“Brunch” begins with Future Ted bringing up an old photo with the gang and his parents. Future Ted tells the kids he flew their grandparents to New York for their 30th wedding anniversary. At the restaurant where the photo was taken, everyone in the gang is shown to be angry about something and ends with Ted’s mom accidentally knocking down a waitress. Future Ted mentions there are three parts to the story.
– the Lily and Marshall part –
Lily and Marshall’s part begins with future Ted mentioning how his mom and dad avoid talking about unpleasant subjects. At the apartment, Lily and Marshall run into Ted’s parents while dividing their CD collection. Ted’s mother, Virginia played by Cristine Rose, invites Lily to join them for dinner. Lily is initially hesitant, saying she doesn’t want to make it awkward for Marshall but quickly changes her mind when Marshall hints his feelings for Lily are gone. At dinner, Lily shows up in a sexy red dress that focuses your attention to her breasts, tormenting Marshall. The next day at brunch, Marshall gets his revenge by massaging his calves in front of Lily. Lily apparently belongs to the, I’m guessing, one percent of people who are turned on by men’s calves. Marshall and Lily end up hooking up in the restaurant bathroom. The surprising sexual encounter causes more tension between them when the two argue over who seduced whom.
– the Barney part –
Robin is nervous to meet Ted’s parents for the first time. While waiting for Ted’s parents, Barney drops by unexpectedly. Barney confesses to Ted about his excitement to finally meet his parents. Barney is in disbelief to find that Ted hasn’t mentioned him to his parents. Ted tries to justify his reasoning saying he only talks to his dad about baseball. When Ted’s parents arrive, Barney hijacks the spotlight from Robin every chance he gets, including switching their dinner reservations. After dinner, Barney invites everyone for a drink at MacLaren’s but only Ted’s father, Alfred played by Michael Gross, joins him. The next morning, Barney confesses to Ted about the previous night’s events. Barney tells Ted how his dad is a great wing-man and helped him with Wendy the Waitress, but the story takes a sudden nosedive. While returning the bar to get his phone, Barney finds Alfred making out with Wendy. Furious his dad cheated on his mom, Ted tries to confront his dad but can’t seem to find the courage to talk about anything other than baseball.
– the Ted and Robin part –
As mentioned earlier in the episode, Robin is nervous to meet Ted’s parents for the first time. Ted tries to prepare Robin for his mother incoming interrogation. Ted warns Robin his mom asks every girl Ted dates about marriage and children and she will know when it is coming because his mother will bring up cousin Stacy. Later at dinner, Virginia brings up cousin Stacy and Robin prepares herself for the lies that she is about to unleash, but Virginia instead asks Robin about being a reporter. Virginia recommends Robin focus on her career because there is always time to get married and have children later. The next morning at bunch, Robin snaps at Virginia, suggesting the waitress have Ted’s babies. Virginia follows Robin to bathroom which is occupied by Marshall and Lily. Robin asks Virginia why she hasn’t asked her about marrying Ted and having her grandchildren. Virginia apologizes if she made Robin feel unwanted but tells her she doesn’t believe people should make the mistake of getting married young. When Robin asks Virginia how she can feel that way since she got married young, Virginia tells Robin there is something she doesn’t know.
– the Conclusion –
Right after the brunch picture is taking, Lily and Marshall argue over the CD collection, Ted tells Barney he is going to kills his dad and Robin tells Virginia she needs to talk to Ted or she will. Virginia attempts to stop Robin but instead accidentally knocks down a passing waitress. Alfred asks if the waitress is okay, calling her “sweetheart”, causing Ted to unleash his anger and demand his father come clean about last night. Alfred finally comes clean and tells Virginia he hooked up with Wendy the Waitress. Shocked by Virginia’s cool demeanor, Robin pleads with Ted’s parents to tell him. Ted’s parents inform him they have been divorced for almost a year and are happier than ever. Ted’s mom even has a boyfriend named Clint. Stressed by all the recent news, Ted leaves to get some air with Robin and his parents in tow. When Barney makes a break for the unattended omelette bar, Marshall and Lily apologize, both agreeing they are confused when around each other.
Outside, Ted tells his parents he doesn’t even know them or how they met. Ted’s dad tells him, “It’s a great story. We met a bar.” When Ted confesses he doesn’t get what happened, his parents tell him they wanted different things and begin to describe their situation which is similar to Ted and Robin’s. Alfred was a hopeless romantic and wanted kids, Virginia was down to Earth and…also wanted kids. Ted’s parents tell Ted they adore Robin and head back to brunch. Almost as if she ignored the entire conversation, Robin is thrilled to hear Ted’s parents love her.
Why this episode is important:
Although it is never official confirmed, Ted’s conversation with his parents about how they met is the reason he tells his kids how he met their mother. When Ted becomes frustrated at the lack of depth his mom and dad go into, he responds saying, “he is going to tell his kids the whole damn story.” So in all honesty, we have Alfred and Virginia to thank/blame for How I Met Your Mother.
My favorite scene is when Virginia calls Robin “Susan”. Robin corrects her by saying her name and Barney in turn corrects/belittles Robin saying, “Susan, her name is Virginia.”