Honoring Thy 'Mother'


I love the way the Halloween episode of How I Met Your Mother paid homage to the Peanuts Halloween special, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. In that American classic, Linus of course eschews the big Halloween party to sit by himself in a pumpkin patch, waiting for the Great Pumpkin to fly by and pick out the most sincere pumpkin. (Apparently, this was during Charles Schulz’s laudanum phase.)

Image placeholder title

In Mother Monday night on CBS, Ted—whose world-weary angst isn’t unlike Charlie Brown’s—skips the Halloween party down at the pub to go up to the roof of his building and wait for the Slutty Pumpkin—a girl in a seductive pumpkin costume he’d meet years before at a party. Similar to TheGreat Pumpkin, the episode follows both the lively party at the bar, and lonely Ted up on the roof, in search of the orange object of his affection.

With its 30-ish creators, Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, Mother continues to bow at the altar of Gen-X pop-culture touchpoints, such as the Great Pumpkin, Top Gun (the impetus for Ted’s pal Barney’s Halloween costume) and Violent Femmes. The references might not do much for those older or younger, but they work for me.

By Michael Malone

Ted (Josh Radnor) from CBS' How I Met Your Mother.