Girls Versus Suits

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"Girls Versus Suits"
How I Met Your Mother episode
Episode no. Season 5
Episode 12
Directed by Pamela Fryman
Written by Carter Bays & Craig Thomas
Production code 5ALH12
Original air date January 11, 2010 (2010-01-11)
Guest appearance(s)

Rachel Bilson (Cindy)
Tim Gunn (Himself)
Stacy Keibler (Hot bartender, Karina[1])

Season 5 episodes

"Girls Versus Suits" is the 12th episode of the fifth season of the CBS situation comedy How I Met Your Mother and the show's 100th episode overall. It originally aired on January 11, 2010.

The episode features a musical number performed by Neil Patrick Harris, supported by the rest of the main cast.


Future Ted again expounds on the unknowable nature of destiny, and tells the kids about the time he almost met their mother. After leaving class, Ted intercepts a series of fraternity brothers inviting a woman, Cindy (Rachel Bilson), up to the roof to drink. Confiscating the alcohol, he sits down to drink the beer with her, a Ph.D. student roughly his own age to whom he can relate. He asks her out, and when he goes to pick her up, it turns out Cindy has serious issues with her roommate (whom Future Ted reveals to be the Mother); her dates keep falling in love with her roommate, and her roommate's strange habits annoy Cindy. Ted promises Cindy to never fall in love with her roommate ("Oops," says Future Ted).

During the date, Cindy explains more about the roommate's strange habits she dislikes that Ted secretly thinks are awesome, such as how the Mother paints pictures of robots playing sports and has breakfast foods singing show tunes. Future Ted reveals the painting of robots playing volleyball is still hanging in the house and that an English muffin singing "Memories" is the most hauntingly beautiful thing he has heard to this day. Even though she complains about her roommate throughout the evening, Ted wants to continue dating Cindy.

After the date, Cindy tells Ted she can't see him again, blaming the University policy preventing students and lecturers from fraternizing, because she fears it could cost her her scholarship. Ted rationalizes her decision is for the best, especially as the others point out that Cindy's future and Ted's job are in jeopardy. Ted goes to Cindy's apartment and tries to persuade her to go out again, unwilling to miss the chance she is the right woman. She takes Ted to talk in her room because her roommate is about to leave the shower. To convince Cindy that their paths are meant to cross, he picks out items from her room which show how much they have in common. Cindy reveals all three objects are really connected to her roommate. Frustrated that Ted is already more compatible with her roommate, Cindy tells him to leave. Ted does not meet her roommate, but on his way out he catches a glimpse of her leg as she disappears into her bedroom. Ted forgets to take the yellow umbrella he brought with him, revealing how the Mother gets it back.

MacLaren's has hired an attractive female bartender (Stacy Keibler), and Barney seeks to add her occupation to his list of conquests, but she doesn't like men in suits, having dated insensitive Wall Street losers. Barney is forced to choose between the girl and the suits. For a while he dresses casually, convincing the bartender she misjudged him. At a point when Marshall is wearing a suit and Barney is not, Barney gets overly affectionate with Marshall's suit. Later, Barney sneaks away to the bathroom to wear his suit, where he accidentally rips the back. The suit is damaged beyond repair, but his tailor, Tim Gunn, transplants the buttons to save another suit and Barney cremates the remains.

Meanwhile, Lily, Marshall, and Robin argue about the bartender's attractiveness. Robin is jealous, and gets behind the bar to show how the location amplifies natural beauty; Carl soon kicks her out from behind the bar. Marshall insists the bartender is not that attractive, saying Lily is the most beautiful woman he has ever met. Lily tries to get Marshall to say she is not as beautiful as the bartender, and eventually even implies that the bartender is better looking than Marshall, upsetting him a little.

With the urn of suit ashes and his real tears for his lost suit, Barney convinces the bartender to go to his apartment, where she accidentally opens his closet full of suits and realizes he deceived her. She forces him to choose between her and his suits. She is angry as they are shown leaving the building and Barney breaks into song, professing his love of suits—only to choose her at the end of the song when he realizes "she is pretty hot." He tells her she is more important than the suits and they will go first thing in the morning. As they fall into bed, he whispers, "You guys are fine" to his suits, which move slightly as if breathing a sigh of relief.


Executive producer and co-creator Craig Thomas revealed Neil Patrick Harris will be performing a "big-ass musical" number as the culmination of a big Barney story. Thomas has said "There is some serious Mother action in episode 100" revealing only a small teaser about the episode.[2] "Nothing Suits Me Like a Suit" was backed by sixty five dancers and accompanied by a fifty-piece orchestra.[3]


Rachel Bilson was cast for an undisclosed role in episode 100 of the show,[4] although her representative said she is only contracted for one episode.[5][6]

Tim Gunn of Project Runway brings his sartorial skills to help out Barney in a time of need. Craig Thomas explains "Tim is basically like Barney's ER physician for a serious suit emergency" and serves as a personal tailor and fashion consultant to fix a "Suit Catastrophe" for Barney.[5][7] Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Neil Patrick Harris said that they "never had a guest star on the show that people responded to more than Tim Gunn" and that even the cast and crew were asking for his autograph.[8] Alyson Hannigan described him as "more popular than Britney Spears."[3] Although unofficial, On the Season 5 DVD commentary of the episode, it has been expressed that they hope to have him return as a possible recurring character.

Former wrestling diva Stacy Keibler guest stars as Karina,[1] a bartender in MacLaren's.[9] The writers describe her as "the hottest bartender in the world" and she gives the episode its title, as she forces Barney to choose between his suits and getting the girl. Her three previous ex-boyfriends were all suit wearers, and Barney cannot get with her without giving up his suits.[5]


Donna Bowman of The A.V. Club rated the episode with a grade A, describing the 100th episode as one of the best the show has ever produced. She describes the episode as appealing to fans in a way that doesn't exclude other viewers, noting the quality of the writing and editing, the voiceover being used to great effect, and advancing the storyline for all the characters.[10]

Brian Zoromski of IGN gave the episode 9.8 out of 10.[1]

Cindy McLennan of Television Without Pity rated the episode with a grade A.[11]

Nickolas Clague of The New York Times gave the episode 9.2 out of 10.[12]


  1. ^ a b c Brian Zoromski (2010-01-08). "How I Met Your Mother: Girls vs. Suits Review. The series' 100th episode plays like a gift to longtime fans.". IGN. News Corporation. Retrieved 2010-01-12. 
  2. ^ Michael Ausiello (2009-09-26). "Exclusive: 'HIMYM' boss promises 'serious mother action' AND a musical!". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved 2009-11-17. There will be a huge Barney story culminating in an enormous musical number that we’re going to spend way too much of Twentieth Television’s money on 
  3. ^ a b Joyce Eng (2010-01-10). "Singing Suits: How I Met Your Mother Throws "a Little Party" for 100th Episode". TV Guide. Retrieved 2010-01-12. [dead link]
  4. ^ Michael Ausiello (2009-10-02). "'HIMYM' exclusive: Rachel Bilson cast as you-know-who?!". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved 2009-11-17. 
  5. ^ a b c Eric Goldman (2009-11-18). "How I Met Stacy Keibler: Neil Patrick Harris tells IGN how the former WWE diva plays into a Mother milestone episode.". IGN. News Corporation. Retrieved 2010-01-08. Keibler's character – described by the Mother writers as "the hottest bartender in the world" – is integral to that title. 
  6. ^ Megan Masters (2009-11-02). "Has HIMYM Cast Rachel Bilson as the Maybe Mama?". E!Online. Retrieved 2009-11-17. Bilson's rep tells us that she's only signed on to appear in the one episode. 
  7. ^ Maureen Ryan (2009-10-06). "Exclusive: Tim Gunn to guest on 'How I Met Your Mother'". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on October 9, 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-17. For Barney, a man-about-town who takes his suits very seriously, it's "life or death stuff," Thomas jokes. 
  8. ^ "'How I Met Your Mother' Celebrates 100th Episode". 2010-01-08. Archived from the original on January 11, 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-12. 
  9. ^ Vlada Gelman (November 19, 2009). "Stacy Keibler guest stars in "How I Met Your Mother's" 100th episode". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  10. ^ Donna Bowman (2010-01-11). "How I Met Your Mother "Girls Vs. Suits"". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved 2010-01-12. 
  11. ^ Cindy McLennan (2010-01-11). "How I Met Your Mother: Once More Without Feeling". Television Without Pity. NBC Universal. p. 10. Retrieved 2010-05-16. 
  12. ^ Nickolas Clague (2010-01-09). "How I Met Your Mother: Girls vs. Suits Review. The series' 100th episode plays like a gift to longtime fans.". New York Times. News Corporation. Archived from the original on January 9, 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-12. 

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