Purple Giraffe

HIMYM episode 1x02 (2)

Purple Giraffe
First aired:
September 26, 2005
Pamela Fryman
Carter Bays
Craig Thomas
Barney's Blog

Images (13)

Ted continues to try and impress Robin, by throwing three parties to make himself seem more casual. Marshall cannot return Lily's heightened affections, as he stresses over an essay. Barney needs to get rid of a girl, who keeps showing up at all of the parties.


The episode begins in 2030 where Future Ted recounts the events of the Pilot to his kids.

After accidentally telling Robin he loves her far too soon, Ted changes his stance and decides to not contact Robin on the pretext of wanting to give everyone the false impression that he is not in love with her anymore. However, after he finds out that Lily has officially met Robin, and Robin told Lily she was still interested in him, Ted decides to continue pursuing her. As Lily told him Robin doesn't want a serious relationship, Ted vows to convince her he is "casual".

After seeing Robin on MacLaren's Pub's television, Ted runs to "accidentally" meet her at a location where she is reporting (where a child is stuck inside a crane machine after trying to get to a purple giraffe) and informs her he is throwing a party. His plan is to take her up to the roof of his apartment and make his move there. Because of Robin's absence from the first party, Ted ends up extending the party for two more days just so she can attend and he can have his chance at dating her.

Robin attends the third party, held on a Sunday night, and inadvertently finds out (when Marshall yells at Ted) that all three parties were held for her. Ted panics and says he actually wanted her to meet Carlos. When Robin eventually goes up to the roof with Carlos, Ted decides he has to confront her and confess his feelings for her before he loses his chance completely. He follows them onto the roof and asks Carlos to give them some alone time.

Ted admits that he threw the parties to meet Robin again. She admits her interest in him, but says that he is already asking too much of her when they barely know each other; she feels pressured to have the same relationship goals as him. Ted tries to "turn off" his feelings for Robin but she isn't convinced. They kiss and realize there's no "off switch" so they decide to try being friends. Ted invites her to have a beer with the rest of the gang.

Throughout the episode, Lily has an increased sexual desire due to her engagement to Marshall. This troubles Marshall as he has to submit a 25 page paper for a class in his law school. After someone uses one of his law books as a coaster at the third party, Marshall appears angry but drinks two beers at the bar with everyone else, and Robin. This increases his confidence and he ends up doing well on the paper, considering he wrote it the night before the deadline.

Barney is also facing his own relationship troubles. After finding the one girl at the party who does not know anyone else, Barney decides to sleep with her, thinking he will never see her again. However, this woman returns to the other parties in the subsequent nights. Barney decides the best way to get rid of her is by following Ted's "I think I'm in love with you" line. He is correct and it kills off her interest in him. Nevertheless, she attends the third party as well, and Barney finds out Carlos invited her.


  • Robin tells Ted, "I don't want to get married right now, maybe ever." Robin not wanting to get married is a common theme brought up throughout the series.
  • Barney first begins making up statistics in this episode.
  • Marshall calls himself "the kid" for the first time.
  • As in the Pilot Robin displays her disdain for the puff pieces she reports for Metro News 1, calling Ted sweet for referring to her story as "news".
  • Barney gets rid of Works With Carlos Girl by saying "I love you" to her, referencing Ted's outburst to Robin in the Pilot
  • The apartment building's roof first appears.
  • Robin plays the Have you met game that Barney used in the Pilot.

Future References (Contains Spoilers)

  • Robin confirms in Milk the implication that, in addition to not wanting to marry, she does not want children. Their varying goals cause her and Ted to break up during Showdown​​, as depicted in Something Blue​​.
  • Robin's frustration that she isn't doing serious journalism is referenced again in Return of the Shirt and Life Among the Gorillas. She quits Metro News 1 in I Heart NJ​​.
  • Lily displays her inability to keep secrets, which will be often depicted. Examples include Little Minnesota​​, The Leap​​, and The Rehearsal Dinner.
  • In The Leap, when Robin decides she doesn't want to be with Barney, Marshall suggests she "Mosby" him by saying "I love you", as Barney does to Works With Carlos Girl.
  • The final scene continues in Last Forever - Part One and Ted does not get that girl Robin tried to hook him up with.  The continuation will also show the moment when Lily formally declares Robin a part of the gang.
  • Marshall's being distracted by food during arguments is seen in Jenkins​​.
  • Barney says that Carlos and Works With Carlos Girl will never work because they work together. He expands on this in The Platinum Rule​​.
  • Marshall and Lily are similarly disgusted by Ted and Barney's lack of boundaries in the apartment in Dowisetrepla​​.


  • Robin reports a news story about a purple giraffe.
  • The first party in the apartment
  • Robin finally shows up at Ted's party
  • Ted and Robin's first kiss
For a listing of all images on the wiki tagged as being from this episode, see Category:Purple Giraffe images.

Memorable Quotes

Lily: Look who I ran into.
Ted: Since when do you guys know each other?
Robin: Since about, here. (points to top of glass)

Ted: I just gotta bump into her somewhere. Now if only I knew her schedule, I could arrange a chance encounter.
Lily: That's great, Ted. You'll be the most casual stalker ever.

Marshall: So, Gatsby, what are you going to do when Robin shows up?
Ted: OK, I got it all planned out. She steps through the door, and where's Ted? Not eagerly waiting by the door. No, I'm across the room at my drafting table, showing some foxy young thing all my cool architecture stuff. So Robin strolls over and I casually give her one of these "Hey, what's up?" She says "Hey, nice place, et cetera, et cetera." And then I say "Well, make yourself at home" and I casually return to my conversation. Then, an hour later, "Oh, you're still here," I say, like I don't really care, but it's a nice surprise. And then, very casually, "Wanna see the roof?"

Barney: Solid plan, my little friend.
Ted: We're the same height.

Marshall: Hey, where the hell is my...oh! OK. "Introduction to Contract Tort and Restitution Statutes from 1865 to 1923" is not a coaster! Ted! I'm jeopardizing my law career so you can throw, not one, not two, but three parties for some girl that you just met who's probably not even going to show up. I mean, where is she, Ted, huh? Where's Robin?!... (notices Robin at the party) Hi. Hi, Robin.

Ted: Hey, don't you have a paper to write?
Marshall: Dude, you're talking to The Kid. I'm gonna knock back this beer. I'm gonna knock back one more beer. I'm gonna go home. I'm gonna write a 25-page paper. I'm gonna hand it in and I'm gonna get an A. My name is Rufus and that's the trufus.
Future Ted: He got a B-, but still. 25 pages in one night? B-? The Kid was good.

Ted: You know it's so funny I ran into you. We're having a party next Friday if you'd like to swing by, but, you know, whatever.
Robin: Oh, I'm going back home next weekend. Too bad it's not tonight.
Ted: It is, it's tonight. This Friday. Did I say next Friday? Sorry, 'cause I've been saying next Friday all week. But yeah it's tonight; the party is tonight. But, you know, whatever.

Lily: Hey I'm just sitting here. Wearing my ring. My beautiful ring. Kinda makes wearing other stuff seem wrong... my shirt. Kinda don't wanna wear my shirt any more. Or my underwear. Oh, that's right, I'm not wearing any.
Marshall: (Stops working and looks at Lily) No underwear?
Lily: Not even slightly.
Ted: Guys. Boundaries.

Ted: My friends are gonna love you. Like you. You know, as a friend...

Robin: You can't turn off the way you feel.
Ted: (pantomimes turning a dial on his chest) Click. Off. Let's make out.
Robin: What?
Ted: What, that was the off switch! And I turned it off... I mean, yes, sure, I wanna fall in love, get married, blah blah blah, but... on the other hand, you, me... the roof...
Robin: There's no off switch.
Ted: There's an off switch. And it's off.
Robin: (leaning in) No it's not.
Ted: Yes, it is.
Robin: No, it's not.
Ted: Yes. It is...(they kiss passionately)
Ted: ...No it's not... You were right. There's no off switch... God, I wish there was an off switch!

Lily: Okay, buddy, time for the tough talk... Robin seems great. But let's look at the facts, you wanna get married. And right now there's a million women in New York looking for exactly you... but Robin ain't one of them.

Robin: Sorry I missed your party again.
Ted: Hey, ain't no thing but a chicken wing, mamacita! (to Marshall and Lily) Who am I?!

Ted: Hello?
Robin: Hi, Ted.
Ted: Amanda? Oh, Denise, sorry, you totally sounded like Amanda...

Barney: Ted, let's rap. Statistics: At every New York party there is always a girl who has no idea whose party she's at. She knows no one you know, and you will never see her again. Do you see... where I'm going... with this?

Ted: (to Robin) I love dip. Well, I don't love dip, I like dip. As a friend

Marshall: Now the kid has got to get to work, and the kid is not to be disturbed. Repeat after me: I will not have sex with Marshall.
Ted and Lily: I will not have sex with Marshall.

Barney: The girl from last night, I took her back to my place, then this morning spun her around a couple of times and sent her walking. She'll never find her way back and there she is!

Ted: (about the kid who got stuck in the claw machine) Did they let him keep the purple giraffe?
Robin: Yeah, they let him keep all the toys, he was in there a long time and little kids have small bladders.

Barney: Beep, target acquired. Now it's time to play a little game I'd like to call: Haaave you met Ted?
Ted: Oh come on, not this..
Barney: (taps a girl on the shoulder) Hi, haaave you met Ted?

Robin: I don't know, Ted. I mean, we barely know each other and you're looking at me with that look, and it's like-
Ted: Like what?
Robin: Like, let's fall in love, and get married, and have kids, and drive them to soccer practice
Ted: I'm not going to force sports onto them unless they're interested.

Ted: She wants casual. Okay, I'll be casual. I'm gonna be a mushroom cloud of casual. You know why? 'Cause it's a game. I wanted to skip to the end and do the whole happily ever after thing, but you don't get there, unless you play the game!
Marshall: So you're gonna ask her out?
Ted: Yeah! No! I can't ask her out! 'Cause if I ask her out, I'm asking her out! So how do I ask her out, without asking her out?
Lily: (to Ted and Barney) Did you guys get high?

Barney: This is so lame.
Ted: Lame...or casual?
Barney: Lame.
Ted: ...or casual?

Barney: What does Carlos have that I don't?
Robin: A date tonight?
Lily: Ohh, stop the tape, rewind, play it again!
Robin: (mimics a tape being rewound) A date tonight?
Barney: I'm not sure I like her.

Notes and Trivia

Goofs and Errors

  • The couch that the Ted's kids are sitting on has changed. In the Pilot it was a modern black leather couch. In this and later episodes, it is a Chesterfield style couch.
  • Inexplicably, the closed captions call Robin "Trubotsky" when she signs off her story.

Allusions and Outside References

  • Marshall calls Ted "Gatsby" at one point in reference to the novel The Great Gatsby, in which Gatsby throws successive parties in the hopes that the woman he loves, Daisy Buchanan, might attend. At one point in the party, the lamp next to the couch glows green, which is one of the most popular metaphors in The Great Gatsby.
  • In describing the party, Marshall says, "Everybody Wang-ed. Everybody Chung-ed," in reference to Everybody Have Fun Tonight by the band Wang Chung.
  • The song The Roof Is on Fire by Rock Master Scott & the Dynamic Three is parodied by Barney when he says "You were so right about the roof. The roof! The roof... is... on.... fire, Ted!"
  • When Marshall says "My name is Rufus and that's the trufus" that's a reference to a similar quote from Do the Right Thing, a 1989 film by Spike Lee


  • Haven’t We Met instrumental version - Stephen Lang (in broadcast only DVD replaces with a jazz piece by John Swihart) [1]

Other Notes

  • When Robin leaves the booth and Ted starts talking about her, Lily makes a squeaking noise. Ted detects that she has a secret about him and makes her spill the beans. This would become a running gag throughout the series.
  • The apartment and MacLaren's are established to be on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, as Ted can run to 75th and Columbus during Robin's remote segment.



  • The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 7 out of 10 stars: "Three parties to try to get a girl? Only Ted could pull it off!"


External links

Previous episode
Purple Giraffe
(all episodes)
Next episode →
Sweet Taste of Liberty