For five seasons, we’ve seen the antics of the NYC gang as they play out their 20s, so why do we still want to know How I Met Your Mother? Is it that we can’t get enough of Barney’s womanizing? Ted’s lust for love? or maybe it’s the pull of the hilarious marital spats of Marshall and Lily? Whatever your reason, the new season starting September 20 on CBS is sure to keep us trying to put the pieces together on this backwards love story while our sides are splitting at the insanity the characters bring about. Here is a recap of the passed five years:
Season 1: In the year 2030, a father (voiced by veteran tv dad Bob Saget) begins his tale of just how he and his kids’ mom met by plonking the two teens (Lyndsy Fonseca and Disney Channel’s David Henrie) on a sofa and, much to their dismay, weaves his story.
The dad in younger form (played by Josh Radnor) is Ted Mosby. He is 27 years old and lives in a small apartment in New York City with his two best friends Marshall Erickson (Jason Segel) and Lily Aldrin (Alyson Hannigan). As Marshall proposes to Lily, Ted begins to face his lack of love life and therefore proposes a determination to find “the one” for himself too. (Neil Patrick Harris’s character, known as Barney Stinson, is also introduced during this season with all the gusto Barney brings to every season. Known for his innate “player” mentality, Barney meets Ted in MacLarens pub and decides then and there that the two are best friends.)
In his quest for true love, Ted catches sight of TV reporter Robin Scherbatsky (Cobie Smulders) a Canadian immigrant with a marriage complex and while he falls fast and hard, Robin (then referred to as the children’s Aunt Robin) sets Ted free.
The search continues with Ted dating Baker Victoria (Ashley Williams) who he meets at a wedding. Robin gets jealous at the relationship, Victoria moves to Germany to pursue her art, Robin and Ted nearly “hook up” but the truth comes out that Victoria and Ted are trying to date despite the distance and chaos ensues. In the end, Ted and Robin are back together, Victoria remains in Germany, and life in NYC goes on.
In the meantime, Lily calls off the engagement in order to pursue other interests (art) across the country. Season 1 ends with Robin and Ted dating and happy, Lily MIA in San Fransisco, and Marshall alone and heartbroken.
Season 2: We open with a happy couple in Robin and Ted but a still heartbroken Marshall trying to pick up the pieces without Lily. While in San Fransisco, we find Lily was very unhappy herself as she realized art is not her thing. She returns to the city and eventually gets back with her beloved.
Meanwhile, Robin and Ted argue about marriage and eventually break up, but refuse to tell anyone due to the impending nuptials of Lily and Marshall. Barney loses a “slap bet” and is Marshall is granted the opportunity to slap him five times without fear of reciprocation. Another surprise is the announcement that Robin was once a Canadian Pop Star who was made famous by the hit song “Let’s go to the mall.” (We are also introduced to Barney’s gay black brother (Wayne Brady) and the man Barney believes to be his father – Bob Barker from The Price is Right).
The highlight of the season is the wedding of Lily and Marshall, which is picture perfect – well, as much as any of the sitcoms show a picture perfect wedding!
Season 3: We start the season with struggles across the board. Ted struggles to see Robin as “just a friend” as she parades around with new Argentinian boy toy Gael (Enrique Iglasias). Lily and Marshall find an apartment to move into that is out of their price range which leads to Marshall finding out about Lily’s bad credit. The first marital issue for the couple proves to make us all say “awh!” as they patch up their problem. Of course the dream home becomes anything but when they find out exactly where it is located and that it is in fact crooked.
Barney receives his third slap (from Season 2) from Marshall on the hallowed holiday known as “Slapsgiving.” Speaking of Barney, Robin suffers through a terrible date that ends in Barney’s bed which causes Ted to stop being friends with Barney altogether. An unknown woman (later named Abby and played by Britney Spears) begins to taunt Barney and sabatoge his hook ups which sends him on a Sherlock Holmes-esque rampage to get to the bottom of it.
Ted is still searching for “the one” and begins dating Dermatologist Stella (Sarah Chalke). Things with Stella go amazingly well and he eventually proposes, despite the fact that she is from New Jersey. Ted also finds a yellow umbrella during a St. Patrick’s Day party – this umbrella, he tells his children is the umbrella that brought him to meet their mother.)
Season 4: Stella agrees to the proposal from Ted and plans begin for their wedding. Robin gets a job in Japan, then resigns and returns to New York in time to see Stella leave Ted at the altar for another man.
While Lily and Marshall discuss having children, Barney confesses his love for Robin (to Ted only) and struggles to gain his usual “player” composure. He stands in to make a video resume so that she can retain her working visa and stay in the U.S. It works and she is hired for a 4 AM news program. She moves in with Ted.
While carrying the famed yellow umbrella, Ted runs into Stella and her husband Tony and, while he doesn’t say what he wants to, he ends things with her and finally allows himself closure. Tony visits later to sympathize and offers Ted a job as a professor. Ted declines.
This season ends with Barney confessing his love for Robin to Robin and her reciprocating. Ted decides to take the professorship suggested by Tony, a class which will have the children’s mother in it.
Season 5: Ted is teaching, Barney and Robin are sleeping together but not discussing their relationship, and Lily and Marshall are still unsure about having a baby. When Barney and Robin decide to just be friends, Barney begins to womanize again and uses a playbook to record his accounts. Robin begins dating and eventually moves in with her co-anchor on her 4 AM talk show, Don (Benjamin Koldyke).
Ted starts dating one of his graduate students named Cindy (Rachel Bilson) who it is later revealed is the roommate of his future wife.
The season ends with another slap for Barney on another Slapsgiving Day and Robin and Don breaking up as he prepares to move to Chicago for a new job. Ted buys a “fixer upper” which is revealed to be the home where his children grow up.
If last season is any indication, Season 6 could bring as many as 8.6 million viewers to the boob tube on Monday nights.