Loretta Stinson
Portrayed by:
Frances Conroy
Megan Mullally (voice only)
First appearance:
Last appearance:
Also Known As:
Gallery of Loretta Stinson images (18)

Loretta Stinson is Barney Stinson and James Stinson's mother.

Show Outline

As a young woman, she slept around a lot. As a result, Barney and James grew up not knowing who their fathers were. She also tended to tell outrageous lies to her sons to cover up bad news.

In Showdown, It's revealed that Loretta told young Barney that his biological father is The Price is Right host, Bob Barker.

Season 4

In The Stinsons, the gang find that Barney has been hiding Loretta from them, but the bigger shock comes when they are joined by his wife Betty and son Tyler.

Barney explains that Betty and Tyler are actually actors he hired to play his family. Years ago, when Loretta looked like she was going to die, Barney hired an actress, Margaret, to play his pregnant fianceé, Betty, because Loretta always wanted to see him to settle down and have a family. When his mother miraculously got better, Barney was forced to keep up the ruse and cast Grant to play his son.

Barney eventually yields and confesses the whole story to his mother. Loretta is surprised but forgiving. She admits that she hates Betty and Tyler, and even thought the others were Barney's fake friends. Loretta reminds Barney that she once led a promiscuous lifestyle to rival his own. She explains that she merely wants Barney to be happy and urges him to pursue love when it crosses his path.

Season 6

In Cleaning House, Loretta gives Barney a note to the identity of his real father. While they talk, Barney puts together all the work his mother did for him as a child, tears up the note and realizes that she's all the father he'll ever need.

Season 7

In Noretta, James expresses concerns that Barney's new girlfriend, Nora, is just like Loretta. Kevin mentions that it's not uncommon to date people similar to your parents.

Season 9

Loretta makes a few appearances during the weekend of Barney and Robin's wedding. She is mostly seen fighting with Robin after Loretta literally loses her shirt to Robin in The Poker Game. They make up in The Lighthouse after Loretta finds out Robin can't have children. In The End of the Aisle, she is in the church watching Barney and Robin get married.


Episode Appearances

  1. Single Stamina (first appearance, flashback, shown from the waist down)
  2. Showdown (flashback, shown from the waist down)
  3. The Chain of Screaming (mentioned only)
  4. The Stinsons (first appearance in person)
  5. Rabbit or Duck (mentioned only)
  6. Cleaning House
  7. Noretta
  8. The Magician's Code - Part Two (voice only)
  9. The Bro Mitzvah
  10. The Poker Game
  11. The Lighthouse
  12. Mom and Dad
  13. The End of the Aisle

Notes and Trivia

  • In The Yips​, Loretta is called Patty by Rhonda French, however Barney introduces his mother to the gang as Loretta. However, Patty could be a nickname for Loretta.
  • Loretta is known for her ability to cook remarkable scrambled eggs. In The Lighthouse, it is even claimed by Barney that her eggs were enjoyed by and inspired several legendary rock bands, including Led Zeppelin, ZZ Top, and Pink Floyd.
  • In Noretta, it's revealed that she was a big fan of Julie Andrews and when James and Barney were young would sometimes speak in a British accent.
  • Frances Conroy also made a brief cameo appearance in The Locket as Aunt Shelly; one of Barney or Robin's relatives as they list the wild cards coming to their wedding. She is listed as a "Braless Dance Machine."

External Links

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