Patrick has never seen The Hills. He picked an episode at random — “Don’t Cry on Your Birthday” (S05E01) — and now he’s going to tell you ALL about it.
This spin-off/sequel to Laguna Beach follows the lives of a group of young socialites, models, and porn stars living in Los Angeles.
When the episode begins, it is clear that things have not gotten better for Lauren and Heidi. The root of this falling out can be traced back to when Heidi started dating a Matthew McConaughey impersonator named Spencer, despite the fact that he killed Lauren’s dog with rat poison a few years earlier when it wouldn’t stop barking the weekend he was scheduled to pet sit.
The episode centers around a surprise party Audrina and Lo are planning for Lauren’s birthday. In the scene following the opening theme (Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten,” a meta-nod to the “unscripted” nature of the show), Audrina and Lo visit a bakery to pick up a cake that is never eaten, most likely because none of the people on the show would ever eat cake because their bodies are their livelihoods.
Following this scene, there is a sunset-ridden transition, which shows us that time has passed. We next see our heroes in a gleaming limo on their way to the surprise yacht party. Lo opens a bottle of champagne and Lauren mentions that she likes to “shoot [the cork]” because she has no regard for the safety of others. This reckless abandon would later lead Lauren to be arrested on six counts of involuntary manslaughter and criminal negligence following a mishap involving a bottle of champagne and a wedding.
In the next scene, we see Heidi getting ready for the party with Spencer’s sister, Stephanie. Like her brother, Stephanie also works as a celebrity impersonator, specializing in portraying Amanda Bynes at young girls’ birthday parties. Spencer asks about their “girls’ night out” and mentions that he will be going on his own “guys’ night out” with his mustachioed friend Charlie, the only man in L.A. who can stand to be around him. Later in season five, we find out that Charlie only hangs out with Spencer because he absolutely loved Matthew McConaughey’s performance in Contact alongside Jodie Foster, and he keeps waiting for Spencer to say one of Matthew McConaughey’s lines from the movie in everyday conversation. We also learn that he thought Flightplan was “an emotional rollercoaster” and that “Jodie Foster got straight up robbed [at the Saturn Awards].”
A couple scenes later, we see Spencer and Charlie at a bar called The Dime where Spencer proceeds to hit on a waitress named Stacie. This bar is super hip and has no rules about staff being drunk on the clock, so Stacie does a few shots with the guys and proceeds to say stupid things like “[Mexico’s] a different country, right?”
Heidi and Stephanie show up at the yacht party, and Lauren is not pleased because Stephanie isn’t doing her Amanda Bynes impersonation, but also because Heidi is there. Everyone tells Heidi to leave because it’s way weird that she showed up, but due to an accident involving a horse and a laserdisc copy of The Goonies that left her brain-damaged as a child, she doesn’t fully get the message and chooses to stay.
Spencer sees Stephanie’s ex-boyfriend Cameron at The Dime and goes over to talk to him. Cameron texts Stephanie to tell her about Spencer’s less-than-honorable interactions with Stacie, and Stephanie shows the text to Heidi, who calls Spencer to get some answers. Spencer decides to fight Cameron but doesn’t have enough conviction to throw the first punch without Cameron touching him first. Spencer punches Cameron a few times in the face and is forcibly escorted out of the bar. Based on his interactions with Cameron in this scene, it’s no surprise that Spencer tries to marry him in season six.
Heidi finds out about Spencer’s debacle at The Dime and has a very dramatic, very real conversation with Lauren about how their friendship has fallen to shambles. They both end up in tears and one-arm hug it out — a symbol of their failing friendship.
The episode ends with everyone leaving the yacht and driving away under the L.A. streetlights.
This episode marks the point of no return for Lauren and Heidi. After the party, they drift further and further apart until they finally, passive-aggressively unfriend and block each other on Facebook. Heidi drunkenly calls Lauren one night after Spencer comes out and vocalizes her desire for things to go back to the way they were, but neither of them can think of a way to make it work without having a sleepover, which they ultimately decide they’re much too old to do.
And that’s what you missed on The Hills.