Tick Tick Tick

HIMYM episode 7x10 (146)

First aired:
November 14, 2011
Pamela Fryman
Chris Harris

Images (25)

Barney and Robin find themselves in an uncomfortable situation when they hide a secret from their significant others. Meanwhile, Marshall, Lily and Ted attend a concert.


The episode continues after Disaster Averted, starting with Barney and Robin in bed regretting what just happened. Robin says that she can't believe she cheated on Kevin and Barney says the same about Nora. Barney says "What's the expression..two wrongs make a right?", but Robin corrects him with "Two wrongs don't make a right!". They talk about how they have to go on a boat for 3 hours with Kevin and Nora later that evening. 

Meanwhile in Ted's apartment, Lily, Marshall, and Ted are going to Groova Palooza. Ted says that he got a 'sandwich', but Lily says that Marshall can't have it. However, at the concert, before Lily comes, Ted and Marshall eat the sandwich anyway. Marshall says that it was probably a special sandwich with "hard meats" as he isn't getting paranoid like usual. When Lily sits down, Marshall, while high, whispers to Lily; "Lily has no idea I'm high", then realizes what just happened and whispers it to Ted.

Back on the boat, sponsored by Sandy Rivers (so he can sleep with a new intern), Barney and Robin realize that they like each other. Barney is nervous about it but Kevin thinks Barney is nervous about meeting Nora's parents. Later when a band plays, Future Ted swears that the singer was telling Barney and Robin to tell the truth. They agree that they must tell their dates. Sandy tells the female intern, Erica, that he intends to sleep with her, and she throws her drink at him. Sandy ducks and the drink hits Kevin, causing him to fall and hit his head - giving him a concussion. That's why Robin did not tell Kevin about her and Barney. While Barney argues that he can't tell Nora, because she spilled sauce on her outfit. Barney and Robin then agree to tell their partners about the night before they get off the boat, they are then to meet at MacLaren's at midnight to talk about their relationship.

At the concert, Lily requests some nachos, and Ted and Marshall look for nachos. Since they 'ate a sandwich', they think the line for the women's bathroom is the line for nachos, after realizing this they walk around and find that they walked around the whole stadium. They continually see a weird man with a guitar, and they also continually think the women's bathroom line is the line for nachos. The creepy guitarist guy talks with Ted and gives him nachos. Ted says it doesn't matter since the concert is almost over and he walks away. Then Marshall sees the guitarist have a heart attack, and decides to forgive Ted for an earlier conflict. They sit down and are annoyed because they think they have been gone so long the concert is over, but Lily comes out to find them and tells them it hasn't even been 2 minutes. The truth is then revealed, with a security camera showing footage of the last two minutes. Ted and Marshall are shown walking round in a circle and shouting to each other. The creepy guitarist was really a life-size stand, and the nachos he "gave" Ted were actually pulled out of the trash, which resulted in Ted knocking him over accidentally - this was the cause of the 'heart attack.'

In the hospital, Kevin tells Robin that he loves her, for the first time. Robin then begins to tell Kevin about Barney, but Kevin stops her and says; "There are some things that need to be said, but not everyone needs to hear. I don't care about your past... I just care about the present."

At Nora's apartment, Nora's parents showed up a day early. Barney laments, 'Why didn't I tell her on the boat?' When Nora's parents say that when you met someone you love, you'll always think about them, Barney suddenly thinks about Robin. While Nora's parents are in the kitchen getting coffee, Barney tells Nora, and she asks if it meant anything, and Barney said yes, it did. Barney meets Ted, Marshall & Lily at the bar and tells them about breaking up with Nora, but he doesn't want to talk about it. Robin then comes into the bar looking glum, followed shortly after by Kevin. Barney looks at Robin as if to say 'What happened?' and she looks shakes her head. Barney then announces he should head home while Ted also tells the gang he should go to bed.

Ted goes up to his apartment and sees Barney blowing out candles and removing rose petals off of Robin's bed. He goes to his room, slightly confused.


  • Kevin thinks Barney is nervous about meeting Nora's Parents, from Disaster Averted.
  • Barney thinks about Robin in his mind and clips from various episodes play:
  • Ted and Marshall eat a "sandwich". This was first used in How I Met Everyone Else​.
  • Several people in the background, are seen eating a sandwich.
  • Barney says there is a video of him and Robin having sex. Barney has been known to record himself having sex with women. In Rebound Bro, Barney also blackmailed Robin by threatening to release the video of their first sexual encounter, which happened between the events of Sandcastles in the Sand and The Goat.
  • This is the second time Barney and Robin sleeping together would hurt someone else.
  • The first scene is likely a comparison to the beginning of The Goat, in which Barney and Robin wake up to the aftermath of sleeping together and are shocked.

Future References (Contains Spoilers)

  • Ted will tell Barney he saw him in Robin's room with the rose petals in No Pressure.


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

Memorable Quotes

Sandy Rivers: Erika, I've been meaning to speak with you all night.
Erika: Really? What about?
Sandy Rivers: About me bending your hard little body over the railings of this boat and copulating furiously while I admire the New York City Skyline, or if you're feeling dirty we can always face towards Jersey.

Robin: God, I wish last night never happened.
Barney: I don't.
Robin: What do you mean?
Barney: What if this whole thing; it isn't the story of how we both made a horrible mistake and ruined our relationships. What if it's actually the story of how we got back together?
Robin: Okay, I'm gonna ask you one last time. Is this what you want?
Barney: It's what we both want. Why else are we rushing to tell them what we did? On a boat. That is a terrible idea!
Robin: Barney, we tried this- and we failed. Why try again?
Barney: Because I haven't stopped thinking about you and you haven't stopped thinking about me.
Robin: I'm such a mess. Why do you even like me?
Barney: I guess... 'cause you're almost as messed up as I am.

Robin: I'm such a mess. Why do you even like me?
Kevin: I am constantly amazed by the things you say. Entranced by the things you do. And, unlike a certain jalapeno coconut vodka martini, you're easy on the eyes. If we're together long enough, I hope that you can see yourself the way I see you.
Robin: That's a pretty good answer.

Barney: What's that saying? About two wrongs making a right?
Robin: Two wrongs don't make a right?
Barney: No, that's not it.

Marshall: I think that sandwich was laced with other hard meats.

Barney: (after being disappointed and hurt by Robin) I should go. Tough night.
Robin: I'm so sorry.
Barney: Don't be. It's nothing.

Notes and Trivia

Goofs and Errors

  • In World's Greatest Couple​, Barney says to Lily he has just one pillow on his bed, but there are three pillows in this episode.
    • Barney having one pillow was a part of his single antics, but in this episode he's in a relationship and it is known that Nora spent the night at least once in Noretta​.
  • In the previous episode, Disaster Averted, Robin suggests she and Barney split a cab since she had to go to work. Obviously she didn't go to work, nor could she have called out or she would've realized what she was doing.
  • In A Change of Heart​, Nora's dad's hair was short and sort of afro but in this episode his hair is long and straight.
  • In A Change of Heart, Nora said that her parents only come in to visit once a year. Barney and Nora met in February of 2011, and this episode also still happens in 2011

Allusions and Outside References


Other Notes

  • The exterior of Groova Palooza was shot at the Moda Center, in Portland, Oregon.



Featuring an interview with Craig Thomas and Chris Harris.


  • Donna Bowman of the AV Club graded the episode at B+, stating that Barney trying to accept the reality that he still pines for Robin is one of the episode's defining moments, even if the price was losing Nora. [1]
  • IGN rated the episode with an 8/10. [2]
  • Paste Magazine's Adam Vitcavage gave the episode a 9.2 and praised the final moments of the episode, saying that Neil Patrick Harris' acting was taken to a higher level, and applauding the writers. Of the writing he said, "We’ve had the chance to laugh out loud and choke back tears throughout the six and a half seasons and with “Tick, Tick, Tick…” it seems like we’re on the track back to balancing the two emotions extremely well". [3]
  • Angel Cohn of Television Without Pity graded the episode at C, stating that Robin was utterly indecisive the entire episode and seemingly just desperate to be in a relationship. Not the same independent girl we once knew. [4]
  • The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 8 out of 10 stars. "...did that mean anything?"


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