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

Subway Wars

HIMYM episode 6x04 (116)

First aired:
October 11, 2010
Pamela Fryman
Chris Harris
Barney's Blog

Images (13)

When the gang teases Robin about not being a "real" New Yorker, she sets out to prove them all wrong. The gang all race to catch a glimpse of Woody Allen.


While the gang hangs out at MacLaren's, Marshall finds out that his friend, Max, from law school, has just spotted Woody Allen at a restaurant downtown. While Robin is interested in seeing him, the rest of the gang isn't, saying they've seen him plenty of times and teasing Robin about not being a "real" New Yorker, as she's from Canada. Robin tries to impress them by saying she has seen Maury Povich, but the gang is again unimpressed, as they have all seen him many times as well. The group debates about what it takes to become a "real" New Yorker; Ted states it's stealing a cab from someone who needs it more than yourself, Lily argues it's crying on the subway and not caring what others think, while Marshall believes it's killing a cockroach with one's bare hands. Robin admits she hasn't done any of those things, but Future Ted says that by the end of the day, she would have done all three. The group then begins arguing on what the fastest way to get to the restaurant would be, and quickly decide to race each other there: Ted takes the bus, Lily rides the subway, Robin opts to hail a cab, Marshall decides to run there on foot, and Barney claims to have the fastest method of all, even while enjoying a steak first.

Barney's plan is revealed to be faking a heart attack at a restaurant after eating the steak, then using the ambulance ride to a hospital right next to the restaurant as his quick transportation. His plan backfires, however, when the ambulance takes him to a hospital uptown, and he is forced to contact Ranjit for a ride. Meanwhile, Lily misinterprets the subway conductor's announcement that the subway is undergoing maintenance, and soon after exiting the train, it departs. Robin hails a cab, stealing it from a woman carrying bags who then angrily leaps on top of the windshield. Robin and the cab driver are freaked out, so Robin abandons the ride, and later rides along with Barney in Ranjit's car. During the ride, Robin angrily reveals to Barney that she had tried to talk to him about how low she was feeling recently due to her break-up with Don and feeling shunned and forgotten due to her overly-enthusiastic new co-anchor, Becky, yet he ignored her and tried to use her as a decoy while he eyed up a woman at the bar. Barney realizes what he did and tells Robin he's listening now, but she isn't interested and leaves the car. Ted rides the bus, and attempts to impress others riding with his knowledge of New York architecture, though he mainly bores and annoys them. Marshall is at first enthusiastic and confident that he can outrun everyone, though he soon begins to lose energy. Future Ted discusses why each of them personally felt the need to win the race. Lily had been feeling dejected after having been unable to conceive a baby with Marshall for two months, Marshall was feeling the same, believing it to be his fault, Ted had been stunned after receiving a negative review on a teacher rating website (despite having received many positive ones), Robin was feeling bad after the terrible year she'd had, while Barney really didn't have a reason to win as at the time his life was perfect.

Halfway through the race, the group all coincidentally meet up, and though Ted proposes they declare a tie, they immediately continue the race. Robin takes the subway, where she sees a poster up for her news show, with her co-anchor's face taking up much more space than hers. Enraged, Robin rips it down, only to see an older poster behind it with one of her and Don. Robin breaks down crying, snapping at the other passengers when they look in her direction. Lily spots her and comforts her, though she quickly abandons her and calls Ranjit in favor of the race. Barney rides a pedicab, though he quickly changes places with the driver to bike there himself. Lily has Ranjit pick up Marshall on the way, and the two discuss their concerns about not conceiving a baby yet. They then agree there is really no rush to become parents, and promptly decide to head to Coney Island to have fun. Ted, Barney, and Robin race for the finish; however Barney trips over taking Ted down with him and allows Robin to win the race. Future Ted tells his kids that, while Barney constantly denied it, he knew that Barney had spotted that Robin had been crying earlier, and purposefully tackled Ted, bringing both of them to the ground so Robin could win. Robin enjoys a meal with Max while Ted thanks Barney for letting Robin win although Barney, as Future Ted had stated, claims that the trip was an accident. Max points out Woody Allen to Robin, who in fact turns out to be Maury Povich (the group had inexplicably seen him several times throughout the episode). Future Ted stated that Robin did see Woody Allen a couple of months later, but became a "real" New Yorker that day. Robin then kills a cockroach on the table with her hand, thus fulfilling all three tasks.


  • When Lily goes to take the pregnancy test again, Marshall is seen having trouble opening a champagne bottle, which he is mentioned having always been scared to attempt in the Pilot, though he eventually does so.
  • Marshall brings up Eriksens' supposedly high fertility, which was previously mentioned in Belly Full of Turkey, when Marshall's dad claims the Eriksens' "swimmers" have two tails and a drillbit for a head.
  • Marshall's love of writing songs comes up again, previously referenced in SlapsgivingSpoiler Alert​​​, Slapsgiving 2: Revenge of the Slap​​​, Of Course, and Unfinished.
  • Lily previously demanded Barney sit in another booth to discipline him in Ten Sessions.
  • Ted's insecurity over how much his students like him comes up again, having previously manifested in Jenkins​​​, when he gets jealous of how much they seem to like Robin's morning show.
  • Ranjit was previously seen as Barney's personal on-call driver in Rabbit or Duck​.
  • Ted points out the Alberta building, where he previously attended Jefferson Van Smoot's party in Robots Versus Wrestlers, while on the bus, and attempts to interest his fellow passenger in a fun fact about it. Ted previously irritated the gang with fun facts about the Empire State Building in First Time In New York.
  • Marshall stops to greet his friend Christine while in the middle of the race. Marshall being unwaveringly nice and polite to people was previously pointed out in The Wedding Bride​​​. He also, however, says "Suck it, grand-bot!" to an old woman on a scooter he runs past.
  • After they give up on the race, Lily tells Marshall she wants to go back to Paris. Their first time in Paris is seen in Say Cheese​​​, during the flashback to Marshall and Ted's trip there to visit Lily during her semester abroad.
  • Marshall trains to run the New York City Marathon in Lucky Penny​​​.

Future References (Contains Spoilers)


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

Memorable Quotes

Barney: (Looking at girl) I cannot stop staring at that girl's face.
Ted: Face? Huh. That's your weirdest nickname for boobs yet.
Barney: No Ted. I am really looking at her face.
Lily: Aaaw. That's really sweet.
Barney: Puffy cheeks, smudged mascara, slightly red nose. That girl was just crying! She is so sad and defenseless... Anybody got a condom?

Barney: And, firing half my department freed up the money to double my own salary. And this chick from Boston was wicked hot in bed last night. And I'm getting more muscular even though I've stopped working out. And I've got this amazing poker group... And I smell incredible!
Future Ted: He did smell incredible.
Barney doesn't actually need a win.

Lily: You've had a rough year. But you're tough. And I love you like crazy. If you left, I'd have to follow you. And Marshall would follow me. And Ted would follow him. The only upside is that we might get rid of Barney.
Lily comforts Robin

Calculator man: Sound's like you need to clear everything, subtract the negativity and add some perspective.

Future Ted: If you can't spot the crazy person on the bus, it's you.

Ted: (looking at Barney) I know what you did back there. Yeah.
Barney: Check it. I just drove a pedicab 26 blocks, and I still smell incredible. Smell me.
Ted: I'm not gonna - Not gonna
Barney: Smell me.
Future Ted: He did smell incredible.
Barney and Ted talking after Barney helped Robin to win the race.

Future Ted: As for how Robin beat me and Barney, to this day, your uncle Barney won't admit it Who cares? But here's what I saw: I saw Barney notice Robin's face And maybe realize something. Barney says he tripped, but it sure felt like he tackled me on purpose. And when Robin won, i could have sworn I saw him smile.

Robin: Hey, Barney, can I talk to you?
Barney: Sure. Stand a little more this way. I'm scouting some talent. Pretend we're talking about something important.
Robin: Oh, well, this This is something important. Um, I'm having a A really rough time at work.
Barney: You know, the whole Becky thing Oh, you know what? That's just getting distracting. Um, say "carrots and peas". Carrots and peas. Carrots and peas. Carrots and peas. Carrots and peas.

Robin: Look, I've spent the last six years in this city, focusing on my career, all for nothing. Some lady almost got me killed. Maury Povich stole my cab. I swear, this city is starting to reject me like a bad organ transplant. You know, everyone keeps saying that I'm not a real New Yorker. Well, maybe I should just stop trying.
Barney: Robin, I had no idea.
Robin: No, it's my fault for thinking that you might care. Ranjit, stop the car.
Ranjit: Stopping the car.
Barney: No, don't stop the car.
Ranjit: Not stopping the car.
Robin: Seriously, stop the car.
Ranjit: Seriously stopping the car.
Barney: Look, you Wait, wait Robin, hold on. If you want to talk, I'm right here.
Robin: Carrots and peas.

Notes and Trivia

Goofs and Errors

  • After the scene of Barney in the ambulance is the map scene where it shows that Marshall is ahead of Robin in the race. But later when Robin exits the cab, Marshall appears running in the background.
  • The 1 & 2 trains that Lily takes are actually the C train. The 1 & 2 trains have orange and yellow seats with actual seat divisions and nothing under the seats where the C trains have the long dark blue seats with no seat divisions with heaters under the seat.
  • When Ted views his page on, he sees sixty-four positive views, but the page itself says there are only four user ratings. Furthermore, the username of the student who calls him boring is different on-screen and on the page.

Allusions and Outside References

  • This episode featured several plugs for Microsoft:
    • All maps are from Bing, which can be clearly seen when Ted first shows the map on his laptop.
    • Ted pulls out a laptop brandishing the Windows logo.
    • Ted searches for "grade my teacher" on Bing.
    • Maury Povich is carrying a new Xbox 360 and Kinect when he bumps into Ted and Marshall with giant calculator[1] in front of a store with software and hardware provided from Microsoft as well as a monitor featuring the Microsoft and Windows logos.
  • The website is blatantly modeled after
  • Marshall references American folk hero John Henry in contemplating his race against the machines.
  • Robin asks if anybody's craving green eggs and ham, referencing a Dr. Seuss book by the same name.
  • Barney calls out "Elizabeth" as he falls after eating the steak. This is a reference to Fred G. Sanford from Sanford and Son, who often faked heart attacks, calling out to his deceased wife Elizabeth.
  • Marshall remembers bringing a jukebox back to life with his "Fonzarelli arm", a reference to Fonzie from Happy Days who could turn a jukebox on by simply hitting with with his arm.
  • The five split screens of Ted, Robin, Lily, Marshall, with Barney on the center screen has a similar reference to 24 as this episode has real time constraint with the same parallel adventures of different characters just as 24 does.
  • Marshall references the Playboy Channel channel and the Spice Channel.
  • The "majestic" student comments about Ted appear in a font reminiscent of quotes from positive movie reviews on posters and in TV commercials.
  • Both the use and design (the Windsor font, white text on black backgrounds and smooth jazz) of the intertitles alludes to the films of Woody Allen. Moreover, the jazz piece features a clarinet, which Woody Allen plays.
  • The typeface used whenever Robin completes one of the defining experiences of being a New Yorker is "New Yorker" (so named because it's the font used for the cover of "The New Yorker" magazine).


Other Notes

  • Barney effects a Boston accent when claiming he slept with a girl from there (see quote above).

Ted on

  • The website Ted looks himself up on is is not an actual professor rating website though it is clearly based on sites like However, visiting the site will show a mock profile and rating for Ted.
    • After the events of this episode, there are now hundreds of ratings for "Ted Mosby" on, however. Several reviews reference this episode, and the series at large. 
  • Josh Radnor suggested that this episode may have had the most scenes of all the episodes shot thus far.[2]
  • This episode was not filmed on location in NYC. It was filmed on a Universal Studios lot.[2]
  • The address of The Apartment, as well as MacLaren's Pub, is revealed to be 150 W. 85th Street. In real life, this address is occupied by Mannes College.
  • Neil Patrick Harris claimed it was fun to film because, "I don't have to memorize much. I just have to worry about shin splints."[2]
  • Maury Povich was originally going to be referenced again in Ducky Tie​ but the scene was shortened, cutting out the reference.
  • Each gang member sees Maury Povich. Maury steals a cab from Robin, he is sitting next to Lily on subway, and he is behind Ted on the bus. As Marshall is running he runs past Maury twice. When all the gang members meet up and say to call it a tie Maury is walking out of a store This is to refer to how often they see this guy despite the fact that all this is happening at the same time they all see him. In the end he is the one at Gregor's Steakhouse.
  • During the argument about Robin being a real new yorker at the beginning of the episode, while acting genuinely angry Barney only says "Carrots and peas". This is a reference to later in the episode where it is revealed that the "Carrots and peas" conversation was just before this.




Podcast - How I Met Your Mother - 'Subway Wars'

Podcast for the episode

Featuring an interview with Pamela Fryman and Chris Harris.


  • This episode premiered to 8.480 million viewers.[3]
  • Donna Bowman at the A.V. Club gave the episode a B+.[4]
  • DeAnn Welker at Television Without Pity gave the episode a B+.[5]
  • Robert Canning at IGN gave the episode a 9 out of 10.[6]
  • The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 8 out of 10 stars. "...Woody Allen is two tables over...[and] 'everyone sees Maury Povich'."


External Links

1.Subway Wars at the English Wikipedia 2.Subway Wars at the Internet Movie Database 3.Subway Wars at 4.Subway Wars at CBS Press Express. - Fictional professor rating site

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