After a couple week’s worth of unscheduled re-runs (Side note: Since when is it OK for all my favorite shows to go on mid-season breaks simultaneously?), How I Met Your Mother returned on a high and uncomfortable note, to say the least. Another hilarious, HIMYM-bred theory was put on the table, Alan Thicke (Growing Pains) and Dave Coulier (Full House) were guest stars, and Robin Sparkles underwent a major transformation. But before I begin this recap, it is essential that I define and explain the nature of the new theory. I give you, The Doblerdommer Theory.

The Doblerdommer Theory is a combination of two separate clauses that represent entirely different outcomes when pursued. It’s the difference between charming and alarming; long-lost lover and crazy-ass stalker; letting the universe work its magic and controlling it for our own benefits. Now pay attention, because this is very important.

“Dobler” (named after some movie character they all know and adore) is the term used when pure chance meets instant connection, and both people are into each other. “Dommer” (named after yet another movie character) is the term used when manipulative undermining leads to planned coincidence, and only one person is into it. For example: (Dobler) You’re walking out of class and spot a gorgeous guy who happens to be smiling in your direction. The clock reads 1PM and he’s standing outside of Room 301. Next week, you casually pass by Room 301 at exactly 1pm and ask him where to find Room 282. He smiles, you swoon, and the rest is history. (Dommer) You’re walking out of class and you set your sights on a random guy who is smiling at the girl next to you. The clock reads 1pm and he’s standing outside of Room 301. Next week, you skip study hall and sprint to Room 301 at 1pm sharp just to hand out an awkward compliment about his facial hair. He winces, you blush, and you’re history. See, the line between “dobler” and “dommer” is very blurry and can be easily crossed if one person reads the signs wrong. If both people are into each other, any move one makes appears flirtatious, adorable, and even magical to the other. But if the connection is one-sided, any and all attempts at sweet romance come off as raging psychopathy. Now that we’re all somewhat acclimated on the subject, let’s move forward.

It all starts when Ted sees a pretty blonde in the subway, whom he proceeds to stutter-call embarrassingly after, because he couldn’t stand the thought of not meeting her (this phrase will come up again). When that doesn’t work, Ted does what he does best, and begins to plot a ridiculous, elaborate plan to meet her again. Cue the yellow legal pad…and the back-up legal pad. The gang convinces him that his search goes against everything he believes in about destiny. After lots of whiny protest, he eventually calls the whole thing off. Then, as if it were aligned in the stars, he bumps into her on the college campus where he teaches. Destiny, riiiighhhtttt? DEAD. WRONG. Turns out that pretty blonde subway girl, who we later find out goes by the name Jeanette, is even crazier than Ted. Not only did she 1) Have a yellow legal pad, 2) Notice him on the subway and attribute his chalky pants and tweed blazer to his profession as a teacher, 3) Sought him out at his place of work and started a fire in order to draw him out of the building, but she’s also been stalking him for more than a year. That’s right, Jeanette’s first encounter with Ted was not on a New York subway–it was the moment she laid eyes on him when he graced the cover of New York Magazine for being the youngest architect to build an NYC skyscraper. If that doesn’t scream “DOMMER,” I have no idea what does. When Ted learns the whole truth and nothing but, he has two choices: Run away from the blonde lunatic, or dub her a “dobler.” If you know Ted, it came as no surprise when he chose Option #2.

Robin gets extra tense during the “Dobler” vs. “Dommer” discussion, which probes the rest of the group to question her. It eventually comes out that Robin used to be a “dommer” (say whaaaat?!), but she refuses to go into any details. Barney, being her fiance and well, Barney, makes it his sole mission to uncover Robin’s deep dark stalker secret. In true Barney fashion, he flies to Vancouver, interviews all of her ex-boyfriends, and finally uncovers a hidden gem that exposes Robin as the “dommer” she really was. In a Canadian VH1 video expose titled Underneath the Tunes, Robin Sparkles’ true identity is revealed through celebrity testimony (Dave Coulier being my absolute favorite), backstage interviews (Canadians are way more polite than Americans), and concert footage of the teen pop star herself. After being rejected by the mysterious “P.S.,” she turns to the dark side and brings her music with her. In one of the biggest Canadian music scandals to date, Robin Sparkles changes her name to Robin Daggers, and performs a grungy, punk-rock song called P.S. I Love You (the ultimate “dobler” move). Through a series of coercion, assumption, and plain insanity, Barney accuses Alan Thicke of being “P.S.” and proceeds to get his ass completely kicked. When all was said and done, Robin revealed the identity of “P.S.” (Paul Schafer–not so mysterious after all), Barney wound up with a black eye, and he finally understood how a “dobler” can turn into a “dommer” given the circumstances. Thankfully, Robin has a thing for cute blonde dommers.

Initially, The Doblerdommer Theory was modeled after Marshall and Lily‘s first encounter as college freshmen. Lily needed a cable for her stereo (remember those?), Marshall’s door was the first one she knocked on, and they’ve been inseparable ever since (minus Season 2, when Lily left Marshall to be an artist in San Fran. The thought of them breaking up still makes me tear up). Totally a “dobler,” or so we’ve been led to believe. Turns out that Lily’s been hiding a deep dark secret of her own all these years. After spotting Marshall early on, Lily actually broke her stereo cord and knocked on four or five doors before she got to Marshall’s, all because she couldn’t stand the idea of not meeting him (told you that phrase would pop up again). Marshall still thought of her as a “dobler,” and all was right in the world. Except for Ted and Jeanette; that, I have no explanation for.

For more information regarding The Doblerdommer Theory, be sure to scour your brain for all those blurry lines that you may or may not have crossed over the years. Also, check out Robin Daggers in the flesh. How I Met Your Mother airs every Monday night at 8PM EST on CBS!


20-something creative writer turned corporate, armed with big ideas and even bigger dreams. Avid reader, lover of all things musical, incessant blogger. Sucker for movie quotes, feature writing, and a good book. To inspire and be inspired.

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