We begin “Cupcake” with Ted and Victoria cooking in the apartment as future Ted tells his kids the best relationships are the ones that happen naturally. Barney walks in on Marshall in the living room, coloring his underwear to camouflage the holes in his suit. Marshall tells Barney he has an important interview with his dream job and is too poor to afford a new suit. Barney suggests they visit his tailor but when Marshall declines, Barney rips his pants forcing Marshall to agree. Down at MacLaren’s, Robin, Lily and Victoria discuss shopping for Lily’s wedding dress. After receiving a phone call, Victoria informs the two she has been offered a culinary fellowship in Germany. Later that evening, Ted and Victoria go to dinner to celebrate their two month anniversary. Victoria tells Ted about the fellowship and discuss their options. Ted tries to delay the decision for future Ted and future Victoria to decide but the fellowship needs an answer the following Monday. Since they both agree long distance relationships never work, it is determined their relationship has an expiration date. Victoria will either stay in New York or break up with Ted and go to Germany for two years. Ted suggests he and Victoria take the next two days to think about what they want and meet for dinner the following night to discuss everything.
The next day, Barney, Ted and Marshall visit Barney’s tailor to get Marshall fitted for a suit. While Sergey measures Marshall, the group discusses Ted’s dilemma. Ted tells them he know how great of an opportunity the fellowship is but knows long distance relationships never work. Barney disagrees with Ted and brags about being in four long distance relationships at the very moment. Marshall shares his long distance story, mentioning when Lily was studying in Paris he almost died. Marshall visited Lily and told Gabriel, the one guy friend Lily had, he would eat his French mustache off his face if her ever talked with Lily again out of jealousy. While admiring how good he looks, Barney offers Marshall a job in his company’s legal department. Marshall refuses to work for the “enemy” and Ted mentions he thinks Victoria is “the one”. Barney verbally assaults Ted telling him he doesn’t really know Victoria. Ted immediately calls Victoria and finds out she is a cat person and we know Ted is a dog lover from the pilot. Confused and realizing a two month relationship is still pretty new, Ted tells the guys he is going to tell Victoria to take the fellowship.
Meanwhile, Lily, Victoria and Robin are at a bridal shop, hunting dresses, drinking champagne and eating a cake Victoria baked. After Robin asks Victoria if she has made a decision, Victoria tells Lily and Robin she isn’t sure but thinks she wants to stay with Ted. While Lily tries on the ugly dresses brought by the hostess, Robin tries to push Victoria to go to Germany. Lily shares her long distance story about being in France and how lonely she was. Lily mentions she only had one female friend named Gabriel and she stopped talking to her half-way through the semester. Victoria fetches an expensive window dress for Lily to try on for fun, leaving Robin and Victoria alone. Victoria confesses to Robin she always puts her career first and is struggling with the idea of not doing it this time. Robin surprisingly speaks from the heart and tells Victoria she always puts her career first and has many lonely nights. Lily emerges from the changing room looking beautiful enough for her declare she will get laid on her wedding night. Victoria tells the two she is going to turn down the fellowship. With the minor problem solved, the girls turn to the major problem of how expensive the dress is. When told she will never afford the dress, Lily becomes distracted and accidentally sits on the cake. When Lily tries to quickly take the dress off, she rips it as the hostess returns. Lily tells the hostess she will pay for the dress with credit card(s).
At dinner, Ted and Victoria sit down to discuss the fellowship, but before Ted can tell Victoria he wants her to go to Germany, she hands him a cupcake. Upon grabbing the cupcake, Ted chickens out and pleads for Victoria to stay. Hearing Ted’s plea, Victoria tells Ted she has to go to Germany. The two discuss Victoria staying in New York and Ted accompanying Victoria to Germany but ultimately they decide they have to break up. Back at the apartment, Ted tells Marshall what happened while Marshall shows off his new suit. After extracting a compliment from Ted, Marshall tells Ted he is an idiot for not spending what time he has left with Victoria. Ted realizes Marshall is right and convinces Victoria they need to spend what time they have left enjoying each other. The two talk about spending their time together doing all the things in New York they talked about doing, but never did. In reality, Ted and Victoria spend all their time in bed.
Meanwhile at MacLaren’s, Robin tries to convince Lily to tell Marshall she just bought a four-thousand-dollar dress, but Lily says her plan is to wait for Marshall to screw up horribly and then slide her mistake in. After Barney and Marshall join the girls at the table, Barney slides Sergey’s bill to Marshall and we find out the suit cost eight-thousand-dollars. Marshall refuses a second time, but quickly changes his mind when Lily tells him she bought a four-thousand-dollar wedding dress. Marshall yells that this was all apart of Barney’s plan, to which Barney laughs and agrees. The next day, Ted escorts Victoria to the airport to see her off. The two share a last kiss and say their goodbyes. As Victoria checks her bags, Ted asks if she wants to try long distance. Victoria agrees and the two share a long embrace. Future Ted tells his kids long distance relationships are a horrible thing and they never work out including this one, but that is another story.
“Cupcake” is a serious episode about the struggles of long distance relationships. According to future Ted, he and Victoria’s relationship isn’t going to last long. I have to agree with Ted when he says, “‘Long distance’ is a lie teenagers tell each other to get laid the summer before college.” I think that when you have a good relationship, you don’t want it to end, even if that means lying to yourself. Now I’m not saying all long distance relationships fail, but the majority of them do. It takes a special kind of person to make a long distance relationship work and if you can find that person, you are an idiot for staying away.
My favorite scene is when Marshall is caught coloring his underwear by Barney and then Barney rips his pants to make him get a new suit.