How I Met Your Mother (2005–2014)
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Cleaning House 

The gang accompanies Barney and his brother James after they find the man who may be Barney's father, but it turns out to be James' father instead.


Pamela Fryman


Carter Bays (created by), Craig Thomas (created by) | 2 more credits »




Episode cast overview:
Josh Radnor ... Ted Mosby
Jason Segel ... Marshall Eriksen
Cobie Smulders ... Robin Scherbatsky
Neil Patrick Harris ... Barney Stinson
Alyson Hannigan ... Lily Aldrin
Frances Conroy ... Loretta
Wayne Brady ... James
Ben Vereen ... Sam
David Haley ... Coach
Michael Earl Reid ... Postmaster General
Riley Thomas Stewart ... Young Barney


Barney is devastated to learn that his mother is selling the Staten Island house in which he grew up, which means packing up and putting away all his happy childhood memories. He convinces his friends to help him, his mother Loretta and his brother James pack up the house. When the gang are packing things up, what they see and learn is that Loretta told Barney and James what to them are obvious lies about their growing up period. While James quickly learned that they were lies when he was younger, Barney always believed and still believes everything Loretta told him. What Barney and James also find is an unmailed letter, the contents of which could affect one of their past and one of their future. Meanwhile, Lily and Marshall argue about what things they will tell their children about such issues as Santa Claus. And Robin tries to find a good balance of how to "sell" Ted to one of her girlfriends. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | Romance


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

27 September 2010 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In this episode, Robin mentions Robert De Niro in Cape Fear. In the film, Robert De Niro's character has a tattoo on his chest that says "Loretta". Incidentally, Barney's mother's name is also Loretta. See more »


When James is showing his and Barney's photo to Sam he is holding it at a bottom but next second he's holding it at a middle right after the camera angle switched. See more »


Barney Stinson: The coach made me leave the team because it was not fair for the other kids. Right, James?
James Stinson: Oh, yeah. He was the best. He could throw inside, he could throw outside...
[Barney leaves]
James Stinson: He sucked. Mom just said that to spare his feelings.
See more »


References Cape Fear (1991) See more »


Stand By Me
Written by Ben E. King, Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller
Performed by Ben Vereen, Wayne Brady & Neil Patrick Harris
See more »

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User Reviews

Just Fantastic!
5 January 2016 | by thornethomas707See all my reviews

I really loved this episode a lot. It's my favourite actually out of the whole series. The reason for that is it really touched my heart.

This episode related to my childhood almost exactly to the tee. I kinda grew up the same way as Barney Stinson, without a father but I had a fantastic mother. I don't want to give any spoilers away so I will be vague. Just near the end I went down memory lane to my own childhood and I teared up a bit. Growing up with out a dad was hard but having a mother that was there and wanted to be there when I fell down got me threw so much and got me back up!

Overall Neil Patrick Harris/Barney Stinson, There is no difference! There one in the same, There Legen... Wait For It... Dary!

Fantastic Episode! :)

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