|How I Met Your Mother episode|
|Directed by||Pamela Fryman|
|Written by||Joe Kelly|
|Original air date||March 31, 2008|
Barney attempts to track down and identify a woman who is stalking him in order to warn women he picks up from having sex with him. He narrows down a list of 64 women most likely to want revenge, then has the gang help him eliminate possibilities tournament style. Lily, the only person who has seen the stalker, forces him to confront his "final four", none of whom is the stalker, although the woman from "Ted Mosby, Architect" started tedmosbyisajerk.com, under the impression that Barney's identity is Ted's. Lily is irked by his refusal to apologize to the women he's hurt, Barney reasoning that they were consenting adults, he showed them a good time, and remembered each and every one - even going so far as to scrapbook each experience. Eventually, they concoct a plan where Robin would pretend to be a girl that Barney wants to hook up with, Lily would stay by the jukebox in MacLaren's, and the rest of the guys would just hang out at the booth. When Barney pretends to go to the bathroom, he notices a woman approaching Robin. Barney finally apologizes to the woman when he thinks that she is the avenger but he does not recall having slept with her. This turns out to be a friend of Robin's, but Lily nonetheless is proud of Barney for finally giving out a sincere apology. The woman isn't revealed, but Future Ted reassures that she will be revealed another time.
At the end of the episode, Barney writes of the experience in his oft-mentioned blog in a scene similar to the computerized diary scenes of Doogie Howser, M.D., in which Neil Patrick Harris (Barney) stars. After glancing over at another conquest he snagged through deception, he concludes that the lesson to all this is, "I'm awesome."
The tie-in website http://www.tedmosbyisajerk.com was initially bought to prevent it being exploited by cybersquatters, then a simple website was added. Associate producer Carl MacLaren had the idea to do a song for the website, which sprawled into a much longer 20-minute work. The song syncs up slightly with the episode a la the alleged The Dark Side of the Moon/Wizard of Oz sync, which can be seen on the season 3 DVD. The vocals were performed by Charlene Amoia (Wendy the Waitress).
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (December 2015)
- "Episode Title: (#314) "The Bracket" - Press Release".
- "Upcoming: The Final Four". Retrieved May 18, 2014.
- Zoromski, Michelle (April 2, 2008). "How I Met Your Mother: The Final Four Review". ign.com. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
- G, Omar. "The Final Four". televisionwithoutpity.com. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
- Alan Sepinwall. "What's Alan Watching? blog, posting an e-mail from Carter Bays". Retrieved 2010-04-08.
- Bowman, Donna (March 31, 2008). "How I Met Your Mother: "The Bracket"". avclub.com. Retrieved May 18, 2014.