Wait For It

HIMYM episode 3x01 (45)

Wait for it - teds tattoo1
First aired:
September 24, 2007
Pamela Fryman
Carter Bays
Craig Thomas
Barney's Blog

Images (13)

Ted is in a slump after breaking up with Robin until she returns from Argentina with her new boyfriend, Gael. While Gael impresses Lily and Marshall, Ted hooks up with a wild girl who suggests he get a tattoo.


Future Ted tells the children that, while they know the short version (involving a yellow umbrella) of how he met their mother, there is a bigger story of how he became the man he needed to be in order to meet her.

This story begins back at Lily and Marshall's wedding, just as Barney finishes his word "...dary!" and he tries to get Ted out to help him "conquer New York" but Ted says he is not ready yet, prompting Barney to ask when he will be ready.

After the break-up, Robin goes to Argentina while Ted grows a beard and paints the apartment, but when Robin returns with her new boyfriend Gael, Ted announces he's finally ready.

Ted decides that Robin is trying to "win" their break-up. Marshall backs up this theory by explaining to Lily about the winner and loser in each break-up, so Barney takes Ted out to help him win by getting Ted "a 12" (given that he says Robin is "a 10"), but Ted gets "a 12" on his own, a tattooed girl called Amy.

After Gael mentions his passion for windsurfing and making love, "sometimes at the same time", Barney insists this isn't possible, as he has concocted a list of 33 vehicles (land-based, aquatic and airborne) in/on which it is possible to have sex, and a windsurfing board is not on the list. He claims to have had sex on 31 of the 33 vehicles and would only need a bobsled and the Apollo 11 space capsule to complete the list. Lily says that to get the last one he will need to break into the Smithsonian, to which Barney casually replies, "This conversation never happened."

Meanwhile, Lily and Marshall are having a night in with Robin and Gael after Lily inadvertently asked Gael out on a double date. They are supposed to be supporting Ted by hating Gael, but both end up falling for Gael as he plays the acoustic guitar, gives massages and sensually feeds fruit to everyone else.

On the night out with Ted, Barney clashes with Amy about everything and insists that he should be helping Ted as he is his wing-man, but Ted is solely interested in Amy. Barney gives in to one request from Amy, for everyone to go back to her place, when she mentions that she has a hot tub. It turns out, the hot tub isn't Amy's, but belongs to a family who she used to nanny for and who are supposed to be in the Hamptons. Ted decides to get a tattoo himself to symbolize that he is winning the break-up but blanks out shortly after, while Barney leaves with a friend of Amy's to have sex.

The following morning Ted claims he had a good time the night before and is relieved that he did not get a tattoo—or so he thinks. Lily and Marshall spot a butterfly tattoo on Ted's lower back and call Barney to come and see. After cluing Ted in to his new "tramp stamp", the night's proceedings come back to Ted but he gets distracted by finding a bottle of Spanish massage oils.

Lily and Marshall explain what happened in the apartment the night before, which annoys Ted who goes to see Robin and accuses her of being over their break-up too fast. She says she cried for three days about missing Ted at the start of her vacation, which led her to Gael. Ted is still upset that Gael is so attractive, calling him an Adonis and the Cadillac of rebound guys, but Robin cheers him up by explaining that Ted has a bigger penis than Gael, which leads Ted to tell the guys at the bar that he has won the break-up. The scene then switches to the street outside MacLaren's where it is raining and someone walks by carrying a yellow umbrella.

At the epilogue, Barney is called up in his office by Marshall, looking deadly in a dark room, who tells him he sent him a website, the site is called and it counts down to the Slapsgiving, Barney figures this out and begins to scream, "Noooooooo!"


  • Barney concludes his line from Something Blue; this is the longest time the audience has to wait for it. Ted also uses the "wait for it" catchphrase with Amy.
  • Future Ted tells his kids that they are familiar with the "short version [of how their parents met], the thing with your mom's yellow umbrella", the first mention of the symbol of Ted and The Mother's relationship.
  • Ted's tattoo is an example of his wish in Something Blue to "just get out there and have fun for a while".
  • Barney's demand to learn from Gael how to have sex on a windsurfing board—so he can add it to his list of vehicles to have sex in/on—is part of his systematic study of the science of seduction, as seen in such innovations as the Lemon Law.
  • Barney offers (and is denied by) Ted a "fivin' it up five style".
  • After Ted and Amy leave Barney behind, he warns that "This is so going in my blog!"

Future References (Contains Spoilers)

  • The website counting down to the next slap ( that Marshall sends Barney reaches zero in Slapsgiving, when the third slap is delivered. 
  • In Slapsgiving, Robin yells at Ted about the "parade of dubious conquests" he has been marching past her, adding that one got him a butterfly tattoo.
  • Ted gets rid of his butterfly tramp stamp through ten weekly sessions of laser tattoo removal between The Platinum Rule and Ten Sessions, over the course of which he meets, asks out, and eventually starts dating his dermatologist, Stella Zinman.
  • Ted eventually acquires the yellow umbrella in No Tomorrow (after the Mother leaves it behind at the St. Patrick's Day party, as seen in How Your Mother Met Me), and leaves it in Cindy's and the Mother's apartment in Girls Versus Suits. The umbrella is also seen/referenced in many other episodes, including Right Place, Right TimeBig Days, and Farhampton.
    • This is the Mother's first on-screen appearance with the yellow umbrella. Previously she appeared in Lucky Penny, with her head obscured by a bridal veil. She is seen again in No Tomorrow, again hidden by the umbrella, her ankle is seen briefly in Girls Versus Suits, and she gets her first proper appearance in Something New, after which she appears throughout Season 9.
  • Marshall makes other home-made websites in Everything Must Go ( and The Sexless Innkeeper (, where Lily and Future Ted mention it being a problem.
  • Ted goes through a similar period of being uncertain about when he is ready to date again in The Naked Man.
  • The yellow umbrella's importance to how Ted met the Mother is revealed in Last Forever - Part Two.


  • Ted imagines Robin and Gael
  • Ted's tattoo
  • Marshall makes goo-goo eyes at Gael
  • Gael
  • It all comes back to Ted
  • "I win!"
For a listing of all images on the wiki tagged as being from this episode, see Category:Wait For It images.

Memorable Quotes

Gael: Gael.
Ted: I'm sorry; Gay-L?
Gael: Gael.
Barney: Kyle?
Gael: Gael.
Marshall: Girl?

Lily: The girl never marries the hot guy.
Marshall: Well, you did.
Lily: [Quickly] I'm one of the lucky few.

Barney: What are you doing? They know us here! You're gonna get us in trouble!
Amy: Tell me something; do you ask your tailor to leave extra room in the crotch for your huge vagina?
Barney: You… Your vagina!

Ted: He's hot, he wind surfs, he massages things. Name one way I'm better than that guy.
Robin: You're bigger.
Ted: Don't patronize me. If anything, he may even be a little bit taller.
Robin: No. Ted you're bigger.
Ted: (celebrating with a drink) I WIN!
Future Ted: Kids, I can't remember exactly what helped me get through the whole Robin-Gael incident. I'm sure that it was something profound and meaningful, and not at all macho and petty, but after that, I was back on my feet.

Robin: (to Marshall and Lily in the couch) I'm sorry this is all so weird.
Marshall: Weird? Why would that be weird? Because you used to date our best friend or because my wife thinks your new boyfriend is incredible hot?
Lily: (blushing and smiling embarrassed) I do not! Shut up! Oh my God!!

Barney: [To Ted] Tonight, we're going to get you someone way hotter than Robin. Okay, Robin's a ten. Fine, we'll get you a 12. Or, you know... two sixes. Failing that, four threes. And, break glass in case of emergency, we'll go to Staten Island, I'll get you 12 ones.

Ted: Oh my god! I have a tattoo!
Barney: Oh, that's not a tattoo. That, dear boy, is a tramp stamp.
Ted: [Gasps] A tramp stamp.
Barney: You know, a ho tag. Ass antlers. A Panama City license plate.

Notes and Trivia

Goofs and Errors

  • In the hot tub, the bottle of alcohol is open when Barney drinks it, then closed in the very next scene when he gives it to Amy.
  • If you pay close attention at the beginning of the episode, when Ted is in the bathroom, the camera can be seen in the mirror in the bottom right corner.
  • When Barney disagrees that Ted should get a tattoo, Ted is seen screwing on the top of the bottle then opening it again then closing it. However in the next scene he is seen drinking from the bottle and the cap is in his hand.
  • Future Ted says that after his relationships end, he grows his "breakup beard and mustache" however in later episodes he doesn't do that, as in after his breakup with Stella, Zoey, Victoria and pretty much every serious relationship he has been in. However, Ted could actually stop doing this after the breakup with Robin.
  • When Marshall sends Barney the link to, based on the time showing on Barney's computer, the slap would occur at about 5;40, yet the slap is claimed later to be set to occur at 3:01 p.m.

Allusions and Outside References


Other Notes

  • If the episode is purchased on iTunes, it features Future Ted recapping nearly everything that happened in the first two seasons that led up to this point, followed by the theme song playing over various clips, then the episode plays through as normal.



  • Donna Bowman at the The AV Club gave the episode a B+.[1]
  • Omar G at Television Without Pity gave the episode an A-.[2]
  • Staci Krause at IGN gave the episode an 8.7 out of 10.[3]
  • The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 8 stars out of 10. "...'Beat it, nerd.' ... 'Last night got weird.' "


External Links

Previous episode
Something Blue
Wait For It
(all episodes)
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We're Not From Here

Start a Discussion Discussions about Wait For It

  • Destiny and Angie's boyfriend

    5 messages
    • I was thinking abput this the other day:  4.17: Angie’s boyfriend broke up with Angie. Angie started dating Ted to get back at him. Lily br...
    • I've been thinking about this as well, and I think it is exactly like Eme crt says. I don't believe Angie had much influence in ...