The How I Met Your Mother Shame Index: Episode 12

Slate's Culture Blog
Jan. 12 2010 9:24 AM

The How I Met Your Mother Shame Index: Episode 12


How I Met Your Mother
John Swansburg John Swansburg

John Swansburg is Slate's deputy editor.


team pulled out all the stops for the series' 100


episode, and while the Shame Index couldn't help but wonder whether previous episodes this season suffered in order to make this one an event, last night was a treat.



—"Hard Lemondade? You know what, Boomer, you can keep that."

—The list of professions held by the women Barney has slept with, especially the rhyming section ("a butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker") and the detail that he's bedded both professional and amateur equestrians.

—The cutaway to Barney waterskiing while suited-up. A simple yet well-executed gag.

—Barney's secret suit locker in the McClaren's men's room.

—Barney in suit withdrawal, smearing his face into Marshall's jacket.

—The Tim Gunn cameo: Clever to cast him as the tailor, a nice play on his catchphrase, and the right touch of meta-ness, describing him as "TV's Tim Gunn."

—Bob Saget. This episode made particularly good use of the interplay between the action in 2010 and the narration in 2030. Bob Saget Ted: "I didn't know it, but I was about to hear the very first description of the woman I'd one day marry." Cindy: "She's a whore." And then just a bit later in the same scene. Ted: "Look at me. I promise I'm not going to fall in love with your roommate." Bob Saget Ted: "Oops."

—Ted's dream of having triplet schnauzers named Frank, Llloyd, and Wright.

—The musical number. The writers didn't go out of their way to explain why there was a show tune dropped into the episode, but it was exactly the kind of performance you could imagine Barney imagining, and Neil Patrick Harris just plain sold it. The Shame Index especially enjoyed his use of a lint roller as a microphone, and his gift of a doublebreasted suit to that dachshund. And that Barney managed, in the end, to get the girl and the suits.

Shameful :

—Ted Mosby did not know school policy on dating students? The Shame Index does not believe this for a second.

—The near misses with the mother were at once tantalizing and mildly shameful. It's undeniably fun to see Ted get so close, to learn the origin of the little yellow bus (a gew-gaw the Shame Index admits to not having noticed before), and to get the latest on the fated yellow umbrella. And while some of the details we learned about the mother were somewhat blah—she, too, enjoys the work of T.C. Boyle—others were charmingly quirky, and exactly the kind of thing you could see Ted finding irresistible: her hobby of painting robots that play sports, her knack for making breakfast foods sing show tunes. (Another great Saget interpolation: "Your mother's rendition of 'Memories' as performed by an English muffin is, to this day, the most hauntingly beautiful thing I've ever heard.") Still, by the end of the episode the nearness of the misses—Ted hefted her bass! He glimpsed her ankle!—was beginning to cross the line into teasing territory.

—It would have been nice to see Marshall have more to work with in the 100 th episode—he was basically left to coo over Lily. (The Shame Index, for the record, sides with Marshall: Alyson Hannigan is totally hotter than the hot bartender.) The joke about the bartender, did, however, take on new life when Lily confessed her appreciation for the woman: "That ass . I'd wear that thing for a hat." Robin, too, was given little to work with here, though at least we were spared another Don sighting.

All in all, a highly enjoyable episode. Let's hope the second half of the season follows ... wait for it ...

Previous Shame Indices: Episode 1 , 2 , 3
, 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 11

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