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I love that I love HIMYM’s non-linear storytelling

Why tell a story from beginning to end when you can tell it middle to beginning to end? 'How I Met Your Mother' rocks when you're not confined to going from Point A to Point B.

- Season 6, Episode 11 - "The Mermaid Theory"

Unlike the Captain hating that he loves the Jonas Brothers, I do love the way How I Met Your Mother uses non-linear storytelling to great affect. The Captain … is he supposed to be scary, or scary-cuddly? More importantly is how will he react to whatever is happening with his wife? Why am I asking questions? And what is the odd connection between Barney and Lily?

This episode’s running gag with Barney and Lily was excellent, especially when we learned that the story, which had jumped around multiple times, wasn’t even from this particular present. Not only a time slip, but we watched both characters in both roles. The first clue as to what may have been going on was Barney thanking Lily for saving him and his ice cream cone, but if you didn’t have a clue as to what was going on by the time Barney “levitated” the beer bottle, you just weren’t keeping up.

As we keep moving closer to whatever is going to happen between Zoey and Ted, we probably should have already been asking ourselves the questions this episode posed. If Zoey and Ted are meant to be, are we going to feel good about it when it happens? Will they feel good about it? It is a little hard not to like the Captain, even if he is scary as all get out.

The Mermaid Theory is no Lemon Law, but it was still a solid Barney-ism; and enough of a reason for Marshall to stay away from Robin. I’m curious: Is there anything a woman (or man, for that matter) can do to make them less attractive more quickly than vomiting on your shoes?

Notes & Quotes

  • [waving] That man is terrifying.” – Marshall
    [waving] Everything he said was nice but I’m profoundly scared.” – Barney
    [waving] Keep smiling he can still see us….” – Ted
  • The big picture of the Captain Was. Hilarious. Period.
  • “Zoey just told me about this great Frank Lloyd Wright retrospective tonight. Who’s in?“ – Ted
    “Sorry, I am … uh um uh … washing my hair.” – Lily
    “Running the water.” – Marshall
    “Holding her towel.” – Robin
    “And I’ll be home trying to get over the fact that no one invited me to the big hair washing party” – Barney
  • The broken fourth wall when Old-Ted couldn’t remember why Lily and Barney fought Was. Hilarious. Period.
  • “Do you the myth of Mermaids came to be?” – Barney
    “Sorry … myth?” – Marshall
  • When the Captain shouted out at sea where “no one could hear him” did anyone else think of the Geico commercial where the Little Piggy cries “Wee! Wee! Weeeeee!” all the way home?
  • “Dude, we need to find land.” – Captain Marshall

Photo Credit: CBS

8 Responses to “I love that I love HIMYM’s non-linear storytelling”

December 7, 2010 at 1:45 AM

I really liked this episode except for the Marshall and Robin’s part because they have hung out together in the past: Marshall used to take her to the Minnesota bar, and then later at least once to the Hoser Hut. For a series like HIMYM that never forgets a detail this seemed strange. I’m sure they don’t go out every weekend but there was never anything as akward between them as they showed. =(

December 7, 2010 at 4:00 AM

A friend of mine told me tonight that her date made a bad masturbation joke as an opening line. I think that slightly trumps the puking.

December 7, 2010 at 9:06 AM

I’m just curious, but is there such thing as a good masturbation joke?

December 7, 2010 at 9:17 AM

Paging Mr. Black, Mr. Jay Black….

I think he might have something to say about that. :o)

December 7, 2010 at 5:24 AM

I first didn’t get your first two lines. Are there that many people who hate the non-linear storytelling?

I think it is one of the great aspects of the show. A staple.

I mean I really love it. Who couldn’t? People who do are stupid. And no I don’t have non-linear storytelling-posters above my bed.

Your stupid!

No you!

December 7, 2010 at 9:09 AM

Which line didn’t you understand? The Captain hates that he loves the Jonas brothers (and the post title) is a reference to the joke Marshall did with his picture in the teaser.

December 7, 2010 at 1:10 PM

Well I didn’t get where the opposite was between “hates that he loves” and “love”. The opposite of hate love is love hate and because of that I thought you meant there are people out there who do love to hate the non-linear telling of the show. But you weren’t so there you go. It just wasn’t logical.

Anyway, I then made a joke about people who have Jonas Brothers posters above their beds.

Ha ha

*cough cough*

December 7, 2010 at 1:12 PM

Oh, one thing I forgot: I loved how NPH dropped his food (with the chopsticks) and stayed in character by frowning and then picking up the same piece again, just holding it, nodding. The guy is comedy gold.

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