Single Stamina

HIMYM episode 2x10 (32)

Single stamina
First aired:
November 27, 2006
Pamela Fryman
Kristin Newman
Barney's Blog

Images (6)

Barney's gay, black brother comes to town to serve as a wingman and the gang discovers a secret he is keeping from Barney.


It's winter in New York and Marshall, Lily, Ted and Robin are in "couple's hibernation" leaving Barney out in the cold. Finally, Barney announces that he has asked his brother, James, to be his wingman. Lily explains to Robin (who has never met James) that James is exactly like Barney except that he's gay. However, when he comes in the door, Robin is shocked to learn that he also happens to be black.

James reveals that he is, in fact, just like Barney: from suits, to laser tag, to blogging. Robin asks about their different color skin but they decline to explain (Future Ted explains that they got many different excuses for this from their mom growing up, eating only vanilla ice cream with Barney and only chocolate ice cream with James, "just one of those things", or they are just a bunch of racists). James convinces the rest of the gang to join him and Barney for night on the town.

They go to a trendy bar where the two couples promptly find somewhere to sit leaving Barney and James to help each other pick up dates. But James keeps declining any potential suitors causing Robin and Lily to deduce that he's in a relationship. They tell Barney that his brother is in a monogamous relationship. Barney doesn't want to admit it but when he confronts James he finds out James is getting married.

Barney is upset. He and James head back to MacLaren's where Barney demands to know how James could do this. While Barney has no problem with gay marriage in particular, he hates the idea of marriage. When James asks Barney to be his best man, Barney refuses.

Barney decides to end the marriage by taking James and the gang to a gay bar and fixing James up with a new man. Lily and Robin enjoy not being hit on and Marshall and Ted revel in the attention they receive. However, the boys soon grow tired of the flirtations of men, and the girls miss the attention. Meanwhile, Barney has no success getting James to stray. Finally, James explains that he and his fiancé Tom are adopting a son. With a baby in the picture, Barney quickly changes his mind about the marriage.

A year later, Barney is the best man at James and Tom's wedding and Marshall and Lily are married. Barney tells his nephew that in twenty and a half years he will teach him how to live. He then goes on to pick up a distraught girl.


  • A flashback shows the "Have you met..." game, introduced in the Pilot, failing when Barney tries to use it on himself ("Have you met me?"). Barney and James also use it on each other at the same time ("Have you met my brother?").
  • Barney exclaims "Daddy's home!" upon entering the club. He previously used this as a pick-up line in The Pineapple Incident.
  • When Robin asks James and Barney about their upbringing, both brothers chuckle and say "Please." This is the same response Barney gives when asked what he does for a living, as he does in Life Among the Gorillas and World's Greatest Couple.
  • Marshall mentions liking "girly" cocktails, and he is seen with one after his bachelor party in Atlantic City.
  • This episode marks the first appearance of Loretta (albeit shown waist down) and James Stinson.

Future References (Contains Spoilers)

  • At James' wedding a year later, Ted and Robin do not leave the reception when Lily and Marshall do, implying that they now have single stamina. This alludes to their break-up in Showdown, the story of which they share with Barney in Something Blue.
  • Barney mentions leaving out James' "hetero college phase" in his best man speech. In The Yips, Barney tells the gang about going to James for advice about women after Shannon broke up with him in 1998 (as seen in Game Night), explaining that it was "before he was gay".
  • In The Chain of Screaming, Marshall indicates that Barney thinks he and James have the same father, implying that he believes his mother despite her conflicting stories on the topic. Her dishonesty with them, along with Barney blindly believing her regardless, comes up again in Showdown and Cleaning House.
  • Ted and Marshall get hit on by several different men at the gay bar. Marshall brings up how gay guys love him in Everything Must Go.
  • Marshall's enjoyment of "girly" drinks is referenced again in Woooo! and The Time Travelers.
  • When the gang tries to encourage Barney to support James' decision, Ted mentions supporting his sister's marriage despite her husband wearing "sandals and socks". When Ted's sister Heather moves to New York in Little Minnesota, he tells Robin that she once got married for 5 days.
  • James and Tom's son is named Eli, as mentioned in Cleaning House. Eli is seen again in The Rebound Girl, by which time James and Tom have also adopted a daughter named Sadie.
  • Barney complains about being left out as the only single person in a group of couples, which Future Ted also points out. The same thing happens to Ted in The Time Travelers
  • James reveals in Coming Back that he and Tom are getting divorced. They eventually get back together, as revealed in Gary Blauman.
  • Barney's love for babies is shown again in The Rebound Girl and Last Forever - Part Two.


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

Memorable Quotes

Barney: If gay guys start getting married, then suddenly the world is going to be doing it. That's how it works: they start something, then six months later, everyone follows... Gay marriage is going to cause single life as we know it to die out. Think of how the American family will be strengthened!

James: Guys! You are young, attractive people here in the greatest city on Earth! There are boys and girls in Nobody Cares, Wyoming wishing they could be here. But instead, they are in someone's basement drinking bad malt liquor debating whether they're gonna spend the rest of their Saturday night in the parking lot of the feed store or in some other dude's basement. You owe it to them to rise up and shimmy your lazy asses into something hot. And you go out there and YOU LIVE THE DREAM! Can I get a hell yeah?!

James and Barney: Haaaave you met my brother? (pointing at each other)

Barney: It's a freakin' epidemic!

Marshall: Barney, have you noticed anything...different about James?
Barney: No, I mean he's glowing, from his peel...if that's what you mean.
Ted: We have reason to believe that James is uh, maybe hiding something from you. I know you're not going to like hearing this but...
Lily: Barney, your brother is...monogamous.
Barney: That's ridiculous! Just because he's a little sleepy, and he hasn't had sex with anyone in a bathroom stall...huh, he hasn't had sex with anyone in a bathroom stall.
Robin: Barney, I hate to be the one to tell you this but, he's texting.
Barney: No...(looks at James across the room) No! impossib—

Barney: I don't support this.
James: Gay marriage?
Barney: Not gay marriage. Marriage! (Shivers) How can you do this? We were raised in the same house, with same values!

Notes and Trivia

Goofs and Errors

  • When Ted is sarcastic towards Robin when the girls say it's annoying to be constantly hit on, he is not moving his mouth in the first shot despite speaking.

Allusions and Outside References

  • Barney refers to the two lazy couples as "Grandparents of Willy Wonka" in reference to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, where all four of Charlie Bucket's grandparents share the same bed, which they never leave.
  • A girl in the bar says her scarf is H&M, a famous Swedish clothing brand.
  • During Barney and James' pickup act at the bar, Barney deflects James with the phrase "Popozao", referring to a Kevin Federline song of the same name.
    • Although Barney said that his brother liked Brazil, and "popozao" means "big booty" in Brazilian informal language. So it could be referring this too.
  • Ted wears a shirt with a Fleur-de-lis on it.


Other Notes

  • In the sitcom, Barney and James are straight and gay respectively. Coincidentally, this is the exactly the opposite for the real-life counterparts: Neil Patrick Harris is gay, whilst Wayne Brady is straight.



  • James McCracken of The Reviewer gave it a 9 out of 10. [citation needed]
  • IGN gave the episode 8.2 out of 10. [1]
  • The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 7 out of 10 stars. "... Barney has a gay, black brother? Awesome."


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