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Richard Isaev
Richard Isaev

15. Lucky Penny


Knowing the story does not go back any further, Ted concludes it was his own fault for missing the first flight, Ted is then told there are no seats on the second flight, meaning that he has to miss the interview. Ted is upset, but Robin comforts him and tells him that if the firm wants him they will reschedule the interview. Future Ted reveals that the firm did not reschedule and someone else got the job, however he now knows that it was his destiny not to get it after all. Three months later, the guy who got the job was made to relocate to Chicago and Future Ted knows that if he had not found the penny and triggered the whole chain of events then he might have had to leave New York, and never met his wife.




15. Lucky Penny


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  • Bittersweet Ending: Ted and Robin miss the flight to Chicago, meaning he loses his dream job. However, he says that if he hadn't stayed in New York, he wouldn't have met the Mother.

  • Call-Back: The titular penny is the one that Ted found back in "The Scorpion and the Toad". In the flashback of him and Robin in the bar, their outfits are from that episode.

  • Barney's gambling addiction is brought up again before Marshall restricted the bet to 50 dollars.

  • Didn't Think This Through: Ted hopes that a penny from 1939 is worth enough to pay for dinner. 150 times worth of a penny is only $1.50, though it has appreciated in value.

  • Ted attempts to jump a turnstile to help Barney from a subway. This leads to him getting arrested and sentenced in court.

  • Disaster Dominoes: Ted concludes that he lost his plane to Chicago, preventing him from getting his dream job. It starts with him finding an antique penny.

  • He invites Robin for hot dogs with the money he got from the penny, spotting a bridal boutique on the way home.

  • This makes Lily and Robin camp there, after which Robin had to crash at the apartment and causes Marshall to break his toe.

  • Marshall's accident initiates a bet with Barney that he can't run the marathon without training.

  • Finishing the marathon granted him free use of the subway train, and Barney gets paralyzed in the subway, literally unable to leave the train.

  • Ted, trying to rescue him, ended up trespassing on the metro and be cited to court on the day of the flight.

  • In the end, it all turned out to be crucial, because staying in New York prevented Ted from moving to Chicago, which eventually allowed him to meet The Mother.

  • Foreshadowing: Ted attributes the Lucky Penny for keeping him in New York and eventually meeting The Mother. Years later, he reveals that he named his daughter "Penny".

  • For Want of a Nail: Ted concludes that if he hadn't picked up that lucky penny, he wouldn't have missed his flight.

  • From Bad to Worse: After Barney's legs give out on the subway, a series of passengers come up to him, seemingly needing a seat in the crowded subway more than him. In order, it's a pregnant woman, an old lady, and a young boy on crutches, each of whom make Barney look increasingly worse for appearing to selfishly refuse to give up his seat.

  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Subverted. Marshall is disappointed that his months-long training is "wasted" since a broken toe means he can't run in the New York Marathon. Barney on a whim volunteers to run in his place without any training, betting 50 dollars. He actually manages it, astonishing his friends. Then Barney's body gives out on the subway, which Marshall says was worth the money.

  • Heh Heh, You Said "X": Robin gets a kick out of Lily saying Vera Wang.

  • Heroic RRoD: Barney runs a marathon without training for the endurance or stamina to complete all 26.2 miles. While he is able to complete it since he's in above average physical condition, his body completely gives out from the effort a few hours later.

  • How We Got Here: Robin and Ted trace the events that led to them missing the flight.

  • Humiliation Conga: After mocking Marshall and finishing the marathon without training, Barney couldn't move his legs and couldn't leave the train. This led to him unable to give his seat to a pregnant lady, an old woman and a kid with a cast, and getting mugged by the end of the episode.

  • Missed the Bus: Ted misses a plane to Chicago for a super-important job interview. He thought it was his destiny to make it and get his dream job. He and Robin contemplate what led to them missing that flight. Had Ted gotten that job, he would have had to eventually relocate to Chicago. This way, he stayed in New York and later met his future wife.

  • Necessary Fail: Ted needed to miss his dream job or else he would have had to move to Chicago and never met The Mother.

  • Never Heard That One Before: One of the flight attendants who helps Ted and Robin asks her if the pizzas from one broadcast were real. She mentions that they weren't and that other people have asked about it.

  • Pursue the Dream Job: Ted already works as an architect, which he loves and considers his dream job, and in this episode he is being headhunted by people who want him to run their entire office. This would be another big step in his dream career.

  • Noodle Incident: Somehow Barney gave the whole gang a rash at Christmastime.

  • Not What It Looks Like: Robin walks in on Marshall rubbing his nipples and giving himself a pep talk.

  • Ticket-Line Campout: Lily and Robin join a line for a massive sale at a bridal shop. The entire line is driven to madness when a car alarm goes off and blares through the night. When the owner shows up in the morning the entire line start throwing things at him in revenge.

  • Training Montage: Of Marshall working out for the marathon.

  • Worth It: After finding out that Barney got paralyzed at the subway after running the marathon without training, Marshall didn't regret betting his 50 dollars for this.



That day she and my mother went through all of her cupboards, desks, and drawers looking for it, while I continued to marvel over the number of slots I had already filled, but the rare San Francisco penny which Victor D. Brenner had designed was never found.


A few months earlier, while riding the subway Ted found a penny from 1939. Believing it to be valuable, Ted sold it to a collector, but only got $1.50. He and Robin spend the money on hot dogs from the other side of town, which is where they saw the line for the dress store.


Knowing the story doesn't go back any further (since there's no point in blaming the person who lost the penny in the first place), Ted concludes it was his own fault for missing the first flight. Ted is then told there are no seats on the second flight, meaning that he has to miss the interview. Ted is upset, but Robin comforts him and tells him that if the firm wants him they'll reschedule the interview.


Future Ted reveals that the firm didn't reschedule and someone else got the job, however he now knows that it was his destiny not to get it after all. Three months later, the guy who got the job was made to relocate to Chicago and Future Ted knows that if he hadn't found the penny and bought the hot dogs, if Lily hadn't forced Robin to stay awake all night, if Robin hadn't made Marshall trip over and break his toe, and if Barney hadn't run the marathon, then he might have had to leave New York. Therefore, Ted may have never met his wife if he got the job.


Turning a penny into a pendant is easy with glue on bails. Above I have a few of the rose gold bails I plucked out of my value pack with different shapes and finishes. Though all of them will technically work I find the ones with more of the textured area hold the best.


Apply a small dot of really strong glue onto the textured side of the bail. I typically use e6000 but Gorilla brand has some good really strong glues, too. Allow the glue just a little bit to start drying and then press it onto the back of your penny. You have some time to sort of move the penny about if you need to better center it or scootch it over just a bit. Allow the pendant a few hours to dry but overnight is best.


What do you think? Do you believe in either of these superstitions? Do you know anyone who does? Have you ever had a friend or family member tell you not to pick up a penny if tails is showing? How did these beliefs get started?


If you found metal, you should definitely pick it up, since it would protect you and bring you good luck. This is probably where the belief that finding a penny is lucky came from. Of course, pennies also have value. People probably also believed that finding a penny was lucky because it increased your wealth, even if only by one cent!


Long ago, people also believed that there was a constant battle between the forces of good and evil. Things were often viewed in one of two ways: either good or bad. Thus, one side of a coin (heads) came to be associated with good, which meant that the other side (tails) must be evil or unlucky.


Of course, many people pick up tails-up pennies every day without being befallen with bad luck. Still, this belief continues to persist. For fun, try putting a penny tails-up on the sidewalk and see how many people will walk by it without picking it up!


Thanks for your comment, WONDER friend! There have been many versions recited throughout time. It's neat that your version includes another line about what happens if you don't pick up the penny. Thanks for sharing another version with us and our WONDER friends! :)


Hi there, Berkleigh! Thanks for telling us how much you enjoyed today's Wonder! We are excited for your brother's birthday, please wish him a happy sixth birthday from all of us at Wonderopolis! :) We think it's neat that you told us your favorite part of a penny - the beautiful copper sheen! We know you have quite the eye for art and color, keep up the great work! :)


Penny Luck is a men's shoe company with timeless designs, high quality materials and skillful craftsmanship. Each pair of shoes comes with a signature lucky penny on the soles that can be customized, and a portion of the proceeds goes to helping Veterans with PTSD. 041b061a72


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