The Autumn of Break-Ups

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"The Autumn of Break-Ups"
How I Met Your Mother episode
Episode no. Season 8
Episode 5
Directed by Pamela Fryman
Written by Kourtney Kang
Original air date November 5, 2012 (2012-11-05)
Guest appearance(s)

Ashley Williams (Victoria)
Michael Trucco (Nick)
Lyndsy Fonseca (Daughter)
David Henrie (Son)

Season 8 episodes

"The Autumn of Break-Ups" is the fifth episode of the eighth season of the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother, and the 165th episode overall.


Having finished a one-night stand, Barney notices a dog following him. Calling the dog "Brover," Barney uses him to pick up women. Robin asks Nick to invite Barney for dinner. Nick, who hosts a cooking show prepares a sumptuous meal. Barney and an suited-up Brover arrive, but as Nick is serving the food, Barney receives a call: Brover's owner has returned and wants him back. Barney wants to jump off the balcony out of despair and Robin stops him, offering to accompany him in returning the dog. The two head to another apartment, where an attractive woman claims the dog. The woman mistakes Barney and Robin for a couple, causing Robin to pretend to be a lesbian and leave Barney with the woman. Going into the woman's apartment, Barney comments that Robin is the "best wingman." Nick is displeased with Robin's behavior and she receives a text from Ted asking her to meet at MacLaren's.

Ted notices Victoria exhibiting strange mannerisms and references to their relationship, causing him to consult Marshall and Lily. The two state that Victoria was actually giving Ted signals about a deeper commitment, especially since they were continuing their relationship where they left off several years before. Ted decorates his apartment with red roses and proposes to Victoria. She agrees to marry him on one condition - he'll have to sever his friendship with Robin, because she is the obstacle to any future together. Lily agrees with Victoria. At MacLaren's, unable to tell Robin about Victoria's ultimatum, Ted tells Victoria that there's no chance of him getting back together with Robin but she is an important part of his life. Saddened, Victoria sincerely tells Ted that she hopes he gets Robin one day, and leaves.

Ted announces the breakup to the gang the following day at his apartment, where Robin says the reason he asked her to meet at the bar was to pitch ideas for a Mosby Boys young adult novel series. A flashback reveals that Ted asked Marshall and Lily to keep the truth about Robin's indirect role in the breakup to themselves. However, Future Ted reveals that Robin would learn about it much later. Barney chances upon Brover, who tells him in bark-speak that he supposedly got a nearby dog pregnant. That dog chases off Barney and Brover.

Critical reception[edit]

Donna Bowman of the AV Club gave the episode a B+. She wrote that overall the show is winding down the way it should and that she "admired" the different ways the couples are breaking up. She also described Marshall's character in this episode as "bizarrely broad and cartoonish".[1]

Angel Cohn of Television Without Pity gave the episode a C. Cohn says: "It's like the show I used to love is in there... somewhere. How many episodes left? More than I want to know." Cohn wrote that "Barney getting a dog ... was by far the highlight of the episode," but that Lily and Marshall are given "ridiculous things to do that vaguely service the plot" that in this episode are "possibly offensive".[2]

Max Nicholson of IGN gave the episode a score of 5.0/10 (Mediocre). He called the episode "lackluster". He wrote that "Victoria's behavior this week felt more like a classic case of changing the character to serve the story" and said that he is "pretty tired of all these allusions to a Ted and Robin romance." He described the Robin / Nick plot as "pretty unbearable", Marshall as "mildly racist", and Barney's story as "moderately entertaining."[3]


  1. ^ Bowman, Donna (November 5, 2012). "How I Met Your Mother: "The Autumn Of Break-Ups"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved November 7, 2012. 
  2. ^ Cohn, Angel. "Oprah Wasn't Built In a Day". Television Without Pity. Retrieved November 7, 2012. 
  3. ^ Nicholson, Max. "Robin or Victoria? Take your pick.". IGN. Retrieved November 7, 2012. 

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