How I Met Your Mother

Season 4 Episode 15

The Stinsons

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Mar 02, 2009 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
347 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Suspecting he has a secret girlfriend, the gang follows Barney when he leaves MacLaren's and discovers he seemingly has been keeping a family secret from them.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Better structured than it is funny

    Season 3 and 4 have yet to hold a candle to the first 2 seasons of this show in comedy. However one thing remains, and that's the impeccable structuring of How I Met Your Mother. This one started out well with a shocker, Barney Stinson is showing signs of affection to a woman. This leads them to following Barney to visit his mother, where they found out he's hired a woman and kid to play his wife and son. That spawned off three different storylines of Marshall and Lily having tension concerning Lily's feelings for Marshall's mother, with Robyn and the hired kid actor, and Ted and the actress Barney is supposedly married to.

    Two reasons why I love this episode. One, in the end all the storylines were brought together. Ted is caught making out with the actress where he's honing his acting abilities, and uses it on Barney. And then when Barney confronts his mother about the truth of his scheme, it brings him closer to wanting Robyn. And then there's Marshall and Lily getting over their ordeal by Lily calling Marshall's mom, when in reality she's calling the actress Barney hired to give her advice on how to fake the conversation.

    Secondly I love it because Barney, for the first time this show, doesn't hide behind his lies. Even though it became a set up for the gag that followed, his mother relieved to hear she doesn't like his wife and kid, it really made Barney's character develop. Even if it is something small.

    Great episode.moreless
  • The Secret Family

    This episode of How I Met Your Mother is so far the best episode, as it made me could not guess what exactly happen to Stinson's family until the truth was revealed. This episode started with Barney acting strangely, for instance being not interested into the blondes in MacLaren's bar, saying "I Love You" through phone and also leaving early from the usual gang meet up. His friends felt him very weird lately, and decided to follow him back home, and they found out that Barney hid his family from the his friends' knowledge. Inside the house, Barney introduced his friends his mother, Loretta; his wife, Margeret; and even his SON, Tyler !!! I was really shocked in the first time, as I could even expect Barney Stinson has already had a family. Robin Scherbatsky supposed to be the one Barney go for in my mind.

    Later, Barney told his friends that both the wife and son were actually fake, but he casted them to please her mother that he will have a really happy family, as what his mother wished for, when his mother was in a critical health condition. However, his mother did not die, so he needed to continuing faking his "family". Betty was the one who faked Margeret, and she is a theater geek, being good in acting, That was the reason why Ted and she can converse well in their conversation. Betty apparently taught Ted some tips on acting, so Ted made up with Betty inside the kitchen, and caused an argument between Barney and him, Ted even slapped Barney.

    Barney felt so annoyed, and he finally decided to go clean, and tell his mother the truth. He felt so relieved that his mother actually was not upset of his previous fault, but she frankly told him that she actually did not like his fake "wife", "son", and even his four other friends. Lastly, she told Barney to pursue a girl he likes, and did not repeat the same mistake that she made in the past.moreless
  • Barney's new life

    A surprising start to this episode when Barney decides to skip the blonde drunks at the bar to do something else. The gang follows him and u find out that he has a family. It was a good start to the episode. However similar when you find out that Barney might have been a father, you quickly realize this it not true. Also like when Barney tries to seduce he comes up with a rich back story. This time he does it to impress his mom. You have to admire his dedication to making his mom happy. The role of Barney's mom was a good choice. Like Barney she enjoyed "company" in her younger days. Now she is a women trying to better herself. While Barney trying to please his mom was nice I wonder why did it since his half-brother had a child and is married. Barney's "wife" and "kid" were admirable choices. I like the wife better. It was enjoyable how Barney wanted everyone to skip to the "script". The kid was a little annoying. I enjoyed Barney's comment about kid actors being better in the 80's. It was not much of a surprise that Ted and the wife were interested in each other and hooked up with a shared love of theater. I liked the back story on why Ted did it with the tips she gave Ted on acting. Barney tried to cover this up with more lies but decided to come clean and tell her the truth.

    Other funny moments are when Lilly and Marshall debated whether they should do it on Barney's childhood bed again and the call between Lilly and Marshall's

    The ending was really nice when Loretta told Barney he shouldn't run away from some one he likes and then Robin came in. While this episode might have been as others, this was still worth watching. And yes another good song at the end.moreless
  • Barney casts a wife and kid to please his mother.

    This was a unique episode, but a little crazy and unrealistic. But it shows how there ARE some people that Barney doesn't ever want to upset which is nice, even if it is his mother who admitted to being a whore when she was younger. When she thinks she is dying, Barney realizes she told him she didn't want him ending up alone, so he casts a fake wife and then when she requests grandchildren, his "wife" lies and says she's pregnant, with their fake son. The other subplots were even less enjoyable as Ted all of a sudden wants to become an actor and then Lily admits she doesn't like Marshall's mother. I thought we knew this?moreless
  • The gang follow Barney and find out he has a wife and son.

    "The Stinsons" in my opinion is an entertaining episode How I met Your Mother episode. I love how the gang is suspicious the Barney has a secret lover and they follow him and it turns out he has a wife and a son. I love how he reveals that they are actors and he hired them because he thought his mom was dying and he thought it would make her happy if she died knowing he was married. But then she recovered, so Barney has a fake family. I love how Barney writes scripts for his friends. I love how Barney reveals to his mother that Betty and Tyler are just actors and I love how she's relieved because she doesn't like them. I give this episode a 8/10.moreless
Brooke D'Orsay

Brooke D'Orsay


Guest Star

Zachary Gordon

Zachary Gordon


Guest Star

Kimberly Pfiffer

Kimberly Pfiffer

Stage Mom

Guest Star

Frances Conroy

Frances Conroy

Loretta Stinson

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Barney: Look, mom, there's something I have to tell you, something I should have told you a long time ago. Tyler is dying, and Betty said that when he goes she's gonna off herself. So that's all probably going to go down pretty soon.

    • Lily: Barney, check it, three blond babies drinking bad decision juice at eight o'clock.

    • Marshall: Where is Barney going?
      Ted: Yeah. We're not even in Manhattan anymore. Where's this girl live?
      Robin: We're talking about a woman who's gotten Barney to commit. I'm guessing Narnia.

    • Lily: Wait, Barney, hold on. Where are you going?
      Barney: Nowhere. (he pauses) The beach. It's winter. Laser tag. Home. Shut up! You're going somewhere.

    • (Talking about Barney's choices for heroes in films)
      Robin: I got one: Terminator?
      Barney: What is the name of the movie, Robin? Who among us didn't shed a tear when his little red eye went out at the end, and he didn't get to kill those people?

  • NOTES (5)

    • The German episode title is "Die Stinsons". The French title is "La famille Stinson", meaning "The Stinson Family". The Italian title is "Famiglia in affitto", meaning "Family for Rent".

    • The nephew in the episode "How Lily Stole Christmas" is the same actor as the kid who plays Barney's son Taylor, or Grant which is his real name, in the episode.

    • International Airdates: Australia: April 27, 2009 on Channel 7; United Kingdom: March 18, 2010 on E4; Czech Republic: November 16, 2010 on Prima COOL

    • Music: "Vertigo" by Anya Marina played when Barney comes clean to his mother about not being married.

    • This episode was originally scheduled to air February 9, 2009, but was pre-empted due to President Obama's first prime-time news conference.


    • When the gang is following Barney on his way to meet his "girlfriend," they wonder out loud where his mystery girlfriend could live. Robin jokes that for the girl to be able to get Barney to commit, she must live in Narnia. Narnia is the mystical world created by C.S. Lewis for his fantasy novel The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe that the main characters enter via a portal in the wardrobe.

    • Barney, talking about the actor playing his son's poor abilities, says, "Call me crazy, but child actors were better in the '80s," slyly referring to Neil Patrick Harris' own career. This is accompanied by sound-alike music to the theme of his show, Doogie Howser, MD.