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How I Met Your Mother Recap: Fake Babies, Real Trebek

Last night’s themes were familiar to the dedicated HIMYM viewer: more stunted career aspirations for Robin, more pregnancy freak-outs for Marshall and Lily, more creative materialism for Barney. And that's okay. In a week where Ted's long-con romance with Zoey makes no forward motion, everyone else got to try — and, just like in real life, mostly fail! — to progress.

The setup: Lily and Marshall get back a positive home pregnancy test (which would be crazy if we hadn't already used the phrase "fake babies" in our headline) and excitedly rush off to tell the crew. And then some self-reflection immediately kicks in. One by one—

Robin: Her serious journalism career stalled out, Scherbatzky is considering taking a gig on the hot game show Million Dollar Heads or Tails as the resident coin-flip bimbo. (That scene of Robin in a dress flipping a coin over and over for an eye-patched Alex Trebek was gold. Can someone GIF that real quick?) But then Lily and Marshall's finally realized pregnancy makes her realize it's time to get back on track with her real goals, elucidated during a boozy flashback to last New Year's: specifically, acquire a World Wide News I.D. badge by the end of the year. Conveniently, at the same time as she’s been offered an awesome job as the coin-flip bimbo on Million Dollar Heads or Tails, she’d been offered a boring job as a researcher at World Wide News. Yeah, it’s not ideal, but would neatly fulfill said boozy New Year's resolution. Turns out it’s a false alarm pregnancy, so Robin forgets all about her ideals — until righteous Ted yells at her. Robin takes the job (and is given a tour of her new office by Artemis from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, we think). Good job, Ted!

Barney: An insane Goliath National Bank bonus check has Barney contemplating the really important things in life: a diamond-encrusted suit known as “The Dibiase.” (Shout-out to the Million Dollar Man?) Ted browbeats him into doing something good for the community instead, which leads to Barney’s! Favorite! Things! (Given away: Velour tracksuits, remote-controlled helicopters, condoms.) It feels like “a diamond suit for [his] soul,” but then Ted browbeats him some more, and Barney realized the true meaning of Christmas: giving money to people who really need it, like Wayne Brady’s dad’s church. The false alarm makes him pull back from his newly found charitable ways, but then Ted browbeats him for a record third time in one episode, and Barney donates a bunch of suits to homeless people going on job interviews? Good job, Ted!

Marshall and Lily: Turns out, the lovingly married ones weren’t actually ready to have a baby after all. Again. Hearing that the home pregnancy test was wrong was a great relief — until Ted makes them feel bad about it, and they immediately run back home to procreate. Yes, it’s another iteration of the writers dragging out the inevitable, which we’ve complained about before. But it felt right: Sometimes you feel ready, sometimes you don’t, and sometimes you need your oldest friend to full-on spike a Christmas-themed movie snack into the ground in order to get you to want to have kids again. Good job, Ted.

We leave you with this, presented out of context: “I am the the Bill and Melinda Gates of the sympathy bang.”