HIMYM episode 4x12 (76)

Benefits - ted and robin in bed
First aired:
January 12, 2009
Pamela Fryman
Kourtney Kang
Barney's Blog

Images (7)

Ted and Robin start having sex to avoid arguments, now that they live together (much to Barney's dismay). Meanwhile, Marshall feels judged for "reading a magazine" at work.


Ted and Robin become "friends with benefits" to deal with the stress of being roommates, such as Robin leaving an empty milk carton in the refrigerator, or not taking out the garbage. Marshall catches Robin and Ted having casual sex since he used Ted's bathroom. Marshall finds it hard to use the bathroom at work, because his coworkers seem to judge him when he is walking to the restroom. Later in the episode Barney implies that he "reads a magazine" at work all the time, but he then asks for affirmation that they are talking about masturbation. Marshall blackmails Ted and Robin: he won't tell Lily and Barney about their casual sex, provided he can continue to use their restroom. However, Marshall quickly gives in and tells them about it, much to Barney's dismay and jealousy. Barney resorts to breaking old televisions from the dumpster outside MacLaren's to vent out his anger, and when he runs out of televisions, begins buying them to smash, continuously refusing to see a therapist.

When Barney begins to solve all of Ted and Robin's problems (cleaning the apartment, stocking the refrigerator with milk, taking out the trash), Ted realizes that Barney loves Robin. Barney continues to deny it to Ted, but flees to Lily, and vents about his heartbreak. Unfortunately, this is in Lily's kindergarten classroom, in front of her students. Ted, meanwhile, decides to stop having casual sex with Robin, telling her "Someone would get hurt".

Marshall finally decides not to be ashamed and finds that his coworkers' apparent attitude toward him changes at work as well. He relays his new found strength in confidence to Barney who finds it as motivation to tell Ted that he is in love with Robin. He tells Marshall that he can use Barney's own private bathroom, which is hidden as part of the wall in his office.

When Robin relays Ted's ending of casual sex to Barney, she thinks Ted was afraid of getting hurt because he's too romantic. She says "He's always like--" and then Barney finally confesses, saying "I love you" to Robin. Robin misunderstands and thinks he is just imitating Ted. They go together for a meal, while Barney doesn't attempt to correct her.

The episode ends with Future Ted restating Lily's earlier argument: "Lily was right: when two exes decide to just be casual, someone always gets hurt. But this time, it was just not one of us." The camera focuses on Barney's lingering gaze on Robin as she is laughing as this is said. Barney then looks to Ted, who is clearly okay with Barney's feelings for Robin, as he knows that Barney truly loves her.


  • When Robin misspells "weird" and Lily corrects her, Robin tells her that "no-one likes a Ted". Ted's annoying habit of correcting people was first pointed out in Spoiler Alert.
  • Robin and Ted salute after Robin tells Lily and Marshall that their casually sleeping together is a "private thing". They started doing this as a joke when they were dating, as mentioned in Slapsgiving.
  • Ted recalls Barney mentioning that he discussed his theory on world peace with "Madeleine", referring to Madeleine Albright, whom he mentions sleeping with in The Yips.
  • Ted realizes that Barney has feelings for Robin, which Barney told Lily about in Do I Know You?.
  • Barney gets jealous when other guys hook up with Robin again in Mosbius Designs and Definitions.
  • One of the issues Ted and Robin argue about is her leaving empty milk cartons in the fridge. In Twin Beds, she tells Ted she does it to remind them to buy milk when he admits that it's why he wants Robin to move in with Don, who, as it turns out, appreciates it.
  • The song heard in the background at MacLaren's when Barney tells his theory of sex solving all disputes is the same that plays in Where Were We? as Ted recites the similarities of love starting and ending.


  • Marshall discovers Ted and Robin in bed
  • Barney pours his heart out to Lily's kindergarten class
For a listing of all images on the wiki tagged as being from this episode, see Category:Benefits images.

Memorable Quotes

Barney: So I explained to her, I said, "Madeline, every single international conflict essentially boils down to sexual tension."
Ted: Every international conflict?
Barney: Every single one, dude.
Ted: So the crisis in the Middle East could be solved by...?
Barney: Gaza strippers. Next.
Ted: Uh-huh. Apartheid?
Barney: Apart thighs. What else you got?
Ted: Cold War?
Barney: "Mrs. Gorbachev, take down those pants."

Lily: Are you OK?
Barney: Yeah, why do you ask?
Lily: Well, for one thing you’re openly weeping.

Robin: It was weird. Weird. Weird. Weird. Weird. W-I-E-R-D. Weird.
Lily: That’s not how you spell weird.
Robin: Come on Lily, nobody likes a Ted.

Robin: You know what a romantic he is? He can't separate the physical from the emotional. He's all like-
Barney: I love you.
Robin: Exactly. He's not like you, you know?

Ted: I mean, she probably thinks I'm getting feelings for her.
Marshall: Well, are you?
Barney: Yes, I'm in love with her. Is what you-- That's you, dude.
Ted: No. It didn't mean anything. It was just some leftover reflex from when we were a couple.

Barney: Ted! I have to tell you the truth. I'm in love with (sees Robin) TACOS. What are you doing here?

Notes and Trivia

Goofs and Errors

  • Lily suggests that Barney goes to see a psychologist, however, in Intervention, he references a shrink named Dr. Grossbar, implying that he is already seeking psychological help. But in The Stinsons, Dr. Grossbar is mentioned again in reference to Barney's cholesterol.
  • At the end of the episode Barney and Robin go out to eat tacos, but as seen in The Best Burger in New York he doesn't like Mexican food. However, it is likely Barney just said the first word that came to his mind as he panicked seeing Robin.
  • Marshall caught Robin and Ted during their first time having casual sex, however later at the bar Robin says she was returning phone calls last night while she and Ted were having sex with Marshall's being one of them.
  • When we see Barney use Lily's kindergarten class as his own private therapy office he lights a cigarette and exasperates "...and now I'm smoking" however in the following camera-cuts the cigarette is not lit, even when he "inhales" no smoke is followed.

Allusions and Outside References

  • The magazine that Marshall takes with him to the restroom to "read a magazine" is called Them Weekly, a reference to the celebrity gossip magazine Us Weekly.
  • When pointing out how messy Robin is Ted compares her to Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds.
  • Barney told Ted Mr. Clean and Mr. Belvedere clean other bros' houses, when he was cleaning so Ted and Robin wouldn't fight.
  • Ted refers to The Postman Always Rings Twice.


Other Notes

  • While cleaning Ted's apartment, Barney gives Ted 10,000 postage stamps. In January 2009, when this episode aired, the price of a stamp in the US was $0.42. Barney spent $4,200.00 on stamps for Ted.
    • Although it is possible that 10,000 was a figure of speech, because the stamp pack didn't seem large enough to have that much stamps. 1,000 seems to be a fairer estimation, so instead of $4,200 Barney spent $420.
    • Barney could also have more stamps somewhere else in the apartment where Ted could find them and used one pack to convey his generosity.
  • The T-shirt Ted is wearing when Robin and he first decide to have sex is from AC/DC's Highway to Hell tour in Japan - presumably something she brought back. Although the front is all in Japanese the city Osaka is in English on the back.
  • When Marshall says "to read a magazine" he is referring to reading one while relieving himself in the toilet. However, Barney misunderstands it as an euphemism for masturbation.



  • Donna Bowman of The A.V. Club gave the episode an A- grade. [1]
  • Michelle Zoromski of IGN gave the episode 8.5 out of 10. [2]
  • Cindy McLennan of Television Without Pity gave the episode an B grade. [3]
  • The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 8 out of 10 stars. "Good episode, but too much like Seinfeld's 'The Deal' (they set up ground rules) and 'The Mango' (they have sex to save the friendship)."


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