How I Met Your Mother

Season 3 Episode 14

The Bracket

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Mar 31, 2008 on CBS

Episode Recap

Older Ted – "Kids, back when we were younger, your Uncle Marshall and I were really into college basketball. Every year, March Madness would take over the entire apartment." Marshall and Ted are working on filling in the brackets for the college basketball playoff games when the girls come into the living room and ask what they are doing. Lily asks where he got the blackboard and Marshall tells her that he found it, but Marshall recounts in his head that they stole the blackboard from Lily's room. Barney walks in and tells them that their team just lost that they bet on. Barney tells everyone that he went to the hardware store to pick up girls and he tells a girl that he helped a girl and when he walked off to get something for the girl and when he returns, she slaps him. This also happened at the dog store and the museum, but every time when he returns, he gets slapped. Barney can't figure out what is going on. Older Ted – "But the next night got even weirder." Barney and Lily meet up at the bar and when Barney walks off to get something, a girl approaches Lily and tells her that he will say whatever just to get into her pants. Lily is upset and tells Barney, but they can't find her and Barney can't figure out who it is. Barney tries to think about who it could be and goes through hundreds of girls in his mind and he gets overloaded.

Barney complains to everyone and Ted suggests that he looks at the book of girls that he has slept with. Barney brings everyone to see his book and she can't find who the girl is. Barney gets an idea that he put the girls on the bracket chart that Marshall and Ted had and he suggests that they discuss the girls and figure out who it is. No one wants to do it, but Barney brought beer. They all argue about who has the most reason to hate him and sabotage him. After several hours, they have come to the final four and decide to contact all of the women. Lily and Barney first visit Meg, the girl that he slept with in the first apartment that Marshall and Lily bought. Barney wants to hide from her, but Lily makes him apologize to her. When Lily sees them, she runs up to Barney and kisses him. When Lily breaks them up, she tells Barney that she isn't the one, but he has to apologize to her, but he quickly walks off in the other direction. The next girl, Anna, got lied to that Barney was Ted. She tells him that she has a website, Barney stands on a table and tells the whole restaurant that Ted Mosby is a jerk and to go to the website. Older Ted – "And that little Web site went on to get 400,000 hits. Thanks, Barney." The next girl is Kate, whom Barney lied to and had sex with her twice and used different names. She immediately attacks him and Lily makes sure to get a picture. The next, and last girl, is Holly. Barney recalls the story of leaving her in the woods by herself and a bear comes after her. Lily gripes at him and tells him that it is the worst thing he has ever done. Holly answers the door and meets Mark, her fiancée. They invite Barney and Lily in the house and have coffee. Barney says that that was the worst fourth of July, but Mark reminds Holly that they started dating in June.

Lily gripes at Barney when they get back to the apartment that he never apologized to any of the women. Barney doesn't think that is bad, but what he does think is bad is that he doesn't know who the stalker is. Robin suggests that they set her up and Robin will be the girl that Barney is hitting on. Robin sets up the scene that Lily will be at the jukebox, the guys will be at the booth having a normal conversation, and Robin will walk up and get hit on by Barney. Robin asks what he tells them to get them to have sex with him and he tells her and she gets a little turned on. When Robin sees someone coming in, Barney walks off to the bathroom and the girl approaches Robin. Barney returns from the bathroom and looks on the bracket to find her, but she isn't there and he doesn't recognize her at all. When she walks off, Barney intercepts her and tells her that he doesn't recognize her and he apologizes to her. Lily walks up and tells her that she isn't the girl and the girls walks away. Lily takes a picture and names it "Barney's Redemption". There is a montage of what Barney has done to girls over the years. Older Ted – "Eventually Barney did figure out who the mysterious girl was. But more on that later."

Doogie Howser, M.D. style, Barney writes in his journal on the computer. "Sometimes we search for one thing but discover another. Even though I didn't find the mystery girl…I did find out something very important about myself…I'm awesome." A girl interrupts him and asks him to come back to bed with her since he has to go in outer space tomorrow.