The Time Travelers

HIMYM episode 8x20 (180)

The Time Travelers 1
First aired:
March 25, 2013
Pamela Fryman
Carter Bays
Craig Thomas
Barney's Blog

Images (7)

Future versions of Ted and Barney try to convince Ted to go see Robots Versus Wrestlers. Meanwhile, Marshall challenges Robin to a dance-off.


The episode begins with Future Ted telling his kids that in April of 2013, he and the mother were very close and yet very far apart: He was living in West 82nd St; she was living at West 115th, she was getting a degree in economics; he was teaching architecture, he was always at MacLaren's; she was always not spending her time in a bar; she was dating a finance guy named Louis.

At the bar, Ted is drinking beer when Barney walks up to their booth and tells Ted that they will be going to Robots vs Wrestlers: Legends. However Ted decides to pass as he has a big lecture tomorrow. Barney tells him that 20 years from now he will be glad he watched Robots vs Wrestlers: Legends but Ted is skeptical. Barney tells him that whenever he was to make a decision he asks himself if it will makes a good memory twenty years from now and he lets twenty-years-from-now Barney decide. He then asks Ted to close him eyes and when Ted opens his eyes he is shocked to see another Barney sitting next to him. Barney introduces the other Barney as twenty-years-from-now Barney. Twenty-years-from-now Barney calls twenty-years-from-now Ted, who convinces present-day Ted to go to Robots vs Wrestlers. As they are about to leave, they are interrupted by another Ted, he introduces himself as twenty-hours-from-now Ted and tells them they aren't going anywhere. He tells them that Ted will go to Robots vs Wrestlers which will be awesome, but he will get drunk, jump to the ring and sprain his wrist and smoke too much. Present-day Ted says that he won't drink then, and they are all about to leave again when they are stopped by another Barney who introduces himself as twenty-minutes-from-now Barney. He says that he has something important to say but is interrupted by present-day Barney who asks him about the stain on his shirt (which is revealed to be from Barney dropping a meatball on his shirt). Twenty-minutes-from-now Barney asks them to watch the door and they see a girl walk in. Present-day Ted doesn't recognize her, but the others tell him that she is the Coat Check Girl from the dance club they went to seven years ago. Present-day Ted says that he always meant to go back and get her number but he didn't. He walks up to her to talk to her but is pulled into a booth by someone. He sees two Coat Check Girls sitting there. He asks them who they are, and one of them tells him that they are 20-months-from-now Coat Check Girls (from two parallel universes), one who is obsessed with Ted and whom Ted is sick of, and the other is sick of Ted twenty months from now. He asks her why that would happened and she points out that he has been dating for a long time and it hasn't really gone any other way. He then looks at the present-day Coat Check Girl, who walks out of the bar.

Meanwhile, Marshall has come up with a drink at MacLaren's, which he has named "The Minnesota Tidal Wave". However, when he orders it, Carl tells him that it has been named after Robin, since she has been ordering it so much lately. This makes Marshall angry and he challenges Robin to a dance off for the name of the drink. However, Lily stops him from dancing because of his "dancer's hip". He then goes to the men's room and writes Robin's number on the wall, thinking that she won't go in there to erase it. However, Robin does go in to cross it out and then goes into the ladies' room to writes something about Marshall. Marshall nervously goes into the ladies room, and finds a lengthy apology written to him by Robin. However, Robin had only written that so that a lady can walk in and cause Marshall to hide in a stall. A few minutes later, thinking that the ladies' room is now empty, Marshall comes out causing the women in the bathroom to run out screaming and thus causing Marshall to embarrass himself. Marshall complains that this wouldn't have happened if Lily had let him dance. Lily then goes to the jukebox and plays a song for Marshall, and he and Robin have a dance off.

Ted then tells Barney that he is going home and Barney tells him that he understands. Ted is surprised as he thought Barney would stop him. Barney asks him how he would do that, and Ted says that he would tell him that life is short and he should seize every moment before it's gone. Barney tells him that this moment is already gone. The "Minnesota Tidal wave" thing happened five years ago and is just a memory, and the rest of it was Ted's imagination. His friends were too busy to come out, and he has just been sitting here with a single ticket to Robots vs Wrestlers. He tells Ted that he is all alone. Saddened, Ted walks outside.  

Future Ted tell his kids that it has been twenty years from that night, and if he could relive it he wouldn't go to Robots vs Wrestlers, but visit his old apartment and see his friends. But the first thing he would do is visit the mother at her apartment. He imagines himself rushing to her and telling her that they will meet 45 days from now and will fall in love, get married and have two kids. But he is here now because he wants the extra 45 days with her because he loves her and will love her till his death. Just then the mother's boyfriend comes and punches Ted in the face when he tells him that he loves his girlfriend and they will get married.

Ted snaps back to reality, still standing in front of MacLaren's. He pockets the Robots vs. Wrestlers ticket and silently heads for home. 


  • Time Travel is already known to exist within the show. (The Window) However, time travel was not used in this episode.
  • Coat Check Girl appeared in Okay Awesome at Okay, the club Barney grinds with his cousin.
  • Barney, Lily and Marshall went to see "Robots Vs Wrestlers" in Robots Versus Wrestlers.
  • Marshall's fondness of girly, fruity drinks was first seen in Single Stamina, then again in Hopeless.
  • It is revealed that by April 2013, 45 days before she met Ted, the mother was still getting her Economics degree from Columbia University. Ted accidentally went to The Mother's Economics class in Definitions, thinking it was the Architecture class he was supposed to teach.
  • Marshall was diagnosed with "dancer's hip" in The Possimpible.
  • Twenty years from now Ted does not go bald. In No Pressure, one of the bets between Marshall and Lily is that Ted doesn't go bald.
  • Ted's run to The Mother's apartment is reminiscent of his run during Right Place, Right Time.

Future References (Contains Spoilers)

  • Future Ted mentions Barney and Robin arguing over the catering for their wedding. Robin will give Barney money for the caterer in The Bro Mitzvah.
  • Ted wishes for 45 extra days with his future wife. In Last Forever - Part Two it is revealed that she fell ill and passed away in 2024. This is the first time Ted is seen being melancholy with regard to his relationship with the mother, and is the first foreshadowing of her eventual fate.


  • The Mother's future ex-boyfriend
For a listing of all images on the wiki tagged as being from this episode, see Category: The Time Travelers images.

Memorable Quotes

Ted: Hi— I’m Ted Mosby. In exactly 45 days from now you and I are going to meet and we’re going to fall in love and we’re going to get married and we’re going to have 2 kids and we’re going to love them and each other so much. All that is 45 days away, but I’m here now I guess because… I want those extra 45 days with you. I want each one of them. Look and if I can’t have them I’ll take the 45 seconds before your boyfriend shows up and punches me in the face, because… I love you. I’m always gonna love you, til the end of my days and beyond. You’ll see.
Ted to his future wife

Barney: Ted, this moment already is gone. The whole Minnesota Tidal Wave thing happened five years ago, it's just a memory. And the rest of this? Never happened. Right now, Marshall and Lily are upstairs, trying to get Marvin to go back to sleep. Robin and I are trying to decide on a caterer. And you've been sitting here all night, staring at a single ticket to Robots vs Wrestlers because the rest of us couldn't come out. Look around Ted, you're all alone.

Robin: (message on bathroom wall) Dear Marshall, I know this is a strange way to apologize, but I'm sorry I let Carl name your drink after me. Why didn't I say something? Gosh, I guess that goes back to my childhood. Did you know that for the two first years of my life, my dad treated me like a cat? Seriously. I wasn't permitted on the furniture, I had to bathe myself, and I was only allowed to poop in a box. Ironic that this all comes out in a bathroom. A place that for so long I yearned to be. This tiled prison that eluded my saddened grasp was a haven. The unreachable. When I finally did demand a bathroom visit, my dad applauded my moxie. And that's the only time my father ever said he was proud of me. Maybe that's why I stole credit for your drink. Maybe that's why I needed to pour my heart out like this. Or maybe I wrote this so you'd be in here long enough for a lady to walk in, causing you to freak out and hide in the stall.
(Some girls walk in the bathroom and Marshall runs into the nearest stall)
Robin: (message on stall door) GOTCHA!! Love, Robin (creator of the Robin Scherbatsky)

Ted: Okay, how about this: we go to Robots vs Wrestlers, but I don’t drink too much.
Barney: Interesting...
20-hours-from-now Ted: I’m good with that.
20-years-from-now Barney: No, forget it! If Ted doesn’t get wasted, there’s no way he’ll end up making out with that surprisingly realistic-looking female robot!
Ted: Wait, I kiss a female robot?
20-years-from-now Ted: Oh, you do a lot more than that!

Robin: God, you're still clinging to that? Marshall, it doesn't matter, cuz you lose anyway. And you know why? Cuz I'm Sparkles bitch!

Marshall: They named my drink after her. The Minnesota Tidal Wave.
Robin: It's my usual.
Marshall: Immaterial! If it's gonna be named after anybody, it should be called The Marshall Eriksen.
Robin: Sorry, it's The Robin Scherbatsky. Read it and weep.
Marshall: Oh, so you're gonna Zuckerberg me? That it? You're Zuckerberging me? That's fine. I'll see you in court. Little court known as the dance floor. Dance-off. Now.
Lily: No, no dancing. Marshall, we've been through this. The doctor said your dancer's hip is worse than ever. You have to lay off dancing for a while.
Marshall: You're killing me, Lily! You're killing me! I'm an adult. You have to let me dance my own battles.
Robin: Marshall, there's not gonna be a dance-off because the name is staying. Period, end of story. I just like having my name on something.
Marshall: Oh, you do? Oh, that's great, Robin. Then that's what you will get. That's what you will get.
Marshall and Robin arguing over the name of the drink at the bar that Marshall came up with.

Ted: Is Robots vs. Wrestlers worth it?
20-years-from-now Ted: It was the single greatest night of my life.
Ted: Even greater than your wedding?
20-years-from-now Ted: Well, I mean, when I get married, that'll be the greatest night of my life. But who knows when that's going to happen?
Ted: Oh, my God, you still haven't-
20-years-from-now Ted: Man I hope I meet her soon.
Ted: Oh, God, what is wrong with me?!
20-years-from-now Ted: I'm sorry! I'm just messing with you! (laughing, showing the ring on his finger) Now, come on, are we going or what?
Ted: Fine, let's go.

Notes and Trivia

Goofs and Errors

  • In Bad Crazy, the cop that calls Jeanette on her wireless tells her that the apartment is West 86th St. However, in this episode Future Ted says that he lived on West 82nd St.
    • However, Future Ted may have forgotten what street he lived on 20~ years ago.
  • According to Barney, The Minnesota Tidal Wave ordeal happened five years ago, which is roughly around Season 3. The gang didn't know about Marshall's dancer's hip until The Possimpible, yet they knew about it in this episode. Additionally, you can still see one of the drinks sitting on the edge of the jukebox at the end of the episode.
  • In Robots Versus Wrestlers Future Ted says that the gang gets together every single year for Robots vs. Wrestlers, however, they apparently didn't go in 2013.
    • He says come hell or highwater they go, which means they will do whatever they can to make it, sometimes they didn't
    • It's also worth noting that the event mentioned in this episode is "Robots vs. Wrestlers Legends". It's entirely possible that this is a special one-off event, and that the gang went to the ordinary Robots vs. Wrestlers in 2013.

Allusions and Outside References

  • Robin saying "I'm Sparkles, bitch" is a reference to Britney Spears's famous quote "It's Britney, bitch".
  • Marshall´s quote "You think you can can Step Up, over me, to the Streets......" is a reference to the movie Step Up 2: The Streets, which was released in 2008, like Barney said, 5 years ago from that night.
  • Marshall describes Robin's apparent credit-grabbing of his drink idea as "Zuckerberging," referring to the controversy between Mark Zuckerberg and the Winklevoss twins over who had the idea for Facebook.
  • There is a fast-food restaurant named "Carl's Jr." in America. Marshall guesses "'s Jr." as the last name for Carl, the bartender. A nod to the Comedy Bang Bang podcast.
  • When Barney and Robin are arguing about the caterer, Barney is holding the menu for his real life partner, David Burtka's catering company, Gourmet M.D.. Burtka plays Scooter who last appeared in Twelve Horny Women.


Other Notes

  • This is Carl's first appearance since The Best Man​​ at the beginning of Season 7.
  • Similarly, the Coat Check Girl returns for the first time since Season 1's Okay Awesome.
  • It is revealed that The Mother is currently dating a guy named Louis and living in 317 West 115th Street Apartment 7A. The set piece used for the front door of The Mother's apartment is the same one used for Brover's owner's apartment.
  • Future Ted says that it was "April 2013" at the beginning of the episode and says it was a "cold, April night" at the end. Since Ted meets The Mother 45 days from that night, and since Barney and Robin's Wedding is on May 25th, it would make that night April 10th, 2013.
  • Robin's entire phone number is seen aside from the last number (which is a 6) as only the first half is shown. It's (212) 555-0316, but calling this number does nothing unlike Barney's number.
  • This is one of three episodes involving time travel; The Window and Intervention are the others.

Robin's Bathroom Message

Dear Marshall, I know this is a strange way to apologize, but I'm sorry I let Carl name your drink after me. Why didn't I say something? Gosh, I guess that goes back to my childhood. Did you know that for the first two years of my life, my dad treated me like a cat? Seriously. I wasn't permitted on the furniture, I had to bathe myself, and I was only allowed to poop in a box. Ironic that this all comes out in a bathroom. A place that for so long I yearned to be. This tiled prison that eluded my saddened grasp was a haven. The unreachable. Why I finally did demand a bathroom visit, my dad applauded my moxie. And that's the only time my father ever said he was proud of me.

Maybe that's why I stole credit for your drink. Maybe that's why I needed to pour my heart out like this. Or, maybe I wrote this so you'd be in here long enough for a lady to walk in, causing you to freak out and hide in the stall.

GOTCHA!! love, Robin :) (creator of the Robin Scherbatsky)



  • The episode was viewed by 6.99 million viewers. [1]
  • Donna Bowman of The AV Club gave the episode a B+. She said, "The Time Travelers begins as a farcical fantasy, with Ted and Barney surrounded by future versions of themselves offering different advice about how to handle the next few hours. In twenty years, Twenty-Years-From-Now Barney and Twenty-Years-From-Now Ted promise, the events of that night would make a fantastic memory. The promise of still telling stories about the night the two of them went to see Robots Vs. Wrestlers: Legends would be worth all the pain that might occur in the immediate aftermath … pain from a wicked hangover and a sprained wrist, Twenty-Hours-From-Now Ted warns (or the embarrassment of spilling spaghetti on yourself, or even ordering spaghetti in an Irish bar, Twenty-Minutes-From-Now Barney portends). [2]
  • Max Nicholson of IGN gave the episode an 8.7 out of 10. He said, "The Time Travelers was easily one of the most bizarre and out-there episodes of HIMYM yet, but it was almost so gonzo and ridiculous that it actually came back around to being a grounded storyline, particularly for Ted." He further adds that he enjoyed Jayma Mays understated presence and praised the Marshall/Robin storyline. He called Ted's nonexistent monologue to the mother the real standout scene from the episode. [3]
  • Angel Cohn of Television Without Pity gave the episode a C-. [4]
  • The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 7 out of 10 stars. "Again with Robots vs. Wrestlers? It sucked the first time, too."


External Links

Previous episode
The Fortress
The Time Travelers
(all episodes)
Next episode →
Romeward Bound

Start a Discussion Discussions about The Time Travelers

  • The Time Travelers's Music

    5 messages
    • is it only me or was this episode VERY philosophical? i mean c'mon, although not the funniest, it was one of the best episodes in seaso...
    • Yeah, I totally agree with you... =) When I saw it the first time it was like... "what do they want with it". I really didn't ...
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.