How I Met Your Mother Wiki
How I Met Your Mother Wiki

Countdown collage (click to enlarge)

Throughout the episode, Bad News, a silent and subtle countdown was displayed in the background counting down to the climactic moment at the end. The numbers were "hidden" in the background.

50 - On a pamphlet in the Doctor's office in the first scene
49 - Same pamphlet on the Doctor's desk ("months later" according to Ted)
48 - Label on hot sauce Marshall uses at MacLaren's
47 - Barney's laser tag forms are for the "47th Bi-Annual" Laser Tag Competition
46 - Printed on Dr. Stangel's certificate behind Lily when they first meet
45 - 45¢ the price of the hot wings at MacLaren's
44 - Number of beers on tap, on a circular blackboard in MacLaren's
44 - (appears twice) Football number on a man's jersey in MacLaren's
43 - On the pamphlet Marshall is reading in Dr. Stangel's office
42 - Second side of the same pamphlet
41 - Race car poster number in Dr. Stangel's office
40 - Ted's book that "New York's 40 greatest landmarks" when Robin comes home from Day 1
39 - Number of office behind Robin
38 - On the back of Robin's co-worker's newspaper, 38° in the weather section
37 - Lily is reading a Decadence magazine entitled "37 Recipes for Holiday leftovers."
36 - The number on Marshall's dad's beer, "Old Number 36", when Marshall does not call him
35,34 - Stock markets are up 35.34 points on Robin's news screen
33 - Miners rescued from collapsed mine on Robin's news screen. This is actually a true event, as 33 Chilean coal miners did really get trapped in a mine. All of them survived.
32-27 - On Robin's screen: "Today's lottery numbers are 32 31 30 29 28 27"
26 - Marshall's dad is reading "26 Home Improvement Shortcuts"
25 - Textbook that Ted is reading in the apartment, "25 Greatest Bridges"
24 - One of Robin's co-workers is reading a magazine, with a sports player on the front with "24" on his jersey
23 - Metro News 23, the channel Robin says "I'm a dirty, dirty girl," a reference to an older show.
22 - Seen in the corner of Robin's Japanese broadcast
21 - Calendar behind Dr. Stangel
20 - Masturbation room at Dr. Stangel's office
19 - "Top 19 Nekkid girls countdown" on Nekkid magazine in the room
18 - Apartment number of Marshall and Lily's apartment
17,16 - Marshall's specimen cup seen in his apartment
15 - Essential Vitamins and Minerals (not grams of fiber) in Robin's cereal
14,13 - Apartment number of Sandy's apartment
12 - The book "12 days of Christmas" behind Marshall when he's speaking with his parents in their apartment
11- On Ted's architecture book, "America's 11 greatest water towers"
10 - On Robin Sparkles left jacket arm when shown to co-workers by Robin
9 - Disguised Barney holds a folder when talking to Marshall
8 - Number on Dr. Stangel's door
7 - Number on Marshall's champagne bottle
6 - Dr. Stangel turns the folder with the 9 on it upside down
5 - Barney gives Marshall a "Motility 5"
4 - The "4 Layers of the Uterus" poster in Dr. Stangel's office
3 - "Open til 3 am sign" outside MacLaren's
2 - Clock in Marvin Sr's wood shop
1 - Number of the cab Lily arrives in
Expired - Sign on parking meter


This is a slideshow of each number in the countdown as it appears during the episode.

Notes and Trivia

  • Number 33 - This is a reference to the 33 Chilean miners trapped underground due to a mining accident in 2010.
  • Number 23 - This is a clip from Return of the Shirt. In the original clip, the screen read Metro News 1.
  • Number 22 - This is a clip from Shelter Island. The original clip did not feature a number at all and isn't shown on Netflix.
  • Number 18 - This number is shown as Marshall and Lily's apartment number. Their apartment is actually number 5D.
  • Number 10 - This number is on Robin Sparkles left jacket arm. However, the jacket had no number on it in the clips from Let's go to the mall or Space Teens.
  • The #9 folder disappears when Barney leaves the room after they display the #8 door. Then the #6 folder appears again. In the interim there is no folder other than the red one the manila ones were on top of.