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How I Met Your Mother episode
Episode no. Season 7
Episode 7
Directed by Pamela Fryman
Written by Matt Kuhn
Production code 7ALH07
Original air date October 24, 2011 (2011-10-24)
Guest actors

Kal Penn (Kevin)
Bill Fagerbakke (Marvin Eriksen Sr)
Chris Elliott (Mickey Aldrin)
Wayne Brady (James Stinson)
Frances Conroy (Loretta Stinson)
Cristine Rose (Virginia Mosby)
"Weird Al" Yankovic (Himself)

Season 7 episodes

"Noretta" is the seventh episode of the seventh season of the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother and the 143rd episode overall. It aired on October 24, 2011.[1]


Barney's brother, James, drops by for a visit before Barney and Nora leave for a date which Nora promises will be special. Though James admits that he thinks Nora is a nice girl, he is unsettled by the fact that she is too much like their mother, Loretta. Kevin comments that it is natural to like people who remind them of their parents.

During their date, a series of mishaps, including Nora breaking her tooth while ice skating, a rat falling onto her head, and a man committing suicide nearly dissuades Barney from sleeping with her. He manages to turn all the incidents around, although he is unsettled when he sees the similarities between Nora and his mother. However, he sleeps with Nora anyway and remarks that her resemblance to his mother makes her more special to him.

Marshall accidentally insults Lily when she admits to feeling unattractive as her body begins to swell from pregnancy. To show her how beautiful she is, Marshall makes up a board game. However, the plan backfires when Lily recalls Kevin's words about how it is natural to like someone who resembles one's parents; Lily remembers that her father also loved to create absurd board games. When she admits to being uncomfortable around Marshall because she keeps imagining her father, Marshall winds up seeing familiar traits of his father in Lily. They cancel their romantic plans for the evening, though Marshall admits that the common traits that Lily shares with his father makes her attractive to him all the same.

Meanwhile, Ted admits to Robin that he is uncomfortable with Kevin after seeing Kevin standing in the apartment in his boxers. When Kevin tells Robin that the incident occurred after he spilled coffee on his pants after seeing Ted walk by half-naked, he admits that he feels uncomfortable with how close Robin and Ted are considering their history. Robin assures him that there is nothing between her and Ted and that Ted is insecure about being alone. When Robin and Kevin's evening together in the apartment is interrupted by Ted, Kevin goes along with Robin's insistence on comforting Ted. However, he becomes upset when Ted invites Robin to a "Weird Al" Yankovic concert until Ted openly admits to feeling lonely and the sole reason he invited Robin was because he had already exhausted all his other friends and acquaintances. Sympathizing with Ted, Kevin pretends to be a "Weird Al" fan and agrees to go the concert.

At the bar, Ted says that he had suggested to "Weird Al" the lyrics for Like a Surgeon. Kevin and Robin go to the apartment, leaving Ted alone at the bar, where he meets a "Weird Al" fan who strangely resembles his mother. In the final scene, it is revealed that "Weird Al" gets a fan letter from Ted in 1985 which does in fact give him the inspiration for "Like a Surgeon".

Barney's blog[edit]

Barney lists some things which he considers awesome in a lyrical parody of the song "My Favorite Things".[2]

Cultural references[edit]

  • Marshall says "We're going to need a bigger booth", referencing the line "You're going to need a bigger boat" from the film Jaws.
  • Loretta is a Julie Andrews fan. She and Nora sing "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music.
  • Ted has a documentary film about coin collecting that he says was produced by "the guy who played Argyle" in Die Hard. No such film exists in actuality, nor has De'voreaux White produced any films.
  • Robin claims that Weird Al is "a rip-off of Peculiar Jacques", a Canadian musician.[3]
  • Ted responds to the gang's mocking of his story about suggesting "Like a Surgeon" to Weird Al with, "You guys can eat it. Just eat it", a reference to Weird Al's song "Eat It". He also refers to "I Think I'm a Clone Now." The final flashback to "Weird Al" is dated February 21, 1985, which was the actual date when he recorded "Like a Surgeon". When he begins reading Ted's song suggestions, he exclaims, "Why can't they just leave me alone!" He usually refuses parody submissions or ideas from fans.[4]
  • When Barney plays air guitar, it is a reference to Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.


Donna Bowman of the AV Club gave the episode a B.[5]


  1. ^ "Shows A-Z - how i met your mother on cbs". The Futon Critic. Retrieved October 6, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Barney's Blog: The Awesomest Things". October 25, 2011. 
  3. ^ Remling, Amanda (2013-07-11). "‘How I Met Your Mother’ Season 9 Spoilers: Cast Tweets Set Photos, Arrival Of ‘Mother’ Cristin Milioti". International Business Times. Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
  4. ^ ""Weird Al" Yankovic: Frequently Asked Questions". Retrieved October 27, 2011. Al does not allow himself to look at other people's song ideas. Legal issues (and personal issues) prevent him from using suggestions from his fans or anyone else 
  5. ^ "Review of "Noretta" at AV CLUB". AV Club. Retrieved October 31, 2011. 

External links[edit]