Episode 13 is one of the most important episodes in season one, this is definitely not a filler episode.
“Drumroll, Please” picks up where we left off in “The Wedding”. Ted is at Claudia and Stuart’s wedding reception depressed and dateless thanks to Robin being asked to anchor the evening news. Barney is chatting up a bride’s maid when Ted looks around the room and locks eyes with a cute girl. We flash forward to the next morning with Ted telling Lily and Marshall he had an amazing night at the reception with an amazing girl. Marshall agrees the reception was amazing because of the delicious wedding cake. Ted begins to them the previous night’s events.
We flash back to the reception and Ted is talking with the woman from before. The woman tells Ted she has a rule to never hook up at weddings because all the romantic moments aren’t real. After some flirting and mentioning in advance she will not sleep with Ted, the girl suggests her and Ted have a wonderful night together and then never see each other again so that way the moment will never be tarnished. Ted agrees to join Victoria for the evening and ground rules are laid out, no emails, phone numbers, or real names. Shortly after the girl introduce herself as Buttercup and Ted introduces himself as Lando Calrissian, Barney runs up to Ted screaming his name and bragging about picking up the second hottest bride’s maid. With his Star Wars cover name being blown, Ted introduces himself as Ted. Buttercup gives up her real name is Victoria but is adamant they don’t share their last names. Ted steals a bottle of champagne and Victoria steals the bride’s bouquet before they ditch the reception. Back in the present, Lily and Marshall tell Ted how bad Victoria’s idea is and how he should never have agreed to let her go so easily. Marshall sums it up to Ted by referencing the wedding cake, “Ted, how do I explain this to you. Last night, I ate the best cake of my life. Do you think I’m gonna let that cake out of my life? Hell no. I’m gonna find out what bakery made that cake and I’m gonna get some more cake.”
Returning to his story, Ted is plays a piano while Victoria tap dances for him. While sitting on the piano bench, Ted tries to kiss Victoria but she backs away saying that if the kiss is bad it will ruin the magic of the evening. Victoria tells Ted the best part of any first kiss is the lead up to it or as she puts it, the “drumroll” and suggests they should do that. Ted and Victoria lean in and share the moment. Flashing back to the present, Lily and Marshall tell Ted Victoria sounds amazing and he is an idiot for not getting her number. Ted tries to ignore Lily and Marshall but quickly realizes he has to see Victoria again. Ted calls Claudia on her honeymoon to ask if she knows who Victoria is and to find out where the cake came from for Marshall. Claudia surprised at the audacity of Ted asking about another women when he almost ruined the wedding to bring Robin, tells him there wasn’t anyone named Victoria on the wedding list and hangs up on him. When asked if he knows anything else about Victoria, Ted remembers she set with the bride’s maids and maybe they know her. Ted calls Barney and asks him to call the bride’s maid he took home. Barney tells Ted no at first but ultimately calls her when Ted agrees to go to Foxy Boxing. The bride’s maid asks what her shoes looked like to help her memory and Ted tells her they were brown with little snow flakes but this doesn’t help the bride’s maid’s memory. Ted gives up, assuming that fate had determined he would never see Victoria again.
Later that day, Robin meets Lily at the apartment to tell her about her new promotion. Robin mentions she feel bad for bailing on Ted and Lily tells her Ted’s evening with the mysterious Victoria. Stunned by the story, Robin tells Lily she knows who Victoria is. Robin confesses to Lily she went to the reception to surprise Ted but saw him leaning in to kiss Victoria. Unknown to Robin, it was just the “drumroll”. Robin runs to the bathroom and starts to cry in a stall. A short time later, Victoria enters the bathroom and hears someone crying. Victoria tries to comfort Robin even though she doesn’t know her. While talking through the stall, all Robin can see is Victoria’s shoes. Lily interrupts Robin to confront her about her obvious feelings for Ted. Robin admits she likes Ted but that things haven’t changed between them because she still doesn’t want the same things at Ted. Robin tells Lily she is going to tell Ted who Victoria is so he can be happy. Lily counters by suggesting Robin tell Ted her feelings and they can both be happy. Lily and Robin leave for MacLaren’s unsure what Robin will tell Ted.
Down at MacLaren’s, Robin pulls Ted aside to talk to him but is interrupted by Ted’s phone ringing. Ted answers his phone and to his surprise Claudia and Stuart are on the other end. Claudia, feeling less stressed after a couple of vodka cranberries, apologizes for being hostile with Ted. Marshall tells Ted to ask about the wedding cake. When Ted asks about the bakery, Claudia tells Ted it’s called Buttercup Bakery. Ted says Buttercup Bakery aloud and remembers Victoria’s fake name was Buttercup. Robin flashes back to her run in with Victoria and how she mentioned designing the wedding cake. Marshall excited that Victoria made the cake tells Ted to go get her and have her move in immediately. Lily stops Ted and tries to get Robin to finish her talk with him. Robin takes a moment to reflect and tells Ted to “go get her”. On the cab ride to the bakery, Ted flashes back to the night with Victoria for the last time. Ted and Victoria return to the reception only to find everyone has left. Victoria mentions hoping for one last dance and Ted pushes play on a small boombox. The boombox plays Michael Bublé’s cover of “You Don’t Know Me”. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZhXx1NQTn0) Ted and Victoria share a dance and Ted tries to share a kiss again. When Victoria pulls away, Ted begs her for her last name but she refuses. Ted tells Victoria her plan is flawed because he will have “all these great memories but one sucky memory of her walking away”. Victoria smiles and tells Ted to close his eyes and count to five. Ted closes his eyes, counts to five slowly and opens his eyes to find Victoria gone. Ted is left alone just as the music swells and Michael Bublé sings the most emotional chorus of the song. Outside of the bakery, Ted starts to second guess whether he should see Victoria again, “and to our dying day, we will remember everything about that night as perfect. Maybe we both need that. So many things go wrong in life, but this is the one thing that never will. It’ll always, always be pure, unadulterated awesome. If I walk in there, I’m robbing both of us of what could be…” Barney interrupts Ted and yells “the meter’s running, crap of get off the pot!” Ted walks into the bakery as Pavement’s “Spit On A Stranger” plays. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJFGhFtKxPc) Victoria looks up, sees Ted and says “thank god” and the two finally share their first kiss.
“Drumroll, Please” is one of the best episodes of How I Met Your Mother. My friends and I have debated about Victoria and this episode on numerous occasions. I am going to say upfront I agree with Marshall and Lily that having a once in a lifetime evening and then walking away is stupid. If I was Ted, I would be pissed if I never saw Victoria again but I wouldn’t have gone through with her plan. I love how at the beginning of the episode future Ted says that reality is the enemy and it can take everything away from you but at the end of the episode reality gave something very special to Ted. One of the reasons why I love How I Met Your Mother is how “beautifully sad” it can be. The scene where Robin decided whether to tell Ted about her feelings or to wish him luck is the first of many examples to come. Also my favorite scene is an example.
My favorite scene is the dance sequence between Ted and Victoria. I hadn’t heard “You Don’t Know Me” until then and it is the second song for me that will always be tied to How I Met Your Mother, the first being “Cigarettes and Coffee” from the pilot. The look on Ted’s face when he opens his eyes and finds Victoria gone, mixed with Michael Bublé singing what Ted and myself are feeling, hits me in the heart every time.