Shelter Island (How I Met Your Mother)

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"Shelter Island"
How I Met Your Mother episode
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 5
Directed by Pamela Fryman
Written by Chris Harris
Production code 4ALH05
Original air date October 20, 2008
Guest appearance(s)

Jason Jones (Tony)
Annie Abrams (Desk Clerk)
Danneel Harris (Nora)
Derek Shizuto (Host)
Aaron Hendry (Juice Bar Guy)

Episode chronology
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"Happily Ever After"

"Shelter Island" is the fifth episode in the fourth season of the television series How I Met Your Mother and 69th overall. It originally aired on October 20, 2008.


Marshall, Lily and Barney are at the bar, when Ted and Stella arrive. Stella is upset because her sister is stealing her dream wedding on Shelter Island at sunset, marrying a vegan guy Stella hates. Later, Ted and Stella go to a restaurant where her sister is massively upset, as her fiancé has run off with a "vitamin consultant from Whole Foods." Ted and Stella engage in a telepathic conversation, but there is a communication error: while Ted thinks he is agreeing to pay for dinner, Stella tells her sister they will take over her wedding and get married that Sunday.

Future Ted then pauses the story to tell its moral, stressing its importance: "Don't ever invite an ex to your wedding."

Meanwhile, in 2008, Robin is in Japan. She does not like her job as it is not at all serious: she has a chimpanzee co-host, for instance. Ted calls her and invites her to his wedding; she agrees to come. At the bar, Barney is being unusually supportive of Ted's marriage. He explains to Lily that he thinks it is a good opportunity to hook up with Robin.

The day before the wedding the group make a trip to Shelter Island, only to find the venue is a Yoga resort, where the bar has a no-alcohol policy, and the all-inclusive meals are 100% vegan. They are all very disappointed, and appear frightened by the bartender, who they think is a former member of The Spin Doctors (although he isn't). Stella finds out Robin has been invited to the wedding and tells Ted she doesn't want his ex at the wedding. Although he disagrees, Lily sides with Stella. Barney calls Robin but hesitates on telling her due to his plan and tells the others she is already on the plane.

A few minutes later, Stella tells Ted that Tony is refusing to bring her daughter Lucy to the wedding. Ted decides to go convince Tony to allow Lucy to come to the wedding. Barney meets Stella's sister, and she wants to do "dirty, depraved" things to him. Barney tries to resist, thinking of Robin.

When Ted arrives at Tony's house, Tony agrees to let Lucy come, but only after Ted asks him to come as well. They get back to the wedding, where Stella is upset to see Tony, before Robin arrives to make things worse. Ted argues with Stella, and they agree to tell their exes they cannot attend the wedding. Robin is relieved, telling him she agrees with Stella's insistence that it is weird for her to be at the wedding. She tells him that she quit her job in Tokyo and is moving back to New York City, and that he shouldn't rush into getting married, because he deserves an amazing ending to his quest for a wife. She adds that they cannot pretend their history did not exist. Ted disagrees and storms off.

Robin tries to hang out with Barney, but he has a woman tied to his bedpost, so Robin leaves. Stella's sister arrives, and it is revealed the woman tied to the bed is actually from the front desk. Stella's sister joins them.

Ted goes to talk to Stella, but instead finds a card saying she has run away with Tony. Marshall, Lily and Barney try to console Ted, while Robin sees Stella and Tony together on the ferry from Shelter Island. Ted finally understands that Stella wasn't really worried about Robin coming to the wedding, but was thinking about her unresolved issues with Tony.


In an interview for Television Without Pity, series co-creator Craig Thomas praised guest star Jason Jones, saying that they "all just dorked out" when casting him because they were such fans of The Daily Show. They then thanked the latter program for its coverage of the 2008 election.[1]


"Hey Beautiful" - The Solids "Waiting For an Invitation" - Benji Hughes

Critical response[edit]

Noel Murray of The A.V. Club gave the episode a B+, noting that it was "way too rushed".[2]

Michelle Zoromski of IGN rated it 7/10, summarizing that it was "bland" and "unmemorable".[3]


  1. ^ Angel Cohn (October 3, 2008). "Suit Up for How I Met Your Mother Scoops". Television Without Pity. NBCUniversal/ Archived from the original on May 29, 2012. Retrieved November 20, 2017. 
  2. ^ Noel Murray (October 20, 2008). "How I Met Your Mother: " Shelter Island"". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved November 20, 2017. 
  3. ^ Michelle Zoromski (October 21, 2008). "How I Met Your Mother: "Shelter Island" Review". IGN. News Corporation. Archived from the original on May 3, 2014. Retrieved May 3, 2014. 

External links[edit]