Mosbius Designs

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"Mosbius Designs"
How I Met Your Mother episode
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 20
Directed by Pamela Fryman
Written by Kourtney Kang
Original air date April 13, 2009
Guest actors

Ryan Sypek (PJ)

Season 4 episodes

"Mosbius Designs" is the 20th episode in the fourth season of the television series How I Met Your Mother and 84th overall. It aired on April 13, 2009.


The show opens in MacLaren's, and the boys are laughing over a joke about the difference between peanut butter and jam. Lily enters, and Barney starts to tell the joke, but Ted and Marshall interrupt, saying the joke is "boy funny." Barney insists that Lily is "one of the boys", and she will love it. The camera zooms in on Barney's lips as he says the joke, and Future Ted talks over the punch line, calling it "one of the dirtiest jokes I have ever heard, to this day." Lily promptly leaves and is not seen for four weeks.

After losing his job, Ted is finally starting his own architectural design firm, Mosbius Designs. He is focused on several trivial matters, like the firm's official pen. Robin, who is still living in the apartment, tells Ted he has to start calling potential clients and stop procrastinating. When she returns the next day, she finds a desk in the middle of the living room, occupied by PJ, Ted's new intern (Ryan Sypek).

PJ treats the apartment like an office, restricting use of the bathroom and screening visitors for Ted. His boyish good looks and pseudo-authority turn Robin on, and a few days later, PJ supposedly calls from the top of the Empire State Building, but the caller ID shows him calling from inside the apartment, in the same bed as Robin.

Outraged, Ted fires PJ, who then hangs out at the apartment to spend time with Robin. While Ted is working in the background, PJ flirts with Robin, to the point where she feels smothered, and breaks up with him (with what Ted declares "the worst break-up ever"). Ted then re-hires PJ, but the renewed authority excites Robin, and she quickly takes up with him again. Eventually, PJ decides to leave, leaving Robin a letter of explanation, and giving Ted a bouquet of roses.

When Barney hears about PJ, he is furious, having assumed Ted would know better and hire an attractive young woman (and also having sent an inappropriate letter and underwear to PJ). He becomes incredibly jealous after he hears Robin is sleeping with PJ, and unable to talk it over with Lily, confesses his love of Robin to Marshall.

Meanwhile, at GNB, Marshall is worried about keeping his job, and Barney suggests getting a "thing." He mentions "Food Guy," an accounts associate who, while totally expendable financially, has become an office fixture with his delicious culinary offerings. Then, he reminds Marshall of "Toy Guy," a Human Resources executive who keeps a collection of toys in his office (a flashback shows them fighting with Wolverine claws as the executive quickly goes over reduction in overtime pay).

Marshall decides to run a fantasy baseball league, like he did in college, making him "Sports Guy" ("Fantasy Guy" being a co-worker who walks around in a wizard's robe). But, after having to handle $18,000 in cash (which he then nervously walks down the street with), and getting demands from co-workers at all hours, Marshall decides he cannot continue.

Later at the GNB conference room, employees swarm around a table yelling demands about the fantasy league at someone, who is quickly revealed as PJ, whom Marshall hired as a paralegal to take all the legwork of running the league. Barney compliments him on his delegating, and thanks him for getting PJ away from Robin.

At the end, Marshall and Barney see a ninja walking through the hallway next to the conference room; Barney suggests that they leave the building as this has "happened before".


The final draft of the episode did not reference the dirty joke from the cold opening, but was later added by Carter Bays as a device explaining the disappearance of Lily, as Alyson Hannigan was entering the final weeks of her pregnancy.[1]

In November 2008, Cobie Smulders and her boyfriend Taran Killam (who plays the character Blauman) announced that they were expecting their first child. Despite the best efforts of the show's writers and costume designers, it is obvious that Smulders is pregnant, due to some poor camera angles that show her belly.[2][3]

Cultural references[edit]

  • At the end of the episode, Ted tells Robin the story of the architect who designs a library, only to find that it slowly sinks due to his not accounting for the weight of the books therein. This story is a common urban legend.[4]
  • Wolverine is featured in the Toy Guy scene (toy claws) and in the background during Marshall's nervous walk home, posters for the film X-Men Origins: Wolverine can be seen in the background.[5][6]

Critical response[edit]

Donna Bowman of The A.V. Club rated the episode with a grade A.[3]

IGN gave the episode 8.6 out of 10.[7]


  1. ^ Patty Lee (2009-03-31). "'How I Met Your Mother' star Alyson Hannigan has a baby girl". Daily News (New York). 
  2. ^ Joyce Eng (2008-11-26). "Cobie Smulders a Mother-to-Be". 
  3. ^ a b Donna Bowman (April 13, 2009). "How I Met Your Mother "Mosbius Designs"". The AV Club. The Onion. Retrieved 2010-05-02.  Rating A
  4. ^ "That Sinking Feeling". Snopes. Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  5. ^ Bryant Griffin (2009-04-20). "Wolverine Crashes CBS Comedy. Movie advertising integrated into 'How I Met Your Mother'". Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  6. ^ Michael Schneider (2009-04-16). "'Mother' tends to Fox sibling. Show gives special attention to 'Wolverine'". Variety. Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  7. ^

External links[edit]