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


HIMYM episode 6x21 (133)

First aired:
April 18, 2011
Pamela Fryman
Chris Harris
Barney's Blog

Images (7)

When Barney tries to bond with his father, he asks the gang to help make his life seem more exciting by lying about their own lives. Meanwhile, Robin runs into a guy she has a crush on.


In 1981, Jerome Whittaker, known to Barney as his "Uncle Jerry", tells Barney that his mother thinks he is a bad influence on Barney and doesn't want them to spend time together anymore. Jerry asks Barney for the souvenir button they got from a rock concert together, and using a sleight of hand magic trick, claims he just hid the button inside Barney's brain, so that Barney won't forget him. Jerry says his final words to Barney - "Never stop partying" - before he leaves.

Barney didn't see Jerry again until 2011, however this time Barney was the one to walk away. However, a few weeks later, Barney is flirting with a woman before he gets a call. It is Jerry trying to make another attempt to be involved with his son. Jerry is going on a fishing trip with J.J and wants him to come along.

Barney meets the gang at the apartment, complaining that his Dad is now a boring suburban Dad, when he used to be "Crazy Jerry", an awesome party animal. Barney decides to plan for his Dad the "awesomest" night of all time on Saturday night, to bring back Crazy Jerry.

Saturday night comes, and Barney meets the gang down in MacLaren's Pub before his Dad arrives. To make the night more awesome, he tries to improve the gang's identities by giving them new personas. Robin is now a professional scotch taster dating Ted, Lily and Marshall are in an open marriage, and Marshall is a successful playwright.

When Barney's dad arrives, they visit the club Hopeless. Robin spots her secret crush at the club. Years beforehand, Robin was out clothes shopping and a man (who later became Robin's crush) asked her for her opinion on his clothes.

Ted introducing himself to Robin's crush.

Robin approaches her crush at the bar and the two start flirting. Ted quickly jumps in, introducing himself as Robin's boyfriend, driving the man away. Future Ted implies that something might happen between them.

Meanwhile, things aren't going well between Barney and Jerry. Jerry doesn't want to drink, since he has a fishing trip with J.J. in the morning. In an attempt to get Jerry to relax, Barney reminds him of the last words he said to Barney: Never stop partying. Jerry reveals that he doesn't remember that at all, and a visibly upset Barney tells Jerry to go home, since he only wants to spend time with Crazy Jerry, not "stay at home Jerome". Jerry, who desperately wants to spend time with Barney, decides to stay and quickly does four shots.

As a drunk Jerry starts dancing, Marshall and Lily argue about who could do better than the other if they were actually in an open marriage. They decide to see who can flirt with other club patrons and get five phone numbers first.

Jerry and Barney decide to leave the club and hit "the greatest party in the world: the streets of New York".

With the rest of the gang occupied, Robin asks Ted for help "breaking up" so that she can flirt with him. Ted asks where they met, and discovers that Robin met him while they were still dating, and realizes she was thinking about him when she and Ted had sex later that night. Rather than break up in front of Robin's crush, Ted pretends to propose to her, ruining their chances of ever dating.

Out in New York, Jerry and Barney get up to some drunken antics; getting in fights, destroying parking meters and vomiting on police cars. The two are arrested and while handcuffed on the street, Jerry reveals that he's not actually drunk; he didn't want to drink, but Barney wouldn't take no for an answer, so he used another sleight of hand trick to pour out the alcohol in the shot glasses before he drank from them.

Jerry apologizes, saying he only lied so that he could spend time with Barney, since Barney didn't want to attend his fishing trip with J.J. The two of them break out of their handcuffs and run down the street away from the police. Remembering the fishing trip, Jerry and Barney get a lift home with one of Jerry's driving students.

While driving, Barney asks how he managed to settle down, revealing his fears that he'll never be able to. The two share a heartfelt conversation, and once they reach the house, Jerry gives the old souvenir button from 1983 to Barney, telling him how important it is to him.

As Jerry leaves the car, Barney reconsiders and decides to go fishing with his Dad and J.J.

Meanwhile back at the club, Robin reminds Ted how he bought his red cowboy boots against Robin's advice, simply because the cute worker at the store suggested he buy them, and so he should stop being so hypocritical. As they walk home with Marshall and Lily (Lily having won their "first to five numbers" competition), Robin laments that it just wasn't meant to be with her secret crush. Her crush appears to be talking to someone on the phone and saying that Robin is engaged and that's the end of that. Future Ted narrates that "it wasn't the end of that... but more on that later."

At the end of the episode, Barney is seen fishing with Jerry and J.J. He ends the episode saying- ""


  • Barney wants his dad to be awesome as before is another example of "revertigo", a phenomenon introduced in Sandcastles in the Sand.
  • One of the clubs the gang consider is Okay, which Ted insists is lame, having had a miserable night there when they visited it in Okay Awesome.
  • It is revealed that Jerome got Barney interested in magic. Barney's enthusiasm for magic tricks has come up in many episodes, including Slutty PumpkinThe Scorpion and the Toad, and Intervention.
  • Lily mentions that her secret crush is Mila Kunis, an example of her bisexual tendencies.
  • When Ted and Robin "break up", Ted says he would have stolen her a whole orchestra, which is what he said when they actually broke up over three years earlier, as seen in Something Blue​​​​​​​.
  • The origin of Ted's red cowboy boots, first introduced in Everything Must Go, is revealed. Robin and her crush's first meeting must have occurred during season two, because she and Ted were dating.
  • Marshall tells Jerome that he's writing a rock opera about frozen yogurt shop. He mentions having previously worked in a frozen yogurt shop in Zoo or False, adding that it was "wild."
  • Barney finds out in Natural History that his "Uncle Jerry", whom he hadn't seen since he was six, was his father, as referenced in the flashback to the incident.
  • Barney previously expressed his disappointment at how his dad turned out when they first met in Legendaddy​​​​​​​.
  • Lily being lactose intolerant was previously mentioned in Showdown.

Future References (Contains Spoilers)

  • Future Ted alludes to Robin having a relationship with her secret crush. They start dating some time between The Magician's Code - Part Two​​​​​ and Farhampton, where his name is revealed to be Nick.
  • Marshall plays the apartment's piano (albeit in Barney's imagination), one of the few times the instrument is used. Other examples include Marshall in Slapsgiving and Ted in Tailgate​​​​​.


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

Memorable Quotes

Jerome: A magician never reveals his greatest trick.

Ted : How's the open marriage going? Who was the first to get to five numbers?
Lily: I won that race. My prize, sex in the bathroom.
Marshall: And I won that race!

Jerome: You got to meet the right girl. Who knows? Maybe you'll meet her tomorrow.
Barney: Maybe I've met her already.

Young Barney: But, you were supposed to take me to see that Zeppelin cover band next week. The night was going to be... 'Led and Jerry'
even at a young age, Barney appreciated legendary things... almost

Marshall: Game on! If I can score five numbers before you can, then we have sex in the bathroom but, if you can score five numbers before me, then we have sex in the bathroom.
Lily: So our usual wager. Deal!

Barney: My dad will be all, why don't you marry Robin? You guys were cute together. Deep down you know you were never happier than when you were with her.

Robin's Secret Crush: I saw that girl (Robin) again tonight. Guess what? She's engaged. So that's the end of that.
Future Ted: It wasn't the end of that.

Barney: Oh we're not drinking here. Tonight we're going big. Let's see what club should we hit first. There's Club Was. There's Wrong.
Marshall: Umm...those places shut down a long time ago.
Barney: Oh no.
Marshall: Oh No shut down too.
Ted: There's Where.
Jerome: Where's Where?
Lily: Where's where Was was, isn't it?
Barney: No Was wasn't where Where was. Was was where Wrong was, right?
Jerome: Ok?
Ted: Not Okay. That place is lame.
Robin: Okay is Lame? I thought Lame was a gay bar. Or is that Wrong?
Marshall: That's wrong. That's Not Wrong.
Barney: Guys, focus.
Robin: Oh I like Focus. Let's go there.
Ted: Where?
Robin: Not Where. Focus.
Lily: I thought Focus was closed.
Barney: No Was was closed. Once Was shut down it reopened as Closed.
Marshall: So, Closed is open.
Robin: No Closed is closed.
Jerome: I don't know. Third base, right?
Robin: Ew, Third Base is all frat guys.
Lily: I'll go anyplace, Ok?
Ted: Not Okay. Okay is lame.
Robin: Okay is not Lame. Lame is a gay bar.
Lily: Guys, shut up.
Barney: No, Shut Up shut down. I can't believe I don't know the clubs anymore.
Marshall: Guys, just pick a club. Ok?
Ted: Not Okay.
All: Okay is lame. Gay bar!

Marshall: For the record, um, I was in there once by accident. I'm pretty sure it's pronounced "La'mé."
Barney: It's Hopeless isn't it?

Barney: Okay, my dad's almost here. I need everything to be as awesome as possible tonight.
Lily: That's why you brought these guys.
Barney: No. That's why I brought these guys. (Gets several cards out of his inside pocket) I've made some minor improvements to your identities. Uh. Mm! You'll find them on these cards.
Marshall: Improvements?!
Barney: Yeah.
Marshall: Bro, we are already the four jiggity-jamminest dudes and dudettes this side of... Okay, let's see the cards.
Barney: Robin, no one watches the news unless it's a car chase or a nip slip. You are now a professional scotch taster. Lily, Jerry needs to learn that other lifestyles are just as fulfilling as monogamy, so now you and Marshall are in an open marriage.
Lily: Whoo-hoo!
Marshall: Gross!
Barney: Also, Marshall, you can't just be unemployed, so you are now a gin-swilling, womanizing playwright. And, Ted, just be yourself. (chuckles) Just kidding. Here's a giant pile of topics you should avoid talking about.
Ted: Well. Well, this could actually be fun. In fact, I believe it was Oscar Wilde who said, "Man is least himself when he talks..."
Barney: Ted, card.
Ted: Ah. You're right... "No quoting Oscar Wilde."
Barney: Finally... Robin, you're dating Ted.
Robin: Aw, man! Why?
Barney: I can't have any single female friends lying around. My dad'll be all, "Why don't you marry Robin? You guys are cute together. Deep down, you know you were never happier than when you were with her." Uh... (chuckles) no, thanks.
Lily: Hey, Barney... love the new identities. Little thing... instead of being a naked super ninja, can I be Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada?
Ted: How good was that movie?

(everyone starts talking all at once)

Barney: And... hence new identities.

Notes and Trivia

Goofs and Errors

  • In Natural History, Barney tells Robin that he last saw his dad when they came to the museum. That was the day he damaged the blue whale in an exhibit. The security officer dates the incident to July 23, 1981, when Barney was five, but Barney's dad says they met last when Barney was six.
    • Jerry made a simple math error for an event which happened two decades ago.
  • The whale incident occurs in 1981, but the opening scene with Jerry saying goodbye to young Barney claims the date is 1983. Additionally, the Legalize It!-Fest button also has the date of 1983, and the fact that both Jerry and Barney's faces are on the button proves that they went together. This means either Barney's claim that the whale incident was the last time he saw Jerry is false (whether due to faulty memory or otherwise), or the writers made a continuity blunder.
  • When Jerry had the button from a festival about legalizing marijuana, the traditional logo representing marijuana was at the bottom before he hid it behind a young Barney's ear. However, when he removes the button after arriving at his house, the logo is gone.

Allusions and Outside References

  • Barney asks the gang if they know George Clooney.
  • The conversation about the names of the clubs is reminiscent of Abbott and Costello's Who's on First? joke. Jerome yells out "I don't know, Third Base" referring to the sketch.
  • When Barney approaches and questions Jerome (John Lithgow) about being on the dance floor, Jerome's "small town preacher - law against dancing" comment is directed at the 1984 film Footloose, where John Lithgow plays the small town preacher who gets a law passed against dancing.
  • Lily asked Barney to have him change her fake identity to something akin to Meryl Streep's character in The Devil Wears Prada. Most of the things Lily claims to have done are references to that movie, but "I brought French cooking to America!" is a reference to Julie & Julia, in which Meryl Streep played Julia Child.
  • Lily's secret crush is Mila Kunis, who starred in Forgetting Sarah Marshall as Jason Segel's love interest.
  • Robin makes a wordplay when she says Ted should leave the field of the Superdome because he is no Saint.
  • While Marshall is pretending to be a playwright, he talks about making a 'Rock Opera', something Jason Segel's character in Forgetting Sarah Marshall was also working on.
  • Young Barney refers to a being taken by his father to see a "Zeppelin cover band" and describes it as "Led and Jerry" referring to the band Led Zeppelin.
  • Ted mentions an Oscar Wilde quote.


  • The gang performs the title theme, "Hey Beautiful", for the opening.

Nick and Lawrence wearing the same shirt.

  • Robin's crush's "ugly shirt" was previously worn by Lawrence, the man who bought Lily's painting for the frame, in Everything Must Go. (Which is ironic as he was supposedly a "man of style")
    • In retrospect, he and his boyfriend also agreed that Ted pulled off his red cowboy boots, so Lawrence's style is questionable.

Other Notes

  • This episode was originally titled "Scary Jerry".[1]
  • This is a list of names of the clubs the gang talked about during their conversation that is reminiscent of Abbott and Costello's Who's on First? joke:
    1. Was - shut down (but reopened as Closed)
    2. Wrong - shut down
    3. Oh No - shut down
    4. Where
    5. Okay - the club from Okay Awesome
    6. Lamé - gay bar
    7. Focus
    8. Closed - reopened after Was shut down
    9. Third Base - full of frat guys
    10. Shut Up - shut down
    11. Hopeless - the club the gang choose to go to



  • This episode premiered to 6.485 million viewers.[2]
  • Donna Bowman at the A.V. Club gave the episode an A-.[3]
  • Zach Oat at Television Without Pity gave the episode a B-.[4]
  • Robert Canning at IGN gave the episode an 8.5 out of 10.[5] He felt that "The episode, while sweetly putting Barney and his dad into a much better place, was also one of the funnier episodes of the last few. There were plenty of great references to the history of the series, including Ted's red cowboy boots, and some funny bits referencing Lithgow's role in Footloose and the classic comedy stylings of Abbott and Costello. Plus the gang's fake band breaking into the series' theme was delightful. Overall, after a couple weeks off, How I Met Your Mother came back strong."
  • The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 8 out of 10 stars. "...never...stop...partying...[and] awesome opening credits"


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