How I Met Your Mother: “Little Minnesota” Recap

Synopsis: Ted’s sister — or as he calls her, Hurricane Heather (played by Erin Cahill) — has just arrived in town, with plans to stay in New York permanently and work in finance. Ted, of course, is skeptical because this is the same sister who, during her college years, took six years to graduate from three schools, wrecked two cars, got married for five days and lived in a tree for nine weeks only to discover that no one wanted to chop it down. His biggest concern, though, as it always is when Heather visits, is to keep Barney away from his baby sister. It seems that every year, when the Mosby family Christmas card arrives, Barney sings a Christmas carol, substituting lyrics about how hot Heather is and the things he’d like to do to her.

While Ted is doing his best to prevent Barney from doing his thing, Marshall and Robin are doing theirs — which is to say they’re hanging out a the Walleye Saloon, a bar for Minnesotans that features a Fisherman’s Quest video game and a banner that reads “I’m drinking till I forget the 1999 NFC Championship Game.” Robin loves the bar so much that she’s willing to conceal her Canadian heritage, which is something that would get her thrown out of the bar. When she begins to “steal” the bar away from Marshall, he reveals her Canadianness (Canadianity?) by asking her to name the Minnesota Vikings kicker whose missed field goal cost his team a trip to the Super Bowl, and she guesses Rashad Tarkenton instead of Gary Anderson. Feeling bad, Marshall then takes Robin to the Hoser Hut.

Ultimately, Ted’s worst fear comes true, when Heather and Barney sleep together. Or, so it seems. They’ve actually set up Ted, to show him that he doesn’t trust either of them enough. As a result, Ted learns his lesson and shows his new faith in his sister by buying her an expensive briefcase she’s had her eye on, and cosigning a lease for her new apartment. Barney, however, still should not be trusted.

What We Liked:

– Marshall’s assertion that winter in New York is “like a spring day back in Minnesota, if it weren’t for all the taxis and skyscrapers and non-white people.” (Apparently there are no black people in Minnesota when Prince is on tour.)

– The Vikings jerseys in the Walleye Saloon. We spotted the names of HIMYM creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, director Pamela Fryman and actress Cobie Smulders (Robin). But our favorite was Marshall’s retro No. 70, which, of course, was the number worn from 1961-1979 by — who else? — Jim Marshall.

– Marshall’s karaoke version of “Let’s Go to the Mall” by Robin Sparkles, (not to mention the anonymous Canuck’s version of “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” by the Crash Test Dummies)

– The stereotypes that Canadians are afraid of the dark and that Brazilians always put on way too much postage

– Barney’s blurted admission to Ted: “Your mom and I kissed.” Kind of makes hitting on his sister seem tame.

– Robin, speaking for all Canadians, when she says, “We invented Trivial Pursuit. You’re welcome, Earth!”

Best Barneyism: Barney’s holiday songs are the gift that keeps on giving. Ted put it best when he told him, “You’re like Weird Al Yankovic, if he only wrote Christmas songs about banging my sister.”