How I Met Your Mother Recap: Barney Rings in the Holidays -- Now Updated With Photos

The Final Page, Part One And TwoIf you have yet to watch Monday’s How I Met Your Mother, avert your eyes now. Everyone else, you may proceed…

Monday night’s special holiday episode of How I Met Your Mother gave viewers quite a gift: Barney and Robin got engaged!

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Leave it to Barney to propose to his ex via an incredibly elaborate plan. Perhaps knowing that a ring in her Scotch just won’t do, Barney enlists Robin’s work nemesis Patrice in his scheme by pretending to date her and spilling to Ted that he’s planning to ask her to marry him. In actuality, she helps Barney orchestrate the romantic moment in which he pops the question to Robin.

But first, let’s rewind to the beginning of the hour, which finds Barney jinxing Ted into silence as he announces his intentions. Barney makes his pal promise that he won’t try to talk him out of it and that he won’t tell anyone. Ted agrees to the terms, but knows he should tell Robin. However, he ends up asking her to be his date to the unveiling of the GNB tower instead and spills Barney’s secret to… Marshall.

“What is wrong with me?” Ted exclaims. “Deep down, is there still some crazy part of me that thinks I’m going to wind up with Robin? Am I that deluded? If so, I need to grow up.”

He continues: “Robin deserves the chance to go after Barney one last time if that’s what she wants.”

But Marshall believes Ted and Robin could still end up together, so he tries to convince Ted to keep mum and be selfish for once.

In the limo on the way to the GNB event, Ted reveals the truth about Barney’s plans to Robin. She insists she’s not in love with him and instructs Ranjit to proceed as planned. But Ted can’t be selfish and has the limo brought to the World Wide News building, where Barney plans to propose on the rooftop — aka Robin’s favorite place.

“I can’t keep making an ass of myself,” protests Robin. Ted, an expert in the field, sweetly encourages her to “get the hell out of this car” because making an ass of himself while trying to get her led to a beautiful friendship.

When Robin arrives on the rooftop, she finds a piece of paper titled The Robin on the floor. The step-by-step play guide chronicles everything Barney has done the past few months — including not-so-fake confessing his feelings in front of her boyfriend, trying to kiss her and fake-dating Patrice — and reveals them as points in his master plan to win back Robin. Among the final steps: Burning The Playbook because “you don’t need it anymore” (feel free to aww) and waiting to see if Ted will tell Robin about the proposal. If he does, it means he’s “let go of Robin and has given you his blessing” (aww, part two). (And please, let it be the truth so we can put the Ted/Robin thing to rest.)

As for Robin’s answer, the writing’s been on the wall since last season’s finale flash forward revealed that the two get hitched a little ways down the road. Even though Robin initially feels manipulated by Barney’s master “lie,” her feelings shift when she sees the final step in his The Robin play: “Hope she says yes.” And she does.

HIMYM fans, what did you think of the long-awaited moment (captured in the photos below)? Did Ted earn some points in your book for doing the mature thing? And did you like the Buffy reunion between Seth Green and Alyson Hannigan?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. justsomegirl says:

    My god, the season finale episode was by far, one of the best episodes ever! I knew the whole thing with Patrice was a scheme, it had to be. But, I had no idea it actually started in 806. I was so happy we got to see all those flashbacks from Barney’s pov and that lovely music that went with it, and this line KILLED ME!

    Barney: Step 10: Prove your loyalty to Patrice by burning the Playbook. And actually burn the Playbook… you won’t need it anymore.” CHILLS!!! Even as I write this, I can’t stop crying. It’s like the writers saying “that’s the end of womanizer Barney, he has found his soul mate.” And of course the, “last play you will ever run.” Chills again!

    Thank you writers, producers, Neil, Cobie, all of you who played such a monumental moment in TV history. And I should really thank my brother in law for getting me hooked on this show, because I have so many feelings right now that I haven’t felt in years. I have shipped a lot of couples in TV shows, but this Barney/Robin love story will always hold my heart above any other couple I have ever or will ship.

    • Ravin says:

      I know. I don’t even care about the mother. I wanna know more about this Robin &Barney situation. I love them together &Barney is my favorite character, I like him more then ted. he is so funny &robin is just gorg. this was a beautiful episode. I was crying from the moment robin &ted pulled up to WWW until the end.

    • Name(less) says:

      good lord girl. step away from the tv.

  2. Ravin says:

    I was literally in tears. It was so awesome, legendary even. I love Robin &Barney together.,

  3. Mike says:

    I must say that has to be one of the best proposals I’ve ever seen on television, it was completely Barney, it made his very OOC moments this season very in character, loved every second of the proposal.

  4. Nero theTVFiddler says:

    I just saw the episode out here on the west coast – WOW! Very, very impressive episode. I knew it would be good – I had no idea how good – it exceeded my expectations.

    I see all of the comments by all of you – 77 already [it’s almost 11pm in California now], and I suspect by tomorrow morning, there will be a lot more postings. HIMYM is one terrific show. It is great to see/read all of your comments – this episode has really touched the viewers – that’s what great TV is supposed to do, and HIMYM has delivered tonight. Congratulations to the writers, Thomas/Bays/Fryman and the cast – Josh, Jason, Alyson, Neil and Cobie (and that red dress). Well done everyone!

    I think everyone (even us guys) have a moment in this episode where we either tear up a bit or get that feeling in our stomachs when the show really hits its mark. A lot of us have ‘been there’ to some extent in our lives – for me, I identify a lot w/Ted. There were two moments that really got to me – that moment in the car when Ted and Robin a debating what to do – they know it is one of those pivotal moments in life – there’s no going back – they know that. But Ted convinces Robin to leave, to try to ensure her happiness over his own. The look on Ted’s face when Robin finally leaves the car. That look on his face. That is the face of a man who has just lost something very, very important to him.

    The second ‘wow’ moment is right at the end of the episode – Ted is walking across the floor of the GNB tower towards the window, and the song ‘Let Your Heart Hold Fast’ by Fort Atlantic is playing in the background with the lyrics – “To believe I walk alone, is a lie that I’ve been told. So let your heart hold fast, this soon shall pass, there’s another hill ahead.” Ted’s staring out the window, and I’m thinking, no, no, there’s no way he’s able to look over at the WWN building where Robin and Barney are – but there it is as the camera pans away to show both buildings. I get a cold chill just thinking about it. Ted is far from perfect, but what he did for Robin tonight was quite noble, and that moment of him staring out the window towards the WWN building is gut wrenching. Television at its best.

  5. laila says:

    So perfect I’m crying <3

  6. Katie says:

    Predicted that this was a plan of Barney’s all along episodes ago, and I still loved every second and screeched like Robin to Patrice (but in a good way). So, so lovely – I was kind of put off when the writers said there was some Ted-Robin closure to be dealt with, but this episode handled it beautifully. Let’s get going on finding the mother now, I’d like to see Teddy Westside as happy as his friends.

    Also, Seth Green AND Peter Gallagher guest spots??!! LOVE!!!

  7. Samuel Lizer says:

    I think Allison Williams is going to be the Mother! She looks like Lyndsy Fonseca and David Henrie! I think she should be the mother!

  8. Samuel Lizer says:

    This had me crying in the end! One of the best episodes ever.

  9. Lee Fowler says:

    Absolutely adorable episode! It was almost one of those tears of happiness moments in the end!

  10. rty123 says:

    I loved how Barney included a step for Ted’s blessing. Awww!!!! The Bro Code still applies :)
    Excellent episode!

  11. Little Scarf Girl says:

    I liked the proposal, and Barney’s plan (although I definitely saw this coming – his behavior has been too bizarre lately to be anything other than an act) coming together. I also loved Ted’s role in this, and the throwaway line about him finally letting go of Robin was a nice touch, since this show tends to revisit that old plotline far too often. What I didn’t love was that Robin was protesting everything the whole way. Ted had to force her to get out of the car, she was mad at Barney for his plan. I’m glad she accepted the proposal right away, because that does speak to how much she’s grown, but still, it would have been nice if she’d been more positive about it.

    • Nero theTVFiddler says:

      I think the reason Robin was protesting/debating with Ted in the car, and then frustrated/mad at Barney on the WWN roof, is because there is probably some small part of her still ‘not completely certain’ which way to go in this whole thing – Barney or Ted. But she’s made her decision now, which indeed shows her maturity and how much she’s grown – that’s a good thing. But somewhere inside her, there’s probably still some doubt. That’s perfectly okay – that happens to everyone.

      The best part of the Robin storyline in the episode was that only she truly understood how important that evening would be for Ted. Lily and Marshall have bigger concerns now – they are parents, and I think Ted understands that. His friends are growing up and they have their own new priorities. Barney has to look out himself – he picked that night in his plan to propose to Robin, and he’s got to roll with that – can’t worry about Ted at this point. Bro or no bro, Barney needs to get on with his life, a life with Robin. But only Robin had the clear head in the episode to know that that night was potentially the most important night in Ted’s life, that’s why she wanted and needed to be there with him; and only Ted could fully understand how important that night could be for Robin, and that her happiness in life meant more to him than his happiness over ‘just a building’. That shows tremendous character growth in Ted and Robin [and terrific acting in the limo scene by Josh and Cobie!]

      The theme throughout the hour long episode of being ‘trapped in a pit’, waiting for someone to pull you out, was echoed very nicely by that final Fort Atlantic song ‘Let Your Heart Hold Fast’ : “In the canyons steep, walls of granite, here I stand, all my desperate calls echo off the walls, back and forth, then back again.” Those canyons could very easily be a metaphor for the canyons of the New York city backdrop of those final scenes at the WWN and GNB buildings. Robin and Barney just got pulled out of that pit – Ted is still in it. He needs to pull himself out, but perhaps with some needed help from the two most important people in his life – Robin, and the women under the yellow umbrella.

  12. Lily says:

    I cried like a baby, it was a great episode well done :)

  13. Lambsilencer says:

    I loved Seth Green’s line of “like a trophy”. He said it twice in a row, and the second time, he actually said it much more along the lines of “lycanthrophy”. Quite the veiled shoutout. :)

  14. Eric says:

    Great episode. Barney and Robin together were the great “surprise” of the whole series. Now, we have to meet the mother. I knew Barney was working with Patrice, and it was very obvious when Robin was the closet. He kept going in there and not looking inside wi great purpose. The proposal was beautiful, but the best part…Robin yelling at poor Patrice! Her outbursts are HYSTERICAL!

  15. Anthony says:

    Barney and Robin as friends have amazing chemistry but the two as a couple….they have no chemistry. I still think Barney is not getting married to Robin and that weeding we see happening is actually a double wedding.

  16. Josh says:

    I think we may have seen the mother in the last scene when Ted walks through the crowd towards the window. Isn’t interesting there were 4 different women in plain view. It makes sense the mother was at the GNB opening. I think the producers put Ted’s wife in our faces.

  17. Monica S. says:

    One of the top five episodes of the series thus far, IMO. I have really enjoyed watching Barney’s character grow over the years. Well played, HIMYM writers.

  18. Karen says:

    Saw that proposal coming the second Barney was ‘dating’ Patrice. But my heart broke, seeing Ted by himself once again. Barney could have done the nice thing, and proposed another day than the Ted should have been surrounded by his friends….

  19. Anna says:

    I KNEW IT! What a perfect proposal for Barney – THAT’s how he’d do it! Okay, so almost everyone figured this one out before – I still maybe cried a little…

  20. GeekGirl13 says:

    Someday I am gonna have to give this show another chance from the beginning, because despite the fact that the few times I’ve tried to watch it I’ve not made it through a single episode I’m seriously invested in these characters just the same. I read the article, particularly when it Barney or Robin related. The pictures up there got me all misty-eyed. How can this be and yet, I’m not able to watch the show?!

  21. Holly says:

    Beautiful ep. Once I saw “The Robin” on top of the page I was in tears. I love the HIMYM writers. Thank you for this beautifully funny episode writers!

  22. tvfan says:

    The proposal sequence was terrific – vintage HIMYM and wonderful scenes for NPH, CS and JR.

  23. Rachel Hartlebury says:

    Ok for starters barney has dealed with.his daddy issues.secondly some may argue that robin and ted are better suited but that has ended,people need to move on from thar.For me barney and robin belong together,people seem confused that one minute was yelling at barney and then said she wanted to marry him but she saw how serious he was she knew he really meant it and she is so in love with him it makes sense and they are so happy.

  24. Jay says:

    I swear Barney always does the best proposals. First the magicians code and now this!!!!! How are guys supposed to compete with this guy? And the most ironic part: he is gay in real life!!!!

  25. NNG says:

    Just caught up with the first half of How I Met Your Mother SSN 8. How disgusting that this is what people consider romantic. Lies, manipulation, passive aggressive games, all leading to a marriage? No wonder so many people that deserve love and happiness are alone. They’ve been brainwashed into thinking if a relationship hasn’t shredded your confidence, sanity, heart, and spirit, that it means it’s going to work.

  26. I may seem completely stupid but this page and the people commenting, are you Americana? I’m from England and I haven’t seen a one episode from series 8.. I’m contently watching E4 and I haven’t seen one episode or even a advert for How I Met Your Mother. I’ve been looking up on when it’s starting and I’ve seen all these comment saying how they enjoyed it. I’m a little confused, could someone set me straight on when it started in the UK and if it’s out in America?

    • justsomegirl says:

      Um, I’m not sure about airing times in other countries, but here in America season 8 premiere aired September 24 of this year and we are now at episode 12, which aired December 17th. Now, we are waiting until January 14th for episode 13 because episode 12 was the mid-season finale. Hope this helps!

  27. HIMYM Prince says:

    I think this episode is the best of them all. It shown all of the characters developing.

  28. It feels like I’m the only one, who thought that Robin’s initial anger was more about how she was forced to be vulnerable than the fact that Barney manipulated her. At least that’s how I interpreted the desperation in Cobie Smulder’s voice in this scene. And that’s why it’s no surprise that she said yes at the end. With the proposal Barney also showed all his cards and proved that this time he’s a 100% committed to her.

    I’m starting to accept that we’ll never really get over the Ted/Robin thing before the final episode. For one we still have the promise of Robin finding out about why Ted broke up with Victoria. Okay, I get it, Ted’s journey of finding the mother of his children linked with his journey of letting go of Robin. But God, we had so many episodes dealing with this relationship and sealing it up for good, but it just keeps popping up again and again, taking away the punch from previous gems like “No Pressure”.