| First aired:|
February 14, 2011
With Valentine's day approaching, Lily visits Marshall in Minnesota. Ted, nervous about his first Valentine's Day with Zoey, leaves for Minnesota too. A single Robin protests the holiday with her co-workers, while Barney tries to take advantage of dateless women.
Ted and Zoey have begun dating. Given that Zoey recently got divorced, Ted agrees to take things slowly. At MacLaren's Pub, his friends mock him for taking things so slow. Ted mentions that Zoey invited him to come over a bake cookies with her later that night. Robin tells him that "baking cookies" translates to "booty call".
With Marshall still in Minnesota, Lily has missed his company, and with Valentine's Day approaching they won't be able to stick to their tradition of watching Predator (Future Ted explains how in college, Marshall and Lily planned to watch Sleepless in Seattle on Valentine's Day, but his brothers taped over it with Predator, so they watched it anyway).
Barney explains that his favorite day of the year is the day before Valentine's Day, February 13th, a day he has dubbed "Desperation Day", and explains how it dates back thousands of years and how the looming specter of Valentine's Day causes single women to lower their standards.
Robin points out that not all single women freak out about Valentine's Day, and has plans to spend the day this year with her single co-workers celebrating the fact that they don't have a boyfriend.
The next night at The Apartment, Lily announces that she's going to visit Marshall in Minnesota, so he doesn't have to be alone on Valentine's Day. Barney asks if she's going a little crazy being alone, and Lily admits that she's started dressing up her body pillow in Marshall's clothing, and actually had dinner with it, naming it "Marshpillow".
Ted walks in, and Robin asks how "baking cookies" with Zoey went last night. Ted explains that he brought an overnight bag with him to Zoey's apartment, and she kicked him out for being too presumptuous about how the night would end.
Some time later, on Desperation Day, Lily arrives at the Eriksen's home to surprise Marshall, but when she sees him she realizes he's reverted to a teenager, playing video games all day and ignoring his personal hygiene. Judy asks for Lily's help getting rid of Marshall by taking him back to New York. Lily tries to talk to Marshall, reminding him of Valentine's Day in New York watching Predator, and telling him his Mom is doing fine on her own, but nothing she says can convince him to leave. Finally, Lily just blurts out that Judy wants him to leave, but when Marshall asks Judy if it's true, she denies ever saying that.
Meanwhile, Zoey visits Ted at his apartment, and apologizes for over reacting; Seeing the overnight bag made Zoey realize how serious their relationship is, and didn't know if she was ready for such a commitment. However, she's come to the decision that she is ready, and the two decide to have dinner at Ted's tomorrow on Valentine's night. However, the seriousness of their relationship and the pressure associated with it freaks Ted out, so he decides to visit Marshall in Minnesota until Valentine's Day is over.
While the rest of the gang are spending Desperation Day in Minnesota, Robin and Barney are spending it at MacLaren's. Robin is spending time celebrating single life and protesting Valentine's Day with her co-workers, Bev and Anna, and Barney is scoping out all the available women. Nora arrives, another co-worker of Robin's, and Barney is instantly attracted to her, passing up an opportunity with another girl in order to talk to Nora. She initially rejects his flirting, but the two end up spending the night talking about laser tag and tomorrow's laser tag tournament.
Upset that Ted is in Minnesota to escape New York and not there to help her bring Marshall back, Lily tells them she's going home, as a last ditch attempt to get Marshall to come back. Marshall says he can't, and Lily leaves alone. Marshall tells Ted that since his Dad's death, he feels lost, and asks Ted if Zoey's okay with him missing Valentine's Day. Ted reveals that his relationship with Zoey is complicated, and she doesn't know he's in Minnesota. Marshall tells him that running away from reality isn't going to solve anything, and in saying so realizes he's been doing the same thing. Finally, Marshall agrees that they need to drive back to New York.
When Valentine's Day arrives, Barney is at the laser tag tournament, and calls Robin (his partner) asking her where she is. She tells him "Happy Valentine's Day", and he turns to find Nora in laser tag gear, while Future Ted narrates that for the first time in his life, Barney found himself on a date on Valentine's Day.
Zoey arrives at The apartment with an overnight bag, and the two have dinner, celebrating Valentine's Day together. Marshall surprises Lily at their apartment, and the two spend Valentine's Day watching Predator.
- Barney recounts another of his fake history stories, previously seen in The Goat (when explaining the history of The Bro Code), Big Days (the history of dibs) and The Three Days Rule (how Jesus invented the three days rule and the high five).
- Barney spends Desperation Day talking about laser tag with Nora, and spends Valentine's Day playing it with her. Barney's love of laser tag has been well established, notably in Zip, Zip, Zip, Moving Day and Murtaugh. He also mentions the 47th Semi-Annual Laser Tag tournament in Poughkeepsie, which he told the gang about in Bad News.
- Ted corrects Robin and Zoey that his British Morning Socks are not slippers. Ted has a habit of correcting people, as shown in Spoiler Alert.
- The shirt Marshall is wearing while back in Minnesota says "Tarkenton High School Phys Ed.", a reference to Frank Tarkenton, who was previously mentioned in Little Minnesota.
- Barney performs more magic tricks, a hobby of his previously displayed in The Scorpion and the Toad, Ten Sessions and Intervention.
- Barney previously experimented with creating a holiday in Not a Father's Day.
- Marshpillow returns in Challenge Accepted, as Lily copes with illness while Marshall is away from the apartment.
|Barney:||Loneliness. The looming specter of Valentine's Day fast approaching. The two key ingredients to my favorite day of the year, February 13th - Desperation Day.|
|Robin:||That's not a thing.|
|Barney:||It's a thing. Much like Valentine's Day itself, Desperation Day dates back thousands of years.
Barney explains the ancient origin of Desperation Day
Every woman wants a date on Valentine's Day. That neediness reaches its climax - what up - on February 13th. A magical night, when a 10 has the self esteem of a 4, and the depraved enthusiasm of a 2. Now, there's only one thing you can't do.
|Robin:||Please say "widows."|
|Barney:||Wherever you are, or whoever you're under, you must get home alone by 11:59 p.m. Otherwise, you're on a date on Valentine's Day.|
|Robin:||Barney, Desperation Day assumes that all single women freak out about Valentine's Day.Which we do not. Case in point: I will be spending February 13 with some lovely single ladies from work...|
|Robin:||…who could care less about Valentine's Day.|
|Robin:||And we will be celebrating the fact that we don't have to spend it with some dippy guy carting around roses and stuffed toys all night. Oh, no offense, Ted.|
|Ted:||And none was taken until just then.|
|Marshall:||I miss my Dad, Ted. I miss him so much. When I was a kid, we would spend the summers in the upper peninsula and every year we would only get to the cabin until the middle of the night. So, it'd be pitch black, in the middle of the woods and I could never see anything in front of the headlights. But I always felt so safe, because my Dad was driving. He was like some sort of superhero, he could just see way out into the darkness... And now he's just gone, and it's pitch black, and I can't see where I'm going. I can't see anything.|
- —Marshall describes how he feels since his Dad died.
|Marshall:||Thanks a lot for coming out here Ted. Hey, are you sure it's okay with Zoey that you're here for Valentine's Day?|
|Ted:||Well, I mean technically, she doesn't know yet... Things with Zoey are moving really fast, and the divorce just makes everything more complicated. I just needed to take a step back.|
|Marshall:||You're not taking a step back, you're running away. And hiding out here is not going to solve anything. Holed up in Minnesota, because you're too scared to face reality... We've got to go back to New York, tonight. It's time. It's time to get back to real life. It's time to grow up.|
- —Marshall realizes he needs to move forward.
|Marvin Eriksen Sr.:||Here's a secret: I couldn't see worth a damn either buddy. I just kept driving forward, hoping for the best...Look Out! heh heh gotcha|
- —Marvin appears to Marshall to offer advice.
Notes and TriviaEdit
Goofs and ErrorsEdit
- Barney claims that it was forbidden under Ancient Roman law to get married, and Ted agrees with him. However, marriages under Roman law and within the Roman religion were permitted, it was Christian marriages and Christian practices that were forbidden.
- St. Valentine and St. Desperatius use Roman numerals as numbers, but Roman Robin says 15, not XV.
- Robin and Barney are eating Chinese, but in The Best Burger in New York, he says he doesn't like Chinese.
- When Marshall returns to New York, Lily reacts to him finally returning home. Marshall enters the scene from the left side, which means he was already home since their door is on the right.
- When Ted goes to see Marshall in Minnesota, "Four hours later" shows on the screen. However, it would be impossible for Ted to get from MacLaren's to St. Cloud in four hours, since he would have had to book a flight, go to a New York airport, board a plane, take a 2.5-hour flight to Minneapolis, and drive for one hour to St. Cloud.
- Barney plays laser tag, but was banned for life in Murtaugh.
Allusions and Outside ReferencesEdit
- Barney and Ted use the Roman numerals X and V (equivalent to 10 and 5), and Barney makes reference to Pompeii.
- Marshall begins playing old video games, mentioning Dr. Mario and Super Mario Kart.
- Numerous references are made to Predator, and Barney imitates its clicking sound when "hunting" women at the bar.
- Marshall mentions he watched Sleepless in Seattle five times.
- Barney claims to be Huey Lewis and tells Robin she's heard the news.
- Barney claims Saint Valentine had a "best bro" - Saint Desperatius.
- When Lily talks to Marshall in his room you can see a Loch Ness monster poster behind them.
- Good to Sea - Pinback
- Desperation Day is discussed in article 54 of The Bro Code as an official Bro holiday, one of several days on which a Bro is required to go out with Bros.
- Bill Fagerbakke - Marvin Eriksen Sr.
- Suzie Plakson - Judy Eriksen
- Jennifer Morrison - Zoey Pierson
- Nazanin Boniadi - Nora
- Artemis Pebdani - Anna
- Kelsey Crane - Tori (Silver medal Olympic gymnast)
- Brenda Koo - Beautiful Woman
- Lennon Parham - Bev
- Bette Rae - Mrs Berkelheimer
PodcastEditFeaturing an interview with Jennifer Morrison.
This episode premiered to 9.510 million viewers.
Donna Bowman at the A.V. Club gave the episode an A-.  On looking at the entire season as a whole, she said "I think this season has been really, really good ... it’s often had the snappiness that delights me in its pacing, the intricate time-nesting tricks that delight me in its construction, the clever jokes and gags that make me laugh, the instances of character growth that add depth to these people we like to spend time with weekly, and the elegantly presented themes that present us with moments of recognition ... So when I finish watching “Desperation Day,” I am happy that I can report that the show is in fine shape."
DeAnn Walker at Television Without Pity gave the episode a B.
Robert Canning at IGN gave the episode a 7 out of 10. He felt the episode was too rushed, saying "With its five solid characters, How I Met Your Mother can sometimes have a difficult time of keeping everyone included in the storytelling. This is especially difficult when the characters are involved in solo outings or, you know, in another state. Desperation Day was one of those episodes, where too little time was given to the numerous storylines. The results were pleasant enough, but nothing was as effective as it might have been."
- ↑ The Bro Code, page 74, by Barney Stinson with Matt Kuhn. 2008 by Simon and Schuster, New York, NY. ISBN 978-1-4391-1000-3.
- ↑ http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2011/02/15/monday-finals-no-ratings-adjustments-for-mad-love-chuck-or-any-other-shows/82848
- ↑ http://www.avclub.com/articles/desperation-day,51749/
- ↑ http://www.televisionwithoutpity.com/show/how_i_met_your_mother/desperation_day_1.php?page=1
- ↑ http://au.tv.ign.com/articles/114/1149895p1.html
- Desperation Day at the English Wikipedia
- Desperation Day at CBS
- Desperation Day at CBS Press Express
- Desperation Day at the Internet Movie Database
- Desperation Day at TV.com
|Oh Honey||Desperation Day |