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How I Met Your Mother: Not a Father's Day

by Joel Keller, posted Nov 10th 2008 11:20PM
HIMYM: Jason Segel demonstrates the Cheerleader Effect(S04E07) Behold the power of cute.

It's just a little sock, but it wields so much adorableness, it makes everyone who touches it into a babbling idiot. How else do you explain what we saw by the end of this interesting episode? By the time the sock was finished imposing its widdle biddy ruthlessness on the Scooby gang, some of them weren't recognizable.

At least the sock didn't make Marshall into a girl, like in the picture above. No, that was the Cheerleader Effect in full force.

One of the good things about the end of the Stella storyline is that we get away from Ted's quest for happiness for awhile. I gotta tell ya, it's a lot more fun to see Ted be the butt of everyone's jokes than to see him mope through every life-changing decision. Yes, he formally offered his spare room to Robin, thus cementing what we learned in last year's "goat incident" episode. Pair that and the ice queen's softening stance on kids -- thanks to that damn sock -- and you'd think this episode represented a monumental moment in Ted's life. But it was done in a refreshingly matter-of-fact way, giving us room for more Barney and Marshall and Lily, which almost always makes for a better episode.

Barney was full of catchphrases tonight, wasn't he? Not a Father's Day... The Cheerleader Effect (which was used against him when Ted and Robin pointed out how fugly his Not a Father's Day group was) but the Best Barneyism was "I'm one scotch and soda away from the cantina scene in Star Wars." Yes, cantina references aren't new. But they're still funny when used correctly. Though I liked the alternate names for the Cheerleader Effect, especially the late-nineties version, "The Spice Girls Conspiracy." I bet David Beckham wakes up every day and wonders about that conspiracy...

Anyway, I loved the back-and-forth between Robin's reasons why babies are so annoying and Lily's drunken acting out in Marshall's office, especially when Lily stopped crying when she was given her bottle (of wine). I was going to pull my hair out at the ol' sitcom trick of no one seeing the chaos going on behind them, but then the guy from China piped up, "Did anyone see the drunk chick?" Jeez, if he could see Lil from China, then why couldn't anyone else?

More fun stuff:
  • Robin's fear of babies was funny, especially when she put out her hand for one kid to sniff as if she was about to pet a dog. Though I understand her fear of talking baby ads; they're freakin' creepy.
  • Where's Barney going with this sudden desire to have a kid? Is the fact that both Robin and Barney are warming to the idea at the same time going to bring them together? Or will Robin's warming and her proximity to Ted make that very difficult?
  • At least we get to hear NPH sing "Cats in the Cradle." God, that song is awesome and sickening all at once. For that, we can also thank the sock.
  • Marshall sees the cute aspects of having a kid, and Lily sees the horrors (no sleep or sex, mostly). Marshall came around by the end of the episode... but we all think he'll cave within a year, based on some clues we saw a couple of episodes ago...
  • Kinda like how Bays and Thomas have underplayed the Dowistrepla move. M&L moved a couple of weeks ago, and now they're in the money pit condo. No biggie.
  • Ted being a single, childless, goofy dad plays right into Old Ted's goofiness, doesn't it? I can now very easily see him becoming Bob Saget (Danny Tanner version, not Aristocrats version) in his fifties.
  • Speaking of '80s TV dads, it was nice to see Dan Lauria pop up again. It's been a long time since The Wonder Years...
Nice episode. Very straightforward and nonchalant. But funny. Let's hope we see more of these for a while.

How I Met Your Mother' Photos

    Actor Neil Patrick Harris arrives in an Audi to the Entertainment Tonight Emmy Party at the Disney Concert Hall on September 21, 2008 in Los Angeles.

    Kevin Parry/WireImage.com

    Presenters Kristin Chenoweth and Neil Patrick Harris on stage at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards held at the NOKIA Theatre on September 21, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.

    Mathew Imaging/WireImage.com

    Presenters Kristin Chenoweth and Neil Patrick Harris on stage at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards held at the NOKIA Theatre on September 21, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.

    Mathew Imaging/WireImage.com

    LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 21: Presenters Kristin Chenoweth and Neil Patrick Harris speak onstage during the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre on September 21, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Kristin Chenoweth;Neil Patrick Harris

    Getty Images

    LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 21: Actor Neil Patrick Harris (R) and David Burtka arrive at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre on September 21, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** David Burtka;Neil Patrick Harris

    Getty Images

    Actor Jason Segel attends CBS Comedies

    Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic.com

    Actress Cobie Smulders attends CBS Comedies

    Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic.com

    Actress Cobie Smulders attends CBS Comedies

    Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic.com

    Actor Neil Patrick Harris attends CBS Comedies

    Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic.com

    Actress Alyson Hannigan (R) and her husband, actor Alexis Denisof attend CBS Comedies

    Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic.com

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Leigh

Sigma982it was lily sitting on the couch with Marshall in the pilot episode. Lily was sitting on the couch, Marshall starts talking and lily says "how long have you been sitting there? Stupid eyepatch." (Marshall had hit her in the eye with a champagne cork. And I agree with you.

November 17 2008 at 12:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sigma982

I think one of the things that stood out in this episode was the great comedic timing, particularly between Robin and Lily and Robin. The scene was when Lily was referring to "making a baby" as "having dinner"....she then realized the jig is up and says, "dinner is a baby!"...and immediately, Robin responds with, "ewwww....that's disgusting!"....it's little moments like that which pop up in episodes now and again that put the show at a higher level than most others on network TV)

one example was where one of them (?) was wearing an eye patch, sitting on a couch for a while, and scares the crap out of the other when they turn and face each other...with the scared response, "how long have you been wearing that?!?!")....i'm sure there are a bunch of others....

November 12 2008 at 9:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
The Deej

sigh, why can't a woman on a show who doesn't like or want children stay that way? I sincerely hope Robin does stay childfree. Not everyone is baby crazy. I am quite happy in my life without any and will never change that. I've known since I was 14 and at 40 that still has not changed

November 11 2008 at 4:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to The Deej's comment
Hellojed

I agree with The Deej - I really hope Robin doesn't do a U-turn about not having kids! It's great to see a female character on tv who isn't desperate to get married and have kids. We do exist, believe it or not.

November 11 2008 at 4:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
NearFar

So... this brings it all the way back to "Are those even Ted's kids" he's talking to?

I love how he said "That's how your Aunt Robin..."

November 11 2008 at 2:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Grover

loved ted's line about robin being and ice queen and how she'd give her baby a brain freeze when i breast fed!

November 11 2008 at 9:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
G

I think the "Lilly get's pregnant" storyline goes back even further - if you remember the ep. when Barney's brother gets married (which timeline-wise, fits in somewhere this coming spring), Lily drank water only, not champagne during the toast, they didn't show her stomach and Lily and Marshall left early (showing how they were an old married couple). Go back and watch that scene - it looks like she's pregnant.

November 11 2008 at 8:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joel Keller

The pregnancy storyline may have been developed before Hannigan got pregnant, and it's just a happy coincidence. Remember, the scene where Lily sniffs the booze is supposed to happen a year from now; so that's when Lily will be pregnant. By the time they get to that time period on the show, Hannigan will probably have been a mother for at least a few months...

November 11 2008 at 8:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Joel Keller's comment
StillBash

Sure.

Of course that's not what I wanted to hint at.

I mean is it just me or don't you think that if she's pregnant now and if they film new episodes within the next months: will the pregnancy show this season or not? Or will we only see a pregnant Lilly in a possible (or impossible?) next season of HIMYM?

November 11 2008 at 11:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
StillBash

Allyson Hannigan is pregnant.

Man I don't get you people...

November 11 2008 at 5:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cody

oh yeah, Wonder Years. That's where I knew that guy from. Thanks!

November 11 2008 at 2:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John Stewart

What I love about HIMYM is whenever they mention a web-site you can be guaranteed that it's a real web address with some great bonus content for the fans. The four postcards posted are pretty nice as well.

Thanks for the extra web-links in this post. I thought I recognized Marshall's superior as the dad in the Wonder Years.

November 11 2008 at 1:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to John Stewart's comment
Usama

If a TV show mentions a website that does not exist then they (the network) is required to purchase that domain.

HIMYM and Arrested Development just take that idea a step further and put something up on that domain (like what use to be at www.imnoscar.com) and the slap bet countdown.

November 11 2008 at 2:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Usama

forgot about this, but that's the story behind: http://www.hornymanatee.com/

and that's how I learned of the rule in the first place. Conan said that address very casually as part of a joke I guess, and then later NBC told him about the rule and how he needs to be careful what addresses he says because if they don't exist NBC will have to buy said domain. Conan found that hilarious and had people actually put stuff up on that website and then came on air to promote the website and told the audience about that rule.

I should clarify it's only if someone says the website on a national public broadcast.

November 11 2008 at 2:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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