HIMYM episode 6x19 (131)

First aired:
March 21, 2011
Pamela Fryman
Dan Gregor and Doug Mand
Barney's Blog

Images (7)

When Barney finally meets his father, he's surprised to learn how his life turned out. The gang points out each other's "gaps", things they should know by adulthood but never learned.


Ted shows his house to the gang, pointing out all the ideas he has for it, including a basketball hoop in the back garden for his kids. Barney tells him the house should be his "seduction lounge", with a sex swing, vibrating Jell-O pool and an outdoor stripper pole included. Marshall and Lily lead Barney outside, telling him the real reason for their visit wasn't to visit Ted's house, but to host Barney's intervention.

To explain why Barney needed an intervention, Future Ted goes back a few days, to the night when the gang tried watching March Madness in Barney's apartment. Barney's TV is broken, so he calls his building's super to bring a screwdriver and fix it for them. Ted mocks him for never having learned how to use a screwdriver.

Barney answers the door, expecting to see the super. Instead, its an old man who they don't know. The man speaks to Barney and tells him that he got his letter, revealing that he is Jerome Whittaker, Barney's dad. Barney is shocked to see that his long lost father is actually at his door.

Whilst the two of them are at MacLaren's Bar getting better acquainted, the rest of the gang is upstairs in The apartment, wondering what the two are talking about. Ted starts to feel bad for criticizing Barney, when he realizes it was his dad that taught him how to use tools.

Robin says that everyone has some gaps in their knowledge; something really obvious to everyone else that they themselves never learned or knew. Ted doesn't think he has any gaps, but Robin brings up how he mispronounces the word "chameleon", since Ted only learned that word by reading it, not by hearing it. Ted points out a huge gap Robin never knew: that the North Pole is real.

Barney enters the apartment, and the gang ask about his time with his dad, Jerry. Barney tells them his dad is awesome; they both liked the same drinks, loved suits, have great stories, and are big womanizers.

The rest of the gang warn him, telling them to be careful of not getting hurt, since Jerry was absent from so much of Barney's childhood and he might just be telling Barney what he wants to hear.

The next night at the bar, Ted points out one of Lily's gaps; she has terrible aim and can't throw properly. Jerry enters the bar and asks the gang for their help, since Barney won't return any of his calls. It turns out Barney lied about last night; he and his dad didn't have anything in common, and Barney found his dad really boring. The night ended badly, with Barney refusing to have dinner with Jerry and meet his family. Jerry asks the gang to convince Barney to give him another chance.

Back to Ted's house, Lily tells Barney the reason for their intervention is to convince Barney to have dinner with Jerry and meet his family. Barney refuses, telling her he's never going to speak to his dad again. Marshall steps forward, saying that he'll never speak to his dad again, and he should take advantage of the opportunity.

Barney decides to give his dad another chance. He attends dinner with his dad and meets his wife, Cheryl, and their son, J.J. Barney and Jerry reminisce on the time they met ZZ Top. Barney starts to rib on J.J., but once he finds out J.J. stands for Jerome Junior, he then leaves the house in anger and envy.

Outside in the car, Marshall tries to bait Robin, Ted and Lily into pointing out his gaps. None of them will. Since the death of Marshall's dad, they've all been overly nice to him to make him feel better. Marshall noticed this and so previously tried to goad them into insulting him, such as growing a soul patch and adopting a pet opossum.

Marshall tells them he's never going to move on if things don't get back to normal, so asks them to point out his gaps. They tell him all about his gaps: he can't wink or swallow pills, adds too much water to oatmeal and misses belt loops.

Jerome steps outside and finds Barney on the hood of his car, trying to take down their basketball hoop. Barney complains that it's not fair J.J. got a childhood, a dad and a real family, and he at least deserves the basketball hoop. Barney tells Jerry he's boring, and answers Jerry's question about why that angers him, saying  "if you were going to be some lame suburban dad, why couldn't you have been that for me?!" Jerry admits he made a mistake, and asks what he can do to fix things.

Barney keeps trying to take down the basketball hoop. Jerry leaves and returns with some tools. He hands Barney a screwdriver and teaches him how to use it. Jerry expresses his regret and apologizes for what he's done, and tells him he'd love to be a part of Barney's life, whenever Barney's ready. Basketball hoop in hand, Barney leaves.

The entire gang returns to Ted's house, offering Barney their support. He asks Ted if he still wants the hoop for the backyard, and the gang crowd around to comfort the upset Barney.


Future References (Contains Spoilers)

  • Barney's disappointment at his father's suburban lifestyle is referenced again in Hopeless, where he appears to resolve his issues with Jerome.
  • Jerome mentions his daughter, Carly. Ted briefly dates her in Ring Up, without knowing that she's Barney's half-sister.


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

Memorable Quotes

Jerry: Barney, what is going on?
Barney: This [basketball hoop] is mine.
Jerry: I don't understand!
Barney: J.J. gets a childhood, a dad, a real family, and a basketball hoop? No, no, I at least get the hoop. I'm taking it with me.
Jerry: Please, just come down and talk to me.
Barney: Why, why should I? You're lame, okay? You're just some lame suburban dad.
Jerry: Why does that make you so mad?
Barney: Because if you were going to be some lame suburban dad, why couldn't you have been that for me?!
Jerry: Okay, Barney... I know I screwed up.
Barney: Ohh, screwed up doesn't even begin to describe...
Jerry: I know, I know, I know! I wanna fix this and I don't know how. Please tell me what I can do, I'll do anything!

Jerry: I have no good excuse, Barney. It took me years before I was even able to look myself in the mirror for the way I let you down. It took courage to send me that letter. More courage than I've ever had. I owe you a lifetime of apologies and I... I just... have no idea where to begin...
Jerry: Look, if you ever feel like you're ready, I'd love nothing more than to be a part of your life.
Jerry explains his actions.

Barney: Guys, get it through your heads: I am never gonna talk to my dad again.
Marshall: No, Barney. I'm never gonna talk to my dad again. But your dad is alive and he lives just down the road...
Barney: ..Fine. I'll go.
Marshall makes Barney realize how lucky he is to have the chance to get to know his father

Marine Biologist: So this really sucks, but I'm going to be in the North Pole for the next three months.
Robin: Seriously? The North Pole? Okay, pal, if you want to break up with me, just tell it to me straight. Don't pretend you're going someplace we all know doesn't exist.
Marine Biologist: Um, I'm going to be studying the mating habits of...
Robin: Of who? Santa's elves? Rudolph? You know what? I'm going on a trip, too, Scott. It, uh, starts in Narnia. It works its way up to Candyland, and then, hey, congratulate me, because I'm the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts. Expelliarmus!
Marine Biologist: Robin, the North Pole is a real place. You know that, right?
Robin: So you want to get pizza later? Or...
Marine Biologist: I think we should break up.

Notes and Trivia

Goof and Errors

  • Barney says that his apartment is 12H (when he calls the building supervisor). Yet in Bagpipes, his downstairs neighbour Phil, is in 12B. Vertical neighbours usually have the same postfix (H or B) and have incremental prefix (12, 11 or 13).
  • When talking about Lily's lack of being able to aim with throwing anything; Marshall says, "In our apartment you're the one that pees on the floor." But in False Positive, Marshall asks Lily if girls can aim when they pee. Lily responds with "Can Boys Aim? 'Cause it seems to me like I'm taking a mop to that bathroom floor every two days."
    • Based on Marshall's tone he's clearly being sarcastic/ironic.

Allusions and Outside References


  • Jack Dolgen - I Will Come For You

Other Notes

  • The episode title "Legendaddy" is a play on Barney's catchphrase, "Legendary".
  • Every scene with Jerry has him drinking milk, with the exception of when he greets Barney at his door.
  • The exterior scene in which Barney removes the Basketball Net is the same film set as the driveway of The Forman's house in "That '70s Show" although the Basketball Net has been moved.



How I Met Your Mother - 'Legendaddy' Podcast

How I Met Your Mother - 'Legendaddy' Podcast

Podcast for the episode

This is the last episode of the season with a podcast released, this time featuring an interview with Neil Patrick Harris.


  • This episode premiered to 8.028 million viewers. [1]
  • Donna Bowman at the A.V. Club gave the episode a B. [2] She was disappointed that the episode didn't reach its potential, saying "The lines never intersect to form a figure that lifts off the ground and shows us something new. But they achieve a few quite remarkable minutes, as do Neil Patrick Harris and John Lithgow, in the strange setpiece of Barney trying to tear the basketball hoop off of Jerry’s garage... Barney’s determination to make off with a piece of the normal childhood he never had—angry, as well, that J.J. is getting the best of Jerry—leads to a moment when Jerry does get to act like a father and Barney gets to learn like a son."
  • Zach Oat at Television Without Pity gave the episode a B+. [3]
  • Robert Canning at IGN gave the episode an 8 out of 10. [4] He praised John Lithgow's performance as Jerry, but felt the childish banter between Barney and J.J. ruined some of the seriousness in the end scenes. He said "there weren't a lot of surprises, plot-wise. It all seemed to go as one would expect, or as one has likely seen in similar moments on other television shows. But casting John Lithgow as the dad elevated everything. Plus the B storyline given to the rest of the group was hilarious. So even though the episode was hitting many familiar beats, it did so expertly while delivering some great secondary laughs."
  • The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 9 out of 10 stars. "...putting it in the TV...again."


External Links

Previous episode
A Change of Heart
(all episodes)
Next episode →
The Exploding Meatball Sub
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.