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How I Met Your Mother episode
Episode no. Season 9
Episode 9
Original air date November 11, 2013 (2013-11-11)
Guest actors

Bryan Cranston (Hammond Druthers)

Season 9 episodes

"Platonish" is the ninth episode of the ninth season of the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother, and the 193rd episode overall.


At 11am on Saturday, with 31 hours left before the wedding, Barney, Ted, and Lily comfort Robin over the news that her own mother is not attending her wedding. Barney takes this as a challenge to cheer her up but Lily claims Barney never finished a challenge to pick up diapers and samosas in the fall of 2012. Barney recounts the story.

One night at the bar, Barney discussed with the gang the fact that the group's only true male/female platonic relationship was between Marshall and Robin (with a fantasy showing that Marshall wouldn't make out with Robin even if their and Lily's lives were at stake). By this point, Lily had been fed up with Barney's own creative plays to pick up women. She dares him to take up challenges that she and Robin will choose - which include getting a woman's number while speaking like a dolphin and not using any word that has the letter E. Seeing that Barney has passed all their challenges, Lily and Robin decide to make him do an errand for them by inserting the challenge of picking up a woman while performing the request - to buy her a pack of diapers for Marvin and samosas for Robin. Barney buys the items and then attempts a play on a woman at a pharmacy; the woman is actually Ted's future wife, who sees through his facade and calls him on it (with Future Ted telling his kids this was "How Barney met your Mother"). Outside, the two talk about Barney's failed relationship with Robin and how he had felt lost since they broke up. When Barney says he can easily woo back Robin, the woman declares that if he really wants her so much, he will have to give it his very best shot. The woman leaves him and Barney returns home, leaving behind the diapers and samosas, to draft "The Robin."

Elsewhere, Marshall and Ted watch a game between the Washington Generals and the Harlem Globetrotters. As they watch the game (with both supporting the Generals), the two begin talking about Ted's feelings for Robin and whether he will not pursue her again. Ted assures Marshall he isn't interested, as he knows Robin isn't interested in any real commitment so their relationship is just 'platonic'. Marshall tells him that its been years now and people change. Ted also gets a call from his old boss Hammond Druthers who offers Ted a job in Chicago in light of his success with the GNB headquarters. Ted initially refuses, but eventually agrees to think about it under pressure from Druthers. Returning home after the game, Ted finds Robin eating olives which surprises him as she hated olives during their first date, and Robin tells him that she changed her view on them. Reminded of Marshall's words, Ted calls Druthers and turns down the job believing he still has a chance with Robin. Druthers tells Ted that the offer remains open if he changes his mind, and later at MacLaren's, Ted admits he and Robin now only share a "platonish" relationship. However, rather than immediately pursue her, he wants to leave it up to fate to bring them together.

Flashforwarding back to the Farhampton Inn, Barney says that despite all of the challenges, he still hasn't finished one more challenge - to cheer up Robin. Now inspired by what Barney has done, Robin kisses him as Ted watches them sadly, feeling that his decision to leave his relationship with her up to fate may have cost him a future with her.


Show co-creator Carter Bays tweeted before the episode broadcast that the flashback takes place between Splitsville and The Stamp Tramp. [1]


  • The Magnetic Fields - "It's Only Time"

Barney's Blog[edit]

Barney discusses sexual encounters in the elevator in an awesome manner.[2]

Cultural references[edit]

  • The basketball game that Ted and Marshall go to see is between the exhibition teams the Harlem Globetrotters and the Washington Generals. Marshall, however, alludes Ted's perseverance to a Generals win in 1971 caused by error of score keeper.
  • In a certain play to pick up a redheaded woman at MacLaren's, Barney sees that the woman is waiting for an actor. He brings up "Clooney, DiCaprio, Zabka, Ryan Reynol-Philli-Seacre-Gosling." To set up the play, Robin presents herself as Ryan Gosling's personal assistant.
  • At the basketball game, a Washington Generals coach mistakes Ted as Nicholas Sparks.
  • During his job offer to Ted, Druthers mentions his most recent architectural project, a "big concave glass tower" that "melted a few buildings across the street," "raised the temperature of the city aquarium to 190 degrees and killed thousands of very rare fish" and "blinded any pilots on final approach into O'Hare." This is a reference to 20 Fenchurch Street in London and Vdara in Las Vegas, both designed by Rafael Viñoly. The former has been blamed for melting cars and burning nearby businesses in the sunlight reflection's path, the latter for scorching patrons in the swimming pool area and melting plastic drinking cups.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

The A.V. Club's Donna Bowman graded the episode an A.[4]

Laura Hertzfeld of Entertainment Weekly noted the episode's homages to When Harry Met Sally. [5]

Bill Kuchman of Popculturology praised Milioti, saying she "continued to show us why she was the perfect pick for this role, giving life to a character that really has never been more than an abstract concept. We’ve only seen her a few times, but Milioti instantly makes The Mother someone you root for." [6]

Max Nicholson of IGN gave the episode 7.8/10, saying that it had "solid storylines" for Barney and Ted, with Cranston and Milioti's appearances as the "high points." [7]

Alan Sepinwall, a noted critic of the show, said the episode's emphasis on flashbacks was a welcome change from the Farhampton Inn. [8]'s Kaitlin Thomas praised the episode for the revelation that the Mother set Barney off on the road that will lead him to marrying Robin.[9]


External links[edit]