Murtaugh (How I Met Your Mother)

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How I Met Your Mother episode
Episode no.Season 4
Episode 19
Directed byPamela Fryman
Written byJoe Kelly
Original air dateMarch 30, 2009 (2009-03-30)
Guest appearances
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How I Met Your Mother (season 4)
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"Murtaugh" is the 19th episode in the fourth season of the television series How I Met Your Mother and 83rd overall. It originally aired on March 30, 2009. In this episode, Ted and Barney feud over what activities are appropriate for their age, while Marshall and Lily disagree on how to coach Lily's students.


Barney is banned from laser tag for being too rough, so he plans to toilet paper the arena. Ted notes that Barney is too old for laser tag, and reveals his "Murtaugh List" of things he believes he is too old to do anymore. Barney "accepts" the "challenge" of completing the entire list within 24 hours and makes Ted a bet that if he succeeds, Ted must toilet paper the laser tag arena with him; if he fails, he must let Ted give him a three-hour lecture on architecture. Barney endures various injuries and indignities as he works his way through the list. When Ted admits he looks forward to being old, Barney and Robin create a list of things Ted is too young to do; Ted and Barney raise the stakes of their bet, and Ted attempts to complete the new list before Barney completes the Murtaugh List. After being drugged at a rave, Barney accepts that he is growing older and concedes to Ted. But Ted reveals he has rewatched the entire Lethal Weapon series, and realized that Murtaugh consistently did the things he claimed to be too old for. He destroys the Murtaugh List and joins Barney and Robin in TPing the arena, where they are caught by the owner, who calls the police.

Meanwhile, Marshall agrees to coach Lily's kindergarten's basketball team. Lily hopes this will serve as "dad training", but is horrified when Marshall is extremely aggressive towards the children, in imitation of his own father. Lily prefers a completely passive coaching style emphasizing the fun of playing, and notes that no score is kept and everyone receives participation trophies. Marshall is horrified by this fact, but is threatened by Lily to be nice and go easier on the children. The team fails to make even a single basket in the game, with Marshall's and Lily's competing efforts seemingly only worsening their performance. But Marshall cherishes the participation trophy he receives, ultimately accepting that Lily's philosophy has some merit.


Marshall and Lily have a telepathic or "psychic conversation" because they know each other so well they can communicate without speaking.[1] The reason for this is that Alyson Hannigan had laryngitis and could not talk.[2]

Critical response[edit]

The A.V. Club rated the episode giving it a B grade.[3]

Michelle Zoromski of IGN gave the episode 9 out of 10.[4]

Cindy McLennan of Television Without Pity rated the episode with a grade A−.[5]


  1. ^ "Mary the Paralegal". How I Met Your Mother. Season 1. Episode 19. 2006-04-24. CBS.
  2. ^ Maureen Ryan (2009-04-10). "How 'How I Met Your Mother' dealt with 2 pregnant stars, and what's coming next on the comedy". Chicago Tribune. The reason that Lily and Marshall had a "psychic conversation" in the episode "Murtaugh" was because Hannigan had laryngitis and couldn't talk.
  3. ^ Donna Bowman (2008-03-30). "How I Met Your Mother: Murtaugh". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved 2009-12-11.
  4. ^ Michelle Zoromski (2009-03-31). "How I Met Your Mother: Murtaugh Review. Riggs! I'm getting too old for this stuff". IGN. News Corporation.
  5. ^ Cindy McLennan (2009-03-30). "How I Met Your Mother: I Won't Grow Up". Television Without Pity. NBC Universal. p. 11. Archived from the original on 2010-05-29. Retrieved 2010-04-20. Rating A-

External links[edit]