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Robin-Glitter

Robin and Jessica singing the Beaver Song in The Hoser Hut.

Canada is a country that neighbours most of the United States to the north. It is where Robin Scherbatsky was born and raised in. Throughout the series, the country has been a constant subject of mockery by the American members of the Gang, especially Barney, who is revealed in Season 7 to have 1/4 Canadian blood due to his paternal grandfather's origins.  The Gang has portrayed Canada as much more backward than the United States. Robin often mentions Canadian people, ideas, customs, etc that other members of the Gang are not likely to be familiar with. Sometimes, Robin is seen hanging out in Hoser Hut, a Canadian-themed bar in New York.  

Episodes with significant Canadian references or elements

Season 1

  • Belly Full of Turkey - The audience learns for the first time that Robin is Canadian and that Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving in October.

Season 2

  • Slap Bet​ - The rest of the Gang find out for the first time about Robin's brief Canadian musical career as Robin Sparkles. Her song Let's Go to the Mall includes references to Canada Day and a cameo by (a fictional) Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. Additionally, Robin has told Ted a secret about a fictitious Canadian marriage she claimed to have entered into.  
  • Lucky Penny​ - Robin mentioned that a marathon is 42 km long (kilometres is the unit used in Canada to measure long distances).
  • Stuff​ - Robin mentioned jokingly that when Ted refused to get rid of stuff he got from ex-girlfriends, it was like living in a Danby's only to find out that its products are not available in the US. Danby's is a Canadian appliance manufacturer. Robin continued to ask how the Gang makes Grizzly-paw ice cream sandwiches.

Season 3

  • Dowisetrepla​​ - Robin mentioned that Lily's debt was the size of Mt Waddington, Canada's highest mountain (according to Robin), and 4,000 metres high (metres is used to measure height in Canada).  
  • Slapsgiving - Robin once again mentioned when Canadian thanksgiving took place (second Monday of October) and explained why it was important.
  • Sandcastles in the Sand - Barney found out about Robin's second Canadian music video.  Canadian star Alan Thicke makes an appearance playing Robin Sparkles' father in the video.  The audience and the Gang also learned who Robin's first boyfriend was - Simon Tremblay, who lived in Ottawa (Canada's capital).

Season 4

  • Little Minnesota - Robin becomes homesick, and Marshall takes her to a Canadian themed bar called the Hoser Hut.
  • The Possimpible - Robin's first reporting job was revealed to be a cub reporter for Channel 22 in Red Deer, Alberta.
  • Old King Clancy - Robin revealed to the Gang that she attempted a sex act to a Canadian celebrity. As the Gang tried to find out what the term is for what Robin has done, they stumble upon a website called canadiansexacts.org to learn more about other sex acts familiar to Canadians Throughout the episode, various Canadian celebrities and places were mentioned, and the Gang also used Canadian terms they learned on the website to describe what Barney and Marshall did to hide the truth from Ted regarding the fate of his job as architect of an upcoming GNB building. Ultimately, Robin revealed The Frozen Snowshoe to be the celebrity who Robin attempted a sex act with as he invited her to his place to look at Harvey's trays and do an Old King Clancy (the Canadian sex act itself). Additionally, Robin told the Gang that Frozen Snowshoe was most famous celebrity professional wrestler in Canada. After finding out, the trio express their disappointment after finding out, even with Barney exclaiming about how Canada "even found a way to ruin this. Why? WHY DO WE LET YOU BE A COUNTRY?!"

Season 5

  • Robin 101​​​​​​ - Ted teaches Barney that one topic to distract Robin with when she is mad at someone is the Vancouver Canucks 2004 division title. Robin remarked that it is the story of an underdog team that won despite very shakey goaltending and Trevor Linden's (a former Canucks player) declining skills. Ted also teaches Barney that one thing never to do around Robin is mention hockey's lack of popularity in the US. Finally, Ted also asked Barney (as part of a pop quiz) what kind of chocolate one should get her, and Barney answers butterscotch and he says it because it is to Canadian women what chocolate is to American women.
  • Duel Citizenship - On the eve of Robin's citizenship test, she sang Canada's national anthem and got drunk together with members of the Canadian national women's curling team at the Hoser Hut, a Canadian-themed bar. She ends up in Toronto where Barney tracked her down. On their way home, Barney and Robin stop at a Tim Hortons coffee shop. In the shop, Barney makes a speech that ridicules Canadians for letting Robin go for which Barney gets beaten up. After experiencing free Canadian health care and the coffee at Tim Horton's, Barney acknowledges that Canada isn't as bad as he thinks. Robin ultimately decides to have dual citizenship; both US and Canadian citizenship.
  • The Rough Patch​​​ - Alan Thicke makes a cameo appearance after being enlisted by Lily to help break up Robin and Barney's relationship. Also, in a fresh flashback sequence to illustrate the great American-Canadian fight, Robin mentioned musician Neil Young who she described as a Canadian treasure and told Barney, who compared his singing to that of an old lady's with "vocal cord paralysis," not to make fun of him. 

Season 6

  • Glitter​​​​ - Barney obtains a tape of a Canadian show where Robin (as Robin sparkles) starred in along with Jessica Glitter. Alan Thicke also makes an appearance on the video.  There were references in the video to beavers, which Robin said was Canada's national mascot. Later in the episode, Glitter appears on stage at the Hoser Hut to sing 'The Beaver Song' featured in the video and invites Robin to join her. In the closing sequences, Thicke also makes an appearance at the bar along with other Canadian symbols such as a look-a-like of Queen Elizabeth (who also is head of State of Canada), Canadian Prime Minister, hockey player, and RCMP officer. 
  • False Positive​​​​ - Alex Trebek makes a cameo as a host for a fictional game show Million Dollar Heads or Tails. Robin auditions for the job of 'Currency Rotation Specialist'. Trebek finds out that Robin is Canadian.
  • Oh Honey​​​​​​ - When Robin overcooked dinner for the group, said she thought the oven temperatures were listed in Celsius (the unit of temperature used in Canada).  
  • A Change of Heart​ - Robin's boyfriend introduced in this episode, Nate Scooberman, also revealed that he is from Labrador, a province in Canada.  

Season 7

  • Mystery vs. History​​​ - In a fresh flashback sequence that took place in 2005, Robin mentioned that grade 8 kids had pancakes with maple syrup in their lunch boxes everyday. Barney remarked "Thanks Canada! We're looking for a food the average American eats." In another flashback sequence dating back to Robin's 14th birthday, Robin's father pushed her off a Canadian helicopter and just before that, he also pointed to where the fictional mining town of Smithers is.
  • Noretta​​​ - Robin referred to Weird Al Yankovic as a rip-off of 'Peculiar Jacques', a Canadian parody musician.
  • The Slutty Pumpkin Returns​​​​ - Barney finds out that he is a quarter Canadian on his father's side.  In particular, Barney learns that his paternal grandmother was born in Manitoba.  Because of the mockery Robin endured, she repaid the favour by reminding Barney of his Canadian roots.
  • Good Crazy - Ted went out on a date with a girl named Robyn, who has a lot in common with Robin, including country of origin. Robyn also described Canada as her 'home and native land', a stanza in Canada's national anthem.  

Season 8

  • Who Wants to Be a Godparent? - In a 'what if' sequence, Robin once again wore a Canucks jersey. She also mentioned to Ted and Barney that she learned to bow hunt at the British Columbia military school for boys where it was called 'making lunch'.
  • P.S. I Love You - Barney flew to Canada and whilst at a Tim Horton's branch, questioned some of Robin's ex-boyfriends to find out if 'P.S. I Love You' referred to one of them.  He later found a tape of a show that described how Robin Sparkles turned into Robin Daggers, and which speculated who the song P.S. I Love You was talking about. The tape also featured cameo appearances by several Canadian stars who also mentioned where in Canada they were and what Tim Hortons doughnut they were eating when Robin made the transformation. The Grey Cup (the championship match of the Canadian Football League and effectively Canada's version of the Super Bowl) and the venue it was held at was also mentioned.
  • Something New​ - In a flashback sequence, a drunken Robin mentions to Lily that her grandmother stuffed the locket in her behind while hiding during the Second World War. When Lily asked, Robin said Winnipeg (a city in the province of Manitoba).

Season 9

  • The Locket - When Robin and Barney suspected that they were related and were figuring out how, it was brought up that one of Robin's relatives was from Yukon, a federal territory in Canada.
  • No Questions Asked - In a what-if sequence where a 21-gun salute is performed, the tune to Canada's national anthem can be heard in the background.  
  • Mom and Dad - Barney entrusted Ted to guard an autographed photo of Wayne Gretzky (a famous Canadian hockey star) which the former plans to give to Robin. Ted also referred to Claude (one of his 'suspects' in the taking of the Gretzky photo) as Robin's cousin from Quebec (another Canadian province).
  • Bedtime Stories - In one of his rhyming stories to baby Marvin, Marshall mentioned some of Robin's ex-boyfriends, some of which were Canadian. One of them, Simon Tremblay, played an active role in the said story. Additionally, while telling his rhyming story, Marshall discovers that the word Canada is apparently unrhymeable.
  • The Rehearsal Dinner - Barney pulled off an ice-skating Canadian-themed rehearsal dinner for Robin after Robin wished she wanted a Canadian-themed dinner. In the flashback sequences, the Gang poked fun on the country using certain facts about it (e.g. Tim Hortons, free universal health care). Barney also said he would give Robin a Canadian dinner if she can request it in French (Canada's other official language). During the dinner itself, Barney also read out some trivia about Canada to Robin. Barney ultimately gives the autographed Gretzky photo first seen in Mom and Dad to Robin. Canadian celebrity Alan Thicke also made a cameo appearance.  
  • Last Forever - Part One - A flashback sequence shows Robin revealing to the Gang for the first time that she is Canadian after Barney mockingly asked what country she is from.

Recurring and Special Characters Portrayed as Canadian

Notes and Trivia

  • The character that plays Robin, Cobie Smulders, is Canadian in real life.  
  • Producers originally meant for Robin to be from Toronto but changed it to Vancouver. [1]
  • In an interview with George Stroumboulopoulos, Smulders revealed that one of the show's writers is also Canadian, specifically from Guelph. [2]  One of the show's co-creators, Craig Thomas, said in an interview with website Canadian of the Week that a lot of the specific Canadian references are from staff writer Chuck Tatham.[3]
  • On 6 December 2017, Smulders posted on her Instagram account that she made her own Robin Sparkles-themed Tim Hortons doughnuts. [4]
  • Tim Hortons also actually happens to have several branches in the New York metro area and other parts of the US.  
  • The 'actual' and 'fictionalised'/'movie' versions of Stella, Sarah Chalke and Malin Akerman respectively, are both Canadians.  However, unlike other Candian guest stars who appeared or were mentioned in the series, neither actresses' Canadian citizenship was alluded to at all.  The character Stella is instead portrayed as someone from New Jersey. 
  • Although Katie Scherbatsky is Robin's sister, her nationality was never explicitly mentioned.  Given that Robin's and Katie's mother is British, it technically remains unclear whether Katie is Canadian.
    • Katie is shown to share Robin's love for hockey and calling her and Lily "Hosers" in Daisy.
  • The name of Robin's childhood dog, Sir Scratchewan, is an obvious play on the word Saskatchewan, a province in central Canada.  
  • The highest point in Canada is actually not Mount Waddington as Robin pointed out in Dowisetrepla.  It is actually Mount Logan in Yukon.

References

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