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"Girls Versus Suits" is the 12th episode of the fifth season of the CBS situation comedy How I Met Your Mother and the show's 100th episode overall. It originally aired on January 11, 2010.

"Girls Versus Suits"
How I Met Your Mother episode
Episode no.Season 5
Episode 12
Directed byPamela Fryman
Written byCarter Bays & Craig Thomas
Production code5ALH12
Original air dateJanuary 11, 2010 (2010-01-11)
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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How I Met Your Mother (season 5)
List of How I Met Your Mother episodes

The episode features a fantasy musical number, "Nothing Suits Me Like a Suit", performed by Neil Patrick Harris, which was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics.[2]



Future Ted tells the kids about the time he almost met their mother. Leaving class, Ted confiscates alcohol from fraternity brothers and shares it with the woman they were propositioning, Cindy (Rachel Bilson), a Ph.D. student roughly Ted's age. He asks her out and learns that Cindy has serious issues with her roommate (whom Future Ted reveals to be the Mother) with whom her dates keep falling in love. Ted promises Cindy to never fall in love with her roommate ("Oops," says Future Ted). Throughout the date Cindy complains about her roommate and her odd habits which Ted secretly thinks are awesome.

After the date, Cindy tells Ted she can't see him again, not wanting to risk her scholarship or Ted's teaching career. However, Ted doesn't want to miss a chance at love and returns to Cindy's apartment to persuade her to go out again. Ted picks three items from the room to show how much they have in common, but it turns out they're all connected to her roommate. Frustrated that Ted is already more compatible with her roommate, Cindy tells him to go. Ted catches a glimpse of the roommate's leg as he leaves, and forgets to take the yellow umbrella he'd brought with him which returns to possession of the Mother.

Barney seeks to bed MacLaren's attractive new bartender (Stacy Keibler), but after dating insensitive Wall Street losers she doesn't like men in suits. For a while he dresses casually, convincing the bartender she misjudged him. However, Barney exhibits withdrawal, becoming overly affectionate of a suit Marshall wears, and sneaking to the bathroom to wear a suit. Barney accidentally rips the jacket which is damaged beyond repair, though his tailor, Tim Gunn, transplants the buttons to save another suit and Barney cremates the remains.

Meanwhile, Lily, Marshall, and Robin argue about the bartender's attractiveness. Robin suggests the location amplifies natural beauty and gets behind the bar but is soon kicked out. Marshall insists the bartender is not that attractive, saying Lily is the most beautiful woman he has ever met. Lily, clearly impressed by the bartender herself, tries to get Marshall to say she is not as beautiful as the bartender, and eventually even implies that the bartender is better looking than Marshall, upsetting him a little.

With the urn of suit ashes and his real tears for his lost suit, Barney convinces the bartender to go to his apartment, where she accidentally opens his suit closet. She forces him to choose between her and his suits, and is angry as they are shown leaving the building when Barney breaks into song, professing his love of suits—only to choose her at the end of the song when he realizes "she is pretty hot." He tells her she is more important than the suits and they will go first thing in the morning. As they fall into bed, he whispers, "You guys are fine" to his suits, which move slightly as if breathing a sigh of relief.


Executive producer and co-creator Craig Thomas revealed Neil Patrick Harris will be performing a "big-ass musical" number as the culmination of a big Barney story. Thomas has said "There is some serious Mother action in episode 100" revealing only a small teaser about the episode.[3] "Nothing Suits Me Like a Suit" was backed by sixty-five dancers and accompanied by a fifty-piece orchestra.[4]


Rachel Bilson was cast for an undisclosed role in episode 100 of the show,[5] although her representative said she is only contracted for one episode.[6][7]

Tim Gunn of Project Runway brings his sartorial skills to help out Barney in a time of need. Craig Thomas explains "Tim is basically like Barney's ER physician for a serious suit emergency" and serves as a personal tailor and fashion consultant to fix a "Suit Catastrophe" for Barney.[6][8] Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Neil Patrick Harris said that they "never had a guest star on the show that people responded to more than Tim Gunn" and that even the cast and crew were asking for his autograph.[9]Alyson Hannigan described him as "more popular than Britney Spears."[4] Although unofficial, on the Season 5 DVD commentary of the episode, it has been expressed that they hope to have Gunn return as a possible recurring character.

Former wrestling diva Stacy Keibler guest stars as Karina,[1] a bartender in MacLaren's.[10] The writers describe her as "the hottest bartender in the world" and she gives the episode its title, as she forces Barney to choose between his suits and getting the girl. Her three previous ex-boyfriends were all suit wearers, and Barney cannot get with her without giving up his suits.[6]


Donna Bowman of The A.V. Club rated the episode with a grade A, describing the 100th episode as one of the best the show has ever produced. She describes the episode as appealing to fans in a way that doesn't exclude other viewers, noting the quality of the writing and editing, the voiceover being used to great effect, and advancing the storyline for all the characters.[11]

Brian Zoromski of IGN gave the episode 9.8 out of 10, and called the milestone episode "a giant thank you to the fans" with plot advancement on the Mother topped by a lavish musical production. "If anyone ever doubted whether the writers could believably pull off this meandering, long-winded story of how a father met his kids' future mother without dropping the pieces, this episode shows that the How I Met team has a strong grasp of how everything fits together."[1]

Cindy McLennan of Television Without Pity rated the episode with a grade A.[12]

Nickolas Clague of The New York Times gave the episode 9.2 out of 10.[13]


  1. ^ a b c Brian Zoromski (2010-01-08). "How I Met Your Mother: "Girls vs. Suits" Review. The series' 100th episode plays like a gift to longtime fans". IGN. News Corporation. Retrieved 2016-09-01.
  2. ^ "62nd Primetime Emmy Award Nominations". CBS News.
  3. ^ Michael Ausiello (2009-09-26). "Exclusive: HIMYM boss promises 'serious mother action' AND a musical!". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Archived from the original on 2009-11-28. Retrieved 2009-11-17. There will be a huge Barney story culminating in an enormous musical number that we’re going to spend way too much of Twentieth Television’s money on
  4. ^ a b Joyce Eng (2010-01-10). "Singing Suits: How I Met Your Mother Throws "a Little Party" for 100th Episode". TV Guide. Retrieved 2010-01-12.[dead link]
  5. ^ Michael Ausiello (2009-10-02). "HIMYM exclusive: Rachel Bilson cast as you-know-who?!". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Archived from the original on 2009-12-04. Retrieved 2009-11-17.
  6. ^ a b c Eric Goldman (2009-11-18). "How I Met Stacy Keibler: Neil Patrick Harris tells IGN how the former WWE diva plays into a Mother milestone episode". IGN. News Corporation. Retrieved 2010-01-08. Keibler's character – described by the Mother writers as "the hottest bartender in the world" – is integral to that title.
  7. ^ Megan Masters (2009-11-02). "Has HIMYM Cast Rachel Bilson as the Maybe Mama?". E!Online. Retrieved 2009-11-17. Bilson's rep tells us that she's only signed on to appear in the one episode.
  8. ^ Maureen Ryan (2009-10-06). "Exclusive: Tim Gunn to guest on How I Met Your Mother". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on October 9, 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-17. For Barney, a man-about-town who takes his suits very seriously, it's "life or death stuff," Thomas jokes.
  9. ^ "How I Met Your Mother Celebrates 100th Episode". 2010-01-08. Archived from the original on January 11, 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-12.
  10. ^ Vlada Gelman (November 19, 2009). "Stacy Keibler guest stars in How I Met Your Mother's 100th episode". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved 2009-11-30.
  11. ^ Donna Bowman (2010-01-11). "How I Met Your Mother "Girls Vs. Suits"". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved 2010-01-12.
  12. ^ Cindy McLennan (2010-01-11). "How I Met Your Mother: Once More Without Feeling". Television Without Pity. NBC Universal. p. 10. Archived from the original on 2010-05-27. Retrieved 2010-05-16.
  13. ^ Nickolas Clague (2010-01-09). "How I Met Your Mother: "Girls vs. Suits" Review. The series' 100th episode plays like a gift to longtime fans". New York Times. News Corporation. Archived from the original on January 9, 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-12.

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