November 25, 2013
Marshall tries to get Marvin to sleep by reciting three rhyming bedtime tales about his friends as they wind down their epic cross-country journey.
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At Saturday, 5 p.m., 25 hours until the wedding, Marshall and his son are taking the bus to Farhampton on the LIE. In an effort to get Marvin to sleep, Marshall constantly uses rhymes (the entire episode is spoken in rhymes), and begins telling stories of his friends.
The first story concerns Ted while he was still a professor. Lisa, a young physics professor, introduces herself to Ted and asks him out to dinner to learn more about his inspiring lectures. Ted is at first excited, but then wonders if Lisa will view the dinner as a date or as just a meeting between coworkers. Throughout the dinner, Ted receives mixed signals on whether it is a date or not (even wondering if she is gay), and Lisa eventually reveals she had once dated a New York Yankees player. Ted is so intrigued he urges her to tell who; she reveals him to be Derek Jeter, but when Lisa shows him a picture, Ted is annoyed to find out it is actually Barney.
The next story begins with Robin having recently broken up with one of her ex-boyfriends (Marshall is unable to remember who), and is unashamedly shoveling down sweets at a bakery. She then runs into Simon, an ex-boyfriend from her younger days in Canada. Robin is surprised to see he is more clean-shaven and professional than before, but quickly becomes dejected when he reveals he’s engaged to Louise Marsh, the girl he had dumped her for twice before (the first time because her parents got a pool, the second because they got a jacuzzi). In anger, Robin steals Simon’s wedding cake and begins eating it at Ted’s apartment, much to Ted’s scolding and bewilderment. When Robin has finished nearly half the cake, Lily arrives, and Robin feels remorse for her actions and decides to stop. Lily, however, convinces Robin to be strong and finish the cake. Her struggle to finish soon draws others to the apartment to cheer her on, including Barney who brings a keg of beer. She eventually finishes, then proceeds to do a keg stand (Marshall adds that afterwards they had to get her stomach pumped).
The final story has the gang at MacLaren’s, where Barney has his sights set on a girl who just walked in to the bar. Lily says the girl is out of Barney’s league, but Barney claims no girl is unworthy as he is the “Player King of New York City.” Barney relates a story of how he was called before the High Council of Players, a group consisting of differing social backgrounds that each have a specific New York City borough in which they can hook up with women (the members are all played by Neil Patrick Harris). Barney is accused of hooking up with a girl outside of his agreed-upon territory of the west side of Manhattan, and to rectify this, he must offer Robin and Lily to the two other members who were granted the territories those girls were in. Barney agrees, then offers a toast of champagne to everyone. The Council all drink except Barney, who reveals he had poisoned the drink, and laughs as the other members die. In the present, the others sarcastically applaud Barney’s story, but reveal Ted to be making out with the girl, leaving Barney annoyed and jealous.
Marshall nearly gets Marvin to sleep when the bus suffers a flat tire, and Marshall and the other riders step outside to view a fireworks display. Marshall tells Marvin he will be with his mother soon, but dreads the impending fallout he would face from Lily finding out about his judgeship. Marshall hopes Marvin is too young to remember the day’s events, but Future Ted remarks the fireworks would be the first memory Marvin would remember. Gus informs Marshall that the Farhampton Inn is only five miles away, and Marshall decides to walk there, a decision Future Ted explains Marshall would later regret.
- In Little Boys, Ted has trouble dating Stacey Gusar, who he thought had slept with Barney.
- Simon broke up with Robin twice to date Louise Marsh, as revealed and seen in Sandcastles in the Sand.
- Marshall's telling of Robin's story is unreliable because Simon made an appearance in P.S. I Love You, his looks unchanged, where Robin was already engaged to Barney. However, since Robin was the only one at the cake store and suffers "revertigo" whenever she sees Simon, this might be how she described him to the others.
- In Three Days of Snow, Future Ted says that there are five words every man regrets saying.
- Ted actually got dibs on a girl before Barney for the first time in this episode. This is a parallel to Big Days where Barney called dibs on somebody who Ted previously assumed may have been The Mother. Coincidentally, both of their hair colors are blonde and both were wearing pink.
- The story "Robin Takes the Cake" most likely occurred after her breakup with Don, since she was shown to be a slob in Big Days as a result. On the other hand, her breakups with Gael and Scooby were relatively painless. While breaking up with Kevin was harder, it's unlikely she would go to Ted's apartment with the cake since she immediately went to Russia for a week and after she got back a rift formed between herself and Ted.
- The cake store Robin visits in Marshall's second story closely resembles the shop Victoria worked in before moving to Germany.
- This is the fourth episode who had a different opening sequence. The other episodes were the Pilot, Hopeless and 46 Minutes.
- This is the second time that Marshall versus the Machines is featured; the first time was in Subway Wars.
- Captain Bill's game is to dress as an airline pilot to attract women at airports. This is a variation of Barney's play of meeting women at baggage claim in Sweet Taste of Liberty.
- In the episode, the man with the red sweatshirt reads a newspaper headlined, "Mets mathematically eliminated" which was one of the reasons that Barney would smoke in Last Cigarette Ever.
- Barney first mentions pretending to be a New York Yankee in The Bracket.
- Barney declares "Your challenge is accepted, Lil."
- Barney tells the gang "And trust me, every word is true" and "True story", as does Tuxedo Charlie during the story.
Future References (Contains Spoilers)
- Marshall mentions his impending fight with Lily while on the bus, which will be the focal point of Unpause.
- Marshall versus the Machines is heard at the end of the episode. A new version of the song will be heard in Bass Player Wanted.
- Marshall mentions missing the rehearsal dinner, an event that occurs in The Rehearsal Dinner.
|Gus:||Uh I've just been handed a news flash.
The word "Canada" is unrhymeable.
It's easier to-- I don't know-- get drunk and try to climb a bull.
But Canada, damn it, ask any man on the planet and watch their stammerin' stamina as they clamor and cram it into the middle of a sentence for a shot at repentance, pass the problem on to all their non-rhyming descendants.
I've never met anyone who could clean up after Canada.
Except my Uncle Tony from the Bronx.
He's a janitor.
|Barney:||And thus my friends I have become through methods somewhat gory, the Player King of New York City. Boom. The End. True Story.|
Notes and Trivia
Goofs and Errors
- Someone on the bus is reading a newspaper with the headline, "Mets Mathematically Eliminated". Mathematical elimination in baseball occurs in August or September (the real-life 2013 Mets were eliminated on September 12), but the bus ride occurs in May.
- This is a joke alluding to how bad the Mets have been through 2012.
- When Barney notices the girl in the pink sweater enter the bar, Marshall says she ordered a beer, but Lily later notes that she's drinking chardonnay.
- When Lisa is about to show Ted the picture of her and the Yankee she dated, she pulls her phone out and hands it to Ted upside down.
- The phone, however, could have adjusted to the rotation.
- Pickle Jar Bob holds his champagne glass in the postmortem, even though in the earlier scene his hands was clearly under the table.
- Barney tells Ted that LeBron James left the Cavaliers "three years ago", implying that the "Player King of New York City" story occurs in 2013, when he is engaged to Robin.
Allusions and Outside References
- The guys on the bus mention the Rocky films, debating which film Marshall referenced to Marvin. Marshall specifically referenced Rocky III
- Captain Bill seems to be a parody of Vito Corleone from The Godfather films.
- The meeting of the Council of Players as well as Barney poisoning also appears to be based on the Godfather trilogy.
- The first rhyme "Mosby at the Bat" is a parody of the poem Casey at the Bat.
- Ted compares Robin eating the cake to a scene from Cool Hand Luke.
- Marshall says that the last time Ted saw breasts was during the screen test scene in the movie Fame.
- As in Who Wants to Be a Godparent? and other episodes, Ted remains annoyed at LeBron James for leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Miami Heat.
- In the final scene, Gus (played by Lin-Manuel Miranda ) says "Oh look, a fireworks display." This could be a reference to Miranda's award-winning musical In the Heights, in which a key event is a fireworks display.
- This episode is told completely in rhyme.
- Because of the difficulty of performing everything in rhyme, this episode took an unusually long time to produce, due to the abnormally large number of takes needed.
- The events at the end of this episode are the first thing Marvin Eriksen remembers.
- This episode marks the first time we see Barney's The International Date Line theory.
- When Marshall tells the stories you can occasionally hear the melody of Marvin's lullaby.
- This is the first episode of Season 9 not to have scenes in or around the Farhampton Inn.
- Though the boyfriend Robin broke up with isn't named, we know that it can't be Gael (despite Marshall listing him), as Simon's first appearance took place after Robin's breakup with Gael, and this scene is clearly set after Simon first came back into her life.
- After Marshall tells Marvin a story of one of Ted's romantic conquests, the passenger next to Marshall says 'You don't tell kids a tale that crass' to which Future Ted tells his kids 'I guess he had a point' referencing the fact that this whole time Future Ted has been telling inappropriate stories to his kids. It could also be referencing critics who have also pointed out the same thing.
- James Van Der Beek - Simon
- Lin-Manuel Miranda - Gus
- Camille Guaty - Lisa
- Marcia Ann Burrs - Old Lady
- Alfred Rubin Thompson - Thug
- Christopher Darga - Bus Driver
- Michael C. Mahon - Grumpy Man
- The episode was viewed by 7.64 million people.
- Donna Bowman of the Av Club gave the episode an A-.
- Max Nicholson of IGN gave the episode a 5.5 out of 10. He commended the creators for doing the episode in rhyme and trying something new, but felt that the overall execution of the rhymes was only just okay. However, he said that the stories were actually decent and there were a few clever moments from each of these segments.
- Angel Cohn of Television Without Pity gave the episode a B+, calling it the "least painful episode of the season [so far]".
- The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 9.5 out of 10 stars. "What a great story idea!"
|Mom and Dad||Bedtime Stories
|The Rehearsal Dinner|