Spoiler Alert (How I Met Your Mother)

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"Spoiler Alert"
How I Met Your Mother episode
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 8
Directed by Pamela Fryman
Written by Stephen Lloyd
Production code 3ALH08
Original air date November 12, 2007
Guest appearance(s)

Lindsay Price (Cathy)
Ron Butler (Proctor)

Episode chronology
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"Spoiler Alert" is the eighth episode in the third season of the television series How I Met Your Mother and 52nd overall. It originally aired on November 12, 2007.


Ted thinks that he has found the perfect girl, Cathy (played by Lindsay Price) and decides to take her to dinner along with the gang. During the dinner, Ted can see the group's hate for Cathy and their annoyance whenever she speaks to them. At first they refuse to give a reason so as not to "spoil" her for him, but eventually Marshall tells him that she talks too much. Ted refuses to believe it but when Marshall insist that he think about the dinner, Ted realizes that Cathy didn't allow the gang to answer her questions and continued speaking over them. Now that Ted knows, he cannot stand her garrulousness. The five friends then let slip each other's flaws until all are "spoiled", and thus are more annoying to those who had previously not noticed the flaws:

  • Lily: chewing loudly (pointed out by Ted to Marshall);
  • Marshall: singing about whatever he is doing at the moment, or nonsense (pointed out by Robin to Lily);
  • Ted: correcting people (pointed out by Lily to Robin);
  • Robin: overusing and misusing the word "literally" (pointed out by Ted);
  • Barney: speaking in a falsetto, using catch phrases, and spacing out when his friends are talking to him (pointed out by Marshall, Robin and Ted to Barney).

Whenever one or more of the group has these quirks pointed out to them, the sound of glass shattering is heard. This represents the shattering of their illusions about one another.

Meanwhile, Marshall's bar exam results have been released, but he cannot remember the password he needs to retrieve the results online (thus making him wait for three months for a notification by mail). Barney offers to help but this is only a ruse, and, with Marshall angry at Barney and the whole gang annoyed with one another, the arguments reach a climax. The argument is halted when the group mockingly sings one of Marshall's "nonsense" songs (Apple Orchard Banana Cat Dance 8 6 6 3); the song was actually a mnemonic device to help Marshall remember his password (aobcd8663 - it is not shown if it has upper or lower case letters) for the bar exam results website. He enters it and proudly announces "I'm a lawyer". The group then celebrates with champagne at MacLaren's with each sliding back into their bad habits (Lily crunching loudly on bar snacks, Ted making a correction on a comment, Robin using "literally" incorrectly, Barney saying "law-suit up!" in a high-pitched voice, and Marshall singing his own praises) which they all let go.

At the end, in a time leap three years forward, Ted runs into his overly loquacious ex-girlfriend with her deaf fiancé Daniel, and uses sign language to announce how Cathy talks too much. Even though the man is deaf and it does not affect him, Ted has "spoiled" Cathy to Daniel, and a subtitle displays "(Glass shattering)" as Ted walks away and Daniel looks on in despair.

Critical response[edit]

Donna Bowman of The A.V. Club gave the episode a B rating.[1]

IGN rated the episode 8.6 out of 10.[2]

Omar G of Television Without Pity rated the episode A−.[3]


  1. ^ Donna Bowman (November 12, 2007). "How I Met Your Mother "Spoiler Alert"". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved December 20, 2017. 
  2. ^ Michelle Zoromski (November 13, 2007). "How I Met Your Mother: "Spoiler Alert" Review". IGN. News Corporation. Archived from the original on February 16, 2009. Retrieved June 28, 2010. 
  3. ^ Omar G (November 12, 2007). "How I Met Your Mother: Spoiler Alert". Television Without Pity. NBCUniversal. p. 7. Archived from the original on April 2, 2010. Retrieved June 28, 2010. 

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