• Gina Denny

Episode 1.12 - Wedding

Updated: Jun 16

The episode opens with a question: Where do you see yourself in three months; this episode takes place in early January. Three months earlier is the week of the Return of the Shirt, when Ted was dating Natalie for a few weeks.

Ted and the gang have all been invited to a wedding and Ted is freaking out because he doesn't have a date.

Robin and Derrick broke up and Ted wants to take Robin to this Claudia/Stuart wedding

This episode has three bits of foreshadowing all right in a row:

  1. Ted's relationship with Robin

  2. How Ted actually meets The Mother

  3. Claudia is on the phone yelling at her cake baker/decorator - who becomes very important by the end of this episode

Ted runs into Claudia, she’s freaking out, but says that Ted didn’t check “plus one”. Barney points out that Ted really ISN’T ready to get married. Ted goes to tell Robin that she’s uninvited to the wedding, but Lily has been totally selling it and Robin’s dress is gorgeous.

Aside from Ted's disappointment, there is another point of tension: Robin is excited and she’s spent a lot of money.

Lily gives Ted terrible advice: go around the bride, ask the groom. Even Marshall knows this is a terrible idea. Ted does it, though, and Stuart gives permission for Ted to bring Robin.

Claudia calls Lily and tells her about the huge fight she just had with Stuart. The fast-forwarding through the fight is genius, pausing only to show the worst turning points.

Side note: this is Friday afternoon and nobody is at work or school?

Barney gets to Claudia first and hits on her. Ted and Marshall go to Stuart and try to convince him to get married. But Marshall tells Stuart not to get married, because if it’s too hard, then you shouldn’t commit to a lifetime of difficulty.

Cut back to Claudia and Barney at the bar. Barney is working it hard, but Lily pulls him away by his ear. Stuart shows up, Marshall and Ted in tow, and reconciles with Claudia. Marshall’s advice to not get married is actually what made Stuart want to get married.

The next day, Ted goes to pick up Robin, but Robin answers the phone and finds out she’s got an important job opportunity that means she’ll miss the wedding. Once again, Robin has chosen her career over Ted. At the wedding, Marshall and Lily agree on a single detail for their own wedding, and Ted and Barney are sitting together on the sidelines. Claudia comes over to get a picture with the woman who almost broke them up. Ted has to confess that she couldn’t make it, and Claudia drops Ted’s invite to show him that he didn’t check plus one. Ted realizes that things with Robin aren’t easy and therefore probably isn’t worth it.

Ted realizes he’s single, but he’s not even a little bit happy about it, and then he sees a pretty girl. This is a turning point, just not the one Ted was working toward.

Yes, but…

No, and…

Ted asks Robin to the wedding. She says, YES... BUT, then Ted finds out that he doesn’t have a plus one to the wedding

Ted goes to tell Robin NO... AND finds out she’s super excited and spent a lot of money and this is what he’s wanted for a long time

Ted goes to Stuart and asks if he can bring Robin. Stuart says YES... BUT it causes him and Claudia to break up

Marshall and Ted try to convince Stuart that he really does want to get married. Marshall tells him NO... AND it causes Stuart to pause and reevaluate his relationship

Is Ted finally able to bring Robin to the wedding? YES... BUT Robin chooses work instead

Does Ted have a date at the wedding? NO... AND he meets a pretty girl

This "Yes, but... No, and..." trick is a good way to check your Try/Fail cycles and keep tension in your story as your characters work through the obstacles in their path.

Writing Prompt: I want you to write down what your character wants at the beginning of the novel, just a single sentence. In this case, Ted wants a date at the wedding. Play Yes, But… No, And… with the character. How does Ted try to fulfill his want? He asks a woman to be his date. She says YES BUT… Claudia says he can’t bring a date. See if your plot follows the Yes, But… No, And… formula. Bonus points if you can have it alternate perfectly between Yes and No.

Listen to the episode here

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