Something Old

HIMYM episode 8x23 (183)

Robin holds Ted's hand
First aired:
May 6, 2013
Pamela Fryman
Carter Bays
Craig Thomas
Barney's Blog

Images (12)

Robin is desperate to find her “something old” she buried in Central Park years earlier for the wedding. Meanwhile, Marshall and Lily ask for Ted’s help packing for Italy, and Barney bonds with Robin, Sr.


In 1994, Robin's father took Robin to New York City for the first time, for a "father-son" bonding trip. While in Central Park, Robin buried a locket there, which she planned on digging up in the future and using as her "something old" at her wedding.

In the present day, Robin visits Central Park with her father to dig up the locket for her something old at her wedding to Barney. However, before they start digging, he gets a call from Barney, who asks him to be at Laser Tag in fifteen minutes. Robin tells her father that he agreed to help her with this, but when he asks her if she really needs his help, she replies, "Nah, it's stupid", and starts digging alone.

At The apartment, Marshall and Lily are packing for their yearlong move to Rome. When they can’t decide on which stuff to take and leave behind, Marshall suggests that they ask Ted for help, who is good at these things. Lily is reluctant, as she says that Ted gets really cocky. When Ted gets there, Marshall immediately regrets calling him, as he starts acting cocky.

Ted tells Marshall and Lily that he is a great packer, and tales are still told of the time he travelled through for two weeks with everything he needed packed into a handsfree belt satchel (a fanny pack), and the locals gave him the title of "El ganso con la riñonera". Marshall tells Ted that "El ganso con la riñonera" means "Fanny Park dork", but Ted disagrees, saying it means "Packer of great skill and merit" (Future Ted says that it in fact meant "Fanny pack dork"). He tells them that he has an interview to design another building at three, but if the abide by his rulings, he will tell them what goes to Italy and what goes in "The Triangle" (the curb outside the apartment). He tells them about his rule: "Things they haven't used in a year get thrown away." He then triangles some of the stuff Marshall and Lily want to take, but when it comes to a damaged 10-year old beanbag chair, he tells them that it goes to Italy, leaving them surprised. They say that they are not taking that chair, but Ted assures them that they will need it in Italy as it will feel like him. Marshall and Lily then agree on taking that chair to Italy. They then ask him to get some fanny packs for them. Ted leaves but on his way, his realizes that they tricked him. Just as he reaches the apartment, Marshall and Lily put the chair in The Triangle to give away, but Ted sits on it to stop it from being taken away. He tells them that he will not get up until they agree on taking the chair to Italy. Marshall reminds him that he has a job interview in half an hour, but Ted says that he won't be going to the interview then. Lily asks him if the chair is so important to him then why doesn't he keep it, but he tells them that it's important that they take it with them. It was the first thing they bought when they moved to the city after college and was their only piece of furniture for a week. Now they are moving to Italy and he fears that their friendship won't pass the "have you used it in a year" test. If they can throw out the chair, they can also throw away their friendship. However, Marshall and Lily assure him that that won't happen. He then asks them that he needs a moment with the chair to say goodbye. He then gets up to hail a cab, but when he looks back, the chair is gone. He then leaves for his job interview.

At Central Park, Robin has dug up many holes, but can't find the locket. She calls Barney in frustration and tells him that she is having an issue, but when he asks him if it is urgent, she tells him it is stupid. She then calls Ted, telling him that she is at Central Park and is having an issue, but when he tells her that he is late for a big meeting, she tells him that her issue is stupid. After digging some more holes, she looks up and sees Ted coming to her.

She asks him why he left his meeting as she told him not to come, but he says that she said "Nah, it's stupid", which is her way of saying "It's important", and everybody knows that. She tells him that everyone doesn't know that, as she called Barney too, but Ted says that if she told Barney what her issue was, he would be here too. But she says that she didn't have to tell him what her issue was and he's here.

As Ted's starts digging with Robin, she tells him the story of the locket. While they are talking Robin finally finds the box she put the locket in. Ted then asks what's really going on with this locket. Robin says that now she has found the locket, she can admit that she has been having fears about marrying Barney. Although he has grown into a mature, caring adult, she's not sure if both of them are ready to get married. But if she was able to find the locket and it was here waiting for her, which would mean that the universe wanted her to married Barney. But when it was gone, all her doubts about the wedding came to the surface. She then opens the box and sees that it doesn't contain the locket.

While Robin looks for the locket around her, Ted gets a text from Marshall telling him that they are taking the beanbag chair to Italy, but he tells them to throw it away.

Robin then exclaims that the locket not being there is a sign from the universe that she shouldn't marry Barney, but Ted tells her that it isn't and she is doing the right thing marrying Barney and that the universe isn't sending her a message. Just then it starts to rain, freaking Robin out more. She asks Ted how he can tell her to ignore this. He replies that maybe it's dumb to look for signs from the universe. He has gotten many signs whether he should or shouldn't be with someone and it has led him nowhere. Maybe there aren't any signs and that there is no point in waiting for the universe to tell us what we want and deep down we already know that. Robin then holds Ted's hand and they both affectionately look at each other.

Meanwhile, Barney and Robin Sr. are having their game of Lasertag but have a spat on who should be the point guy. They then make their separate teams to have a game against each other. When Robin Sr. corners Barney, he takes the batteries from Robin Sr.'s gun and then is about to kill him, when he asks him if he wants to continue playing. Barney then calls his team announcing their victory, and tells Robin Sr. that he is the point guy as they take the children out.


  • The Bermuda Triangle on the curb outside The Apartment was previously shown in Robin 101.
  • Lily and Marshall previously decided to move to Italy in Romeward Bound.
  • Barney's love for laser tag was previously shown in numerous episodes, such as in Zip, Zip, ZipMurtaugh and Desperation Day.
  • A flashback to Robin's wolfhunt, mentioned in this episode, was shown in Mystery vs. History.
  • Ted saying that the rainstorm was not a sign is a callback to Come On, where Ted made it rain to make Robin stay (a sign).
  • The sandwich near Ted, Marshall and Lily when they sleep on the bean bag probably implies they were all "eating a sandwich".
    • The beanbag being the only piece of furniture they had for a week contradicts a flashback seen in The Duel showing that quite a bit of furniture, including mattresses, is there on the day Ted and Marshall moved in.
  • A flashback of Lily shoplifting was seen in The Magician's Code - Part Two.
  • Ted's use of fanny packs had previously been mentioned in Natural History.
  • Barney's "one rule" appears in this episode.
  • Robin being a skeptic was first established in Matchmaker.
  • Barney is moved when Robin's father calls him "son". He has a longstanding father issue, having being abandoned. Episodes featuring that include Showdown, Cleaning House, and Legendaddy.
  • Marshall says "Come again for Big Fudge" in Italian.

Future References (Contains Spoilers)

  • Robin's locket will become a main plot point of Season 9.
  • Robin will get her sign that she should be with Barney in The End of the Aisle.
  • We will find out the Barney did show up at the park in The Broken Code, and saw Ted and Robin holding hands in the rain.
  • Robin mentions seeing similarities between Barney and her father. The gang falling for people similar to their parents was mentioned in Noretta. More similarities between Barney and Robin's father will be shown in the Season 9 episode Daisy.


  • Ted - packing master
  • Barney shoots at Robin's father
  • Ted and Robin in the Central Park
  • Marshall as Kelly Rowland, Ted as Beyonce Knowles and Lily as Michelle Williams.
For a listing of all images on the wiki tagged as being from this episode, see Category: Something Old images.

Memorable Quotes

Lily: Ted, if this chair really means that much to you, why don't you just take it for yourself?
Ted: No, it's really important that you keep it!
Marshall: Why?
Ted: This is the first thing we bought when we moved here after college. It was the only piece of furniture we had for a week. And now you two are moving to Italy. What if our friendship doesn't pass the "Have You Used it in a Year" test? If you can throw out this chair, who's to say you can't throw me out too?
Marshall: That could never happen.
Lily: You're not a chair, you're our best friend.
Ted: You can say that, but a lot can change in a year.

Future Ted: Kids, you can't cling to the past, because no matter how tightly you hold on to it, it's already gone.

Ted: I just like that there was ever a version of you who imagined having a something old at your wedding. Robin Scherbatsky! You're a girl!
Robin: Shut up, you're a girl.
Ted: That's been established, the new information here is that you're a girl!

Robin: I'm gonna admit something I couldn't admit until I found this..I've been having fears about marrying Barney. I mean, in many ways, he's grown up into a mature caring adult. I still don't know if he's ready for this. I still don't know if I am! But if I could find this locket-if it was still here waiting for me-that would mean that the universe wanted me to marry Barney and everything was gonna be okay. And when it was gone it was like every doubt I ever had about Barney, about myself-got dug up! I found it.. and everything's gonna be okay!
Robin explaining the meaning of the locket.

Robin: This is a sign from the universe.
Ted: It's not a sign from the universe.
Robin: Yes, it is! The locket is just gone and you're telling me that doesn't mean anything?! You know this is a bad omen, Ted! You're universe guy!
Ted: And you're skeptic girl! You're not supposed to believe any of that!
Robin: Maybe I've grown skeptical of being skeptical. This is a sign!
Ted: You're doing the right thing marrying Barney. The universe isn't sending you some message. [Rain starts to pour] As we know from science, rain is liquid water in the form of droplets which had condensed from atmospheric vapor and then precipitated. It's not a sign.
Robin: Ted, this is a sign and you know it! I mean the universe is screaming at me right now! How can you of all people ignore that?
Ted: Because maybe its dumb to look for signs from the universe..maybe the universe has better things to do. Dear God, I hope it does. Do you know how many signs I've gotten that I should or shouldn't be with someone..and where has it gotten me? Maybe there aren't any signs. Maybe a locket's just a locket..a chair is just a chair. Maybe we don't have to give meaning to every little thing. Maybe we don't need the universe to tell us what we really want. Maybe we already know that..deep down.

Barney: The way you used that kid having an asthma attack as a human shield, that took my breath away.
Barney to Robin Sr. during a lasertag match.

Notes and Trivia

Goofs and Errors

  • When a kid tells Robin Scherbatsky Sr. that he has to be home by 4:00 PM, Robin's body armor is flashing with red lights. The next moment right after he shoots the kid, his armor isn't flashing anymore as if he is dead.
  • When Lily brings out the beanbag and describes it as "leaky," you can see that the leaking beads are falling from her right hand, not from the bag itself.
  • The Doritos bag that is near Ted, Marshall, and Lily while they are sleeping on the bean bag has a more recent design.
  • In a flashback from The Duel that showed the day Marshall and Ted moved in, they had furniture and a cluttered apartment from moving in - not just that one bean bag.
  • "El Ganso con la Riñonera" has Allusions to Mexico more than Spain. Ted believed that it translates to "Packer of Great Skill and Merit" until he looked it up. Although Marshall and Future Ted agree that it translates to "Fanny Pack Dork," it actually translates to "The Goose with the Fanny Pack." 
  • The map of Spain is full of geographical and spelling errors.
  • Ted dances an argentine tango with the "spanish" dancer.
  • Mariachis are from Mexico, not Spain.
  • The Spain errors were fixed in Netflix

Allusions and Outside References

  • "Something Old" refers to the tradition for a Bride to wear something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue for her wedding. Something Borrowed and Something Blue were also the names of the episodes in Season 2 in which Marshall and Lily's wedding took place.
  • The joke about the Italian ex-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi made by Marshall is referred to the "Ruby Rubacuori" case.
    • In the Italian version of the show the joke was censored.
  • The line "I'm here to pack boxes and chew bubblegum. And I'm all out of bubblegum" is a "Rowdy" Roddy Piper line as playing the character John Nada in the 1988 movie, They Live. The original quote was the now semi famous, "I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass." (dramatic pause) "And I'm all out of bubble gum."
  • When Barney hangs from the ceiling with two laser tag guns, he is spoofing the final scene from the 1994 film, Léon: The Professional


  • How To Fight Loneliness - Wilco

Other Notes

  • This is one of the few episodes where no one in the gang is ever seen in MacLaren's.
  • Barney holds up two D-size batteries which he swiped from Robin Sr's laser tag gun. Barney with double Ds?
  • The pretzel stand seen in the background of Central Park is the same one used when Lily mistook the pretzel guy for Barney's doppelganger in Doppelgangers.


  • Ray Wise - Robin Scherbatsky Sr.
  • Albert Tsai - Kaden
  • Billy 4 Johnston - Tanner
  • Michael Leone - Kid #1
  • Daniel Harris - Kid #2
  • Robert Sloan - Kid #3
  • Jacob Guenther - Kid #4
  • George Barrera - Mariachi #1
  • Eduardo Reynoso Jr. - Mariachi #2
  • Sam Marchan - Mariachi #3
  • Sonora Chase - A mother


  • This episode received 6.99 million viewers. [1]
  • Donna Bowman of The AV Club gave the episode a B. She says "Something Old comes from the whipsawing between plotlines with very different tones. Ted helping Marshall and Lily pack for Italy is a classically-constructed (and very funny) HIMYM story. Robin getting blown off by her dad and her fiance when she asks for their help is a heartbreaking set of interludes. And then there’s Barney and Robin’s dad playing laser tag, which never comes together despite plenty of good writing and performance." [2]
  • Max Nicholson of IGN gave the episode a 7 out of 10. He called the packing for the move to Italy arc "the strongest in terms of comedy and classic HIMYM moments". Comparing Barney playing laser tag with Robin Sr. to Robin looking for her locket, he called it, "less interesting one, as the writers desperately tried to convince us that watching grown men play laser tag against children is the funniest thing ever." He also said that he enjoyed the Ted/Robin sequence. [3]
  • The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 9 out of 10 stars. "...Barney and Robin's dad playing laser tag!"

This episode became infamous in Spain due to all the geography and cultural errors, with several newspapers showing it as yet another example of U.S. ignorance of culture. As a result, in the version of the episode now available on Netflix the reference to Spain has been changed to Mexico.


External Links

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