How I Met Your Mother Wiki
How I Met Your Mother Wiki
Ten Sessions

HIMYM episode 3x13 (57)

10 sessions - ted zapped.png
First aired:
March 24, 2008
Pamela Fryman
Chris Harris
Carter Bays
Craig Thomas
Barney's Blog

Images (1)

Ted Mosby plots to get Stella Zinman, a dermatologist at a tattoo removal clinic, to say yes when he asks her out at the end of the ten sessions.


Ted is at the clinic to remove his tattoo, where he is attracted to his doctor, Dr. Stella Zinman. They agree to go to a movie, but Ted doesn't realize Stella had brought her friends along with her, and it was not a date, as this is against AMA rules. At the next session, Ted says he will wait until his ten sessions are over before asking her on a formal date, but Stella tells him she will still say no. Ted still feels that over ten weeks, she will start to like him, so he decides to keep trying. Even though the first five sessions go well, Stella confirms her answer is still no. Ted decides that being nice to the receptionist, Abby, would be a good way to let Stella see his good side, but instead, Abby starts to show interest in him. Upset that this didn't work, Ted tries using a self help book he saw in Stella's clinic. When he tries talking to her about this, she reveals it isn't her book, and she detests it, while Abby confirms that Ted was reading the book in the reception.

Robin suggests Ted give up on Stella and instead focus on Abby. Barney agrees, as he made an appointment with Stella to check what she was like, and discovered she had a condition where she is only attracted to men with mustaches. Although Ted doesn't believe him, he still grows out a mustache, which Stella laughs at. It is revealed that Barney only said this to win a $10 bet made a year earlier. Upset, Ted says he gives up, but Lily tells him to try again, as Stella is interested in him, though she says she has not been to see her. It is then revealed that Marshall had gone to see Stella to talk up Ted, and found out Stella had a crush on him. Happy that Stella is interested in him, Ted asks her out after his last session, but she says she does not have time for dating because she has a daughter.

After a while, Ted realizes she didn't actually say the word 'no', just that she didn't have time. Ted decides to take her out on a "two minute date" - to dinner at a table at the café next door to her practice and a "movie" in clips at the electronics store two doors down, with help from Ranjit and Wendy the Waitress. The two share a kiss at the end of the date, and Stella promises to call if she ever has time. Finally, Abby sees Ted outside the clinic holding flowers he tried to give to Stella, and chases him down the street. She is then seen at the reception telling Barney about how Ted toyed with her emotions, after which they go out to have sex.


  • In Brunch, Ted points out that Barney always uses 83 when he makes up a statistic, and here, Barney claims that a woman decides whether or not she's going to sleep with a man within 8.3 seconds of meeting him.
  • Ted got his butterfly tattoo in Wait For It.
  • The events of The Platinum Rule occurs during this episode. The gang tries in vain to talk Ted out of his "date" with Stella in that episode, where he also mentions having misunderstood their movie outing as a date and that AMA rules prevent them from getting involved while he is her patient.
  • Stella says that the last party she went to was on St. Patrick's Day, possibly the same party which Ted and Barney go to in No Tomorrow.
  • Ranjit is back to driving a taxi, despite having graduated to driving limos previously in The Limo.

Future References (Contains Spoilers)


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

Memorable Quotes

Stella: Ah, the butterfly tramp stamp. My bread and butter. So I'm guessing that the real story involves a bad breakup and some booze? Unless that's a gang tattoo, in which case I think it's time to find a new gang.
Ted: Uh no, I just thought it would be cool to get a caterpillar tattoo, and a few weeks went by and all of a sudden...

Barney: Magic isn't lame...Is this LAME? (Fire)
Lily: Barney! No, we said no fireballs at the table.
Marshall: What the Hell is wrong with you?
Robin: There is alcohol in here.
Wendy the Waitress: Barney, we talked about this. It's a fire code violation.
Barney: But, Ted provoked me!
Lily: No, no, you are on a time-out. Go sit over there. Go!

Ted: I got four sessions left. There's gotta be some angle I'm not seeing.
Barney: (From the back table) You can't turn a no into a yes, Ted. It can't be done.
Robin: I don't know, Barney. I said yes eventually.
Barney: No, you didn't, you were like "No, we can't, we're friends, we'll mess up the dynamic of the-
Robin: To Ted.
Barney: Oh, right.

Barney: Hey! How would you like me to take you out to a fancy restaurant and then go on a shopping spree? Treat you the way you should be treated. Would that make you forget about that Ted monster?
Abby: My mom was wrong; there are nice guys in New York!
Barney: We just have to go by my hotel room first. My bed was broken; I just have to make sure they fixed it.
Abby: Then if it's fixed, can we have sex on it and then go shopping?
Barney: I like you!

Stella: Abby goes bowling with her church group every Wednesday night... and she really wanted to invite you, but she's too shy.
Ted: Abby is...?
Stella: My receptionist. You really made quite an impression on her with the coffee the other day. I mean, she has really not stopped talking about you.
Ted: Oh, Abby. I thought you said "Alan."
Stella: But you just said, "Abby is...?"
Ted: Right. Right, I thought I said "Alan."
Stella: Who's Alan?
Ted: Who's Abby?
Stella: My receptionist.
Ted: Exactly.

Stella: You know, we should really get this mole checked out. It's just a little irregular.
Marshall: (Internally) Irregular? Oh, my God. This is it. It's all over.
Stella: One patient has this little butterfly tattoo at the bottom of his back...
Marshall: Can you stop talking about your other patients?! I'm dying here, woman!

Barney: Your little Stella is not so perfect.
Ted: What do you mean?
Barney: I went down there and checked her out for myself. And while I was down there, I discovered that she had a secret, a terrible terrible secret.
Ted: What? What is it?
Barney: Hold on, I gotta pee.

Okay, I'm back. What's going on at work?

Ted: What's the big secret?!
Barney: Oh. Oh, right.

Abby: (On the phone with Barney yelling) Sir, please don't yell at me. Because when people yell at me, I have the tendency to start crying. Please don't do it.

Abby: (Seeing Ted with the flowers) All my friends told me "Abby, be strong, he doesn't deserve another chance," but I forgive you!
Ted: (Both start running) No! No! No! No!

Notes and Trivia

Goofs and Errors

  • After 5 sessions Ted says there are four sessions left instead of five.
  • Ted and Stella's date actually lasted 2 minutes and 20 seconds.
  • After Robin incorrectly makes reference to Roger Daltry, she goes to take a sip of her beer. The next cut shows her putting the beer down straight away, even though it should be a continuance of the same scene, and she would be mid sip in the next cut.

Allusions and Outside References

  • Sarah Chalke is best known for her lead role in the television series Scrubs, where also she plays the role of a doctor. Interestingly, the labcoat Stella is wearing belongs to Chalke's character in Scrubs and she kept a pen to hide her character's name tag.
  • Ted refers to himself as complex and requiring multiple listens like the song Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin, to which Robin replies "Roger Daltrey just rolled over in his grave" who was not in Led Zeppelin, but the lead singer of the band The Who and who isn't even dead.
  • When talking to Stella at the clinic during his first session, Ted says he has a high threshold for pain: "Just last night I sat through the worst movie ever made." Stella says: "Oh, Plan 9 from Outer Space?" - and Ted replies: "No...the Worst Movie, Manos: The Hands of Fate". Both movies have indeed been named as being among the worst movies ever made. [1]


Other Notes

  • Lily's nails grow incredibly long throughout the episode as she pledges to stop biting them.
  • The yellow Nanette Lepore lace dress Spears wore in the episode was auctioned for US$1,525,[2] and the embroidered rust dress was auctioned for US$1,925. [3] The creme cardigan with beading was auctioned for US$3,001.[4]
  • Stella mentions if Ted gets a dolphin tattoo on his ankle in the future. In real life Alyson Hannigan has that tattoo.
  • On the March 28, 2014 episode of Inside the Actors Studio, Josh Radnor mentioned that the 2-minute date is his favorite Ted Mosby moment.
  • Carter Bays, Josh Radnor (Ted), and Sarah Chalke (Stella) provided commentary for the episode which is available on the Season 3 DVD.
  • In this episode, Stella refuses to date Ted because it goes against AMA rules. However, she later announces Ted's back tattoo to the entire waiting room, which is a violation of confidentiality.



  • The episode attracted 10.62 million viewers, 1 million more than the previous episode, and 2.4 million more than the show's average before the writer's strike. [5]
  • Linda Stasi of the New York Post asserted that Spears looked "slim [...] trim and gorgeous" and that "her acting was nothing short of adorably believable". [6]
  • Omar G at Television Without Pity gave the episode an A-. [7]
  • Michelle Zoromski of IGN argued however that while Spears' appearance was a "nice change of pace from her latest public appearances", it was nonetheless a "bit clunky and not as seamless as other guest roles have been on the show". [8]
  • Donna Bowman of The A.V. Club was also less enthusiastic about the singer's performance. Bowman opined: "The Big Britney Episode, as it will henceforth be known, wasn't really much to get all huffy over. You can say this for the [How I Met Your Mother] team: They tend to minimize the annoyance factor of their special guest stars. Britney was a sideshow, and she got her couple of laughs, but she didn't hog the screen time." [9]
  • The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 9.5 stars out of 10. "Look, it's 'Fake Becky' from Roseanne!"


External Links

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