How I Met Your Mother Episodes

2005, TV Show

How I Met Your Mother Episode: "The Window"

Season 5, Episode 10
Episode Synopsis: The gang helps Ted out when he finds the perfect girl (JoAnna Garcia) is available to date; and Marshall finds a letter he wrote when he was young, and it has a dramatic effect on him.
Original Air Date: Dec 7, 2009
Guest Cast Jamie Kaler: Jim Michael Spellman: Adam Marieve Herington: Betty Matthew Moy: Louis Bryan Callen: Bilson Barbara Perry: Mrs. Douglas JoAnna Garcia: Maggie Bob Saget
Full Episode
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Season 5, Episode 10
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Length: 21:36
Aired: 12/7/2009
Also available on iTunes, Amazon Prime and VUDU
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How I Met Your Mother Episode Recap: "The Window" Season 5, Episode 10

In this week's episode, Ted valiantly tries to get a date with a girl who's been perpetually coupled for as long as he's known her — we're talking 12 years here. Meanwhile, Marshall has an existential crisis when he finds a letter he wrote to himself when he was 15, and Barney tries to prove that he can get laid even while wearing really terrible mid-'90s-style denim overalls.

Marshall enters Ted and Robin's apartment with a gigantic box full of stuff. Apparently, his mother sends him his old things every once in a while, as mothers do. It's mostly useless clutter, like He-Man's left arm or an old Mad Libs book. As Marshall starts digging through the box, Ted's phone rings. On the other end is an older woman, who gives Ted what sounds like a secret code phrase: "The window is open." Ted takes off running. Is anyone else as confused as I am?

Well, it turns out that the "window" refers to the very small time frame that Ted has to get in with the girl of his dreams. This girl (who looks astonishingly like Amy Adams,) is named Maggie, went to college with Ted, and is apparently incapable of being single. Every time she breaks up with a guy, she starts dating another one almost immediately. Ted has been trying in vain to get in with her for the last 12 years. So he asked Maggie's elderly next-door neighbor to let him know as soon as she broke up with her current boyfriend. Hence the mysterious phone call. Ted manages to get to her apartment before she meets any other guys. He asks her out, and she accepts.

Ted arranges for Maggie to meet him at McLaren's. He gets there a bit early to fill in Robin (and us) about his history of trying to date Maggie. Nothing can go wrong this time — until Robin reminds Ted that he's got a class to teach that night. When Maggie shows up, Ted tries to get her to come with him, but she's not having it. So he heads for his class, leaving Marshall and Lily in charge of guarding Maggie until he can come back.

Meanwhile, Marshall continues to go through his old clutter. He finds a ridiculous pair of denim overalls, which are so awful that Barney states that no one could get laid wearing them. Two seconds after he finishes speaking, Barney accepts his own challenge. He swears that he will wear the overalls and not take them off until he's able to have sex with a woman. He puts the overalls on over his suit and begins hitting on every woman in the bar. And he might have had an easy time of it, too — if Robin hadn't started jumping in and cracking farmer jokes in front of each of his targets.

The mood gets a bit somber, though, when Marshall finds a letter that his 15-year-old self wrote to his 30-year-old self. Although some of the 15-year-old advice is ridiculous — Marshall isn't still rocking a rat tail or wearing denim overalls, and he hasn't had his name legally changed to "Vanilla Thunder" — Marshall's younger self was adamant that his future self should be saving the world. Since Marshall has, in fact, "sold out" to GNB, he takes this kind of hard and leaves the table, telling Lily he needs to take care of something at work. Concerned that Marshall is going to quit his job, Lily goes out after him, leaving Maggie in the care of Robin.

At Columbia, Ted is trying his darndest to wrap up his class early and get back to the bar. But his students actually want to be there. Ted trips up a bit when he accidentally writes "Maggie" on the blackboard. Despite his attempt to pass it off as an acronym ("Make adjustments go get it energized!"), his students see right through it and begin talking to Ted about his love life.

Back at McLaren's, Robin is struggling with Maggie. It seems a male coworker, Jim, has had his eye on Maggie for a while, too, and he's at McLaren's trying to chat her up. Robin basically throws herself at Jim and cons him into taking her to an erotic-canine art gallery to get him away from Maggie. She leaves Maggie in the company of Barney, who gives Ted a 10-minute window to get there before he starts putting the moves on her. Despite her best (and most desperate) efforts, Robin can't keep Jim's attention, and they head back to the bar.

When they get to the bar, Ted, Jim and Barney argue amongst themselves which one gets the first shot at Maggie. Jim has apparently been waiting for her for five years. Ted trumps this by saying he's been waiting since college. Barney just wants to get into her pants, and he assures the other two that the window will be back open in about 10 minutes. Suddenly, they realize that Maggie is no longer there — Robin sent her home to get away from the "vultures." Ted, being Ted, gives a big speech about how Maggie deserves to spend some time by herself for once. Of course, it's all a big act, and 10 seconds later, he's bolting out the door, headed to Maggie's apartment with Jim and Barney hot on his heels.

But they're too late. On her way back to her apartment, Maggie ran into her old next-door-neighbor and childhood sweetheart. Future Ted tells us that it was the second most romantic story he'd ever heard. He also tells us that Maggie's window never reopened. Maggie goes on to marry her childhood sweetheart and start a family with him. The pursuit wasn't completely in vain, though—Ted now knows that he's once again ready for a serious relationship.

Meanwhile, Lily has found Marshall playing at the basketball hoop outside GNB. He hasn't quit his job — instead he's trying to make a very difficult slam dunk so that he can cross something else off his list. Of course, he can't do that either. But Lily makes him feel better by pointing out how awesome his life has been so far, and all the things he's accomplished that his 15-year-old self could never have even dreamed of.

Finally, Barney wins his bet — by nailing Maggie's elderly next-door neighbor.

In the tag, Marshall writes a letter to his 60-year-old self. In it, he asks that if time travel is possible, he'd like a sign delivered to him at 8:29 pm on December 7 (exactly when this moment aired). Just then, Lily comes over with a plate of chicken wings that had been returned because they were too hot. As Marshall and Lily enjoy their free wings, Wendy the Waitress approaches an elderly customer who we immediately recognize as Future Marshall and apologizes for the wings being too hot. Future Marshall tells her that they weren't too hot — he'd just eaten wings earlier. "Much earlier," he says, smiling in the direction of present-day Lily and Marshall.

What did you all think? I'm excited to see the story shift back to Ted and his quest for love—hopefully we'll find out how his first Columbia class factors in soon enough. I really empathized with Marshall, because I've been there before, and I know it can be tough to reconcile your current station in life with the future that your teenage self envisioned. And it's always fun to see Barney up to his old tricks. What was your take? Did you love it? Hate it? Did anyone else sport a rat tail and denim overalls in the '90s? Talk all about it in the comments!

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In this week's episode, Ted valiantly tries to get a date with a girl who's been perpetually coupled for as long as he's known her — we're talking 12 years here. Meanwhile, Marshall has an existential crisis when he finds a letter he wrote to himself when he was 15, and Barney tries to prove that he can get laid even while wearing really terrible mid-'90s-style denim overalls.

Marshall enters Ted and Robin's apartment with a gigantic box full of stuff. Apparently, his mother sends him his old things every once in a while, as mothers do. It's mostly useless clutter, like He-Man's left arm or an old Mad Libs book. As Marshall starts digging through the box, Ted's phone rings. On the other end is an older woman, who gives Ted what sounds like a secret code phrase: "The window is open." Ted takes off running. Is anyone else as confused as I am?

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Premiered: September 19, 2005, on CBS
Rating: TV-PG
User Rating: (1,933 ratings)
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Premise: A man named Ted tells his kids how he met the love of his life, through flashbacks, years in the future. The bored kids sit on the couch and listen as dad regales them with tales of his pursuit of romance. The sitcom's secondary character, Ted's smarmy friend, Barney, is a real standout, often stealing the show.lauren

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