Three Days of Snow

HIMYM episode 4x13 (77)

Three days of snow.png
First aired:
January 19, 2009
Pamela Fryman
Matt Kuhn
Barney's Blog

Images (6)

Three stories unfold during a snowstorm in NYC: Ted and Barney take over MacLaren's, Marshall and Robin talk about romantic rituals while picking up Lily from the airport while she races to buy Marshall a souvenir of her trip.


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Ted and Barney set up dates with two young women in a band (Barney repeatedly pulling aside Ted to insist that he not be specific in his plans), planning to meet back at MacLaren's the next night. The next night, with a huge snow storm outside, they sit alone at the bar, waiting for the girls. Barney and Ted beg Carl the bartender to be left in charge of the bar for the rest of the night, as Carl has charity work to attend to. The girls finally show up, along with their "band," which is actually the Arizona Tech Marching Band, filling the bar with dozens of rowdy college students. After being overwhelmed with bartending, and a call from Carl telling them he was returning, Ted and Barney quickly direct the band upstairs to Ted's apartment to continue partying. The band members are very grateful.  Barney insists they stick with the girls, saying they would give him five in a row on "party school bingo", a game Barney plays annually with Playboy's published list of top party schools.

Lily and Marshall reflect on a tradition of Lily bringing a six-pack of beer with her every time she returns from a trip, meeting Marshall at the airport. The couple had decided to end the tradition, but both soon change their minds. First, Marshall gets Robin to drive him to the airport in the midst of the huge snowstorm, arguing with her about the importance of traditions in relationships. They get trapped on the side of the road after a snow plow covers them in snow, but they eventually get to the airport terminal. When they arrive, Lily is not there. Marshall realizes that that day's lunchtime phone call ritual between himself and Lily had been in a voicemail Lily had left to inform Marshall that her flight was cancelled. Marshall had ignored the call because he felt that all of their traditions were slipping away and that it was a natural progression of their relationship to let their rituals die. Lily's plane has been grounded and will arrive in New York in 2 days (the episode runs Marshall and Lily's stories parallel to imply that they are on the same day).

Meanwhile, after realizing she wants to continue the tradition, Lily panics and tries to find some microbrew beer to give to Marshall. Arriving at the airport an hour early, she encounters Ranjit, and they drive to a local liquor store, only to find that the store only has a keg, 'Supersonic Tonic', instead of a playfully named six-pack. She treks back to the airport, only to find no Marshall. Suddenly, airport residents start playing marching band instruments to the tune of Auld Lang Syne, and Marshall emerges to greet Lily. The players are the marching band from earlier in the episode, following up on their promise to return the favor.

At the end of the episode, Ted is talking to one of the girls when they wonder where Barney and the other went. Barney then bursts out of Ted's room and proclaims "Bingo!"


  • Ted and Barney have a telepathic conversation.
  • Five-word phrases people come to regret were first introduced with "We should buy a place" in Dowisetrepla​​.
  • Marshall reads magazines in the bathroom at work in Benefits​; while in the car with Robin, he admits to reading Cosmo Girl magazines as well.

Future References (Contains Spoilers)

  • Ted and Barney again call dibs on women in Robots Versus Wrestlers and Big Days​.
  • Future Ted mentions several five-word phrases people will regret saying in addition to "We should buy a bar" from this episode, including Marshall saying "I can jump that far," as seen in The Leap​, and Ted saying "I'm gonna win her back," as seen in Weekend at Barney's​.
  • The woman Lily pictures Marshall leaving her for if she doesn't bring him a six-pack looks a lot like 15 year-old Marshall's description of his future wife in a letter to his future self, which Marshall finds in The Window.
  • After moving the party from MacLaren's to the apartment, Barney and Ted discuss starting a band. In Hopeless, Barney lies to his father about the gang being a band.
  • The gang talk about buying a bar again in Landmarks, and Ted and Barney open a bar called Puzzles in Tailgate​, where they indeed regret doing so. Also, as revealed in How Your Mother Met Me, the Mother's future boyfriend Louis visited MacLaren's while Ted and Barney were running it, causing him to think that it was actually called Puzzles.
  • When Lily runs into Ranjit at the airport, she tells him she has to be at a store in East Meadow quickly enough to buy beer for Marshall. Marshall and Lily eventually inherit Lily's grandparents home in East Meadow in The Slutty Pumpkin Returns.


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

Memorable Quotes

Lily: Aspen Yards Ale, get it?
Marshall: Actually, no.
Lily: Me, neither. I was hoping you would.

Lily: Hey, baby. It's lunchtime, and I love you.
Marshall: I reciprocate in principle, although with the caveat that there seems to be a bit of a surplus here on my end.
Lily: No, I love you more.
Marshall: Do we need to get in a room together and bang this thing out? *pause* Those sound like agreeable terms, although I may need to adjust my briefs.
Lily calls Marshall while he is with clients

Ranjit: Oh, Lily, TMI—too many informations.

Robin: I still say this is stupid. What happened to, "As we mature, the relationship matures with us?"
Marshall: That's just something Lily read in Psychology Today. Alright, she read it in Cosmo. Alright, I read it in Cosmo. Alright, it was CosmoGirl!

Brunette: I don't know if you guys have ever seen Star Wars, but it's like Hoth out there.
Ted: Dibs.
Blonde: It reminds me of when I used to go sledding with my dad —before he left.
Barney: And dibs.

Ted: So, how many people are in on this Party School Bingo thing?
Barney: Oh, it's just me.
Ted: So what's the point, then?
Barney: The point is to get five in a row.
Ted: And what do you get when you get five in a row?
Barney: I get Bingo.

Ted: We should buy a bar!
Barney: Of course, we should buy a bar!
Ted: We should totally buy a bar.
Barney: We should totally buy a bar. Our bar would be awesome. And dude, dude, dude, dude... the name of our bar... Puzzles. (Ted is astonished by the proposition) People will be, like, "Why is it called Puzzles?". That's the puzzle!

Ted: Can't you just leave the place open a little while longer? We'll keep an eye on things.
Carl: You two? No way, you wouldn't know the first thing about running a bar.
Barney: Serve the hotties first?
Carl: Here's the keys.

Robin: Thanks for coming by. I monkeyed around with the thermostat for about an hour before I realized it was the intercom.
Marshall: Yeah, I heard you swearing downstairs.

Barney: (mockingly) "Totally! Awesome!" Man, these college girls sound stupid.
Ted: Totally.
Barney: Awesome. So here's the thing...

Notes and Trivia

Goofs and Errors

  • Since 2006 and the new TSA restrictions on carry-on liquids for American air carriers, it is no longer possible to carry a six-pack of beer on a plane. In all of the scenes set later than 2006, that wouldn't have been permitted.
  • When the shop-owner tells Lily that he only has a Seattle microbrew in a keg, there are Redhook ESB six packs on the shelf behind them. Redhook is a Seattle brewery.
    • While Redhook is a Seattle brewery, it hasn't counted as a microbrew since the mid-nineties.
    • Redhook also has a brewery in Portsmouth, NH, which would be more likely to cover their distribution in the Eastern US region, especially New York, rather than the brewery in Seattle.
  • The image of the storm just prior to the opening theme song is spinning clockwise. In the northern hemisphere, storms spin counter-clockwise due to the Coriolis effect. The landmass shown underneath the storm is clearly North America (the Great Lakes can be seen).

Allusions and Outside References

  • The image of the storms shown in the cold opening imitate the exact weather conditions of The Perfect Storm of 1991.
  • Barney quotes Closing Time by Semisonic after last call at MacLaren's.
  • When coming to the bar during the snow storm, one of the girls makes a Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back reference, saying it's snowing like Hoth outside.
  • The marching band on the show is actually a small portion of The Spirit of Troy, also known as the University of Southern California Trojan Marching Band.
  • The bar montage and accompanying Kokomo allude to similar scenes from Roger Donaldson's 1988 film, Cocktail.
  • The flashback where Barney gets the idea to buy a bar, Ted and Barney are playing Monopoly.
    • Since Barney flipped the board, he was probably losing.


Other Notes

  • The German episode title is "Drei Tage Schnee", an exact translation.
  • The Brazilian episode is also titled as the same, which is "Três Dias de Neve"
  • International Airdates: Australia: March 30, 2009 on Channel 7; Germany: January 16, 2010 on ProSieben; United Kingdom: March 4, 2010 on E4
  • Alyson Hannigan claims this episode one of her favorites because she cried during rehearsals when Marshall picked Lily up at the airport.



  • Donna Bowman of The A.V. Club gave the episode an A grade. [1]
  • Michelle Zoromski of IGN gave the episode 8.3 out of 10. [2]
  • Cindy McLennan of Television Without Pity gave the episode an A- grade. [3]
  • The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 8.5 out of 10 stars. "We should buy a bar ... Puzzles!"


See also

External Links

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