The Fortress

HIMYM episode 8x19 (179)

First aired:
March 18, 2013
Michael Shea
Stephen Lloyd
Barney's Blog

Images (4)

After Robin asks Barney to sell his bachelor pad so they can build a home together, Barney is reluctant and drives away potential buyers. Meanwhile, Lily’s commitment to her job as The Captain’s art consultant strains her relationship with Marshall.


While doing the morning crossword puzzle together in bed, Robin mentions to Barney that they should decide where they're going to live as a married couple. Barney's first suggestion is that they keep living in his apartment but Robin suggests that they sell his apartment and look for another apartment together, and Barney agrees to this. Later on, he invites Ted over to offer him "The Fortress of Barnitude" and change it to "The Fortress of Soli-Ted" but he turns down the offer too. Later that night, Barney tells Robin that Ted refused so this means they are staying in his apartment. Robin goes off on a tangent that she gave up her beautiful apartment and that relationships are about trust and compromising between partners.

Robin later holds an open house at Barney's apartment, without his consent. When Barney gets there, he is infuriated with Robin. He proceeds to scare away potential buyers by showing them all of his bachelor techniques which people consider gross and very inappropriate. One couple braves against Barney's peculiar systems and tells Robin that they will buy the place. Robin is overjoyed, but Barney is flabbergasted. Robin talks to the couple alone, apologizing for all the quirks her fiance implemented inside the apartment. The couple talk about how they will wreck the place and make it livable for actual human beings, which angers Robin. She promptly yells at them to leave.

When Barney tells Robin that he is ready to sell his apartment for her because he never wants to be alone again and wants her to be happy, Robin relays the events to Barney, telling him that she doesn't want to change him too much and accepts every part of him, the good and the bad. Both are touched by each others gestures and make up.

Meanwhile, Marshall is frustrated that Lily is consistently called in by The Captain when they try to spend some time together. He gets help from Ted for looking after Marvin, who also fills in for Lily in singing Marvin his lullaby. When Lily calls Marshall to cancel the plans of an evening they had, Marshall is infuriated. Ted suggests that they watch Woodworthy Manor, a British historical soap opera, to get Marshall's mind off this. Marshall resists as the show is something he and Lily watch together, but eventually gives in.

At the open house, a woman mistakes Marshall and Ted being a couple with a baby. Lily, who had just arrived, tried to correct the woman who lashes out at her for being a homophobe. Marshall decides to get back at Lily by going with the facade that he and Ted are together. Lily retaliates by talking about her "ex-husband" and mocking Marshall's football team, The Vikings. Another woman takes an interest in Ted and he makes out with her.

At the bar, Lily and Marshall make up when Lily refuses to track down yet another painting for the Captain. Ted laments when he sees Lily and Marshall and Barney and Robin are back to being happy and wonders when he'll find something real. The woman he made out with before at the open house shows up, offering to show him what it's like being with a woman for the first time, still under the impression that he's gay. Barney is filled with pride as he calls Ted "son" and pulls him into a fatherly embrace.

Later, Marshall, Lily and Ted attempt to make Barney and Robin watch Woodworthy Manor. Robin and Barney are clearly unimpressed and exit the apartment via the chute Barney designed to escape from annoying women. 


  • Barney has claimed that he and Ted's Mom have been intimate in a number of episodes.
  • Barney runs his "Just... O.K.?" routine on Ted to convince him to follow one of his crazy leads.
  • Marshall and Ted sing Marvin his lullaby which was first heard in The Final Page - Part Two.
  • At the beginning of the episode when Barney is filling in the crossword, Robin suggests "Adoption" which to the viewers original knowledge could've meant to adopt a child once Robin and Barney got married, and although they were speaking of a crossword puzzle, she goes on to say it was the "only option". This references the fact Robin can't bear children, which was revealed in Symphony of Illumination.
  • Barney calls his apartment "The Fortress of Barnitude" in World's Greatest Couple. Lily, his first friend to visit the apartment in that episode, is the first to see the 300-inch TV screen she demonstrates to potential buyers during the episode.
  • Ted mentioned Wendy the Waitress. She was last seen in Garbage Island.
  • Robin mentions how she did not have to pay rent at her previous "beautiful" Upper West Side apartment, first seen in The Autumn of Break-Ups, because "the landlord hand-washed all my delicates". She says in Ring Up that she is getting used to having to pay rent after getting engaged.
  • Barney performs an "angry Self Five" and a "mushroom cloud five".
  • Lily also wants to get a new home with her husband after marriage in The Duel.
  • Lily exploits her knowledge of Marshall's love of the Minnesota Vikings, as seen in Little Minnesota and other episodes.

Future References (Contains Spoilers)

  • The Lighthouse confirms that Robin told Barney about her infertility.


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

Memorable Quotes

Robin: Get out! The Fortress of Barnitude is no longer for sale. Also, your husband has been staring at my ass all night so don't act all high and mighty!
Robin throwing out the prospective buyers using the Jor-El cam

Barney: Oh my God, can you just be cool! Once! Please! Just once? Can you just once be cool? Once? Please!
Barney convincing Ted to let him talk through his Jor-El cam

Robin: That came out wrong-- the point is, let's focus on this awesome apartment.
Lily: You're right. Look at that fabulous plasma television. My ex-husband, who never supported my career, would love to watch the Vikings never win a Super Bowl in franchise history on that thing.
Marshall: How dare you.
Ted: Don't let her push your buttons.
Marshall: Right. I don't care about football. I'm more of a Woodworthy Manor fan. I very much enjoyed watching it the other night. With Emsbry.
Lily: Oh, you didn't.
Marshall: Yeah, oh, yeah. I know who deliberately overwatered Lady Chillsbury's prize-winning roses.
Lily: They have been building to that reveal all season, Marshall, don't you tell me
Marshall: It was Parson Smallsby.

Future Ted: In the spring of 2013, Barney and Robin were just weeks away from tying the knot. But there were still some pretty big issues they hadn't agreed on.
Robin: Adoption.
Barney: I don't know.
Robin: It's the only thing that makes sense. I can't I can't believe you're not open to it.
Barney: Okay. Let's try it. Nope, it doesn't work with 27 down.
Barney and Robin apparently talking about adoption but actually solving a crossword puzzle.

Robin: If I ask you to change too many things about yourself you're not gonna be the man I fell in love with. Turns out, I accept and appreciate even the grossest, creepiest, most sociopathic parts of you.
Barney: Sounds like somebody just wrote her vows.

Notes and Trivia

Goofs and Errors

  • It is understandable that after getting engaged Barney's bed would have multiple pillows and sheets, but in the flashbacks showing the 'ho begone' mechanism it should only have a single pillow, as per World's Greatest Couple.

Allusions and Outside References

  • Woodworthy Manor satirizes Downton Abbey.
  • Barney mentions the Superman films. The Fortress of Barnitude is a reference to Superman's Fortress of Solitude. The holographic system Barney uses to talk to Ted is based on Superman II, when Jor-El is talking in the Fortress of Solitude.
  • Barney also used the system to tell Ted that Wendy's has a new version of the Baconator.
  • The chute in Barney's kitchen which he calls "Escape from Bitch Mountain" is a reference to Escape to Witch Mountain.
  • Barney says that Ted's fake British accent makes him sound like Madonna. After she moved to Britain, the press mocked the American singer for adopting a local accent.
  • Robin mentions the Edison light bulb's shape.


Other Notes

  • This episode was originally titled The Fortress of Barnitude.[1]
  • Tabatha is apparently the last girl that Ted has sex with before meeting the Mother.
  • This is the twelfth and the last episode not to be directed by Pamela Fryman.
  • At the start of the episode when Barney and Robin are in bed together, you can clearly see that Barney has a nipple piercing in his right nipple.


  • Kyle MacLachlan - The Captain
  • Karen Lew - Mrs. Hamaguchi
  • Ogy Durham - Tabatha
  • Bianca Haase - Cheryl
  • Erik Van Wyck - Husband #3
  • Jessica Gardner - Wife #3
  • Cyrus Deboo - Husband #1
  • Grace Parra - Wife #2
  • Emily Roche - Young Woman


  • The episode received by 7.44 million viewers.[2]
  • Donna Bowman of The AV Club gave the episode an A-. She said, "The Fortress rests right in that sweet spot. It’s funny and snappy, directed with great pacing by long-time assistant director and occasional helmer Michael Shea, and written with a terrific ear for character by Stephen Lloyd. Best of all, it doesn’t feel out of place in what’s turned out to be a great season of television. It doesn’t just mark time, but it doesn’t prematurely reach for heavy significance either. Not too much plot, not too much wackiness, not too much CGI, but plenty of clever jokes and a liberal serving of Douchey Ted. Just right". [3]
  • Max Nicholson of IGN gave the episode a 6.5 out of 10. He says that "Overall, there were a few really good laughs from Ted and Marshall, but most of the episode was filled with exceedingly outrageous bits from Barney that just didn't really click. Meanwhile, Lily's story with the Captain was only just okay, with a few chuckle-worthy moments over the phone". [4]
  • Angel Cohn of Television Without Pity gave the episode a D-. He says that "The stupid intro about Barney's magically disappearing bed for whores and his and Robin's discussion of adoption as a crossword clue instead of as a viable option started the episode off on the wrong foot for me, and it really never recovered."[5]
  • The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 7.5 out of 10 stars. "...the Captain's understanding of prison currency is astounding..."


External Links

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