How I Met Your Mother

Season 4 Episode 4


Aired Monday 8:00 PM Oct 13, 2008 on CBS



  • Trivia

    • The last time that the wall that broke because of the encyclopedia was seen was during "Do I know you?", in this episode the wall doesn't show any damage (and there is no damage in any previous episode). This places the encyclopedia accident at some point between Ted's engagement with Stella and this episode. Later in the episode, there is a flashback to when Robin and Ted were dating, and you can clearly see the wall being already damaged.

    • When the encyclopedias and the shelf start to fall and crumble, you can actually see the brick wall push outward and shake.

    • When Ted scares the couple out of the booth the woman clearly takes her cell phone with her, only for it to reappear on the table when she asks for it.

    • At the beginning of Barney's magic trick intervention, the scorch mark is clearly seen underneath the intervention banner, before he burns it.

  • Quotes

    • (flashback, Ted setting up his 1986 World Book Encyclopædia series)
      Marshall: What's that?
      Ted: A 1986 World Book Encyclopædia. (pronounces "æ" as \ā\) Exactly the one I grew up with...
      Marshall: Encyclopædia? (questioning his "uncommon" pronunciation)
      Ted: Oh, you think it should be pronounced as "encyclopædia". (pronounces "æ" as \ē\) It's a common mistake. But, if you look at that squish together--"æ" symbol in this here: "encyclopædia" (pointing the cover of a volume of the series and, then, placing it on the shelf), you'll learn that it's ligature derived from the Anglo-Saxon rune, æsc--
      (Ted and Marshall startle to see the shelves fall down from the wall, tearing the plaster.)
      Marshall: You know? You gonna have to "pædia" for that. (pronounces "æ" as \ā\)

    • Ted: You guys don't think I should marry Stella.
      Marshall: No, we do. We're all really happy for you.
      Lily: Like I said, it was stupid.
      Ted: Well, obviously it wasn't. Because we agreed to not have anymore stupid interventions at our intervention intervention. (Flashback) We're having too many interventions.

    • Robin: You sound like that fat dweeby kid at camp. "Mom, Dad, I wanna come home, the cool kid are playing keep away with my inhalor."
      Marshall: I can't believe my dad read that letter at our wedding.

    • Robin: I know your new place has had some problems with the slanted floor and the sewage treatment plant nearby, but you're going to turn it into a great home. Tell him, Lily.
      Lily: It's a black hole where dreams go to die. I'm not moving, either!

    • Ted: My James Bond movies. Remember we watched them all in order and Lily spoke in that weird British accent for, like, a month?
      Lily: (British accent) It was sophisticated.

    • "Old" Barney: In a few minutes, the young me from your time is going to come through that door. Now, Cindy, I know this sounds insane, but in order to save the planet, you need to sleep with him tonight.
      Cindy: What? I...
      "Old" Barney: Sleep with Barney Stinson tonight, in whatever way he wants it, or he won't be able to find the solution to global warming that saves the human race.

    • Robin: I'm moving to Japan. It took me a half hour to pack.
      Lily: A half hour?
      Robin: Well, it would have taken me 20 minutes, but a friend called me in tears.

    • Robin: Stella's not gonna let you keep half of this junk.
      Ted: Why wouldn't she?
      Lily: Oh, Ted, oh, sweetie. Okay, here's the thing that guys only learn after they move in with a woman. All of your stuff is stupid.

    • (at Marshall's Cat in the Hat hat intervention)
      Robin: Dear Marshall,
      I do not like that stupid hat.
      I want to beat it... with a bat.
      Or maybe stab it with a fork.
      It makes you look like such a dork.

    • Lily: (with English accent) Cor blimey. This is a nice bloody surprise. What's this about, then?
      Ted: Lily, it's about the weird fake English accent.
      Lily: (with English accent) Bollocks.

    • Ted: (about planned intervention for him) What was it for? The Crocs? The hair product?
      Marshall: Not Stella.
      Ted: Oh, my God, this was about Stella.
      Marshall: I just said, "not Stella," so maybe it was about your poor listening skills, Ted.
      Ted: What?
      Marshall: It's out of control, see?

    • Ted: Lily, come on, let's hear yours.
      Lily: "Gilbert's reading skills have improved drastically since..." Wait, this is a letter I meant to send home with one of my kindergarteners.
      (cut to other apartment)
      Gilbert's mother: Gilbert, are things moving too fast between you and a girl named Stella?
      Gilbert: I wish.

    • Ted: Robin, could I hear yours?
      Robin: "Dear Ted, it's 'encyclo-pee-dia', not 'encyclo-pay-dia'. Why do you always say things in the most pretentious way possible? It makes you sound douchey—and that's 'douch-ey', not 'douch-ay'."
      Ted: Yeah, you already read that one at my Pronunciation intervention. Where's the letter about Stella?
      Robin: I didn't write one. I'm your ex-girlfriend. I figured anything I said on the subject would sound catty. Plus, I'm hotter than her, so who cares?

    • Robin: Barney, this is an intervention.
      "Old" Barney: I'm sorry, I can't hear you.
      Marshall: Enough with the "old man" bit.
      "Old" Barney: What about the old sand pit?
      Lily: Let it go.
      "Old" Barney: "Let It Snow"? I love that old ditty!
      Ted: I'm getting my flail.
      "Old" Barney: You're setting sail?

    • Barney: (reading his letter) "Ted, I cannot stand idly by…"
      Ted: You've just been carrying that around with you?
      Barney: Please, Ted. (resumes reading) "Ted, I cannot stand idly by while you make the biggest mistake any man can make: getting married. Mark my words, this whole thing is going to go up in flames!" (his letter burns up) Oh, I did the flames cue too early! The point is, Ted, marriage is stupid! Every year there are a million new, hot, 22-year-olds walking into bars, and call me 'glass-half-full,' but I think they're getting dumber.

    • (Robin's drunk, acting 'Super-Canadian,' and holding a hockey stick)
      Lily: Alright, Robin, give me the stick.
      Robin: I'll give you summer teeth—some are here, some are there.

    • Old Barney: Now, listen to me, Cindy. I am Barney Stinson, and I am on an urgent mission from the future.
      Cindy: From the future?
      Old Barney: The future. And I can prove it to you. In exactly four seconds, the woman at that booth is going to slap that man, Urg-Ummm.
      (Robin slaps Ted)
      Ted: Ow, what the hell?

    • Girl at bar: How old are you?
      "Old" Barney: 83, how old are you?
      Girl at bar: 31.
      "Old" Barney: Ugh. (walks away)

  • Notes

    • Originally (and subsequently) played by Victoria Williams, for this episode the role of Claudia is portrayed by Michelle Gunn.

    • The German episode title is "Der alte Mann und drei Umzüge", meaning "The Old Man and Three Moves". The French title is "L'intervention", and the Italian title is "L'intervento".

    • International Airdates: Australia: February 16, 2009 on Network 7; Germany: December 5, 2009 on ProSieben; United Kingdom: January 7, 2010 on E4/E4 HD; Czech Republic: October 27, 2010 on Prima COOL

    • Music: "Coming Home" by The 88 (the gang toasts with $2500 Scotch)

  • Allusions

    • Marshall mentions John Bonham from the band Led Zeppelin and the fact that he died from an overdose. In the second episode of Freaks and Geeks, Jason Segel's character, Nick, was still distraught over his death.

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