Not a Father's Day

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"Not a Father's Day"
How I Met Your Mother episode
Episode no.Season 4
Episode 7
Directed byPamela Fryman
Written byRobia Rashid
Production code4ALH07
Original air dateNovember 10, 2008 (2008-11-10)
Guest appearance(s)
  • Michael Hagiwara as Mr. Li
  • Michael Antosy as Recruit
  • Elena K. Smith as Ted's Cousin
  • Dan Lauria as Nolan
  • Danièle Watts as Lori
  • Lindsey Stoddart as Charlotte
  • Michael McCafferty as Cabbie
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Happily Ever After"
Next →
How I Met Your Mother (season 4)
List of How I Met Your Mother episodes

"Not a Father's Day" is the seventh episode in the fourth season of the television series How I Met Your Mother and 71st overall. It originally aired on November 10, 2008.


In the bar, Barney announces that he isn't impressed with the girls there, not seeing anyone attractive. Ted points out a group of women in the corner who they agree are hot, but Barney states they are simply experiencing the 'Cheerleader effect': as a group, they look hot, but seen individually, each one is unattractive. As he concludes this observation, Barney receives a call, in which he is told he is going to be a father. He panics, saying no one in their right mind would want kids.

Marshall and Lily have been noticing babies everywhere, and decide to have a discussion about having children. Lily tries to point out possible problems, but Marshall is too caught up in how cute babies are. They decide to have a baby, but are soon interrupted by Robin, who is living with them while she looks for a job and apartment. They ask her to stay at Ted's while they have a romantic evening, and she reluctantly agrees.

Barney is praying to God for help when he receives news that the girl is not actually pregnant. He is so happy he dances down the street to Marshall's office, where he announces he is going to create a holiday for people like him, called 'Not a Father's Day'.

Marshall is told by his boss that he needs to be at a conference that night, and so can't spend the night with Lily. After telling her about this, Lily begins to think seriously about having kids, and starts to panic. She asks Ted and Robin over to her apartment to help her decide, with Ted supporting the idea to have a baby, and Robin opposing the idea. Lily says that Marshall is only focusing on the positive, while she has had time to see the problems they might have after speaking with other new parents. Robin says that although Ted doesn't have children, he's already a dorky dad, as he often lectures the rest of the group and tells bad jokes. Ted replies that Robin is just afraid of babies, and is seen not wanting to hold them and letting them sniff her like a dog. Lily, meanwhile, gets drunk.

Barney has been producing some Not a Father's Day merchandise, including T-shirts, mugs and cards. He tells Marshall the idea is a hit, and that he already has a large following.

After seeing their neighbor's baby's sock, Lily decides to have a baby, and runs out while Ted and Robin are arguing. As Marshall prepares for his conference, he finds a drunk Lily in his office, ready to make a baby. She quickly causes trouble, pulling out Marshall's files and throwing up in his trash bin.

While trying to find Lily, Ted and Robin continue to argue over kids, with Robin pointing out all the problems they cause, while Lily illustrates them. They go to the bar, and encounter Barney's group, proudly celebrating the fact they don't have kids. When Robin goes to look for Lily in the bathroom, Ted answers her phone, and Marshall tells him he has Lily. While putting her phone back, Ted finds the baby's sock in Robin's bag. While she denies it at first, Robin eventually admits that she took the sock, saying she's confused at the moment, having no place to live. Ted invites her to move in with him while she looks for a place, and she accepts, while Future Ted announces that's how Robin moved in with him.

Lily continues to cause problems for Marshall as he makes his presentation, by dancing around and stripping in the background. Afterwards, Marshall puts her in a cab to get her to fall asleep, before taking her home.

At the bar, Barney tells Ted and Robin how proud he is of the holiday he created, but Ted tells him it's a day for losers. Barney disagrees, but Ted reveals it's just the cheerleader effect, and individually, the guys are all geeks and weirdos, and aren't childless by choice. They leave Barney in the bar with this revelation, where he finds the sock, and sees how cute it is.

The next morning, Lily tells Marshall she sees now that he is ready for a baby, as he took care of her so well. Marshall says he isn't ready to balance work and children, and suggests they decide to wait a bit longer.

As the episode ends, Barney is seen at the karaoke bar, tearfully singing "Cat's in the Cradle" while holding the sock.


The episode had the title "Jeremy's Sock" but was changed to "Not a Father's Day".[1]

Critical response[edit]

Eric Goldman of IGN gave the episode 8.5 out of 10.[1]

Donna Bowman of The A.V. Club gave the episode a B+.[2]


  1. ^ a b Eric Goldman (November 11, 2008). "How I Met Your Mother: "Jeremy's Sock" Review. Is it time for Lily and Marshall to embrace parenthood?". IGN. News Corporation. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
  2. ^ Donna Bowman (November 10, 2008). "How I Met Your Mother: "Not A Father's Day"". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved November 19, 2017.

External links[edit]