A Change of Heart (How I Met Your Mother)

"A Change of Heart" is the 18th episode of the sixth season of the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother and the 130th episode overall. It originally aired on February 28, 2011. After Nora announces her intention to marry and settle down, Barney is worried; meanwhile, Robin's new boyfriend displays idiosyncrasies that remind her friends of a dog.

"A Change of Heart"
How I Met Your Mother episode
Episode no.Season 6
Episode 18
Directed byPamela Fryman
Written byMatt Kuhn
Production code6ALH19
Original air dateFebruary 28, 2011 (2011-02-28)
Guest appearance(s)

The episode received a fairly positive reception, with 9.24 million watching the episode when it first aired. Some critics found elements of the plot cheesy, although the plot twist and character interactions were complimented.


Chastened by Marshall's father's fatal heart attack, the gang all go to get their hearts checked, except Barney, who is too scared to go alone. Lily agrees to accompany him so long as Barney promises her to never lie to his new girlfriend, Nora. When Barney visits the cardiologist, she requests that he wear a heart monitor for 24 hours, citing a possible arrhythmia. The next day, Barney and Lily return to the doctor, who notices some oddities in the readout. She asks Barney what happened at these certain times, and Barney tells the story of the last 24 hours.

At dinner, Barney became worried when Nora began talking about marriage and settling down; he claims he wants the same things. After dinner, Barney blackmails the group into pretending this is true. Nora tells everyone that her parents are in town and invites Barney to meet them the next day. However, Barney admits that he was lying about wanting to get married and Nora slaps him. Lily and the cardiologist also slap him when he tells the story.

Meanwhile, Robin says she is going to get a dog, but Ted forbids it because he thinks that he will end up caring for it. Instead, based on Marshall's advice, Robin finds a boyfriend. He is nicknamed Scooby, and his behavior closely mimics a dog, which causes the gang to make a series of puns and jokes, to Robin's annoyance. When Robin goes to work, Scooby and the rest of the gang consume marijuana (with Ted replacing it with sandwiches in his story to his kids). While the others are high, Scooby goes missing. They eventually find him urinating on a fire hydrant, only for him to get hit by a car when he runs across the street.

Lily insists that Barney genuinely does want to settle down and get married, but Barney denies this. Nevertheless, Barney goes to the brunch to tell Nora about his feelings; he enters the restaurant, seeing Nora with her parents, and makes a heartfelt speech. Nora forgives him, and introduces him to her parents. However, the scene turns out to be a figment of Barney's imagination, and he leaves before Nora sees him.

The episode ends with a flashback of an incident involving Marshall in 2006, which explains the event Barney referenced when blackmailing him. Marshall drops a calzone while walking on the street, but picks it up after ensuring that nobody is looking at him. As he takes his first bite, however, he sees Barney nearby and slowly walks away in embarrassment.



"A Change of Heart" first aired on February 28, 2011, garnering 9.24 million views on CBS and a 5.6/9 Nielsen rating.[1] In Australia, the episode aired on May 5 to an audience of 0.671 million households.[2]


Donna Bowman of The A.V. Club gave the episode a rating of A−, criticizing the episode for being "sappy" but describing herself as "impressed" by the twist ending to the scene with Nora's parents.[3] Angel Cohn of Television Without Pity graded the episode at B−.[4] Robert Canning of IGN gave the episode a rating of 8.5 out of 10, saying that Nora was likeable and that he enjoyed the interaction between the friends, who even managed to make "silly filler plots" enjoyable.[5]


  1. Gorman, Bill (March 1, 2011). "Monday Final Ratings: 'The Bachelor,' 'The Cape' Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 1, 2011.
  2. Knox, David (8 May 2011). "MasterChef makes its mark". TV Tonight. TV Tonight. Retrieved 15 May 2011.
  3. Bowman, Donna (2011-02-28). "A Change Of Heart". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2011-02-28.
  4. Cohn, Angel (2011-03-01). "The Heart Wants What The Heart Wants". Television Without Pity. Archived from the original on 2014-03-28. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
  5. Robert Canning (2011-03-01). "How I Met Your Mother: "A Change of Heart" Review". IGN. News Corporation.
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