How I Met Your Mother

Season 4 Episode 17

The Front Porch

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Mar 16, 2009 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
364 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Ted is shocked to learn that Lily is responsible for many of his breakups with ex-girlfriends—including Karen. Meanwhile, Marshall defends his wearing of a nightgown to bed.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Ted has never be so mad with Lily before.

    This is my first time seeing Ted Mosby being so mad with Lily Aldrin, and it was pretty obvious that Lily must have done something which is really wrong, and bad to Ted, who is always chilled and takes thing easy. Lily uses Front Porch Test to judge the girl if she is the best candidate for Ted Mosby. Ted wanted to get back to Karen, however Karen realized that Robin's ear ring on the bed which Ted and Karen played pillow with each other. Karen was really furious and decided to break up with Ted and she left Ted's room. Soon later, Ted found out that Robin's ear ring was intentionally placed by Lily and he got really furious when he found out the truth that Lily did not only broke him and Karen up, but his relationship with Robin. Lily explaint that she did not break their relationship intentionally, however their different goals in life drove them to break up and live separately. Ted said that they might be couples until today, if Lily were not to do that using The Front Porch Test. At the last part of this episode, Ted proposed to Robin if she can be his back-up wife if both of them are still singles in their forties. Robin got so touched, and her tears came out. After that the discussed the condition of the agreement. After this episode, I was left suspense by the end of the episode, and I am really eager to know what lead Ted to marry another lady rather than Robin Scherbatsky.moreless
  • Ted and Lilly and realtionships

    After Ted gets back together with Karen yet again, the realtionship quickly ends. This time it was not sorry dude guy. You find out that it's for another reason. But we'll get to that. I promise.

    Meanwhile everyone decides to go to Lilly and Marshall's place to support Robin and watch her show. Even though it was muted, Robin's show was pretty exciting and funny at the same time. It kind of remained me of end of Frasier when there is action shown but not dialogue is said. I wonder if any words were spoken. Either way it was entertaining. I enjoyed Marshall and Barney's choice of pj's. Even at bedtime Barney suits up. As with the pants story Barney is the only one who found what happened to Marshall, funny. I liked It's a wonderful life reference. I also liked how Barney got into his new pj's. What also was funny was Lilly and Ted's quote on Marshall's pj's.

    The reason why Robin's show was muted and the reason why Ted's realtionship ended with Karen was because of Lilly. Not only that Lilly had a hand in many of Ted's relationships, even Robin. I like Lilly more because of it. I really liked Lilly's front porch theory. She brought up a lot of good points in the choices that Ted makes. I do see that Lilly did go too far sometimes. This leads to Ted and Lilly having a big fight. Lilly tries to make it up to Ted by calling up Karen. Karen makes one demand which Ted refuses. I admire Ted for doing this. Even more when I watched season 8. If you think that Lily did was over the line, there is a reason but you wont see until season 7..moreless
  • Ted finds out Lily is responsible for many of his break ups.

    This episode was pretty average like all the episode I've seen. Here are good things about the show, original characters and plot (sometimes) and here some band things its like friends and its full of white people most of the time, but i digress this episode didn't make me laugh, chuckle or even smile i just stared, but i must give this show some credit it's not as raunchy as 2& 1/2 men and not as stupid as rules of engagement or the one with the nerds. After writing i like this average shows always come up with something new, but it's cast full of white people makes me cringe as the fact as tv isn't evolving the way it show and that closely resemble friends, Well that's it Gotta Fly!moreless
  • Lily wrecks some of Ted's past relationships..

    You know, after watching the first half of the I thought I'll give a rating of at least 9 or 9.5. But the episode sort of lost ground toward the end. I must say, though roughly silly, the pajama scenes and ones at the TV studio which runs silently in the background, were actually funny. Marshall's crappy fantasies flying like superman, and Barney's bed suit to impress women who may knock on his door in the middle of the night were silly but made me laugh.

    I know this episode of HIMYM made not fall under the category of a sound comedy like 2 1/2 men or Gary Unmarried. But it was good enough and woth your 30 minutes of TV time.moreless
  • Ted finds out something terrible about Lilly.

    This episode sort of reminded me of "Aldrin Justice" in a more serious way. Ted & Lilly have a huge argument when he finds out that she has sabotaged his previous relationship's including with Robin. This all starts out when Karen breaks up with Ted after find Robin's earring in bed, turns out Lilly put it there. This all happens when Robin's newscast is on, that Ted mutes so he doesn't see all the hilarious things that occur which brought the rating of this episode way up. Robin put out a fire, delivered a baby, and showed a picture of all of them and shed some tears. It was so hilarious, this was all happening when Lilly & Ted were arguing. It was strange to see Ted so mad at Lilly. Although, there is always episodes where Lilly makes mean weird spontaneous decisions, (like leaving Marshall). Meanwhile Barney finds out a new way to sleep with Marshall in a nightgow-shirt, whatever. That was an okay plot, it wasn't that funny but it was great to see the one chance Barney gets to scoring a girl in the middle of the night and he's wearing the nightshirt. By the end of the epsiode, Lilly gets Ted & Karen back together. But then Karen says that Ted shouldn't hang with Lilly anymore. So then he breaks up with her, and has the romantic dinner set up with Robin instead. The thing they copied from Friends: The backup wife. In the season 6 finale of Friends, Ross became Rachel's backup husband. But that's probably the only setback. A great episode. It was sad to see Laura Prepon go though.moreless
Nikki Wells

Nikki Wells

Hot Woman #2

Guest Star

Italia Ricci

Italia Ricci

Hot Woman #2

Guest Star

Jessica Anderson

Jessica Anderson

Hot Woman #3

Guest Star

Bob Saget

Bob Saget

Voice of Ted, 2030

Recurring Role

Laura Prepon

Laura Prepon


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • In the scene where Ted, Barney, Marshall and Lily gathered to watch Robin's morning show, it can be seen that Robin showed a photo of the gang to her viewers. And it was clearly the photo that they "supposedly" capture one year after that, when they meet up at the bar, drinking the 2500 dollar scotch (this can be seen in episode 4 of season 4 : Intervention). How can the picture exist when it was actually taken one year after that?

    • Barney says he always has to lie perfectly still so won't wrinkle his suitjama. However, in 2x05 when Lily is living with Barney we actually see him in two different pajamas, non of them being a suitjama.

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Barney: Tell me more about being married.
      Marshall: Well, sometimes, when you're married, you wake up to the smell of breakfast already on the table.
      Barney: And coffee, too?
      Marshall: Coffee, too! Sometimes, she'll even put out a vase of freshly cut flowers.
      Barney: I love flowers. And sometimes, when you're worried you've made all the wrong decisions in life, and you're not nearly the man you want to be, what does she do then?
      Marshall: Well, she tells you that you're great and it's all gonna be okay.
      Barney: That's wonderful. And she'll help you find other girls to have sex with?
      Marshall: I mean, I guess, maybe if you agreed on that beforehand.

    • Ted: Lily has taken it upon herself to sabotage many of my relationships, including ours.
      Lily: No, Robin was different. I didn't want you two to break up. But you wanted completely different things out of life and refused to deal with it. I could just picture that front porch.
      (in the future)
      Old Ted: Hmm. Two of hearts. Just like the two hearts of the children I never had because my lovely wife hates kids.
      Old Robin: A deuce. Exactly what my career dropped once I decided to settle down and marry Ted. Bridge. I win.
      (back to present)
      Marshall: Well, I not like that scenario one bit!

    • Ted: Did you break us up, too?
      Lily: Stop talking to me like I'm your enemy! You weep for these women, but you have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That those breakups, while tragic, probably saved you from a crappy and very expensive first marriage.
      Ted: Did you break me and Robin up?
      Lily: You don't want the truth. Because deep down you want me out there watching out for you. And deep down you know none of those women were ever going to be the mother of your children.
      Ted: (Standing up) Did you break me and Robin up?
      Lily: I did what I had to do!

    • Girl #1: Hi, we were having a who's hornier contest and spilled massage oil all over ourselves.
      Girl #2: Nice pajamas. Can we use your shower?
      (Barney smiles and winks at the camera; back to present)
      Ted: That's not a memory. That's from a porn movie.
      Lily: Not just any movie, that's the exact scene from (Barney looks at her) never mind.

    • Lily: Wait a minute. Those are your pajamas? You sleep in a pajama-suit?
      Barney: Of course. What else would I sleep in?
      Ted: A coffin.

    • Barney: I like this breeze.
      Marshall: You think that's good? Stand over this heating vent. It's like your junk's on a tropical island.
      Barney: Oh! Little Barney says mahalo.

    • Ted: Robin Scherbatsky, will you be my back-up wife?
      Robin: A girl waits her whole life to hear those words. Yes, yes, a million times yes!

    • Old Lily: Okay, bridges are wild. Four of a bridge means a royal bridge.
      Old Ted: I see your bridge, and I raise you three bridges.
      Old Marshall: Bridge! (throws cards down) I win!
      (Back to present)
      Barney: You have no idea how to play bridge, do you?

    • Ted: Lily, you had no right to interfere in my relationships. You got lucky. You met the love of your life in a dorm hallway when you were 18, but that doesn't give you the right to play God to the rest of us mortals down here who are still looking for someone. You are so concerned with who you and Marshall are gonna end up in that front porch with-you know what, you can have it to yourselves.

    • Ted: Lily, you can't manipulate people like that! I've known you twelve years, and I can honestly say I've never been more furious at you!
      Lily: Ted I...
      Ted: I don't want to hear it..
      Barney: Whoa whoa, settle down for a minute! I only have one question: how do these shirts feel in bed?
      Marshall: Come, let's go see.

    • Marshall: I'm sorry, Barney, but that is just the most ridiculous sleeping attire I've ever seen in my life. Anyway—
      (Marshall removes his robe to reveal a nightgown)
      Barney: Marshall's wearing a nightgown! Marshall's wearing a nightgown! Hey, guys, you know how in the future we're always saying, 'remember when Marshall wore a nightgown?' This is that time!

    • Marshall: Ted, Karen's a douche.
      Ted: Wow, thanks for sugar-coating it.
      Marshall: "Douche" is sugar-coating it.

  • NOTES (3)

    • The German episode title is "Der Veranda-Test", meaning "The Porch Test". The French title is "Petits sabotages entre amis", meaning "Little Sabotages Between Friends". The Italian title is "Il patto dei single", meaning "Singles' Pact".

    • International Airdates: Australia: May 11, 2009 on Channel 7; Germany: January 30, 2010 on ProSieben; United Kingdom: April 1, 2010 on E4; Czech Republic: November 18, 2010 on Prima COOL

    • Music: "The Man in Me" by Bob Dylan played when Marshall floats above the city in a Big Lebowski reference


    • When Barney runs out jokes making fun of Marshall's night shirt, he yells out, "Something about Scrooge!" He is referring to Ebenezer Scrooge, the main character of Charles Dickens' 1843 novel, A Christmas Carol. In the story, Scrooge is awakened by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, and Scrooge is depicted as wearing a night shirt similar to Marshall's.

    • While mocking Marshall's night shirt, Barney quips, "Was it nice to finally get out of that crowded bed and take Charlie to the Chocolate Factory?" He is alluding to Grandpa Joe, a character from Roald Dahl's children's novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. In play and film adaptations of the novel, Grandpa Joe is often portrayed as wearing a night shirt in the beginning of the story when he shared one bed with Charlie's three other grandparents.

    • Barney makes fun of Marshall's "night shirt" and says, "So flying to Neverland with Peter and Tink, was that amazing?" Peter and Tink, or Tinkerbell, are characters from J.M. Barrie's novel Peter and Wendy, in which they fly to Neverland with the three Darling siblings from London: Michael, John, and Wendy. In Disney's film adaptation of the novel Peter Pan John is portrayed as wearing a night shirt.

    • While wearing a Darth Vader suit in a flashback, Lily borrows Mr. Spock's "Live long and prosper" catch phrase from Star Trek.

    • Lily's speech to Ted about how he wants her to protect him from bad relationships is referencing the famous courtroom scene in A Few Good Men between Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson, in which Tom Cruise asks Jack Nicholson for the truth and Nicholson responds with "you can't handle the truth!"

    • The dream scene where Marshall is flying over the city is the same one when The Dude is doing it in The Big Lebowski, including the same background music.