|“The Chain of Screaming”|
April 14, 2008
Marshall doesn't know what to do when his new boss yells at him at work. The whole gang has advice to offer. Ted buys a new car.
After Marshall witnesses a work buddy get yelled at after handing in a report, he becomes paranoid that his boss, who is nicknamed "Artillery Arthur," will do the same to him after failing to complete a report on time (which is nicknamed the "Ninja Report" for easier understanding for the gang). Marshall explains that he doesn't know how to face Mr. Hobbs the next day. Robin suggests that he threatens him with a gun, but Ted comes up with another solution of talking like Abraham Lincoln. Marshall tells Ted that it isn't possible and tells him what he would say to Arthur, but he just calls security.
Marshall doesn't think that any of these ideas would work, but Barney gives him an example of Gary Blauman and what happened to him during a meeting. Bilson yells at him in front of other people, but he interrupts him and tells him to "Kiss my ass!" since his cousin just had a website start up and was making money. He then stands on top of the conference table and tries to pee, but he gets performance anxiety and then eventually gives up. Barney tells him that the cousin's website eventually ended, Gary started working as a janitor, and eventually died. Barney tells Marshall that the moral of the story is to not yell at your boss because there is something called the "chain of screaming" and that it starts at the top. He gives an example of Artillery Arthur and tells everyone that Arthur's boss's boss screams at Arthur's boss, then on down the chain it goes until it gets to Lily who screams at a student who then screams at her father who turns out to be Arthur's boss' boss. Barney explains that Marshall shouldn't deal with it - the way that the chain (or circle) of screaming works is that one person screams at someone "below" him, then that person screams at another person, and so on. The next night, Lily and Ted are in the apartment looking at carpet samples for the new apartment and Marshall calls Ted and tells him to come downstairs without letting Lily know that it is him. Ted walks outside and finds Marshall stuffing his face. He explains that he and Barney went to a diner and was urged by Barney to scream at the waiter, but couldn't do it - the waiter screamed at Marshall instead. The next day, Marshall finally lets out his feelings towards Arthur and, in the end, quits his job at Nicholson, Hewitt, and West.
Meanwhile, Ted has bought himself a new car. All of his friends think a nice car is totally unnecessary in New York City and proceed to eat ice cream and smoke cigars inside the car, despite Ted's protests. Eventually, Ted sells the car and gives the proceeds to Marshall to help pay for the apartment since he no longer has his high-paying job.
- Marshall and Lily sit up after having sex on the kitchen floor in the same way they do after the two times they get engaged, in the Pilot and Atlantic City, respectively.
- Marshall bemoans being forced to abandon his dream of being an environmental lawyer and going into corporate law because of the mounting expenses he has to deal with, a dilemma previously addressed in Life Among the Gorillas and I'm Not That Guy.
- When Marshall is screaming at Barney, he says that he and his brother clearly have different fathers, and that his father is not Bob Barker. Barney's brother James was seen previously in Single Stamina and The Yips, and Barney informs the gang of his belief that Bob Barker is his father in Showdown.
- A copy of the motivational book "The Power of Me" can be seen under Lily's portrait in Marshall's office. Marshall mentions having the book in Ten Sessions, when Ted buys it to get closer to Stella.
Future References (Contains Spoilers)
- Marshall mentions trying to get his job at Nicholson, Hewitt, and West back in Miracles.
- Blauman is seen working with Barney and Marshall at Goliath National Bank in several episodes, including Sorry, Bro and Jenkins, suggesting Barney made up the story about him quitting, particularly the part about him becoming a janitor and dying.
- In Last Cigarette Ever, Marshall attempts to remind Arthur of their screaming match, after Arthur is hired as his superior at Goliath National Bank and appears to have forgotten having previously been his boss at Nicholson, Hewitt, and West.
|Barney:||You know what, if you're not gonna yell at the waiter, yell at me.|
|Barney:||Yell at me.|
|Marshall:||I'm not gonna yell at you, Barney.|
|Barney:||Why? You think you're gonna upset me? Please, give me your best shot.|
|Marshall:||Ok, fine. Do you want me to yell at you?|
|Marshall:||This is me, yelling at you, Barney!|
|Barney:||I'm sorry I couldn't hear you over the sound of a butterfly landing on a leaf about three blocks away.|
|Marshall:||This is me, yelling at you, Barney!|
|Barney:||Okay, you got some volume now give me some content, make it hurt!|
|Marshall:||You don't look as good in suits as you think you do!|
|Barney:||No, something that it's true, come on. The man made you cry, make me cry!|
|Barney:||Dude, I can't believe you cried in front of your boss.|
|Marshall:||I don't know what happened. There is just something about being yelled at like that, like I was being spurred by my dad, suddenly...suddenly I was a little boy.|
|Robin:||Is boy the right word?|
|Marshall:||You sure about this?|
|Ted:||Yeah. Who needs a car in New York city anyway?|
|Marshall:||Ted, I don't think I can accept—|
|Ted:||Marshall, don't make me scream at you.|
|Ted:||You guys did it in the car, didn't you?|
|Ted:||Come on. When's the last time you got screamed-at at work?|
|Barney:||I got screamed-at three times today. Once in Korean. This is corporate America, Marshall. Screaming is motivational tool. Like Christmas bonuses or sexual harassment. It's just good business.|
|Ted:||So it's not a circle.|
|Barney:||(aggressively getting madder) Fine! You want it to be a chain of screaming, It's a chain of screaming. I came up with the circle idea halfway through, Cause I thought it was a more elegant metaphor, But fine, ruin it! You guys always undermine me when I'm trying to make a point, and I'm sick of it! God, I'm surrounded by idiots! Idiots! (calm) See, doesn't everyone feel better now?|
|Ted:||(answering phone) Hello?|
|Marshall:||Shh, don't say my name. Lily can't know it's me. Just pretend you're talking to Stella. Be all lovey dovey.|
|Ted:||Hey, Stella. Sweetie, how's it going?|
|Marshall:||(girl voice) Not good, not good at all.|
|Ted:||Where are you right now?|
|Marshall:||Right downstairs, come find me. Without Lily!|
|Ted:||Okay, I'll see you soon.|
|Marshall:||I love you.|
|Ted:||I love you, too.|
|Lily:||Wow, you two are already saying the "L" word, huh?|
|Marshall:||And I don't want that! I don't want any of this! This is not why I became a lawyer. This is not the person that I wanted to be. I quit, Arthur! I quit!|
|Arthur:||Well, thank you, Eriksen, I needed to hear that.|
|Marshall:||Really, 'cause I didn't mean to attack you personally, it's just that I...|
|Arthur:||No, no, no. the part where you said, "I quit." Now we don't have to pay you a severance package.|
Notes and Trivia
Allusions and Outside References
- Ted is wearing a sweater with the flag of the Swiss city of Geneva on it.
- Blauman is portrayed by Taran Killam, husband of series regular Cobie Smulders.
- Carter Bays confirmed on Twitter, after the airing of the Season 9 Episode Gary Blauman, the assumption that Barney fabricated at least part of his story. 
- It's interesting how Marshall does not heed Ted's wishes and brings food into his car, since Marshall's own car had a "no food, not even groceries" rule and Marshall once threw out Ted's food instead of allowing it into his car, as explained in Arrivederci, Fiero. This may be due to Marshall being distraught over his situation.
- Jordan Black - Ferguson
- Bob Odenkirk - Arthur Hobbs
- Taran Killam - Gary Blauman
- Bryan Callen - Bilson
- Donna Bowman of The A.V. Club rated the episode with a grade A. 
- Omar G at Television Without Pity gave the episode an A-. 
- Michelle Zoromski of IGN gave the episode 7.4 out of 10. 
- The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 7.5 stars out of 10. "Awesome how everyone gives their version of presenting The Ninja Report."
- The Chain of Screaming at the English Wikipedia
- The Chain of Screaming at the Internet Movie Database
- The Chain of Screaming at TV.com
|The Bracket||The Chain of Screaming
|Sandcastles in the Sand|