Best Prom Ever

HIMYM episode 1x20 (20)

Best Prom Ever
First aired:
May 1, 2006
Pamela Fryman
Ira Ungerleider
Barney's Blog

Images (8)

The gang crashes a prom to see a band Lily and Marshall want to book for their wedding.


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In the opening of the episode, Marshall finds out that Van Smoot, the dream place where Marshall and Lily would like to have their wedding, is suddenly available. They rush over and take the opening, but that sets the date of Marshall and Lily's wedding, which would be in 2 months. Lily is stressed out about everything, even to the point of almost being a bridezilla, and all she can think about is her wedding.

Marshall finds a possible band for the wedding, The 88, but Lily will not sign off on them until she hears them play Marshall and Lily's song ("Good Feeling" by The Violent Femmes), and the only way she can hear them is if she sneaks into a high school prom. Thus, Lily goes along with an idea of Barney's, and decides to sneak in with Robin and Barney (Barney suggests the idea because he thinks there will be no issues for them sneaking in, since he tells Lily, "I'm ageless, Scherbatsky just needs a good night's sleep, and you have statutory written all over you."). Robin is excited, because she never got to go to prom in high school due to hockey tournaments. When they arrive, they find tight security, so Lily and Robin offer to be the dates of two nerdy high school seniors, while Barney decides to find another way in.

Meanwhile, Ted and Marshall are stuffing wedding invitations on their "Guys Night Out" until Robin calls Marshall and asks him to bring the sheet music of "Good Feeling" to Lily. Lily remembers her senior prom and all she had thought she'd experience but never did, and begins to have doubts about getting married, since she never achieved a lot of what she wanted to do in life. She tells this to Robin, who convinces her that she is marrying her best friend in the world, and that she could possibly be an artist and live an artist's lifestyle later in life, and then kisses her on the lips to give Lily the "lesbian experience" she never had.

Ted and Marshall sneak in the back, and find Barney dressed as a turtle mascot. Marshall asks the senior who is Lily's date for the night where she is, and he pulls out a pair of Nunchaku and hits Marshall with them. Ted then tackles the senior to show Marshall that he will always have his back in a fight. The two seniors, Marshall, Ted, and Barney are taken outside, but Marshall and Ted sneak back in when Barney grabs the head of the turtle mascot suit and runs off. Marshall and Lily dance together, and agree to have The 88 play at the wedding, while Ted dances with Robin, who now wants to try to restore their friendship.


  • While Robin and Lily are trying on dresses for prom, the painting that Lily painted in The Duel can be seen on the wall.
  • Lily is seen with bangs in the flashbacks to her prom. Her having bangs in high school was previously mentioned in The Duel.
  • Ted and Robin reconcile after being angry at each other in Nothing Good Happens After 2 A.M. and Mary the Paralegal.
  • Marshall's ringtone is the same as the one he has in The Limo, and is based on the song he made up in Sweet Taste of Liberty.
  • This episode marks the first appearance of Scooter.

Future References (Contains Spoilers)

  • Lily feeling like she missed out on life leads to her applying for an art fellowship in San Francisco in Milk, and her and Marshall breaking up when she gets it in Come On.
  • In the flashback to Lily's prom, Scooter tells her that he got into to umpire school. According to Lily in Something Borrowed, he eventually failed at this vocation.
  • Scooter is revealed to still be in love with Lily in Something Borrowed when he shows up to break up her and Marshall's wedding, and eventually gets a job in Lily's school's cafeteria to be close to her some time by Hooked.
  • More details about Lily and Marshall's first meeting, seen here, are revealed in How I Met Everyone Else and P.S. I Love You. Barney and Lily steal the story in Knight Vision.
  • Lily mentions her desire to experiment with lesbianism, which Robin fulfills by kissing her, hinting at her bicuriousity. They kiss again in The Broath.
  • Robin says she played field hockey in high school, and, according to Happily Ever After, had been since junior high. However, in Slutty Pumpkin, she mentions never playing team sports in high school.
  • The name of Lily and Marshall's dream wedding venue is mentioned again in Robots Versus Wrestlers, when the gang attend Jefferson Van Smoot's party at the Alberta building, and in Natural History, when Ted, Marshall, and Barney meet Zoey's husband, George "The Captain" Van Smoot, for the first time.
  • Lily mentions dumping Scooter at the prom in Natural History.
  • In Twelve Horny Women, Lily reveals that she used to be a juvenile delinquent, and bullied Scooter into dating her.
  • In Band or DJ?, Lily offers to book the band that she and Marshall almost got for their wedding for Barney and Robin's wedding, presumably The 88.
  • The fast-food restaurant employee in Something Blue confirms Barney's statement about Lily's youthful appearance.
  • Barney is similarly confident of his ability to appear young in Last Forever - Part Two.


  • Marshall, Lily, Todd and Valerie run for Van Smoot House.
  • Robin and Lily dressed for Prom.
  • Barney finally sneaks into Prom.
  • Ted and Robin dancing at Robin's first Prom.
For a listing of all images on the wiki tagged as being from this episode, see Category:Best Prom Ever images.

Memorable Quotes

Lily: Do you think we look young enough to blend in at a high school?
Barney: Please, I'm ageless, Scherbatsky just needs a good night's sleep, and you've got "statutory" written all over your body.

Barney: Now ladies... SLUT UP!

Lily: I can't believe I just unloaded like that on a high school senior.
Robin: I can't believe a high school senior just unloaded like that on me.

Lily: You're gonna be an umpire someday.
Scooter: No, baby.  We're gonna be an umpire someday.
Flashback of Lily and Scooter talking at their prom.

Barney: No sweat. We'll just sneak in
Marshall: We're not sneaking into a high school prom.
Lily: Yes, we are, it's the only way.
Ted: You're getting on board with Barney's idea? Man, you really have snapped.
Lily: It's 9 weeks 'till the wedding. At this point, I'd say yes to just about anything.
Barney : Well...
Lily : Barney: Well...

No, Barney.

Lily finds out she can't go into a high school's prom to see a band that she might hire for her wedding

Ted: Lily, you're being a wee bit intense about this band thing.
Lily: Intense? I have a wedding to plan in nine weeks for two hundred people! Even if a dinosaur should poke his head out of my butt and consume this coffee table, I need you to roll with it, okay?!
Ted: Wow

Notes and Trivia

Goofs and Errors

  • Robin claims she missed her prom due to field hockey tournaments. However, she previously stated that she never played any team sports in Slutty Pumpkin. In Happily Ever After, she confirmed that she also played hockey on a team when she was younger.
  • In I Heart NJ, Lily talks about how much she hates New Jersey and going there, but the prom is held in New Jersey. But, she could have made an exception to this rule considering her craziness from planning the wedding.
  • Lilly is confused about the date of the wedding. At one moment she says 9 weeks to go. At another moment, she says 71 days, which is more than 10 weeks.

Allusions and Outside References

  • Barney makes a reference to the movie Thelma & Louise.
  • When Barney is dressed as a turtle, Ted says to him "Slow and steady won the race", in a reference to the famous fable The Tortoise and the Hare.
  • One of the kids Robin asks to be her date is playing a Sony PSP.
  • Marshall references The Wiggles.
  • Lily mistakes Ted's cousin "Bonzo" for John Bonham, who is the deceased drummer of Led Zeppelin, which Ted points out died in 1980. This may be a reference to the second episode of Freaks and Geeks where Jason Segel's character is upset about John Bonham's death. 


Other Notes

  • Lily saying that she might want to have a lesbian relationship is a reference to her character on Buffy, who develops a lesbian relationship in college. Notably the audience laugh at this stage in relation to it.
  • The chaperone who refuses to let Lily, Robin, and Barney into the prom is played by the episode's writer Ira Ungerleider.
  • When Marshall and Ted talk to Barney about how they snuck into the prom, David Burtka, who plays scooter, can be seen walking by in the background.
  • This is the first episode where the name "Van Smoot" is referenced. It is also the last name of The Captain and the name of the party they visit in Robots Versus Wrestlers.
  • David Burtka, who plays Scooter, is married in real life to Neil Patrick Harris, who plays Barney.



  • Ryan Budke of TV Squad wrote how the flashbacks in the episode lent some real credibility to Lily's doubts about getting married, going on to say how he loved the line about how her doubts weren't in him, they were in her. The truth of this line he says shows "why this show isn't just a Friends' clone". [1]
  • The St, Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 7.5 out 10 stars. "Now, ladies, slut up, ... We don't have that kind of money."


External Links

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