HIMYM episode 9x17 (201)

First aired:
February 03, 2014
Pamela Fryman
Carter Bays
Craig Thomas
Barney's Blog

Images (12)

While out looking for an inebriated Barney on the day of the wedding, Robin and Ted reminisce about past relationships. Meanwhile, Marshall and Lily finally resolve their issues and Barney befriends two young guys eager to meet women.


Future Ted tells a story about how he watched his balloon "friend" fly away, stating that you must never let the things you love go or you will lose them forever. In the present day, on Sunday at 5 AM, (13 hours before the wedding), Ted and Robin are walking along the beach searching for Barney and reminiscing about Ted's top five exes: 5. Stella, 4. Zoey, 3. The Slutty Pumpkin (Naomi), 2. Marshall from the time he and Ted pretended to be a couple to try and sell Barney's apartment, 1. Victoria; and his five worst exes: 5. Blah Blah, 4. Becky, 3. Karen, 2. Zoey (she made both lists), and 1. Jeanette (by a landslide).

Meanwhile, a drunk Barney walks out of the hotel to find two men, Justin and Kyle, on the street and takes them to a strip club saying he will teach them how to live. The two men are dismissive of Barney's claims that the way they dress will be key to picking up women so Barney takes them to Tim Gunn to be fitted for suits. They change their minds about their attire when they go a party where Barney plays the "Have you met" game, setting the boys up with two ladies. At sunrise, Barney tells the boys what he kept telling Ted earlier in the series, that every moment will be legendary if it's shared with friends. Barney hands the two men a stack of napkins; the top piece of napkin says "The Playbook", passing on everything he knew about the bachelor life to them.

At the hotel, Marshall imagines a "ghost" Lily in the hotel room with him. After he brings up San Francisco, the Ghost Lily says he should have this argument with 2006 Lily. When he tells the 2006 Lily that her leaving him was the saddest he's ever felt, she reminds him of his father's death, which brings a ghost of his father into the room. Marshall argues with his ghosts until the present imaginary Lily tells him that as long as he thinks of their arguments in terms of winning and losing, he is gradually going to lose her. When the real Lily returns, she and Marshall reconcile and rekindle their romance after she tells him that they should stay in New York.

When Robin asks if Ted has kept in touch with his ex-girlfriends, he says that he has not, though Future Ted reveals that he had lied. In truth, Ted had contacted Stella, Victoria, and Jeanette to locate Robin's missing locket. After calling Stella and failing to find the locket in Los Angeles, he learned that Victoria had taken the locket with her to Germany. Victoria agreed to send the locket to Ted, but the package had been intercepted by Jeanette. In the present, Ted confesses to Robin that he and Victoria broke up was because he was unwilling to end his friendship with Robin. A stunned Robin tells him that she would have been unhappy, but understanding and demands to know why Ted would give up Victoria for their friendship; he admits it is because for him, there is no top 5 - Robin has always been his top 1. It is revealed that Ted's attempt to recover Robin's locket had concluded when Jeanette dropped the locket into the river after pointing out how irrational he is for being unwilling to let go of Robin. Ted and Robin end their evening watching the sunrise together and Ted finally lets go of Robin, who is shown flying away in his mind, but is still disappointed to learn that Robin thought he should have kissed her at the end of their first date 8 years ago.


  • When Ted is on the phone with Stella, he brings up her failure to see Star Wars until she was 30, as revealed in Do I Know You?​.
  • Stella also made an issue of people attending their ex's wedding in Shelter Island.
  • Ted finally lets go of any opportunity of being with Robin again.
  • Captain Deardruff was mentioned in No Questions Asked.
  • Ted mentions that his quest to find Robin's locket is because he is the "wedding gift master" which was seen previously in The Poker Game.
  • The Crab Shed was mentioned in Coming Back by Curtis.
  • When Robin asks Ted to reveal what is really going on, she says "it's for the bride", a technique Barney used to get what he wanted in Something Blue​.
  • Future Ted mentions that his best friend was a balloon, which was first mentioned in The Lighthouse​ and again in Unpause.
  • Ted recalls that Barney woke up in a dumpster on St. Patrick's Day 2008, during the events of No Tomorrow​.
  • Robin mentioned the time that Ted and Marshall pretended to be a couple when Barney tried to sell his apartment, which occurred in The Fortress.
  • It can be seen that Barney met Justin and Kyle by the same white fence Marshall walked by at the beginning of Bass Player Wanted.
  • Barney plays Have you met with Justin and Kyle.
  • Robin mentions the 'penis building' designed by Hammond Druthers, which was seen in Columns.
  • A flashback to Hammond Druthers offering Ted a job in Chicago was seen in Platonish, which Ted turned down at the moment. In this episode, it is revealed that Ted did say yes to that job offer eventually and is the job he's moving to Chicago for.
  • Robin's list of Ted's best and worst girlfriends are all seen in past episodes. This list includes Zoey, Blah Blah, Jeanette, Naomi, Karen, Stella, Victoria and Becky.
  • Robin refers to Becky as "Boats, Boats, Boats." Becky did an advertisement for the Farhampton Boat Show which was seen in Canning Randy​.
  • Robin tells Ted that on their first date, she wanted him to kiss her. In the Pilot, Future Ted says that years later he found this out.
  • A flashback to Ted buying a ticket to LA (to look for Robin's locket in Stella's storage) was seen at the end of The Locket.
  • In The Autumn of Break-Ups, Future Ted said that Robin did eventually find out why he and Victoria broke up.
  • Barney told Justin and Kyle that he'll "teach them how to live." This is a sentence Barney said several times through the series, most known as one of the first things he said to Ted when he met him for the first time (How I Met Everyone Else​). Barney also mentions many of his other rules/ways of living to the two, such as a love for laser tag and to go to give many, many high fives.
  • Marshall's dad's death is mentioned, which occurred in Bad News​.
  • Barney says "Suits are cool, Exhibit A." to Justin and Kyle. He also said this to Ted when they first met (as shown in the Pilot).
  • Barney rewrote The Playbook on napkins. The Playbook was destroyed by Jeanette in Weekend at Barney's​.
  • Barney mentioned that teacup pigs, dogs and babies are lady magnets. Barney used them in Hooked, The Autumn of Break-Ups and The Rebound Girl, respectively.

Future References (Contains Spoilers)

  • Ted and Robin will finally find Barney in Rally.
  • We find out that Ted did go into the river to fetch the locket in The End of the Aisle.
  • Marshall will try to find out what had changed Lily's mind in Daisy.

Memorable Quotes

Ted: Actually, there is a word for that. It's love. I'm in love with her, okay? If you're looking for the word that means caring about someone beyond all rationality and wanting them to have everything they want no matter how much it destroys you, it's love! And when you love someone y-you just don't stop. Ever. Even when people roll their eyes, or call you crazy, even then, especially then! Y-you just don't give up, because if I could give up, if I could just, you know, take the world's advice and move on and find someone else that wouldn't be love! That would be some other disposable thing that is not worth fighting for... But that is not what this is. So please, can I have the locket?
Ted speaks about his true feelings towards Robin

Barney: A few final thoughts, don't get married until you're thirty. Play laser tag once a week. Give at least as many high fives as you get. Teacup pigs are lady magnets, but are very hard to care for... Not worth the effort. The same goes for dogs and babies. And most importantly, whatever you do in this life... it's not legendary unless your friends are there to see it. Good luck boys. Take care of the game for me.
A drunken Barney gives final advice to Justin and Kyle

Barney: Haaave you met Justin?
Julie: Uhh, no. Hi, I'm Julie.
Justin: So simple... So elegant.
Kyle: That's it? You just walk up to someone you don't know and introduce them to your buddy? I don't know that sounds kinda-!
Justin: Haaave you met Kyle?
Shelly: Hi Kyle.
Kyle: Are you Jesus?!
Barney coaches Kyle and Justin

Victoria: Unbelievable. And I assume this is all in the hopes that Robin'll ditch her own wedding and run off with you?
Ted: What? No. I would never.
Victoria: You would never run off with a girl on the day of her wedding? Riiiiiii-
Ted: Okay, that's a fair point.
Victoria: I'm not done. -iiiiiiiight.

Marshall: Okay, yes, seven-years-ago Lily, maybe I am wrong for still being mad at you about San Francisco and our breakup. But the truth is, when you left me, that was the saddest I've ever been in my life.
Lily: Really? The saddest you've ever been in your life?
Marshall: Saddest I've ever been in my life.
Marvin Sr.: I mean, I am sitting right here.
Marshall: Look, Dad, yes, obviously, losing you was way worse, but I'm trying to make a bigger point here.
Marvin Sr.: And what point is that? Because she hurt you once, you now get to hurt her? It's not how it works in a marriage.


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

Notes and Trivia

Goofs and Errors

  • In The Locket Ted says that he e-mailed Stella and found that the locket might be in her storage locker, but here it is shown they spoke over the phone.
    • It's possible Ted e-mailed Stella to tell her that he had something important to ask her, and would she be willing to talk to him. Then Ted and Stella talked on the phone.
    • It's also possible that Ted lied, thinking that if he said he merely e-mailed her instead of calling her it would appear as though he wasn't as desperate to get the locket as he was.
  • Jeanette thought Ted was in love with Lily previously, however in this episode she is very aware of his history and feelings towards Robin.
    • This can just be assumed as another way Jeanette is crazy.

Allusions and Outside References

  • Star Wars is mentioned several times.
  • 2006 Lily mentions James Blunt and MySpace.
  • Kyle mentions that he is covered in Drakkar Noir.
  • The scenes with Ted and Robin walking through the beach or sitting and watching sunrise are an allusion to the video of the song Eternal Flame that was used in the episode.
  • Ted having top 5 girlfriends could be a reference to High Fidelity, 2000 film staring John Cusack as Rob Gordon who loves making lists.


Other Notes

Robin's top five Ted's exes:

  1. Victoria
  2. Marshall (during the events of The Fortress)
  3. Naomi (The Slutty Pumpkin)
  4. Zoey
  5. Stella

Robin's worst five Ted's exes:

  1. Jeanette
  2. Zoey (she made both lists)
  3. Karen
  4. Becky
  5. Blah Blah

Ted's top one ex:

  1. Robin



  • The episode received 9.98 million viewers[1]
  • Donna Bowman of the  A.V. Club gave this episode an A. [2]
  • Max Nicholson of IGN gave the episode an 7.0 out of 10. He said that "Sunrise" was yet another example of how frustrating and intriguing the Ted and Robin romance can be -- but mostly just frustrating. Meanwhile, Barney's bro-bonding with BriTANick was a highlight, while Marshall's encounter with Ghost Lily was underwhelming, but a necessary step in advancing the plot. [3]
  • Angel Cohn of Televison Without Pity gave the episode a C. He said that while the episode resolved a lot of lingering plot lines, he felt really detached from it.[4]
  • The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 7.5 out of 10 stars. "...drunk Barney passes on all wisdom of life in the middle of the night..."


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