Bagpipes (How I Met Your Mother)

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How I Met Your Mother episode
Episode no. Season 5
Episode 6
Directed by Pamela Fryman
Written by Robia Rashid
Production code 5ALH06
Original air date November 2, 2009
Guest appearance(s)

Sam Stefanski (Phil)

Episode chronology
← Previous
"Duel Citizenship"
Next →
"The Rough Patch"

"Bagpipes" is the sixth episode of the fifth season of the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother and 94th overall. It originally aired on November 2, 2009.


Future Ted mentions the time new upstairs neighbors moved in, and proceeded to have loud sex on a regular basis, which he euphemistically describes as "playing the bagpipes" to his children. (Past Ted even says, "Shut the bagpipes-up!".) At MacLaren's, Barney worries about Lily and Marshall divorcing after witnessing Marshall clean a dish at Lily's request. He explains that he would never give in to a demand he didn't care about (playing out several sexy scenarios with an imaginary Lily), and that he and Robin never fight. In fact, both of them pathologically avoid fighting if a conflict comes up; either Barney simply leaves or Robin gets naked. After Marshall shows up, Barney consoles him on "how he's holding up", and Ted explains that he thinks that they are splitting up. Barney then claims that he is the "King of Relationships", and Marshall claims that he can be a good boyfriend "in his sleep". Barney then convinces Marshall that he shouldn't have to wash dishes if he doesn't mind it, by using a hypothetical situation if Barney was married to Lily. In the re-enactment, Barney treats Lily like a classic 1950's housewife, and then imagines Lily giving him a lap dance. Ted then tries to tell Marshall that Barney is completely wrong, but Marshall is thwarted by his suggestions, and even though he didn't mind before, he "hates" washing the dishes. Robin then shows up, confirming that she and Barney never fight, except for a fight pertaining to "who's more awesome". They leave for a skiing trip, and Marshall, heeding Barney's advice, decides to tell Lily he won't wash his dishes immediately. They get locked in the car with keys inside. Ted warns Marshall it is a bad idea and they make a "slap bet".

She promptly kicks him out after Marshall's incoherent argument escalates into several separate issues. Ted slaps Marshall then gladly lets him stay at his apartment. While Lily and Marshall fight, Ted observes that Barney and Robin are acting suspiciously romantic, as if they were the perfect couple. Marshall then explains what happened that night when Lily kicked him out: trying to copy Barney's example, but explains them all wrong to Lily, and makes it look like that Marshall is complaining that he makes more money than she does. Then, they start fighting about everything else they disagreed on, while Lily and Marshall multiply into multiple fights. Marshall claims that it's hard to talk to Lily because she's all "eyes and boobs". Barney then gives him more advice to continue his shenanigans, and Marshall is again convinced. Ted thinks that he should just wash the dishes, but Marshall is pumped up with manhood, and storms off. Robin shows up, and she and Barney call each other disgusting nicknames, which Ted knows that Robin hates (when he tried to call her "Robsie-Wobsie", "Sherbs", and even calling himself "T-Moz").

After another night of listening to his upstairs neighbors "bagpipe," Ted goes to their door to confront them, only to find they are very old. Since Ted didn't have the heart to tell them to stop, he just had some hard candy, smiled at a few racist comments, and left. It then occurs to him then how to find out what's going on with Robin and Barney. He confronts them at the bar with a secret weapon: Phil, Barney's downstairs neighbor. Phil's presence makes them admit that they fight often. It all began after being stuck together on a ski lift during a disagreement, preventing Barney from leaving or Robin from taking her clothes off. Marshall and Lily continue to fight, and Marshall complains that Lily has stopped feeding him. By showing his frustration, he tells him that Lily made "panCAKE, and bacon STRIP".

Robin and Barney explain they had perpetrated the charade because they felt bad about being a bad couple, which they confess to Lily and Marshall. As Ted basks in his glory of being right, Lily has made dinner for herself, but it's Marshall's favorite. As Robin and Barney describe their violent and frequent fights, Lily and Marshall start to appreciate how calm their own relationship is, and forgive each other immediately. Robin and Barney are perplexed by the mutual surrender, claiming that someone always has to "win" an argument, but Marshall and Lily assure them it is not a competition, which Barney and Robin laugh off and demand the real answer. When Barney and Robin leave, Lily and Marshall celebrate being the better couple. A scene is then shown of the floor below Marshall and Lily's apartment, where an old couple's chandelier is shaking violently, and bagpipes are heard.

Critical response[edit]

Noel Murray of The A.V. Club rated the episode with a grade B.[1]

Brian Zoromski of IGN gave the episode 9.2 out of 10.[2]

TV Equals commented on the bagpipes addition as "funny for a little while".[3]


  1. ^ Noel Murray (January 18, 2010). "How I Met Your Mother: Bagpipes". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved August 17, 2017. 
  2. ^ Brian Zoromski (November 3, 2009). "How I Met Your Mother: Bagpipes Review. An episode on couples fights proves much funnier than couples nights". IGN. News Corporation. Retrieved August 17, 2017. 
  3. ^ "HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER "Bagpipes" Review (Season 5 Episode 6)". TV Equals. November 2, 2009. Retrieved August 17, 2017. 

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