The '80s didn't come to Canada until 1993, which is when Robin Sparkles embarks on her illustrious singing career with the classic "Let's Go to the Mall." Be sure to get your Mall Tour 1993 T-shirt.
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Ted, Marshall and Lily meet as college freshmen at Wesleyan University (the alma mater of co-creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas). Since he's high from "eating a sandwich," Marshall thinks Ted is the dean at first and that the dean will be his roommate. He and Lily meet when she comes over seeking help for her stereo. Meanwhile, north of the border, Robin Sparkles transforms herself into grunge rocker Robin Daggers and debuts a new song, "P.S. I Love You," during a career-ending performance at the Grey Cup. Who was the tune about? Not Dave Coulier, but Paul Schaffer.
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Once upon a time, Barney was a free-lovin', long-haired, idealistic hippie. That changes in 1998 when he decides to suit up into a legendary bro after his girlfriend Shannon dumps him for a suit-wearing playboy.
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Ted, Marshall and Lily graduate college, after which Ted and Marshall move to New York. They also start their Trilogy Time pact this year, promising to watch Star Wars together every three years.
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Barney meets Ted in the bathroom at MacLaren's and makes Ted his new wingman. He puts the moves on a girl who knows sign language, to whom Ted signs to give Barney a fake number.
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Marshall proposes to Lily, and he accidentally hits her in the eye with a champagne cork afterward. Ted meets Robin, falls in love at first sight, steals the blue French horn to woo her and then inexplicably tells her he loves her, aka "Mosbying." The Mother turns 21 the same night, but her celebration at MacLaren's on the west side of New York City turns tragic after she learns that her boyfriend Max has died. His birthday gift to her was a ukulele.
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After taking five shots of Red Dragon, Ted wakes up with a girl in bed, who turns out to be Trudy (Danica McKellar), not Robin, and a pineapple on his nightstand. They never figured out where the pineapple came from.
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Ted meets Victoria at Claudia and Stuart's wedding, but she refuses to tell him her name or kiss him — because the build-up, or "drumroll," is the best part. He figures out she made the cake and tracks her down. They break up three months later when Ted tries to sleep with Robin after lying that he had broken up with Victoria. Because nothing good happens after 2 a.m.
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Ted and Robin get together after he does a rain dance, while Lily and Marshall break up so she can go to San Francisco for an art fellowship. Lily returns in the fall after a miserable time there, but Marshall doesn't want to get back together yet.
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Marshall and Lily get back together after he dates Chloe (Morena Baccarin), aka "Crazy Eyes," and Lily stalks her.
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Marshall and Lily get married, while Ted and Robin reveal that they had broken up a few weeks before the wedding after Robin freaked out when she mistakenly thought Ted was going to propose to her. Years later, Lily confesses that she sabotages Ted's relationships that she doesn't see passing the "front porch" test — how/if his dates could live (and play bridge) with her, Marshall and Ted when they're all old — and may have indirectly caused Ted and Robin's breakup.
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Ted meets Stella when he goes in for the first of his 10 sessions to remove his tramp stamp butterfly tattoo. They start dating after he takes her on a two-minute date following his last session.
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Ted and Barney go to a bar on St. Patrick's Day. Ted goes back the next day to retrieve his phone, and when it starts raining, he leaves with The Mother's yellow umbrella that was left behind there. The Mother had forgotten it there after bumping into Mitch, aka The Naked Man, who was her music teacher years back. When The Naked Man move doesn't work on The Mother, she and Mitch have a heart-to-heart about her goals, leading to her pursue a degree in economics.
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Robin and Barney hook up after she shows him her "Sandcastles in the Sand" music video.
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Ted and Stella break up after she invites him to her sister's wedding six months down the road, after which Ted gets into a car accident and has a new outlook on life. After he's discharged, Ted proposes to Stella with a stuffed orange kangaroo he won at Kiddy Fun Land because he couldn't get the fake diamond ring.
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On their wedding day, Stella leaves Ted a Dear John letter, explaining that she's getting back together with her ex and the father of her daughter, Tony. Robin, who returns from Japan for the wedding, sees the family of three on the ferry to the wedding on Shelter Island.
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Ted is attacked by a goat on his 31st (not 30th) birthday and ends up in the hospital after they get in a tussle over a washcloth.
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Ted starts teaching at Columbia University, but accidentally ends up in an economics class the first day, which, unbeknownst to him, is attended by The Mother. Meanwhile, Robin and Barney officially start dating after sneaking around all summer.
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Barney and Robin break up after two months because "two awesomes cancel each other out" — but not, of course, without some meddling from Ted, Marshall and breakup extraordinaire Lily.
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Ted dates Cindy, aka The Mother's roommate, and promises not to fall in love with her roommate. (As Future Ted says, "Oops!") When Ted goes to their apartment, he spots The Mother's ankle and leaves behind the yellow umbrella. When The Mother consoles Cindy, Cindy points out that "the architecture professor" is "already in love" with The Mother before suddenly kissing her.
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Distraught over the fact that his mother is on her second marriage when he hasn't even been married once yet, Ted disappears for three days and buys a rundown house that he plans to fix up for his future family.
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Lily and Marshall agree they won't try for kids until they see Barney's elusive doppelganger. When Lily claims a vendor is Barney's doppelganger — though he looks nothing like him — she realizes she's ready for kids and quits smoking.
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Ted meets Zoey, an activist protesting the demolition of The Arcadian hotel for the new Mosby-designed GNB headquarters, and they start dating after they (briefly) stop arguing about every single thing, and she splits from her husband The Captain. They break up seven months later after the Landmark Preservation Committee approves of the demolition of The Arcadian.
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Marshall and Lily conceive their first child in Barney's bathtub during Hurricane Irene. Lily finds out she's pregnant a month later.
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Though they're both dating other people — Nora and Kevin — Barney and Robin sleep together after reminiscing about how they almost kissed during Hurricane Irene in August. They agree to tell Nora and Kevin, break up with them and meet at MacLaren's — but only Barney does so. Robin walks in with Kevin, leaving Barney to pick up the pieces (of rose petals in her bedroom). At Thanksgiving, Robin tells Barney she's pregnant.
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Robin not only learns that she's not pregnant, but she can never have children. Future Ted reveals that Robin never became a "pole vaulter."
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Lily gives birth to Marvin Wait For It Eriksen and Marshall quits smoking. Barney proposes to Quinn after three months with an elaborate magic trick in airport security. They break up five months later after they realize they don't trust each either while drafting their pre-nups.
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May 24, 2013
After turning down Louis' proposal, The Mother checks in next door to Ted at the Farhampton Inn and performs a heartrending rendition of "La Vie en Rose" on ukulele Max had given her — unaware that her future hubby was listening on the other side of the shared balcony wall. "Kids, I must've heard your mom's rendition of "La Vie en Rose" a million times over the years," Future Ted says. "But that performance, that first night I ever heard her sing, that one will always be my favorite."
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May 25, 2013
Barney and Robin get married. Ted meets The Mother on the Farhampton train platform after the wedding as he heads back to the city. He put his house up for sale and planned to move to Chicago because he didn't want to be around Robin after the wedding.
30 of 44 Ron P. Jaffe/CBS
May 28, 2013
Ted and The Mother have their first date, during which she sees Louis and worries if she's ready to date again. After Ted drops her off at home, he opts not to make his typical big move and lets out a relieved "Oh, thank God" (just like Victoria did when he went to her bakery!) when The Mother asks if he still wants to walk around. They share their first kiss.
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Robin quits smoking, as well as Ted, who kicks the habit two weeks into dating The Mother, whom he calls right away after meeting her.
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Marshall and Lily are living the high life in Rome with Marvin, their new daughter Daisy, her pops and his mom! Oh, and Funyons, of course.
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May 23, 2014
Ted and The Mother return to the Farhampton Inn, where Ted tells her how a year earlier at that time at that same table, he told himself "I'm coming back and I'm bringing you" even though he hadn't met her yet. "But I knew I would," he says.
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Ted proposes at the lighthouse in Farhampton, but before he can even get the words out, The Mother emphatically says, "Yes."
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Ted has a baby daughter, Penny, and brings her to Trilogy Time.
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The Mother goes into labor when they're at (where else?) the Farhampton Inn and delivers their son Luke, named after (who else?) Luke Skywalker.
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Barney is the last of the five to quit smoking.
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Ted, Marshall and Lily attend their 20th college reunion, where they "eat a sandwich" and apparently lose track of Mrs. Mosby.
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Barney pretends to be on his deathbed so he can carry out his 10-year-old revenge prank on Marshall. As his last request, he asks Marshall to eat a meatball sub, which explodes in his face.
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Ted bumps into Wendy the Waitress at the airport in Hong Kong and tells her that he's married with two kids and that his breakup with Zoey did not go well. Wendy is still with Marshall's old co-worker Meeker, whom Marshall indirectly got fired, and they're on their second honeymoon in Hong Kong.
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Jan. 1, 2022
Ted makes The Mother Barney's faux hangover elixir after a really rough New Year's.
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Back at the Farhampton Inn, Ted and The Mother realize they know all of each other's stories like "an old married couple," and she wants him to stop living in his stories. The Dead Mother theories kick into high gear after Ted bursts into tears when The Mother remarks, "What kind of mother would miss her own daughter's wedding?"
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Nov. 1, 2029
Marshall reads Lily's death letter to him, which was to be opened after she died, and gets busted when Lily walks in. Marshall accuses her of not including naked photos like she had promised in 2007 and she says she'll take some. "I don't want them now," he says.
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Ted tells his unsuspecting children how he met their mother, trapping them on their couch for eight long years. Marshall has also saved the planet by 2030.