Season 8, Episode 22
The Bro Mitzvah
How does one throw a bachelor party for Barney Stinson–a man who has spent a lifetime making every night legen-wait-for-it-dary? This is certainly a tall order, and Barney himself long ago (i.e. last year with Quinn) laid out the law that he expected to be followed for the holiest of Bro ceremonies: The Bro Mitzvah!
We all wondered how the gang would be able to throw a bachelor party worthy of Mr. Stinson, and it seemed to start off on the right foot: a kidnapping. Ted and Marshall grabbed Barney and pulled him into a van headed to Atlantic City, leaving Robin alone to deal with Barney’s mom at dinner. As soon as the guys arrived in AC, it quickly dawned on Barney that a low-budget hotel and life-threatening entertainment (a DVD of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth) just wasn’t up to his high expectations. And it quickly dawned on me that this version of a bachelor party was an elaborate set-up designed to fake out Barney. But little did I know the depths of their plotting.
Things went from disappointing to downright awkward for Barney, as first a clown showed up, then Lily bringing Ralph Macchio (i.e. the “wrong” Karate Kid since Barney always roots for the villain), and finally the stripper…none other than former fiancé Quinn. It was great to see Quinn again—by far she was the best significant other any of the single gang had dated over the years—but it certainly wasn’t great for Barney. He was forced to sit in the bathroom alone (with balloon hat) while Quinn did a naughty strip-tease for everyone but the bachelor. Meanwhile, Robin grew increasingly angry on her phone calls with Barney, suffering through a dinner that involved Barney’s mom explaining sex positions with napkin rings and breadsticks, and maybe a baguette.
Even though Ted and Marshall continually reminded Barney that they were checking things off of his Bro Mitzvah requirement list, the night continued to destruct for him. After being taunted by his in-wait-for-it-credible nemesis, Ralph Macchio, Barney turned the van toward the casino and dragged them all to his favorite (nonsensical) game of Chinese chance. After losing several rounds thanks to chickens and jelly-beans, Barney and the gang head back to NYC…minus Marshall who was lost as collateral. They pulled up to Barney’s place just in time to encounter an extremely pissed off Robin, who got even angrier at the sight of Quinn. Both ladies took turns throwing a ring in Barney’s face and storming off.
Clearly, as Barney slumped down on the stoop of his building, he considered this one of the worst nights of his life. And at that moment, the gang knew their Bro Mitzvah was a success! As we learned in flashbacks, Robin realized a few weeks ago that the only way to give Barney a memorable bachelor party that topped the many best nights of his life would be to give him the worst night of his life. So Robin plotted and choreographed the entire escapade, from conspiring with Quinn (who was happy to screw with her ex) to Ralph Macchio, to the Chinese casino entourage and even Barney’s mom. Yes, everyone was more than happy to run an epic play now known as The Barney. It was the perfect bookend to The Robin, when Barney messed with Robin to propose. Plus, there was one last awesome surprise in store for Mr. Stinson: the clown that had accompanied them the entire evening turned out to be none other than William Zabka—the true hero of The Karate Kid (in Barney’s twisted eyes, that is).
This episode worked well on many levels and provided bro-tastic laughs. When How I Met Your Mother is at its best, like tonight, it is because: it lets well-established character quirks really shine; it gives every person something good to do; we get exciting cameos and call-backs; and we get some sort of twist at the end. Think of how jam-packed this was…from Barney’s previously mentioned obsession of rooting for the so-called villain or his long-held weakness for the hilariously bizarre casino game of chance, to Lily’s flirty tendencies toward guys (and hot girls) and Ted and Marshall’s competitiveness over who would be valued more as mob collateral. This was an episode worthy of a Barney high-five. Mazel Brov!