How I Met Your Mother-The Time Travelers-Neil Patrick Harris and Josh Radnor

Last night’s How I Met Your Mother made the future more exciting. Of course that’s not hard to do when there’s Future Ted and Barney’s are all over the place. If that’s not enough, Marshall and Robin do what they do best — battle. Plus, those time travelers aren’t exactly what they seem.

The Players:

  • Director: Michael Shea
  • Writer: Stephen Lloyd
  • Cast: Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris, Alyson Hannigan, Bob Saget, Lyndsy Fonseca, David Henrie, Jayma Mays, Joe Nieves, Louis Ferrigno Jr., Jennifer Birmingham

Episode Title: “The Time Travelers”

Future Ted and Barney try to convince Current Ted to see Robots vs. Wrestlers: Legends while Marshall and Robin have a dance of over a drink.

The Good:

  • Time Travelers: After a brief montage about how close-but-far Ted and The Mother are, he and Barney battle over whether to attend Robots vs. Wrestlers. When Barney suggests letting their future selves call the shots, 20 Years From Now Ted and Barney appear. Just as they’re preparing to embark, 20 Hours From Now Ted and 20 Minutes From Now Barney stop the party long enough for all the bros to notice the entrance of Coat Check Girl from the club in season one’s “Okay Awesome.”  Besides showing an amazing range of strength and crazy for guest star Jayma Mays split personality act of 20 Months from Now Coat Check Girl, it ended all fan chatter about her being The Mother. But that didn’t matter when we realized the night was a mix of Ted’s imagination and memory.
  • Zuckerberged: Anytime Robin and Marshall are pitted against each other the result is enjoyable. When she takes credit for Marshall’s feminine alcoholic beverage and Lil forbids a deciding dance off the bathroom games begin. For Marshall being a gentleman means writing, “For a good time call Robin” on the men’s bathroom at MacLaren’s. Yet he’s too chicken to see what she wrote about him in the ladies room. Even though what she wrote was just a ploy to get Marshall caught, Lilly allowed the dance off we all needed. In the battle for bragging rights for the Robin Scherbatsky/Minnesota Tidal Wave, the barbs traded were matched by the strengths their characters.  
  • The Hope: There were three different Barney’s and Ted’s that disappeared anytime someone else approached the booth.  But before we could process the revelation, Ted imagined running to The Mother’s apartment to make an impassioned plea not to waste the last 45 days before they met. It was even more fake than his other day dream, yet all the more moving. We get why they dragged Coat Check Girl out of the past; with speculation about The Mother going on for this long it’s important to sever as many loose ends as possible. But this felt like a speech meant to excite viewers about the story to come. It seemed to validate Ted’s eight season long hope that the love of his life is on the way.
  • 20 Years In The Making: The Barney’s and the Ted’s perfectly harmonized rendition of Billy Joel’s “The Longest Time” was an excellent time traveling tribute to end the night on.

The Quotable:

  • Barney: “Ted, trust us, it’s going to be legen—wait 20 years for it..” 20 Years From Now Barney: “Dary!”
  • 20 Years From Now Ted: “Now look, nobody is saying you need alcohol to have an exciting and memorable night.” (group mumbles assent) 20 Years From Now Barney: “But in this case you kind of have to be wasted.”
  • Marshall: I’ll see you in court. A little court known as the dance floor. Dance off, now.” Lily: “No, no dancing Marshall, we’ve been through this. The doctor said you dancer’s hip is worse than ever, you have to lay off dancing for a while.” Marshall: “You’re killing me Lily!  You’re killing me!  I’m an adult. You have to let me dance my own battles.”
  • “Stop DVRing the news, you’re never going to catch up.” –Coat Check Girl
  • Robin: “God you’re still clinging to that? Marshall, it doesn’t matter ’cause you’d lose anyway. And you know why?  ‘Cause I’m Sparkles bitch!” Marshall: “Oh, you think you can step to me? You think you can step up to the streets? To me. You think you can step up over me to the streets?”


“The Time Travelers” did a lot in 30 minutes. It shone a bright light on Ted’s loneliness and his readiness to commit. We were kept in stitches by the show’s most passionate competitors. Though both 20 Years From Now Ted and Barney flashed their wedding rings. Ted’s mention of Barney and Robin’s constant fighting has us worried. And will we ever learn Carl the bartenders last name or exactly when Barney will lose his hair?  Slap check everyone!

Rating: 9/10

How I Met Your Mother airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBS.

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