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

Girls Versus Suits

HIMYM episode 5x12 (100)

Girls v suits.png
First aired:
January 11, 2010
Pamela Fryman
Carter Bays
Craig Thomas
Barney's Blog

Images (12)

Barney must abandon suits to sleep with a hot bartender who hates men in suits. Ted gets closer than ever to meeting The Mother.


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Future Ted again expounds on the unknowable nature of destiny, and tells the kids about the time he almost met their Mother. After leaving class, he intercepts a series of frat boys inviting a woman (Cindy) up to the roof to drink. Confiscating the alcohol, he sits down to drink the beer with Cindy, a PhD student roughly his own age to whom he can relate. He asks her out on a date and when he comes to pick her up at her apartment, it turns out Cindy has serious issues with her roommate (who Future Ted reveals to be the Mother ); her dates keep falling in love with her roommate, and her roommate's strange habits annoy Cindy. Ted promises Cindy to never fall in love with her roommate - something to which future Ted says, "oops."

During the date, Cindy explains more about her roommate's strange habits which she dislikes but Ted secretly thinks are awesome. Cindy tells how the Mother paints pictures of robots playing sports and has breakfast foods singing show tunes. Future Ted reveals the painting of robots playing volleyball is still hanging in the den and that an English muffin singing "Memories" is the most hauntingly beautiful thing he has heard to this day. Even though she complains about her roommate throughout the evening, Ted wants to continue dating Cindy.

After the date, Cindy tells Ted she can't see him again, blaming the University policy preventing students and lecturers from fraternizing, as she fears it could cost her her scholarship. At first Ted tries to rationalize her decision as being for the best, especially as the others point out that Cindy's future and Ted's job are in jeopardy. Ted is inspired to try again, and shows up at Cindy's apartment and tries to persuade her to go out with him again, unwilling to miss out on the chance of her being the right woman. She takes Ted to talk in her room as her roommate is just about to leave the shower. As he tries to convince Cindy that their paths are meant to cross, he picks out items from her room which show how much they have in common. Cindy reveals that all three objects (the bass guitar, the Unicorns - 'Who will cut our hair when we are gone? ' album and World's End by T.C. Boyle ) are really connected to her roommate. Frustrated that Ted is already more compatible with her roommate, Cindy tells him to leave. Ted does not meet her roommate, although on his way out he does catch a glimpse of her foot, as she disappears into her bedroom. Ted forgets to take the yellow umbrella he brought with him, revealing how the Mother gets it back.

MacLaren's has hired a hot female bartender, Karina, and Barney seeks to add her occupation to his list of conquests. But she doesn't like men in suits, having dated insensitive Wall Street losers. Barney is forced to choose between the girl and the suits. For a while he attempts to dress casually, convincing the hot bartender she misjudged him. He even sneaks away to the bathroom to wear his suit, where he accidentally rips the back. The suit is damaged beyond repair, but his tailor transplants the buttons to save another suit and Barney cremates the remains.

Meanwhile, Lily, Marshall, and Robin argue about the bartender's hotness. Robin is jealous, and even gets behind the bar to show how the location amplifies natural beauty. Carl soon kicks her out from behind the bar. Marshall insists that the bartender is not that hot, saying that Lily is the most beautiful woman he has ever met. Lily tries to get Marshall to say that she is not as beautiful as the bartender, and eventually even implies that the bartender is hotter than Marshall, actually upsetting him a little.

With the urn of suit ashes and his real tears for his lost suit, Barney convinces the hot bartender to go home with him. In his apartment Karina accidentally opens his closet full of suits and realizes he deceived her. She forces him to choose between her and his suits. The scene then transitions to a fantasy sequence, during which she is shown angrily leaving the building while Barney breaks into "Nothing Suits Me Like a Suit", professing his love of suits. He explains how he couldn't possibly choose one women over his suits that give him so much. He fires beams of magic at people on the street, transforming everyone so that they too are wearing suits. They and the rest of the cast all join in as the song grows to a big Broadway song-and-dance number. The sequence ends and we return to the moment where she gave him the ultimatum, where this time he admits his doubts to himself, saying she is "pretty hot." He tells her she is more important than the suits and they will go first thing in the morning. As they fall into bed, he turns to his suits and whispers, "you guys are fine."


  • Ted's love of bass-playing women, referenced in MatchmakerMilk, and Little Boys, is referenced again when he finds his future wife's bass guitar.
  • Lily again reveals her bisexual tendencies when praising Karina's beauty.
  • The list of occupations of girls that Barney has banged was first referenced in Something Borrowed.
  • The Mother makes her fourth on-screen appearance, albeit only her ankle is seen. She previously appeared, obscured by the yellow umbrella, in Wait For It and No Tomorrow​​​​, and in Lucky Penny​​​​, obscured by a bridal veil.
  • Ted leaves the yellow umbrella behind in Cindy's apartment. Future Ted explains that this is how the mother got her umbrella back after losing it in No Tomorrow​​​​.
  • When Ted makes fun of Robin for getting jealous that she may no longer be the "hottest girl in the bar" with Karina around, she giggles and claims that she isn't, referencing her inability to lie without laughing, first demonstrated in The Bracket​​​​.
  • Ted mistakenly walked into Econ 305, thinking it was Architecture 101, in Definitions​.
  • Barney being overly emotionally attached to his clothes previously manifested in Last Cigarette Ever.

Future References (Contains Spoilers)

  • In Definitions, Future Ted says he wouldn't have met the Mother if he hadn't started teaching at Columbia, because it is where he meets Cindy, through whom the Mother and her band get hired to play at Barney and Robin's wedding, as seen in Band or DJ?, where Ted finally meets her, as seen in Last Forever - Part Two.
  • Ted jokes with Cindy that he teaches drunk all the time despite university policy forbidding it. He is seen doing this in Jenkins​​​​.
  • Barney continues to use the jar of suit ashes to pick up women, as in The Stinson Missile Crisis​​​​, he tells Robin that he had, on different occasions, claimed it was his trophy from Wimbledon and his parents' funeral urn, even once convincing a girl it was both.
  • Barney's strange fixation with his clothes is referenced again in Lobster Crawl.
  • Tim Gunn is referred to as Barney's personal tailor when he appears as a guest at his wedding throughout Season 9, as seen in The Broken CodeThe Poker Game, and Sunrise.
  • In How Your Mother Met Me, the Mother is seen with a painting of robots bowling, making an English muffin sing a breakfast-themed version of "One" from A Chorus Line, and reading her copy of World's End by T. C. Boyle, which Ted finds in Cindy's room.
  • How Your Mother Met Me implies that Cindy calls the Mother a whore because of confusion and jealousy over her hidden feelings toward her roommate. The flashback to January 2010 in that episode recounts the conversation between Cindy and the Mother after Cindy kicks Ted out of the apartment, revealing that she kissed the Mother and realized she might be lesbian, as revealed in Big Days.
  • Another song-and-dance number occurs in Ring Up.


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

Memorable Quotes

Barney: Nothing suits me like a suit.

Barney: My friends, I have been with many women in my day: lawyers, teachers, poets, doctors, professional equestrians, amateur equestrians... a butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker—yes, we're to the rhyming section now—a math professor, a tax assessor, a weight guesser...a puppeteer, a blackjack dealer, a stay-at-home-mom— that's a job too, guys—a circuit court jus—

Cindy: She's a whore.
Cindy describes her roommate to Ted

Ted: Gentleman, I'm a faculty member and you're underage. So it's my duty to confiscate this and this and.....Hard Lemonade. You know what, Boomer, you can keep that.
Ted talking to his students

Future Ted: Your mother's rendition of "memories" As performed by an english muffin is, to this day, The most hauntingly beautiful thing I've ever heard.

Ted: Look, I gotta tell you, I mean just from looking around your room I can tell we have a ton in common.
Cindy: Really?
Ted: The Unicorns' "Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone"? I have never met anyone else who has this album!
Cindy: That's my roommate's. Borrowed it.
Ted: Oh. What about this, World's End by T.C. Boyle?
Cindy: That was a birthday gift. From my roommate...haven't checked it out yet.
Ted: Oh...oh, you's a good read. What about this? This is ridiculous! You play bass? Seriously, ask my friends. I always say, my ideal woman (sees look on Cindy's face) ...does not play bass because this is clearly your roommate's.

Notes and Trivia

Goofs and Errors

  • Barney claims not to have slept with a hot bartender before, however in The Platinum Rule​​​​ he slept with Wendy the Waitress, who has been seen bartending on occasion but is only considered a waitress (as it says in her name). Technically, this would not be a mistake if Barney does not consider Wendy to be "hot", but considering how they were attracted to one another and slept together in The Platinum Rule, this is unlikely. Neil Patrick Harris even believed that line was "a bit of a lie" by the writers. [1] Although, it should be noted that Barney has never needed a legitimate reason to sleep with a hot girl. It is likely that his claims were just like any other overly-dramatic reasons he gave for sleeping with someone.
  • During the dance sequence of Nothing Suits Me Like a Suit, after they wave to the deceased suit, Ted lags slightly behind the others.
  • When Barney in putting his suit on in the bathroom stall, he is first seen with the jacket on, but afterward, when he is putting on his belt, tying his tie, and fixing his collar, his jacket is off again.

Allusions and Outside References

  • When Barney tells that the suit would "go out in a bang", it might references the Cowboy Bebop's protagonist, Spike Spiegel, which "bang" is his catchphrase. Also, Spike is always seen wearing a suit, similar to Barney.
  • The CD belonging to Cindy's roommate that Ted picks up when he is in Cindy's room is Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone? by The Unicorns. The book he picks up next is World's End by T. Coraghessan Boyle.
  • When Barney mentions the professions of the girls he had sex with, the part "...A butcher, a baker, a candlestickmaker..." refers to the popular nursery rhyme Rub-a-dub-dub.
  • Ted works for Columbia University. Cindy tells him that University policy prevents them from dating. According to Columbia University: "Consensual, romantic relationships between faculty and other employees and students and between individuals who work together are generally not considered sexual harassment and are not prohibited by University policy."[2]
  • When Barney abandons wearing suits, he wears a t-shirt that has the image of the cover of the 1924 book Die neue Wohnung by the famous architect Bruno Taut.
  • The suits speaking to Barney when he is taking out a t-shirt for that night is like the Basilisk talking to Harry Potter in Parseltongue in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
  • The scene when Barney is in the bathroom stall putting on his suit references the scene in Pulp Fiction when Vincent Vega (John Travolta) is injecting himself with heroin, underscored by the original music played over the scene being heavily influenced by the song "Bullwinkle Part II" by The Centurions, however it is not the same song.
  • The scene when Barney sings and zaps people with a suit-ray resembles Neil Patrick Harris's character in Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog. The cyan color of Barney's suit-ray also matches the color of Dr. Horrible's freeze-ray.
  • Ted describes the Mother's rendition of "Memories" as hauntingly beautiful. The song is "Memory" from the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats.
  • When Ted asks out Cindy, her answer of "almost exclusively" is the same answer Jerry Seinfeld gets from a woman he asks out in the episode The Stake Out (Seinfeld). Ted's question is "So, um, do you ever date cute idiots?" while Jerry's question was "So, um, do you date immature men?"
  • When Ted alludes to the future dogs he will have he names them, "Frank", "Lloyd", and "Wright". Forming the name, "Frank Lloyd Wright" the name of a famous american architect. Most likely the inspiration for the names.[3]
  • The photo of Barney water skiing in his suit is reminiscent of when Fonzie went water skiing while still wearing his signature leather jacket in Happy Days.


Other Notes

  • By examining the ties and suits the main cast are wearing, you can see that the background photos for this website were shot on the same day as the dance sequence at the end of the episode.
  • This marks the 100th episode of the series.
  • "Nothing Suits Me Like a Suit" was backed by seventy-five dancers[4] and accompanied by a fifty-piece orchestra.
  • International Airdates: Australia: April 22, 2010 on Channel 7; United Kingdom: August 12, 2010 on E4.
  • Karina's name is never mentioned on screen, but is revealed in the cast list.
  • During the taping for the musical, in the second to the last scene where the cast dances, they had to reshoot it several times because Jason Segel kept messing up.
  • In the DVD commentary, the cast mention how one of the dancers had worn sneakers because they forgot their dress shoes. This can be seen straight after when Ted, Marshall, Lilly and Robin sing their parts, and a female dancer comes into shot with the other dancers wearing white shoes.



  • Donna Bowman of The A.V. Club rated the episode with a grade A, describing the 100th episode as one of the best the show has ever produced. She describes the episodes as appealing to fans in a way that doesn't exclude other viewers, noting the quality of the writing and editing, the voiceover being used to great effect, and advancing the storyline for all the characters. [5]
  • Brian Zoromski of IGN gave the episode 9.8 out of 10. [6]
  • Cindy McLennan of Television Without Pity rated the episode with a grade A. [7]
  • Nickolas Clague of The New York Times gave the episode 9.2 out of 10. [8]
  • The episode hit a season high with 9.82 million viewers and high overall ratings.
  • The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 9.5 out of 10 stars. "...Barney's after a hot bartender...but will he choose her or his suits?"
  • There is a review and discussion of this episode on #207 Musical TV Episodes Get Broadwaysted!  


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