How Lily Stole Christmas

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"How Lily Stole Christmas"
How I Met Your Mother episode
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 11
Directed by Pamela Fryman
Written by Brenda Hsueh
Production code 2ALH11
Original air date December 11, 2006
Guest actors

Harry Groener (Clint)
Michael Gross (Mr Mosby)
Cristine Rose (Mrs Mosby)
Moon Unit Zappa (Stacy)

Season 2 episodes

"How Lily Stole Christmas" is the 11th episode in the second season of the television series How I Met Your Mother. It originally aired on December 11, 2006.

Plot[edit]

Ted has decided to spend Christmas in Manhattan this year with "his other family". He doesn't want to spend it with his mom and her new boyfriend, Clint; or his dad and his new girlfriend, "micro-brewing"; or his super religious cousin, Stacy, in Staten Island. While Lily decorates their apartment, Marshall says he must go to the law library to finish one last paper that is due that day. He refuses to look at any of the decorations as he leaves because the "winter wonderland" will be his reward for finishing the paper. After he leaves, Lily finds the old answering machine that was unplugged after Lily and Marshall broke up. Lily plays messages that are still on it, and hears a message from Ted to Marshall telling him to get over Lily. In this message, Ted calls Lily "a bad word...a very, very bad word" (implied to be either "bitch" or "cunt")[citation needed] which is substituted in future Ted's re-telling of the story with the word "grinch."

Lily asks why Ted would call her that word, and Ted reveals that he was trying to get Marshall to stop idolizing Lily even after they had split during the summer, and told Marshall at the time if he did not stop putting her up on a pedestal, he would never get over her. Ted asks Marshall to tell him one thing wrong with Lily. Finally Marshall gives in and he does and follows with making jokes about Lily along with Ted and Barney at the bar. Ted tells Lily that he was just trying to help Marshall and he refuses to apologize to Lily because she was "kind of a grinch".

At the bar, Ted is telling Robin and a progressively ill Barney about what happened, and realizes that he has to apologize to Lily. Ted brings a beer back up to the apartment to offer as an apology. When he opens the door, he finds that Lily has taken all the decorations away from their apartment. Ted wants to make sure the winter wonderland will be there when Marshall gets back from the library. Ted tries to call Lily but with no result. As Robin and a very sick Barney stack at the apartment Ted decides to go to Lily's apartment to apologize. He tricks her into thinking he's the pizza delivery guy so he's able to get her to open the door to her tiny, crappy, cramped NY apartment. He says he's sorry that he called her "a grinch", and Lily accuses him of fake apologizing. Lily asks Ted why he's still so mad at her, and he says that she never apologized to him for leaving that summer and never calling. Ted yells at Lily when then her power goes off, with Lily saying that Ted pissed off the "big man up stairs," her super, that lives above her. He then tells Lily that she can take the decorations back to his and Marshall's apartment because he's going to visit his cousin's family in Staten Island. Marshall comes back home to the apartment, claiming he blew off his paper, but he had been spending hours tracking down his gift for Lily. He finds the winter wonderland intact and no knowledge of what happened earlier in the day.

In the meantime, Robin insists upon taking care of Barney, who has caught a terrible cold. He whines about wearing sweatpants, not getting ice cream for dinner, and everything else he can until Robin spikes his tea with codeine.

Marshall has brought a package with him, a present for Lily. He tells the story of how he went to the post office to find out why it hadn't come in when it was supposed to. The lady tells him that the package is already on the truck headed to Poughkeepsie. Marshall runs the truck down and asks if he can have the package back. The driver says yes but that he's running behind on his route so Marshall has to ride along. Marshall gets his package, but when the driver tells him that he won't be able to deliver all of the packages in time for Christmas he decides to help out. Lily opens the package to find an Easy-Bake Oven, something she wanted since childhood, but never got because her feminist mom didn't want her to conform to traditional gender roles, and gave her a Lego set instead. Since she has no idea how Marshall knew about her preferred item, he admits learning about it from Ted, whom Lily told her story to back in college. Marshall asks where Ted is and Lily tells him Staten Island.

At Ted's cousin's house, Ted is having a miserable time. Lily, Robin, Marshall and Barney arrive with an apology beer for Ted. Ted tells his cousin that it's carolers to keep her from coming to the door. While the other three sing, Lily says she's sick of apologizing and the two agree to skip straight to the forgiveness. Ted takes off after his cousin's children overhear Lily say she "was kind of a grinch", and they all begin to cheer "grinch!" over and over.

Music[edit]

  • "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy"
  • "Dance of the Mirlitons"
  • "Waltz of the Flowers"
  • "Trepak (Russian Dance)"
  • "Pas de Deux"

Cultural references[edit]

  • The title of the episode alludes to the Dr. Seuss book How the Grinch Stole Christmas!.[1]
  • When asked about his favorite Bible passage, Ted mentions that "the one from Pulp Fiction was kinda cool." He was referring to Ezekiel 25:17
  • Ted calling Lily a "grinch", and Future Ted saying that Ted didn't say "grinch", but a "very, very bad word" instead is a reference to A Christmas Story where Ralphie says "fudge". Ted also says, "Oh, fudge," with Future Ted narrating, "But I didn't say 'fudge'," which was taken directly from the film.
  • Ted notes that Lily would laugh at almost anything, even something as bad as Weekend at Bernie's II.

Critical response[edit]

Joel Keller of TV Squad said it was a good episode, and an improvement over the previous year's New Year's Eve episode.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Quote: Ted: Remember that time we heard her laughing, and we thought she was watching Weekend At Bernie's but it turned out she was watching Weekend At Bernie's II!
  2. ^ Joel Keller (2006-11-12). "How I Met Your Mother: How Lily Stole Christmas". TV Squad. Weblogs, Inc. Archived from the original on 2007-01-05. "At first I thought it was a word that started with "b" and sort of rhymed with "Grinch," but shows say that word all the time, even at 8 PM. Could it have possibly been the c-word?" 

External links[edit]