Title: “The Best Man”
Original Airdate: September 19, 2011
The gang goes to Cleveland for Ted’s high school friend Punchy’s wedding, where Ted is worried about breaking down during his best-man speech. Lily and Marshall are trying not to tell anyone about her pregnancy, and when they finally reveal the news, a drunk Marshall accidentally starts a fight between the bride and groom’s families at the wedding. Robin realizes that she still has feelings for Barney, but he ends up trying to get back together with Nora. Sometime in the future, Barney is getting married, but we don’t see who the bride is.
Title: “The Naked Truth”
Original Airdate: September 19, 2011
Ted starts dating two different women and tries to choose one, but ends up deciding to wait until he meets a woman he can truly fall in love with. Barney tries to win Nora back, but she’s not easily convinced. He resolves not to leave the diner where they meet until she agrees to go out with him, and she finally gives in. Marshall is worried that an embarrassing drunken video of him online will prevent him from getting his dream job at an environmental law firm, but his new boss (Martin Short) doesn’t care.
Title: “The Ducky Tie”
Original Airdate: September 26, 2011
Ted runs into his ex-girlfriend Victoria and decides to make up for having cheated on her with Robin. They share a kiss, but Victoria has to return to her boyfriend who’s about to propose to her. She tells Ted that his relationships don’t work out because he’s still hung up on Robin. Barney bets Marshall that he can perform the complicated cooking techniques at an Asian restaurant, and will get to touch Lily’s pregnancy-enhanced breasts in return. But Lily distracts him, and as the loser Barney must wear Marshall’s silly-looking tie with pictures of ducks on it for an entire year.
Title: “The Stinson Missile Crisis”
Original Airdate: October 3, 2011
Robin ends up in court-ordered therapy for assault and spends forever telling her therapist (Kal Penn) about what happened. When Nora goes out of town for work, Barney tries to dismantle all the scams he has in place to help him get laid. Robin helps him even though she’s secretly jealous of Nora. She almost lets one last bimbo get to Barney, but finally comes to her senses and tackles the girl to keep her from ruining Barney’s time with Nora. Ted keeps interfering with Marshall and Lily’s baby-planning activities and has to learn to let them have their space.
Title: “Field Trip”
Original Airdate: October 10, 2011
Robin’s therapist terminates their therapy because he’s attracted to her, and the two of them start dating. Ted tries to take his architecture class on a field trip to the building he designed, but he can’t get onto the construction site, so he takes them to random locations around town. Marshall’s formerly hard-nosed boss has gone soft because he believes fighting for the environment is futile, and Marshall inspires him to fight again. Barney obsesses over his certainty that Nora has lied about her age, but it turns out he was just manufacturing a reason to worry.
Title: “Mystery vs. History”
Original Airdate: October 17, 2011
Ted meets a new woman and asks the group not to research her online, so he can get to know her in the moment. Barney and Robin do the research anyway and send Ted a link while he’s on his date, which he can’t stop himself from reading, and it ruins the experience. Marshall and Lily decide not to learn the gender of their child before he or she is born, and Barney keeps bugging them until they finally give in and learn that they’re having a boy. Robin’s former therapist/new boyfriend Kevin can’t resist psychoanalyzing the group, and determines that they’re completely dysfunctional.
Original Airdate: October 24, 2011
Barney’s brother James (Wayne Brady) comes to visit and is creeped out by how much Nora reminds him of their mother, and soon everyone in the group is seeing their parents in their romantic partners. Barney and Nora are set to finally have sex for the first time, but their night is a series of disasters. Kevin gets upset at how close Robin and Ted are, but then realizes Ted is just fragile and alone. Lily’s pregnancy is making her feel like she isn’t sexy, so Marshall tries to turn her on.
Title: “The Slutty Pumpkin Returns”
Original Airdate: October 31, 2011
After 10 years, Ted finally tracks down the girl he met at a Halloween party who was dressed as a slutty pumpkin (played by Katie Holmes). Even though they try to make things work, they just have no connection whatsoever, and go their separate ways. Lily’s grandparents decide to give her and Marshall their house in the suburbs now that they’re moving to Florida. Lily wants to move out there, but Marshall is worried that it’s just her pregnancy talking, and they decide to hold off on the decision. Robin mocks Barney when she discovers that he’s one-quarter Canadian.
Title: “Disaster Averted”
Original Airdate: November 7, 2011
Ted tells Kevin about the group’s experience during Hurricane Irene, which involved Ted trying to get everyone to head to his house in Westchester and completely failing. Instead, everyone stayed in New York and rode out the storm. Marshall agrees to let Barney stop wearing the ducky tie in exchange for three free slaps, because Barney is about to meet Nora’s parents and wants to impress them. Later on, Barney and Robin recall a near-romantic moment they shared during the hurricane that wasn’t part of Ted’s story, and end up making out in the back of a cab.
Title: “Tick Tick Tick”
Original Airdate: November 14, 2011
After Barney and Robin sleep together, they decide that they have to break up with their respective significant others and give their relationship another try. Barney breaks up with Nora just after he meets her parents, but Robin can’t bring herself to break up with Kevin after he tells her he loves her, so Barney is left alone and devastated. Ted and Marshall get high at a concert and ponder how life is passing them by.