Skip to content


I guess I just like liking things

Right off the bat Ted tells us that Veridian is all about the competition, and it’s that drive to succeed that has made Veridian one of the most successful companies in the world. I want to know what some of the other companies in the Better Off Ted universe are and what they do. We eventually find out about Veronica’s dad’s company, maybe those are the only two?  Anyway, this theme serves as the backdrop for all three main storylines: Ted selling wrapping paper for Rose so they can win a trip to Disneyland, Veridian selling solar-powered ovens to the military, and Linda getting accidentally dosed by Lem and Phil.

(By the way, that one competing employee in the bathroom who doesn’t wash his hands before adjusting his tie?  Super gross.)

Phil and Lem are playing the needle game, which involves them throwing a needle into the ceiling tiles to make them stick, something Phil says is “the most fun anyone’s ever had with a hypodermic needle.”  Ted comes in to sell them wrapping paper and pretty much forces them to buy some because they’re not supposed to be playing the needle game. I like how Ted is always the “knows what’s going on” guy. Very rarely is he out of the loop, and when he is confused by something, it’s not normally his fault (if I’m remembering the series correctly).

As it turns out, Ted is right again, because Linda stops in to get the specs for the solar-powered oven and Phil’s needle falls from the ceiling and stabs her in the shoulder. “I hate coming down here,” she says. Not to worry, the needle is clean…but the band-aid Lem puts on her “lady shoulder” is actually an experimental energy patch, something they don’t figure out until after she’s left the lab. They decide not to tell her, because why make Linda mad at them again?  That term “lady shoulder” is simply hilarious and I can’t really figure out why. Linda’s line “Just bring the specs by my desk. I’ll be the one hoping I never hear the term ‘lady shoulder’ ever again.” cracks me up every time I hear it.

Meeting room time. Turns out the plastic in the solar-powered ovens leak toxins into the food, but only when said plastic is exposed to the sun. Ah, but there’s a solution: the plastic in their bomb casings is completely safe. But the frogurt is cursed: the bomb casing plastic is more expensive. Meanwhile, Linda is all hopped up on the energy patch and runs crazy-eyed from the room. Veronica tells Ted he’ll have to sell the more-expensive ovens to the military, which means he’ll have to have dinner with General McMillian, who has long had a crush on Ted. Veronica’s obvious glee at Ted’s discomfort with the whole situation is hilarious, mostly because the things that bring Veronica the most glee are usually the things that bring pain or discomfort to others.

Ted strikes a deal with Veronica: if Rose beats Cynthia (the classmate who is currently outselling Rose), Ted will have dinner with the general.  In this conversation when Ted is explaining the competition, Veronica has the fantastic line “It’s not my fault I don’t listen when you talk.” Veronica is just the best.

In trying to get their energy patch off Linda, Phil and Lem tackle her. They’ve realized the patch is causing her craziness, and figure getting it off her will make everything fine. For guys who are so smart, they sure get a lot of things wrong!

Ted tells Rose that they are going to win and win big.  Turns out, though, that Rose’s classmate Cynthia Nelson is disabled and in a wheelchair. Twist!

Veridian Dynamics Commercial Break: Veridian Dynamics. Competition. Whether it’s animals or this old woman and baby fighting to the death… Competition makes us stronger. In business that means better products: pills that look like candy, hands that can shoot lightning, and a new generation of hurricane-proof dogs. Veridian Dynamics. Competition. It makes everything better.

Ted asks Veronica if it’s wrong to beat the disabled girl at selling. “Wrong? How should I know what’s wrong? I’m not some Greek philosopher,” Veronica says. Veronica really does get the best lines. Veronica says if we’re going to treat disabled people the same as everyone else, Ted should still try to beat her.

Phil and Lem find Linda crying over the everything bagel.  She’s overcome with emotion that the Jewish people were able to come up with it since they’ve had such a tumultuous history. Phil and Lem wonder if “wildly erratic emotions” is a side effect of the energy patch, but they’re not really sure because the company will only pay for testing on drunk frat guys.  But the bigger question is, why is Phil carrying corn under glass? It never gets discussed.

Ted and Veronica make a great sales team (surprise, surprise), prompting Veronica to claim “I’m Batman. I’m Batman…and Robin.” Linda comes up to the two of them and proceeds to compliment Veronica a whole bunch (“Your calves are like granite wrapped in silk!”) and then accuse her of leaving the bathroom without washing her hands (just like Tie Guy from earlier!). Just when everybody’s wondering what in the world is going on, Phil and Lem confess to dosing Linda. (“You boneheads dosed me?!”) Now Ted’s put them in charge of keeping an eye on her for 24 hours, which seems like a perfect punishment.

Aside: I love that in the process of mocking everyone, Linda makes fun of herself and that bums her out when she realizes what she did.

Ted comes into Rose’s room, where she is reading A Barrel of Laughs, a Vale of Tears by Jules Feiffer. I’ve never read it, does it underscore this episode at all?  Turns out, all of Rose’s classmates are mad at her for beating Cynthia, so she doesn’t want to win anymore. Ted agrees to let Cynthia win.

Lem and Phil are at Linda’s house because Linda bit Phil when they tried to take her to his house to  keep an eye on her.  She’s making inedible cookies, one of which has a penny in it, and then she gets mad about a baby crying across the hall and she storms out to deal with it. Phil and Lem should stop her, but they get distracted by the following conversation, which is awesome:

“You can’t hurt a baby!” Phil says.

“Well, you can hurt them, they’re not indestructible,” Lem replies.

“I meant it’s morally indefensible.”

“Well, what if a baby killed a man?” asks Lem.

“You and your moral puzzles. I just love ’em.”

While they’re figuring out if they could harm the baby Hitler, Linda steals the baby and renames her “Ted.”

Ted tells Veronica they have to let Cynthia win, but Veronica’s having none of it: “You’re soft and weak, Ted. Like a geisha.” She wants Ted to meet with the general, so she’s determined to keep selling so he’ll have to.  So Veronica keeps selling wrapping paper, using language that might be associated with financial advisors or pyramid scams, I really can’t tell.  Meanwhile, Ted is buying it back from people- “It’s lead-lined and you can see Santa’s junk.”

Linda’s back to normal, but still mad at Lem and Phil.  In the process of talking to Ted, we find out she’s learned that “you don’t get to keep a baby just because you write your name on it.” “Babies have to be notarized,” Ted says. Lines like these are why I love this show so much.

Veronica’s selling is so good no one will ever be able to catch up, so Ted has to have dinner with the general, who says Ted has “a body like a young Mark Spitz.” During the course of the dinner, Ted figures out a way to make Cynthia win: sell wrapping paper to the military under he name so they can wrap the solar-powered ovens before dropping them off to people. $5 million worth of wrapping paper is enough to win that contest, apparently.

Linda wants payback on Phil and Lem so she goes down to ask them if there are any other side effects fromt he patch. They’re busy salting some lunchmeat (?) so they don’t pay attention to her until she suggest she might need to see a lawyer.  “As scientists with very little money, we suggest you don’t see a lawyer,” Lem says.  She’s glued some feathers to her back and they’re freaking out and then she says, “The next time you dose me, you better finish the job.”

Linda apologizes to Veronica for all her crazy talk earlier, but Veronica is choosing to remember only the compliments.  “You’re obsessed with me, Linda. I like that about you.”

There was a lot of fun in this episode, and some great lines.  There wasn’t any Ted/Linda relationship stuff at all, and it didn’t feel weird even a little. Andrea Anders must have had a blast filming this one – it has to be fun to be able to play your character all over the map like she was able to do here.


Ideas/Inventions mentioned in this episode:

  • Solar-powered oven
  • Experimental energy patch that looks like a band-aid
  • Pills that look like candy
  • Hands that can shoot lightning
  • A new generation of hurricane-proof dogs

Coworkers named/seen:

  •  Lonny is back! He’s not good at financial decisions, apparently.
  • The credits also list Mindy and Kathy, one of whom is probably the lady who buys wrapping paper, but I don’t know which one she is


Tags: ,

Written by: