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Little Minnesota

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Title: Little Minnesota  
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Subject: Bemidji, Minnesota, 1998–99 NFL playoffs, Anti-Canadianism, List of How I Met Your Mother characters, List of United States Christmas television episodes
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Little Minnesota

"Little Minnesota"
How I Met Your Mother episode
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 11
Directed by Pamela Fryman
Written by Chuck Tatham
Production code 4ALH11
Original air date December 15, 2008
Guest actors

Erin Cahill (Heather Mosby)

Season 4 episodes

"Little Minnesota" is the 11th episode in the fourth season of the television series How I Met Your Mother and 75th overall. It originally aired on December 15, 2008.


Robin enters MacLaren's wearing an unseasonal t-shirt and explains to Ted that the cold weather doesn't affect her because she's from Canada. Marshall agrees and compares New York in winter to a spring day in Minnesota, except for all the taxis, skyscrapers and non-white people. Upon returning from the bar Ted explains that his sister Heather (Erin Cahill) has arrived in New York and is planning to move there. He explains to the group that Heather is something of a screw up and expresses his doubt that she will ever actually move there, telling them of the time she sold his possessions to buy tickets and travel to a Nine Inch Nails concert in Spain. When Barney calls, he ignores it, and Lily explains that he has been keeping Heather and Barney apart for all the years she has been visiting New York.

Heather arrives and the group discovers Barney waiting for them at Ted's apartment with a rented swivel chair he brought for the occasion and a glass of brandy. Because of her inability to keep secrets, Lily admits tipping off Barney of Heather's arrival and reveals Robin's Christmas gift for Ted.

Barney is hurt that Ted tried to keep him away from Heather and explains that he never intended to act on all the inappropriate jokes he made. Ted explains that he does not trust Heather or Barney, though he eventually relents and invites Barney to dinner with them on Sunday.

Robin is homesick, and so Marshall takes her to the Walleye Saloon, a Minnesota-themed bar that he goes to when he misses his family. Unfortunately she likes it so much that she ends up pretending to be from Bemidji, Minnesota to befriend the bar patrons, much to Marshall's frustration. His frustration grows when she claims his story about the 1999 NFC Championship game as her own and boils over after she beats his high score on the Fisherman's Quest video game, at which point he unmasks Robin as a Canadian.

Over dinner, Heather and Ted discuss her decision to move to New York to work in finance and she asks him to co-sign the lease of an apartment she found. However, his lack of faith in her proves an obstacle. Frustrated with Ted's insensitivity, Heather and Barney stage a fake sexual encounter after their interview at Goliath National Bank and ensures that Lily walks in on them, knowing that she won't be able to keep it a secret from Ted.

Heather and Barney persist in taunting Ted until he confronts them at MacLaren's, claiming that Heather has never taken responsibility for herself. Barney explains the plan to the surprised Ted and Lily, at the same time revealing that he kissed Ted's mother. Heather storms out to find a hotel, denouncing Ted for refusing to accept that she has grown up.

Eventually Ted makes up with Heather and co-signs her lease, telling her he wants to get to know the new her. Marshall apologizes to Robin for outing her as a Canadian, and reassures her that despite her lack of job or boyfriend she still belongs in New York with her friends. To help ease her Christmas homesickness he takes her to a Canadian-themed bar, the Hoser Hut, capped off with a crowd-pleasing karaoke rendition of Robin's teenage hit "Let's Go to the Mall".


"Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm" by Crash Test Dummies, sung by a man in the Canadian bar karaoke.

Cultural references

  • Marshall's story of the NFC Championship loss and the placard at the bar represented the impact of the debacle on Minnesotans.[1] He also calls Robin on her failure to identify Gary Anderson as the Vikings' kicker in the game - she claimed it was Rashad Tarkenton. Marshall's Vikings jersey is numbered 70, a retired number worn by Jim Marshall.
  • When Robin is playing the fishing game, one of the people in the bar says "We have a possible gill screen coming up." This is a reference to a kill screen, a game-ending bug in some arcade games, including Donkey Kong and Pac-Man, as well as a reference to "The King of Kong".
  • Barney's Christmas-song jokes about Ted's sister are based on Jingle Bells, We Wish You A Merry Christmas, and The Dreidel Song.
  • Robin compares the Walleye Saloon patrons' love for the Vikings with how she and her friends enjoy watching Hockey Night.

Critical response

Donna Bowman of The A.V. Club rated the episode with a grade B-.[2]

Michelle Zoromski of IGN gave the episode 9.8 out of 10, saying Barney steals the show once again.[3]


External links

  • Internet Movie Database
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