Mary the Paralegal

HIMYM episode 1x19 (19)

First aired:
April 24, 2006
Pamela Fryman
Chris Harris

Images (10)

Robin invites the gang to an awards banquet. Barney offers to hook Ted up with a prostitute. Ted tries to be cool with Robin's date, Sandy Rivers. Lily deals with the lack of naptime at work.


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A story that Robin did on her news channel was nominated for a Local Area Media Award (or as Lily calls it, a LAMA - pronounced LAME-a), and Robin has invited everyone to come to the awards banquet. Since she notified everyone three months in advance, Ted told her he would be bringing Victoria. Right before the awards banquet, Ted ended his relationship with Victoria and ruined his chances with Robin at the same time, and is wondering if he should still bring a date. Barney suggests getting Ted a prostitute as a date, which Ted immediately dismisses. Barney shows up a bit later with a stunning blonde-haired woman named Mary for Ted, and Ted again refuses until he sees Robin's date for the banquet: Sandy Rivers, the guy who reads the newspaper on the news show every morning and requests that he always be referred to by his full name. Ted then agrees, and Mary is his date for the evening.

At the banquet, Ted finds himself more and more attracted to Mary, who claims to be a paralegal at a law firm downtown. Ted tries to talk to Robin to restore their friendship, but fails. Robin wins the award, and thanks all of her friends for coming and supporting her, except Ted. Meanwhile, Barney has got Ted a room in the hotel for the night, and Ted is beginning to think about whether he and Mary should actually go up to the room. Marshall tries to stop him, but without success. Ted and Mary head up to the room, while Robin and Sandy Rivers get a cab. Shortly afterward, Robin returns, reiterating that she does not date co-workers, and she brought Sandy Rivers only to make Ted jealous, and Marshall tells her that Ted brought Mary to make Robin jealous. Marshall then (in an oddly telepathic manner) tells Lily that Mary is a prostitute, and Lily, who is asleep, wakes up and asks if Mary is indeed an escort. After a minute, Barney reveals that Mary is not really a prostitute, but actually a paralegal that lives in his building. Ted does not know this, and Mary eventually slaps him and leaves when Ted insists that she's a prostitute.

At the bar, Barney insists to Ted that the reason he got on so well with Mary was because he thought he was on to a sure thing anyway, but Ted reveals that he's had the last laugh by never checking out of the hotel room, and leaves to increase the already hefty bill on Barney's credit card.


  • Marshall uses the catchphrase "lawyered" for the first time. 
  • Telepathic Conversations are introduced in this episode.
  • Robin mentions her rule against dating coworkers, previously mentioned in Nothing Good Happens After 2 A.M., to Lily when she reveals that she is bringing Sandy Rivers to the LAMAs.
  • Victoria breaks up with Ted in Nothing Good Happens After 2 A.M.

Future References (Contains Spoilers)

  • In Come On, when Sandy gives his farewell speech to the audience of Metro News 1, he mentions how he will miss reading the newspaper to them every morning.
  • This is the only time when Barney doesn't use 83 in one of his made-up statistics (Ted points out his tendency to do this in Brunch), instead claiming that "men who have had at least one relationship with a prostitute are 75% more likely to have success in future relationships."
    • Barney does however use the statistic "1 in 8" which is the closest whole number ratio to 83%
  • The gang uses telepathic conversations again on several occasions (to varying degrees of success), including in Bachelor PartyThree Days of Snow, and Shelter Island.
  • In The Autumn of Break-UpsNick mentions being nominated for a LAMA for his public access cooking show.
  • In Garbage Island, Barney claims to have the ability to deduce the duration since a person last had sex. In this episode, Barney apparently hasn't developed this ability yet and had to ask Ted when he last had sex.


  • Ted and Marshall make fun of Sandy Rivers.
  • Vampire Lou, who is also weatherman Lou, presenting the LAMA awards.
  • Ted with Mary, the Paralegal.
  • Robin receiving an award for a story she covered.
For a listing of all images on the wiki tagged as being from this episode, see Category:Mary the Paralegal images.

Memorable Quotes

Barney: What, you have some puritanical hang-up about prostitution? Dude, it's the world's oldest profession!
Marshall: You really think that's true?
Barney: Ohh, yeah. I bet even Cro-Magnons used to give cave hookers like, an extra fish for putting out.
Marshall: Uh huh, so then the oldest profession would be fisherman. Kaboom! You've been lawyered.

Barney: Or, it's a chance to mess with her head by showing up with someone hotter! Even better, triple threat: hotter, and bigger boobs!
Ted: That's only two.
Barney: Count again...

Mary: You know that scene in Empire when they lower the helmet onto Darth Vader's head? Do you think that's how Sandy gets his hair on in the morning?

Notes and Trivia

Goofs and Errors

  • In the scene where Ted, Barney, and Marshall are at the bar, the amount of beer in Marshall's drink changes.

Allusions and Outside References

  • Sandy Rivers who portrayed by Alexis Denisof is Alyson Hannigan's real life husband. This is the only episode which both interact with each other.
  • When Robin and Ted are talking about their respective dates, Robin says "So what is this Paralegally Blonde?" referencing the movie Legally Blonde.
  • During dinner at the awards ceremony, Mary makes a joke about Sandy Rivers' hair being put on like Darth Vader's helmet, which references The Empire Strikes Back.
  • Sandy's segment, "In Today's Paper," is a parody of a segment done by Pat Kiernan on NY1 called "In The Papers".
  • One of the cutouts Ted and Marshall use on the TV during Sandy's segment, "Yosemite Sandy," is a reference to the Looney Tunes character Yosemite Sam.
  • At one point, Ted remarks that he feels like Richard Gere, which refers to Pretty Woman, in which Gere dates a prostitute.
  • Mary the Paralegal says she works at the law firm "Douglas, O'Halloran and Stamp." These are the last names (Sarah Douglas, Jack O'Halloran, Terence Stamp) of the actors playing the three Kryptonian villains in Superman and Superman II.
  • When Barney is about to leave MacLaren's, he says, "Good day!" and then waits for someone to speak. Ted points this out, to which Barney interrupts him by saying, "I said good day!" This is a reference to That 70's Show, which is in turn a reference to Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.


  • Elle et moi - Lemongrass

Other Notes

  • Barney calls Ted his cabrón, meaning his pimp in Spanish.



  • Critic Ryan J Budke of TV Squad enjoyed the episode and praised it for being "true to life" in the way the characters relate to each other, noting everyone has someone they can have a "telepathic" conversation with. [1]
  • The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 10 out of 10 stars. "In our opinion, the first episode that had such a great twist ending, leaving you as surprised as Ted ... who sadly, ends up alone ... again."


External Links

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Mary the Paralegal
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Best Prom Ever