Bedtime Stories (How I Met Your Mother)
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|How I Met Your Mother episode|
|Episode no.||Season 9|
|Directed by||Pamela Fryman|
|Original air date||November 25, 2013|
On Saturday at 5pm, 25 hours before the wedding, Marshall and his son, Marvin, are taking the bus in the final leg of their journey to Farhampton. In an effort to get Marvin to sleep, Marshall constantly uses rhymes (the entire episode is worded with rhymes), and begins telling stories of his friends. The episode also features Lin-Manuel Miranda as a rhyming and rapping bus passenger named Gus.
"Mosby at the Bat"
The first story concerns Ted while he was still a professor. Lisa, a young physics professor, introduces herself to Ted and asks him out to dinner to learn more about his inspiring lectures. Ted is at first excited, but then wonders if Lisa will view the dinner as a date or as just a meeting between coworkers. Throughout the dinner, Ted receives mixed signals on whether it is a date or not, and Lisa eventually reveals she had once dated a New York Yankees player. Ted is so intrigued he urges her to tell who; she reveals him to be Derek Jeter just as she casually describes their meeting as "a lovely date", but when Lisa shows him a picture, Ted is annoyed to find out it is actually Barney.
"Robin Takes the Cake"
The next story begins with Robin having recently broken up with one of her ex-boyfriends (Marshall is unable to remember who), and is unashamedly shoveling down sweets at a bakery. She then runs into Simon and is surprised to see he is more clean-shaven and professional than before, but quickly becomes dejected when he reveals he's engaged to be married. In anger, Robin steals Simon's wedding cake and begins eating it at Ted's apartment, much to Ted's scolding and bewilderment. When Robin has finished nearly half the cake, Lily arrives, and Robin feels remorse for her actions and decides to stop. Lily, however, convinces Robin to be strong and finish the cake. Her struggle to finish soon draws others to the apartment to cheer her on, including Barney who brings a keg of beer. She eventually finishes, then proceeds to do a keg stand (Marshall adds that afterwards they had to get her stomach pumped).
"Barney Stinson, Player King of New York City"
The final story has the gang at McLaren's, where Barney has his sights set on a girl who just walked into the bar. Lily says the girl is out of Barney's league, but Barney claims no girl is unworthy as he is the “Player King of New York City.” Barney relates a story of how he was called before the High Council of Players, a group of pickup artists of differing social backgrounds each with a specific borough of New York City in which they can seduce women (the members are all played by Neil Patrick Harris): hipster Pickle Jar Bob in Brooklyn, guido Staten Island Lou in Staten Island, airline pilot impersonator Captain Bill in Queens, New York Yankee impersonator Bronx Donnie in the Bronx, and upper class Tuxedo Charlie with whom Barney shares Manhattan, using Fifth Avenue as the boundary; Charlie gets the eastern side, Barney the western side. Because Lisa lives on East 22nd Street and Barney had impersonated Derek Jeter to bed her, Barney must offer Robin and Lily to Charlie and Donnie respectively as recompense for using Donnie's methods in Charlie's territory. Barney agrees, then offers a toast of champagne to everyone. They all drink except Barney, who reveals he had poisoned the drink, and laughs as the other members die. In the present, the others sarcastically applaud Barney's story, but reveal Ted to be making out with the girl to punish Barney for sleeping with Lisa, leaving Barney annoyed and jealous. The scene is an allusion to a similar meeting scene in The Godfather in which the leaders of the five crime families of New York meet to settle a dispute.
Marshall nearly gets Marvin to sleep when the bus suffers a flat tire, and Marshall and the other riders step outside to view a fireworks display. Marshall tells Marvin he will be with his mother soon, but dreads the impending fallout he would face from Lily finding out about his judgeship. Marshall hopes Marvin is too young to remember the day's events, but Future Ted remarks the fireworks would be the first memory Marvin would remember. Gus, another passenger on the bus, informs Marshall that the Farhampton Inn is only five miles away, and Marshall decides to walk there, a decision Future Ted explains Marshall would later regret.
Bill Kuchman of Popculturology praised the episode's rhyming scheme on a creative level, but nevertheless called it "just another filler episode". Kuchman singled out Marshall's line, "I’m so sorry this journey has been a bummer," asking, "Is there a line that sums up this season more perfectly?"
Max Nicholson of IGN gave the episode 5.5/10, stating that while he commended the writers for following through on having an all-rhyming episode, he felt that the gimmick ended up falling flat. Nicholson noted that this episode, which does almost nothing to advance the plot, should have been used in another season rather than the final one. He added that, while he enjoyed the stories, he wished that Robin's had somehow tied into Ted and Barney's connected stories.
- Bill Kuchman (November 25, 2013). "'How I Met Your Mother' 'Bedtime Stories' Recap: No, I Will Not Rhyme, for 'HIMYM' Is Wasting Time". Popculturology. Retrieved August 13, 2017.
- Donna Bowman (November 25, 2013). "Bedtime Stories". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved August 13, 2017.
- Nicholson, Max (November 25, 2013). "How I Met Your Mother: "Bedtime Stories" Review". IGN. Retrieved August 13, 2017.