The Best Man (How I Met Your Mother)
|"The Best Man"|
|How I Met Your Mother episode|
|Episode no.||Season 7
|Directed by||Pamela Fryman|
|Written by||Carter Bays & Craig Thomas|
|Original air date||September 19, 2011|
|Season 7 episodes|
The episode picks up from where the season 6 finale left off, when Ted is called in to speak to Barney before his wedding to a mystery bride. As Barney's best man, Barney wants Ted's opinion on the tie he's wearing, though Barney becomes nervous and goes into a long-winded confession in front of Ted about whether he should have gone with "the other tie", as this is the "tie" he'll have to "wear" for the rest of his life. In the midst of his wedding jitters, he fears that this will be the worst wedding of all time. Ted responds by saying that they have already been to the worst wedding ever: Punchy's, which Marshall ruined.
In September 2011, the gang attended Punchy's wedding in Cleveland, with Ted as the best man. Ted reveals that he had become infamous for crying and embarrassing himself each time his high school friends asked him to make a toast at their weddings and they now look forward to seeing him break down at Punchy's wedding, so he is determined to make his wedding toast perfect. Ted has made it on the cover of New York Magazine for his design of the new GNB building, so Barney suggests that he take the magazine to the wedding and brag about his accomplishments to the women there instead.
Meanwhile, Lily and Marshall are not prepared to reveal Lily's pregnancy to the group, and worry about the effort that it will take to keep it a secret. At the wedding, Lily gets Marshall to consume all her drinks so nobody will suspect that she is pregnant; Marshall becomes extremely drunk as a result. After seeing all the couples with babies, though, they become convinced that they should reveal Lily's pregnancy to the group.
When Robin pokes Barney about not calling Nora, it becomes clear that she's happy about this. Lily realizes that Robin still has feelings for Barney and encourages her to tell Barney and make their relationship clear. Robin denies it, and is prepared to tell Barney that there is nothing between them when he pulls her onto the dance-floor, proving Lily right. Whatever tension there is between them is broken when Barney receives a call from Nora, whom he reveals he actually called multiple times and lied that he had not called at all. Robin feeds him the words that she had intended to say to him and Barney succeeds at convincing Nora to meet him again.
When Robin and Ted confess to one another that they are unhappy, Ted reveals that he is losing faith that he will find "the one", now that he has seen how all his high-school friends have moved on to form families of their own and he is still nowhere near that. Robin convinces Ted not to lose hope and not to cry during his toast. When Marshall and Lily reveal her pregnancy to the group, Ted is emotional enough that he begins to cry during his toast, much to everyone's delight. An intoxicated Marshall stands up for Ted, citing that Ted's tears are because he is happy that Lily is going to have a baby. However, his words are unclear and Punchy's wife Kelly assumes that he is referring to her and reveals that she is also pregnant. Flashbacks show Punchy and Kelly performing similar distractions to Marshall and Lily to keep people from noticing the signs of her pregnancy. Future Ted explains that this was how Marshall ruined Punchy's wedding; Kelly's news caused a fight between Punchy's family and her family. However, the gang didn't care, as they were rejoicing about the impending new addition to their pseudo-family.
Returning to Barney's wedding, Ted assures Barney that he has chosen the right tie when Lily enters the room to inform Ted that Barney's bride-to-be has asked to see him. Suddenly, as Ted leaves the room, Lily questions Barney over the choice of the actual tie he is wearing, making him change his tie.
Barney elaborates on the procedure he uses to test out his plays on women, which includes an exit survey.
- Punchy and Kelly's wedding reception is designed to honor the Cleveland Browns.
- Barney said the last time someone ever screwed Cleveland and disappeared was LeBron James, referring to his sudden departure from the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010. Also, when Barney walks in he claps his hands and throws pretend chalk in the air as James does before games. Robin also says, "Barney is trying to LeBron every girl in here".
- Lily yells "Hakuna Matata!" when she fake-downs her shot at the bar at Punchy's and Kelly's wedding reception.
- Punchy remixes one of Ted's best man speeches with Auto-Tune.
- Robin wishes that the Spice Girls would reunite.
- Barney pretends to have invented Facebook while flirting with a girl.
- The comments in Punchy's videos are in Finnish (translating to "Schmosby's offering again!" and "When my baby cries, I hand him/her to my wife to whom I tell the baby is doing Mosbys.").
- Barney asks Ted to "lose the Trapper Keeper" to make the perfect best man speech. Barney was referring to a large stack of filed papers Ted brought to the bar.
Donna Bowman of The A.V. Club rated the episode at A, praising the episode as the mark of "professionals at work both in front of and behind the camera, demonstrating impeccable timing, delivering moments of real emotion, and never forgetting what makes them funny."