| First aired:|
November 8, 2010
The gang attends a black tie fundraiser at the Natural History Museum and Ted sees a whole different side of Zoey when she introduces him to her husband. Barney and Robin dare each other to break the museum law: touch all of the exhibits.
Thanks to Goliath National Bank, the entire gang is invited to The 133rd Annual Natural History Museum Autumn Spectacular. On the taxi-ride over to the event, they predict how their college-selves would react to their formal attire, given how at the time they were "pretty anti-establishment", even going so far as to make fun of people in suits and tuxedos.
At the museum, Lily recounts how as a child, she snuck under the rope of a room that was closed for cleaning. Barney claims that when he was six, he removed a rib from a triceratops and used it to knock down the giant blue whale in the museum. None of the gang, especially Robin, believe him. Arthur arrives and introduces them to a school friend of his and the host of the event, George Van Smoot. However, George prefers to be called "The Captain".
As The Captain leaves, he tells them not to touch anything, so Barney takes this as a challenge, and begins by poking one of the exhibit statues. Robin, who watches him do it, tries to raise the bar by rubbing the entire body of the statue. The two then decide to creatively touch many other exhibits.
While Robin and Barney are racing around the whole museum, Marshall tells Lily that Arthur offered him a five year contract with GNB. Lily tells him to tell him no later, as doing it now could cause a scene. She assumes Marshall still has dreams to be an environmental lawyer, and plans to quit. Marshall, however, has decided he wants to accept the contract and continue working at GNB. He no longer wants to be an environmental worker, and hasn't for the past two and a half years. Lily is shocked to learn this, and has trouble accepting this "new" Marshall.
Ted tests out an acoustic feature of the museum; because of the way the main room is designed, if you stand in a certain spot it's possible to speak to people on the other side of the room while whispering. He has some fun by whispering random words to people that can't see him, until he spots Zoey Pierson on the other side of the room.
Earlier that day, Zoey had written an article about him, slandering him for his work with GNB and his plans to tear down the Arcadian. He approaches her, asking why she's there, and the two start insulting one another. They stop once The Captain approaches, and Zoey introduces him as her husband. Ted openly mocks The Captain's unique nickname and his interest in boating, but The Captain doesn't seem to notice. As The Captain leaves, Ted calls Zoey a spoiled trophy wife, and Zoey vows to destroy him.
They part, but he later comes back to mock the people she's talking to. She takes him aside into a private room, asking what he wants from her. Ted tells her she should just go back to her perfect life, and leave him alone. Zoey starts to cry, claiming her life is not perfect. She got married at 22, and hates everything about boats, her husband's greatest passion. The reason she loves the Arcadian is because it makes her feel solid, when the rest of her life is so shaky.
Ted sympathizes, telling her that the Arcadian is a great landmark, and badmouths GNB. Zoey quickly stops crying and pulls out a voice recorder, showing she just caught Ted badmouthing GNB on tape, and plans to use it to destroy him.
A security guard approaches Barney and Robin, who are now dressed in the costumes of two of the exhibits, and takes them away to his office. The guard chastises them, and recounts all the pranks people have previously pulled on the museum, including a a six year old knocking down the blue whale. Since Robin didn't believe he actually knocked down the whale, Barney asks the guard if he knows the name of the kids who did it, to prove definitively that he did.
The guard pulls out the security file detailing the incident, confirming every detail of Barney's story, proving to Robin that he did knock down the whale as a child. The guard confirms the event actually occurred, and was reprimanded and returned to the custody of his father, Jerome Whittaker, the man Barney knew as his Uncle Jerry for his entire life.
Later that night, Barney and Robin are alone at a table, and Barney reveals that the last time he saw Uncle Jerry was the day he knocked down the whale, July 23, 1981, because his Mom got mad he let Barney destroy the whale. Robin tries to convince him that maybe the security guard was wrong, that Jerome Whittaker really was Barney's uncle. Barney stops her, because he can feel that Jerome Whittaker really is his father, and asks Robin not to tell anyone.
Later on, The Captain sees a crestfallen Ted, and offers to erase the voice recording of Ted badmouthing GNB once Zoey's asleep, commenting on how annoying her voice recorder and her protestor temper tantrums are. Ted turns down the offer, saying that he respects her for standing up for what she believes in. Future Ted explains to his kids how, unknown to Ted and The Captain, Zoey was standing in the perfect acoustic spot in the room, and overheard their entire conversation. Later, Zoey pulls Ted aside, and tells him she erased the tape. Ted thanks her, and the two dance.
By herself, Lily wanders the museum and talks to the "College Marshall" exhibit, explaining how she wants to be with College Marshall, not the Marshall he's become. College Marshall remarks that he's now "extinct", but the current Marshall hasn't changed where it counts. The real Marshall then approaches Lily, and apologizes that he's not going to be an environmental lawyer, but promises that he'll use the extra income he'll earn at GNB spoiling her and their kids. They reconcile, and walk off while College Marshall insults "corporate" Marshall.
Later, Marshall is seen working at GNB, indicating that he accepted Arthur's contract. Future Ted confirms he kept working at GNB, but the job wouldn't last forever and Corporate Marshall would go extinct, just like College Marshall... But that's another story.
- On the way to the museum, Marshall is ecstatic that they're all wearing tuxedos, while Barney shrugs it off. Previously in Definitions, Ted and Barney are shown to have regular Tuxedo Nights, which Marshall was upset about never being a part of.
- Ted's love of crosswords was shown previously in Robots Versus Wrestlers.
- College Marshall is seen "eating a sandwich", a metaphor and running gag throughout the series for smoking marijuana first introduced in How I Met Everyone Else.
- Ted previously gave the gang Architectural Fun Facts in First Time In New York.
- Marshall uses his Lawyered catchphrase again when he reveals how he convinced Lily he hated GNB without actually lying.
- The security guard unknowingly uses a variation of Barney's signature catchphrase, Legen-wait for it-dary.
- Barney says "Challenge Accepted!", a line that he previously used in episodes such as The Window and Baby Talk.
- The unknown identity of Barney's real father has been a large part of his character, touched upon previously in Showdown, Big Days and Cleaning House. This episode finally reveals the identity of his father. His father is finaly seen in Legendaddy
- Next to Zoey's article in the New York Times slandering Ted and GNB is an article titled "Does the Half-Roach Half-Mouse Really Exist?", referencing the Cockamouse, discovered by Marshall and Lily in Matchmaker. The other article is on Dowisetrepla.
- Lily recounts how she broke up with her high school boyfriend Scooter at prom. Their breakup at prom was previously shown in Best Prom Ever.
- Marshall was supposed to work for the NRDC, until he was side-tracked by the need to provide Lily and his future family some financial stability, as seen in Life Among the Gorillas and I'm Not That Guy.
- Robin holds a stuffed penguin in this episode, her fondness of penguins was previously mentioned in Robin 101.
- Future Ted hints that Corporate Marshall, much like College Marshall, will eventually go "extinct", foreshadowing him quitting GNB and corporate law for good in The Exploding Meatball Sub.
- Though Zoey promises to erase the recording of Ted bad-mouthing GNB and praising the Arcadian, she eventually uses it against him at a hearing before the Landmarks Preservation Committee in Landmarks.
|Lily:||So you'll probably quit GNB in a couple of years, right?|
|Lily:||And become an environmental lawyer?|
|Lily:||By the way, do you like this scarf?|
- —Marshall explains he technically didn't lie to Lily, since he responded with made-up words.
|Zoey:||My life isn't perfect. (Zoey begins to cry.) I got married at 22 to a man who calls himself "The Captain". I hate boats, Ted. I do, I hate them. I can't be on them, I can't be near them, I can't even think about them without getting seasick. You want to know why I want to save that building? Because when I look up at the Arcadian, I see something big, and solid, and right now everything else in my life just feels like I'm on a boat. I know it's crazy to care that much about a building...|
|Ted:||It's not crazy at all, I'm the same way. Look, Zoey, the Arcadian should be a landmark, it should. The lion-head stonework is iconic. I hate that we have to tear it down, I hate working for GNB. They're a bunch of wieners and gonads.|
|Zoey:||Ted, that was... really easy. (Pulls out a voice recorder.) This should be useful.|
|Ted:||You tricked me!|
- —Zoey tricks Ted into badmouthing GNB.
|TheCaptain:||I hear my wife got you pretty good.|
|Ted:||She caught me on tape trashing GNB.|
|TheCaptain:||Ohh that damn recorder... Try being married to that. You're a good guy Galactic President Superstar McAwesomeville. Tell you what, when Zoey goes to sleep, I'll find that tape and erase it for you, no hard feelings.|
|Ted:||Really? You'd do that to your own wife?|
|TheCaptain:||Sure, why not? I mean, I'm glad she has these little causes, they keep her out of trouble, but... When she throws a temper tantrum and it gets in the way of someone doing their job, that's a problem.|
|Ted:||No, you know what? Don't erase the tape. And for what it's worth, I don't think she's throwing temper tantrums. I just think she's standing up for what she believes in. I respect that.|
|FutureTed:||Kids, there is an amazing architectural phenomenon in the Natural History Museum. If you stand in the right spot, you can hear a conversation, all the way across the room.|
- —Zoey overhears the entire conversation between her husband and Ted.
|Guard:||Stinson was reprimanded and returned to the custody of his father, Jerome Whittaker.|
|Barney:||No, uncle. Jerome Whittaker's my uncle, Uncle Jerry.|
|Guard:||It says father, he even signed it and checked the box for father and everything.
|Robin:||When was the last time you saw him?|
|Barney:||It was that day. July 23rd, 1981. My Mom got pretty mad that he let me destroy a New York City landmark. He never came around any more after that. I think he moved away.|
|Robin:||Maybe the security guy had it wrong, I mean you never know-|
|Barney:||But you do know, you do know, that's the thing, you know. He's my Dad.|
|Robin:||Barney, do you want to-|
|Barney:||I don't want to do anything. Don't tell anyone about this, okay?|
- —Barney learns the identity of his father.
|Zoey:||Ted, this is my husband.|
|Ted:||Yeah, old stuff's great!|
|Ted:||So, Captain, how did you get that name anyway?|
|The Captain:||Gave it to myself. A real man chooses his own name.|
|Ted:||Well, pleased to meet you, Captain. I'm Galactic President Superstar MacAwesomeville.|
|Robin:||You wanna dance? Let's dance.|
|Barney:||I live for the dance|
|Robin:||Get your other hand, off my ass.|
|Ted:||If I wanted to make it personal, I'd call you a bored little trophy wife who likes to play activist when the shops on Fifth Ave are closed.|
|Zoey:||You're going down.|
|Ted:||Down where? To the yacht club? I'd love to, but wait I'm half Jewish, is that going to be a problem?|
Notes and TriviaEdit
Goofs and ErrorsEdit
- When Barney scares Robin, she mouths the words "Oh shit."
- Lily mentions that she dumped Scooter before the picture, but in earlier episodes, he was dumped on the dance floor, after the picture.
Allusions and Outside ReferencesEdit
- Ted encounters an old man with a monocle. His line, "Good luck killing James Bond," refers to SPECTRE boss Blofeld.
- George Van Smoot and Arthur Hobbs have a history, having worked on the play Guys and Dolls.
- Barney and Robin's first prank at the Egyptian pharaoh refers to certain endurance challenges on Survivor, which also airs on CBS.
- Ted mentions Phish; Lily and "College Marshall" discuss Jane's Addiction.
- The story takes place in the American Museum of Natural History, even referencing the museum's blue whale model in the Hall of Ocean Life and their other Habitat Dioramas. It was filmed at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
- Ted is revealed to be half-Jewish in this episode, like his real-life counterpart Josh Radnor.
- In Zoey's op-ed piece about the Arcadian, the list of royalty that have stayed at the Arcadian includes the Dukes of Hazzard.
- First episode Jerome Whittaker is mentioned.
- La Javanaise - Madeleine Peyroux
- Barney knocked down the blue whale 23rd of July, 1981 the same day as Robin's 1st birthday (she was born 23rd of July 1980).
- Bob Odenkirk - Arthur Hobbs
- Jennifer Morrison - Zoey Pierson
- Kyle MacLachlan - George "The Captain" Van Smoot
- Dan Bakkedahl - Curtis
- David Burtka - Scooter
- Ted Jonas - Russell
Featuring an interview with Ron Nicolosi, Eben Ham, Gita Isak, Elena Frank and Angus McCelland.
This episode premiered to 8.678 million viewers. 
Donna Bowman at the A.V. Club gave the episode a B+. 
DeAnn Welker at Television Without Pity did not give the episode a rating. 
Robert Canning at IGN gave the episode a 6.5 out of 10. 
- ↑ http://tvbythenumbers.com/2010/11/09/monday-finals-dancing-castle-mike-lauer-gwb-interview-90210-up/71452
- ↑ http://www.avclub.com/articles/natural-history,47304/
- ↑ http://www.televisionwithoutpity.com/show/how_i_met_your_mother/natural_history_1.php
- ↑ http://au.tv.ign.com/articles/113/1133133p1.html
- Natural History at the English Wikipedia
- Natural History at the Internet Movie Database
- Natural History at TV.com
- Natural History at CBS Press Express
|Canning Randy||Natural History |