‘How I Met Your Mother’: How to lose a couple in 10 seconds

This article was originally on a blog post platform and may be missing photos, graphics or links. See About archive blog posts.

“The Sexless Innkeeper” was less about sex, or a lack thereof, than it was about how to turn one of television’s most adorable couples into one of its most annoying.

With her constant meddling and “Aldrin Justice” and his penchant for song (we’ll get to that later), there’s no doubt Lily and Marshall have their annoying quirks. But they’re still an endearing couple, one so in love that they couldn’t go one night without each other before their wedding despite being together for more than 10 years. That’s love, folks. Plus, who could forget the marching band airport welcome in “Three Days of Snow”?

Unfortunately, Lily and Marshall left all their cute behind in their quest to woo Robin and Barney over to the land of double dating. They’d been trying for years to find the perfect best couple friends to no avail. I had a hard time believing that they never tried to double-date with Ted and one of his girlfriends. Not even when he was with Robin? But they tried it with cab driver Ranjit and his wife, who gave them the “we’re just not that into you” excuse?

Watching Lily and Marshall overeagerly prep for their first double date with Robin and Barney, I was reminded of poor Josie Geller in “Never Been Kissed,” getting ready for her big prom night out with the school stud. I just knew it was going to end badly.


There were bad jokes, fake laughter and the big kiss-off: “We’ll call you.” And poor Marshall and Lily were too clueless to realize they were being blown off on what they thought was the best night ever. Marshall even wrote a song about it. Yeah, they are so never going to get kissed. Then they came on too strong with talk of Vermont, forcing Barney to come up with an excuse about him and Robin being assigned to investigate alien life at the bottom of the ocean. Marshall didn’t know whether to be hurt or excited in case it was true.

So Marshall and Lily moved on with another couple and right on rom-com cue, Robin and Barney looked on forlornly as jealousy set in. You knew it was bad when “All By Ourselves” began to play, Barney changed into Armani sweat pants and the ice cream came out. Rom-com sad montage cliches: check. Luckily, Barney and Robin had seen enough of those romantic comedies to know they needed a big, “Say Anything”-like gesture to win back Lily and Marshall. Cue a trail of oven timers to a romantic, rain-soaked street confrontation where Lily and Marshall were helpless to Robin and Barney’s bad boy/bad girl charm.

‘I think we can change them,” Marshall said. Only in the movies, Marshall.

Meanwhile, Ted was playing host to a girl who wasn’t so much into his professorial tweed jacket as she was into a place to crash. This led Barney to dub Ted the sexless innkeeper and explain its origins with a poem. But Ted had the last laugh when one girl bit the tweed professor bait and “bro, it was on.”

Readers, do you think Barney’s horrified “What have I done?” after Ted declared that he loved being single was a harbinger of doom for the Barnman and Robin? Did you want to take Marshall’s Gouda – hey, I love Gouda -- and run as much as I did? Are you wondering now if your professors played a drinking game with your essays?

-- Vlada Gelman (follow my TV musings on Twitter at @stayingin)

Chris Elliott signs on for father duty on ‘How I Met Your Mother’
Complete ‘How I Met Your Mother’ coverage on Showtracker