The Autumn of Break-Ups

HIMYM episode 8x05 (165)

First aired:
November 05, 2012
Pamela Fryman
Kourtney Kang
Barney's Blog

Images (22)

As the season of break-ups continues, Ted and Victoria must choose the next step in their long and complicated relationship. Meanwhile, Robin worries about Barney when he chooses a dog to be his wingman.


While Marshall and Lily are at Ted's apartment, Ted thanks them for a great night the previous evening, when they had Victoria and Ted over at their apartment. However, they don't think that the previous night was great and they noticed that Victoria kept dropping hints that she wants deeper commitment, to which Ted remained oblivious. Marshall, whom Lily has been training to advise to people in a feminine way so she doesn't have to, tells him that he and Victoria are heading for trouble. Ted says that he and Victoria have only been dating for five months and they are in a great place in their relationship. However, Lily tells him that they have been dating for more than five months, since the last time they dated also counts.

Ted says to Victoria that if she wants a deeper commitment, she would just come right out and say it, instead of dropping hints and she tells him that she would. However, when she asks him if she should keep her wedding dress or not, Ted realizes that Lily and Marshall were right. Victoria tells him that he shouldn't be surprised to find out that she wants to get married, since she came back to him in a wedding dress. She thinks that there is a reason that their relationship isn't progressing forward. He discusses this with Lily and Marshall, but they are not able to help him. He then decorates his apartment with roses and proposes to Victoria. She agrees to marry him, but only if he stops being friends with Robin. She thinks that Robin is the thing that has been holding them back and there is too much history between her and Ted. Robin is the reason they broke up in the first place and Victoria is afraid that his feelings for her might rekindle in the future. While Marshall thinks Victoria is being unreasonable, Lily agrees with her and tells Ted that he has to end his friendship with Robin if he wants to be with Victoria. Ted says that despite that he can't imagine his life without Robin, they don't have a future together but he and Victoria might. Ted then texts Robin to meet him at MacLaren's to end things with her, but changes his mind when he is about to talk to her. He then tells Victoria that, although he isn't in love with Robin, she is like his family and he can't stop being friends with her. He asks her if she is okay with that. However, a teary eyed Victoria tells him that she hopes that Ted and Robin can be together one day, and leaves.

Meanwhile, after Barney is leaving after another one-night stand, a dog catches his eye and he follows him. At the bar, he tells Robin and Nick that he named the dog Brover and is using him to pick up girls. Robin is worried about Barney and thinks that he is really lonely after his break-up with Quinn, and asks Nick if she can invite him for dinner. Although Nick thinks that Barney is okay, he agrees on having him over for dinner. When Barney shows up for dinner with Brover wearing a suit, Robin seems even more worried. Halfway through their dinner, Barney gets a call from Brover's owner who tells him that Brover ran away while she was out of town. Barney, who has become attached to Brover, is devastated that he has to return him and tries to jump off the balcony. Robin stops him and asks Nick if she can accompany Barney to return Brover. Nick is frustrated that Robin wants to leave after he spent all night preparing a sumptuous meal. When Barney and Robin go to return Brover, she reminds him of the time when he accompanied her when she went to give her dogs to her aunt. When Brover's owner, an attractive woman, thinks that Barney and Robin are a couple, Robin pretends to be a lesbian and leaves Barney with the woman. Barney then comments that she is "the best wingman ever." When Robin goes back to finish her dinner with Nick, she gets the text from Ted to meet up with him and Nick is more frustrated that she wants to leave again.

The following morning Robin tells the gang that Ted called her in the middle of the night to talk about something urgent, but it turns that he only wanted her opinion on writing a series of young adult mystery novels. She tells him to talk to his girlfriend when he has an idea late at night. Ted then tells her that he and Victoria broke up. When Robin asks him why, he tells her that they both wanted different things. The scene then flashes to him talking to Marshall and Lily the previous night, where he asks them to promise that Robin won't ever find out that she is the reason behind his break-up with Victoria. The scene then goes back to the present and Future Ted says that Robin did find out, and that he will get to that.


  • The episode ends Victoria's third storyline, which begins in The Magician's Code - Part Two​.
  • The Local Area Media Awards appear in Mary the Paralegal​.
  • Ted brings up the story of the Mosby Boys and the missing retainer, which was first revealed in Dowisetrepla​.
  • Lily refers to Ted professing his love for Robin in The Drunk Train​.
  • Marshall says "Come again for Ms. Fudge" (referring to his feminine alter ego) which he originally said as "Come again for Big Fudge" in Jenkins​.
  • When Marshall asked Ted if he would continue his friendship with Robin, he did so with a tone that suggested Marshall encouraged Ted to do so. This may had been a reminder of an ongoing long-term bet (introduced in No Pressure) that Marshall had with Lily where Marshall rooted for Ted getting back together with Robin. If Ted accepted Victoria's condition for her to be engaged to him, it would foreclose the possibility of Ted getting back together with Robin, thus resulting in Marshall losing his bet. 
  • Robin's new apartment is shown for the first time, first mentioned in The Broath.
  • Ted also chooses his friends over his girlfriend in The Front Porch​.

Future References (Contains Spoilers)

  • Robin will find out why Ted and Victoria broke up in Sunrise.
  • Victoria's prediction about Ted eventually comes true when he and Robin end up together many years later in Last Forever - Part Two.


For a listing of all images on the wiki tagged as being from this episode, see Category:The Autumn of Break-Ups images.

Memorable Quotes

Future Ted: Kids, it's no secret: your Uncle Barney is a bit of a dog.

Marshall: My goal is to eventually say things are are so sassy and wise, that there is no possible response other than ‘mm’ or ‘mhmm.’ And if this is a place where we can share our dreams, I like to think that it is, I hope, someday, to earn a ‘testify'…

Robin: Oh, Ted needs to see me.
Nick: Oh, for the love of God, woman!
Robin: Oh, it's not what you think, he just wants to have sex. Kidding. It's just a little hand stuff. Kidding again… Ted's more of a boob man. I seriously can't stop.

Robin: Lose the Mosby nerds and focus on the crime fighting squirrel: that's gold.

Victoria: Robin is our deep dark pit where our relationship goes to die. But the nicest girl in the world; salt of the earth.

Victoria: I really hope you get her someday.
(walks away crying)
Victoria to Ted when he tells her he can't stop being friends with Robin

Robin: You ready to say good-bye?
Barney: Thanks for coming with me.
Robin: Oh, well, you did the same for me back when I had to give away all my dogs. Remember?
Barney: Oh, yeah, we drove to your aunt's farm upstate. She was awesome.
Robin: Yeah.
Barney: I love how she was this wise, old, chilled out, lesbian farmer.
Robin: No, no, no. She's not a lesbian. Nor does she farm them. No, that woman she lives with, that's just her special friend Maureen. They've lived together for... Oh.
Barney: Oh, this is gonna be tough. Brover really was the best wingman ever.
Mia: Oh, my God. Thank you so much for bringing Mr. Sprinkles back.
Barney: Mr. Sprinkles... is a great name for a dog.
Mia: Mommy missed you so much. Yes, she did. Did this nice couple take care of you?
Robin: That's a laugh. Ha. Big bro. I got to split. Yeah, I got to, I got to head back to the farm where I live with my special friend Maureen. Whom I now realize is my lesbian life partner. Surprise.
Mia: Okay. All right. So would you like a drink?
Barney: Best wingman ever.

Notes and Trivia

Goofs and Errors

  • When Barney mentions Robin's dogs which she gave to her lesbian aunt, Robin says that her aunt is not lesbian but lives with her "special friend" Maureen, before she realizes that Maureen is her aunt's lover. However, in Stuff, Robin tells Lily that she gave her dogs to her aunt, who lives on a farm with her lover Betty. She does seem confused in that episode when Lily makes a lesbian joke about it.
    • Robin might have repressed that bit of information, as well as denial being a pretty strong force.
  • Barney picked Brover up off the street - he could see the owner's number on the collar but there is no way the owner could know Barney's number to contact him.

Allusions and Outside References


Other Notes

  • The episode was originally entitled Pauses and Paws. [1]
  • The episode was originally supposed to air on 29th October but was postponed due to Hurricane Sandy. [2]
  • This is the first episode of Season 8 to begin with Ted's kids from the year 2030.
  • A song by 'The Swell Season' plays during one of the final scenes. In 2009, Jason Segel performed in one of their concerts by playing the piano and singing a song he wrote.



Featuring an interview with Josh Radnor.


  • The episode received 7.22 million viewers.[3]
  • Donna Bowman of The AV Club gave the episode a B+. She wrote that overall the show is winding down the way it should and that she "admired" the different ways the couples are breaking up. She also described Marshall's character in this episode as "bizarrely broad and cartoonish". [4]
  • Max Nicholson of IGN gave the episode 5.0 out of 10. He called the episode "lackluster". He wrote that "Victoria's behavior this week felt more like a classic case of changing the character to serve the story" and said that he is "pretty tired of all these allusions to a Ted and Robin romance." He described the Robin / Nick plot as "pretty unbearable", Marshall as "mildly racist", and Barney's story as "moderately entertaining". [5]
  • Angel Cohn of Television Without Pity gave the episode C. Cohn says: "It's like the show I used to love is in there... somewhere. How many episodes left? More than I want to know." Cohn wrote that "Barney getting a dog ... was by far the highlight of the episode," but that Lily and Marshall are given "ridiculous things to do that vaguely service the plot" that in this episode are "possibly offensive". [6]
  • The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 8 out of 10. "...Barney's got a new wingman..."


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