How I Met Your Mother Wiki
How I Met Your Mother Wiki

HIMYM episode 2x03 (25)

Brunch photo.png
First aired:
October 2, 2006
Pamela Fryman
Stephen Lloyd
Barney's Blog

Images (7)

Ted discovers that his parents are keeping a secret from him after his dad acts as Barney's wingman. Marshall and Lily try to get each other aroused. Robin doesn't understand Ted's mother's reaction to her.


This page or section uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia's Brunch (How I Met Your Mother) article. (view authors).

You can contribute to the How I Met Your Mother Wiki by rewriting the copied content.


The episode starts with three squabbles between several members of the group, joined by Ted's parents. The episode recounts the development of the arguments, which causes a waitress behind their table to drop and break a tray of dishes.

The Marshall and Lily Part

Ted has flown his parents, Alfred and Virginia, to his apartment as a 30th-anniversary gift. As Future Ted narrates, his parents have an unfortunate habit of avoiding talking, or even mentioning, unpleasant subjects. Ted's parents meet Lily and Marshall, who have just broken up, and they invite Lily to dinner with them. At first, Lily is hesitant to join them, seeing as it would make her encounter with Marshall awkward, but changes her mind when Marshall shows no signs of lingering feelings for her. She gets back at him during dinner by showing herself in a stunning evening dress which accentuates her breasts, and by acting provocatively so as to turn Marshall on. Marshall decides to get back at her the following day, at brunch, by presenting himself in pants with unzippable kneelines, which he unzips to unleash his calves which Lily finds irresistible. The two have sex in the bathroom, but far from being a reconciling act, the two argue about who seduced whom.

The Barney Part

Barney is shocked to learn that Ted has not talked about him to his parents, so he decides to take matters into his own hands. Ted defends himself by stating that no parent wants to hear about their children doing the things that he and Barney do together. When Barney meets Ted's parents, he makes his utmost to get along with them, making a better impression even than Ted's girlfriend Robin, noticeable when he manages to change dinner reservations to a fully-booked restaurant. Following dinner, Barney invites the group to drinks at MacLaren's, where Ted's father Alfred joins him. Alfred even becomes a wingman to Barney, but the night goes wrong when Barney finds Alfred making out withWendy the Waitress. Ted is thunderstruck at hearing this, but although he decides to confront his father, he is unable to talk about anything but baseball.

The Me and Robin Part

Excited to meet Ted's parents for the first time, Robin is worried that she's not going to come off well. Ted gives her a heads-up about his mother, who is apt to grill his girlfriends about settling down and having kids, usually after mentioning his cousin Stacy and her multitude of children. However, things take an unexpected twist that night at dinner when Virginia mentions Stacy being pregnant, before instead advising Robin to focus on her career and leave marriage and children until later, which offends Robin, as she believes she is the only one of Ted's girlfriends his mother doesn't want him to have children with. At brunch the following morning, Robin has an outburst at Virginia, which prompts Ted's mother into asking her if something's wrong. Robin reveals that, while she doesn't want to have children, she wants Virginia to want her to, but Virginia explains to Robin why she now believes nobody should make the mistake of getting married too young.

The three squabbles are re-brought together at this point just as they are first seen at the start of the episode - the waitress drops the dishes. Ted's father promptly stands up to help her, calling her "sweetheart" in the process. This makes Ted lash out at his father and makes him reveal the events of the previous night to his wife. But Ted is confused to find his mother unshocked by the fact that her husband hooked up with another woman. At this point, Robin prompts Mrs. Mosby into telling her son the truth, and Virginia and Alfred finally explain to Ted how they are now divorced. Needless to say, Ted is left shocked by this fact, and he confronts both his parents about how and why they have kept this hidden from him. Barney blurts out how he remembers Alfred mentioning he was divorced the previous night, and Marshall and Lily promise each other to try and keep their distances from each other and remain on amicable terms.

Alfred explains how their relationship, although wonderful, had to come to an end when the parties involved realised how different they are from one another. They do, however, promise Ted full disclosure in future, but when Ted asks for news about his grandmother Virginia nervously heads off to the juice station and Alfred falls back to baseball talk.


  • Marshall and Lily make out for the first time since breaking up when she leaves for San Francisco in Come On. Marshall refuses to take her back in The Scorpion and the Toad.
  • Ted's parents meet Barney and Robin in the episode. They are familiar with Marshall and Lily, as the two have been friends with their son since freshman year of college in 1996.
  • Barney insists that he is Ted's best friend.
  • Barney tells Ted's parents that he works in a homeless shelter. This was true; however, he, Ted, and Robin get kicked out in Belly Full of Turkey.
  • After telling Robin that a girlfriend is "like the bad flu. Out of the system after a couple weeks in bed", Barney requests (and is denied) a "High five!"
  • Barney plays the piano.
  • Ted points out that Barney always uses the number 83 when making up statistics.
  • Alfred and Virginia tell Ted and Robin that they divorced because they have very different personalities and disagreed on fundamental issues like whether to have children; she did not want to date him at first, "but he spent months badgering me until I gave in". Their story is similar to Ted and Robin's relationship; Robin tells Ted that she does not want to marry in Purple Giraffe and does not want children in Milk, and after their first date in the Pilot Ted tries for months to persuade Robin to date him again.
  • After Ted tells his parents that he does not know how they met, Alfred says that it's a great story but can only remember that they met in a bar. Ted vows that when he has kids he is "gonna tell them everything, the whole damn story" of how their parents met.

Future References (Contains Spoilers)

  • In Swarley, Lily mentions the time she and Marshall had sex in the bathroom.
  • The "Single Stamina and Couples' Coma" theories mentioned in Single Stamina are upheld here. Ted, Robin, and Ted's mother (who is in a relationship with Ted's childhood dentist) are too tired to go to the bar, while Ted's dad (who is single) agrees to go with Barney to MacLaren's.
  • Ted has Christmas dinner with his pregnant cousin Stacy in How Lily Stole Christmas.
  • Barney's attempt to seduce Wendy the Waitress, which is unsuccessful due to Ted's dad "rack-jacking" him, had already succeeded in 2005, as explained in The Platinum Rule.
  • Lily's weakness for Marshall's calves is introduced, and referred to again in Sorry, BroComing Back,  and Unpause.
  • Barney's standard pose for photographs described in Say Cheese is the same one he has in the picture of the gang and Ted's parents at brunch seen here.
  • In Home Wreckers, when Barney tells the gang about hooking up with Ted's mom, the flashback to the incident shows them talking about the same brooch Barney asks her about here, meaning it occurred soon after the events of this episode.
  • Ted and his dad discuss "Cerrano's" chances at the RBI title, referring to the fictional Cleveland Indians player from Major League, and the Indians beating the Boston Red Sox. Ted supporting Cleveland sports franchises is referenced in several episodes, including GlitterThe Stamp Tramp, and Lobster Crawl.
  • The episode accurately foreshadows the reasons why Ted and Robin break up in Something Blue.


For a listing of all images on the wiki tagged as being from this episode, see Category:Brunch images.

Memorable Quotes

Marshall: Were you wearing a push-up bra?
Lily: Did you Mystic-Tan your calves?
Marshall: I withdraw the question.

Ted: No, no, no...we're not going to blow past this. I mean, I don't even know you people! I don't even know how you met!
Alfred: I never told you how I met your mother?
Ted: No.
Alfred: Oh, great story! At a bar.

Ted: By the way, how's grandma? She hasn't returned my last couple calls.
Virginia: (after an awkward silence) I'm gonna get some juice.
Ted: No. No...
Alfred: Missed a great game last night! Real squeaker.

Virginia: I'd join you too, but I want to get up early for Mass tomorrow.
Barney: St. Peter's, 8:45 a.m., it's my favorite service.
Ted: You're able to cross the threshold of a church?
Barney: I'll save you a seat.

Notes and Trivia

Goofs and Errors

  • At 14:08, you can see Ted's dad pretending to cut food.

Allusions and Outside References

  • When Ted is talking to his father in the hallway, he asks if he thinks "Cerrano" has a chance for the RBI title. This is a reference to the movie Major League, a movie about the Cleveland Indians, which is Ted's favorite team. In the movie, Pedro Cerrano is a slugger played by Dennis Haysbert.
  • In arguing their post-breakup division of belongings, Marshall claims that a U2 box set he gave Lily is actually full of Dave Matthews CDs.
  • The usage of Black Title cards for each segment is reminiscent of the movie Go, which is told in a similar fashion.


Other Notes

  • In this episode, Ted's father (briefly) recounts to Ted how he met his mother. Between Ted's father's and Ted's encounters with Virginia and Robin respectively, several similarities can noted:
    • Both met their partner for the first time at an Irish bar;
    • Both males were head-in-the-clouds hopeless romantics who fantasized about having families with their partners, whilst the females were reluctant to become parents;
    • Both males decided not to give up their first failed attempt and kept pursuing the female until they finally got together;
    • Both females showed second thoughts about their relationship with their respective males;
    • Although not noted in this episode, Ted eventually splits up with his dream girl Robin just as his father divorced his mother.
  • Showing how a story ends and then how everything came together from different perspectives is used again in Season 7 when Ted explains Lily's and Marshall's housewarming party in a similar fashion, in The Burning Beekeeper.



  • Staci Krause of IGN gave the episode 8.9/10, calling it one of the better episodes of the season.[1]
  • The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 9 out of 10 stars. "Another example of great storytelling - in reverse, this time."


External links

Previous episode
The Scorpion and the Toad
(all episodes)
Next episode →
Ted Mosby: Architect