“The Return of the Shirt”
In “The Return of the Shirt”, Ted thinks he is suddenly a changed man because he finds and old shirt in his closet, that he previously hated, and now suddenly loves. Since Ted thinks he is a new, changed man, he decides to bring this idea into his love life. He considers the idea that if he has changed, perhaps one of his former relationships would work out with the new man he thinks he has become. With the help from his friends, Ted goes through past relationships and lands on Natalie, an ex girlfriend whom he dated three years prior. He could only remember happy memories with Natalie, and his favorite quality about her was her collection of sock monkeys. Ted can’t figure out what went wrong, so he decides to call her up. Once Ted reaches Natalie, he suddenly remembers how things ended with her. They did not end well to say the least. Ted Broke up with Natalie by leaving her a voicemail, on her birthday. The “new” Ted decides to go after her and apologize and win her back. Ted convinces Natalie to go out with him again, but after a few weeks, he realizes, for the second time, that Natalie is not the one for him. He decides he wants to break up with her in person, so he takes her out to dinner. Just as Ted is About to break up with her, Natalie says that it is her birthday, but she didn’t want to make a big deal about since they had only been back together for about three weeks. Ted dumps Natalie on her birthday, again. With Natalie’s Krav Maga skills she kicks Ted in the face, making it clear that she never wants to see Ted again. At the very end of the episode, we hear a voiceover which tells us that within a year, Natalie was married and now has three children.
This episode introduces us to the character Natalie, who is a seemingly great, sweet girl that Ted just doesn’t have an intense enough connection with. After introducing us to this character, we never hear about her again. We are simply left with the above information; she was married a year later and now has three children. But, how did Natalie meet someone so quickly after?
After Natalie uses her Krav Maga Skills on Ted and scares him out of the restaurant, she proceeds to the bar for a drink. Natalie recognizes the bartender at the restaurant, because he is also in her Krav Maga class. The bartender saw what had just gone down between Natalie and Ted and compliments Natalie on her form. He tells her that she is one of the best in the class and that no one should mess with her. The two begin talking, and the realize they have so many similarities in common- one of which is that they both collect sock monkeys! These two odd similarities as well as a few others, allow Natalie and the bar tender to connect on a deeper level, than Ted could with her. Natalie’s husband ends up being the bar tender from the night that Ted dumped her (for the second time) and all seemed to workout for Natalie. In fact, had Ted not broken up with Natalie that exact night, Natalie might not have never had the chance to have the conversation with the bartender.