Intervention (How I Met Your Mother)

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How I Met Your Mother episode
Episode no.Season 4
Episode 4
Directed byMichael Shea
Written byStephen Lloyd
Production code4ALH03
Original air dateOctober 13, 2008
Guest appearance(s)
  • Shaila Vaidya as Cindy
Episode chronology
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"I Heart NJ"
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"Shelter Island"
How I Met Your Mother (season 4)
List of How I Met Your Mother episodes

"Intervention" is the fourth episode in the fourth season of the television series How I Met Your Mother and 68th overall. It originally aired on October 13, 2008.


While dressed as an old man, Barney tricks a woman into sleeping with him by claiming to be a time traveller. Later, the gang is packing up Ted and Marshall's apartment: Lily and Marshall are moving to their new apartment and Ted is moving to New Jersey with Stella. Robin states that she does not understand sentimentality about possessions and claims to have packed for her move to Japan in half an hour.

Ted and Marshall argue about who should pay the security deposit for the apartment. In a series of flashbacks, they each describe several incidents causing damage which the other was ostensibly responsible for, including damaged plaster, chipped ceiling tiles, a hole punched in the wall by Barney, and a large scorch mark over the fireplace.

The scorch mark occurred at the end of a number of farcical interventions held by the group for increasingly ridiculous "addictions" such as wearing a silly hat, speaking in a fake British accent, and tanning too much. Each intervention consists of reading prepared letters to the target while sitting under a large banner reading "INTERVENTION". The final intervention is about Barney's excessive use of pyrotechnic magic tricks, and Barney is so frustrated at this that he accidentally sets the banner on fire and burns the wall with his magic trick. Afterwards, Ted stages an "intervention intervention" about the group's excessive use of interventions, and they get rid of the banner.

While packing, Ted discovers a brand-new intervention banner and asks the others why it is there. They reluctantly admit they were planning an intervention about his engagement to Stella. Ted demands that they hold it and asks them to read their letters: Lily mixed hers up with a student's, Robin did not write one because of potential biases as his ex-girlfriend, and Barney accidentally sets his on fire. Marshall reads his letter, which describes his fear that Ted and Stella were rushing into things before getting to know each other well, but says he doesn't feel that way anymore. Feeling nostalgic, Ted declares he will never leave the apartment. Marshall and Lily quickly cave in and refuse to move to their new apartment. Robin tries to stop them and then decides to give up on moving to Japan. The group heads down to MacLaren's to celebrate.

At MacLaren's, Barney is trying to attract young women while in old man makeup to prove that he will still be attractive when he is elderly. When he eventually succeeds, Ted realizes it would be pointless to live their lives exactly the same way forever, and tells the group they all need to follow through on their respective moves. Ted offers to pay for the security deposit because each damaged place represents a precious memory. The group swears to each set aside ten dollars a week in order to buy a $2500 bottle of scotch in a year's time. A flash forward shows them drinking the scotch in the bar, declaring that it tastes no different to the $10 scotch, and then deciding to continue drinking it upstairs in the apartment.

Critical response[edit]

Donna Bowman of The A.V. Club rated the episode an A.[1]

Michelle Zoromski of IGN gave the episode 9 out of 10.[2]

Cindy McLennan of Television Without Pity gave it an A-.[3]


  1. ^ Donna Bowman (October 13, 2008). "How I Met Your Mother "Intervention"". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
  2. ^ Michelle Zoromski (October 14, 2008). "How I Met Your Mother: Intervention Review". IGN. News Corporation. Archived from the original on September 22, 2012. Retrieved April 12, 2010.
  3. ^ Cindy McLennan (October 13, 2008). "How I Met Your Mother: Change is Bad!". Television Without Pity. NBCUniversal. Retrieved November 19, 2017.

External links[edit]