Season 2: How Lily Married Marshall
Lily returns to New York just as Marshall is making the entire world jealous by bro-dating Joe Manganiello (Brad). (Don’t worry: Marshmallow and Lilypad get back together by episode 7.) Ted finds out that his parents secretly split up two years ago — Dad is Steven Keaton from Family Ties! — and gets his first big break as an architect. (Shout-out to Spokane!) Robin and Ted’s relationship is going great until they decide to move in together and realize their life goals (kids, marriage) aren’t in sync. Barney goes on The Price Is Right to meet Bob Barker — the man he thinks is his father. He doesn’t win a dad. Marshall and Lily marry at the end of the season (although, technically, they were married for 12 seconds off the coast of Atlantic City earlier in the season), and once the wedding is over Ted and Robin reveal to Barney that they’ve broken up.
Best Episode: ”Slap Bet” Robin is cagey about her past. Barney thinks she did porn; Marshall says no way. The two wager and Marshall wins, which gives him permission to slap Barney five times between now and the end of eternity. Turns out Robin’s past is far more shameful: She was a Canadian teen pop star known as Robin Sparkles with one minor hit, ”Let’s Go to the Mall,” which Barney tracks down on — hello, 2006, nice to see you — MySpace.
Best Sound Bite ”I had to go all over Canada and sing this song in malls. For a whole year I lived off of Orange Juliuses and Wetzel’s Pretzels.” —Robin
Ted, Robin, Barney, Marshall, and Lilly remind us all of the joy of slap bets