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Comedy . Romance

After sharing a kiss at the beginning of the summer, Robin and Barney are unsure how to handle their mutual attraction. After some consideration they tell the gang they have decided to remain just friends, but secretly continue seeing each other. They are able to get away with their secret romance for a couple months, but are discovered when Ted, Marshall and Lily walk in on them together. They explain to the gang that they are happy with their casual relationship, and didn’t want to complicate it by defining it. This is unacceptable to Lily, who pressures them to label their situation, and ultimately locks them in Robin’s room to force them to address it. Meanwhile, Ted is anxious about his first days as a professor at Columbia, which is made worse when he shows up at the wrong class and starts his lecture.

Episode Title: Definitions
Airs: 2009-09-21 at 08:00 pm
  • Hal Boedeker

    Romantic comedies depend on appealing actors, and these five are irresistible.

    Orlando Sentinel Full Review
  • Henry Goldblatt

    We never thought we'd laugh out loud with a laugh track again. [23 Sep 2005, p.81]

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Charlie McCollum

    This is a cast that jells immediately, hitting on all cylinders from the very first scene.

    San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times Full Review
  • Robert Bianco

    The script is humorous, though not hilarious, and the show boasts a fine cast that could, with time, jell into a great one.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Matthew Gilbert

    Like ''Friends," this is not a big-themed series so much as a bunch of little character jokes and relationship confusions getting batted around by an able cast.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Maureen Ryan

    Manages to get the balance of cuddliness and snark just right.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Mark Dawidziak

    What truly makes the Bays-Thomas collaboration smarter than your average sitcom is the storytelling chances taken by the script.

    Cleveland Plain Dealer Full Review
  • Barry Garron

    "How I Met Your Mother" introduces a level of unpredictability not usually found in comedies.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Robert Lloyd

    A considerably above-average Generation Y sitcom that manages to be both sharp and sentimental, like "Seinfeld" with feeling.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Jonathan Storm

    How I Met Your Mother is that rare TV comedy that relies more on character than jokes.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Mike Duffy

    You know you're in the presence of a fresh, original sitcom when you don't even mind the laugh track.

    Detroit Free Press Full Review
  • David Hinckley

    The format is unusual, and the ending of the premiere nicely surprising - but the element that pushes this show into the potential hit category is Neil Patrick Harris.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Verne Gay

    Could... become a very pleasant surprise.

    Newsday Full Review
  • Rob Owen

    Cute but not overly cuddly, there's an authenticity to the relationships in "Mother" that makes it a comedy worth meeting.

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Full Review
  • Melanie McFarland

    "How I Met Your Mother" may not break any comedic ground, but it's the sort of comfortable, reliable hitter CBS needs on Monday nights.

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer Full Review
  • Robert Abele

    Time will tell if viewers take to this quintet as completely as they did [Friends'] Central Perk crew... but it seems as if How I Met Your Mother is the most legitimate knockoff yet of that youthful-urbanite juggernaut.

    L.A. Weekly Full Review
  • Aaron Barnhart

    A viewer-friendly diversion.

    Kansas City Star Full Review
  • Alessandra Stanley

    The writing does not yet live up to the show's premise, but the series has potential to improve.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Tom Shales

    It is a little better than most other sitcoms, past and present -- especially those featuring wacky urban friends in their twenties experiencing the bittersweet mysteries of life.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • The premise is a winner, and the cast... couldn't be more appealing. But the overtly sitcom-y beats and one-liners seem overworked.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • John Leonard

    Not so funny but genuinely touching.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Linda Stasi

    The plot is clever and there's a nice twist at the end, but the actors haven't found a rhythm, nor have they developed any chemistry.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Doug Elfman

    The script is just poor.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Michael Abernethy

    The comedy that does occur in How I Met Your Mother isn't enough to compensate for its inconsistencies.

    PopMatters Full Review
  • Lee Siegel

    Cloying [and] lackluster.

    The New Republic Full Review
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