The Naked Man (How I Met Your Mother)

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"The Naked Man"
How I Met Your Mother episode
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 9
Directed by Pamela Fryman
Written by Joe Kelly
Production code 4ALH09
Original air date November 24, 2008
Guest actors

Candace Moon (Cristina)
Courtney Ford (Vicky)
Adam Paul (Mitch; the naked man)

Season 4 episodes

"The Naked Man" is the ninth episode in the fourth season of the television series How I Met Your Mother and 73rd overall. It aired on November 24, 2008.

Plot[edit]

Ted ponders how long it will take to recover from being left at the altar by Stella, asking for advice from Lily, Marshall, Robin and Barney. He soon finds out himself as he begins to talk to a woman he always sees at the elevators at work, Vicky. Slowly they get to know one another, until Ted blurts out that he got left at the altar. He recovers and asks her out on a date, which she accepts.

Ted comes home later that day, passing by Robin talking on the phone outside. When he enters his apartment, he finds Mitch, Robin's blind date, sitting naked on the couch. After hearing from Lily that the blind date had been going badly, Ted returns and confronts Mitch again, who tells Ted about his "move", The Naked Man: on a first date with no possibility of a second, one takes advantage of a distraction in order to strip and surprise one's date with nakedness in the hope of receiving sex by means of humor, pity or sheer spontaneity. Ted tells the gang about the move's effectiveness (Mitch assures him that it works "two out of three times, guaranteed"), but they don't believe it, thinking Robin may end up shooting Mitch instead. Taking the notion seriously, they storm back to Ted's apartment to find a makeshift "Do not disturb" sign hanging from the doorknob and realize Robin is indeed having sex with her horrific blind date.

Convinced that The Naked Man works, Barney believes it will revolutionize the one-night stand, much to the chagrin of Lily, who still believes Barney has feelings for Robin. Ted's still amazed that The Naked Man worked on Robin. Marshall calls her a slut, saying that the only reason to sleep with someone is true love (mostly because he was recently strong armed into reading The Notebook by the secretary's book club at work). Everyone disagrees, and Lily claims she can name at least 50 reasons to sleep with someone; everyone but Marshall helps make a list. Barney tries to convince Ted to do The Naked Man with Vicky on their upcoming date; later, he gets himself invited up to a girl's apartment and attempts The Naked Man himself. As Barney's getting ready, he calls Ted to let him know that he's going through with it. To his surprise, Ted is too, after Vicky was rude to a waiter and he realized that there was no future between them. After debating which pose to display themselves in, Ted finds a volume of Pablo Neruda's poetry in Vicky's apartment and decides to put his clothes back on. When he finds out that the book isn't even hers, he busts out The Naked Man, while simultaneously Barney surprises his date, and Lily surprises Marshall.

Meanwhile, Robin calls Mitch for a second date and, despite not even knowing his surname, attempts out of sheer pride to discover some form of connection between them to justify her sleeping with him. Mitch calmly assures her that they have no connection, and tells Robin that he has been on the "Not-a-Slut Date" before with women who, like Robin, were called out by their friends for only sleeping with him because he was naked.

Back at the bar, Ted tells Lily and Marshall at the bar of his success with The Naked Man, and they tell him that it worked out for them as well. Robin, still trying to defend herself, brings Mitch with her to the bar. Marshall takes back what he said, to Robin's relief, and she immediately loses her (faked) interest in Mitch, to his relief. Ted thanks Mitch for the move, saying it brought him back. Marshall decides to call Barney to see how it worked for him; the girl answers Barney's phone, and reveals that she was appalled by the move and angrily threw Barney out of her apartment naked. Mitch sagely observes that the technique worked "two out of three times". After Mitch leaves, Ted proposes a toast to his hero, The Naked Man.

Meanwhile, Barney roams the streets naked trying to get home. He comes across some suits on a rack outside a store and is relieved, but upon closer inspection finds them to be of cheap quality, so he continues to roam naked.

Cultural references[edit]

  • Mitch describes his technique as a mixture of surprise and pity, or "shock and awww", a play on the military technique of rapid dominance known as Shock and awe.
  • Barney describes The Naked Man as being like a superhero, the Superman to Barney's Batman, contrasting the Barney complicated approach, gadgets, gimmicks and secret identities, to the simple idea of ripping off one's clothes.[1][2]
  • When Ted admits he is wearing tinted sunscreen because he wants his eyes to stand out, it is a reference to makeup artist Carmindy from the television series What Not to Wear.[2]
  • The poses Barney and Ted use refer to the Captain Morgan rum logo, Superman (as he posed on the 1950s TV series), the Heisman Trophy, Mr. Clean, the Coppertone Girl, Rodin's The Thinker, and actor Burt Reynolds, who posed nude for Cosmopolitan in 1972.[3]
  • When Ted is naked in Vicky's apartment, he opens a book of love poems by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda and discovers it is bookmarked to his favorite poem, which appropriately is "Soneto XXVII, Desnuda" ("Sonnet 27, Naked, You Are..").
  • The end of the episode is a reference to Commissioner Gordon's ending monologue in The Dark Knight.

Critical response[edit]

Donna Bowman of The A.V. Club graded the episode "A-".[4]

Cindy McLennan of Television Without Pity rated the episode with a grade "A-".[2]

Michelle Zoromski of IGN gave the episode 8.5 out of 10.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Michelle Zoromski (2008-11-25). "How I Met Your Mother: "The Naked Man" Review. What's the opposite of suiting up?". IGN (News Corporation). Retrieved 2010-03-30. 
  2. ^ a b c Cindy McLennan (2008-11-24). "How I Met Your Mother: Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad". Television Without Pity. NBC Universal. p. 12. Retrieved 2010-05-02. All these years, I have been busting my hump with my secret identities and my tricks and my gadgets. I mean, I'm like Batman. But this Mitch fellow? He's Superman. He just rips off his clothes and he's good to go.  Rating A-
  3. ^ http://adweek.blogs.com/adfreak/2007/02/a_naked_burt_re.html
  4. ^ Donna Bowman (2008-11-24). "How I Met Your Mother: The Naked Man". The AV Club. The Onion. Retrieved 2010-03-30. 

External links[edit]