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Chuck Versus the Cougars
Season 02, Episode 04
Air Date October 20, 2008
Writer Allison Adler
Director Patrick R. Norris
Previous Chuck Versus the Break-Up
Next Chuck Versus Tom Sawyer
"So I guess the big secret about you is that you used to be just a typical high school student. Wish I knew what happened to change that. "

Chuck Versus the Cougars is the fourth episode in season two, which aired on October 20, 2008. It is the seventeenth episode overall.


The team gets a mission to Sarah's high school reunion when the husband of cheerleader and high school nemesis, Heather Chandler (Nicole Richie), is involved with the Russian mob. Sarah does her best to avoid her past life, whereas Chuck does his best to get to know some of her past.

Meanwhile, Big Mike leaves town for a day as new Assistant Manager Lester Patel implements a new sales policy that the employees take to enthusiastically.

Full Story[]

A flashback shows a teen-aged Sarah Walker, whose alias at the time was Jenny Burton, returning home to find her father being arrested by the ATF. She runs to the woods, where her father had buried a box full of cash, in case of emergencies.

In the present, Sarah picks up a tail she can't shake in the Buy More. She hides Chuck in Castle, ordering him not to leave or touch anything. However, after realizing he is in a room with the advanced DU 97 Supercomputer, he can't resist trying to find out more about it. He accesses it, learning of the many cameras around his home and the Buy More, before finding the one for the Orange Orange. He spies on Sarah, who is trying to dodge questions about her identity from the tail, Heather Chandler, before learning that her apparent real name is "Jenny Burton". Chuck, wanting to find out more about Sarah's past, appears inside the yogurt store behind Sarah asking questions about what "Jenny" was like in high school. After Heather invites her to their class reunion and leaves, Sarah snaps at Chuck, stating he has no business probing around her in past.

Chuck flashes on Heather's husband, Mark Ratner, who is an engineer in development of a new F-22 Raptor super bomber. General Beckman then orders Chuck and Sarah to double date with the Ratners and see what Mark is up to. Sarah objects, stating that her identity has been compromised, that she has no cover because it's actually her, Beckman insists that her previous social tie to the couple is crucial to the mission.

Meanwhile, at the Buy More, Big Mike is ready for his fishing trip, leaving Lester in charge. This gives Lester the opportunity to implement a new sales policy at the Buy More, to "work with our customers to create mutually agreed upon prices" to the point of deducting the cost of items down by hundreds of dollars. Chuck can see that this will end badly. Morgan agrees, but says it will be fun to watch.

Later, Chuck arrives at Sarah's apartment, and tries to pump her for more information calling it a mission brief. She makes it clear that she doesn't like questions about her past and throws a pencil at a photo of them, punching through the glass and puncturing his image, intimidating Chuck into compliance.

At the restaurant the two couples, Chuck tries another dig at Sarah's past, only for her to "accidentally" spill wine on him. He goes to the washroom to clean up, only to walk in on Mark being threatened by two members of the Russian mafia, on whom he flashes. The Russians grab him, try to rough him up to make him talk, while Mark is locked in a washroom stall. Luckily, Casey, disguised as a waiter, arrives and knocks them out. As he goes out the door, Mark peeks out and notices the unconscious Russians and assumes Chuck did it. Chuck tries passing off the action as martial arts he learned at a community center, but accidentally lets slip that the men were Russian mafia, making Mark believe that Chuck is CIA. Deciding to play the part, Chuck again falls back on the Charles Carmichael persona.


Mark Ratner

The next day, Mark is moved covertly to Castle, where Casey attempts to interrogate him, promising witness protection in exchange for the location of the next meet. Mark asks to speak only with Chuck, thinking of him as his savior. After Casey says that Chuck is nicknamed 'Mad Dog,' and shows him a scar, that he says Mad Dog gave him for parking in his spot. Mark spills that the mobsters threatened him and his wife. He tells them his contact only happens text messaging. He just then receives a text for another meeting for the following night, which is the night of the high school reunion.

Chuck returns to the Buy More to find Lester freaking out in Big Mike's office. Apparently, out of the merchandise they sold, they failed expected cash demands to pay for the items, Morgan then asks the staff for ideas on how to obtain $3,700 within one night. Jeff suggests burning the store down for the insurance. However, Chuck makes an offhand comment to Morgan about how used to throw keggers when they were low on money. The rest of the employees thinks it's the perfect plan to make up the money. Chuck, resigned to the idiocy, comments "Great. Good. Glad I'll be 100 miles away."

At Sarah's apartment, she is busy blowing off steam at her punching bag. A flashback shows her high school life after her father's arrest; the school bully Dick Duffy, after stuffing a younger Mark into a locker, offers to be the "man around the house" for her. She stops her practice when Chuck rings the doorbell, having brought a new dress for her reunion. Sarah is reluctant to go, telling him that high school was a tough time for her. Nonetheless, Chuck is able to convince her, since that is where the job is.

Upon arrival at James Buchanan High, Chuck flashes on the old school bully, Dick Duffy's tattoo, and sees a connections to the Russian mob, and he assumes to be Mark's contact. Mark thinks it obvious that the man who terrorized him in high school grew up to terrorize the world. Sarah promises to alert the DJ, Casey. When Sarah meets Dick and knocks him out, she and Casey find that he's actually a small time crook, only selling weed, knock off watches, and bootleg DVDs.


Heather Ratner, Mean Girl

The real bad guys have just arrived and are alerted by Heather, who is working with them, about Chuck being CIA, having overheard a conversation between him and Mark. She orders them killed. Upon seeing the Russians, Chuck urges Mark to run, while he takes the DJ's microphone to give a speech in order to point out the two men to Sarah and Casey with the spotlight. Sarah notices Heather leaving the gym and follows, realizing she's in on it. They fight, and she learns that Heather is selling out her husband because she never really loved Mark. Sarah is able to defeat her after a hard fight by knocking her out with a cougar bust. Meanwhile, Casey stops the Russians from killing Mark. Still not seeing Casey take out the guys, Mark thinks Chuck saves him once again. After limping back into the gymnasium because of her fight, Sarah is shocked that she is crowned reunion queen. After they place the crown on her head, Sarah smiles happily as Chuck claps for her.

Back at the Buy More, the party is out of control, Big Mike's marlin is broken. Lester tries calling off the party, but the guests refuse to leave. After they do leave, the Buy More employees clean up the mess before Big Mike returned. Morgan barely patches up the marlin. In between the marlin cracking and Big Mike congratulating him, Lester decides to resign as assistant manager. He then leaves before the fish's nose falls off.

Meanwhile, Chuck is enjoying a lunch with Sarah. In the midst of their conversation, Chuck can only wonder what turned Sarah around in high school.

Another flashback shows that after Jenny found her father's stash of cash, she is surprised by the appearance of Langston Graham and throws a knife at him. Graham admires her throw, and lists out her various aliases, revealing that Jenny Burton is only one of her many aliases. She asks him to get to the point, and Graham explains that her father failed in scamming a couple of dangerous people, and he saved his life by putting him in prison. He offers to help save her too. Jenny thinks that he wants to arrest her, but Graham is really offering to recruit her into the CIA under the new alias: Sarah Walker.

In the aftermath, she tells Chuck he's earned the right to ask one question about her past. After a moment, he refuses the offer, saying he doesn't need to know who she was, he knows who she is, even if she doesn't think he does.


  • Director Graham, in a flashback, meets Sarah for the first time and provides her with her new identity, “Sarah Walker” and starts her career with the CIA.
  • Norman is broken for the second time.
  • Sarah’s father is glimpsed for the first time and shown as a criminal.
  • Sarah’s former aliases are as follows:
    • San Diego = Jennifer “Jenny” Burton
    • Wisconsin = Katie O’Connell
    • Cleveland = Rebecca Franko
    • None of these are the name on her birth certificate
  • Lester ends his tenure as Buy More “Ass Man”.
  • When Mark receives the text from the criminal contacts while being interrogated in Castle, he's holding his phone right side up, and then in the next scene upside down.


  • Heather Chandler's name is a nod to the 1988 cult-classic film Heathers. Heather Chandler is the name of the leader of the Heathers, the clique of popular mean girls.
  • The line: "Of all the semi-tart, Asian-influenced frozen yogurt shops in all the towns in all the world, you walked into hers?" is an allusion to the line: "Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine" from Casablanca (1942).
  • During the clean-up scene at the Buy More one of the people helping is using a Mighty Jocks uniform.
  • Heather references 1976 movie, Revenge of the Cheerleaders.
  • Sarah is shown with a violin case in the high school corridor, leading to the conclusion she took lessons on the instrument.
  • If Sarah's dossier is correct, she was born in 1982, which would have made her a sophomore in 1998, not a senior.
  • Like his impromptu invention of a spastic colon for Sarah, Chuck comes up with impetigo, which is a contagious skin infection, for the off the cuff back story for "Jippy Sternan, all star pole vaulter" as he pointed out the Russians in the crowd to Casey.
  • Sarah wins the crown for reunion queen.
  • The "Cougars" referred to in the episode's title is the name of the high school football team.
  • During Sarah and Heather's fight Heather asks Sarah if she would ever really fall for a guy like Mark. Sarah responds 'You'd be surprise.' hinting at herself falling for a guy like Mark, namely Chuck.
  • When Chuck is in Castle, he sees a video of Ellie and Devon. That is a sequence previously seen in the first season episode Chuck Versus the Truth.


Chuck: Come on! Of all the semi-tart Asian influenced frozen yogurt shops in all the towns, in all the world, you walked into hers? ~

Mark Ratner: You see, I'm just a guy who likes math, you know, and somehow, I got a beautiful girl like that to fall in love with me. I have to pinch myself sometimes. It's like I'm dreaming. Ah, forget it, Agent Carmichael. I mean, how can I expect a cool guy like you to understand?
Chuck: You know what, Mark? Sometimes the nerd gets the girl.


Sarah: I'll answer one question about my past. You've earned that much.
Chuck: Hmm. No, thanks. I don't need to know more, not about who you were, cause as much as you don't think so, I know who you are.

Guest Stars[]


  • "Tubthumping" by Chumbawamba
  • “Shop Till You Drop” by Billy Martin
  • “Open Late Weekends” by Daniel May(music seems to be unfindable)
  • “Everybody” by Backstreet Boys
  • “Beautiful Disaster” by 311
  • “MmmBop” by Hanson
  • “Smack My Bitch Up” by The Prodigy
  • “I Don’t Want To Wait” by Paula Cole

previous: Chuck Versus the Break-Up Chuck vs. the Cougars next: Chuck Versus Tom Sawyer
Season Two
Season Two

Chuck Versus the First DateChuck Versus the SeductionChuck Versus the Break-UpChuck Versus the CougarsChuck Versus Tom SawyerChuck Versus the ExChuck Versus the Fat LadyChuck Versus the GravitronChuck Versus the SenseiChuck Versus the DeLoreanChuck Versus Santa ClausChuck Versus the Third DimensionChuck Versus the SuburbsChuck Versus the Best FriendChuck Versus the BeefcakeChuck Versus the Lethal WeaponChuck Versus the PredatorChuck Versus the Broken HeartChuck Versus the Dream JobChuck Versus the First KillChuck Versus the ColonelChuck Versus the Ring

See Also: Season One EpisodesSeason Two EpisodesSeason Three EpisodesAll Episodes

QuotesMusicTrivia, Notes, Allusions and Pop/Geek Culture References