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The Best Man

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Future Ted opens by telling his kids that timing is everything, and if it weren't for timing, he never would have met their mother at "a wedding ." Further defined as "The last wedding I ever thought I would be at.", referencing Barney's wedding.

Flash to the wedding, and Barney asks Ted for his help choosing a tie, and reveals his fears that he may have chosen the wrong woman to settle down with. He begins to wonder if this will be the worst wedding ever, but Ted stops Barney and reminds him that they've already been to the worst wedding ever: Punchy 's wedding, which Marshall ruined.

Flash back to the present day, September 2011, and Ted is alone in MacLaren's Pub. working on his best man speech for Punchy's wedding. The gang enter, and Ted asks for their advice about his speech. Robin wonders why he's putting so much effort into the speech, and Ted reveals that he's already given a few best man speeches for other high school buddies, and they went horribly.

Ted on the cover of a magazine

Barney tells Ted he should ditch the speech. Ted recently had an article published about him in New York Magazine, and Barney tells him to use that to impress girls.

Robin tells Barney that he shouldn't be giving Ted dating advice, considering he never even called Nora after she gave her his number. Barney said he didn't and the gang joke about him being a chicken. Robin offers to buy a round of drinks, but Lily and Marshall stop her. The two of them recently found out Lily is pregnant, but Lily doesn't want to reveal it to anyone until she is three months pregnant. This means she can't drink alcohol, but she also can't let anyone know why she can't, otherwise they might discover her secret.

At Punchy's wedding, Barney plans to use this out-of-state opportunity to try out different plays to seduce women, so that he can use the successful techniques back home in New York. Punchy greets the gang, offering them free drinks. Marshall is forced to secretly drink all of Lily's drinks for her, and very quickly gets drunk.

Robin watches Barney flirt with women, and tries to pretend she doesn't have feelings for Barney. However, Lily sees through this. Robin recounts how their relationship already failed once, and they shouldn't try again. Lily tells her that they have chemistry, and Barney must feel it too, since he never called Nora and is almost intentionally striking out with women tonight.

Meanwhile, Ted is worried about his speech, even more so when he realizes that other wedding guests are hoping that he will have another breakdown. Barney tells Ted he should just brag about the magazine. Ted is too humble to do so, but a drunk Marshall decides to do it for him. Marshall talks Ted up about his article to a few different guests, but quickly gets distracted when he sees different babies.

Lily convinces Robin to either tell Barney her feelings or, if she definitely doesn't want to get back together with him, tell him so that he can move on too. Robin agrees, and approaches him. However before she can speak, Barney pulls her onto the dance floor, and the two dance passionately.

Barney and Robin dance passionately

The two stop dancing, still held in each others arms. Before Robin can tell him how she feels, Barney gets a call from Nora. Before he answers, Barney reveals he actually did call Nora, five times, and asks Robin what he should say to Nora. Robin starts telling him what to say, her words mirroring her exact feelings for Barney. Barney recites every word to Nora, who decides to give Barney a second chance.

Meanwhile, Marshall approaches Lily, holding a baby, and tells her that he can't keep her pregnancy a secret any longer. Lily tells him no, but upon holding the baby,

softens up and decides to share the news with the rest of the gang.

Robin spots Ted out on the wedding balcony, and the two share a cigar. Both of them are feeling bad, but Robin doesn't want to talk about why. Ted tells her that while all his high school friends at the wedding have families and kids of their own, Ted only has his career. He admits that he no longer believes that the right woman is out there for him anymore.

Robin tells him to start believing again, and not to cry at his upcoming toast. However, Lily, Marshall and Barney soon come out to the balcony, and Lily reveals she's pregnant.

Soon after, Ted cries in the middle of his speech, while other guests film and laugh at him. Marshall takes the microphone from Ted and tells the audience that Ted's tears are tears of joy, because Lily is pregnant. However, Kelly, Punchy's wife, thinks Marshall is talking about her, and accidentally reveals to the entire audience that she is pregnant. This starts a huge fight between Kelly's and Punchy's fathers, ruining the wedding.

Back at Barney's wedding, Ted comforts Barney by telling him he made the right choice. Lily comes in the room Ted and Barney were talking in and tells Ted that Barney's bride-to-be wants to see him. Ted leaves the room and Lily questions Barney's actual tie, causing him to change it. It is unknown whether he changed his mind on just the tie, or the bride as well.

  • Barney claims that his plays have an 83 % success rate. His fixation with this number was first pointed out in Brunch .
  • Ted's magazine article mentions him designing a building for the Spokane National Bank, as seen in Aldrin Justice . and reveals that his old architecture firm, introduced in Ted Mosby: Architect . was named Vandelay, Druthers and Brody.
  • The tragedies in Ted's life that occurred right before he had to give wedding toasts include getting left at the altar by Stella  in  Shelter Island . being fired from GNB in  Old King Clancy . and Mosbius Designs failing in  The Leap .
  • Barney uses ties as a metaphor for his anxieties about getting married. In The Leap. he uses suits as a metaphor for his and Ted's romantic history with Robin.
  • The cover of Ted's magazine includes an article titled "Willem. Dafoe!" Marshall points out that, and describes how, the actor ' s name sounds like a frog talking to a parrot in Robots Versus Wrestlers .

Future References (Contains Spoilers)
  • One of the articles in the magazine is titled "Honeywell & Cootes. Planet Earth's Personal Bodyguard." Marshall joins the environmental law firm Honeywell & Cootes in The Naked Truth .
  • In The Naked Truth. Marshall is seen still hungover from the events of Punchy's wedding, Barney has his date with Nora, and Ted is seen using the magazine to pick up girls.
  • Ted tells Barney that any tie would be better than the Ducky Tie . which is first seen in  Ducky Tie .
  • Another magazine article is titled "Mystery vs. History: Is It Better Not To Know?" Ted has this debate while he dates Janet in Mystery vs. History .
  • Barney's bride is revealed to be Robin in The Magician's Code - Part Two .
  • Barney is seen worrying about whether he picked the right tie for his wedding again in Farhampton and Vesuvius .
  • In  P.S. I Love You . Ted meets Jeanette and discovers that she has been stalking him since his magazine article came out.
  • Another one of the magazine articles is titled "By George: Is Van Smoot Van Smitten?" George "The Captain" Van Smoot is revealed to be engaged to Becky in Daisy .

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