As we learned while Ted and the Mother celebrate an evening of her future successes, Ted made a vow on the morning of Robin’s wedding, where Barney is suffering the mother of all hangovers. Pun intended.
He pledged—as the rest pledged—not to get as drunk as Barney for the remainder of his life.
Barney preceded the morning of the wedding with the drunken stupor that spanned the previous two episodes before the Winter Olympics hiatus. Now, leaving his friends with only the most cryptic memories of his family Hangover Elixir (circa 1941), the gang resorts to multiple tactics to wake him up without resorting to a Weekend at Barney’s photo shoot—however much it may be his dream.
I mean, the elixir was clearly a placebo, but I felt up to waiting out the rest of the episode and seeing why.
And it certainly paid off watching how each HIMYM member (but Ted, that we know of, to his credit) broke their vow at some point in the late future. Eighteen-year-old Marvin earned an actor! Robin and Barney almost earned a kid, thank you VERY much writers for rubbing salt into that wound.
But in the present day, they couldn’t even recreate the famed elixir to fix Barney’s stupor. Yes, the placebo was exactly that, but Barney invented it for the best of reasons: to help his place-bro’s when they were at their worst. When Ted drank away memories of being left at the altar. When Marshall thought he failed the Bar. When Robin and Lily did…something.
As cute as Ted’s young brood looked at the episode’s end, it didn’t make up for the second episode teaser: the Weekend at Barney’s. There was no such weekend. Barney bought the fib (an elixir in and of itself), but the photos were inevitably cancelled.