is what Ted always does. While Barney is convincing Ted to come with him, he introduces his first “high five” variation, the “phone five.” Barney leads Ted to the airport to pick someone up and by “pick someone up,” Barney means pick up attractive girls. While Ted and Barney are hunting for airport tail, Marshall is at home studying and Lily and Robin are at MacLaren’s having a girls’ night.
Ted and Barney literally run into two attractive girls and decide to follow them to Philadelphia. Marshall is contacted by Barney and Ted to head to Philadelphia because it is going to be “legendary.” After chatting up the girls on the plane, Ted and Barney discover the girls are both dating linebackers for the Philadelphia Eagles. As the plane lands, airport security detain Ted and Barney for leaving their suspicious bags in the previous airport. Ted tries to get Barney to tell the truth to airport security but he thinks it’s best to stick with the cover story he told the girls about being “international businessmen going to an international business meeting.” Security eventually releases the two after it is revealed that Barney’s bags are filled with condoms and a PowerBar. Ted is ready to come home, to his normal bar, but Barney has him convinced that going to a Sascha, the female security guard’s house, will be “legend..wait for it…and I hope you’re not lactose intolerant ’cause the second word is dairy! Legendary!”
Lily is having a horrible time at MacLaren’s because guys are hitting on Robin and ignoring her. Lily tries to get some attention by taking off her engagement ring per Marshall’s idea but only attracts a gay guy that is more concerned about the grape stain on her butt. Marshall pulls a 180 to head to MacLaren’s when he hears that a guy is chatting up Lily from Robin. Robin confronts Lily about her behavior and learns that Lily hasn’t been single since high school and wanted to experience guys chasing her. Robin helps Lily see the light by eloquently explaining that all the girls in the bar are hoping to catch what she already caught, a great guy like Marshall. The Hallmark moment is interrupted when Marshall tries to fight the gay guy for cleaning the grape stain off Lily but is quickly defused when Marshall finds out the guy is gay. Unfortunately for Marshall, the gay guy’s boyfriend isn’t pleased when Marshall hugs the gay guy out of relief he doesn’t have to fight him.
Meanwhile, Ted and Barney are at Sascha’s grandpa’s basement drinking hard lemonade with two other guys and Sascha. Despite the fact that the party is a dud, Barney is convinced the night can still be legendary by licking the Liberty Bell thanks to one of the guys in the basement. Ted has had enough “legendary” adventures for one night and wants to head back to New York. In the cab back to the Philadelphia airport, Ted asks Barney why he has to go with him, why can’t Barney go to the Liberty Bell alone? Barney breaks for the first time from his usual party-goer attitude and tells Ted, “because you’re my best friend, all right? You don’t have to tell me I’m yours. But the way I see it, we’re a team. Without you, I’m just the dynamic uno.” Ted, moved by Barney’s sentiment, agrees to go lick the Liberty Bell. Future Ted ends the episode saying, “and that was when I realized why I hung out with Barney. I never got where I thought I wanted to go, but I always got a great story.”
This episode showcases my favorite aspect of How I Met Your Mother, relatability. I have a close group of friends, most of us grew up together. We all have different personalities and often wonder why we still hang out together after all these years. I think it is summed up by future Ted’s quote at the end. I have been in some situations that I hated because of my friends but years later, I look back and laugh.
There are multiple running gags in the episode that show case Barney, namely his continued use of legendary, having Ted look him in the eyes and his high five variation. My favorite scene is when Ted is begging Barney to tell the truth to airport security and Barney takes a deep breath, faces the security officer and says, “we are international businessmen!”
Here is a picture of Lily’s goofy face from the bar for laughs. Cheers!