How I Met Your Mother: Season 6, Episode 11

The Mermaid Theory (6 Dec. 2010)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Comedy, Romance
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 1,194 users  
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Ted goes on a boating trip with Zoey's husband, "The Captain." Menawhile, Barney's "Mermaid Theory" prevents Marshal from having a nice dinner with Robin, and the narrator tries to recall the details of a fight between Lily and Barney.



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Episode cast overview:
Angus McClelland ...


Since no one else in the group can make it, Zoey and Ted are going out to a function by themselves. Lily sees this "date" as dangerous territory for the two of them since Zoey is a married woman, and they all think Zoey's husband, George van Smoot who Zoey and by association the gang call "The Captain", has a sinister air about him. It becomes even more awkward for Ted when Zoey lies to the Captain, she telling him that she is out with "friends" plural. Lily believes the only way for Ted's friendship with Zoey to continue is if he includes the Captain in their outings. But when Zoey can't make the planned outing - a sailing trip - Ted is afraid for his life having to spend 6 long hours alone with the Captain in open water. Meanwhile, Robin and Marshall, who realize they never spend time alone together, decide to go out to dinner without the others. Their evening could not be more awkward, which they both realize. Marshall attributes the awkwardness and the two of them never spending ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | Romance





Release Date:

6 December 2010 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Within the episode Zoey (who is married to the Captain) answers her phone by saying 'Ahoy'. It is implied that the captain makes her say this, however, Alexander Graham Bell (the man who patented the telephone) originally suggested that people answer the telephone by saying 'Ahoy' See more »


Ted Mosby: Hey guys, Zoey just told me about this great Frank Lloyd Wright retrospective, who's in?
Lily Aldrin: Sorry, I'm ummmm... I don't know, washing my hair.
Marshall Eriksen: Running the water.
Robin Scherbatsky: Holding the towel.
Barney Stinson: I'll be home trying to get over the fact that no one invited me to the big hair washing party.
See more »


References RoboCop (1987) See more »


Hey Beautiful
Written by The Solids
Performed by The Solids
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User Reviews

You can't beat Ted in a dress!
7 December 2010 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Flashforwards on this show are fantastic, granted that they usually end up with a disappointing conclusion (see: the goat). In this flashforward, Ted shows up in a green dress, proudly declaring something to Barney. While it could end up disappointing, this one seems promising.

But back to the show! The Mermaid Theory presents us with three stories. The A story belongs to Ted and the Captain and Ted worries about being killed by him, the B story has Barney and Lily arguing, and the C story focuses on Robin and Marshall testing out the proclaimed titular Mermaid Theory.

The A story, featuring Ted and the Captain, was funny, if a little predictable and been there, done that. The entire story focuses on Ted worrying if the Captain is going to kill him over Zoey, and a majority of the plot focuses on Ted's worried face. It was fun to see Ted so scared, but the show could have done much more with much less; it got a little tiring after a while. The story ended with a nice moment between Ted and Zoey, having a clock begin to count down, implying that sooner or later, Ted will begin to show feelings for Zoey if he doesn't already.

The B story, Barney and Lily's, was frankly a mess. I realize that the purpose was to show how Ted's fading memory results in a messy narrative, and it was a fun thing to experiment with, but the end result was nothing but a confusing mess. First Barney was upset, then we find out it was actually Lily that was upset, then Barney is making beer bottles float in the air, then we find out it was Lily that was upset and she's pregnant. It was a mess of a story, and while it was intentional, it just turned out to be a little confusing.

The C story was interesting. Robin and Marshall are having troubles with conversation, and while it completely lacks continuity, it was a fun little subplot. This is where the Mermaid Theory was truly put to the test, and we find out Marshall is acting so weird because he thinks he will eventually find Robin attractive (but who doesn't?). Seeing Robin in a manatee costume was hilarious, and the ending was kind of cute.

The theme of breaking past barriers was played out in this episode, what with Ted discovering The Captain is not a bad guy and Marshall discovering he will never have feelings for Robin. It was a neat little episode, but some confusing narration by Ted really hurt it from being a classic.

7 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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