"Noretta" opened with a great Jaws reference from Marshall, who stated the gang needed a bigger booth due to all the significant others and a visiting James Stinson. Barney continued with a solid movie reference of his own after telling everyone this was the night he would take Nora to the "Pork Authority." He the broke into an air guitar solo reminiscent of Bill S Preston Esq. and Ted Theodore Logan.
When Nora revealed her plan to take him ice skating, it looked as if Barney's wild stallion was going to remain tied up, but then she told him she also wanted to shag... Excellent!
As they left and James began to hint that he was not a fan of his brother's new beau, I couldn't for the life of me figure out where he was going with his argument. The revelation that Barney was dating someone like his mother (a.k.a. Noretta) was quite the discovery.
While the oedipal moments for the show's resident "super ego" were very comical, none were better than the ones where Marvin Eriksen (Bill Fagerbakke) materialized on the bed before Marshall... in Lily's robe. More than a couple snorts accompanied my laughter each time the two of them shared the screen in such an amazingly awkward position. Chris Elliot was no slouch, either, as I had not seen him act that creepy on screen since he played "Woogie" in There's Something About Mary.
It was a minor flub, but there was no way Nora would have been able to kiss Barney after losing her front tooth. Still, you gotta respect a woman who - after taking a shot to her grill like that - wore a rat on her head like Linguini from Ratatouille, watched a man plummet to his own death and still let Barney have his "ice cream."
Barney delivered his usual array of memorable scenes and one-liners, but the strength of this episode was in the other characters carrying their own storylines without their usual comedic crutch. I loved all the returning guest stars and thought our resident rookie, Kal Penn, was the most comfortable he's been with the cast so far as he learned more about Robin and Ted's dynamic.
Admittedly, I was a big "Weird Al" Yankovic fan as a kid, but I think I would have been "Callin' In Sick" had Ted asked me to go to the concert, so kudos to Kevin for daring to be stupid with his girlfriend's ex and deciding to take his pride and just "Eat It."
If there was anyone who would have preferred a bee sting to this week's installment, simply remember some of your favorite things (or episodes) and then you won't feel so bad. There's plenty of "Mother" to go around. Until next time, check out our favorite quotes from tonight and let us know what you thought.