|“Rabbit or Duck”|
February 8, 2010
Robin can’t decide if she likes Don. Barney gets a “magical” cell phone that doesn’t stop ringing. Ted asks Marshall and Lily to set him up for Valentine’s Day.
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Ted, Marshall, Lily, and Robin hang out at The Apartment to watch the Super Bowl, where the camera catches Barney holding up a sign in the crowd asking women to call him. It pays off as his phone keeps ringing with women on the other end. He hires Ranjit as his personal driver. Robin also reveals that she accepted an offer from her colleague, Don Frank, to go on a Valentine's Day date with him, while they were on the air. The gang debates whether Robin is attracted to Don using the rabbit-duck Theory. Given the success of Ranjit's arranged marriage, Ted decides to let Marshall and Lily pick the perfect bride for him during a double date on Valentine's Day itself. Ted joins Robin on her date at Don's apartment, as Don said there would be a party. Ted leaves when they see Don on the couch naked and realizes there was no party. Robin confronts Don, who explains that he was attempting to use the Naked Man move, which he read about on "some guy's blog", to seduce her.
Meanwhile, Barney's having problems with his pickup phone. When he is about to bed one woman, an even hotter woman calls the phone. This causes him to ditch the woman and have Ranjit drive him back to MacLaren's on three separate occasions. On the fourth incident (involving a hot chick named Natalia), Barney throws the phone in the dumpster so he can concentrate on the woman. As he was about to seal the deal, he could hear the phone ringing in the distance and gets it again at the dumpster. Marshall and Lily later hide the phone inside the piano at The apartment. Ted and Robin, who agreed to clean up the place for the day, finds the phone and Ted answers.
Ted goes on the double date with Marshall and Lily, who have fixed him up with Natalia. Despite their compatibility, Ted continues to answer the phone, which results in another encounter at MacLaren's, wearing aviator sunglasses and sitting across from another woman. Seeing Ted on the line, Barney tries to get it from him, but Ted passes it to Marshall and Lily, who drops the phone in a pitcher of beer.
Back at the apartment, Ted and Robin lament about their single status, but later agree to clean the bathroom.
While preparing for another episode of Come On Get Up, New York, Don apologizes to Robin for his unprofessional behavior and praises her news anchor skills. He also tries to improve his work ethic by getting coffee for Robin. She realized he was wearing pants (which he never does), and the next time she looked up she imagined a duck bill on his face.
- When running out of options to "arranged marry" Ted, Marshall suggests several of Ted's former flames, all of whom Lily shoots down. These include:
- Natalie, who still hates Ted. She viciously beat Ted up after he broke up with her on her birthday (again) in Return of the Shirt, where Future Ted also mentioned her getting married within a year, but Lily makes no mention of this.
- Trudy, who is now married. Ted hooked up with her in The Pineapple Incident, and may or may not have had a threesome with her in Third Wheel.
- Blah Blah, who has been committed to Bellevue Hospital Center. It was implied that she was crazy in How I Met Everyone Else.
- Marshall allows Ted to use his "lawyered" catchphrase, first used by Marshall in Mary the Paralegal. This is the first time anyone other than Marshall has used the line.
- The gang's tradition of watching the Super Bowl together was established in Monday Night Football.
- The gang learn about the Naked Man when Mitch successfully uses it on Robin in The Naked Man. Don mentions that he read about the move on "some guy's blog", suggesting that he reads Barney's blog.
- When the Naked Man backfires on Robin, Don wonders aloud why he ever thought it would work on her, and she giggles while agreeing that it wouldn't. Her inability to lie without giggling was first noted in The Bracket.
- Don mentions his divorce, first referenced in Last Cigarette Ever.
- Ranjit's abnormal strength is demonstrated again when he effortlessly carries a sobbing Barney out of the bar, this was first shown in Three Days of Snow when he ran out of a liquor store carrying a full beer keg with one hand while helping Lily.
Future References (Contains Spoilers)
- Don becoming a duck indicates that Robin is starting to become attracted to him. Future Ted mentions that they would eventually get together in Last Cigarette Ever, which they do in Of Course.
- It is revealed in Of Course that Robin was upset by Barney holding his number up during the Super Bowl.
- Ted claims that Ulee's Gold appears often in The New York Times crossword "because of all the vowels." He confirms this after meeting Will Shortz, editor of The New York Times crossword puzzle, in Robots Versus Wrestlers.
- Ted's nickname, "Teddy Westside", comes up again in Cleaning House and The Perfect Cocktail.
|Marshall:||Robin, did you want Don to ask you out?|
|Robin:||What? No! I hate Don! I can't stop thinking about how much I hate him, it's like all the time! I just want to attack him, and rip his stupid clothes off, and spank him with this little paddle until his bum's all red. Shut up!|
|Marshall:||Oh Robin, you're going to marry this guy so frickin' hard. ...Right in the butt.|
Notes and Trivia
Goofs and Errors
- When discussing Natalie as a potential Valentine's Date for Ted, Lily says "Ted's her least favorite person in the world." Marshall replies "Well, she's not getting any younger", implying that she's single. However in Return of the Shirt, Future Ted reveals that within a year of their breakup, she was married, well before the events of this episode.
- It is possible Lily and Marshall did not know this at this point, or that Natalie's marriage did not last.
- Lily does not know what kind of architecture Ted designs despite having worked at Ted's architecture firm in Aldrin Justice.
Allusions and Outside References
- Ted references Donald Duck's and Don's respective habits of not wearing pants as proof that Don is a "duck." Ironically, it is Don's decision to start wearing pants that makes him a duck to Robin.
- After attempting the Naked Man, Don fears Robin thinks of him as a playboy. Robin imagines rabbit ears on Don and says "You could say that.", alluding to the Playboy Magazine whose logo is a rabbit.
- Natalia, the date Marshall and Lily arrange to Ted, knows all the lines from Caddyshack.
- Barney's phone that never stops ringing makes him unable to ignore or leave it, and has the same effect on Ted - a reference to the One Ring in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
- While attending the Super Bowl, Barney holds up a sign saying "Hey Ladies, Call Barney Stinson," with the C, B, and S written in big colored letters. Those letters form CBS, which also stands for the network that originally aired How I Met Your Mother in the US and that also broadcasted Super Bowl XLIV on February 7, 2010.
- Turkey in the Straw - This plays as Barney's ringtone and is heard again during Ted's blind date, however the latter version is slowed down and played on piano.
- A fast version of Felix Mendelssohn's "Wedding March" (from Incidental music to Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, op. 61) plays while Marshall and Lily hurry to find Ted a wife on Valentine's Day.
- Haroula Rose's EP single Haroula Rose - Someday. This plays while Ted and Robin are sitting on the couch discussing how bad being single is.
- Ted spoofs "Here comes the groom"; music is from Bridal Chorus, from Richard Wagner's opera Lohengrin.
- Ranjit shouts in Persian while the gang are arguing about rabbits and ducks. Translated into English, he says: "duck can swim, duck can walk, duck can fly, what do you want from an animal?"
- It should also be noted that in the Pilot episode, Ranjit says that he is from Bangladesh therefore, he didn't speak in his native tongue.
- The poster Barney displayed during a fictional Super Bowl has two versions. One version, with the number 1-877-987-6401, was shown during the actual Super Bowl telecast. When the number is dialed, a message recorded by Harris in character as Barney is played.  The number was changed to 1-917-555-0197 in the version shown in the episode.
- This is also the second episode that coincided with CBS' telecast of the Super Bowl. Before this, Monday Night Football was aired in 2007. During the entire series' run, CBS also aired the Super Bowl in 2013 as part of a rotating agreement with Fox and NBC in which each network gets to broadcast the game every three years.
- Jim Nantz who guest starred in Perfect Week makes a cameo appearance again but only his voice, Phil Simms, whom he also mentions in that episode (when he says you shouldn't open a mail from Phil Simms in front of your kids) also makes a cameo appearance in this episode.
- International Airdates: Australia: July 1, 2010 on Channel 7; United Kingdom: September 2, 2010 on E4.
- Marshall Manesh - Ranjit
- Benjamin Koldyke - Don Frank
- Bar Paly - Natalia
- Lauren Shiohame - Marissa
- Arnold Chun - Waiter
- Jim Nantz - Himself (voice)
- Phil Simms - Himself (voice)
- The episode premiered to 10.11 million viewers.
- Donna Bowman of The AV Club rated the episode with a grade A. 
- Brian Zoromski of IGN gave the episode 9 out of 10. 
- Cindy McLennan of Television Without Pity rated the episode with a grade C+. 
- The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 8.5 out of 10 stars. "...Barney has a new plan ... 'Hello'."
- Rabbit or Duck at the English Wikipedia
- Rabbit or Duck at TV.com
- Rabbit or Duck at the Internet Movie Database
|Perfect Week||Rabbit or Duck