|“Last Cigarette Ever”|
December 14, 2009
Theresa Mulligan Rosenthal
Marshall restarts smoking to relate with his boss. The rest of the gang join him and then try to stop. Robin has to deal with an unprofessional co-anchor, Don.
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Future Ted explains how frustrated Robin got at her early morning news show, and describes her taking a smoke break up on the roof, much to the surprise of his listening children. She is then joined by Marshall, who is stressed about his new department head Arthur Hobbs. Barney explains that Marshall's job is at risk because Arthur doesn't remember Marshall, even though Marshall worked for him before and made an angry explosive speech when he quit. When Marshall takes a rooftop break at work, he bumps into Arthur, and to gain his confidence, they share a smoke.
Even though Marshall rigorously cleans himself, Lily can still smell the smoke on him, and uses it as an excuse to start smoking again herself (which leads to her voice lowering a few octaves). Finally, Ted and Barney feel left out as their friends smoke outside MacLaren's, and they join in as well. As the week continues, their smoking takes its toll, decreasing Ted's stamina on the stairs, worsening Lily's voice, and giving Marshall's boss, Arthur, a heart attack, and Barney finding a cigarette burn on his tie. They all pledge to stop smoking, though Robin is reluctant at first.
Meanwhile, Robin is joined by a new co-anchor, Don Frank, a legend of the pre-6am television world, having broadcast in 39 media outlets. Impressed at first, Robin is quickly disappointed by Don's lack of professionalism or concern, or even pants. She works even harder to prove that her job means something, even booking Mayor Bloomberg on the show. Don tells her to stop taking her job so seriously, and amidst her retorts, he reveals that the Mayor canceled. As she begins to light up a cigarette on air in defeat, the gang calls from the apartment, pleading for her not to break their pact. She agrees, but when she returns to the apartment, she finds everyone smoking on the roof. Future Ted tells the audience in the voice-over that Robin and Don were dating within three months.
The gang agrees to have "one last cigarette" as the sun rises, but Future Ted reveals it took years for each member of the gang to actually quit, listing events in their lives that lead to the change: Lily quits the day she decides to try to get pregnant; Marshall quits the day his son is born; Robin quits in June 2013; Barney quits in March 2017; and Ted quits two weeks into dating the mother.
- While Ted's kids are shocked to learn that the whole gang smokes, previous episodes have established that some of them do:
- All five have been shown to enjoy cigars; Barney in Zip, Zip, Zip, Something Blue, and The Chain of Screaming, Lily and Marshall in Arrivederci, Fiero, Ted in Something Blue, and Robin in Zip, Zip, Zip, Arrivederci, Fiero, and The Chain of Screaming.
- In Moving Day, Barney reveals to Ted that Robin smokes.
- Robin shares a pack with Lily just before Barney marries her and Marshall in Something Borrowed.
- Robin and Ted have lighters in Slapsgiving.
- In Benefits, Barney smokes in front of Lily's kindergartens.
- In Life Among the Gorillas, Lily and Marshall discuss how to handle his new coworkers if they pressure him to smoke, and Marshall satisfies Lily by claiming he would tell them "only when [he's] drunk".
- Mike the cameraman was previously seen working with Robin at Metro News 1 in Atlantic City.
- Marshall, in trying to remind Arthur that he worked under him at Nicholson, Hewitt, and West, brings up their screaming match in Arthur's office, which occurred in The Chain of Screaming. Marshall also mentioned his nickname, "Artillery Arthur", in that episode.
- One of the "special occasions" Barney mentions smoking during is pregnancy scares. Barney's pregnancy scares have been referenced previously in Not a Father's Day and Right Place, Right Time.
- Marshall mentions getting a new Minnesota Vikings lamp. His love of the Vikings was first referenced in Little Minnesota.
- This is the first time that the gang has actually seen Robin's news show. They first attempted this in The Front Porch.
- The first time Robin met Don, as seen in The Playbook, is expanded upon here.
Future References (Spoilers)
- Future Ted mentions that Robin will start dating Don within three months; they get together in Of Course, which occurs about three months after the events of this episode.
- Barney being overly emotionally attached to his clothes, as seen when he freaks out at the cigarette burn on his tie, is referenced again in Girls Versus Suits and Lobster Crawl.
- Don mentions being divorced, which is referenced again in Rabbit or Duck and Twin Beds.
- Future Ted reveals when each member of the gang will have their real "last cigarette ever":
- Lily has hers the day she started trying to get pregnant, meaning she has it some time between Doppelgangers, when she and Marshall decide to start trying, and Big Days, where she mentions cutting out alcohol, caffeine, and sugar.
- Marshall has his the day his son is born, as seen in Good Crazy.
- Robin has hers in June 2013, meaning she has it soon after her and Barney's wedding in The End of the Aisle, which occurs on May 25th, 2013.
- Ted has his two weeks into dating the Mother, meaning he has it on or around June 12, 2013, as they go on their first date three days after the wedding (May 28th), as seen in Gary Blauman.
- Barney has his in March 2017, about one year after he and Robin get divorced, as seen in Last Forever - Part One.
- Barney having had multiple pregnancy scares is referenced again in False Positive.
|Barney:||I am not a smoker. I only smoke in certain situations: post-coital, when I'm with Germans—sometimes those two overlap—coital, birthdays, to annoy my mom, pre-coital, on a sailboat, the day The Mets are mathematically eliminated every year, and, of course—wait for it 'cause Lord knows I have—pregnancy scares.|
|Ted:||Why are you smoking right now?|
|Barney:||I'm always pre-coital, Ted.|
- —Barney explains why he smokes.
|Barney:||(while smoking) I'm proud of you guys! I have heard how difficult it is for smokers like yourself to quit, and on behalf of non-smokers everywhere, I salute you, and I am here to help. So hand in your cigarettes, and I will get rid of them one at a time.|
|Lily:||(raspy-voiced) You're quitting, dollface! I know I don't normally call you dollface, but it kinda works in this voice. Dollface.|
|Marshall:||He fired what's his face, Ted! And what's his face was invaluable!|
|Ted:||Look I can understand you getting upset, but it's not worth killing yourself over.|
|Barney:||Yeah, wait till you get laid off then kill yourself, like what's his face. Although, I guess now it's more like... where's his face...|
|Robin:||If I can't even get my best friends to watch, who's gonna watch?|
|Marshall:||Lots of people! You’ve got bed ridden insomniacs, bums camping outside a department store, people waiting in the ER, where the TV is in a cage so you can’t change the channel…|
|Lily:||Oh, do you have any stalkers?|
|Robin:||Yeah. But even Leonard won't watch the show.|
Notes and Trivia
Goofs and Errors
- The gang uses a Tim Horton's coffee can as an ashtray about halfway through the episode, and the Tim Horton's name is clearly shown in the trademark gold oval on the front of the can. Near the end of the episode, the gang is back on the roof, and the "Tim Horton's" has been removed from the gold oval.
- The characters could have just turned the can around so the logo faced the other side.
- When Ted walks up the stairs, it is said "three flights later" after he has already walked up one floor. But in How Lily Stole Christmas, Ted exclaims, "Three flights of stairs and not a single drop!" referring to the beer in his hand. So there are 3 flights of stairs and not 4. Also, in Okay Awesome Ted mentioned they live on the third floor, and as ground floor is considered the first floor in the US, it would only mean two flights of stairs.
- When Arthur Hobbs first shows his dog shirt to Marshall, his cigarette is in his mouth, however a few seconds later, when he asks him to pet it, it is in his hand.
- As Arthur is unbuttoning his shirt and the shot switches you do see his hand near his mouth possibly grabbing the cigarette.
- When Don announces that he has been on a network, Mike drops his mug in shock, just as he's about to take a sip from it. However, when it falls on the floor it is empty with no coffee in it.
- In the shot where Robin begins to say, "Don, you said 'brain fart,'" Robin's mouth is not moving.
Allusions and Outside References
- There is a Tim Hortons coffee can beside Ted when the group is smoking on the roof. Robin and Barney visited a Tim Hortons in Toronto in Duel Citizenship.
- When Don tells Robin about how he has in fact worked for a network news show, he gives a speech that is an homage to the speech "Crash" Davis gives to "Nuke" LaLoosh in Bull Durham.
- Metro One News's phone number is 212-555-0192, a traditional television "555" phone number.
- The McRib is mentioned in a flashback.
- Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk - Rufus Wainwright
- Morning Mood - Peer Gynt suite by Edvard Grieg, played during flashbacks of 13-year-old Marshall's camping trip, when he had his first cigarette.
- In the "future" where it shows the kids being told the story, they show clips from the Pilot episode. This is for continuity within the episode for when they say "What!" to the news that each gang member smoked. This was originally their reaction to when Ted told Robin he loved her.
- The flashback pictures of Don Frank on his different morning TV shows feature the exact same wooden set. Although the scene changes are noticeable because different titles and background pictures are used in each scene, the wooden set has been used not only for Channel 12, but also for Metro News 1 (Seasons 1-4) and when Robin auditioned for a news anchor job in The Possimpible.
- The flashback scenes also show the telephone set on the stage right of each set.
- The list of situations Barney gives to justify smoking are:
- When he's with Germans
- To annoy his mom
- On a sailboat
- When the Mets are mathematically eliminated from the postseason
- Pregnancy scares
- International Airdates: Australia: April 22, 2010 on Channel 7; United Kingdom: August 5, 2010 on E4.
- Ron Nicolosi - Mike
- Benjamin Koldyke - Don Frank
- Harvey Fierstein - Lily's Smoking Voice
- Tyler Peterson - Thirteen Year Old Marshall
- Trent Peltz - Ricky
- Bob Odenkirk - Arthur Hobbs
- Donna Bowman of The A.V. Club rated the episode with a grade A-. 
- Joel Keller, reviewer at TV Squad described the casting of Harvey Fierstein as Lily's smoking voice as only the third funniest thing in the episode. He praises the flashback scenes to thirteen-year-old Marshall's first smoke as the funniest thing in the episode. 
- Brian Zoromski of IGN gave the episode only 5.5 out of 10. Zoromski noted that he had never been a smoker and described this as the worst episode ever. 
- Cindy McLennan of Television Without Pity rated the episode with a grade A-. 
- The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 8.5 out of 10 stars. "...'can I bum one?'...Marshall confronts his thirteen-year-old self ... with his boot."
- Last Cigarette Ever at the English Wikipedia
- Last Cigarette Ever at TV.com
- Last Cigarette Ever at the Internet Movie Database
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