The “Robin Sparkles” episode of How I Met Your Mother (which was also the first “Slap Bet” episode, from which it takes its title) was indisputably the show’s best (see, it even says so on Wikipedia!). In it, the characters try to figure out why Robin is afraid of malls, and in the end it turns out that it’s because she was once a Canadian teen pop singer who went on mall tours. The episode ends with the discovery of one of her videos, “Let’s Go to the Mall,” in which Robin commits every single ’80s girl pop video cliché (even though it was then the ’90s, but “the ’80s didn’t come to Canada ’til like ’93”).
ANYWAY, as a dedicated HIMYM fan, I was kind of annoyed to learn last week that the show was continuing its stunt casting with an episode next Monday starring Alan Thicke and Tiffany that “further explores” Robin’s backstory as Robin Sparkles. I wasn’t annoyed that it was happening, mind you. I was annoyed that I was reading it ahead of time, possibly in a Simpsons Comic Book Guy way. One of the joys of the Robin Sparkles episode was the surprise! That’s why I refuse to listen to the new Robin Sparkles song, “Sand Castles in the Sand,” leaked today to Variety. You can, though. There. Fine. But I’m waiting until Monday.