'How I Met Your Mother' Season 5 Episode Guide

Guide to the 2009-2010 Season of 'How I Met Your Mother'

How I Met Your Mother
Photo courtesy of CBS

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.

Episode 1
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.

Episode 2
“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.

Episode 3
“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.

Episode 4
“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.

Episode 5
“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.

Episode 6
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.

Episode 7
“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.

Episode 8
“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.

Episode 9
“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.

Episode 10
“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.

Episode 11
“Last Cigarette Ever”
Original Airdate: December 14, 2009

When Marshall takes up smoking again to bond with his new boss, soon the whole gang is puffing on cigarettes and desperate to quit. Robin clashes with her boorish new co-anchor, who is jaded about the tiny audience for their news program and Robin’s shot at a big-time anchor gig (but they will apparently end up dating within three months).

Everyone commits to quitting smoking, but something always breaks their resolve. Finally, they gather for a final cigarette, but as Future Ted notes to his kids, all of them ended up smoking again.

Episode 12
“Girls vs. Suits”
Original Airdate: January 11, 2010

Ted goes out with Cindy (Rachel Bilson), a student from the class he accidentally taught at the beginning of the semester, but it turns out that her roommate is destined to be the mother of the show’s title. After one date, Cindy decides that she can’t date Ted because of the university’s policy against students dating professors, and Ted misses the chance to meet the roommate, at least for now. Barney is determined to hook up with a hot bartender who hates guys in suits, so he tries to give up suit-wearing, which isn’t easy.

Episode 13
Original Airdate: January 18, 2010

Marshall is worried that Lily will be jealous of his friendship with his attractive female co-worker Jenkins (Amanda Peet), but then is upset when she doesn’t care.

He wants to make Lily jealous, but then gets freaked out when Jenkins kisses him. He confesses to Lily, but she doesn’t believe him until Jenkins admits it, finally driving Lily into a rage. Ted discovers that his students play a drinking game based on Robin’s tendency to say “but, um” in her TV interviews, and when she learns about it, she gets her revenge by using the phrase constantly.

Episode 14
“The Perfect Week”
Original Airdate: February 1, 2010

When Barney picks up three different girls in three nights, he decides to go for a “perfect week,” picking up seven girls in seven nights without being rejected. Despite his job being in jeopardy, Barney focuses all his efforts on making it happen, and the gang rallies behind him to ensure success. Barney achieves the perfect week, and keeps his job. Ted inadvertently makes fun of a student’s name and causes her to drop his class.

Episode 15
“Rabbit or Duck”
Original Airdate: February 8, 2010

Barney holds up a sign with his phone number on it at the Super Bowl, and gets calls from so many women that he can’t pause long enough to actually score with any of them. Robin’s obnoxious co-anchor Don invites her to his house for Valentine’s Day, and the gang is convinced she’s in love with him. He behaves like a pervert, and she dismisses him, but then he apologizes, and Robin realizes she might just be falling for Don after all. Ted asks Marshall and Lily to arrange a marriage for him, but then backs out.

Episode 16
Original Airdate: March 1, 2010

The gang tries to convince Ted that Tiffany (Carrie Underwood), the girl he thinks he’s starting to date, is really just stringing him along, since she has a boyfriend that she keeps promising to leave but never does.

It turns out that Robin, Ted and Lily are all keeping people “on the hook” as well, and Marshall helps Lily work up the nerve to finally tell off the ex-boyfriend who works in the cafeteria at her school. Ted, too, finally gets fed up and walks out on Tiffany, and also tells his own “hookee” that they will never be together.

Episode 17
“Of Course”
Original Airdate: March 8, 2010

Barney meets Anita (Jennifer Lopez), the author of a self-help book that teaches women to constantly say no to men, and he’s determined to defeat her system. It turns out that Robin has hired Anita to break Barney down, because she hasn’t gotten over their break-up, and she’s upset hearing about all the women Barney is sleeping with. When Barney discovers how distraught Robin has been, he calls off his date with Anita, and gives Robin the dream date with her co-anchor Don instead.

Episode 18
“Say Cheese”
Original Airdate: March 22, 2010

It’s Lily’s birthday, which she takes very seriously, and Ted brings a date to the party. Lily’s annoyed that Ted always brings random girls to group gatherings, and they always ruin everyone’s good time and Lily’s prized collection of group pictures. When Ted’s date messes up the cake she’s baking for Lily, Marshall explodes and kicks the woman out. But Ted reminds Lily that she was once an interloper whom he invited into a photo, so she forgives Ted and allows his date into the latest picture.

Episode 19
“Zoo or False”
Original Airdate: April 12, 2010

Lily is worried because Marshall got mugged, so she decides to get a gun to protect them. Marshall then admits that his “mugger” was actually a Central Park Zoo monkey that grabbed his wallet. Robin wants him to appear on her TV show because she needs interesting people to interview. He then admits that he made up the monkey story just to convince Lily she didn’t need to get a gun. He goes on Robin’s show anyway, but breaks down and keeps changing his story. Eventually no one knows what really happened.

Episode 20
“Home Wreckers”
Original Airdate: April 19, 2010

Ted’s mother gets married to her hippie-dippy boyfriend, and it drives Ted over the edge. Worried that he’s behind on getting his life in order, Ted buys a run-down old house for his eventual family. Everyone tries to convince him that buying the house was a huge mistake, but he won’t listen. Ted finally agrees to sell the house, but ultimately he can’t part with it, and it turns out to be the house where he still lives in the future.

Barney reveals that he cried at Ted’s mom’s wedding because he and Ted’s mom once hooked up, and he still wasn’t over her.

Episode 21
“Twin Beds”
Original Airdate: May 3, 2010

When Don asks Robin to move in with him, Barney and Ted realize that the relationship is getting serious, and they each decide they want to win Robin back. After getting drunk and making complete fools of themselves, Barney and Ted both apologize, but it’s too late: Robin moves out of her apartment with Ted and in with Don, and decides she needs time away from the group.

Marshall and Lily decide to get twin beds so they can sleep better, but revert to their old ways when they miss the intimacy.

Episode 22
“Robots vs. Wrestlers”
Original Airdate: May 10, 2010

Barney scores tickets to an event featuring robots fighting wrestlers, but Robin holds her ground and refuses to join the gang at the event. Ted gets an invitation to a fancy party addressed to the former occupant of his apartment, and the gang decides to crash the party. Ted loves the highbrow party atmosphere, but everyone else feels out of place. Ted skips out on Robots vs. Wrestlers, and Barney freaks out that the gang is falling apart. But by the end of the night, both Ted and Robin return.

Episode 23
“The Wedding Bride”
Original Airdate: May 17, 2010

Tony Grafanello, the guy Stella left Ted at the altar to be with, makes a movie all about Ted and Stella’s breakup, in which Ted is portrayed as the villain.

Ted likes Royce, the new girl he’s dating, but he’s worried about what sort of baggage she might reveal. When they see Tony’s movie, Ted realizes that he’s the one with baggage. He doesn’t want to tell Royce about his issues, but when he admits his past problems, she’s completely understanding—because she has way more problems, which leads Ted to dump her.

Episode 24
Original Airdate: May 24, 2010

Lily and Marshall believe that seeing Barney’s doppelganger is a sign from the universe that they should start trying for a baby, but when it turns out that the doppelganger was really Barney himself in disguise, they start to have doubts. In the end, they decide to start trying because they are ready, not because of any cosmic signs. Robin gets an offer for a great job in Chicago, but turns it down so she can stay in New York and be with Don. When Don then gets the same offer and takes it, he and Robin break up.