How I Met Your Mother Episodes

2005, TV Show

How I Met Your Mother Episode: "The Sexless Innkeeper"

Season 5, Episode 4
Episode Synopsis: Marshall and Lily hope that Robin and Barney will be their new double-date friends, but they are a little too enthusiastic, prompting Robin and Barney to break up with them.
Original Air Date: Oct 12, 2009
Guest Cast Kristen Sullivan: Geri Phillip Wilburn: Joe Marshall Manesh: Ranjit Nikea Gamby-Turner: Hostess Sarah Edwards: Suzy Bob Saget
Full Episode
click to playclick to play
Season 5, Episode 4
Paid | iTunes
Length: 21:23
Aired: 10/12/2009
Also available on Amazon Prime and VUDU
play more info

How I Met Your Mother Episode Recap: "The Sexless Innkeeper" Season 5, Episode 4

This week, Lily and Marshall experience relationship woes — not with each other, but with Robin and Barney, who are the latest couple in a string of potential double dates. Meanwhile, Ted tries to prove to Barney that the "college professor" look works on girls.

[Editor's Note: Sorry for the delay, Mother lovers — got held up by some technical difficulties.]

Future Ted voiceovers that once he became a college professor, he decided to update his look — by wearing tweed, or the "textile of the eunuchs," as Barney snarks. Ted says that the ladies dig the professor look. Robin agrees, saying that her 10th-grade math teacher was sexy. But he's in jail now. For tax evasion. (Among other things.)

Lily changes the subject by inviting Robin and Barney to a couples' night. Future Ted tells us that since Marshall and Lily had been the only married couple for years, they'd been on the hunt for a couple to double date with. A flashback with shoddy continuity shows Lily and Marshall hosting a variety of couples' nights at their place (including Ranjit and his wife) — and scaring away all their potential new friends by being overeager and more than a little creepy. So of course they're thrilled that two of their best friends are now a couple. But Future Ted warns that Barney and Robin have no idea what they're in for.

(Sketchy continuity note — the first flashback says "2007," but as far as I recall, Marshall and Lily weren't living in Dowisetrepla at any point in 2007. They bought the place toward the end of the year, but they didn't officially move in until an early point in Season 4. This show is normally so good with its continuity that goofs like this bug me. Hopefully they'll fix it for the Season 5 DVD?)

Flash-forward to Marshall and Lily frantically readying their apartment for their date with Barney and Robin. They plan cocktails, appetizers, and Marshall boasts that he has a great anecdote ready to go. The doorbell rings. Lily greets Barney and Robin, while an overly enthusiastic Marshall offers them a tray of Gouda.

Back at MacLaren's, Ted tries his professor moves on a girl at the bar. She asks him if grading papers is difficult, and Ted replies, "No, you just gotta make it fun. For example, every time I spot a grammatical error, I do a shot. I'm trashed right now, and I blame our public school system." The girl coyly responds with, "So... you live upstairs?"

Meanwhile, Robin and Barney leave Marshall and Lily's place. As the door closes, Lily turns to Marshall with a huge grin on her face, and squeals, "Nailed it!" "Best night ever!" Marshall agrees. But out in the hallway, things don't seem as sunny. "Worst night ever," grumbles Barney. Robin pretends to shoot herself in the head, and Barney hilariously mimes wiping his face of the aftermath.

The next morning, Barney and Robin regale Ted with the horror that was the date with Marshall and Lily. "It was like we were on a date with a sad chubby girl our mom made us call," says Barney. Robin chimes in that Marshall and Lily were obviously nervous, to the point where they weren't even making sense. Plus, they kept trying to get Barney and Robin to eat, even though they had eaten a couple of ill-advised tacos before coming over. Ted asks if Marshall was weird about the cheese, and mentions that while Lily is the gourmet cook, the only thing Marshall is entrusted to handle is the cheese. Heh, poor Marshall. Plus, they freaked out whenever something went wrong, even something as little as the egg timer breaking.

Ted tries to stick up for Lily and Marshall, pointing out that they've been looking for couple best friends for a long time. "I'm sure it wasn't that bad," he says. Barney proves him wrong by showing him a website Marshall made after their evening was over. Ted takes the laptop and queues up a video montage of Marshall and Lily clearly having an awesome time while Barney and Robin look obviously uncomfortable. Marshall ends the montage by inviting them out again. "Oh, that's no good," says Ted. He asks why the two couples had such vastly different opinions on how the evening went. It turns out Barney and Robin gave them the fake "This was so much fun, we should do it again" kiss-off that single people do after a bad date. On cue, the girl from the bar exits Ted's room, gives him the exact same spiel, and lets herself out. Ted slyly reveals that the professor look worked. Well, except that she ended up falling asleep on the couch instead of hooking up with him. Barney gleefully exclaims that Ted has become The Sexless Innkeeper. What is The Sexless Innkeeper, you ask? It's a trick Barney has used in the past to crash for the night — basically "banging for roof," but without the sex. Barney even wrote a poem about his experience, which I've captured verbatim for your reading pleasure:

'Twas the night before New Year's, and the weather grew mean
'Twas 3 in the morning, and I was stranded in Queens
The tavern grew empty, the gaslights grew dim
The horse-drawn carriages were all but snowed in.

Ted interrupts at this point to ask why Barney's narration sounds (and looks, to us) like it's straight out of Oliver Twist. Barney replies, "Ted, it's a poem."

Last call was approaching, and my fortunes looked bleak
Then I turned to my left, and stifled a shriek!
She had a peach-fuzz beard and weighed 16 stone
She gobbled up hot wings and swallowed the bones.
I muffled a scream and threw up in my mouth
I asked, "Where do you live?" And she said, "One block south."
I swallowed my pride and six shots of whiskey
And prayed to the Gods that she wasn't too frisky.
Back in her cave, she prepared us a snack.
'Neath her mighty hooves, the floorboards did crack.
But when she returned, she found a sound sleeper
And thus, she became The Sexless Innkeeper.

"And so are you," Barney finishes, grinning at Ted. Ted vehemently disagrees, but Barney is resolute in his belief that the girl from the bar had no intention of sleeping with Ted. Robin notes that this is ironic, since "it's usually the innkeeper who provides turn-down service."

Later, at the bar, Lily excitedly tells Barney and Robin that they've booked a couples' weekend in Vermont for maple syrup season. Barney and Robin decide that it's time to break up with them. Barney tries to give them an outlandish story usually reserved for one-night stands, this one involving an expedition to find alien life forms living at the bottom of the ocean. Marshall, of course, thinks this is really cool, but Lily sees right through it. "All this couple-y stuff, it's just not us," Robin tells them. Lily and Marshall storm out, but not before Marshall hits Barney and Robin with a zinger: "I hope those underwater life forms are cold-blooded, because then you'll get along just fine."

Lily and Marshall go back to their place to cry and wallow in post-breakup misery. "I thought we did everything right," Lily says. Marshall agrees, but then reveals that he sent them a photo montage. Future Ted explains that Marshall had been going overboard with the photo montages recently, flooding his friends' inboxes with montages documenting mundane everyday life (although the cat-sitting that segued into a cat funeral got a huge laugh in my living room). "You have to stop sending those to people!" Lily exclaims.

Later, at MacLaren's, Ted points out that Barney and Robin need to apologize to Lily and Marshall. So they head over to Dowisetrepla. But they're too late — Marshall and Lily are already on a very successful date with a new couple.

A few days later, Robin and Barney are having a drink at MacLaren's when Lily and Marshall enter. Things get awkward when they say they can't sit with Barney and Robin because they're on a date with the new couple. And Barney and Robin can't join them because they'd just end up being a fifth and sixth wheel. Plus, Marshall and Lily are getting ready to go for a boat ride around the city with the new couple. "Wow, sounds like this is getting pretty serious," Robin responds unhappily.

Cue a montage of Barney and Robin walking sadly by other fun-loving foursomes (while "All by Myself" plays in the background) as they realize what they're missing by not spending time with Marshall and Lily. Ted walks in on them at the apartment... only unlike in previous walk-ins, they're not making out. Instead, they're drowning their sorrows with ice cream and potato chips. Ted sits down to explain their problem. "You're a couple," he counsels. "And no matter how hard you try to fight it, couples need other couples. That's why you miss Marshall and Lily." So Barney and Robin resolve to win the other couple back.

At Dowisetrepla, Marshall and Lily have just wrapped up a mean game of Twister with the new couple when there's a knock at their door. They open the door to find a path of egg timers, which lead outside to where Robin and Barney are waiting, in the rain (!). And in a very cute moment that parodies every romantic comedy ever written (and a few episodes of this series), Barney and Robin apologize to Marshall and Lily, and the foursome reconcile.

Finally, back at Ted and Robin's apartment, Ted has written a poem that he shares with Barney:

'Twas the night before this one, and hours to kill
I sat in the tavern, grading parchments with quill
A busty young lassie flashed me a grin
Her guard said "classy," but her eyes whispered "sin."
She said, "You're a teacher?" I said, "Yes, indeed!"
"I must have you!" she moaned, "I'm turned on by tweed!"
With haste we did scamper to my chamber anon,
We fell to the couch, and bro, it was on.
I unlaced her bodice, our passions grew deeper,
And thus ends the tale of The Sexless Innkeeper.

Barney scoffs and says that Ted made that up... until a hot girl exits Ted's room and asks the "professor" if he's coming back to bed. "I love being single!" Ted says. Just then, Robin comes out of her bedroom and asks Barney if he's ready to go to brunch with Marshall and Lily. Wide-eyed, Barney watches Ted go back into his room as it finally registers that he's become the "Ted" of their gang — tied down with a steady girlfriend while his best friend hooks up with random hot girls. "What have I done?" he gasps.

So what did you guys think? I know it was a filler episode, but as a whole, I wasn't really feeling this one. I liked Marshall and Lily better when they weren't really into the whole couples-nights thing, so that entire plot line didn't work for me. I wish they could have devoted more time to Ted's storyline, which I found to be much funnier. I did love the songs that went with the photo montages, the poems, and the shout-out to brunch as a "couple" activity. Plus, any episode with a Ranjit appearance can't be all bad. Sound off with your thoughts in the comments!

show less

This week, Lily and Marshall experience relationship woes — not with each other, but with Robin and Barney, who are the latest couple in a string of potential double dates. Meanwhile, Ted tries to prove to Barney that the "college professor" look works on girls.
read more

Related Links

Other Links:
How I Met Your Mother
TV Recaps, CBS

Are You Watching?

Loading ...
Premiered: September 19, 2005, on CBS
Rating: TV-PG
User Rating: (1,937 ratings)
Add Your Rating: 1 stars2 stars3 stars4 stars5 stars
Premise: A man named Ted tells his kids how he met the love of his life, through flashbacks, years in the future. The bored kids sit on the sofa and listen as dad regales them with tales of his pursuit of romance.



How I Met Your Mother Mini Kit: Mini Barney Bobblehead Included!
Buy How I Met Your Mother Mini Kit: Mini Barney Bobblehead Included! from
From Running Press Miniature Editions (Paperback)
Usually ships in 24 hours
Buy New: $8.49
The How I Met Your Mother Season 9: Sneak Peak [HD]
Buy The How I Met Your Mother Season 9: Sneak Peak [HD] from
(Amazon Instant Video)
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
Buy New: $0.00

More Products

TV GUIDE Users' Most Popular