The Rough Patch

HIMYM episode 5x07 (95)

Rough patch
First aired:
November 9, 2009
Pamela Fryman
Chris Harris
Barney's Blog

Images (11)

Robin and Barney's relationship is tearing them apart so Ted and Marshall get Lily to help break them up.


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Future Ted explains the gang's apprehension as Barney and Robin entered the later months of their relationship. Barney gives Ted all of his porn. Marshall can tell Barney is serious about Robin since he has developed "relationship gut" - weight put on when in a stable relationship. Marshall and Lily steal videos from the collection when Ted isn't looking and head home. Ted "accidentally" puts in a movie called "Archisexture" but the movie is suddenly overlapped by a video message from Barney. The message assumes Barney is either dead or in a committed relationship, which he tells Ted to save him from. After showing the tape to Lily and Marshall, Ted starts to agree with the past Barney. Barney and Robin now have a declining attitude towards each other and their relationship. Lily and Marshall just think the couple is going through a rough patch, and convinces Ted not to interfere.

At MacLaren's, Marshall watches Barney eat an entire plate of ribs and asks him directly if he is happy. Not giving a proper answer, Barney describes his relationship in a depressing manner, convincing Marshall that he is unhappy. He and Ted ask Lily to help break up Barney and Robin, given her experience in plotting breakups (revealed in The Front Porch). Since Lily has reformed her ways, Ted plans a repeat of what broke up his relationship with Robin (in Something Blue), involving champagne and a wedding ring. Much to their surprise, the plan results in the couple merely mutually surrendering to the idea of matrimony, and after they announce it in the bar, Lily agrees to break them up properly.

Lily has a plan to remind the couple of their four biggest arguments: dirty dishes, a Canadian-American war, whether Stormtroopers are cool, and the presence of Barney's ex-girlfriends. She contacts Robin's friend, Alan Thicke, to meet the couple at their usual diner, along with one of Barney's insane one-night stands, Meg, a passing actor dressed as a Stormtrooper, and a busboy carrying dirty dishes. The gang stakes out the location in a rented station wagon. Marshall is annoyed at Ted for being too cheap to rent a proper stake-out van. Thicke and Meg arrive and apparently know each other. Lily was unable to find a Stormtrooper and instead finds a man dressed as the robot from Lost in Space as she thinks Stormtroopers are also robots. As they argue over the station wagon and a pizza delivery, Barney and Robin look right in their direction. Ted and Marshall think their cover is blown, but Lily executes the plan anyway.

As the plan unfolds, they notice that neither Barney nor Robin is angry or arguing, and they kiss each other before leaving the diner. In MacLaren's they share a beer with Thicke and the pizza delivery boy, and Robin stops by and explains that they have broken up. What the gang thought was Robin and Barney looking at them was really the couple aghast at their reflections. The realization makes them examine their relationship and they agree that "two awesomes cancel each other out", making them less than they want to be, so they break up. They quickly avoid all of Lily's traps and kiss each other goodbye. Barney laments that they will not be able to go back to being friends but Robin tells him not think of it as a break-up but as getting back together as friends. Although Robin says it might take Barney a while to recover from the breakup, he appears as his old self, catching enticing glances from most of the women in the bar and declaring "Daddy's home".

Before he leaves, Thicke reveals that he and Robin starred in a short-lived Canadian variety show. Barney runs off to find the footage.


  • Robin mocks Barney for having a life-size Imperial Stormtrooper statue in his apartment, calling them "Stormpoopers". In World's Greatest Couple, he previously had a Clone trooper costume in his apartment, which Lily actually mistook for a Stormtrooper.
  • Ted and Marshall refer to Robin's reaction when she thought Ted was proposing to her, which they tell Barney about in Something Blue, when coming up with their plan to break up Barney and Robin.
  • Barney sleeps with Meg and leaves her in the Dowisetrepla apartment in Dowisetrepla, and she is revealed to still be in love/obsessed with him in The Bracket.
  • The gang learns about Robin's friendship with Alan Thicke following the events of Sandcastles in the Sand, where Barney is surprised to see Thicke in the eponymous Robin Sparkles music video.
  • When Lily explains her plan for the 4-level fight, "Murder Train" by the Foreskins, Robin's ex-boyfriend's band, is playing, first introduced in Sandcastles in the Sand. The song is heard during fight scenes in several other episodes, including The Fight and The Leap.
  • Lily suggests they keep watching Barney's homemade porn, again displaying an intense fascination with Barney's bedroom activities, shown previously in The GoatMiracles, and The Naked Man.
  • The robot cookie jar from Intervention is present the apartment's kitchen.
  • Ted learned that Lily had broken up 6 of his past relationships in The Front Porch, where she broke up a 7th.
  • Barney suggests that he and Robin get married if they're still single when they turn 40, a deal Robin informs him she already made with Ted, in The Front Porch.
  • Barney wanting to be single again is first suggested in The Sexless Innkeeper.
  • Barney mentions that Robin's US citizenship, which she decided to apply for in Duel Citizenship, hasn't come through yet. Also, in Say Cheese, they are shown to be together in the flashback to her citizenship approval party, where it is implied that they are having problems.
  • The Battle of the Dirty Dishes (the first major fight that Lily mentions) is one of the fights Robin and Barney describe in Bagpipes.

Future References (Spoilers)


  • Daddy's home
  • Barney and Robin have let themselves go
  • Barney's video message to Ted.
  • Ted and Marshall hiding out at diner.
  • Robin after their breakup.
  • Barney finds out there is another video!
  • Barney has a rough time
For a listing of all images on the wiki tagged as being from this episode, see Category:The Rough Patch images.

Memorable Quotes

Woman's voice: ArchiSEXture, the world of—
(screen cuts to Barney)
Barney: Hello, Ted. If you're watching this tape, and I knew you'd pick this one, you are now in possession of my porn. This can only mean two things: either I'm dead, or I'm now in a committed relationship. If I'm dead, I want you to honor my memory by taking my body to the Hamptons and recreating Weekend at Bernie's: I wanna dance, I wanna have sex with a girl, and I wanna go fishing. If, on the other hand, I'm in a committed relationship, then as your best friend, I have only one request: Please for the love of God, GET ME OUT OF IT!

Ted: "ArchiSEXture"—that is not how you spell Buckminster Fuller.
Ted reads details from a pornographic film box

Fat Barney: Nothing would make me happier than being happy, but I'm not.
Old Robin: What are we doing wrong? We love each other. I mean, if this don't work, what will? We're so similar.
Fat Barney: We both like scotch. We're both awesome.
Old Robin: You know, maybe that's it. Maybe there's just too much awesome here.
Fat Barney: Exactly. Two awesomes cancel each other out, and I'm tired of being cancelled out.
Old Robin: Me, too.
Old Robin: Are we breaking up?
Fat Barney: I think so. Ah, crap. Now comes the next part. The part where you and can't go back to being friends.
Old Robin: Well, maybe this isn't a breakup. Maybe this is two friends getting back together.

Fat Barney: Getting back together as friends I like that.
Old Robin: One more for the road? (they kissed)
Fat Barney: And, I mean, who knows? Maybe, when, like, you turn 40, if you haven't found anyone
Old Robin: Oh, I already have that deal with Ted.
Fat Barney: Oh, right. Stupid.
Fat Barney: Well, maybe when you turn 39, if you haven't found anyone.
Future Ted: It turns out that they really did just need to let things run their course.

Notes and Trivia

Goofs and Errors

  • While Ted introduces his unnamed girlfriend in 2008, Lily's hair color is somehow mistaken as red instead of brown.

Allusions and Outside References

  • Barney modifies his "Legen-wait for it-dary!" catch phrase to describe an evening where they watched "Legen-wait for it-ds of the Falls! Legends of the Fall!
  • In the video message Barney has taped over Archisexture, he requests that, in the event of his death, Ted honor his memory and take his body to the Hamptons and reenact Weekend at Bernie's.
  • Robin describes musician Neil Young as a Canadian treasure.
  • CBS used clips from this episode and other episodes to promote Frosty the Snowman, redubbing it as Frosty the inappropriate Snowman.


Other Notes

  • International Airdates: Australia: March 24, 2010 on Channel 7; United Kingdom: July 8, 2010 on E4.
  • Marshall states that at some point Lily had gained weight in their relationship. This is a reference to Alyson Hannigan's weight gain while she was pregnant in real life.



  • Scott Tobias from The AV Club though skeptical of fat suits for what he describes as the Norbit Rule but felt it was worth it thanks to the "I’m my own wingman tonight" quip, and thought everything Alan Thicke related was funny. He is disappointed to see the show retreat back to where it was before but accepts Barney and Robin are not same characters unless independent. He gives the episode a rating of A- describing it as a near-classic. [1]
  • Brian Zoromski of IGN gave the episode 7.8 out of 10. [2]
  • Joel Keller of TV Squad notes this episode makes particularly effective use of Future Ted (Bob Saget) and the exaggerations and distortions he lends to the story, from fat Barney and haggard Robin, to the video flying magically into the player. [3]
  • Cindy McLennan of Television Without Pity gave the episode a C+ rating. [4]
  • The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 8.5 out of 10 stars.  "...who gets custody of Barney's porn collection?"


External Links

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