"Lucky Penny" is the 15th episode in the second season of the television series How I Met Your Mother and 37th overall. It originally aired on February 12, 2007.

"Lucky Penny"
How I Met Your Mother episode
Episode no.Season 2
Episode 15
Directed byPamela Fryman
Written byJamie Rhonheimer
Production code2ALH15
Original air dateFebruary 12, 2007
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Monday Night Football"
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How I Met Your Mother (season 2)
List of How I Met Your Mother episodes


Ted and Robin are running through the airport, trying to catch a plane to Chicago, where Ted has an job interview with a large architecture firm for the job of running the company's New York branch. As they reach their gate, the flight attendant tells them they cannot get on the flight. They explain that Ted had to attend a court date that morning for jumping a subway turnstile, and she asks them to wait while she talks with the flight. While they wait, Robin suggests that their lateness was in fact Barney's fault.

The show then flashbacks a few months to when Marshall had just broken his toe. He is especially disappointed, as he had been training hard to run the New York City Marathon. Barney complains about his moaning, and states that running a marathon is easy, even without training. Marshall then bets Barney he cannot complete the marathon, and Barney — who has a gambling addiction — accepts the wager.

The next day, to the group's surprise, Barney completes the marathon quite easily, and shows no signs of being tired. Marshall pays up on the bet, and tells Barney that marathon runners get to ride the subway free that day. Barney decides to ride the subway and show off the medal he was given for finishing the marathon. Later, Ted receives a call from Barney, who is stuck on the subway, after finding he is suddenly unable to move his legs. Ted agrees to come and get him, but in his rush, does not pay to use the subway, and so jumps the turnstile, explaining his court date in the present, but is tackled by a cop before he can help Barney, leaving him trapped on the train.

The story then returns to the present, where Ted agrees the whole situation is Barney's fault. The attendant then tells them that their flight has already left, but they may be able to catch another flight leaving shortly. While making their way to the other gate, Ted remembers why Barney ran the marathon in the first place and realises that Robin is to blame for the lateness.

The story flashes back again, to April 2006, where Marshall decides to run the marathon to get into shape, with help from Lily and a guide book. One piece of advice suggests that the runner should apply petroleum jelly to areas affected by chafing, including the nipples. While following this advice, Robin walks in on Marshall, surprising him so much that he falls, breaking his toe.

In the present, Ted summarises that if Marshall hadn't broken his toe, Barney would not have run, and not been stuck on the subway, so Ted would not have had to go to court, and they would not have been late. Robin tells Ted that she isn't to blame, and the reason why she was at the apartment that morning was because of Lily.

In another flashback, Robin and Ted spot a line of people camping outside a wedding dress store for a big sale. When they tell Lily, she decides to go as well, and Robin agrees to camp out with her for the night. They cannot get any sleep because of a car alarm, so Robin decides to sleep at Ted's apartment that day, where she finds Marshall, causing him to break his toe.

Meanwhile, Ted and Robin reach the second flight in time, and ask if there are any seats. While the attendant searches, Ted realises it wasn't Lily's fault.

A few months earlier, while riding the subway Ted found a penny from 1939 (during the events of The Scorpion and the Toad). Believing it to be valuable, Ted sold it to a collector, but only got $1.50. He and Robin decide to spend the money on hot dogs from the other side of town, which is where they saw the line for the dress store.

Knowing the story doesn't go back any further (since there's no point in blaming the person who lost the penny in the first place), Ted concludes it was his own fault for missing the first flight, Ted is then told there are no seats on the second flight, meaning that he has to miss the interview. Ted is upset, but Robin comforts him and tells him that if the firm wants him they'll reschedule the interview. Future Ted reveals that the firm didn't reschedule and someone else got the job, however he now knows that it was his destiny not to get it after all. Three months later, the guy who got the job was made to relocate to Chicago and Future Ted knows that if he hadn't found the penny and triggered the whole chain of events then he might have had to leave New York, and never met his wife.

In the closing scene, it is dark and Barney is still stuck on the subway with three thugs, forgotten by Ted. One toys with Barney's medal and he gives it up without a word, and the thugs leave.


Craig Thomas later stated that Ted's children's names, Luke and Penny, came from the title of this episode.[1]

Critical responseEdit

Staci Krause of IGN gave the episode 8.8 out of 10.[2]


  1. ^ Aguilera, Leanne (February 3, 2014). "Jennifer Love Hewitt Turned Down How I Met Your Mother?! (Plus, Series Finale Secrets Revealed...)". E! Online. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
  2. ^ Staci Krause (February 13, 2007). "How I Met Your Mother: "Lucky Penny" Review. A penny minted in 1939 leads to a series of unfortunate events that ultimately work out for the best". IGN. News Corporation. Retrieved November 17, 2017.

External linksEdit