“How I Met Your Mother” Recap: The Yips

One week after Slapsgiving, the folks at How I Met Your Mother give us the Victoria’s Secret models. It’s no wonder we love the show. Speaking of Slapsgiving, a lot of people probably ate a little too much over the holiday weekend, so it’s appropriate that this week’s episode begins with Future Ted explaining to his kids the concept of gyms. Better yet, he does so in a way that implies that gyms no longer exist in the future — so we all have that to look forward to.

Back in the present, Ted decides that the whole gang should join a gym after he gets winded paying for the pizza he’s ordered and winds up “shame eating” the whole thing. “I woke up all greasy and sweaty,” he confesses. “My sheets looked like what they wrap deli sandwiches in.” Barney takes them all to the gym where he is a member. He doesn’t actually work out there; he invests. Invest in what, you ask? He invests time in women who are now fat but might later become hot. Nice.

At the gym, Marshall gets paired up with a personal trainer who is kind of hot but really aggressive and sort of mean, and Robin relishes in the fact that she doesn’t have to care about her appearance while she’s working out. While the others make jokes about how butch Gym Robin is (referring to her as “lesbian prison guard” was my favorite), Barney runs into the first woman he ever slept with, a friend of his mother’s named Rhonda — or, if you prefer, “The Manmaker.” Sleeping with Rhonda made Barney what he is today. Afterwards, he “strode into the world Armani-clad and fully awesome.” That is why he is shocked when she doesn’t remember him.

We flash back to long-haired, goateed Barney after his longtime girlfriend Shannon dumped him (during the Season 1 episode “Game Night”). While Barney weeps over the breakup, his gay, black brother James (played once again by Wayne Brady) decides to make the ultimate sacrifice by sleeping with Rhonda — he gets through it by thinking of Reggie Jackson — in exchange for her making a man out of Barney. Learning that he didn’t really rock Rhonda’s world leaves Barney shattered. After all, “all subsequent worlds that [he] rocked were so rocked because of the confidence [he] earned from said first world-rocking.” As a result, he develops a case of the yips.

The yips are a mental block that causes a baseball player to suddenly be unable to throw a ball with any accuracy. It’s also the reason Barney, while at the after-party for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, tries to pick up supermodels by saying he works for I’m Going To Get Into Your Panties, Inc. and using lines like, “Those are very nice honkers.” After some well-timed advice from Heidi Klum, Barney goes back to rock Rhonda’s world for real — which he does — and for better or worse, Barney is back.

Other Highlights: Barney saying that he once sat next to former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and didn’t intend to “hit that”; a very depressed Barney sweat-suiting up; the supermodels (duh!)

Best Barneyism: “Did you change your mind about having love … making sex … penis … vagina?” — a yips-afflicted Barney tries to convince Rhonda to let him rock her world.

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