In this age of one-and-done seasons, reaching 100 episodes is quite an achievement for a television show, and the magnitude of such an accomplishment is not lost on How I Met Your Mother creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas. Monday's episode will be the comedy's 100th, and to celebrate the milestone, the two have prepared something extra special.
"This is the most we've packed into 20 minutes and change," Bays said earlier this week during a conference call with reporters. "I think one of our season finales had 83 scenes, and while this doesn't have as much, it is bursting at the seams."
And those seams will be blasted wide open in the episode's final bit: a toe-tapping musical number complete with 65 background dancers that could have easily ended in disaster. See, Bays and Thomas have never written a musical, the show's director has never directed a musical, and the composer of the music hadn't performed with an orchestra since college. Not to mention that, in a near catastrophe during the filming, Neil Patrick Harris almost slipped and broke his neck while performing spins on the roof of a taxi cab.
The show's producers say Monday's episode will feature two major storylines: one featuring Ted (Josh Radnor) and one featuring Barney (Harris). Ted will meet a woman (played by guest-star Rachel Bilson) who will be a major part of the show's long term "who the heck is the mother?" story. Barney will try to complete his sexual scavenger hunt by bedding a "hot bartender" played by former wrestling babe Stacy Keibler. Problem is, she has a bad history with "Wall Street types," and hates men in suits. Barney will attempt to go suit-less in order to win her... well, I was going to say "heart," but we all know what he really wants.
Other highlights from the call:
— Bays and Thomas mention "Drum Roll, Please" and the final scene of the first-season finale (when Ted gets Robin but Marshall loses Lily) as their favorite moments of the series so far.
— The audition process for Barney asked potential actors to replicate the lothario playing Lazer Tag. Harris won the role when he went into a full-on spy somersault. Thomas calls Harris a "showbiz ninja."
— The show's popular "Slap Bet" came from Bays' own high-school experience, when he did the same thing with his friends "in lieu of having a girlfriend or a life."
The 100th episode of How I Met Your Mother airs Monday, January 11 at 8pm on CBS.