How I Met Your Mother Wiki
How I Met Your Mother Wiki
Lobster Crawl

HIMYM episode 8x09 (169)

Lobster Crawl 1.jpg
First aired:
December 3, 2012
Pamela Fryman
Barbara Adler
Barney's Blog

Images (9)

Robin is determined to get Barney back no matter what it takes. Meanwhile, Ted fills in as Marvin’s nanny, leading Marshall and Lily to realize that Ted is using baby Marvin to replace his other baby...the GNB building.


While at MacLaren's, Lily notices Robin flirting with Barney and calls her aside to ask her about it. Robin denies flirting with Barney, as she isn't interested in him. She informs Lily she made her intentions clear to Barney as she turned him down when he kissed her the other week, and Barney also realized that she was right (as he told her that he is done pursuing her). However, Lily realizes that it's the classic "Lobster situation", referring to the time Robin ate lobster when a doctor told her that she could never have it, as she is allergic to it. Since Barney told Robin that he is done trying to get her, Robin wants him back, as she always wants what she can't have.

Robin continues flirting with Barney, although her voice of reason tells her to stop, but she fails to get his attention. She later tells Lily that she has had a revelation; just like she never wanted lobster again after she ate it once, she needs to sleep with Barney one last time to get over him. Although Lily tells her that it's a bad idea, Robin decides to go through with it by devising a number of plays to seduce Barney but they all fail. She then decides to ask Lily for help, who tells her that although she doesn't agree with her trying to sleep with Barney, she can't watch Robin make a fool of herself. She tells Robin to "get freaky" with a girl in front of Barney to get his attention, since it worked when she wanted to get Marshall's attention in college. Robin then walks in MacLaren's with her co-worker Brandi and starts grinding with her, hoping to get Barney's attention. However, her plan backfires when Barney heads out with Brandi to have sex with her in the World Wide News studio.

The next day, Barney comes to MacLaren's and tells Lily and Robin that he didn't sleep with Brandi and spent the night thinking about how every thing he's done since his break-up with Quinn has been a cry for help and he has realized that he is searching for what he really wants in life, but he has no idea what that is, but he is going to figure it out. After Barney leaves, Robin feels guilty for obsessing over hooking-up with Barney while he is going through something like this, and she is going to give Barney the space and time to figure himself out. However, she appears at Barney's apartment in lingerie. She tells him that it's okay that he doesn't know what he wants in life, as long as he knows what he wants that night. However, Barney tells her that he does know what he wants and looks at Patrice, who is sitting in his living room. He tells Robin that last night they talked all night after he sent Brandi home, as Patrice was sympathetic to him. He also tells her that he is on a date with Patrice right now, leaving Robin shocked.

Meanwhile, while Mickey, Marvin's nanny, is under the weather, Marshall and Lily need a temporary nanny, and Ted volunteers as the semester is over and the new GNB headquarters is finished. He says that he is meeting a headhunter for his next project next week and can be Marvin's nanny until then. However, Marshall and Lily miss Marvin crawling for the first time, while he is with Ted, which upsets Lily but Marshall says that they will be able to see Marvin's other "firsts." However, Ted goes a little overboard when he buys Marvin all his winter clothes. When he tells Lily and Marshall that he cancelled his meeting with the headhunter and gave Mickey the month off as he is going to take Marvin for his first sleigh ride, they fire him. However, they later call him to apologize and ask him to meet at the swimming club he signed Marvin up for. When Ted gets there, they tell him that they found the scrapbook Ted made of Marvin's "firsts" and it reminded them of the scrapbook he made for the New GNB building's "firsts." That project was his baby, and now that it is over and he is scared to move on. Ted tells him that that building is his biggest accomplishment and it's hard to let it go. Marshall tells him that they rescheduled his meeting with the headhunter to help him find his next project. Ted later apologizes for overdoing it with Marvin, especially taking him to see Santa (something that Marshall and Lily wanted to do). Marshall and Lily tell him that they forgive him, however a few years later, they take their revenge by taking Ted's daughter to see Santa when they are babysitting her.

When Barney gets ketchup on a tie he is wearing while eating a burger, he mourns the death of his tie, whom he named Cornelius. When he later wears a bib to eat lobster, he has an idea and produces bibs for men, to protect their clothing and also look like a part of the attire they are wearing, naming them "Bro-Bibs."


  • The way Robin's plays to seduce Barney are shown is similar to how Barney's plays from his Playbook are shown in The Playbook.
  • Patrice says that she gives cookies to people who are unhappy. This is first seen in The Broath, when she bakes cookies for Robin.
  • In the final scene of the episode, The Mother's yellow umbrella can be seen hanging off of the hooks by Future Ted's front door. This also marks the first instance where the Mother is indirectly included in a scene without actually making an appearance, as she honks her car for Future Ted to hurry up.
  • Lily has several times expressed her desire for girl-on girl-action with Robin. In particular, the "it would be just stupid and fun" sentence is a reference to The Perfect Cocktail.
  • Ted's readiness and haste to become a father is mentioned or shown multiple times in this episode, which is a common theme throughout the series.
  • This episode marks the second appearance of Ted's future daughter outside the 2030 framing sequence; she previously appeared in Trilogy Time​.
  • Barney's reaction and attachment to his tie in the beginning is similar to that of his suit in Girls Versus Suits.
  • In Symphony of Illumination Robin learns she can't have kids and suddenly realizes that she might've wanted kids after all, similar to her desiring lobster only after she learns she's allergic, or desiring Barney only when she believes he's permanently unavailable.

Future References (Contains Spoilers)


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

Memorable Quotes

Patrice: Whenever I see someone unhappy, I get the urge to give them cookies and I really wanna give you cookies now. Cookie?
Barney: Lame. No, thanks.
Patrice: You're sure? They're heart-shaped. I'm sorry, a couple of them are broken.
Barney: (sobs) I know how they feel! I'd love one.

Barney: Someone's about to get unseasonably banged.

Marshall: Aw, hey, buddy, listen, we wanted to talk to you about how you've kind of been overdoing it with Marvin.
Ted: I haven't been overdoing it.
Marshall: Ted, we're in a baby swim class, and clearly you've done something extreme to get the naming rights to that lollipop bin. But I-I think that we've figured out what's going on with you. See, after we let you go....
Marshall: What is this?
Lily: Marvin's Book of Firsts? Ted took Marvin to see Santa?! Oh, I am gonna take this book and I'm gonna shove it so far up his...
Marshall: The point is, it made us remember another scrapbook you made. That project really was your baby, and now it's over, and you're scared to move on.
Ted: I poured my blood, sweat and tears into that building. Though, to be fair, a lot of that happened the day I accidentally fell down the elevator shaft.
Marshall: Mm.
Ted: The point is, it's just really hard to let go. Especially when that building's my biggest accomplishment. I mean, maybe if I was where you guys are at in life, with all you have to be proud of.
Marshall: We get it, okay? You're always gonna be Uncle Ted.

Barney: Robin? What are you doing here?
Robin: It's okay if you don't know what you want in life as long as you know what you want tonight.
Barney: Well I do know what I want.
Patrice: Hi, Robin!
Robin: Nobody asked you here, Patrice!
Barney: Actually, I did. Last night.


Ted: Starting at quarterback, the pride of Cleveland, Marvin Eriksen! Right? Right, guys? He's gonna be a little Browns fan!
Marshall: (exaggerated crying)
Ted: Oh, by the way, I cancelled that meeting with the headhunter, so I can take care of Marvin next week.
Lily: What? No, no, my dad'll be better by then.
Ted: It's supposed to snow, and, uh, Uncle Ted doesn't want to miss Marvin's first sleigh ride.
Lily & Marshall: You're fired!

Notes and Trivia

Goofs and Errors

  • In the clip of Robin eating "Lobster" with a blown up face from her allergy, she is actually eating King Crab.
  • The wet patch in Barney's tie moves from middle of tie to end remaining the middle dry after a shot.
  • In the flashforward at the end of the episode, Ted is seen wearing a ring. However, he wouldn't have been married when his daughter is still a baby; Ted and the mother do not get married for another five years.

Allusions and Outside References

Other Notes

  • The show created the tie-in websites mentioned in the episode: and
  • Robin's Playbook
    • The Damsel in Distress
    • The Center of Attention
    • The "Is That Angelina Jolie?!"
    • The Ask for Lily's Help
    • The Robin & Lily Get Freaky
    • The Robin & "That Bitch Brandi" Get Freaky



Featuring an interview with Barbara Adler, Romanski and Eric Falconer.


  • The episode received 8.26 million viewers. [1]
  • Donna Bowman of The AV Club gave the episode a B+, saying, “Lobster Crawl doesn’t have the effortless exuberance of the very best HIMYM episodes. But it has an overflowing lollipop bin of throwaway lines and little character moments, especially from douchey Ted, bicurious Lily, and (of course) increasingly desperate and confused Robin. And it has a kind of sincerity, a commitment to the real consequences of this open-ended search for love within the far-too-narrow boundaries of one’s circle of intimates, that I can’t help but respect. Or maybe I just identify with Robin, who declares her passion in front of a man who’s chosen conversation and cookies instead of aversion therapy and gets shamed in a way far more devastating than she deserves. Because everything done in that little group gets magnified, and nobody can pretend that the moments are meaningless”. [2]
  • Max Nicholson of IGN gave the episode 5.9 out of 10, saying that “for the most part, I did enjoy Ted's babysitting storyline" but "tying the whole thing in to Ted's work felt a bit contrived." He says that "Barney's 'Bro Bib' storyline was decent, if not a little distracting" and calls the final scene "bizarre." Overall, he argues that the episode "did ... feature one pleasant (if not flawed) storyline and a few gratifying jokes”. [3]
  • Angel Cohn of Television Without Pity gave the episode a C-, saying that overall the episode was “pretty damn terrible. So much so that if it wasn't my job to watch it, I would have turned it off." Cohn says, "I miss laughter and writing down lines that cracked me up, but instead my notes are filled with things that annoyed me. It's depressing”. [4]
  • The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 8 out of 10 stars. "...Barney gives his tie CPR..."


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