The Three Days Rule

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"The Three Days Rule"
How I Met Your Mother episode
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 21
Directed by Pamela Fryman
Written by Greg Malins
Original air date April 27, 2009
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Mosbius Designs"
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"Right Place, Right Time"

"The Three Days Rule" is the 21st episode of the fourth season of the television series How I Met Your Mother and 85th overall. It aired on April 27, 2009. The storyline features Ted's overeager communication with a woman he meets.


At MacLaren's, Ted gets Holli's phone number and says that he'll call her immediately, though Barney insists Ted should follow the "Three Days Rule" and wait that long. To circumvent the rule, Ted texts Holli instead. She texts him back quickly, and they continue an increasingly flirtatious conversation over the next two days, with Ted offering escalating levels of commitment to her. But after Ted receives a message apparently intended for someone else, mentioning takeout and sex, Robin spots Marshall with the takeout order and realizes that "Holli" has really been Marshall and Barney, having edited Holli's number in Ted's phone. They explain that it's been a long time since Ted was very interested in a girl, and their goal is to lure Ted into saying "I love you" too soon, to release his stored-up "crazy" and give him a better chance with Holli after he really contacts her. Stan, a night security guard and MacLaren's regular, provides them with a beautiful message in an effort to obtain this result. Robin reveals the truth to Ted, so he "confesses" via text that he had a gay sex dream about his "best friend," leading Barney and Marshall to argue over which of them is more attractive to Ted. Later at MacLaren's, Ted lures them into spending half an hour listening to him describe a dream about dining with famous architects, before he reveals he knows about their deception. He explains that he wants to meet a woman who likes his enthusiasm; Holli arrives, saying she found Ted's immediacy romantic, but when they go out to dinner she turns out to be an off-puttingly more desperate romantic than he. To Barney and Marshall's dismay, Stan takes Robin out on a date.

Critical response[edit]

Donna Bowman of the AV Club gave the episode a B− rating.[1]


  1. ^ How I Met Your Mother "The Three Day Rule", B-, by Donna Bowman April 27, 2009

External links[edit]