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How I Met Your Mother

Season 1 Episode 17

Life Among the Gorillas

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Mar 20, 2006 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
440 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Marshall interns at the corporation where Barney works and finds that he is becoming a shallow jerk as he tries to fit in with his Barney-like coworkers. Meanwhile, Ted feels guilty when he receives several gifts from Victoria while he hasn't sent her anything.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Comedy and life lessons all wrapped up in one

    I just love how How I Met Your Mother can take real life problems and put a comedic spin on it, not deviating too much away from its humor while giving enough philosophical meaning to give it a literary significance to it. It was great how Marshall integrated himself into his new environment, and that the episode forced him to decide between preserving his old self for the sake of the one he loves, or chasing a desire that has been long expired, which was his dream of living with gorillas.

    And it was even better how they incorporated Ted's story with Victoria in this so seamlessly. With his relationship with her falling apart with every phone call, it made Ted realize that he was only holding on for the feelings that she gave him, but have since long stayed its welcome. And that was where Marshall's decision to stick being with Lilly came in.

    The writing as always is top notch, but it's even greater that it does such an astonishing job of taking real life matters into the equation to give itself spiritual meaning.moreless
  • Marshall at his job and Ted tries to have a long distance Relationship

    After some quality episodes this was slightly down from the last few. This was still good episode. The ending is what made it higher. Marshall enters his first day on his job and encounters some guys who are like Barney. The producers did a good job of casting the right guys for it. They were kind of like Barney but more annoying. It's interesting how Marshall slowly develops into those guys. I think it's a reason why what happens in the season finale. And right before the ending I like that Marshall sang the song that Lilly wanted to, to do a duet with. I also like how Robin helped Ted, even though she didn't. You can still see that Ted has feelings for her even if they are deep inside.

    Now the ending. It was great and had you guessing what would happen in the next episode. I won't tell you the spoiler.moreless
  • Marshall endures pain on his first few days of the new job and Ted is not handling the long distance thing too well.

    I really was not a fan of either of the major storylines. Marshall's realized he's not doing what he had hoped he'd would as a kid and that makes him sad as he also has to battle the meanies at Barney's office. (we still don't know what he does..) He ultimately falls into peer pressure and disappoints who he truly loves, his fiance Lily. But he gets out of trouble by requesting their song for karaoke at a party later on. Meanwhile, Victoria has already sent Ted three care packages and he hasn't sent one. So he turns to Robin of all people to help, and even though she secretly has feelings for him, she helps. Ted is ultimately satisfied and appreciative of Robin's help. However, Robin asks Ted if he wants to come over at the ending of the episode, and although it isn't officially a two-parter, this is probably the biggest cliffhanger set at the end of any episode this season. It was one of the most memorable ones in the entire series for me, too, and I loved how Bob Saget repeated the running gag at the end: "What do you do? Go." Other than that, it was still an average episode and I wish Robin would make up her mind or let Ted maintain his relationship.moreless
  • Marshall tries to fit in at the workplace.

    "Life Among the Gorillas" is a great How I Met Your Mother episode. Marshall's plot is so cute. I love how he hates his job because he can't fit in with the rest of the guys at his new workplace. It was so cute how he tried to change to fit in, but Lily doesn't like that. I love how he went back to his normal self and sang karaoke with Lily at the end of th episode. I love the cliffhanger ending with Victoria emails Ted saying they need to talk and so Ted's expecting a phone call from Victoria. I give this episode a 8.5/10.moreless
  • Victoria & Ted continue their long distance relationship.

    A good episode, with a GREAT cliffhanger. Victoria & Ted continue their long distance relationship, which seems like a bit of a waste since we already know it's not going to work out, thanks to Bob Saget for ruining it for us in the last episode. Robin helps Ted out through the whole episode with his tribulations with Vicotira. Victoria sends him a letter, he assumes she's going to break up with him, so he just waits for the phone to ring, for her to call. Meanwhile Marshall tries to fit in with his new co-workers once he starts working at Barney's corporation. He has to act like them in order to win them over, which is upsetting Lilly since it's changing Marshall dramatically. Everything is pretty much resolved in the end though. Lilly & Marshall talking about "the package" was absolutely hilarious. Them singing together at the end was a good end to their plot. By itself this episode was just okay, but then something happened: As Ted was waiting for a call from Victoria, he gets a call... from Robin. She asks if he wants to come over at 2 in the morning. What does he do according to Bob Saget: "Go". So a pretty big cliffhanger, and definitely a lot of development in their relationship. HIMYM continues to get more interesting. The cliffhanger brought the rating for this episode way up. Good episode, great cliffhanger.moreless
Tyler Peterson

Tyler Peterson

Young Marshall

Guest Star

Diane Salinger

Diane Salinger

Dr. Aurelia

Guest Star

Gregor Manns

Gregor Manns

Karaoke DJ

Guest Star

Bob Saget

Bob Saget

Voice of Ted, 2030

Recurring Role

Taran Killam

Taran Killam


Recurring Role

Bryan Callen

Bryan Callen


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • When Marshall looks in the mirror, his guilt makes him imagine his reflection as a gorilla. The shots alternate between the imaginary gorilla reflection and the real Marshall standing in front of the mirror. However, you can clearly see that someone had to stand in front of the mirror wearing a gorilla mask to give off the reflection.

    • At the karaoke bar, we see a shot of Lily closing the karaoke song book and placing it on the table. In the next shot of Barney and Marshall's coworkers, we can see in the corner Lily again closing the karaoke song book and placing it on the table.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Barney (to Marshall): Look at you. You suited in an unmistakably upward direction.

    • Barney: Marshall, I should feel tremors of psych-itude rock my body like a seizure. That was like a declawed, pregnant cat on a porch swing idly swatting at a fly on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
      Marshall: Wow, that was really specific.

    • Barney: (To Marshall) You're different. Now I suppose you could learn to love yourself for the unique little snowflake you are or you could change your entire personality – which is just so much easier!

    • Lily:(shows Marshall new painting) What do you think?
      Marshall: Steak Sauce!
      Lily: Steak Sauce?
      Marshall: Yea!

    • Lily: So if those guys pressure you to smoke, what do you say?
      Marshall: "Only when I'm drunk."
      Lily: Good boy.

    • Office Jerk 1: Nice tie! Steak sauce!
      Office Jerk 2: Ohhhhhhh, steakkk sauce!
      Marshall: (looks at tie for stain on his tie)
      Barney:Marshall, sidebar. Your tie is steak sauce. A1? Get it?
      Office Jerk 1: Ok, Erickson, let's get to work. It's 2am and it's raining outside, *ding dong* what? The Doorbell? Oh, hello, Jessica Alba in a trench coat and nothing else, but wait, *knock knock*, somebody is at the back door
      Marshall: I don't have a back door
      Office Jerk 1:Oh my gosh, Jessica Simpson, what a surprise. 2 Jessicas, you gotta pick one, what do you do? Go!
      Marshall: Right, well, I'm engaged.
      Office Jerk 1: Fiancée is out of town, what do you do? Go!
      Marshall:We're still engaged.
      Office Jerk 1: Ok, fiancée is dead, hit by a bus, what do you? Go!

    • Marshall: I want to give you the package.
      Lily: The package? You've already given me the package, you've got a great package, Marshall, I love your package.
      Marshall: Lily, you are the most incredible woman I know. You deserve a big package.
      Lily: Your package has always been big enough. You may not realize this Marshall Erickson, but you've got a huge package!
      (Marshall turns around at bar to see hot girl eying him up and smiling fiendishly)

    • Lily: I made you a sack lunch. (giggles)
      Marshall: I love you because, one, you made me a sack lunch, and two, you laugh every time you say the word "sack."

  • NOTES (4)

    • The German episode title is "Leben unter Gorillas", and the French title is "La Vie parmi les gorilles", both exact translations. The Italian title is "Insieme ai gorilla", meaning "With the Gorilla".

    • International Airdates: Czech Republic: December 24, 2009 on Prima COOL

    • Jason Segel originally tried to incorporate a Big Foot walk into a shot in "Okay Awesome." While the walk was not used in that episode, it is used in this episode when Marshall first arrives at Barney's office.

    • Music Featured In This Episode:
      1. The song performed by Lily and Marshall in the karaoke bar is "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" by Elton John, who sang it in duets with Kiki Dee (1976) and RuPaul (1993).
      2. The song performed by Barney in the karaoke bar is "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" by AC/DC.


    • This is the first time Barney's colleague, Blauman and Bilson are shown. In real life, Blauman is actually Cobie Smulder's husband.

    • The professor in the beginning with young Marshall, resembles Sigourney Weaver, who played Dian Fossey in Gorillas in the Mist, who spent time with gorillas in the wild to study their way of life.