Cleaning House

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This article is about a television episode. For the actual meaning of the phrase, see house cleaning.
Not to be confused with Clean House.
"Cleaning House"
How I Met Your Mother episode
Episode no. Season 6
Episode 2
Directed by Pamela Fryman
Written by Stephen Lloyd
Production code 6ALH02
Original air date September 27, 2010 (2010-09-27)
Guest actors

Ben Vereen as Sam Gibbs
Frances Conroy as Loretta Stinson
Wayne Brady as James Stinson
Riley Thomas Stewart as Young Barney
Michael Earl Reid as Post Master General

Season 6 episodes

"Cleaning House" is the second episode of the sixth season of the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother, and the 114th episode overall. It originally aired on September 27, 2010.

Plot[edit]

Barney is with the gang at MacLaren's telling another story of conquest when he decides to not end the story due to his sadness that his mother is moving out of his childhood home. Barney then tells the gang that they will be helping him move it all over the next two days. Despite their protests, he convinces them & they meet up with Barney's mother, Loretta, and brother, James, at the house in Staten Island.

While the gang goes through Barney's childhood room, they find evidence of his lonely childhood, which was all covered up by Loretta's elaborate lies, like Bob Barker being his father. Lily finds a basketball jersey, and Barney tells the gang that he was asked by the coach to quit the team because he was too good. James backs Barney up at first; but the second he is out of earshot, tells them that Barney was awful, but their mother covered it up with the story that he was too good to be on the team. James was lied to as well, and when Lily picks up a white glove, James starts to say Michael Jackson sent it to him for his 10th, then realizes this is not true, curses, and walks out of the room. Barney seems to accept these delusions at face value, until he and his brother find an un-mailed letter to a "Sam Gibbs," with a photo of the two of them, with the words "your son" on the back.

The gang immediately heads over to the address. Barney explains that he realizes that Bob Barker is not actually his father, and that he's ready to face the truth. An older black man answers the door. James realizes that Sam is his father, and the two embrace, crying. But Barney joins the hug, under the impression that this man is his father. He then proceeds to feed into the idea that he is African-American, even interrupting Sam and James' duet of Ben E. King's "Stand by Me."

Back at his mother's house, Barney sits in his room with Loretta who gives him a note to the identity of his real father. While they talk, Barney puts together all the work his mother did for him as a child. Barney tears up the note and realizes that she's all the father he'll ever need.

Meanwhile, Robin tells Ted that she has been promoting him to a hot make-up artist at work, but when she describes her selling points, Ted is worried that she oversold him. Over the course of the day, she sends a series of text messages to try to balance out this faux pas. Near the end of the episode, Robin receives a text from the woman which says she is still interested in meeting Ted. Ted then realizes that Robin has possibly oversold the woman to him.

Music[edit]

Barney's blog[edit]

In his blog, Barney presents a fake news article relating Loretta's lie of how he and James rescued Sam Gibbs' dog during their stay in Yourson, North Dakota. [1]

Cultural references[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Donna Bowman of The A.V. Club gave the episode an A- score. She said that while the episode had no real innovations aside from recurring characters and meeting relatives for the very first time, Barney's acceptance of the truth was not long in coming. She also took note of the way Barney joined in the duet between James and his father.[2]

James Poniewozik of Time.com noted Barney's attempts to feel like a black man with respect to Sam and James was akin to the behavior of Navin Johnson, Steve Martin's character in the film The Jerk.[3]

Robert Canning of IGN gave the episode a rating of 6.5 out of 10.[4]

DeAnn Welker of Television Without Pity gave the episode a C+ score, saying there was not much of a storyline for the other four main characters.[5]

References [edit]

External links[edit]