It's time to play house, Barney-style. When Barney starts acting weird, the gang thinks he's hiding a secret girlfriend, but it turns out he's actually hiding a secret family... all in the name of love.
And we're finally back! It's been oh so long. Who can even remember the last episode? Don't bother raising your hands - I know you all do. Lily points out some boozed blondes at MacLaren's for Barney to prey on. Offended that she's labeled him with a type, he says he must get going... and whispers to Ted his type is "Asian with some boob." I fit both criteria... or at least I hope I do. While he's in the bathroom, the gang recounts some of Barney's recent out-of-character behavior: buying roses, making plans for Saturday and ending a call with "I love you too." Does he have a girlfriend? He doesn't give a straight answer and takes off. And off go the other four tailing Barney all the way to a suburban house, where we meet his mom, Loretta, his wife, Betty, and son, Tyler.
Only one of those relatives is real though - mom. Barney explains he hired Margaret and Grant to play Mrs. Stinson and Stinson Jr. seven years ago, when his mom appeared to be on her deathbed, to fulfill her wish that he not wind up alone. Obviously, Loretta did not die, and so Barney must keep up the charade - with the Razzie-worthy Grant, who insists on having a catchphrase ("Tyler no likey!") and always misses his mark. "Child actors were way better back in the '80s!" Barney snaps. Heh.
Meanwhile, all of the "Stinsons" hit it off with the gang, sort of. Ted, a former aspiring actor and annual Christmas play writer/director, compliments Margaret on some pretentious play he saw her in and scores some acting tips from her. Grant and Robin bond over their dissatisfaction with their jobs. Grant's not excited about acting, but the "phone ain't ringing," while Robin laments her 4:30 am talk show at this juncture in her life, aka pushing 30. In the kitchen, Loretta overshares with Marshall and Lily about her whorishness in her early mother years. Apple doesn't fall far from the tree, eh? Because she was such a slut, Loretta always wonders how Barney turned out so "perfect." Touched, Marshall encourages Barney to tell Loretta the truth because she's a kindhearted woman like his own mother is. Lily disagrees, mostly because she hates Marshall's mom, she admits. "I hate you!" Marshall tells her.
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