HIMYM episode 1x01 (1)

First aired:
September 19, 2005
Pamela Fryman
Carter Bays
Craig Thomas
Barney's Blog

Images (18)

Future Ted begins telling his two kids the story of how he met their mother. He introduces Barney, Lily, Marshall and Robin, telling his kids how Lily and Marshall got engaged and how he met Robin.


The episode (and series) begins with future Ted announcing to his two teenaged children that he will be telling them the story of how he met their mother. They are unamused. 

In 2005, law student Marshall decides to propose to kindergarten teacher Lily, his longtime girlfriend. As he rehearses the proposal to their college friend/roommate Ted at the Apartment, Marshall asks Ted what he'll be doing that night while they get engaged. This causes Ted to reflect on his life; believing that at age 27 he feels ready to start searching for his soulmate, "the one". At MacLaren's, the local bar situated underneath their apartment block, along with close friend and smooth-talking womanizer Barney, Ted meets Robin, a journalist at Metro News 1, who is new in town. Their eyes meet across the room and Ted points her out to Barney, who makes a crude remark. Ted begins obsessing about the perfect way to approach Robin but Barney simply asks her "Have you met Ted?" and the two strike up a conversation. They go on to have a successful date, which ends early with Robin being called away to report a news story. Ted realizes he may have missed "the signal" to kiss Robin, and tries to arrange another time to meet her.

He symbolically steals an ornamental Blue French Horn from the restaurant where he and Robin had their first date, then heads to her apartment. After Robin invites him inside, they begin to slow dance. They take turns listing things they like about one another until Ted spontaneously announces "I think I'm in love with you". Robin is stunned and confused, so Ted goes to leave. 

After a lingering goodbye, in which Ted explains he's "not good at being single", he once again misses "the signal" to kiss her, disappointing his friends back at the bar as he later recounts shaking her hand. The episode ends in 2030, with Ted telling his children this is how he met their Aunt Robin, not their Mother. 


  • Barney begins insisting that he is Ted's best friend in this episode.
  • Barney breaks up words by saying "wait for it" in between syllables for the first time.
  • Barney first mentions his blog.
  • Barney's love of Laser tag is introduced.
  • Barney's dislike of the concept of marriage ("[death is] a perfect metaphor"), and related mocking of Marshall and Lily's plans to marry, is introduced.
  • Marshall is the first character in the show referred to as "Uncle". 
  • Barney plays his "Have you met Ted?" game for the first time.
  • Ted's architecture career, Lily's job as a kindergarten teacher, Marshall studying law, and Robin's journalism career at Metro News 1 are all introduced.
  • Marshall and Lily getting together in the first week of their freshman year of college is first mentioned.

Future References (Contains Spoilers)

  • Ted saying "I love you" to Robin on the first date is referenced repeatedly in future episodes, including Purple Giraffe​​​, Game NightFirst Time In New York, The Leap​​​ and Mystery vs. History​​​.
  • Marshall does the robot, a dance move that he uses on several other occasions, including in Okay Awesome and The Limo​​​.
  • Barney's "Have you met Ted?" game is adapted for other people in future episodes, including Robin in The Duel and Marshall in The Scorpion and the Toad​​​; Barney is also seen using it on himself ("Have you met me?") and simultaneously with his brother James ("Have you met my brother?") in Single Stamina​​​, and he teaches it to Justin and Kyle in Sunrise.
  • Robin's recently dumped friend reappears in Zip, Zip, Zip​​​, where her only line ("What's taking so long?") is the same as it is here.
  • Barney's catchphrase Suit Up! is introduced. The origin of the phrase is explained in Game Night.
  • Marshall says that Ted has always described his perfect woman as liking dogs, and in Cupcake, Ted claims that he's only attracted to "dog people".
  • Ted stealing the Blue French Horn is referred to throughout the series, as seen in Come On​​​, Something Blue​​​, Shelter Island​​​ and Last Forever - Part Two.
  • Lily and Marshall have sex on the kitchen floor again after the second time they get engaged in Atlantic City​​​, and while testing their new carpet samples in The Chain of Screaming​​​.
  • Marshall popping the champagne cork into Lily's eye is referenced again in Atlantic City and Zoo or False.
  • Ted states that he was in the top bunk when Lily and Marshall had sex for the first time, as depicted in First Time In New York.
  • In Monday Night Football, Robin is only seen joining in on the gang's annual tradition of watching the Super Bowl together in 2006, as they only met her here, in the fall of 2005, after the Super Bowl.
  • Ted's first meeting with Barney is expanded upon in How I Met Everyone Else​​​, where they do indeed meet at the urinal.
  • The story of how Robin met Barney and Ted, particularly Barney saying "Oh yeah, you just know she likes it dirty", is referenced again in How I Met Everyone ElseFarhampton, and Knight Vision.
  • When Ted and Barney first met, Barney says "Ted, I'm going to teach you how to live." He told Marshall the same thing when they first met, as revealed in How I Met Everyone Else. Barney also tells Ted that he is going to "re-teach" him how to live in Wait For It, and says it to Justin and Kyle in Sunrise.
  • Marshall injures someone by popping a champagne cork in their eye again in Dowisetrepla​​​, where he does so to Wendy the Waitress with the "comically-large champagne bottle".
  • Ted has a beard and moustache in the flashback to him meeting Barney for the first time. He is shown with a goatee in the flashback to 2002 in Double Date, and with similar facial hair in the flashback to Barney's days as Insane Duane's best friend in Symphony of Illumination.
  • Barney says "This just in..." as a double entendre for sex. Lily imagines Robin doing the same thing when convincing Marshall not to tell the gang about their decision to start a family in Doppelgangers​​​.
  • Marshall similarly assures Lily that he did not want to be kissed by another person in Jenkins​​​.
  • In Baby Talk​​​, Lily shoots down Marshall's suggestion to name their child "Rob", revealing that the kid who "got to second base" with her and left a purple hand print on her breast is named Rob.
  • A similar opening sequence appears in Symphony of Illumination, when Robin is talking to her imaginary children.
  • Robin complains about doing fluff pieces at her news station, and her frustration with doing such pieces is referenced again in several episodes, including Purple Giraffe and Do I Know You?​​​. She eventually quits her job at Metro News 1 in I Heart NJ​​​ and ultimately becomes a famous journalist by Last Forever - Part Two, 25 years later.
  • Ted tells Yasmin he wants a band and not a DJ for his future wedding. In Band or DJ?, however, he attempts to convince Robin to get a DJ instead of a band for her wedding, apparently because he is having trouble with the idea of Robin marrying Barney, and is equating the two decisions.
  • Robin says she hates olives here, but changes her mind about them by Platonish, as seen there in a flashback, making Ted hopeful that she might also change her mind about being with him. This implies Ted no longer believes in the "Olive Theory" he explains to Robin here; indeed, it is proven false here itself when it is revealed that Marshall and Lily both like olives.
  • Marshall kisses a man again in The Broath, when he and Ted kiss as part of the gang's apology to Barney.
  • As seen in How Your Mother Met Me, the events in this episode happen on the same night as The Mother's 21st birthday party, which she celebrates it at another bar called MacLaren's. Her friend Kelly gets the two confused, and runs out of the gang's pub just as Barney gets ready to play "Have you met Ted?"
  • Future Ted mentions that he found out years later that his friends were right and Robin was indeed giving him "the signal" to kiss after their first date, as seen in Sunrise.
  • Robin lives alone in a large Brooklyn apartment despite having recently arrived in New York for her job as a junior TV news reporter. In Unpause, Ted learns that her family is very wealthy.


  • Ted's kids in the future.
  • Lily after finger painting day at school
  • Marshall and Lily celebrate their engagement
  • The result of an accident with the champagne
  • Ted sees Robin for the first time
  • Ted and Robin after their first date
  • Robin gives Ted the 'signal' when they shake hands
For a listing of all images on the wiki tagged as being from this episode, see Category:Pilot images.

Memorable Quotes

Future Ted: Kids, I'm gonna tell you an incredible story - the story of how I met your mother.
Son: Are we being punished for something?
Future Ted: No.
Daughter: Yeah, is this going to take a while?
Future Ted: Yes.

Lily: Wow, you're cooking?
Marshall: Yes, I am.
Lily: Awww. Are you sure that's a good idea after last time? You looked really creepy without eyebrows

Marshall: Oh, hey, look what I got. (brings out bottle of champagne and hands it to Lily)
Lily: Aww, honey. Champagne. (hands bottle back to Marshall)
Marshall: Yeah. (hands bottle back to Lily)
Lily: No, you are too old to be scared to open a bottle of champagne.

Robin: I'm going to Orlando for a week on Friday. Some guy is attempting to make the world's biggest pancake. Guess who's covering it.
Ted: That's gonna take a week?
Robin: Yeah, he's gonna eat it too. It's another record.

Barney: Why are we still sitting here? Let's go, we can still make last call. What do you say, Lil? Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum? 'Cause you're a pirate?

Robin: Hold on, wait a minute. Promised you these.
Ted: Olives, thanks. I love you. What is wrong with me?!

Ted: So, you're a reporter?
Robin: Well, kind of a reporter. I do those dumb little fluff pieces at the end of the news, like... Monkey can play a ukulele. I'm hoping for some bigger stories.
Ted: Bigger... Like, a gorilla with an upright bass? Sorry, you're very pretty.

Ted: She didn't even give me the signal!
Barney: What, is she gonna... is she gonna bat her eyes at you in morse code? (bats eyes) "Ted... kiss me." No! You just kiss her!
Ted: Not if you don't get the signal!

(Barney spontaneously kisses Marshall)

Barney: Did Marshall give me the signal?
Marshall: No! (to Lily) I didn't, I swear!

Barney: So, Ranjit, you must have done it with a Lebanese girl...
Lily: Ok, that's my Barney limit.

Barney: ...Just once, when I say "suit up", I'd wish you'd put on a suit!
Ted: I did, that one time.
Barney: It was a blazer!

Marshall: (giving a toast) To my fiance!
Lily: To the future!
Ranjit: To one hell of a night!

Future Ted: (voice over about seeing Robin for the first time) It was like something from an old movie. Where the sailor sees the girl across the crowded dance floor and turns to his buddy, and says, "See that girl? I'm gonna marry her someday."
Ted: Hey, Barney. See that girl?
Barney: Oh, yeah, you just know she likes it dirty.

Ted: I'm so happy for Marshall, I really am. I just can't imagine settling down right now.
Yasmin: So, do you think you'll ever get married?
Ted: Well, maybe eventually... some fall day, possibly in Central Park... simple ceremony, we'll write our own vows... band, no DJ, people will dance, I'm not gonna worry about it!

Marshall: (rehearsing with Ted) Will you marry me?
Ted: Yes, perfect! And then you're engaged, you pop the champagne, you do your toast, you have sex on the kitchen floor! Don't have sex on our kitchen floor.

Barney: (after Robin throws a drink in Ted's face) De -wait for it- Nied! Denied!

Barney: There's no such thing as the signal! But yeah, that was the signal.

Future Ted: That, kids, is the true story of how I met your Aunt Robin.
Son: Aunt Robin?!
Daughter: I thought this was how you met mom?
Future Ted: Will you relax? I'm getting to it. Like I said, it's a long story.

Ted: You know what? I'm done being single, I'm not good at it. Look, obviously you can't tell a woman you just met that you love her, but it sucks that you can't. I'll tell you something though, if a woman, not you, just some hypothetical woman, were to bear with me through all this, I think I'd make a damn good husband, because that's the stuff I'd be good at. Stuff like making her laugh and being a good father and walking her five hypothetical dogs. Being a good kisser...
Robin: Everyone thinks they're a good kisser.
Ted: Oh, I've got references.

Ranjit: Actually, I'm from Bangladesh.
Barney: The women hot there?
Ranjit: Here's a picture of my wife.
Barney: (whispering) A simple no would've sufficed.

Robin: I love a Scotch that's old enough to order its own Scotch.

Robin: I think I like your olive theory.
Ted: I think I like your new French horn.
Robin: I think I like your nose.
Ted: I think I'm in love with you.

Ted: I gotta do what that guy couldn't, I gotta take the leap!...Okay, not a perfect metaphor, 'cause for me it's fall in love and get married, and for him it's...death.
Barney: Actually, that is a perfect metaphor...(to Marshall and Lily who just got engaged) By the way, did I congratulate you two?

Barney: Hi, have you met Ted?
Barney's classic wingman line

Marshall: I'm full of surprises tonight.
Lily: So there's more surprises?! Like what?
Marshall: (screaming) BOOGADABOO!!! And that's all of 'em!!

Barney: (answering the phone) Hey, so you know how I've always had a thing for half-Asians? Well, now I have a new favorite: Lebanese girls. Lebanese girls are the new half-Asians.

Ted: I've been there for all the big moments of you and Lily: the night you met, your first date, other first things...
Marshall: Huh-uh-uh, yeah, sorry, we thought you were asleep.
Ted: It's physics Marshall, if the bottom bunk moves the top bunk moves too.

Barney: You suited up! This is totally going in my blog!

Marshall: I'm sorry, Lily. I am so sorry. (To the Cab Driver) Take us to the hospital.
Cab Driver: Woah woah woah. Did you hit her?
Lily: (laughs with Marshall) Hit me? Please, I'd kick his skinny ass. 
Marshall: It's true, she would.
Lily: I mean, I love him. We just got engaged, but this guy can barely spank me in bed for fun. It's just these little love-pats. He's all like "Oh honey did that hurt?" and I'm all like "C'mon let me have it ya pansy!" Wow, complete stranger.
Cab Driver: No, no, no, no! It's OK! Go on. So, these spankings, you in pajamas or au naturale?

Barney: (on the phone) Hey, loser. How is not playing laser tag? Because playing laser tag is awesome! (to a kid) Oh, I killed you, Conner! Don't make me get your mom!
Ted: Hey, listen, I need your help on something.
Barney: Okay, meet me at the bar in 15 minutes. And suit up!

Ted: I could end up marrying this woman; I want our first kiss to be special.
Lily: Aw, that's sweet. So you chickened out like a little bitch?

Future Ted: Son, a piece of advice: when you go on a first date, you really don't want to say "smurf penis." Girls don't ordinarily like that.

Ted: That was not the signal!
Future Ted: I asked her about it years later, and, yes, that was the signal.

Robin: My friend just got dumped, so tonight all men are "the enemy."
Ted: If it would make your friend feel better, you can throw a drink in my face.
Robin: She would love that!

Ted: Marshall, remember this night. When you're the best man at our wedding and you give a speech, you're gonna tell this story.
Barney: Why does he get to be the best man? I'm your best friend!

Notes and Trivia

Goofs and Errors

  • In the scene with Marshall and Lily with the champagne bottle, the first scene shows the bottle covered in foil, but in the last where Marshall uncorks it, there is no foil.
  • In the scene where Ted meets Robin, Robin first has her hair covering her ears, but in the next shot, she has her hair behind her ears.
  • In the scene where Robin was covering the "jumper story", instead of saying Metro News 1 she says Metro 1 News.
  • As in other early episodes from the first season, Robin's surname is pronounced Sher-BAT-sky instead of Sher-BAH-tsky.
  • In Barney's first scene, when he's getting a shave, the barber was holding and using the straight razor incorrectly. It's fairly useless to move the razor in the opposite direction of the blade edge but may have been done for safety reasons.
  • Ranjit's cab clearly pulls up to a space on the side of the road outside Robin's apartment, but in all the scenes in Ranjit's cab, the backdrop in the rear window shows his cab in the middle of the road.
  • In the scene where Ted goes to Robin's apartment to give her the blue french horn, Robin's kitchen appears to be on the right side of her harth. However, in later seasons her kitchen is on the left side.

Allusions and Outside References

  • When Ted sees the blue french horn, he calls it a "Smurf Penis," which he tells his son is typically a bad idea on a first date. The Smurfs were a fictional group of small sky blue creatures who live somewhere in the forests of medieval Europe. They began in a Belgian comic strip in 1958, but gained the most popularity from the Hanna-Barbera television series, which ran from 1981 to 1989.
    • Interestingly, Neil Patrick Harris (Barney) starred in The Smurfs movie, only 6 years later.


  • Otis Redding - Cigarettes and Coffee
  • The Pretenders - Back on the Chain Gang

Other Notes

  • In his audition, which included the laser tag scene, Neil Patrick Harris did the dive roll that he does in this episode. Alyson Hannigan, who was in the next room during Harris's audition, asked Harris to bump the wall when he did the dive so that she knew that he had done it. Harris misjudged the space and he hit the wall harder than he intended knocking himself out.
  • The champagne that the group drinks at the end of the episode was real champagne, but the actors (including Marshall Manesh, who plays Ranjit, who doesn't drink alcohol because of religious reasons) didn't know that fact until they drank it.
  • This is one of the few episodes along with Game Night, Hopeless, 46 Minutes​​​​ and How Your Mother Met Me to forgo the traditional opening (the yellow-tinted montage of the photographs containing all five main characters). Instead, you see a series of non-tinted photographs of Ted, Marshall, and some unnamed female friends.  This is the only episode in Season 1 to feature a cold open with fresh footage and not cut directly into the opening titles.  Such a feature will only become regular in Season 2 onwards.  
  • This episode features an audio commentary by show creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, Director Pamela Fryman and cast members Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie SmuldersAlyson Hannigan and Neil Patrick Harris.
  • It is revealed that in college, the bottom bunk was Marshall's and the top - Ted's.


  • This episode was nominated for the 2006 Excellence in Production Design Award for Television - Multi-Camera Television Series.
  • This episode won the 2006 Emmy Award for Outstanding Art Direction for a Multi-Camera Series.



  • The episode received generally favorable reviews, garnering a score of 69 from Metacritic.[1]
  • Nielsen Media gave it a viewership rating of 5.2/8 for households with 3.3 rating for adults age 18-49.[2]
  • The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 8 out of 10 stars. "Based on this great first episode, we see a lot of potential for this series!"


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