How Your Mother Met Me
|"How Your Mother Met Me"|
|How I Met Your Mother episode|
|Episode no.||Season 9
|Directed by||Pamela Fryman|
|Written by||Carter Bays & Craig Thomas|
|Original air date||January 27, 2014|
"How Your Mother Met Me" is the sixteenth episode of the ninth season of the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother and the 200th episode overall. This would be the only episode in which the episode title was used instead of the usual opening that featured the cast and series's title.
The episode has been very well received by viewers and critics, some calling it the best episode of Season 9.
At MacLaren's Pub in September 2005, a woman passes by Barney and Ted as they get ready for another round of "Have you met Ted?" It turns out that the woman, Kelly, went to the wrong MacLaren's Pub and takes a cab to another MacLaren's on the East Side to join The Mother (her roommate) on her 21st birthday. She awaits the arrival of her boyfriend Max only to receive a call informing her of his death. After the funeral service, she returns to the apartment to open Max's last gift to her—a ukulele.
At St Patrick's Day three years later, Kelly encourages The Mother to go out and date again, bringing her to the same bar where Ted and Barney are celebrating. The two women run into Mitch, her old orchestra instructor who was then a music teacher at a Bronx public school. Inspired by his work, The Mother offers Mitch her cello and they head back to her apartment to get it. However, The Mother prepares the cello only to see Mitch pull off The Naked Man. She is disgusted at his move, but remembers her yellow umbrella at the bar and goes out to get it, leaving behind Kelly (who earlier rebuffed Barney at the bar) to have sex with Mitch. She learns that a "super inconsiderate person" (Ted) took the umbrella. The Mother expresses her desire to end poverty by taking up economics in college.
In the fall of 2009, The Mother sits her first session in Econ 305 and meets Cindy, whom she offers to move in with her as her roommate. They see Ted enter the room (after which the Mother laughs at his "shellfish" joke), but The Mother thinks she's in the wrong room when he announces the subject and runs off. She heads back to the room after seeing Ted scramble to his actual classroom. A few months later, she gets her umbrella back. Cindy tells her that she broke up with the "architecture professor" because the man picked out The Mother's items and saw that they were more compatible; Cindy's narration inadvertently awakes her own homosexuality.
Some time later, a man named Darren approaches The Mother and is welcomed into her band—however, Darren gradually takes it over and makes The Mother carry band equipment. The Mother meets Louis and he helps her with the equipment, but later at MacLaren's Pub (which Louis thought was named "Puzzles"), she tells him she's not yet ready to date because of her loss. Louis asks her to give him a call if she changes her mind and she leaves just before Ted appears to Lily and Barney in a green dress. They begin dating not long after, but they are not really a perfect match (for example, Louis is not amused when the Mother has her English muffin sing show tunes). The Mother's band is eventually booked for Barney and Robin's wedding; she stays at Louis's summer cottage not far from the Farhampton Inn.
In a flash-forward to the eve of the wedding, The Mother discovers Darren's ad for a replacement bass player and heads down to the Inn to confront him, eventually picking up Marshall and Marvin along the way. After seeing Darren get his comeuppance, she returns to Louis's house, where he proposes to her, but she goes outside to think about it. She begins talking to Max and asks his permission to move on with her life. Interpreting a gust of wind as Max's answer, The Mother bids him one last goodbye and declines Louis's proposal, later checking in at Farhampton Inn. On her room's balcony, she plays the ukulele and sings "La Vie en Rose". Ted hears her next door (with Future Ted saying that it was the first and most favorite time he heard his future wife sing this song) and gets back inside to tell Barney about it, only to find out he has disappeared.
In interviews before it aired, Carter Bays stated that the episode is "a fun little Disneyland tour through the series from the perspective of someone outside the group". He also added that they used some "fun trickery" to incorporate scenes from the pilot and other past episodes. Unlike the 100th episode, which Bays said was more of a celebration of the cast, he stated that the 200th episode was "a different kind of story ... but it felt like the right one to do in terms of the greater story of the show."
- La Vie En Rose - Edith Piaf (Louis Armstrong version, as sung by the Mother)
- You're All Alone - John Swihart
- One - A Chorus Line (as parodied on the Mother's muffin song)
- Skinny Legs and All - Joe Tex
Barney posts an entry listing pickup lines for the holidays.
- The Mother claims Max gave her a replica of a bike from Peewee's Big Adventure.
- The Mother compares Louis to Superman.
- The Mother references Field of Dreams when talking to Max, a movie known to be very popular among the gang.
Bill Kuchman of Popculturology called the episode a "triumph", saying, "When it comes to 'How Your Mother Met Me,' HIMYM did something amazing. Not only did it create yet another episode that made us feel feelings, but it accomplished that feat with a character who up until this point was more of a concept than an actual person."
Donna Bowman of the AV Club graded the episode at A-.
Alan Sepinwall from HitFix has praised the episode, saying, "As an episode, "How Your Mother Met Me" was pretty terrific. I can quibble with a couple of things here and there — they were stuck with Darren, for instance, even though I'd have been fine never seeing him again — but overall it did about as good a job as possible as a single episode could at both telling a story of the Mother's last seven years, while weaving her into the larger continuity of the series. "
Kaitlin Thomas from TV.com has also given the episode a positive review, saying, ""How Your Mother Met Me" was a great 200th episode for How I Met Your Mother. It was something different, but it was also a long time coming. It fleshed out a character we've been hearing about for nearly nine years but still didn't really know, and it was one of those patented emotional episodes the series does so well that sometimes I wonder why it even bothers with pure comedy. How I Met Your Mother could easily be a successful 30-minute dramedy if it wanted to be, and I maintain that it's at its best when it's doing these kinds of emotional stories. I didn't expect the Mother to have loved and lost at such a young age, but it worked for the show and for her character, and it added a nice bit of depth to the woman Ted will soon love, and that we already do."
Kevin Fitzpatrick from Screencrush complimented the writers for producing a Mother-centric plot, saying "A 200th installment offers the most visible payout yet of that ninth season gamble, allowing us to get to know the titular lady with an all-too-brief installment that revisits a number of moments from the series past."
- Eng, Joyce (January 26, 2014). "How I Met Your Mother Turns 200 with the Mother of All Episodes". TV Guide. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
- "How I Met Your Mother 200th Episode First Look: The Mother's Story Revealed!". TV Line. January 23, 2014. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
- Aguilera, Leanne (February 3, 2014). "Jennifer Love Hewitt Turned Down How I Met Your Mother?! (Plus, Series Finale Secrets Revealed...)". E! Online. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
- "Barney's Blog: Holiday Ins". January 27, 2014.
- Kuchman, Bill (January 28, 2014). "'How I Met Your Mother' 'How Your Mother Met Me' Recap: The Mother Breaks Our Hearts". Popculturology.
- Bowman, Donna (January 27, 2014). "How Your Mother Met Me". The A.V. Club.
- Nicholson, Max (January 27, 2014). "How I Met Your Mother: "How Your Mother Met Me" Review". IGN.
- Thomas, Kaitlin (January 28, 2014). "How I Met Your Mother "How Your Mother Met Me" Review: Hittin' the Mother Lode". TV.com.