A Change of Heart
|"A Change of Heart"|
|How I Met Your Mother episode|
|Episode no.||Season 6
|Directed by||Pamela Fryman|
|Written by||Matt Kuhn|
|Original air date||February 28, 2011|
|Season 6 episodes|
Chastened by Marshall's father's fatal heart attack, the gang all go to get their hearts checked, except Barney, who is too scared to go alone. Lily agrees to accompany him so long as Barney promises her to never lie to his new girlfriend, Nora. When Barney visits the cardiologist, she requests that he wears a heart monitor for 24 hours, citing a possible arrhythmia. The next day, Barney and Lily return to the doctor, who notices some oddities in the readout. She asks Barney what happened at these certain times, and Barney tells the story of the last 24 hours.
When Barney was at dinner with Nora, she began talking about marriage and settling down, causing Barney's heart to race in fear. Barney eventually says that he wants the same things. The couple go to MacLaren's, and while Nora is in the restroom, Barney recounts the dinner to his friends and Lily punches him in the chest, leading to a 14-second cardiac arrest. Barney blackmails the group into lying to Nora in order to play himself up. Nora returns and tells the gang that her parents are in town and invites Barney to meet them at brunch the next day. However, Barney later says to Nora that he was lying about wanting to get married and criticized her for telling the other person in a relationship exactly what to expect to happen. In response, Nora slapped him. (Lily and the cardiologist both slap Barney during the telling of the events.)
Meanwhile, Robin says she is going to get a dog, but Ted forbids it because he thinks that he will end up caring for it. Instead, Robin dates a guy nicknamed Scooby, whose behavior mirrors a dog so closely that Ted, Marshall, and Lily make a number of jokes at Robin and Scooby's unwitting expense. After Robin is called into work, Scooby reveals that he had purchased a big bag of "sandwiches" (the show's euphemism for marijuana). Ted, Marshall, and Lily make "sandwich" brownies, and while eating them, the three realize that Scooby has disappeared without any identification. They search for him, but become distracted and stumble across Barney, who points out Scooby urinating on a fire hydrant across the street. When Scooby turns to run to them and runs straight into traffic, the group watches in horror, which explains another one of Barney's heart oddities.
Barney apologizes for lying to Nora about wanting to settle down, but Lily says that his lie was about lying, and that in truth, Barney actually does want all those things. When Barney denies this, Lily has the cardiologist check what happened when Barney first saw Nora on their date, and they see that Barney's heart literally skipped a beat. Lily tells Barney that this is a sign he really wants to settle down. Barney goes to the brunch to tell Nora about his feelings, but stops at the door, seeing Nora and her family. He enters the restaurant, making a heartfelt apology. Nora forgives him, and introduces him to her parents, for whom Barney performs a magic trick. However, the scene turns out to be a figment of Barney's imagination, and he leaves before Nora sees him.
The episode ends with a flashback of an incident involving Marshall in 2006. Marshall drops a calzone while walking on the street, but picks it up after ensuring that nobody is looking at him. As he takes his first bite, however, he sees Barney nearby and slowly walks away in embarrassment.
The episode ends with the song "Stones" by Barbarossa from their album Sea Like Blood.
Barney lists many different rules that he has presumably designated his "one rule" at different times.
- Robin dreams about Mr. T.
- Ted recalls being in the front row at an N*Sync concert in 1998 and catching JC Chasez' shirt.
- Scooby claims to hail from Labrador. The gang laughs because of its double meaning.
- While making jokes about Scooby, Lily uses the book (and later on, a film) entitled The Incredible Journey, which narrates the story of two dogs and a cat who traverse the Canadian wilderness.
- Robbie Amell plays a character nicknamed "Scooby". Amell portrayed Fred Jones in Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins.
- Marshall says "Ruh Roh!," parodying the way the cartoon character "Scooby-Doo" says "uh-oh".
Angel Cohn of Television Without Pity graded the episode at B-.
- Bowman, Donna (2011-02-28). "A Change Of Heart". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2011-02-28.
- Cohn, Angel (2011-03-01). "The Heart Wants What The Heart Wants". Television Without Pity. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
- Robert Canning (2011-03-01). "How I Met Your Mother: "A Change of Heart" Review". IGN. News Corporation.