How I Met Your Mother Season 4 ended with the tease of Ted (Josh Radnor) finally meeting the titular mother, in his first class as a professor of architecture, as well as Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) and Robin (Cobie Smulders) proclaiming their love for each other. In Season 5, Barney and Robin’s relationship proved short-lived, and Ted merely came close to running into the mother on a few occasions. Read on for the full How I Met Your Mother Season 5 Episode Guide.
Original Airdate: September 21, 2009
Barney and Robin have been keeping their regular hook-ups secret for the whole summer, and when Lily finds out, she pressures them to define their relationship. Eventually Lily locks them in Barney’s bedroom until they tell her that they’re boyfriend and girlfriend, even though they don’t mean it. Ted starts his new job as a college professor, and is extremely nervous. On his first day, he accidentally wanders into an economics class and has to run across campus to get to his actual class, which then ends up going pretty well.
Title: “Double Date”
Original Airdate: September 28, 2009
Ted goes on a blind date with a woman he already went out with seven years before, and they decide to critique each other’s dating techniques from the past. At first they decide that this means they should give each other another chance, but then they realize that they were right to give up the first time. Barney takes Marshall to a strip club, where they discover a stripper who looks exactly like Lily. Lily turns out to be fine with Marshall going to a strip club, while Robin wants Barney to stop frequenting them.
Title: “Robin 101”
Original Airdate: October 5, 2009
Barney tries to be a better boyfriend, and his consideration makes Robin suspicious that he’s cheating on her. But it turns out that he’s spending time with Ted to learn how to treat Robin right. When Robin discovers Barney’s notes, she crashes the “Robin 101” class and tells Barney they need to be honest if they’re going to be together. Barney admits that he only took the class because he was afraid Robin would dump him, and they make up.
Title: “The Sexless Innkeeper”
Original Airdate: October 12, 2009
Lily and Marshall get way too excited about spending couples time with Robin and Barney, and come on too strong in their first get-together (even putting together a website). But when Robin and Barney turn down further couples activities, Lily and Marshall find a new couple to spend time with, and Robin and Barney have to win them back. Ted picks up a girl who just uses him for a place to crash and worries he’s becoming a “sexless innkeeper,” but rebounds by sleeping with a hottie who digs his new professorial look.
Title: “Duel Citizenship”
Original Airdate: October 19, 2009
Ted and Marshall head on a road trip to Chicago to eat at their favorite pizza place one last time before it closes, and Lily tags along. She saps the fun out of the trip, so Ted kidnaps Marshall for them to take a road trip like they did when they were in college. Robin gets charged with assault and has to become an American citizen to stay in the country. She freaks out about it and runs off to Toronto, and Barney has to bring her back. Eventually she decides to be a dual citizen of Canada and the U.S.
Original Airdate: November 2, 2009
Barney convinces Marshall to stand up to Lily about her making him wash the dishes, which causes Marshall and Lily to get into a huge fight. Barney and Robin seem to have the perfect, fight-free relationship, but Ted discovers that Barney and Robin have been secretly fighting all the time, and seeing their dysfunction inspires Marshall and Lily to make up. Ted and Robin’s upstairs neighbors are constantly having loud sex (which Future Ted represents as “playing bagpipes”), and when Ted tries to complain to them, he discovers that they’re senior citizens.
Title: “The Rough Patch”
Original Airdate: November 9, 2009
Barney and Robin become complacent and miserable in their relationship but are too stubborn to acknowledge any problems, so Ted and Marshall try to break them up. Their efforts backfire, though, and Robin and Barney end up engaged. So Lily has to break out the big guns, and attempts to reignite all of Robin and Barney’s old fights, but even that doesn’t work. It turns out, though, that Barney and Robin decide to break up on their own.
Title: “The Playbook”
Original Airdate: November 16, 2009
After Barney and Robin’s break-up, Barney rededicates himself to picking up women, and Robin decides to focus on her career. Barney breaks out his old playbook for getting women into bed, and Lily chastises him for going back to his old ways. She steals his playbook and warns his latest target about it, but he manages to turn it around and get a date with the girl anyway. Ted and Marshall are convinced that Robin will soon meet the love of her life, just as a handsome new co-worker starts at her job.
Title: “Slapsgiving 2: Revenge of the Slap”
Original Airdate: November 23, 2009
When Ted and Robin rescue Marshall’s perfect turkey for Thanksgiving, Marshall gives them one of the slaps he won from Barney in the classic slap bet, and they argue about which one should get to use it. Lily’s dad Mickey (guest star Chris Elliott) shows up unexpectedly, and Lily discovers that Marshall invited him to Thanksgiving. When Marshall lets Mickey in, Lily leaves. Marshall gets fed up and kicks Mickey out, but Lily decides she wants him there after all. In the end, everyone reconciles, and Marshall gets to slap Barney for the fourth time.
Title: “The Window”
Original Airdate: December 7, 2009
Ted’s dream girl, who is never without a boyfriend, becomes single again, and he is desperate to get together with her before she pairs off with someone else. Marshall, Lily, Robin and Barney all take turns guarding the girl while Ted has to teach his class, but in the end he misses out when she reunites with her childhood sweetheart. Marshall finds a letter from his 15-year-old self and freaks out that he’s become a sell-out, but Lily shows him that his life has turned out pretty well overall.