How I Met Your Mother Wiki
How I Met Your Mother Wiki
The Scorpion and the Toad

HIMYM episode 2x02 (24)

First aired:
September 25, 2006
Rob Greenberg
Carter Bays
Craig Thomas
Chris Harris
Barney's Blog

Images (7)

Barney helps Marshall get back into the singles' scene. Lily is back in town and Ted and Robin try to learn the truth about how she feels about the breakup.


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Barney notices Marshall checking out Robin, and he and Ted are excited that Marshall seems to be getting over Lily. Barney insists on taking Marshall out to meet women. The first time Marshall tries to talk to a woman, he fails horribly, talking awkwardly about sweat. Barney intervenes and ultimately goes home with the woman. Even though Marshall initially refuses to go out again, Barney convinces him to try again and teaches him Barney's Rules of Mating Without Dating. Trying to use one of Barney's rules, Marshall approaches a woman but quickly admits that he just got out of a long relationship and doesn't know what he is doing. The woman actually finds Marshall's admission charming and the two begin to chat when Barney approaches. Barney introduces himself and then proceeds to hit on the woman and then take her home. Barney convinces Marshall to go out with him again, this time to a college bar where he thinks that Marshall may have more luck. Marshall does meet a woman, who even gives him her phone number, but in the cab ride home Barney steals the number from Marshall. Barney comes back to Marshall the following day saying that the woman he met at the college bar has a twin sister and invites him on a double date. During the double date Barney pulls Marshall aside to tell him that he had spoken with the sisters who both wanted to go home with him. Upset and frustrated, Marshall leaves the bar.

Meanwhile, Lily, recently back from San Francisco, makes contact with Robin, who goes apartment-hunting with her. Robin tells Ted that Lily is back in town and that she seems really happy. Lily told Robin that her art program was amazing and that her teacher praised her work, saying that he wasn't able to teach her anything. Lily also loved San Francisco because she met such interesting people. Ted reacts badly to the news that Lily is so happy, saying that after dumping Marshall she should feel terrible. Robin convinces him not to be mad at Lily for moving on and they join Lily to continue her search for an apartment. After spending a little time with Lily, Ted tells Robin that he can tell that Lily is miserable and that she is just pretending to be happy. Robin thinks that Lily really is happy with her life, so Ted makes a bet with her, saying that after three tequila shots Lily will tell them the truth about anything. Three tequila shots later, Lily still seems happy and Ted admits that Robin was right. But after Lily receives a call from an apartment manager saying that someone else got the apartment that she wanted, Lily breaks down and admits that she is miserable and wants to reconcile with Marshall. She reveals that she lied about her art program—her teacher really said he couldn't teach her anything but because she had no talent—and all the interesting people she met in San Francisco were actually one ugly albino guy with multiple personality disorder. She asks Ted if he thinks Marshall would take her back and Ted says absolutely but warns her that she should only talk to Marshall if she knows for certain that she wants to reconcile with him.

Lily goes to find Marshall and runs into him as he is coming back from his double date with Barney. Lily apologizes to Marshall, saying that going to San Francisco was the worst mistake that she has ever made, and she asks if they can get back together. Marshall says that when Lily broke up with him and said that they needed time apart to discover who they are, that she broke his heart. But he has realized that she was right, that he does need to find himself outside of his relationship with Lily. Marshall says that he thinks that they shouldn't get back together, at least at the moment. Saddened, Lily asks if they will still see each other and Marshall admits that he isn't sure, as the two begin talking about their summers.

Storming into MacLaren's (at Marshall's request), Lily approaches Barney, still schmoozing the twins, and throws a drink in his face, claiming that he gave her chlamydia. She then returns in a hat, posing as an alleged twin sister, scaring off his dates.


Future References (Contains Spoilers)

  • The 1939 penny Ted finds on the subway and shows Robin causes him to miss a flight to Chicago to interview with a big architecture firm in Lucky Penny​.
  • In Bachelor Party​, Lily reveals that Barney visited her in San Francisco and convinced her to return to New York, adding that he couldn't keep stealing girls from Marshall.
  • Lily eventually moves into the undesirable 3C apartment, seen here briefly, by World's Greatest Couple​.
  • The Perfect Cocktail shows tequila's effect on Barney and Marshall.
  • During this episode, Ted made a $5 bet with Robin that Lily still wants to get back together with Marshall. In No Pressure, the tables have turned as Lily bets Marshall $5 that Ted and Robin won't get back together.


For a listing of all images on the wiki tagged as being from this episode, see Category: The Scorpion and the Toad images.

Memorable Quotes

Marshall: You said to me that being single would be like being in a candy store.
Barney: Well, it's not like a candy store; it's a lawless post-apocalyptic wasteland.

Ted: Lily's moved on?
Robin:: Well, it happens. I've fallen out of love faster than that before. Sometimes—boom!—with no warning what so ever. One day we're in love, the next day he's dead to me.
(Ted looks at Robin with sad eyes)
Robin: But we're great… Honey.

Barney: Dude! You were awesome last night! You were charming, you were funny, you were totally working that girl!
Marshall: You went home with her!
Barney: Yes I did...

Marshall: I did it. I got a girl's phone number. Oh, and her hand writing is so cute, look.
(hands the phone number to Barney)
Marshall: Oh, I'm going to take her out for Chinese food, and maybe we'll take a walk though the park. It will be so… what?
Barney: Sorry, buddy, I'm taking this one, too.
(Anger builds up in Marshall's face)
Marshall: I'll kill you!

Ted: She's miserable. She's realized that she's made a huge mistake. Her and Marshall will be back in a week. I love it!!
Robin: Um. No. You just want Lily to be miserable. The truth is she's happy.
Ted: Trust me. I've known Lily for 9 years.
Robin: Trust me! I'm a girl!
Ted: Yeah, but you're Canadian.

Ted: Five bucks says she still wants Marshall.
Robin: You're on.
Ted: Five American bucks.
Robin: Dammit!

                                (What Lily claims happened.)
Art professor: Oh my God. This is your best work! In all my years teaching I have never seen anything so... Needless to say, this is art! I can’t teach you anything. (Gives Lily his paintbrush)
(What actually happened.)
Art professor: Oh my God. This is your best work? In all my years teaching I have never seen anything so…needless! To say this is…art. I can’t teach you anything. (Takes away Lily’s paintbrush)

Ted: Okay, we're way past 'truth-telling' Lily and about to hit 'Cinco de Mayo 1998' Lily, and I'm not cleaning that up again.

Barney: So then, I was promoted to assistant "ménager", manager! Why do I keep doing that?!
(Lily steps in the bar and angrily confronts him)
... Lily?
Lily: You gave me chlamydia, you jerk!
(throws the "old" twin's drink at Barney's face and storms out of the bar. Barney regains some composure)
Barney: So where was I... Oh yes, assistant "ménager", I did it again! I can't believe it!
(Lily re-enters the bar as her alleged twin sister)
Lily: You gave my twin sister chlamidya, you slime!
(throws the other twin's drink at Barney and leaves. The twins run off in disgust)
Barney: Wait... wha, I know magic!
(staring resignedly)
Well played, Ericksen... Well played.

Notes and Trivia

Goofs and Errors

  • In World's Greatest Couple, Robin says that Lily is allergic to dogs, but Lily spends time in Robin's apartment near two dogs in this episode and does not seem bothered.
  • Halfway through the episode, Lily gets a phone call about the house she's interested in. Every time the camera perspective changes, the dog is sitting in a different spot in the room.

Allusions and Outside References

  • The Scorpion and The Toad is a children's fable: The Scorpion asks the Toad, "Can you give me a lift across the pond?" The Toad says, "No, because you'll sting me and I'll die." The Scorpion says, "No I won't, because then we'll both drown." So the Toad agrees, and the Scorpion hops on its back. Halfway across the pond, the Scorpion stings the Toad. As they're sinking, the Toad says, "Why? Now we'll both die," and the Scorpion says, "Because it's in my nature."
    • In this analogy, Barney is the Scorpion and Marshall is the Toad.
  • When Lily says "Marshall, Marshall, Marshall!" in her head constantly, it is a reference to Jan Brady's whining about "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!" in the Brady Bunch.
  • When Marshall and Barney are fighting over the girl's number in the cab, Marshall shouts "You don't want to see what I'm like when I'm angry!" which is a reference to the Hulk. The Hulk is later referenced in Intervention.
  • Although Ted correctly refers to bucks (in his bet with Robin) as American money/US Dollars and promptly corrects and clarifies this to Robin, its Canadian dollar counterpart is a loonie.


Other Notes

  • The physical bar "The Scorpion & the Toad" facade seen briefly in this episode is the front to an actual Manhattan pub known as McCormack's on 3rd. Ave.
  • This is the first episode not directed by Pamela Fryman.



  • The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 8 out of 10 stars. "Great storytelling: Lily tells the story once and then tells it again. ... very funny ..."


See also

External Links

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