The Autumn of Break-Ups

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"The Autumn of Break-Ups"
How I Met Your Mother episode
Episode no. Season 8
Episode 5
Directed by Pamela Fryman
Written by Kourtney Kang
Original air date November 5, 2012 (2012-11-05)
Guest actors

Ashley Williams (Victoria)
Michael Trucco (Nick)
Lyndsy Fonseca (Daughter)
David Henrie (Son)

Season 8 episodes

"The Autumn of Break-Ups" is the fifth episode of the eighth season of the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother, and the 165th episode overall.


Having just finished another one-night stand, Barney notices a dog following him. Calling the dog "Brover," Barney uses the animal to pick up women at the bar. However, Robin shows concern for Barney and asks Nick to invite him over for dinner. Nick, who hosts a cooking show over a local public access channel (and is at a loss to make an awesome catchphrase), agrees and prepares a sumptuous meal. True enough, Barney and an all-suited-up Brover do head over to Nick's place. However, as Nick is ready to serve the food, Barney receives a call: Brover's original owner has returned and wants the dog back. Now emotionally attached to the dog, Barney wants to jump off the balcony out of despair and Robin stops him, offering to accompany him in returning the dog. The two head to another apartment, where an attractive woman appears and claims the dog. The woman mistakes Barney and Robin to be a couple, causing Robin to pretend to be a lesbian and leave Barney with the woman. Going into the woman's apartment, Barney comments that Robin is the "best wingman" ever. Nick is visibly displeased with Robin's behavior and is even more rankled when she receives a text from Ted asking her to meet him at MacLaren's.

Meanwhile, Ted notices Victoria exhibiting strange mannerisms and references to their relationship, causing him to consult Marshall and Lily (who is also training Marshall to give more advice instead of her in a more sassy and feminine way). The two state that Victoria was actually giving Ted signals about a deeper commitment, especially since they were continuing their relationship where they left off several years before. In response, Ted decorates his apartment with red roses and proposes to Victoria. She agrees to marry him on one condition - he'll have to sever his friendship with Robin, because she is still the obstacle to any future together. Lily agrees with Victoria. At MacLaren's, Ted tells Victoria that there's no chance of him getting back together with Robin but she has already become an important part of his life. A teary-eyed Victoria wishes he'll get Robin one day and leaves. Ted asks Marshall and Lily to keep the truth about Robin's indirect role in the breakup to themselves. Future Ted reveals that Robin would learn about it much later.

Ted announces the breakup to the gang the following day at his apartment, where Robin says the reason he asked her to meet at the bar was to pitch ideas for a Mosby Boys young adult novel series.

Sometime later, Barney chances upon Brover, who tells him in bark-speak that he supposedly got a nearby dog pregnant. The dog in question chases off Barney and Brover.

Barney's blog[edit]

Barney presents his newly acquired bro-dog accessories.[1]

Cultural references[edit]

  • Marshall's feminine way of giving advice is compared to Oprah Winfrey.
  • During Nick's attempts to come up with a popular cooking catchphrase, he remarks that he can't compete with Emeril's "bam!"
  • Ted calls the squirrel who supposedly helped the Mosby Boys as Squirrlock Holmes.


Critical reception[edit]

Donna Bowman of the AV Club gave the episode a B+. She wrote that overall the show is winding down the way it should and that she "admired" the different ways the couples are breaking up. She also described Marshall's character in this episode as "bizarrely broad and cartoonish".[2]

Angel Cohn of Television Without Pity gave the episode a C. Cohn says: "It's like the show I used to love is in there... somewhere. How many episodes left? More than I want to know." Cohn wrote that "Barney getting a dog ... was by far the highlight of the episode," but that Lily and Marshall are given "ridiculous things to do that vaguely service the plot" that in this episode are "possibly offensive".[3]

Max Nicholson of IGN gave the episode a score of 5.0/10 (Mediocre). He called the episode "lackluster". He wrote that "Victoria's behavior this week felt more like a classic case of changing the character to serve the story" and said that he is "pretty tired of all these allusions to a Ted and Robin romance." He described the Robin / Nick plot as "pretty unbearable", Marshall as "mildly racist", and Barney's story as "moderately entertaining."[4]


  1. ^ "Barney's Blog: Bro-Dog Accessories". December 6, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Bowman, Donna (November 5, 2012). "How I Met Your Mother: "The Autumn Of Break-Ups"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved November 7, 2012. 
  3. ^ Cohn, Angel. ""Oprah Wasn't Built In a Day"". Television Without Pity. Retrieved November 7, 2012. 
  4. ^ Nicholson, Max. ""Robin or Victoria? Take your pick."". IGN. Retrieved November 7, 2012. 

External links[edit]