Marshall claims that he had the best hamburger in the world during his first week in New York City, but he forgot where the burger joint is located. The gang then hits the streets of Manhattan to help him find it.
Barney can't stop promoting his new job at Goliath National Bank (GNB). He keeps asking Marshall to interview for a job. Marshall tries to find a job. Robin is on a 7 day cleanse diet. Everyone is at the pub and they're promoting a new burger. Everyone gets the burger and that leads to Marshall reliving his first days in New York when he found the "best burger in New York City." This leads to a quest to find the place with a neon red burger sign and a green door. A crazy strong Regis Philbin gets in on the action.
In a hostile takeover, the company that Barney works for has just acquired Goliath National Bank (GNB). As Marshall is still unemployed with what seems like few prospects, Barney tells him that he can probably get him a job at GNB. But working for GNB is not quite the environmental law job he had in mind. Meanwhile, MacLaren's has just hired a new cook who according to Wendy the waitress makes the best burgers in New York. As the gang takes their first bite of the burger, they do agree that the burger is pretty good, but Marshall claims that it is nowhere near as good as the best burger he had when he first moved to New York eight years ago. Unfortunately, he never remembered exactly where the burger joint was and never could find it again. Needing something positive in his life, Marshall convinces the gang to find that burger joint as Robin believes she knows which one he's talking about. With a little pressure by Regis Philbin to find the place, the gang come to the conclusion that Marshall needing to find this burger is more than just about the burger. Through it all, Robin takes the brunt of the problems of the night.
- Old Ted explained to his kids how much New York had gone "uphill." The streets got cleaner, the rents got higher. Clubs and favorite dive bars became fast-food chains, drug stores and "Goliath National Bank." Barney loved the bank, in particular, because his company had just taken it over.
Marshall, meanwhile, was beaten down by countless job interviews, trying to give himself pep talks in the mirror before each one.
Interview #1: "You are confident, you are energetic. You are focused."
Interview #2: "You are flexible on salary. You are willing to compromise. And you're not going to cry this time."
Interview #3: "You are sad. You are beaten down. You will get through, come home, get in your big underpants, and take a nap."
That brought us to the night of the burger. McClaren's had a new chef and the server suggested the burger, and, even though Robin hadn't eaten in two days (because she'd ended her seven-day fast five days early), they couldn't settle on what to order. They finally got burgers, all around, but Robin's came last.
Everyone loved them. Everyone except Marshall. He said that "when you've had the best burger in New York City, every other burger tastes like my grandpa's feet."
Flash back to eight years earlier, when Marshall first moved to the big city from Minnesota and was scared to go outside. He finally did, and stumbled onto a nondescript burger joint -- tucked between a taxidermist and a triple-X bookstore. This burger was delicious and he rushed home to tell Ted about it. He'd noticed Regis Philbin's autographed picture on the wall and figured it was a celebrity hotspot.
The newcomers to the city couldn't find the place, and took three hours to get back their apartment.
Flash back to modern day and the guy sitting next to Marshall said he couldn't help but overhear him talking about this great burger. The guy thought he knew which place Marshall was talking about. It was called The Corner Bistro. This did not sit well with Marshall, who sarcastically "thanked" the guy for pointing out the highest-rated burger in the Zagat guide after he'd spent a quarter of his life looking for this one burger.
"Thanks a lot guy," Marshall told him. "Let me return the favor: Great cup of coffee... Starbucks," he whispered. "SHHHHH!"
Marshall said he'd tried every so-called best burger in New York City trying to find that burger. "Just forget about her," he said. We flashed through a series of places where Marshall tried to find the elusive burger -- every one had a picture of Regis on the wall, but none was the right place.
Ted recalled the one time they thought they'd cracked the case, when Barney realized that Regis worked out at his gym. They went there to ask Regis about it, and he remembered the burger, but couldn't remember the place.
"Of course I remember the place," Regis told them. "It was the best burger I ever had. I still have dreams about this burger. Beautiful, haunting dreams. I wake up at night, going, 'Get out of my head, burger. Get out!'"
He asked if they knew where it was, "and if you say it's the Corner Bistro, I'm gonna smack you in the face!!" He gave Barney his cell phone number and said to call, day or night, if they ever found the place.
"That's where my story ends," Marshall said. "Now I'm doomed to walk the Earth forever, searching for that green door and red neon sign that says, 'Burger.'"
Robin thought she knew the place, and the gang headed downtown.
On their way there, Ted reminded Barney to call Regis, but he decided to text him. Regis was in the middle of hosting "Million Dollary Heads or Tails" when he got the text and left the contestant hanging there.
They got their burgers, and everyone loved them. But Marshall said, "This isn't it."
When Robin suggested it was "just a burger," Marshall launched into a colorful speech about the composition of that perfect burger. "And you got our wedding vows off the Internet," Lily responded.
Marshall, frustrated, walked out and Robin wondered if it was about more than a burger. Lily explained that Marshall's been pretty down lately, without a job. She explained his underpants radius had grown out of control. One day, she came home and he hadn't put on pants all day. It was funny at first, and then one day he opened the door in his underpants to get the paper. Then he went downstairs to get the mail in his underpants. Finally, he went out to dinner in his underpants. "The lower your self-esteem gets," Ted explained. "The greater your underpants radius becomes."
"If Marshall says this isn't the place, this isn't place," Lily said. She asked the server if they'd changed cooks. She explained that the place was modeled after another place uptown. The gang raced there. On their way, Regis called Barney and asked where they were, and Barney told him about the mix-up.
"If you get there before me," Regis said, "medium-rare."
"Onions?" Barney asked.
"ONIONS?!?!" Regis replied.
The approached the familiar street that had all the other places that Marshall remember, including a guy handing out fliers, only to find that the burger place had been replaced by a Goliath National Bank ATM. "One of 9.000 convenient locations," Barney chimed in.
"This is your fault, you and your stupid bank," Lily told Barney, while punching him. She started shouting out to passers by that "Goliath National Bank sucks." Barney told Marshall to finally tell Lily that he got a job at Goliath National Bank. "That's why Barney's been talking so much about it, so you'd be excited for me." He said it wasn't his dream, but it's a good job and would give him a reason to wear pants.
The guy handing out fliers said the burger place wasn't gone, it had just moved to a new location. He said he'd tell them where it was for $100. "If only there were an easy, convenient way to get some cash right now," Barney said, as they all looked adoringly at the ATM.
At the place, Marshall took a bite and said, "This is it. It's exactly the same. It's the best burger in New York."
The group all enjoyed their burgers, Barney worried that he might get it pregnant. "If he does get it pregnant," Marshall said, "I've got dibs on the delicious burger babies."
Just then, Regis said, "This isn't it," and got up to leave. But as he chewed the last bits, he stopped and realized, "Wait. This is it!"