HIMYM episode 9x15 (199)

Unpause (5)
First aired:
January 20, 2014
Pamela Fryman
Chris Harris
Barney's Blog

Images (6)

When Barney drinks too much, Ted and Robin take advantage of him and get him to reveal secrets he’s been hiding for years. Meanwhile, Marshall does everything he can to avoid fighting with Lily.


The first scene, a flash forward, is set 1:45 A.M. in the year 2017 where the visibly pregnant Mother and Ted are at the Farhampton Inn. The Mother has gone into labor and is experiencing contractions. Ted prepares to leave for the hospital with her.

The storyline flashes back to the latest development in Future Ted's story to his kids. Going back to Sunday at 2:00 am (16 hours before the wedding), Barney is still feeling the slap from Marshall an hour agoRobin wants to rest for the big day, but Marshall buys drinks for the group to keep them up and together, all because he wants to sustain the pause postponing his argument with Lily. Future Ted narrating recalls his mother's teaching of Nothing Good Happens After 2 A.M. as the clock strikes 2:01 A.M. and the gang are still drinking. 

Barney quickly enters the 'Jabba-the-Hutt' stage of drunkenness, which Ted explains is high on a scale of various levels of inebriation he has witnessed Barney in during their friendship. Soon after with more Glen McKenna 35 from Marshall, Barney enters an entirely new level of drunkenness where he continually speaks the truth, especially when prompted. Seeking to take advantage of the opportunity, Ted and Robin grill him on topics that have left them desperate for clarity over the years. Questions and subsequent responses reveal: Barney and Virginia never got to where Ted imagined, Barney spends an exorbitant annual sum on suits accounting for the fact that Robin holds a lot of family money unbeknownst to Ted, Barney slept with Madeleine Albright when she was not the Secretary of State, and the details of what Barney does at Goliath National Bank.

Encouraged to delve deeper, Barney explains in detail beyond the word "Please", his answer with a sneer and rolling of eyes whenever asked what he is employed to do. In 1998, after being dumped by Shannon for Greg, Barney went through his transformation that left him awesome and decided to enter the corporate world, but with ulterior motives. He finds and asks Greg for a corporate job at AltruCell Corporation, and is given the 'please' task, an acronym for Provide Legal Exculpation And Sign Everything.When Robin questioned Barney on being the fall guy, since he task legally implicated Barney in all corporate mishaps and schemes, Barney then reveals the main motivation (besides morality) behind his employment record was to track Greg down. In a flash forward, Barney reveals he's been working with the feds, who intend to shut everything down and arrest him; Greg questioned this while Barney states it was to gain his trust, then destroy him for stealing Shannon from him. Greg is then arrested while swearing revenge on barney who merely walks out, satisfied at getting even.

Simultaneously, Marshall is told by Lily upstairs that they won't start fighting until after sex, which makes Marshall determined to bang Lily until she fell asleep. He even enlists the aid of some performance-enhancing drugs from Barney to sustain his bravado. Marshall is successful but inadvertently wakes her and they fight. Marshall explains he loves Lily and that the judgeship could be a huge benefit for their family's future, thus necessitating face-to-face discussion; he remarks the judgeship should not be given up in favor of Lily's 'hobby' of art consultation. Lily is adamant about 'following her dream' by going to Italy and refuses to budge. She claims Marshall acted more selfishly than she ever was to him for taking the judgeship without considering or consulting her. A visibly taken aback Marshall calls her logic out by citing her incomparably selfish decision to break up with him, call off their engagement and wedding and leave for San Francisco. Lily refutes with the fact she apologized repeatedly and nothing is more important to her than her family and is upset Marshall is now saying he never forgave her for what she did several years prior. Marshall demands to know whether he, Marvin, and any future children they might have are acting as a consolation prize for what Lily was unsuccessful in finding in San Francisco. Unable to respond and without pausing, a broken Lily departs and calls an unrevealed figure to pick her up and leave the Inn immediately.

Meanwhile, Ted and Robin pose their last questions to truthful Barney, who assures Robin that there will be a ring bearer named Trevor Hudson at the wedding, since he wants her to have the perfect wedding. Touched, Robin leaves for bed and entrusts Ted with Barney. Barney admits to Ted that he really loves Robin, and without her he would still be broken. Fast forwarding to 2017, The Mother and Ted are leaving the Inn to go to the hospital with their daughter Penny. Future Ted admits while Virginia always said "Nothing Good Happens After 2 AM", the one exception was his son, Luke being born. In the last scene before the credits, a husky animal keeper is dragging a chain in a dimly lit holding room for large animals and proclaims, "C'mon Trevor Hudson, it's feeding time," at which an audible growl is heard.


  • The title is a reference to Marshall and Lily's ability to "pause" fights and continue them later. (which was first seen in Come On​​). When Marshall arrives to Farhampton in Bass Player Wanted, Lily and him immediately "pause" before their fight about their future begins. Subsequently, their fight is unpaused in this episode by Lily after her and Marshall have sex. The title is also a reference to finally unpausing Marshall and Lily's fight about Lily going to San Francisco when they were about to get married.
  • Lily going to San Francisco and calling off the wedding occurred in Come On.
  • Ted's future children have been used to drive the narrative of the series since the How I Met Your Mother began. In this episode it is revealed that their names are Luke and Penny. It is also revealed that Luke was born in 2017 (13 years old by 2030). Luke's name could also be a reference to the common fan theory that Ted named his children Luke and Leia, after the characters from Star Wars. Ted mentions that he wants to name his children Luke and Leia in Milk and again in Landmarks.
  • Future Ted mentions that 'nothing good ever happens after 2 A.M.', this is a focal point of Nothing Good Happens After 2 A.M..
  • Lily's attraction to Marshall's calves are mentioned. This is in reference to her fetish first brought up in Brunch​​​.
  • Barney reveals many secrets that were kept throughout the span of the series:
    • Barney actually only kissed Ted's Mother, before getting kicked out of the car.
    • Barney was not joking when he said "The things I know about this company. I won't ever be fired" in Mosbius Designs​​​. His job is revealed as PLEASE (Provide Legal Exculpation And Sign Everything).
    • Barney reveals how he got his job, for which the events occurred during the story told in Game Night.
    • Barney getting 'truth serum drunk' is a reference to The Scorpion and the Toad where Ted tells Robin that Lily will tell the truth about anything after three shots of tequila.
    • Barney's 'Richard Dawson drunk' reaction to peppermint schnapps was previously stated in The Perfect Cocktail.
    • Robin is very rich, but refers to the wealth as her family's money and not her own. The wealth explains how in the Pilot she lives alone in a large Brooklyn apartment despite her job as a junior reporter at the very low-rated Metro News 1. Hints of the family wealth appear in other episodes, such as the helicopter ride in Mystery vs. History​​​ and her mansion in Happily Ever After​​​.
    • Barney gives Marshall performance-enhancing drugs. In Perfect Week, he said to Jim Nantz that he doesn't use performance-enhancing drugs.
    • Barney says something is 6.046875 inches long (6 3/64 inches), although it's implied and can be assumed that he's referring to his penis, as Robin confirms it.
    • Barney says "the most women he's been with in one night is 4, in one family 3".
    • Barney says he went to M.I.T - The Magician's Institute of Teaneck. He previously told Ted he went to M.I.T in The Drunk Train.
  • Robin has been worried about Barney bringing a bear to the wedding through most of the season.
  • Marshall takes Ted's mug, his turtle puppet and his photo with the balloon in The Lighthouse​​​.
  • Barney's face has the slap sign, given by Marshall at Slapsgiving 3: Slappointment in Slapmarra.
  • The events from No Questions Asked mentioned at the beginning of the episode. Additionally, Lily used a landline instead of a mobile phone to contact someone. This was a result of Ted's 'no questions asked' request of Lily to break her mobile phone in that episode to prevent her from seeing Daphne's text breaking the news of taking the judgeship without previously telling her.  
  • The gang drank Glen McKenna several times this season. The gang found out that there's 35 year bottles in Bass Player Wanted (which they tried this time), after they broke and tried several 30 year bottles in previous episodes.
  • In a flashback to one of Marshall and Lily's fights, Lily says that she has to put up with his mother. Lily and Marshall's mother, Judy, didn't get along in earlier seasons, but this changed as the show progressed.
  • When giving himself a pep talk, Marshall mentions his law school funk band, The Funk, The Whole Funk and Nothing But the Funk, which was first mentioned in Unfinished and later again in Bass Player Wanted.
  • Ted's 'detective' skills and skills of deduction have been mentioned throughout the series.
  • Barney recalls the story of when he and Shannon broke up, as seen in Game Night.
  • When Barney says "Not while she was Secretary of State" while he was truth-serum drunk, it may be implying his time with Madeleine Albright, mentioned before in The Yips​​​ and The Bracket​​​. Barney also said this twice, which suggests that besides Albright, he also had an encounter with either Condoleezza Rice or Hillary Clinton, the only two female Secretaries of State other than Albright.
  • When the Feds arrest Greg, the music playing in the background is the same music in Barney's video resume from The Possimpible.

Future References (Contains Spoilers)

  • The picture of Ted and the red balloon will be mentioned throughout Sunrise.
  • The gang says that they will go hard the night before the wedding. None of them will wind up sleeping, as seen in How Your Mother Met Me and Sunrise.
  • Barney gets extremely drunk in this episode, he is drunk, and eventually hungover from this until the end of Rally.
  • Where Lily went during her argument with Marshall will be the focal point of Daisy​.


  • Barney is truth serum drunk
  • Marshall congratulates himself after banging Lily to sleep
  • Lily leaves Farhampton Inn
  • Trevor Hudson, the ring bear(er)
  • Ha, P.L.E.A.S.E.
For a listing of all images on the wiki tagged as being from this episode, see Category: Unpause images.

Memorable Quotes

Future Ted: Nothing good happens after 2 a.m., but there's an exception to every rule. That exception was you, Luke.

Ted: Dude, you're getting married tomorrow. How are you doing?
Barney: Good. I mean, I'm a little nervous, but I love Robin more than I've ever loved anyone and I'm gonna do everything I can to make her happy. For a long time, deep down, I've felt sort of... broken? But I don't feel that way anymore. Robin, along with the idea that vengeance will soon be mine has made me 100% awesome.

Ted: I'm proud of you. Penny is proud of you.
The Mother: (To Penny) Let's go get you a baby brother, okay?

Barney: You guys can't still see where Marshall slapped me, can you?
Ted: Your face looks like a "Don't walk" signal.
Robin: Your face looks like a photo negative of the "Hamburger Helper" box.
Ted: A palm reader could tell Marshall's future by studying your face.
Robin: The phrase "Talk to the hand cause the face ain't listening" doesn't work for you because the hand is on your face.
Barney: .. A simple "Yes" would have sufficed.

Lily: No more pausing. We're getting through this argument.
Marshall: Okay. No potshots at my mom.
Lily: Fine, no distracting me with your calves.
Marshall: Fine. Look, I love you, Lilypad.
Lily: I love you, Marshmallow. (deep breath) Now (exhales) how could you take that job without telling me?!
Lily: Baby, I'm sorry, but they needed an answer right away. This is a huge opportunity, it could be very good for our family, and we have to at least talk about it.
Lily: Sorry, you lost your chance to talk about it when you didn't talk about it. We're going to Italy.
Marshall: But I could be a judge. We can't give that up for what is clearly just a hobby. Pause.
Lily: No pause. That "hobby" is my dream. We're going to Italy.
Marshall: But it's my dream to...
Lily: We are going to Italy!
Marshall: Baby, can you just?
Lily: We are going to Italy! Don't you get it? You went behind my back. You hurt me. You were more selfish than I have ever been to you.
Marshall: You broke up with me and moved to San Francisco.

Future Ted: And then, kids, Barney revealed to us his master plan. It all went down a few months after the wedding.
Barney: Hey, Greg? I know you're busy, but FYI, I've been colluding with the Feds. They know everything. And they're on their way up right now to shut down this division and arrest you. Door closed or?
Greg: What? Why would you do that?
Barney: Oh, gosh, countless moral reasons could have applied, but this is pretty much revenge for stealing my girlfriend. See? That day, I vowed I would do everything in my power to track you down, gain your trust, and then destroy you.
Greg: Who are you?
Barney: Who am I? Just a guy who served you coffee once. Peace out, loser.

Lily: Why are you bringing up San Francisco? That was seven years ago.
Marshall: Because you are being selfish all over again.
Lily: Marshall, I apologized over and over again. Now you're saying you never have forgiven me? There is nothing more important to me than our family. You know that.
Marshall: Well, let me ask. What if you had found success in San Francisco? How do I know that you even would've come back to me?
Lily: Stop it.
Marshall: Are Marvin and I and any other future children we may have just some consolation prize?
Lily: (upset)I have to get out of here.
Marshall: Babe? (door slams)

Notes and Trivia

Goofs and Errors

  • Barney mentions that the late night with Henri was the only time he ever split a cab. He and Robin intended to split a cab in Disaster Averted, but ended up both going to Barney's apartment instead.
    • However, we did not hear the question, so it could have been "Have you ever split a cab with someone other than Robin?"
  • During the flashforward where the Mother is in labor, Ted is wearing a wedding ring. Later we learn that he and the Mother do not get married until 2020. However, he proposed to her in 2015, and later re-proposed shortly before their wedding.
  • When there's a close-up on the clock, you can see that the time is 1:50 A.M., but after 2 minutes, the title says the time is 2:01 A.M.
  • By the time Robin and Ted begin asking Barney questions the slap mark on his face has disappeared.
    • Time had passed since the slap, the slap mark could have easily disappeared on its own.
  • When Marshall and Lily return to their room to have their fight, Marshall's belt is visibly sagging from underneath his shirt, showing that it's not actually threaded through his pant's belt loops. This was likely to make it easier for Lily to remove quickly like she did.

Allusions and Outside References

  • Marshall mentions Jimi Hendrix and James Brown when giving himself a pep talk.
  • Robin mentions Hamburger Helper in reference to Barney's red, swollen face.
  • Barney's state of drunkenness was compared to Jabba the Hutt from Star Wars. Another state of drunkenness was his "Richard Dawson" state.
  • We find out that Robin's family is massively rich and so Barney brings in the Feds to screw Greg and ultimately ending his own career, which is why he writes blogs in Last Forever - Part Two. This could also be the reason their marriage doesn't last he expected Robin to give up her career.


Other Notes

  • Infant Penny Mosby is played by Georgina Bays, Carter Bays' daughter.
  • It's confirmed that Barney actually did mean that the ring bearer is a bear (before it was hinted by him, as saying "Ring Bear"). His name is also revealed to be "Trevor Hudson".
  • A caption at the beginning of the episode reads "present day" as the scene transitions to the weekend of Robin and Barney's wedding. This deviates from the show's standard of using specific dates to denote the present, usually correlating with the day the episode was first broadcast. Since the wedding is now set a year in the past from the episode's original air date, this was likely a deliberate change in format.
  • "Craploads" is used by the characters as a stand-in for an exorbitant amount of money. If one "crapload" translates hypothetically to, say, $10,000 then Barney spends $10,000 on suits every year; he was paid $160,000 a year when hired at AltruCell; and Robin's family is worth CAD$60,000,000.
  • During his pep talk, Marshall says "your law-school funk band pretty much anywhere", showing his inflated infatuation for the band, considering they only had one gig, attented solely by the gang.


  • The episode was viewed by 8.76 million people. [2]
  • Donna Bowman of the  A.V. Club gave this episode a B+, stating that overall, the episode was a "good thing" for the viewers, as all the storylines are now bringing us even closer to where we want them to be. [3]
  • Robert Canning of IGN gave the episode an 8.5 out of 10. He said that the episode was "made especially significant thanks to Barney revealing what he does for a living" and added that " this episode was easily one of their best in years" for Marshall and Lily. The only qualm he had with the episode is Ted and Robin's money argument, stating that it was not given a "proper payoff" and felt unresolved. [4]
  • Ethan Alter of Televison Without Pity gave the episode a B, calling it the season's best episode [so far], and that the characters are slowly becoming likeable again. He praised Jason Segel and Alyson Hannigan's performances, as well as the writing of Chris Harris.  He also praised Barney's storyline, saying that he is now "cool again", but says that Ted still needs to become tolerable again, and the writers should give Robin her spine back.[5]
  • The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 9.5 out of 10 stars. "...they finally get some answers out of Barney..."


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Start a Discussion Discussions about Unpause

  • Ted/Barney/Robin

    6 messages
    • does barney know about victoria though?
    • Krys78 wrote:does barney know about victoria though? Hmm...I never really thought about that too much. Probably not.
  • "Unpause" Discussion Thread

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    • Babar Suhail wrote:And I forgot to mention how hilarious the "unarousing things" montage. And who else got what was "six and th...