January 2, 2012
After celebrating New Year's Eve, Marshall visits his father's graveside to carry on their tradition of tailgating. Meanwhile, Barney and Ted open a bar called "Puzzles", and Robin is forced to fill in for an inebriated news anchor.
Lily and Marshall are setting up the baby's room in their house in the suburbs, when Marshall asks Lily to tell her father that she is pregnant. Lily says she doesn't want to because her father is at a board game convention in Chicago and because she doesn't want to be disappointed by him again. After Marshall's insistence, she calls her father who thanks her and immediately hangs up the phone. Later, Lily finds a book about supernatural experiences and mythical creatures titled "Enigmas of the Mystical" in the baby room. Marshall says that he wants to read this to their kids, as he wants them to be believers like him, but Lily doesn't agree. She says that she doesn't believe in these things as she only learned to believe in herself after being constantly disappointed by her father.
After facing difficulty in gaining entry to MacLaren's, Barney and Ted open a bar in the apartment named Puzzles, an idea they had years ago. Despite their initial decision of keeping the drink prices low, they are forced to increase them when the crowd gets rowdy and starts breaking things. Eventually, they recruit Doug to throw everyone out.
Robin is spending her New Year's Eve with Kevin when she gets a call from Sandy Rivers, asking her to become his producer as his producer Tina has quit. After Sandy repeatedly disappears on Robin and goes missing just before midnight, she calls Kevin in a panic, unsure of what to do. Kevin, who has just happened upon a drunk Sandy in Ted and Robin’s bathroom, encourages Robin to go on the air herself, neglecting to tell her that he knows where Sandy is. Future Ted says that this night was a turning point in Robin's career, as she became the co-anchor with Sandy Rivers after saving the day by stepping in.
Gradually, many people have gathered beside Marshall at his father's grave, including his brothers. When someone calls Marshall "Marvin" due to his resemblance to his father, Marshall remembers that his father always welcomed others at his tailgates, and asks his brothers to join him. Meanwhile, Lily opens the door at her home in East Meadow and sees her father with a teddy bear. He tells her that he drove all night to get to her, and Lily hugs him, teary eyed, and greets him a Happy New Year.
- Ted and Barney first discussed running a bar named Puzzles in Three Days of Snow.
- Marshall visits his father's grave on his death anniversary. His father died in Bad News, which aired exactly a year prior to this episode.
- Many of the games that Mickey Aldrin is showing off at the convention can be seen in Slapsgiving 2: Revenge of the Slap.
- The bouncer at MacLaren's Pub is Doug, the bartender, from the The Fight.
- Robin mentions giving up on dreams that she never even knew she had, which refers to her learning that she will be unable to have children, part of the previous episode, Symphony of Illumination.
- Ted plays the apartment's piano, one of the few times the instrument is used. Other examples include Marshall in Slapsgiving and Hopeless.
Future References (Contains Spoilers)
- Micky stays at Marshall and Lily's house until The Burning Beekeeper.
- The events of this episode result in Robin going to Russia in No Pressure, and eventually to the events that happen to her in Now We're Even.
- One of the tombstones contains the word "Mother", foreshadowing the Mother's death.
|Sandy:||I don't know what went wrong.|
|Robin:||Well, proposing a three-way was bad, starting without us was worse, finishing in the hallway was the nail in the coffin.|
|Sandy:||She's my everything Robin, my sun, my stars, my oxygen. Plus she likes it fast and dirty and that's the way Sandy rides!|
|News Crawl during Sandy's drunken speech:||Wow, he's totally wasted. Can we keep airing this?... This is bad... Feel free to change over to Seacrest, everybody...|
|Lily:||Dad, I'm pregnant.|
|Mickey:||Great, thanks. (rolls over table at gaming convention) My daughter's having a baby!|
|Lily:||Did you drive all night?|
|Mickey:||Well, Teddy and I split the drive. This guy's a maniac behind the wheel.|
|Lily:||I'm glad you're a believer, baby, but I'm never gonna believe in an "enigma of the mystical" unless I see it with my own eyes. Because the truth is, my father never taught me believe in anything but myself.|
|Marshall:||Well, if it helps at all, I believe in you, too.|
|Lily:||Then there's a pretty good chance I don't exist.|
|Marshall:||(chuckles) How dare you?!|
- —Lily tells Marshall how skeptical she is about things because her father was never there for her.
|Ted:||Don't bother, everybody. MacLaren's is a rip-off! (scoffs) You'd all be better off coming upstairs to my place for a beer.|
|Barney:||Hey, dude. You serious? Ted, do you remember a couple years ago, we had the best idea of all time?|
|Ted:||We should buy a bar.|
|Barney:||Of course! We should buy a bar! The name of our bar? Puzzles. People will be like, "Why is it called Puzzles?" That's the puzzle.|
|Ted:||A bar where no one's overcharged, where everyone feels valued and respected.|
|Barney:||A bar where we get chicks drunk and bang them.|
|Ted:||We're opening Puzzles tonight.|
|Barney:||Of course we're opening Puzzles tonight!|
|Ted:||Aren't you going to ask us why it's called Puzzles?|
Notes and Trivia
Goofs and Errors
- Lily said that she is not a believer. However, in Matchmaker she said that she and Marshall were believers.
- She did see the Cockamouse.
- Marshall says that his brother Marcus still lives with their mother, implying that he has never moved out of their parents' house. In Belly Full of Turkey Marcus is shown to be married with a child, while in Who Wants to Be a Godparent? it is revealed that Marcus has left his wife and kids. It is unlikely that he would be unemployed and still live with his mother while married with children.
- Marcus does appear to be living at home with his mother in Oh Honey, however it is also possible that he is just staying there to comfort his mother, like Marshall is.
Allusions and Outside References
- The sign "Puzzles" is the same as the one from the TV series, Cheers. The theme song for "Puzzles" is also musically reminiscent of the theme song for Cheers.
- Marvin Sr. talks about the Roswell UFO incident and SPAM.
- Coincidentally Spam is from Minnesota. Spam is ham pieces, salt, sodium nitrite, and pepper.
- In the 1986 flashback, Marvin Sr. is wearing an apron with the name of Fran Tarkenton, who was a quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings football team in the 1970's.
- Ted mentions the novel Ulysses by James Joyce.
- The book series Enigmas of the Mystical that Marshall plans to read to his child is a parody of the Time-Life Books Mysteries of the Unknown series, with similar TV commercials and title fonts, only this knock-off compromises its own credibility by including explanations that are what all rational people say REALLY happened.
- Marshall hosts a tailgate party during the Bears vs. Vikings football game on January 1, 2012. Those teams actually did play each other on that date; the Bears won 17 - 13.
- Red Solo Cup - Toby Keith
- The Puzzles Song - Ted Mosby, Barney Stinson and Kevin
- Time is Coming - The Elected
- www.PuzzlesTheBar.com - This was a website about the bar that Ted and Barney opened in The apartment.
- Kal Penn - Kevin
- Will Sasso - Doug Martin
- Alexis Denisof - Sandy Rivers
- Chasty Ballesteros - Tina
- Bill Fagerbakke - Marvin Eriksen Sr.
- Chris Elliott - Mickey Aldrin
- Ned Rolsma - Marcus Eriksen
- Robert Michael Ryan - Marvin Eriksen Jr.
- Jeremy Batiste - Guy in Line
- Chris Coppola - Guy in Black Suit
- Jay Ellis - Sound Guy
- John Maholm - Vikings Fan
- Koby Rouviere - Young Marshall Eriksen
- Marty Ryan - Mourner #2
- Stewart Skelton - Mourner #1
- Joe Spellman - Frat Dude
Featuring an interview with Jason Segel.
- Donna Bowman of The A.V. Club graded the episode at B+. 
- Robert Canning of IGN gave the episode 6 out of 10. 
- Angel Cohn of Television Without Pity gave the episode a C. 
- The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 6 out of 10 stars. "...a pretty disappointing episode overall...except for Ted and Barney's song."
|Symphony of Illumination||Tailgate