How I Met Your Mother (2005–2014)
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Bad News 

Marshall suspects that he is the reason Lily can't get pregnant after meeting a fertility doctor who also happens to be Barney's doppelganger. Meanwhile, Robin's embarrassing past is revealed at work by her former co-anchor.



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Episode credited cast:
Robin Scherbatsky
Sandy Rivers
Dr. Mitchell Friedman
Americus Abesamis ...
Matt Dwyer ...
Bill Suplee ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dominatrix (as Elena Melnikova)


Despite only having tried for six days, Marshall and Lily are worried about not yet having conceived a child. So their doctor sends them to Dr. John Stangel, the best reproductive endocrinologist in New York City. He ends up being Barney's doppelgänger, although Lily is convinced that he's actually Barney in disguise. Both Lily and Marshall have problems going through the tests with Dr. Stangel for different reasons. They are both on tender-hooks as they await news from Dr. Stangel if there are any issues in them being able to conceive a child. Other news in their life may overshadow whatever Dr. Stangel might have to say. Meanwhile, Robin has just started her new job at Worldwide News. She hates it primarily because the anchor, her old co-host Sandy Rivers, divulges some facts and not so facts about Robin to the rest of the staff which make her the laughing stock among her colleagues. Ted helps her come up with a way to deal with this new embarrassing situation. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | Romance


TV-PG | See all certifications »





Release Date:

3 January 2011 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


There is a countdown throughout the episode - from 50 to 1. The countdown is as follows: 50 - On a pamphlet in the Doctor's office in the first scene 49 - Same pamphlet on the Doctor's desk ("months later" according to Ted) 48 - Label on hot sauce Marshall uses at MacLaren's 47 - Barney's laser tag forms are for the "47th Annual" Laser Tag Competition 46 - Printed on Dr. Stangel's certificate behind Lily when they first meet 45 - 45¢ the price of the hot wings at MacLaren's 44 - Number of beers on tap, on a circular blackboard in MacLaren's 44 - (appears twice) Football number on a man's jersey in MacLaren's 43 - On the pamphlet Marshall is reading in Dr. Stangel's office 42 - Second side of the same pamphlet 41 - Race car poster number in Dr. Stangel's office (which disappears when Marshall goes back) 40 - Ted's book that "New York's 40 greatest landmarks" when Robin comes home from Day 1 39 - Number of office behind Robin 38 - On the back of Robin's co-worker's newspaper, 38° in the weather section 37 - Lily is reading a Decadence magazine with the "37 Recipes for Holiday leftovers" title on it. 36 - The number on Marshall's dad's beer, "Old Number 36" 35,34 - Stock markets are up 35.34 points on Robin's news screen 33 - Miners rescued from collapsed mine on Robin's news screen 32-27 - On Robin's screen: "Today's lottery numbers are 32 31 30 29 28 27" 26 - Marshall's dad is reading "26 Home Improvement Shortcuts" 25 - Textbook that Ted is reading in the apartment, "25 Greatest Bridges" 24 - One of Robin's co-workers is reading a magazine, with a sports player on the front with "24" on his jersey 23 - Metro News 23, the channel Robin says "I'm a dirty, dirty girl" on 22 - Seen in the corner of Robin's Japanese broadcast 21 - Calendar behind Dr. Stangel 20 - Room for masturbation room at Dr. Stangel's office 19 - "Top 19 Nekkid girls countdown" on Nekkid magazine in the room 18 - Apartment number of Marshall and Lily's apartment 17,16 - Marshall's specimen cup seen in his apartment 15 - Grams of fiber in Robin's cereal 14,13 - Apartment number of Sandy's apartment 12 - The book "12 days of Christmas" behind Marshall when he's speaking with his parents in their apartment 11- On Ted's architecture book, "America's 11 greatest water towers" 10 - On Robin Sparkles left jacket arm when shown to co-workers by Robin 9 - Disguised Barney holds a folder when talking to Marshall 8 - Number on Dr. Stangel's door 7 - Number on Marshall's champagne bottle 6 - Dr. Stangel turns the folder with the 9 on it upside down 5 - Barney gives Marshall a "Fertility 5" 4 - The "4 Layers of the Uterus" poster in Dr. Stangel's office 3 - "Open til 3 am sign" outside MacLaren's 2 - Clock in Marvin Sr's wood shop 1 - Number of the cab Lily arrives in See more »


Robin uses the term Hydro pole when discussing Ted's car skid metaphor, then says it's a "Canadian telephone pole". Hydro is a colloquialism for hydroelectricity, not telephones. See more »


Marshall Eriksen: I'm freaking out, is there a chance I won't be able to have kids? I've been hit in the nuts a lot.
See more »


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Performed by The Solids
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User Reviews

The Big Dip
18 February 2011 | by See all my reviews

I have very mixed feelings about this episode. I very rarely comment on IMDb, even more rarely on series and almost never on individual episodes. This is one major exception (*salute* "Major Exception").

I never thought a comedy sitcom can (or should) pull this off, but it happened. The thing I call "The Big Dip", on the emotional roller-coaster. Drama series regularly try to pull this off, and fail, because the audience expects it, but you never expect is from a lighthearted comedy sitcom. The only other series that pulled this off at least commendably is Dexter.

The Big Dip: making the audience feel really good, happy and content, when you least expect it (usually at the very end of the episode), it suddenly breaks it with an earth-shattering revelation that suddenly flips the spectrum and makes you so sad you wanna cry. On a graph, it would look the the "happiness" slowly rising, and reach 10 (max) right before the end, and then outta the blue suddenly drop to not 0, but -10. Like the big dip on the roller-coaster. Drama series can't pull this off, because they start from 0 and drop from there, but funny sitcoms go from 10 to -10 in a heartbeat and that is a shock because you never expect it.

I won't spoil what happens, but from the title of the episode (Bad News) you can guess it's pretty sad. I only give it 9 stars, because I think funny sitcoms shouldn't do this, but it was so well executed I can't help but applaud the writers and actors. It's a unique episode I will never forget.

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