Original Air Date: March 24, 2008
TED goes to a dermatologist for a consultation about getting his “butterfly tramp stamp” tattoo removed and meets pretty doctor STELLA ZINMAN (Guest Star Sarah Chalke of Scrubs).
Instantly smitten, he takes her up on her offer to go see what she feels is the worst movie ever, Plan 9 from Outer Space (he believes Manos: The Hands of Fate is worse), thinking the occasion is a date. When he offers to pay at the movie theater and Stella’s three girlfriends quickly jump onboard, Ted realizes that he’s actually hanging out with Stella on a girls’ night out, not seeing her on a date.
The tattoo removal requires ten one-hour laser sessions that are painful. Stella can’t date Ted now because doctor-patient relationships are against American Medical Association rules.
At the first session, Ted vows he’s going to wait until after the sessions are over to ask Stella out on a proper date, despite her assertion that the answer will be no. BARNEY and ROBIN both agree that Ted won’t be able to change her mind, but Ted insists he’s a persistent, complex guy who can overcome a rough start with a woman.
By the sixth removal session, Stella still hasn’t budged, although she and Ted have a great time, every time. Ted is now forced to rely on gimmicks, first bringing Stella’s receptionist ABBY (Guest Star Britney Spears) coffee one day in order to get the doctor’s attention focused on how nice he is.
Unfortunately, she mistakes his gesture as interest in Abby, as does Abby herself. The receptionist had been swooning over Ted since his first visit, but now she’s hooked and can’t stop talking about him. Stella even tries to set Ted up on a date with Abby on the night of her church group.
Ted’s second angle is to pretend having read the self-help book The Power of Me, a copy of which he finds in Stella’s office. It turns out that a patient left the book there, however, and Stella thinks it’s crap.
Too bad Ted threw out his signed copy of the book in visual distance of Abby. She retrieves it and returns it to him, proving it’s his by pointing out his name inside, while Ted is busy lying to Stella that he would never read the book himself.
One lie deserves another. Later at the bar, Barney lies to Ted that he scheduled an appointment with Stella just to see what she looks like and while he was there, she made a comment about her folliculaphilia, otherwise known as an obsessive attraction to men with moustaches.
So, yes, Ted grows a moustache just for his ninth session. Stella’s reaction — she bursts out laughing as soon as she looks at Ted — is only natural, since Barney lied through his teeth. A year ago, he bet Ted $10 he could make Ted grow a moustache, so that’s what that’s all about, and Ted has to pay up.
Marshall pays Stella a visit for real, and unaware that Marshall and Ted are best friends, the doctor admits to Marshall that she has a crush on a patient with a tattoo on his backside, a person who can only be Ted.
Therefore, during the tenth and final session, Ted is spurred on by this knowledge. When he asks Stella to dinner, however, instead of saying no, she explains she has an eight-year-old daughter named Lucy. As a result, the only time she has free is the two-minute lunch she takes every workday.
Still determined to go on at least one date with Stella, clever Ted crams a full date into two minutes. It includes lunch, a movie (his pick for worst film ever, Manos: The Hands of Fate), desert and coffee, and a taxi to take them to each stop on the same block. When it’s over, Stella agrees to call him if she ever has time for a second date.
Back at the doctor’s office, ever-smarmy Barney just can’t help himself, and he moves in for the kill on receptionist Abby at the end of the episode, inviting her out to go shopping to help her get over monster Ted.
Abby declares her mom was wrong about there not being nice guys in New York. And, when Barney claims he has to go to his hotel room first to see if the broken bed was repaired, Abby asks if they can have sex on it first if it’s been fixed and then go shopping afterwards.