How I Met Your Mother Wiki
How I Met Your Mother Wiki
Atlantic City

HIMYM episode 2x08 (30)

Atlantic city - quickie wedding.png
First aired:
November 13, 2006
Pamela Fryman
Maria Ferrari
Barney's Blog

Images (7)

Marshall and Lily elope to Atlantic City, but they discover that getting married in Atlantic City isn't as easy as getting married in Las Vegas.


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Marshall and Lily are now back together after Lily proposes to Marshall. After having sex on the kitchen floor (with a creative use of Mrs. Butterworth's), Marshall tells Lily of how his family had harsh words about her when she left for San Francisco and canceled the wedding plans. Lily is embarrassed to have a ceremony in front of Marshall's family, out of fear that they will judge her harshly, so they decide to elope to Atlantic City. They immediately go and find Robin at the news station, Ted at his architecture firm, and Barney at a salon getting a pedicure. After all five get a pedicure, they go to Atlantic City. Lily goes looking for a bouquet and sends Robin to find some clothes that don't make her look better than the bride. Barney, after finding Lily a veil, takes Marshall and Ted to a strip club for an 18-minute bachelor party. When they approach the receptionist at the casino's wedding chapel, they find that the waiting period for a New Jersey marriage license is two days. They go to the courthouse to find a judge who will waive the waiting period, and finally manage to get into a judge's chambers after staking out a bathroom. The judge, impressed by Marshall and Lily's committed, nine-year relationship, almost grants the waiver on the waiting period, but Barney reveals that Marshall and Lily broke up for six months, causing the judge to change his mind. Running out of options, Lily suggests that they get married in international waters where they don't need a marriage license. They find a boat captain willing to marry them, but he wants $5000 to perform the ceremony.

Throughout the episode, Barney runs into a few Chinese men who he has brief but familiar conversations with, leaving the rest of the gang puzzled. He finally tells the group that he used to visit 'the AC' on a regular basis, but he developed a serious problem and stopped. Barney is sure he can win them the money. He enters a confusing Chinese game Xing Hai Shi Bu Xing ("行還是不行", Chinese for 'Deal or No Deal') that no one else understands. However, after watching the game in action Marshall catches on, and counsels Barney to win enough money to pay the boat captain. Marshall's advice proves sound when Barney wins the game and the gang gets the money.

Marshall and Lily are in the middle of their wedding when they decide they want to (and have to) face Marshall's family. They call off the wedding, however, the captain accidentally marries them. They ask him to undo the marriage, and the event becomes the story of the time that Marshall and Lily were married for 12 seconds.

The end scene shows Ted coming out of his room wearing Robin's bridesmaid shirt and Lily wonders if Robin is here and Marshall saying "man I hope so"...


  • Barney's gambling addiction is shown for the first time.
  • Lily covers her eye when she asks if Marshall remembers his proposal to her, referring to how he popped a cork into her eye after proposing, forcing her to wear an eyepatch, in the Pilot.
  • After Lily proposes to Marshall, they have sex on the kitchen floor, like they did when Marshall proposed to Lily in the Pilot.
  • Marshall's uncanny ability to win games, first mentioned in Game Night, allows him to help Barney win at Xing Hai Shi Bu Xing.
  • Lily worries that Marshall's family will be sipping cups of mayonnaise while cracking "Runaway Bride" jokes if they have a big wedding ceremony. The Eriksens' love of mayonnaise was previously referenced in Belly Full of Turkey and Game Night.
  • Ted mentions having been promoted, a result of his actions in Aldrin Justice.

Future References (Contains Spoilers)

  • When the guys meet Lily and Robin at the chapel, Marshall is holding a seemingly fruity drink. He mentions his love of "girly" cocktails in Single Stamina, and it is referenced again in Woooo! and The Time Travelers.
  • The origins of Barney's gambling addiction is explained in Monday Night Football, where it is shown to have developed after Marshall made a bet with Barney over a field goal during the 2004 Superbowl. It is also referenced again in future episodes, including Lucky Penny and The Bro Mitzvah, where Barney plays Xing Hai Shi Bu Xing in Atlantic City again.


For a listing of all images on the wiki tagged as being from this episode, see Category:Atlantic City images.

Memorable Quotes

Marshall: Hi, we need a marriage license, but we need to skip the waiting period because we're in love.
Registrar: Awwwwww! I'm gonna waive this waiting period right now.
Lily: Really!?
Registrar: Is what I would say if I could waive the waiting period, but unfortunately only a judge can do that.
Lily: Oh. Well, can we see a judge?
Registrar: Absolutely!
Lily: Really!?
Registrar: Is what I would say if there was any chance of you seeing a judge today, which there isn't.
Marshall: Why are you doing this to us!?
Registrar: 'Cause you're on Candid Camera!
Robin: Really!?
Registrar: Is what I would say if--
Marshall: You know what? We get it.
The gang getting jerked around by the registrar

Captain Steve: I now pronounce you man and wife.
Lily: What? We just said we don't want to get married.
Captain Steve: Was that not right? I suppose I could unpronounce you.
Marshall and Lily: (angrily) Unpronounce us! Unpronounce us!
Captain Steve: I unpronounce you husband and wife.
Future Ted: And that's the story of the time Marshall and Lily were married for 12 seconds.
Marshall and Lily after deciding to have a normal wedding with their family.

Ted: I can't believe you never want to get married.
Robin: I never said never.

Notes and Trivia

Goofs and Errors

  • In Legendaddy it is stated that Marshall can't wink but he in this episode he is able to wink to Ted and Barney.
    • Although they may have meant that he can't do it discreetly, since he does it so obviously also in this episode.
  • Barney is still carrying the glass at the Courthouse.
  • Future Ted mentions that Lily and Marshall were married for 12 seconds in the television version (and for 17 seconds on the DVD) - however, they actually were married for over a minute.
  • The commanding officer of any sea-faring vessel (Captain) can not legally marry people. They are actually expressly forbidden from doing so (and have been for centuries).

Allusions and Outside References

  • Marshall and Lily use Mrs. Butterworth syrup in a "creative" way when they have sex on the kitchen floor.
  • Lily worries that Marshall's family will crack Runaway Bride jokes during their wedding.
  • The court office girl mentions the television series Candid Camera.
  • When they are waiting for a judge, the painting above them is John Trumbull's famous Declaration of Independence.
  • The name of Barney's complicated Chinese game, when translated to English, is Deal or No Deal. Deal or No Deal is a game show and, like the game Barney plays, involved contestants randomly guessing which attractive woman holds the item that will make them win the game.


Other Notes



  • Staci Krause of IGN gave the episode an 8.2 out of 10 stating that it was a "a very good episode and had some great moments", although it focused too heavily on Lily and Marshall. She enjoyed Barney's moments in the episode, saying that he "made a pedicure look manly" and also praised the Chinese game he played to win money.  She also enjoyed Lily and Marshall's storyline, despite it being a bit too overdone, saying that it was "a fairly decent side track."  However, she said that "by far the show-stopping moment of the episode was Robin's t-shirt," stating that it could be watched over and over again and still laugh. [1]
  • The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 9 stars out of 10. "...Atlantic City ... what dreams are made of ... unless, of course, you trying to get married on short notice."


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