'How I Met Your Mother' Bad News Episode: What's With the Numbers?


How I met Your mother
I spy number 43!
Other than bawling my eyes out at the end of last night's "Bad News" episode of How I Met Your Mother (I'll save you the spoiler until after the jump but oh.my.god.), the only other major thing that I took away from what should have been an amazing episode was a countdown.

Seriously, what was up with the numbers?

You may not have noticed it, but between the scenes of Lily and Marshall's visits to the Barney doppelganger/gynecologist and Robin starting her new job, there were carefully placed numbers counting down from 50-1. And it bugged the hell out of me!

It distracted from both the humor and the emotional impact of realistic issues that this show usually blends so perfectly together. Instead of worrying along with Lily and Marshall about their infertility issues, all I could see was a big fat 43.

**Spoiler Alert**

And if you saw the episode, you know what the numbers were ultimately counting down to -- Marshall's dad's death and perhaps one of the most heart-tugging moments on HIMYM to date. Still, I felt like this cutesy Easter Egg gimmick cheapened the emotional moment. It was a fun game up until WHAM! You're hit with that news. 

Of course you can argue the deeper meanings behind it, like how you can count down scheduled events in life -- days until graduation, months of pregnancy -- but there is no way of knowing when the unscheduled, yet just as life-altering events will take place, or maybe it's a metaphor for how our life is limited. Whatever the reasoning, instead of paying attention to what was going on in the scenes, you found yourself looking around for the numbers. There were times when I actually rewound if I missed one (crap, where was #15?!). For an episode that had so much going on in it, this was not the ideal one to try this gimmick out on.

Did you watch last night's episode? Did you catch the countdown? If so, did it distract your from the episode?


Image via CBS.com




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nonmember avatar Me

I didn't love the numbers either, and I noticed them from the beginning since the camera zoomed in on the "50" which changed to a 49.

That said, I still admit that it was masterful misdirection. Given the last HIMYM countdown ended w/Barney getting slapped, who would expect the result being a major death?!?

And as the show has made a point of highlighting, Mr. Erickson was probably the only genuinely great parent--not "did their best" great, either.

nonmember avatar Andy

Jumped the shark

Jenni... JenniferDawyn

Is the number 43 actually in the picture posted? I don't see it. 

I'm just starting to get into HIMYM - it's good!

Robert Sleeth

I loved it! Yes it was distracting and I did have to rewind a few times to see ones I missed but, all and all it made the ending that much more of shock. I thought of many things that it could be counting down to, what actually happened was bigger then anything I had imagined. I love HIMYM and even though it was a serious episode they did a great job of keeping you off guard. I was hoping that it might be a lead up to a view at the "Mother" but that didnt happen. Still a great episode!

kisse... kisses5050

 The unfnished clock had me bawling....

Jake Adams

15 is in the center of the sun, on the cereal box, as Ted is telling Robin that he went to visit Sandy Rivers.

Creat... Createchoas

Ya I noticed it right off the bat, and pointed it out to my husband who hadn't noticed. I thought when Lily got out of the cab she was going to tell marshal she was pregnant.

Jennifer, 43 is on the pamphlet Marshal is holding.

Rhonda Lea Parisho Vanover

I watched it monday night while I was on the computer, so I did not catch the numbers - it was a good episode and I cried at the end, but then I watched it again last night on the dvr and caught the numbers and I enjoyed looking for them and found myself rewinding too, to make sure I got all of the numbers in!! I love this series and thought it was a great episode, tho sad,

21noa... 21noahsmama21

Didn't bother me at all.  Sad though. :(

punky... punky8011

I thought the countdown was great! I caught it a quarter of the way through the episode and brought it to my husband's attention so we spent the episode trying to figure out what was being counted down but it didn't take anything away from the episode, if anything it added to the impact of Marshall's father's death. I got super excited when the countdown got around 4 because I thought Lily was pregnant and then when she showed up crying and told Marshall about his dad my heart broke. It really was a great episode even with the sad ending. 

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