Who doesn’t love Robin Sparkles? People I don’t want to know, that’s who.

Tonight’s How I Met Your Mother episode, “Glitter” proved that the HIMYM bosses haven’t lost their juggling skills. No question, this episode was all about how funny it is that Robin was once a ridiculous teen idol, but it also did a lot more. Ever so slowly, the show is leading us toward the answer to the question posed by its title (or at least doing a good job of pretending that is what it is doing), and also doing what gang sitcoms need to do: Setting up conflicts between characters and resolving them with warm, fuzzy learning moments. Here’s what happened:

Plot Points:
Barney found a video of Robin’s teen sitcom from Canada, Space Teens, which starred her former BFF, Jessica Glitter. These two were basically 80s Canada’s Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez, solving space crimes using math with the help of Alan Thicke as their “Charlie” of sorts. Their characters communicate (and sing!) through two two beaver puppets, which Robin lamely attempts to defend by as the national animal of Canada. I’m not saying that is lame. Just saying that beavers clearly have NO business being in space with teens, except to prove Barney and Ted’s point: Between that, the “joystick,” all the jumping and Alan Thicke’s suggestive math problems (“What’s 23 times three?”), the show was a total softcore pornucopia. Robin may not have realized it (and is now in denial) but her writers and producers sure did.

Ted reasons that Robin and Jessica are no longer friends because Robin dumped Jessica when she had a baby. In a panic that Robin will “dump” her when she reproduces, Lily preemptively dumps Robin.
To prove he’s still friends with his original BFF, Ted calls up Punchy, whom we learn takes his nickname literally (he punches a lot) when he surprises Ted by coming to New York and crashing at his apartment. Punchy loves Times Square, which means the real New Yorkers hate Punchy. Everyone tells Ted to get rid of him, but when Punchy finally stops punching long enough to talk like a human being, he reveals that he loves Ted, is engaged, and wants Ted to be his best man. (!)
Marshall tracks down Jessica Glitter, who reveals that she is the one who “dumped” Robin because being a mom makes you busy. Lily and Robin make up, and Jessica Glitter shows up to apologize to Robin by reprising their Space Teens song, “Two Beavers are Better Than One.”

What We Learned:

  • “There is an 83% correlation between the times men wear boutonnieres and the times they get laid.”
  • Barney watches even more reality TV than we do! Here’s his reality signoff speech (with each show in brackets, for your edification): “You are the weakest link, goodbye [The Weakest Link]. Punchy, the tribe has spoken [Survivor]. Please pack up your knives and go [Top Chef]. Your work of art didn’t work for us [Work of Art]. Your time’s up [Flavor of Love]. I have to ask you to leave the mansion [Beauty and the Geek]. You must leave the chateau [Joe Millionaire]. Your tour ends here [Rock of Love]. You’ve been chopped [Chopped]. You’ve been evicted from the Big Brother house [Big Brother]. Your dessert just didn’t measure up [Top Chef: Just Desserts]. Sashay away [Ru Paul’s Drag Race]. Give me your jacket and leave Hell’s Kitchen [Hell’s Kitchen]. I’m sorry, you did not get a rose [The Bachelor]. You have been eliminated from the race [The Amazing Race]. You are no longer in the running to be America’s Next Top Model [ANTM]. You’re fired [The Apprentice]. Auf Wiedersehen [Project Runway].”
  • Ted is gonna be Punchy’s BEST MAN. His BEST MAN. You know what this means. The question is: When?

Best of Barney:
“Robin, did you know that boutonniere is French for booty is near?”
“It’s Robin Sparkles THREE, y’all!”
“It’s a big ol’ bowl of Porn Flakes.”
“A veritable pornucopia.”
Robin Bonus: “So sue me, like the producers of Milky Way Mathletes did.” Also: “I hate most babies. But your baby, I’m gonna love that kid so much. I’m gonna pick it up and everything.”

The Verdict: Four out of five Alan Thicke cameos. It’s important to see this episode for what it is, first and foremost: A half-hour of sparkly, glitterly, spacey fun, with talking robot props and beaver jokes and 80s hair and hockey organs and Ted being a rhyming detective nerd. “Glitter” had enough on its plate with all of that silliness, but, like I said, it also did other stuff. Like settling the debate about whose wedding Ted will meet the Mother at: It’s Punchy’s! (I am a little disappointed it’s not Robin and Barney’s, but I will live.) And since Punchy and his bride, being real people in the show’s world, will likely not wait 2+ years until they get married, maybe this means we will actually meet the Mother before the show ends. I can’t imagine them announcing the wedding this way and then holding out on us, at least not indefinitely. But, then again, this is season 6 of a show about how two kids’ parents met. They’re in no hurry. So don’t hold your breath–plenty could change. Maybe Punchy is a red herring. And maybe I think too much about this kind of stuff.

To make way for the Robin Sparkles parade, continuity got dumped, which had good and bad results: This episode was Zoey-free, thank goodness, but also neglected Barney’s revelation about his father from last week, and once again, made Lily out to be kind of an annoying, selfish jerk. I don’t like that Lily. And in terms of Robin Sparkles time, “Two Beavers are Better Than One” is no “Let’s Go to the Mall!” And there was definitely not enough Alan Thicke for my liking. But the dorky math puns, combined with Ted and Barney’s faces as layers upon layers of sexual innuendos hit their ears and almost made them explode, made this one of the more unabashedly fun and clever episodes of the season so far.

(Image courtesy of CBS)

Meghan Carlson

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

Meghan hails from Walla Walla, WA, the proud home of the world’s best sweet onions and Adam West, the original Batman. An avid grammarian and over-analyzer, you can usually find her thinking too hard about plot devices in favorites like The OfficeIt’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and How I Met Your Mother. In her spare time, Meghan enjoys drawing, shopping, trying to be funny (and often failing), and not understanding the whole Twilight thing. She’s got a BA in English and Studio Art from Whitman College, which makes her a professional arguer, daydreamer, and doodler.