A Change of Heart

HIMYM episode 6x18 (130)

First aired:
February 28, 2011
Pamela Fryman
Matt Kuhn
Barney's Blog

Images (29)

Barney gets confused feelings when Nora reveals she wants to settle down and marry. The gang mock Robin's new boyfriend, Scooby, who acts like a dog.


With Marvin Eriksen Sr.'s recent heart attack, the entire gang (minus Barney) get their hearts checked out by Dr. Kirby, a cardiologist. At MacLaren's Pub, Barney defends his decision not to get checked out, claiming he doesn't need it. Robin interrupts, telling them she plans to get another dog. Marshall tells her she doesn't need a dog; she needs a man, thinking she must feel like a seventh wheel since he is with Lily, Ted is with Zoey and Barney is with Nora.

Barney quickly tells the gang he and Nora are not together, though he still plans to sleep with her after their date tonight, claiming nothing will get in the way of his plans. At that moment, Barney catches the flu, and arrives at the restaurant sick. Nora calls off their date, and takes him home to take care of him until he falls asleep.

The next day at The apartment, Barney tells the gang how his date went. Robin enters and introduces them all to her new boyfriend: Nate Scooberman, but he tells them to just call him "Scooby". Even though Robin took his advice, Marshall criticizes her for just picking up the first guy she met on the street.

Barney pulls Lily aside, and tells her he did make an appointment with Dr. Kirby to check his heart, but wants Lily to come with him because he's scared. At the doctor's, Barney is hooked up to a heart monitor, and returns twenty-four hours later to check the results. When viewing the results, Dr. Kirby spots a few abnormalities, and asks Barney to explain what he did over those twenty-four hours.

He had another date with Nora the night before, where Nora revealed she wanted to get married and have children. Barney responds by saying he wants the exact same thing, and the two plan out how their future children and house might be.

Meanwhile, the rest of the gang are at MacLaren's with Robin's new boyfriend. Marshall notices Scooby acts exactly like a dog, and they subtly make fun of him for it. Nora and Barney enter, and Barney blackmails the gang into talking him up to her. Nora invites Barney to meet her parents and Barney agrees to, despite previously stating you should never meet a girl's parents.

The two of them leave and go back to Nora's apartment. Nora invites him inside, but Barney tells her he lied about wanting to get married, and Nora slaps him for lying to her. The two of them argue, and she storms upstairs alone.

Meanwhile, the gang have gone upstairs to Ted's apartment and are "eating some sandwiches" that Scooby bought. After a while, Scooby goes missing, and they wander the streets of New York until they find him.

Back in the present at Dr. Kirby's office, Lily realizes that Barney was telling the truth on his date; he really does want to settle down with Nora. Lily tries to convince him to go back to Nora.

Later, Barney is standing outside the Popover Pantry, watching Nora have brunch with her parents. Barney imagines what it would be like to go inside, apologize and reconcile with Nora, and meet her parents. But in reality, he can't bring himself to do it, turns around and walks away alone.


Future References (Contains Spoilers)

  • Robin mentions breaking up with Scooby in The Exploding Meatball Sub.
  • Future Ted mentions that Barney always says "I only have one rule", followed by a different rule. (The exception to every rule is "...unless she's hot".) In Challenge Accepted, Barney does this again, saying "I only have one rule, new is always better."
  • Barney's respective blackmail material against Ted and Lily are referenced in later episodes:
    • Barney blackmails Lily by mentioning her class' pet hamster, Mr. Buttons. In Challenge Accepted, Lily introduces her class to Mr. Buttons 2, and tells them to be gentle with him because of what happened with Mr. Buttons 1.
    • Barney blackmails Ted by mentioning "the thermos", and in Vesuvius, Robin mentions Jed Mosley, a character from Tony's The Wedding Bride movies based on Ted, getting his penis stuck to a thermos in The Wedding Bride Too.
  • Noretta shows that Nora shares a lot of similarities with Barney's mother.
  • Marshall mentions Paul Shaffer, whom Robin stalked when she was younger, as discussed in P.S. I Love You.


  • Marshall gets his heart checked after his father's heart attack.
  • Nora takes Barney home to rest.
  • Nora takes care of a sick Barney.
  • Nora playing the violin for a sick Barney.
  • Robin introduces the gang to Scooby.
  • Scooby has dog-like mannerisms.
  • Marshall and Ted play frisbee with Scooby.
  • Nora and Barney discuss a possible future together.
  • Barney blackmails the gang into talk him up to Nora.
  • Scooby offers his "sandwiches" to the gang.
  • Barney tells Nora he lied to sleep with her.
  • Lily convinces Barney to chase after Nora.
  • Nora has brunch with her parents.
  • Barney looks in on Nora and her parents.
For a listing of all images on the wiki tagged as being from this episode, see Category:A Change of Heart images.

Memorable Quotes

Dr. Kirby: I'd like you to wear this heart monitor for the next twenty-four hours.
Barney: Flag on the play, doc, I have a date tonight!
Dr. Kirby: Don't worry, it's totally safe. Unless part of your big date involves connecting yourself to a car battery.
Barney: Well now it doesn't.

Marshall: Now Ted is with Zoey, and Barney is with Nora and Lily is with the Big Fudge.
Barney: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, Big Fudge. With?! I am not "with" Nora! Wrong preposition! Later tonight I'm hoping to be on Nora. Right? Or under Nora. Am I right? Or, we're all adults, so I'll just say it, behind Nora.
Robin: I don't know, this will be your second date!
Lily: Oooh, Barney's got feelings for a girl.
Barney: Yeah... penis-feelings! Because she's hot!

Barney: I don't need to go to a heart doctor. I drink every day, I sleep three hours every night, and I have multiple sex partners. I'm doing everything right.
Ted: Barney, come on, this is important. We need you around for a long time. Without you, we'd have to find some other sex-fueled, depraved animal to entertain us.
Robin: Actually, I'm thinking about getting a dog again.
Lily: Oh, can she? Can she get a dog, please dad?
Ted: No. If you get a dog, I'm going to be the one stuck taking care of it.
Robin: You wouldn't have to take care of it.
Ted: Really? And who watered the philodendron on your bookcase and sang it back to life?
Robin: Yeah, that was made out of silk, Ted.
Marshall: Okay, Robin, what you need is indeed something that buries a bone, but I'm not talking about a dog. I'm talking about a man.

Marshall: Oh, Robin, if you weren't so much stronger than me, I would slap you.
Robin: What? You told me to meet someone.
Marshall: I know, and, look, he seems plenty nice, but I didn't mean bring home the first guy you bump into on the street.

Nora: This might be a little forward, but do you have a bomb strapped to your chest?
Barney: This? No, no. It's a heart monitor. It's a medical thing.
Nora: Oh, I'm so sorry. I've been trying not to stare at your chest all night.
Barney: What's that like?
Nora: So is everything okay?
Barney: My friend's dad passed away from a sudden heart attack. So I'm just getting myself checked out, too.
Nora: Oh, I am so sorry.
Barney: Thanks.

Marshall: Oh, I actually think he's quite intelligent for what he is.
Robin: And what is he?
Robin: He's a dog.
Ted: He's totally a dog.
Robin: What? You saw him hitting on someone?
Marshall: No, I didn't say, "He a dawg." I said, "He's a dog." As in, a dog.

Ted: And the best part is, he got his shots.
Scooby: Hey, guys, got my shots.
Lily: You are so playful.
Ted: Nice job fetching those.
Robin: Guys Yeah, guys, cut it out.
Lily: Scooby, sit.
Ted: So, Scooby, we were thinking if you're going to be hanging out with our Robin, you should be properly vetted.
Marshall: Uh, yeah.
Ted: We hope our nosiness doesn't give you "paws."
Lily: How did you meet? Tell us the "tail."
Marshall: Yes, how did you "whisker" off her feet?
Ted: Shed a little light on the matter.
Lily: Did you send her an e-mail, or did you "collar"?
Robin: Guys, just stop hounding him. Oh, geez.
Ted: No, no, you're right, Robin. We don't want your new guy to "flea."
Marshall: We're just trying to make sure he's not a heel.
Ted: So, moving from Canada, that transition must have been pretty "ruff."
Scooby: Sure was. My part of Canada's pretty different from New York.
Lily: Oh, I bet it was an "Incredible Journey."
Ted: What part of Canada is that?
Lily: Speak.
Scooby: Labrador.
Lily: This isn't happening.

Notes and Trivia

Goofs and Errors

  • In the 2006 flashback at the end of the episode, Barney sees Marshall drop a calzone and then carry on eating it. As this happens Barney is clearly holding an iPhone 4, which was not released until mid-2010; in fact, the iPhone itself wasn't released until 2007.
  • Marshall says that Robin is stronger than him, but in The Fight​, Marshall is shown to be extremely strong and it is unlikely that Robin would be stronger than him. This could be explained by the fact that Marshall would not fight a girl.
  • While talking to Nora, Marshall says they did not meet Barney at a strip club, his tone implying that he was lying. However Marshall actually met Barney at MacLaren's, not a strip club.
  • When Barney is on date with Nora, there is flashback when Lily was saying "Promise me you won't lie to Nora!" loudly while she was holding Barney's collar. But in the previous scene when Barney asks Lily to accompany him to come to the doctor, Lily didn't say it loudly while holding Barney's collar, but that's probably Barney exaggerating it in his mind.
  • When barney opens his shirt to show the heart monitor at dinner with Nora, he clearly has chest hair despite numerous references in other episodes to barney having his chest waxed (And appears with no chest hair when shirtless)

Allusions and Outside References

  • Robin dreams about Mr.T.
  • Ted recalls being in the front row at an N*Sync concert in 1998 and catching JC Chasez' shirt.
  • Scooby's real life actor, Robbie Amell, also portrayed Fred Jones in Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins and Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster.
  • Scooby most likely got his name from the popular cartoon dog, Scooby Doo, and his dog-like qualities.
  • When talking with Nora, Marshall whispers to Lily, covering the glass in the process. This is an allusion to someone testifying before Congress, specifically Oliver North in the 1987 Iran-Contra hearings, when his lawyer often prevented him from answering by whispering to him and covering the microphone. North's response was often the same as Lily's: "I don't recall."


  • Stones - Barbarossa

Other Notes

  • The episode was originally titled "Heart Failure", but was changed before airing.
  • The song Nora plays on the violin was "Brahms Lullaby" in F Major, which was first performed in Vienna, Austria in 1869.



How I Met Your Mother - 'A Change of Heart' Podcast

How I Met Your Mother - 'A Change of Heart' Podcast

Podcast for the episode

Featuring an interview with Josh Radnor.


  • This episode premiered to 9.239 million viewers.[1]
  • Donna Bowman at the A.V. Club gave the episode an A-.[2] On the topic of Barney and Nora's romance, she felt "we are led through a storyline we should want, but one that strangely fails to satisfy thanks to its lack of nuance. Then it’s yanked from underneath us, and the real story is revealed, a change that is far less dramatic, far more interior, far less obvious or easy to interpret. We don’t know quite where we’re going, and that, perverse as it may seem, is what we want on this show that supposedly is completely upfront about exactly where it’s going. So we’re right where they want us, and that’s exactly where I, for one, want to be."
  • Angel Cohn at Television Without Pity gave the episode a B-.[3]
  • Robert Canning at IGN gave the episode a 8.5 out of 10.[4] He praised the friendly interactions between the gang, saying "this wasn't one of How I Met Your Mother's over-the-top gimmick episodes where the gang raced through New York or a visual countdown led to some bad news. This was just a great showcase of these characters interacting in silly, poignant and funny ways that reminded you yet again why we keep tuning in every Monday night."
  • The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 8.5 out of 10 stars. " part is the review of Barney's heart monitor results..."


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