HIMYM episode 5x01 (89)

First aired:
September 21, 2009
Pamela Fryman
Carter Bays
Craig Thomas
Barney's Blog

Images (16)

The gang uncover Barney and Robin's recent romance and Lily forces them to "define the relationship". Ted must decide what kind of professor he is going to be.


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Future Ted explains how nervous he was his first day of teaching, when he was trying to figure out what kind of teacher he would be; formal disciplinarian or laid-back peer. Before his first class, Marshall gives Ted the gift of a worn leather fedora and a whip, just like fictional college professor Indiana Jones (later in the alley, Marshall is caught by the whip in the face). At which point they return to the apartment to find Robin and Barney making out on the couch.

That night, Ted has a dream about his first day. As he starts talking to his class, a girl raises her hand. She asks him who he thinks he is. A second student asks why he is teaching the class when he himself is a failure at architecture. A third student asks why he doesn't have a hat and a whip. Another student quickly asks why he isn't wearing any pants. Ted wakes in a panic, only to find Barney rifling through his night-stand for condoms.

Skärmavbild 2013-12-19 kl. 13.26.30

Ted wonders whether "professor" is spelled with one f or two.

At the actual first day of class, Ted starts writing, "Professor Mosby" on the board, but forgets if the word "Professor" has one "F" or two. This starts him off on a spiral of anxiety, alternating between stern authority figure or laid-back buddy. The same girl depicted in his dream raises her hand, but following Barney's advice, Ted is not taking questions during the first class. She was attempting to tell him he was in the wrong classroom.

Students start answering Ted's questions about architecture, trying to dissuade him, but he only takes it as a challenge, and reworks their answers into positives. The real teacher eventually shows up, and humiliated, Ted runs across campus to his actual classroom. After being so embarrassed, Ted doesn't have the energy to think about what kind of teacher he'll be, and simply starts teaching.

Meanwhile, Barney and Robin have spent the summer sleeping together, but without any discussion about their relationship ("the Talk"). After the events of The Leap, Lily is ecstatic to have another couple to double date with, but the two quickly tell her they are not dating. They then lie to the gang all summer while hooking up secretly. When the gang walks in on the two of them making out on Ted's couch, Barney and Robin talk about how much they hate talking about relationships and feelings. Later that night, Marshall's law school buddy Brad asks Robin out on a date to a hockey game.

At the arena, Robin is enthusiastic about the game, but admits that she feels weird going out with Brad, because she has feelings for Barney. Brad tells Robin she needs to have "the Talk" with Barney, and suddenly, they are put on the Jumbotron for a public kiss. Back at the apartment, Ted tells Barney that Robin is already his girlfriend according to his "Gremlins" rule. During a tuxedo-themed night at the bar, Barney explains you cannot get a woman wet (let her shower in your house), expose her to sunlight (date her before sunset), or feed her after midnight (breakfast together), or she will turn into your girlfriend. Marshall laments being left out of the occasion. Barney rushes to the arena and interrupts the New York Rangers "Kiss Cam" by ineffectually punching Brad in the face. After apologizing, he and Robin are still unable to admit that they are dating.
Skärmavbild 2013-12-19 kl. 13.24.40

Robin and Brad on the kiss cam.

Back at the apartment, after another night of sex, Robin tries to leave the room, but the doorknob detaches. Lily is outside, having sabotaged the door, and is waiting for them to have "the Talk." Robin and Barney pass a few notes under the door with vague explanations, none of which satisfy her (punctuated by Marshall cracking the whip and yelling "Not good enough"). Lured by Marshall's ploy of fanning the smell of fresh breakfast in front of their door, eventually Robin and Barney decide to lie and say that they are dating, but their lie clearly has elements of sincerity. Lily lets them out, prompting Marshall to crack the whip and yell "Good enough!". Robin and Barney leave the apartment hand-in-hand to go to brunch. Ted tells Lily that they're lying to her, to w
Hey what bf
hich she responds that they don't realize they're not lying to each other.

Later that night, after being left out of Tuxedo Night, Marshall shows up dressed to the nines at MacLaren's.


  • Marshall being upset at feeling left out by Ted and Barney, first seen in Third Wheel​​​, is referenced again when he complains that they never invite him on Tuxedo Night.
  • Lily makes the same noise when she finds out about Barney and Robin's relationship as the "Woo!" girls in Woooo!​​​.
  • Barney previously displayed jealousy over Robin hooking up with other guys, as shown here when he punches Brad, in Benefits​​​ and Mosbius Designs​​​, where she does so with Ted and PJ, respectively.

Future References (Contains Spoilers)

  • In The Leap​​​, Future Ted mentions that the Mother was in the first class he taught, which, as revealed here, was not an architecture class. This comes up again in Girls Versus Suits, where Future Ted adds that she thought he was "a complete idiot", as did her then-roommate Cindy, who was also in the class.
  • Future Ted mentions that he would have never met the Mother if he hadn't started teaching at Columbia. In Girls Versus Suits, he meets Cindy, through whom she and her band get hired to perform at Barney and Robin's wedding in Band or DJ?, where he finally meets her, as seen in Last Forever - Part Two.
  • When Barney and Robin finally have the talk, Robin says "But...umm" twice, which, as revealed in Jenkins​​​, is something she does frequently on her TV show.
  • Ted references Barney breaking into his room for condoms when he has a dream about John Clifford Larrabee, the Arcadian's architect, in Landmarks, due to Larrabee looking like Barney in his dream.
  • The Mother studying economics is referenced in Bass Player Wanted, where she tells Marshall that she started her band, Superfreakonomics, with some friends from business school. It also revealed in How Your Mother Met Me that she decided to study economics in order to further her goal of ending world poverty.
  • Additional details about the economics class are revealed in How Your Mother Met Me.


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

Memorable Quotes

Barney: How do you keep a girl from becoming your girlfriend? Simple! The rules for girls are the same as the rules for gremlins
Ted: Gremlins?
Barney: Gremlins. Rule number one: Never get them wet. In other words, don’t let her take a shower at your place. Number two: Keep them away from sunlight, i.e. don't ever see them during the day. And rule number three: Never feed them after midnight. Meaning she doesn't sleep over, and you don’t have breakfast with her. Ever.
Ted: What about brunch? Is brunch cool?
Barney: ... No Ted. Brunch is not cool.

Barney: Maybe we should get back to being just friends.
Robin: Maybe... but I don't want to stop having sex.
Barney: Oh, good, me neither! *leans over to kiss Robin*
Robin: Yeah, friends isn't gonna work.
Barney: Nope. We're not good at being friends. We're not good at being in a relationship. What are we good at?
Robin: I know something we're good at.
Barney: I don't know. If we're gonna do it again we're gonna need some Gatorades.
Robin: No, not that —lying.
Barney and Robin try to define their relationship

Barney: Lily, why can't you just let us be happy?
Lily: You're not happy! You just think you're happy because you feel happy.
Barney: And that's not happy?
Lily: Of course not!

Future Ted: Finally, my first class had arrived. For real this time. I knew I had to make a strong impression. I had thought of everything. Except
Ted: Wait. Does professor have one "F" or two? Oh, my God Oh, my God! Professor. Pro-fess-or. They're all staring at me. Professor. I don't know. Just do something! Two "F's". That looks right. I think that's right.
Ted forgets how to spell professor on his first day teaching.

Notes and Trivia

  • In the beginning of the episode when older Ted's voice over states that he didn't know his future wife was in the classroom, she can be seen in one of the wide shots of the class, in the right side of the frame.
    • This isn't possible considering The Mother was not cast until Season 8. 

Goofs and Errors

  • When explaining that they don't like the talk, you can see Barney and Robin in bed together. When they roll over you can see Robin's nipple.
  • When Ted is writing "professor" on the blackboard, after the girl nods to him, the word had been written differently (most noticeable from the F letter).

Allusions and Outside References

  • How to pick a tie? "Simple! Remember in the movie Predator?"
  • Barney compares women to Gremlins explaining the same rules apply.
  • The fedora and whip given to Ted by Marshall in honor of his new job as a professor is a reference to Indiana Jones, who was also a professor and famous for wearing a fedora and carrying a whip.
  • Barney and Robin compare themselves to Batman and Robin by calling themselves "Barnman and Robin".
  • The episode opens with a scene of the campus, of a statue where it stands quote by Socrates written in stone, "All I know is that I know nothing"


Other Notes

  • Cobie Smulders was pregnant in the filming of this episode.
  • This is the first season premiere not to open with a shot of Ted's kids.
  • International Airdates: Australia: February 11, 2010 on Channel 7; United Kingdom: May 27, 2010 on E4.
  • When Ted is racing to his assigned classroom, the architecture of the quadrangle he's running through is Romanesque Revival, which is notably absent at Columbia University where he is supposed to be on faculty. Rather the campus he is on is the University of Southern California in real life.


  • Joe Manganiello - Brad
  • Brett Ryback - Guy #1
  • Kim Matula - Girl #1
  • Abhi Sinha - Guy #2
  • Laura Ornelas - Girl #2
  • Dale E. Turner - Professor Calzonetti
  • Michael Busch - Student


  • Donna Bowman of The AV Club rated the episode B+. [1]
  • Brian Zoromski of IGN gave the episode 9 out of 10. [2]
  • Cindy McLennan of Television Without Pity rated the episode A. [3]
  • The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 8 out of 10 stars. "...who wouldn't know he was teaching the wrong class? Oh, of course. ... Ted."



External Links

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Double Date

Start a Discussion Discussions about Definitions

  • Ted's wife

    3 messages
    • No, but I'm sure they will re-shoot it and put Christin in there somewhere
    • I think yes. Look at the girl in blue shirt a and green top at time 15:14...
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