The Window

HIMYM episode 5x10 (98)

First aired:
December 7, 2009
Pamela Fryman
Joe Kelly
Barney's Blog

Images (6)

Ted finds out a girl he likes is finally single. The gang must keep her single long enough to seal the deal. Barney tries to pick up a girl wearing overalls and Marshall deals with a letter from himself.


This page or section uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia's The Window (How I Met Your Mother) article. (view authors).

You can contribute to the How I Met Your Mother Wiki by rewriting the copied content.

Marshall stops by The apartment with a box of childhood memorabilia from his mother. Ted receives a call from an old woman telling him "the window is open", and races over to a woman's apartment a few blocks away. Later in the bar Ted explains that "the window" was the window of opportunity to date a woman named Maggie, who followed up every long-term relationship with a very short break, and then an even-longer relationship.

Ted had known Maggie since college, the "ultimate girl next door" but she has always quickly found a new boyfriend after being single. After several failed attempts Ted begged Maggie's neighbor, old Mrs. Douglas, to tell him the moment she was single again. Ted arranges to meet her at the bar, and is determined not to screw up this time. To make sure she comes in contact with as few other men as possible, even ordering her a taxi with a female driver. Robin reminds Ted he still has to teach his evening class, and he is forced to leave Maggie with Marshall and Lily.

While his class counsels Ted on his readiness to find true love again, Marshall rifles through his childhood belongings at the bar. He finds a letter to himself from 1993. The rat-tailed, overalls-wearing 14-year old insists that Future Marshall get an expensive vehicle, a hot wife, and that he never sell out. Marshall mournfully reflects that his job at GNB is the ultimate sell-out. He leaves MacLaren's, and Lily chases after him, leaving Maggie with Robin. Under Robin's watch, a coworker of Maggie's, named Jim, slips into the booth. Robin shamelessly flirts with Jim and butts in on his invitation to take Maggie to an art show, trying to keep him distracted. Robin passes Maggie off to Barney, who has dared himself to get laid wearing Marshall's old overalls. Ted races back to the bar, only to face Jim and Barney, who both want Maggie.

Robin covertly sends Maggie back to her apartment while the three men bicker over who should get first crack at Maggie. They race to her apartment door, and they find she has reunited with her childhood neighbor, the "boy next door." Future Ted briefly retells their long-standing romance, the second-greatest love story he's ever heard, and flashes forward to their married bliss. When Ted exits the apartment building, he tells Barney he's ready to find true love again. Barney then sleeps with the old woman in Maggie's building to complete his overalls challenge.

Lily heads to GNB, thinking Marshall is about to quit his job, but upon further inspection of the letter, she finds another thing that young Marshall was proud of: his ability to dunk a basketball. On the GNB basketball court, Marshall explains how sad he is to have never reach his dreams, but Lily insists that he has lead a wonderful life. He attempts to dunk and injures himself. Lily offers to make it up to him and have sex in his office, unable to move he instead suggests that they have sex right there on the court.

Marshall returns to the bar to write a letter to himself 29 years further in the future. In the letter, he makes a small request for his future self to let him know if time travel exists. Lily returns to the booth with a free plate of hot wings, which she says someone "sent back" because they were too hot. Marshall finishes the letter, telling Future Marshall that so long as he is still with Lily he will be doing all right. As it turns out, an older version of Marshall is on the other side of the bar, who apologizes to Wendy the Waitress for sending the wings back, saying he "already had some wings earlier... much earlier".


  • Marshall gets depressed because he feels like he sold out his dream of practicing environmental law to work for a corporation, an issue that has come up in many episodes, including Life Among the GorillasI'm Not That Guy, and The Chain of Screaming.
  • Barney tells Ted to trust him with Maggie despite them having suffered set-backs in this area of their "bro-lationship", referring to how he slept with Robin in Sandcastles in the Sand.
  • Barney mentions the country bar Giddy Ups. The gang had previously visited the bar in Woooo!.
  • In Three Days of Snow, when Lily imagines what would happen if she didn't bring a six-pack for Marshall from her trip, she pictures him walking off with a girl who bears a lot of similarity to 15 year-old Marshall's description of his future wife.
  • Marshall's dancer's hip injury, which prevents him from making a slam dunk without hurting himself, was discussed in The Possimpible, where his basketball nickname, "Vanilla Thunder", was also mentioned.

Future References (Contains Spoilers)

  • Barney again sleeps with an old woman in Nannies.


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

Memorable Quotes

Ted: (running down the sidewalk) I hate Barney Stinson!
Random Woman: Me too!

Barney: (Trying to hit on a girl) Hey.
Robin: He is not saying hello, he is just telling you what he feeds his horses! Oh, man! I could sit here and make "you look like a farmer" jokes all night! Challenge accepted!

Robin: I laughed so hard I think I may have just peed my pants.

Ted: Wait, where's Maggie?
Robin: She's gone.
Ted: What?
Robin: I sent her home. You guys were like vultures fighting over her. Let her be single for once.
Jim: Jealous bitch!

Robin: (Rushes at the bar and start gasping) Mister! You missed just out on the night of your life. The night of your life.

Ted: [Ted receives a call] Hello?
Mrs. Douglas: Hello? Ted Mosby?
Mrs. Douglas: The window is open.
Ted: What?
Mrs. Douglas: The Window... is open!
Ted: [hangs up and looks to Marshall] The window is open.
Marshall: What are you waiting for?
Ted: I... I...
Marshall: Run, Ted! RUN! [Ted runs out of the apartment]
Ted: [to Lily on the sidewalk] Lily, the window is open.
Lily: Make a hole, people! [gets baby cart of bystanders and pushes it forward, sending the bystanders to chase it]Run, Ted! RUN!

Ted: I forgot what it feels like to chase the real thing but I think I'm ready again.

Ted: You know how everyone has that guy or girl that no matter what happens, you know will be perfect for you.

Barney: No one, I mean no one could get laid wearing these. Challenge accepted. I, Barney Stinson, of sound mind and amazing body will wear these overalls until have sex with a woman.

Notes and Trivia

Goofs and Errors

  • In the very first scene Robin's hair keep changing. When Marshall enters, her hair is straight. Then her hair is tucked behind her left ear. When it cuts to Ted and back to Robin it's changed to being behind her right ear. When it goes back to Marshall and Robin again it's behind her left ear again.
  • Lily says that Marshall's description of his future wife as tall and blonde is a description of his mother. However, Judy Eriksen appears as a redhead on the show.

Allusions and Outside References

  • In the cold opening, Robin quotes Brad Pitt's character from the film Se7en when she screams "What's in the box?!".
  • Marshall finds a book of Mad libs in the box his mother sent, where he used the word "fart" to fill the gaps in the sentences.
  • Marshall from 1993 mentions the A-Team Van in his list of future dreams.
  • Both Marshall and Lily reference the character Jenny from Forrest Gump, when they scream Run Ted, run.


Other Notes

  • Maggie is played by actress Joanna Garcia, who was a recurring cast member of the television show Freaks and Geeks, which starred Jason Segel. She is the fourth actor from the series to make an appearance on HIMYM.
  • In Perfect Week, New York Yankee Nick Swisher guest stars. He and Joanna Garcia have been married since 2010.
  • This is one of three episodes involving time travel; Intervention and The Time Travelers are the others. However, while the first was a trick by Barney and the latter was just Ted's imagination, this episode proves that time travel exists in the HIMYM universe.
  • International Airdates: Australia: April 22, 2010 on Channel 7; United Kingdom: July 29, 2010 on E4



  • Donna Bowman of The A.V. Club rated the episode with a grade B+. [1]
  • Brian Zoromski of IGN gave the episode 7.4 out of 10. [2]
  • Cindy McLennan of Television Without Pity rated the episode with a grade A+. [3]
  • The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 8.5 out of 10 stars. "...the window is open..."


External Links

Previous episode
Slapsgiving 2: Revenge of the Slap
The Window
(all episodes)
Next episode →
Last Cigarette Ever