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Recap / How I Met Your Mother S 4 E 05 Shelter Island

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Ted and Stella agree to get married in three days, but Stella's devastation at the presence of Robin, Ted's ex, forced Ted to make a rash decision.


This episode provides examples of:

  • Arc Words: "Never invite an ex to your wedding."
  • Being Good Sucks/No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: One of the engaged couple decides to compromise the "no exes rule" which led to a devastating result, as the Disposable Fiancé soon finds out.
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  • Book-Ends: Future!Ted's narration starts and ends with the Arc Words.
  • Call-Back: Ted's past romantic history with Robin is a very integral part of the episode.
  • Continuity Nod
    • Marshall,Lily and Barney are playing Zitch dog on the way to the island.
    • Before deciding to leave due to the "no ex rule", Robin approaches Barney for "solace", referring to their history.
    • Robin is working and living in Japan, something Future!Ted mentioned in the season 2 finale.
    • Lily attempted to calm Ted down by stating that the bride will always have problems at her wedding, referencing to her own experiences towards the end of season 2.
  • Disposable Fiancé: Poor Ted...
  • Downer Ending: Someone gets left at the altar. This episode is actually considered one of the most downer of all the series' downer endings.
  • Dramatic Wind: Parodied in Robin's "newscast" in Japan.
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  • Everything Is Better With Monkeys: Robin's co-anchor in Japan is a chimpanzee.
  • Kick the Dog: Again, one of the series' most infamous example.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Ted, in an attempt to brighten Stella's mood, invite's Tony to the wedding as a way of ensuring that Lucy was present. This directly led to Stella leaving Ted at the altar and going back to Tony.
  • The Place: Shelter Island is the venue of Ted and Stella's wedding.
  • Red Herring: The episode builds up Robin's presence as the reason the wedding implodes due to Stella's concerns about having Ted's ex there. Turns out, it was her ex that disrupted events.
  • Runaway Bride: Stella.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: In-universe example with the Arc Words. Future!Ted thinks this is so important that he mentions it to his kids at the start of the episode, unlike most episodes where he saves the moral for the end.
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  • Wham Episode: One of the series' biggest.
  • Wham Shot: The person Robin sees on her way back...
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Discussed. In fact, this is Stella's main basis for her "no exes at the wedding" rule.
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