Intervention (How I Met Your Mother)

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How I Met Your Mother episode
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 4
Directed by Michael Shea
Written by Stephen Lloyd
Production code 4ALH03
Original air date October 13, 2008
Guest appearance(s)
  • Shaila Vaidya (Cindy)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"I Heart NJ"
Next →
"Shelter Island"

"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.


The episode begins with Barney in old man makeup telling a woman that he is a time traveler, and that "young Barney Stinson" cannot solve global warming unless she sleeps with him. He then comes back a moment later and hooks up with the woman. Soon after, the gang is packing their things for Lily and Marshall's move to the new apartment and Ted's move to New Jersey. Robin states that she does not understand all the gang's sentimentality about their stuff, saying she packed for Japan in just half an hour the other day. Ted and Marshall end up arguing about who should pay the security deposit for the apartment.

Marshall says that Ted should pay it, citing a piece of missing plaster in the wall (it fell off when Ted put his shelf of World Book encyclopedias on it) and a chip in the ceiling (made when Ted recklessly swung his Renaissance flail). He also counts a piece of damage which he blames on Robin: Robin was very drunk and acting extremely Canadian, speaking with a heavy accent and reenacting great Vancouver Canucks moments in full costume with stick and puck. She tried to make a play through the door, but Lily stopped her and they got into a fight. Ted broke up the fight just as Barney was about to record it on his phone; he was extremely angry because the Bro Code states to never break up a girlfight. As a result, he punched a hole in the wall, and Ted concludes that was entirely Barney's fault, as was the scorch mark over the fireplace.

To understand how the story of the scorch mark over the fireplace happened, Future Ted first has to explain the story of their friend, Stuart, last seen in Bachelor Party: He had since become an alcoholic (presumably as a result of his difficulties with his wife Claudia), and his friends held an intervention for him (which Barney ruined by bringing in a bottle of Tanqueray as he thought it was Stuart's birthday). After this, frequent interventions began to take place at the apartment, such as the intervention for Marshall's Seussian hat, Lily's terrible English accent acquired from watching all the James Bond movies, Robin's tanning addiction, and Barney's excessive use of pyrotechnic magic tricks, much to his chagrin as he remarked that the gang was misusing interventions not to help but just to attack annoying habits they didn't like. The last caused the "INTERVENTION" banner to become scorched as well as the fireplace. Soon afterward, there was an "intervention intervention", which consisted of Ted saying "We're having too many interventions."

Ted finds in a box a new, unscorched "INTERVENTION" banner; he asks the others why it is there. After a little hedging, they admit they were planning an intervention for 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 then reads his letter, which feared that Ted and Stella were rushing into things and did not know each other well enough. He says that he doesn't feel that way anymore and that Stella is "awesome".

After this, Ted ends up getting caught up in a bout of nostalgia and says he'll never leave the apartment. Marshall and Lily at first oppose him but then quickly jump onto the bandwagon. Robin tries to stop them and then repudiates moving to Japan. They then enthusiastically go down to MacLaren's to order the usual.

At MacLaren's, Barney is trying to attract young women while in old man makeup to prove to Marshall that he will still be hooking up with 22-year-old women when he is 80 and eventually succeeds. Seeing this, Ted realizes that they can't live their lives the same way forever and tells the gang they need to follow through on their moves. Ted says that he will pay the security deposit because each of those damages represents a precious memory, and they all decide to move to the places they will move to. They then kick a couple out of their usual booth and swear to each set aside ten dollars a week and, this time next year, have a $2500 bottle of scotch (which they tried to buy earlier in the episode). The show then flashes forward to that time in 2009, where they drink the scotch and decide it is no different from $10 scotch. Future Ted notes that in that year, while some things did change, some things remained the same, as the gang take the scotch to continue the get-together at the apartment.

At the end, Barney enters the apartment in his old man makeup to see the group with letters and the "INTERVENTION" banner up. They tell him to stop doing the old man thing, at which Barney pretends he is hard of hearing.

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.

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