Episode 18 picks up where “Life Among the Gorillas” ended. Ted has been waiting for Victoria to call him all night. Shortly after 2 a.m., Ted receives a phone call from Robin asking if he wants to come over. Future Ted tells his kids their grandmother has a saying that “nothing good happens after 2 a.m.” and he should go to bed. We flash back to the previous morning to retrace what led Robin to call Ted. Robin started her day as she would most days, waking up to her five dogs, getting ready for work and saying goodbye to her dogs as if they are people. On this particular day, Robin spoke about being a TV reporter to Lily’s kindergarten class. One kid asks Robin about her love life and Robin gets defensive when asked if she is lonely and a lesbian. Barney is also at Lily’s class and is asked by Lily what he does for a living. Barney laughs and says, “please”, just as he did when Marshall asked him in the previous episode. Barney wows the kids with some magic.
Later, Robin is shown prepping for the evening broadcast, when Ted calls from the previous episode asking why Victoria hasn’t called him yet. After reassuring Ted everything is fine, Robin’s co-anchor, Sandy Rivers, suggest he and Robin have sex. Sandy is played by Alexis Deisof, Alyson Hannigan’s husband. Robin tells Sandy she doesn’t get involved with coworkers, to which Sandy’s responds with he doesn’t want to date her, just have sex and gives Robin his business card. After a long day, Robin returns home to her five dogs and empty apartment. She pours herself a big class of wine and looks at Sandy’s card, thinking about her day. After finishing off the bottle of wine, Robin calls Ted and invites him over.
Robin uses the excuse of buying a new juicer to entice Ted to come over. Sensing this could be his chance, Ted takes a cab and heads to Robin’s apartment. During his cad ride, Ted debates with his subconscious, which has taken the form of Victoria, about the morality of his decision. Ted does his best to try and convince subconscious Victoria nothing is going to happen. Fearing she may be right, Ted calls Marshall, who is still at the karaoke bar with Lily and Barney, for advice. Marshall tells Ted he needs to think and will call him back with a decision. While waiting for Marshall’s answer, Ted tries calling Victoria again but doesn’t get an answer. After talking with Lily and Barney, Marshall calls Ted to remind him about his mother’s saying and to go home. Lily hijacks the phone from Marshall and tells Ted this will end badly because Robin likes him and he needs to just go home. Blinded by the news that Robin likes him, Ted tells Lily he is going to head home but continues to Robin’s apartment. Subconscious Victoria appears again outside of Robin’s apartment building to tell Ted not to go through with this. Ted blames Victoria for not answering her phone.
Ted enters Robin’s apartment and things quickly take an interesting turn when Robin suggests wine over juice. Robin tells Ted she had a rough day and the only person she wanted to see at the end of it was Ted. When Robin asks Ted about the talk with Victoria, he lies and says they broke up. Meanwhile, Lily tells Marshall they should go home. Barney tells Lily and Marshall they can’t leave because he believes the most legendary events happen after 2 a.m., citing the time he and Ted licked the liberty bell from “Sweet Taste of Liberty” and the time he had an “almost fourway”. Barney convinces Marshall, Lily and a Korean Elvis impersonator to head to MacLaren’s for drinks. Back at Robin’s apartment, Ted tries to make small talk about getting a new phone that is the same model as Robin’s. Marshall calls Ted to invite him to MacLaren’s and Ted excuses himself to the hallway to answer his phone. Ted confesses to Marshall and Lily he is at Robin’s and doesn’t understand why he shouldn’t do this, he is still crazy for Robin and will break up with Victoria tomorrow. Lily again steals the phone and convinces Ted he needs to break things off with Victoria before starting something with Robin.
Back inside Robin’s apartment, Ted tells Robin it’s late and needs to head home. They two share a hug and then slide into a kiss. Ted and Robin move to the couch and eventually Robin suggests moving to the bedroom. Ted agrees but says he needs to use the bathroom first. Inside the bathroom, subconscious Victoria appears a third time. Ted tells her he is going to call her and end their relationship because he is exhausted from pretending he isn’t in love with Robin, hates being in a long distance relationship and wants to get laid. Subconscious Victoria tells Ted she deserves a real conversation, not one from the bathroom of the girl he is about to sleep with. Ted tells her it is happening and at that moment learns he doesn’t have his phone, he has Robin’s. Ted enters the living room to find Robin ending a call on his phone. Robin tells Ted she answered it, thinking it was her phone and he needs to call his girlfriend back. Disgusted, Robin heads to the bedroom while Ted slithers out the door. Ted and Victoria break up on the cab ride home at the same time, Lily knees Korean Elvis in the nards for hitting on her. Future Ted ends the episode telling his kids this was the worst mistake he ever made, in one night he hurt two people. Nothing good ever happens after 2 a.m.
“Nothing Good Ever Happens After 2 a.m.” is an interesting episode because it introduces another often quoted life theory. I personally don’t agree with the “nothing good happens after 2 a.m.” theory because Ted and Barney licked the liberty bell after 2 a.m. and as Barney sarcastically asks at the end of the episode, “Hey you guys, remember the time that Lily kicked Korean Elvis in the nards?”. Two classic moments that would be often retold in my group of friends. Most events after 2 a.m. are probably not worth remembering but a handful are worth it. Just this past weekend, I spent both Friday and Saturday night drinking well past 2 a.m. Nothing of importance happened but it could have, that is why you continue to do things after 2 a.m. All that being said, NEVER sleep with a person you intend to date before ending your current relationship. Not only is that insensitive but it also starts the next chapter of your life on a bad note.
My favorite scene is when Marshall and Barney fight over who knows Ted better.