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Benefits (How I Met Your Mother)

"Benefits" is the 12th episode in the fourth season of the television series How I Met Your Mother and 76th overall. It originally aired on January 12, 2009.

How I Met Your Mother episode
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 12
Directed by Pamela Fryman
Written by Kourtney Kang
Production code 4ALH11
Original air date January 12, 2009
Guest appearance(s)

Ambrit Millhouse (Jill)
Kevin Kirkpatrick (Don)
Jason Rogel (Clerk)
Ethan Dizon (Ben)
Jack J. Bennett (Craig Gerard)
Greg Collins (Matt Zinman)
Kendra Wilkinson (Herself)
Heidi Montag (Herself)
Spencer Pratt (Himself)
Kim Kardashian (Herself)

Episode chronology
← Previous
"Little Minnesota"
Next →
"Three Days of Snow"



Ted and Robin become "friends with benefits" to deal with the stress of being roommates. Marshall catches them having sex while he's using Ted's bathroom. Marshall cannot use the work toilet, because his coworkers judge him. Barney says that he "reads a magazine" at work all the time, but he then asks for affirmation that they are talking about masturbation. Marshall blackmails Ted and Robin: he won't tell Lily and Barney about their sex, provided he can continue to use their bathroom, but gives in and tells about it. Barney breaks televisions outside MacLaren's to vent his anger, and when out of televisions, buys more to smash.

Ted and Robin's arrangement hits a snag when they accidentally kiss each other goodbye on Ted's way out, an old reflex when they were together, and decide to bring it to an end, but this lasts less than a day. Barney solves all of Ted and Robin's household problems to ensure they have no reason to have sex. Ted realizes that Barney loves Robin. Barney tells Lily about his heartbreak in front of her kindergarten class.

Marshall decides not to be ashamed and that his colleagues' attitude towards him changes. He relays his new-found confidence to Barney who finds it as motivation to tell Ted that he is in love with Robin. Barney tells Marshall that he can use his private bathroom.

When Robin relays Ted's ending of casual sex to Barney, she thinks Ted was afraid of getting hurt because he's too romantic. Barney confesses, saying "I love you" to Robin. Robin misunderstands and thinks he is imitating Ted. They go together for a meal, while Barney doesn't correct her. Barney gazes at Robin while she is laughing, and looks to Ted, who is okay with Barney's feelings for Robin.

Critical responseEdit

Donna Bowman of The A.V. Club gave the episode an A- grade.[1]

With 11.85 million viewers, this is the 4th most watched episode of the entire series, behind "Last Forever", "The Pineapple Incident" and "The Naked Truth". It is also the most watched episode of season 4.


External linksEdit