How I Met Your Mother Wiki
How I Met Your Mother Wiki

Duel Citizenship

HIMYM episode 5x05 (93)

First aired:
October 19, 2009
Pamela Fryman
Chuck Tatham
Barney's Blog

Images (9)

Robin faces deportation so Barney decides to help her become an American citizen. Ted and Marshall go a road trip to relive their college days but Marshall invites Lily along.


Future Ted explains that Robin's Canadian quirks and mannerisms were strange (slang, imperviousness to cold, and severe aggression in barfights), which got her into trouble in the fall of 2009. After a bar fight, she is charged with assault and could be deported unless she gets American citizenship. Barney takes the opportunity to reiterate that Canada is lame and America is awesome. He encourages her to take the citizenship test and teaches her to act as obnoxiously as a typical American. Robin takes on the role perfectly, but on the way back home, she walks past her Canadian bar, the Hoser Hut, and tempted by her heritage, she goes in. After some serious drinking with Canada's national women's curling team, she blacks out and ends up in a Toronto hotel room.

Barney has tracked her down and convinces her to come home and take the test. They stop at a Tim Hortons coffee shop, where the cashier mistakes Robin for American. Downtrodden, Robin feels neither Canadian nor American. Barney makes a speech ridiculing Canadians for letting such an amazing woman go and then is promptly beaten up by some men. After some free Canadian health care, they return home and Robin decides she wants dual citizenship.

Meanwhile, Ted hears that a pizzeria in Chicago named Gazzola's is closing down. He and Marshall used to drive straight from Wesleyan to the pizzeria when they were in college, even though the pizza was awful. The road trips (fueled only by jerky and Tantrum (a soda which according to Future Ted had "the highest caffeine level legally available over the counter") helped cement their friendship, and Ted proposes they take one last trip. Pumped to spend some personal time with Marshall (and reeling from a severe caffeine high), Ted is disappointed to find out that Lily is coming as well.

Lily needs bathroom breaks frequently and insists (instead of rock music like the Proclaimers) they listen to an audiobook about a man's relationship with his dog (narrated by Kenny Rogers). Ted is annoyed and becomes exasperated when they stop at a bed and breakfast called Crumpet Manor instead of driving through the night. After Lily and Marshall engage in some couples' activities, Ted tricks Marshall into driving with him to Gazzola's in his bathrobe. They enjoy the pizza, but Marshall becomes guilty over leaving Lily and they leave. Ted admits his anger at Lily tagging along and the two stop speaking.

They drive back to the bed and breakfast not speaking to each other, but the audiobook story they are listening to makes them realize they need each other's friendship and they reconcile. Lily hasn't even noticed that they're gone because she has been powerfully sedated by the hotel's spa services. After some severe stomach pains from the pizza, the three head back to New York. They are worried they may have left Lily behind but she is shown clinging to the top of the car using the power of the highly caffeinated soda.


  • Lily's frequent urination problem appears in Slutty Pumpkin.
  • In the flashback to Ted and Marshall's college-era Gazzola's roadtrips, "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" by The Proclaimers is playing in Marshall's Fiero. This was the only song the car was capable of playing, as explained in Arrivederci, Fiero​​​​.
  • Marshall and Lily's weird codependence, seen in Showdown​​​​ and Woooo!​​​​, appears.
  • During her brawl at the Hoser Hut, Robin is wearing a Vancouver Canucks jersey. The Canucks were established as her favorite hockey team in The Platinum Rule​​, Intervention, and Robin 101​​​​.
  • Robin not wearing cold weather clothes in the winter like the others is mentioned in Little Minnesota​​​​, where she is introduced to the Hoser Hut.
  • Robin faces the possibility of deportation in The Possimpible because of her unemployment, but manages to stay after Barney finds her a job.
  • Barney suggesting he and Robin have sex because they're in a hotel room is number 9 on Lily's "50 Reasons To Have Sex" list in The Naked Man.

Future References (Contains Spoilers)

  • Robin again faces legal issues from assault in The Stinson Missile Crisis​​​​​.
  • In The Exploding Meatball Sub​​​​​ Ted mentions Marshall and Lily having "morphed into one giant, hermaphroditic blob." 
  • Robin receives her US citizenship between The Rough Patch​​​​​ (where Barney and Robin consider getting married to speed up her application) and Say Cheese​​​​​ (where there is a flashback to the gang celebrating her citizenship approval).
  • In The Poker Game, Marshall informs Daphne that Gazzola's has re-opened as they pass through Illinois, and Ted gets a pizza delivered to him on the road as a belated wedding present. Marshall also references the restaurant's rampant health code violations, telling Daphne that it closed in the first place because of rats.
  • Barney again visits a Tim Hortons in Canada in P.S. I Love You.
  • Marshall buys another bottle of Tantrum as one of the Stinson's Hangover Fixer Elixir ingredients in Rally.


For a listing of all images on the wiki tagged as being from this episode, see Category:Duel Citizenship images.

Memorable Quotes

Barney: We'll stay up all night! I'm gonna drill you... and then we're gonna study. No, seriously. We're gonna do some cramming... and then we're gonna study. No, really. We're gonna bone up on—
Robin: Alright, I get it.
Barney: Sorry, it's a rich area.
Barney tries to help Robin study for her citizenship test

Barney: There's kids playing hockey on the back. It's like you want us to make fun of you!
Barney comments on a Canadian $5 bill

Robin: How do you know the Canadian citizenship test is easy?
Barney: It's Canada. Question one, do you want to be Canadian? Question two, really?

Notes and Trivia

Goofs and Errors

  • In a 1999 flashback Marshall is seen drinking Tantrum and eating jerky in his Fiero, breaking his own rule about no food or drink in the car, even including groceries, which was established in Arrivederci, Fiero.
  • It is said that Gazzola's pizza is worth the 22 hour drive, however, Middletown, Connecticut to Chicago is around 880 miles which would only be around a 13 hour drive. Even though they stopped for Lily to pee it would not add 9 hours on to the drive.
    • It's worth noting that their old college trips were mapless, and may have taken them far off course.
  • Ted asked if Marshall wanted to crank up some Van Halen like the old times, but The Proclaimers 500 miles is the only song they could listen to, besides the radio.
    • It's possible that they listened to Van Halen on a stereo or some other music-playing device. Ted doesn't mention that they listened to Van Halen in the Fiero specifically. 
  • At the beginning of the episode, it is mentioned that everything at Crumpet Manor was designed for couples. Yet somehow, Lily manages to have such a good time by herself that she doesn't even notice Marshall and Ted left her.
  • The mouse shown exploding the FDA's study of Tantrum was ostensibly part of the control group, and thus shouldn't have received any Tantrum whatsoever.
  • Barney gave Robin advice to pursue US citizenship. However, considering that Robin just moved to New York in 2005 (based on a flashback sequence in Last Forever - Part One), this would have not been legally possible since this option is open only to those who have had green card status for at least five years (or three years if they have attained it from marriage to a US citizen, which Robin clearly did not do at this point). Based on the episode The Possimpible which aired in the season before Duel Citizenship, it did not seem likely that Robin had a green card since most green card holders cannot get deported solely on the basis of prolonged unemployment. Even if Robin had a green card by the time of Duel Citizenship, she would not had had it long enough to be legally eligible for US citizenship at that point. Episode writer Chuck Tatham also mentioned in the episode commentary based on his experiences of becoming a US citizen that the whole process takes months and that the test is more than a day long. That said, fiction writers often portray these rules to be 'simpler' to focus on the core story arcs.  
  • Barney got free healthcare in Canada, which would not be possible due to the fact that Canada requires immigrant status and citizenship status for a set period of time before free healthcare applies.

Allusions and Outside References

  • The highly-caffeinated green soda, "Tantrum," that the boys drink is a reference to a series of sodas in the late 90s including Jolt Cola, Mountain Dew, Surge, amongst others.
  • The audiobook they listen to in the car is a parody of the book "Marley & Me", adapted into a film.
  • Tim Hortons is a chain of Canadian coffee shops. They have expanded into several states and are even listed on the NYSE.  There were no mentions of any such US branches on the show.    
  • In the bar fight at Hoser Hut, one guy in a Vancouver jersey has "Bays" on the back, referring to Carter Bays, one of the creators of the show.
  • Ted suggests that they listen to Van Halen.
  • Robin mentions a Bryan Adams/Rich Little double bill in Toronto.
  • The Tim Hortons employee mentions the "Leafs beating Edmonton", with "Beauchemin going five-hole in OT".
  • Robin says that the Tim Hortons is "around the corner from the Hockey Hall of Fame".
  • Barney's speech in Tim Hortons denouncing Canada for "letting awesome chicks like Robin Scherbatsky get away" references the longtime issue of talented Canadians emigrating to the US.
  • While Lily is too relaxed from her facial at Crumpet Manor to notice Marshall calling her, the photograph next to her smartphone is of Czar Nicholas II of Russia and his wife Alexandra.


Other Notes

  • International Airdate: Australia: March 11, 2010 on Channel 7; United Kingdom: June 24, 2010 on E4
  • Cobie Smulders and Chuck Tatham (one of the Canadian writers of this episode) provided audio commentary for this episode which is available on the 'Suited Up Edition' of the season 5 DVD.   
  • According to a post on Smulders' Instagram account , she actually became a US citizen in September 2020.


  • Kenny Rogers - Book Narrator (voice)
  • Pamela Dunlap - Miss Cruickshank
  • Brad Grunberg - Bruno
  • Corinne Dekker - Bailey


  • Donna Bowman of The A.V. Club rated the episode with a grade of A-. [1]
  • Brian Zoromski of IGN gave the episode 9.5 out of 10. [2]
  • Vlada Gelman writes about the Canadian jokes in the show and expresses a strong appreciation for the attention to detail and continuity the episode shows. [3]
  • Cindy McLennan of Television Without Pity rated the episode with a grade of B+. [4]
  • The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 8.5 out of 10 stars.  "...'Okay, let's do this.' ... 'It was the worst trip ever.' ..."


External Links

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