Benefits (How I Met Your Mother)

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How I Met Your Mother episode
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 12
Directed by Pamela Fryman
Written by Kourtney Kang
Production code 4ALH11
Original air date January 12, 2009
Guest appearance(s)

Ambrit Millhouse (Jill)
Kevin Kirkpatrick (Don)
Jason Rogel (Clerk)
Ethan Dizon (Ben)
Jack J. Bennett (Craig Gerard)
Greg Collins (Matt Zinman)
Kendra Wilkinson (Herself)
Heidi Montag (Herself)
Spencer Pratt (Himself)
Kim Kardashian (Herself)

Episode chronology
← Previous
"Little Minnesota"
Next →
"Three Days of Snow"

"Benefits" is the 12th episode in the fourth season of the television series How I Met Your Mother and 76th overall. It originally aired on January 12, 2009.


Ted and Robin argue over their untidy habits getting in the way of being roommates. They stop when Robin points out that they didn't drive each other this crazy when they were dating, and suspects it was the sex that distracted them from this. They initially laugh it off, but end up sleeping together to deal with the situation. Marshall catches them the next morning while he's using Ted's bathroom to read magazines. Marshall admits he was there as he cannot use the work toilet, because his coworkers judge him. Marshall blackmails Ted and Robin: he won't tell Lily and Barney about their sex, provided he can continue to use their bathroom, but gives in and tells about it. Lily angrily refutes that in when two exes try to be friends with benefits, someone always gets hurt. Barney promptly breaks a television outside MacLaren's to vent his anger. When Marshall confides in his work problem, Barney says that he "reads a magazine" at work all the time, but he then asks for affirmation that they are talking about masturbation.

After overhearing some co-workers talk of an abandoned eighth floor in the workplace, Marshall goes into the eighth floor bathroom to read his magazines in peace. Meanwhile, every time Robin and Ted have sex after an argument, it leads to Barney breaking more televisions, and when out of televisions, buying more to smash, causing Lily to get concerned over his feelings for Robin, which he continuously denies.

Ted and Robin's arrangement hits a snag when they accidentally kiss each other goodbye on Ted's way out, an old reflex when they were together, and decide to bring it to an end, but this lasts less than a day. Marshall again catches them, as it is revealed that construction workers have destroyed the eighth floor and the bathroom he was using. Barney solves all of Ted and Robin's household problems to ensure they have no reason to have sex. Ted realizes that Barney loves Robin. Barney denies it, but later tells Lily about his heartbreak in front of her kindergarten class.

Marshall decides not to be ashamed about using the bathrrom at work and finds that his colleagues' attitude towards him changes. He relays his new-found confidence to Barney who finds it as motivation to tell Ted that he is in love with Robin. Barney tells Marshall that he can use his private bathroom.

When Barney arrives at the apartment to tell Ted he loves Robin, he stops when she finds her taking out the trash. She relays Ted's ending of casual sex to Barney, and thinks Ted was afraid of getting hurt because he's too romantic. Barney confesses, saying "I love you" to Robin. Robin misunderstands and thinks he is imitating Ted. They go together for a meal, while Barney doesn't correct her.

As the gang hang out at McLaren's, Future Ted relays Lily's advice on someone getting hurt when two exes try to be friends with benefits, but notes that it wasn't him or Robin. Barney gazes at Robin while she is laughing, and looks to Ted, who is okay with Barney's feelings for Robin.

Critical response[edit]

Donna Bowman of The A.V. Club gave the episode an A- grade.[1]

With 11.85 million viewers, this is the 4th most watched episode of the entire series, behind "Last Forever", "The Pineapple Incident" and "The Naked Truth". It is also the most watched episode of season 4.


External links[edit]