How I Met Your Mother

Season 1 Episode 4

Return of the Shirt

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Oct 10, 2005 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
560 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Ted's outlook on his continuing search for love is altered when he rediscovers a shirt that has not seen daylight in years. Meanwhile, Barney amuses himself by coaxing Robin into sacrificing her job by saying completely outlandish things on air live for a cash reward.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Ted is just a horrible horrible guy

    Ted broke up with this girl, over the phone, on her birthday, in the presence of a "surprise Three years later, he convinces her to date him again, only to break up with her again on her birthday. What a giant tool.

    Far better was Barney's series of dares with Robin. He has her say questionable things on air, and we find out that not ever her boss watches the news.moreless
  • Ted reconnects with an old flame

    In this episode, Ted tries to get back together after he finds an old shirt he had when dating a previous girlfriend. He tries to reconnect with her. This is an episode at you like, and like even more when the watch the entire series. This is something that happens again. I think events big and small shape Ted's life like in the pilot. In this case, it was not that important. I think it was funny Ted broke up with her on the same day he broke up with her years before. Even though he does it on the same day, you like Ted. The B Story was funny too. Remember some of Robin's misgivings. You will see it again.moreless
  • If Ted has a different second opinion on a shirt, he wonders if he can have a second opinion on an ex-girlfriend.

    This was another good, funny episode with another clever plot and an easy-to-figure meaning. Everything or everyone deserves a second chance/opinion, and Ted figures this out when he puts on a shirt he likes that has been hiding in his closet for years. So why can't he have a second opinion on an ex-girlfriend? He resorts in an attractive girl named Natalie, who he broke up with three years prior on her birthday. She finally forgives him but after three weeks, Ted realizes she's "not the one", so Lily pushes him to be honest and tell her on their date. Ironically, it's her birthday again. And she doesn't appreciate his honesty. That's all I'm going to say about that. Meanwhile, Barney pays Robin to do dares while she's on air but it turns out she's fine because not even her boss watches his own news station! These were funny scenes until the final bit where Robin accidentally fell in horse crap. It wasn't what Barney told Robin to do, but it entertained the entire group of folks at McLaren's. In the end, the whole group meets back up at the bar and another crazy adventure comes to a close.moreless
  • Ted decides to give one of his ex-girlfriends another chance. Barney dares Robin to say inappropriate things on the news.

    "Return of the Shirt" is such a funny How I Met Your Mother episode. Ted decides to wear an old shirt he never like, and he decides to give one of his exes another chance. I love how he starts dating Natalie again only to find out the reason they broke up was because he broke up with her by answering machine at her surprise birthday party. I love how Barney pays Robin to say inappropriate things on hew news show for money. I give this episode a 9/10.moreless
  • Krav Maga and a shirt.

    Once again another strong episode backed up by great and creative writing generating its own self created gags. Over the top situations are created from simple concepts, like Ted finding an aged shirt in his closet, which leads him to trying to date an interest in the past, which leads to a couple more ridiculous yet hilarious situations. The episode was overall structured really well as usual and the jokes and gags more than delivered their fair share of laughs. Though the punchlines didn't feel like they hit as hard as the ones in past episodes, and Robin's little humiliating acts on local television just wasn't that funny, although there was a lot of potential. Nonetheless hilarious episode.moreless
Ange Billman

Ange Billman


Guest Star

Jackie Geary

Jackie Geary


Guest Star

Michael Kagan

Michael Kagan

Joel Adams

Guest Star

Bob Saget

Bob Saget

Voice of Ted, 2030

Recurring Role

Charlene Amoia

Charlene Amoia


Recurring Role

David Henrie

David Henrie


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Goof: While sitting in the bar at the end of the episode Barney pics up the olives from his drink and eats them. The camera cuts to Robin and Ted and you can see there is at least one olive in Barney's martini glass. In the shot after that you can see Barney holding the toothpick with the olives in his glass. The camera cuts to Robin and Ted again and you can see the martini glass with the olives but Barney's hand is not there.

  • QUOTES (23)

    • Barney: There are only two reasons to date a girl you've already dated: breast implants.

    • Robin: So I'm not gonna jeopardize my promotion by saying "booger" for 50 bucks.
      Barney: Of course not, because now you're saying "nipple" and it's 100. Step into my web.

    • Ted: Mm, who's bourbon is this?
      Lily: I don't know. It was here when we sat down.

    • Robin: So, next time you're passing City Hall, make sure and stop by New York's oldest hot dog cart. Today a delicious hot dog will cost you $2.50, but back when the stand first opened in 1955, you could get one for only a nipple. Reporting live, Robin Scherbatsky, Metro News 1.

    • Barney: Hey, is it cold in here? 'Cause I can kinda see Robin's nickels.

    • Barney: Oh, search your soul, Robin. You and I both know this wasn't about the money. Sure, Metro News 1 pays you jack. And, hey, a little green salad on the side is good for you, me and Mr. McGee.
      Lily: Seriously, who talks like that?

    • Lily: Hey, Ted, nice shirt. Is it yesterday already?

    • Lily: (hitting Ted) Who breaks up with somebody on their answering machine on their birthday?!
      Marshall: Yeah, dude, e-mail.

    • Marshall: Personally, I'd rather hear the bad news on an answering machine than face the humiliation in person. It's the least painful way you can do it. Who are you calling?
      Lily: (into phone) Hi, Marshall, it's Lily, we're not gonna have sex for at least a month. But you're awesome. OK, bye-bye.

    • Barney: No, that was a big mistake, Ted, you should have done it in person. Desperate please-don't-leave-me sex is amazing.

    • Ted: Natalie, come on. I just wanna say I'm sorry. I only came down here cuz you wouldn't take my call.
      Natalie: Hey, here's an idea. Why don't you leave a message?

    • (Ted and Natalie in bed)
      Natalie: Wow. Maybe it was the caffeine. But you've really brought your game up to a whole new level.
      Ted: Thanks. I did just start subscribing to Esquire. They have some helpful columns. The following is from the October issue.

    • (talking to Ted)
      Marshall: So when are you going to do it?
      Barney: She's probably on the subway by now. You can call her voicemail. Beep. Dumped. Click. Done.

    • Robin: It's an honor to tell your story, Henry. You know, Metro News 1 may not be #1 in viewership, but this reporter takes pride in...whoa! (falls off hansom cab with a splash) Oh my God, I'm covered in horse crap. And it's in my hair! Oh my! Ow, my knee. Ow, ow, ow...
      Marshall: Planned that?
      Barney: No, Marshall, that was beyond my wildest dreams.

    • Barney: Hey, Ted, you know what always picks me up when I'm down? Other people's misfortune. You missed something so amazing.
      Robin: Please, can we just have one person in this bar who didn't see it?
      Barney: Fine.
      Lily: Are you OK?
      Ted: I thought I was doing it the good way this time. I guess there is no good way. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to do the right thing, you just end up flat on your back, flailing around in a big pile of horse crap.
      Robin: You saw it.
      Ted: My phone gets the Internet now.

    • Son: So you got beat up by a girl?
      Future Ted: Is that all you're taking away from this story?
      Son: You got beat up by a girl.

    • Barney: Did you sleep with her sister?
      Ted: No..
      Barney: Did you sleep with her mom?
      Ted: No..
      Barney: I'm losing interest in your story..

    • Ted: I haven't talked to her in like three years, I wonder if she even remembers me.
      (Calls her up)
      Natalie: Hello
      Ted: Natalie, it's Ted Mosby.
      Natalie: Go to hell!
      Ted: She remembers me..

    • Robin: I am a journalist!
      Barney: What? Journalist? You're the little fluff-pieces at the end of the news. Old people, babies, monkeys, that's not journalism. That's just things in a diaper.

    • Robin: I'm a dirty, dirty girl. (smacks butt) , Ow.

    • Barney: You dumped a porn star? Friendship over. Friendship over!

    • Barney: Now, for two more hundisticks, baby's gonna look in the camera and say this (whispers in Robin's ear).
      Lily: Eww! (Barney and Robin look at her) I'm just assuming.

    • Ted's Date: Okay, this is really difficult to say. Back when I lived in LA, I was pretty broke. So, I spent a month making adult films.
      Ted: Wow . . . uh, how many did you make?
      Ted's Date: 175.
      Lily: Say what you will about the porn industry, but they're hard workers.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Natalie, played by Anne Dudek, is "dumped" on her birthday in this episode. In a Friends episode, Anne Dudek again plays a woman who suffers a break-up on her birthday.

    • The German episode title is "Gutes altes Hemd", meaning "Good Old Shirt". The French title is "Retour de flamme", meaning "Passion Returns". The Italian title is "Il ritorno della camicia", an exact translation.

    • International Airdates: Germany: September 20, 2008 on ProSieben; Czech Republic: December 2, 2009 on Prima COOL