|How I Met Your Mother episode|
|Episode no.||Season 6
|Directed by||Pamela Fryman|
|Written by||Stephen Lloyd|
|Original air date||September 27, 2010|
|Season 6 episodes|
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.
- When Barney initially refuses to tell the gang of his problems, Robin brings up the Discovery Channel show Deadliest Catch to fill up the conversation.
- Ted illustrates to Robin about the dangers of overselling oneself by describing the end of The Karate Kid.
- Ted mentions that he has G.I. Joe toys in his room.
- James believed that a glove Lily's holding actually came from Michael Jackson.
- Barney had always believed that Bob Barker, the former host of The Price Is Right was his father. James mentions that at different times his mother told him that his father was Flip Wilson, Bill Cosby, James Earl Jones, and Meadowlark Lemon.
- Barney owns a fake autographed baseball that was erroneously signed by a "Frank Aaron". This is a reference to home run king Hank Aaron.
- Ted says that surrealist painter Salvador Dalí was needed to capture the bizarre reunion.
- Marshall says "unsubscribe" in response to Barney's offer to clean his house. This is a term that is related to social networking stations, blogs, tweets, and video sharing.
- Robin mentions to Ted that the girl she is setting him up with looks like Robert De Niro in the movie Cape Fear.
- At one point during Sam and James' duet, Barney jumps in with Scat singing. In the last scene, he additionally uses Auto-Tune.
- A Diabolik poster is seen on display in Barney's childhood room.
- Marshall's apparent interest and pseudo-expertise in the supernatural was demonstrated in this episode, with him referencing the beliefs in Santa Claus and in the Easter Bunny.
- James is excited with his son, Eli, wearing diapers while wearing a Dolce & Gabbana suit.
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.
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.
- Stinson, Barney (2010-09-27). "Barney's Blog: From the files of Li’l Barney". Retrieved 2010-12-02.
- Donna Bowman (2010-09-27). "How I Met Your Mother "Cleaning House"". The A.V. Club. The Onion.
- James Poniewozik (2010-09-28). "HIMYM Watch: I Was Born a Poor Black Child...". TIME. Time Inc.
- Robert Canning (2010-09-28). "How I Met Your Mother: "Cleaning House" Review". IGN. News Corporation. Retrieved 2010-12-02.
- DeAnn Welker (2010-09-29). "How I Met Your Mother: Not Bad. Not Bad At All.". Television Without Pity. NBC Universal.