How I Met Your Mother

Season 4 Episode 15

The Stinsons

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Mar 02, 2009 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (14)

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out of 10
348 votes
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • 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.

  • Unrealistic.

    I laughed when I looked at the episode page picture, it's like everybody is saying, "Why am I even in this show? This episode was pretty bad." This is the lowest I've given a HIMYM episode, it seems as though the writers have just given up, and there has been no mention of the mother in weeks. Barney casts a fake family? The only good thing about this episode is that we finally meet Barney's mom, but that's just about it. Ted was incredibly annoying in this episode, with Barney's "wife". Didn't we know that Lilly & Marshall's mom had issues since 109? The first season Thanksgiving episode. The fact that they had to bring this random plot out of nowhere made no sense. Robin bonding with the little boy was laughable. It's like I was watching a different show. It's like someone won a contest, and won the rights to write an episode of HIMYM. All the characters were out of place and unlikable in this episode. The only worthy scene is the bonding between Barney & his mom by the end, and when he looked at Robin which shows the viewers he's still in love with her. A poor episode, with pretty much nothing "great" about it. Just one eventful scene, nothing funny or anything. Not up to par.
  • Undoubtedly the worst episode of the series. We're all willing to suspend reality, but this one was just too much.

    This was undoubtedly the worst episode of the series. We're all willing to suspend reality, but this one was just too much. This was too much. I hope this episode was an aberration. This show is basically a soap opera, and this plot twist has absolutely no redeeming qualities regarding character development or plotline, and wasn't very entertaining. Hopefully it's an aberration and not a trend, because this is in general a well-written show. This review has to be at least one hundred words long or won't let me post it. This review will end in just a second.
  • Sounds like something Barney would do! Another fantastic episode.

    After noticing some bizarre and elusive behavior from Barney, the gang starts to suspects that he may have found a girlfriend. When he mysteriously leaves MacLaren's during drinks they decide to follow him, and they discover that he's actually been secretly visiting his mother. However, they also discover that Barney has convinced his mother that he's married and has a son, and that he'd hired actors to portray them. After barging in on Barney with his "family," the gang has no option but to play along, until Ted gets caught cheating with Barney's "wife." Meanwhile, Lily admits to Marshall that she hates his mother, while Robin commiserates with the old soul portraying Barney's "son."
  • barney-centric episode (spoiler alert!)

    the gang thinks barney's in a relationship but actually hes a big mamas much that he hired ppl to be his fake family!
    we meet barney's mother for the 1st time and find out why he's the way he is....
    i didnt get how grant got the part.hes horrible!has anyone realise the kid who plays grant/tyler was in season 2 as ted's nephew in how lily stole christmas?
    barney routes for the villians in movies. also he still feels for robin!i love those two together!hop they last!

    we learn alot about the characters like ted likes acting and lily dislikes marshall's mom.

    so it was an okay episode in my opinion thats why i gave it a 5 score.
  • Sorry, I had to give this one a low score! This episode was unoriginal, extremely silly, and way too unreal.

    Sorry, I had to give this one a low score!
    This episode was unoriginal, extremely silly, and way too unreal.

    I even sensed a decline in the quality of writing; this and the fact that some scenes were so predictable.
    They need to get back to the HIMYM spirit I know.
    What kind of mother can be fooled with her son's fake marriage? What son is capable of doing this for years?
    No, No, they went too far with this.
    On a side note, they should do something to lily's character; She's no longer funny!
    I thought that after waiting for almost a month, we would get real comedy!

  • The gang spies on Barney..

    HIMYM may very well be the worst one of all CBS comedies. Once a hilarious show, this season has made it take the crapper. I wont be venting out this time, as honestly, it wasn't like I dint see this coming.

    I initially wanted to give a rating of 1, but the dinner table scene was a little funny, so I decided to up the meter by 3 points. I gather the fact that the writers are trying to come up with funny stuff; hell yeah that's their job. But, the whole show now seems weird with the cameras focusing hip up for Lily and Robin, and not to forget some untypical character depiction. Marshall going all mellow in a couple of scenes looks sick.

    Well, this has indeed become the Office of CBS.
  • The gang discovers that Barney has been keeping a secret family for years now, which leads them to discover a few things they each have kept hidden from each other.

    I thought this was a very interesting episode for the show, while it's premise a person keeping a secret family was a little off the book, the fact that it was Barney made it believable and hilarious.

    So when Barney left the bar after getting a puzzling phone call without hitting on a trio of hot blondes the gang was worried, well confused. So as they tailed his cab out of Manhattan, I began to wonder what exactly is he doing? Here is where we meet The Stinsons, and in an attempt to model the forgotten sitcoms of the 80's and 90's hilarity ensues. We finally put a face to Loretta Stinson, in the past she voiced by the recognizable Megan Mullaly, but as she pointed out to Marshall and Lily she has changed her ways she was replaced in flesh by the talented Frances Conroy. The house was everything I thought it should be, the slightly tacky wallpaper and the funky mantle picture, it was everything I pictured. Loretta herself was great, Frances Conroy plays a sweet and demure woman with a desire to scream out her unhappiness for not being a wild woman better than anyone out there. The backstory was she almost died several years ago and wanted to see her children happy and settled down, but since those two things don't really compare for Barney he decided that his mom had been through enough, losing Bob Barker and all, so he hired an actress to play his wife. Unfortunately for the plan, and fortunately for the hilarity, Loretta pulled through and thus the charade continued, and eventually led to the casting of Tyler, as Barney's precocious son. The gang was completely taken aback by the Stinson family, mainly Ted who could not figure out where he had seen Mrs. Stinson before, but he soon would realize that they share a similar passion. Ted realized that he had once seen Barney's wife in a German play, which had pretentious written all over it, and the two shared acting tips. Robin bonded with Tyler, or Grant, as they vented on how their current jobs are beneath them. While Marshall and Lily learned a little too much about Loretta in the kitchen about her behavior in the gas station. Marshall and Lily felt that Barney needed to come clean with his mother, since she was so sweet and kind-hearted, and they did not feel comfortable lying to her. Marshall went so far as to compare her to his own mother, and Lily had to disagree as she felt Marshall's mother was mean. Lily quickly tried to cover her tracks by offering to have sex with Marshall in Barney's bed again, his race car bed, which according to Marshall handles great. Lily revealed that her mother-in-law told her on her wedding day that she would not be joining Marshall in heaven.

    Then came the dinner scene, which Barney scripted, the meatloaf was on and the big scene was about to begin, but of coarse 'Tyler no likey meatloaf'. The dinner commenced and Barney and the Mrs told a quirky story of an almost forgotten anniversary. Barney laid on thick with the pet names and then turned to Ted and said "This is what your actually like in a relationship." Then Tyler told a story about his latest nightmare, the one where the dinosaur bones come to life, which scared the always superstitious Marshall. As the meatloaf was gone it was time for dessert, sundaes, how nice. Ted and Betty cleared the table and in the kitchen succumb to their passion for the theater. When Loretta walked in and witnessed the infidelity the campiness of this episode was brought to a whole new level. Ted took Betty's acting lessons to heart and created an elaborate story in which Ted kissed Betty as an act of revenge for Barney kissing his blind fiance and swindling some Algerians on a train to Monte Carlo a little over a decade ago, what made this moment better besides the slaps was Betty looking on in delight and awe of Ted's acting.

    Barney had no choice but to pull his mother aside and explain he had been lying to her for years, and she was grateful since she hated Betty and Tyler, with his catchphrase, and not to mention his friends. Loretta offered Barney some motherly advice, all she wanted was for her son to be happy, and that would in turn make her happy, queue Robin entering and Barney melting.

    Who would have thought that this episode was going to turn out to be another Barney's unrequited love for Robin episode? Other highlights were Betty pretending to be Marshall's mother on the cab rides home, and Grant putting the moves on Robin. While this episode shied away from the telling of how I met your mother, it was an interesting look into the life of Barney Stinson.
  • The gang discover that Barney has a fake marriage to make his mother happy. Meanwhile Marshall is hurt when Lilly says she hates his mother.

    This episode was a strange one. Over the last few eps the writers seem to be able to come up with some strong concepts that never live up to what they are capable of being. But in this case we are given a blown out really poor concept for an episode but it is milked for all it is worth and it makes the episode really quite amusing.

    This week the gang believe that Barney has committed to a girl as he sets off somewhere that they know nothing about. They soon discover that he has a wife and child and is having dinner at his mother's house. Well, not really, Barney has hired actor's to pretend for his mother's sake that he is happily married. But soon events transpire that force Barney to consider telling his mother the truth.

    Meanwhile Marshall is shocked to find out that Lilly hates Marshall's mother. This ep is really quite funny for is a really stupid concept. Even for Barney this is very far out but to the credit of the writers theydo find a way to make it really very funny. My real problem lies an issue I have had with this season for sometime. The whole premise of the show has been lost since Ted was left at the alter and everything since have felt like filler episodes. Come on guys! get bac on track, Neil Patrick Harris can't carry this show for much longer.
  • This is ridiculous.

    You know How I Met Your Mother has been on a fine line for quite some time but there is absolutely no excuse for an episode this ridiculous. It is not that there weren't not any good jokes, as there were several really clever moments and lines, but the reality is absolutely absent.

    How I Met Your Mother used to portray life in New York City almost to the extent that it was (for people who could afford to blow $100 a night on beer at least) but now Barney has a fake family?

    No, this is too much and how anyone could justify this is outrageous. Elsewhere Jason Segel continues to be one of the most annoying faces on TV. I used to be such a big Marshall fan, but now I wonder why as he is terrible.