Barney and Robin
The first sign of a possible relationship between Barney and Robin occurs in the first seasons Zip, Zip, Zip, where Robin acts as Barney's wingman (in place of Ted who is seeing Victoria). During this process Robin seems to be better at being the wingman than Ted ever was. At the end of the evening, Barney decides to disrobe as he assumes he will be hooking up with Robin. After presenting his view on the chemistry between the two, he learns that Robin still has feelings for Ted thus ending the night. This episode establishes what Barney thinks of Robin. In Wait For It, Barney comments that Robin is 'a ten' when talking about the hotness of the girl (or girls) he's going to need to find for Ted in order to beat that. During the episode Sandcastles in the Sand, Robin's old boyfriend Simon comes back to town. After going out with him for a few weeks, he dumps her, and Robin is left in a vulnerable state. She invites Barney back to her apartment to watch the music video she made as a teenager called 'Sandcastles in the Sand' and this eventually leads to Robin and Barney having sex. When they wake up the next morning, they try to pretend it never happened so they do not upset Ted. Ted eventually finds out and, though he forgives Robin, he temporarily ends his friendship with Barney.
Things take a step further again in Miracles. Barney who is now absent from the group because of the incident from Sandcastles in the Sand, rushes to be at Ted's hospital bed when he finds out from Lily about the accident. In doing so, Barney himself is hit by a Bus going the wrong way down a one way street.
As Lily and Marshall ask Barney about what he saw when his life was flashing before his eyes after the bus accident, Barney looks contemplative as he gazes across to Robin standing next to the hospital bed.
In Do I Know You?, Barney confesses his feelings for Robin to Lily in order to seek her advice about what to do. Lily suggests he should tell Robin he loves her, but he dismisses this idea. In Benefits, Ted and Robin become "friends with benefits" and Barney is clearly so distressed by the situation that he smashes a TV outside the bar every time the gang is talking about it. Barney then tries to ensure that Robin and Ted do not get into anymore fights, therefore giving them no reason to have sex. Ted picks up on this and questions whether or not Barney is in love with Robin.
In Definitions, he and Robin develop a complicated relationship which drives Lily insane given her previous vested interest in Barney's new-found feelings, and her friendship with Robin. Eventually, they agree to have "The Talk" and decide to lie to everyone else, and pretend to be in a relationship in order to satisfy Lily. Lily accepts the lie, knowingly, believing that they truly mean what they say, even if they do not know it yet.
In subsequent episodes of the fifth season, Barney is seen to be taking lessons on Robin from Ted (Robin 101), because he is afraid she will dump him. Barney attempts to get US Citizenship for Robin (Duel Citizenship), tracking down Robin in Canada when she wakes up there after a drinking session. In Bagpipes, Robin and Barney have started to fight and do so often, both try to cover this fact up as they try to be a 'better' couple than Marshall and Lily. Finally in The Rough Patch, Barney and Robin break up although not in an argumentative way everyone expects. They decided to remain friends.
They are shown to be close friends during Season 6. They often challenge each other, and Robin consoles Barney when he finds out who his real father is. Barney hints near the end of the season that he was, in fact, very happy with Robin.
It has been hinted they have remaining feelings for each other. While talking to his father, Barney says that maybe he has already met "the one", obviously he's talking about Robin.
In Challenge Accepted, it is seen that the two are (to themselves) considering getting back together, but are convinced otherwise when they see the outcome of Ted and Zoey's relationship. While Barney starts the conversation in the car about how bad they were as a couple, it appears both Barney and Robin get more conflicted about it further into the episode. Their brief discussion with Ted about the past is more an attempt by them to convince themselves than Ted. Although Robin forces Barney to talk to Nora when he sees her on the street, her expressions changes from happy to sad when she sees him asking her out.
In The Best Man, it is revealed that Robin still has feelings for Barney.
In The Stinson Missile Crisis, Robin gets jealous when she sees him with Nora and tries to hook-up with him while Nora is away. She later sends a girl to meet Barney during his date with Nora, hoping it will break him and Nora up, but has a change of heart and tackles the girl before she can walk in on their date.
Barney and Robin share a kiss at the end of Disaster Averted, which turned into sleeping together as revealed at the beginning of Tick Tick Tick. Robin says that she can't believe she cheated on Kevin and Barney says the same about Nora. They realize that they like each other so they agree to tell their partners about the night before and then talk about their relationship. After breaking up with Nora, Barney is shown to have strong feelings for Robin, who is not willing to end her relationship with Kevin.
In The Drunk Train, Kevin breaks up with Robin. Later Ted confronts Barney saying that Robin is in love with him, and something happened between them, which resulted in Barney and Nora's breakup, that night when he saw him in Robin's room with candles, rose petals and pictures from his relationship with Robin. Barney then tells Ted everything that happened, and that Robin picked Kevin because she loves him. When Ted tells Barney that Kevin and Robin broke up last night, he says that he doesn't care that Robin is single because she doesn't feel the same way, and he wouldn't care if she started dated someone else, even if that person was Ted, because he wants her to be with someone who makes her happy even if that person is not him.
In the The Magician's Code - Part Two, Barney proposes to Quinn in an airport security room. Returning to Lily and Marshall's apartment, Barney announces this to those present alongside Quinn. Robin appears to be shocked and says nothing while Lily and Marshall first speak to congratulate the couple. After the others leave, Barney and Robin have a bittersweet conversation about how it's their last chance to run away together. But Robin, believing Barney to be truly happy with Quinn, tells him she's happy for him. In the final scene, Robin is revealed to be the bride at Barney's wedding (despite the fact that Barney and Quinn became engaged earlier in the same episode).
In the Farhampton, a flashforward to the wedding reveals both Barney and Robin having cold feet. Back in the present, Robin is surprised when Quinn asks her to be one of her bridesmaids prompting Barney to reveal that he never told her about their relationship. Robin is hurt that Barney seemingly deleted every piece of evidence of their relationship (so that Quinn would never find out) but later he gives her a key to a storage unit on 622 West 14th Street where he keeps a box full of things from their time together. Upon seeing this, Robin is moved and becomes teary-eyed while Barney is shown smiling as he thinks about Robin in the cab home with Quinn.
In The Pre-Nup, a flash-forward is shown to when Barney and Robin are engaged. It shows Barney telling his co-workers how excited he is for his wedding. His boss asks if he wants a pre-nup, and he replies, "Not this time." (This comes after a pre-nup with his ex-fiancee Quinn causes the end of their relationship due to trust issues.) Robin then comes in and they kiss and go to lunch.
In The Autumn of Break-Ups, Robin worries about Barney when he takes on a dog as his new wingman, which he names Brover. He is upset when he must return Brover to his rightful owner, so Robin goes with him prompting them to recall when Barney accompanied Robin when she dropped off her dogs at her lesbian aunt's farm. When Brover's owner, an attractive woman, insinuates that Barney and Robin are a couple, Robin pretends that she too is a lesbian so Barney can hook up with her. As she walks away, Barney smiles and calls her the "best wingman ever".
In Splitsville, Robin hesitates on breaking up with her boyfriend Nick , prompting Barney to give her an incentive: either she breaks up with him or he will post an online invitation to Robin's co-worker Patrice inviting her to a "BFF Fun Day". Robin takes Nick to "Splitsville", a nearby dessert place where couples tend to break up, but tries to back away from dumping him after he receives a somber sounding phone call. However, Barney insists that she doesn't wait and says he will post the invite if he doesn't hear her break up with him on speaker phone. Before she can, Nick reveals that the phone call was from his doctor telling him that the groin injury which had kept him from having sex with Robin would take longer to heal than he thought so they might as well start having sex again. When it seems that Robin no longer has a reason to dump him, Barney appears fed up and walks out of the apartment. However, he turns up at "Splitsville" and tells Nick that he and Robin are over because Barney and her are in love. When Robin tries to tell him to stop, telling Nick that Barney doesn't really love her, Barney interrupts stating that he loves everything about her. He says that Robin has a hold on his heart that he can't break and that he could not stop loving her anymore than he could stop breathing. "I am hopelessly, irretrievably in love with her. More than she knows." His sudden confession is enough to convince Nick and shocks Ted, Lily and Marshall who hear every word over the phone. Robin also appears stunned by his confession and later tells Barney that he was "really convincing" when he tries to act like it was all fake. Barney smirks and says it is a good thing Nick bought it so fast or he would've had to kiss her. He leans in but they are interrupted by a phone call from Patrice, excited for her and Robin's "BFF Fun Day" as Barney forgot to cancel the invitation.
In The Stamp Tramp, Barney asks Robin to be his "agent" as he tries to find a new regular strip club (as Quinn who has possibly returned to work at the Lusty Leopard following their break-up). Robin takes to the job enthusiastically by making all the potential clubs compete with one another. However, Barney is disappointed when she takes a bribe from "The Golden Oldies" (a strip club Barney had previously dismissed) and fires her. Later when she apologies, he is quick to forgive her and agrees to "a date" when she asks if she can buy him his first lap dance at his chosen club, "Mouth Beach". Later that night, as a very drunk Barney and Robin return home from the club, Robin muses how she had missed her single life and says she had a lot of fun with him. Barney says he always has fun with her and kisses her, much to her surprise. Robin kisses him back at first before pulling away. Flustered, she tells him that "we can't do this" before walking away leaving Barney behind.
In Twelve Horny Women, Barney tells Robin that he is done pursuing Robin and after he leaves to pick up another woman Robin thinks about what he said and suddenly exclaims, "Huh."
In Lobster Crawl, Robin tries to get Barney back by using different schemes. The first one "The Damsel In Distress" involves her, getting a new printer and asking Barney to bring it to her office for her. She also says she'll "pay" him. But that one doesn't work because Robin's co-workers Patrice and Brandi interfere. After that, Robin tries "The Center Of Attention", "The 'Is That Angelina Jolie?' ", "The Ask For Lily's Help" and "The Robin And Lily Get Freaky". Since none of those schemes work, she resorts to knocking on Barney's door, stripping off her coat and revealing sexy purple-black underwear. "It's okay if you don't know what you want in life - as long as you know what you want tonight.", she says. Barney answers that he does know what he wants and he turns around in order for Robin to see Patrice, sitting on his couch. After he tells Robin that he and Patrice talked all night and are "kind of on a date now", Robin leaves, looking hurt.
In The Over-Correction, Barney is - kind of - together with Patrice while Robin gets obsessed with trying to break them up. She does not succeed.
In The Final Page - Part Two, Robin finds out that Barney had asked Patrice to help him complete the final play in his Playbook: The Robin. Not only would this be his last play, but also his last of single life as he proposed to Robin at her favorite spot in the city in a Christmas environment. And tearfully she said "yes".
In Band or DJ?, Robin wants Barney to ask her father for his blessing on their wedding, but he turns down Barney's request to marry Robin. While Barney attempts to win over Robin Sr., Robin declares that she will marry Barney without his permission and will not invite him to the wedding. Barney later helps the two reconcile and Robin Sr. agrees to her request to share a dance with her at the reception.
In P.S. I Love You, Robin admits to the gang that she was once a stalker. When she refuses to tell Barney whom she was obsessed with, he breaks into her apartment and reads her teenage journals. Puzzled by the cryptic phrase "PS I Love You", Barney flies to Robin's home town to interview her ex-boyfriends. Simon then tells him about a video documentary which tells the whole story. Barney runs out to find the documentary and then goes back to The Apartment and tells the others that he found another Robin Sparkles video. The video explains that Robin wrote a grunge song, "P.S. I Love You". The video further says that the one name that comes more than any other about who P.S. I Love You was about is Alan Thicke. Barney visits him and violently demands the truth; Thicke easily defeats him and denies that he was the song's subject. Barney returns to the others claiming that he fought Thicke to a draw, and admits that it is normal to obsess over romantic interests. Robin comforts him and reveals that the "PS" in the song was Paul Shaffer.
In Weekend at Barney's, Robin is upset to discover that Barney never really burned the Playbook and that he lied to her. She tells him he can't lie to her anymore, which makes Barney tell her that lying is what he's good at. He's a magician so misdirection and deceit are his stock and trade. He points out to her that everything he did to get her to say yes to him were all a bunch of lies. But underneath all of his lies is the fact that he loves her, and that is the one thing he would never lie about. Robin is still upset as she declines two fake bouquets he pulls out, but on the third one, she cracks a smile and accepts it and gives him a kiss. Later, Barney gives Jeanette permission to blow up the actual Playbook.
In The Fortress, Robin tries to sell Barney's apartment claiming she doesn't want to live in a "diseased-riddled bang-pad haunted by the ghosts of ex-skanks". After seeing all Barney's gadgets he has invented to get rid of girls, only one couple decide to keep the apartment. Barney later tells Robin he is willing to give up his Fortress of Solitude because he never wants to be alone again. Robin answers that, when the couple interested in the apartment told her they would tear the place down, she realized she loved all the good and bad things about him, and she doesn't want to change him too much, so she kicked the buyers out and decided they should keep it.
Something Old had Robin frantically searching in Central Park for a locket that she buried when she was 14 when she came to New York with her dad. She reveals to Ted that she has been having doubts about marrying Barney and if she could find her locket, then that would be a sign from the universe to forget her worries and marry him. But she is devastated when she finds the box, but the locket is missing and interprets this as a sign from the universe that she and Barney should not be getting married.
In Something New, Robin and Barney scheme together to take down one obnoxious couple who demanded them to put away their cigars and who stole their table. Robin slipped her own engagement ring in the girlfriend's wine glass to make her think her boyfriend is proposing to her and a fight breaks out, to which Robin and Barney celebrate by clinking their glasses together. By the end of the episode, Robin and Barney are in the limo, driven by Ranjit, and are on their way to their wedding.
- Return of the Shirt - Barney pays Robin to say and do inappropriate things on air.
- The Duel - Robin ridicules Barney for his "Lemon Law" and tells him that he could miss out on someone great if he keeps skipping out on his date after five minutes of knowing them. Barney retaliates by setting her up with someone that normally would not attract Robin and dares her to last longer than five minutes with her date.
- Zip, Zip, Zip - First time Barney and Robin bro out together and discover they have a lot in common.
- Slap Bet - Barney is the first to discover Robin's past as Robin Sparkles.
- How Lily Stole Christmas - Robin takes care of a sick Barney.
- How I Met Everyone Else - Ted's date, Blah Blah, mistakes Barney and Robin for a couple. Robin ridiculously denies the claim with 16 no.
- The Bracket - Robin agrees to be the woman Barney pretends to hit on so that they could find out the mystery woman that has been sabotaging Barney's conquests. Robin is bewildered when Barney strokes her thigh and whispers something in her ear. He tells her that she's turned on by him, which she tries to deny but he can tell she's lying.
- Sandcastles in the Sand - Barney comforts Robin after Simon dumps her again, which leads to her showing him the "Sandcastles in the Sand" video, which leads to their first night together.
- The Goat - Barney and Robin try to pretend their first night together never happened.
- Miracles - After a near fatal bus accident, Barney realizes he's in love with Robin.
- Do I Know You? - Barney confesses his feelings about Robin to Lily, who arranges a little date for them.
- Shelter Island - Barney plans a way to sleep with Robin again at Ted and Stella's wedding.
- The Fight - After discovering Robin's weakness for guys who fight, Barney fakes a fight to earn her affections. It works as she's all over him, until Marshall reveals to her that he actually faked the fight with Ted.
- Benefits - Barney gets insanely jealous when Robin and Ted try to solve their disputes by having casual sex.
- The Possimpible - Barney finds a job for Robin so she could stay in New York.
- The Stinsons - Barney's mom pleads for him that if he ever meets anyone special to take a chance at it. He looks over at Robin and affirms that he will.
- Murtaugh - Barney and Robin try to complete Ted's "Murtaugh List" together and even come up a list for Ted himself to complete.
- Mosbius Designs - Barney becomes jealous when Robin starts sleeping with Ted's assistant, PJ.
- The Leap - Barney and Robin admit they have feelings for each other and they kiss.
- Definitions -The gang finds out about Barney and Robin's summer romance and forces the couple into defining their relationship. Barney and Robin finally agree they are boyfriend and girlfriend.
- Robin 101 - Barney, afraid of Robin dumping him, enlists Ted's help to find out more about Robin.
- Duel Citizenship - When Robin is once again in danger of being thrown out of the country, Barney urges her to take the American citizenship test so she can become a true American.
- The Sexless Innkeeper - Robin and Barney become upset when Lily and Marshall start hanging out with a new couple. They also make fun of Ted for being the "sexless innkeeper". In the end of the episode, when Ted sleeps with a hot girl, Barney realises how much he misses being single.
- Bagpipes - Tired of being pegged as the couple who suck at relationships, Barney and Robin go overboard with their public display of affection. In truth though, they have been fighting. A lot.
- The Rough Patch - Barney and Robin break up when they realize they are miserable together.
- The Playbook - To heal from his break up with Robin, Barney throws himself back into womanizing with help from The Playbook.
- Of Course - Barney learns that their break up has been hard on Robin too, and even more so when he's actively talking about having sex with random women. To make it up to her, he sets her up on a super date with Don.
- Twin Beds - Barney becomes jealous of Don and tries to win Robin back.
- Big Days - Robin lets herself go after Don breaks up with her, prompting Barney to keep teasing her about her unruly appearance until finally she "sundresses up" for him. He then tells her that she looks hot and she thanks him.
- Subway Wars - Barney sabotages Ted and throws in the race so Robin could win when he realizes just how upset she's been since her break up with Don.
- Baby Talk - After Ted hurts her feelings by telling her she doesn't make a guy feel needed, Robin goes over to Barney's to ask him if he felt she ever needed him. He said no, but then tells her that's what makes her the most awesomest woman he's ever banged.
- Natural History - Barney and Robin connect with their inner child when they go around the museum touching things. Robin is also the first person, besides Barney, to learn that Barney's estranged Uncle Jerry was actually his real dad.
- Desperation Day - Robin calls in Nora to take her place at the Laser Tag tournament so that Barney could have his first Valentine's Day date.
- Garbage Island - In attempt to mask his growing feelings for Nora, Barney tries to seduce Robin, but she ends up pushing him even further to Nora.
- The Exploding Meatball Sub Barney confides in Robin about his issues of Marshall leaving GNB.
- Hopeless - To appeal to Jerry's crazy side, Barney makes the gang change their boring careers and personalities to something more cool. He even has Robin dating Ted because if she's single then his dad will think, "Why don't you marry Robin, you guys were cute together! Deep down you know you were never happier than when you were with her." Even though Jerry has not yet met Robin, nor knew about their dating history. When Barney asks his dad how he settled down, his dad tells him that he has to meet the right girl and that maybe he'll meet her tomorrow. Barney says that maybe he has met her already, implying that he meant Robin.
- Challenge Accepted - Barney and Robin go through town to thwart Ted's efforts in getting back together with Zoey. In the cab ride, they admit they had real feelings for each other, but decided in the end that getting back together would be a mistake. They run into Nora and Robin pushes Barney into asking her out again. When he does, we see Robin's face who was smiling at first, but then became upset. It's also revealed in this episode that Barney is getting married.
- The Best Man - Robin realizes she's still in love with Barney. After sharing a chemistry-filled dance with him, she attempts to reveal her feelings, but they are interrupted by a phone call by Nora. Robin feeds him the words to say to Nora that she had wanted to say to him.
- The Stinson Missile Crisis - Robin becomes insanely jealous of Barney and Nora's relationship. She tries to sabotage them to win Barney back, but then realizes that if she really did love Barney, she would want him to be happy even if it's not with her.
- The Slutty Pumpkin Returns - Robin reveals to the gang that Barney is one-quarter Canadian, and mocks him throughout the episode.
- Disaster Averted - While in a cab, Barney and Robin reminisce about the time the almost make out with each other, and start making out.
- Tick Tick Tick - Barney and Robin sleep together. When Barney tells Robin that he wants to be with her, they plan breaking up with their partners, but Robin decides not to break up wit Kevin when he confesses his love for her, breaking Barney's heart.
- The Rebound Girl - Robin tells Barney that she could be pregnant after their night together.
- Symphony of Illumination - Barney is at first excited about having a baby with Robin, but when he sees the reality of parenthood, he decides that he does not want to be a dad. He and Robin are relieved when Doctor Sonya reveals that she is not pregnant. Later on, Robin finds out she's infertile and she has to face the cruel reality of never having kids with Barney.
- Trilogy Time - There is a flashback to 2009, when Barney and Robin started hooking up.
- The Magician's Code - Part Two - Robin tries to be happy for Barney's engagement to Quinn. It's revealed in the end that it's not Quinn Barney marries, but actually Robin.
- Farhampton - Robin is upset that Barney can easily throw away everything from their relationship just to hide his and Robin's dating history from Quinn. Barney gives her a key to a storage room where he keeps all of his and Robin's mementos from their dating past.
- The Pre-Nup - After Barney breaks up with Quinn because they realize they don't trust each other enough to get married, Barney tells Ted and Marshall that this means he'll never get married because there's no one he can trust. A flash forward reveals him being engaged to Robin and turning down the opportunity for a pre-nup because he trusts Robin.
- The Autumn of Break-Ups - Barney adopts a dog to become his new wingman, which worries Robin. She invites him and his new dog over for dinner at her place, even though Nick was preparing a special meal for just the two of them. Barney gets a call from Brover's owner who wants him back and Robin agrees to go with him to return the dog, after all, he did the same for her when she had to get rid of her own dogs for Ted.
- Splitsville - Barney breaks up Robin and Nick by professing his love to her. He tries to shake it off as though it was just him acting, but Robin tells him he was very convincing. They almost kiss until Patrice calls up Robin. This is also the start of Barney's last play to win back Robin for good.
- The Stamp Tramp - Robin becomes Barney's new strip club agent after he discovers Quinn is back to working at the Lusty Leopard. Robin goes with Barney to "Mouth Beach", his newest strip club, and the two share a drunken kiss at the end of the night. Well, Robin was drunk, Barney was only acting so she would turn him down.
- Twelve Horny Women - Things are awkward between Robin and Barney following their kiss, leading to Barney telling her that he was done trying to win her back and only wants a friendship with her. This was part of his play to drive Robin nuts, which works.
- Lobster Crawl - Frustrated at the idea of never having Barney again, Robin sets out with a list of plays of her own to have one more night with Barney, who turns her down every time.
- The Over-Correction - Robin refuses to believe that Barney is truly dating Patrice so she breaks into his apartment to get the Playbook so she could show it to Patrice.
- The Final Page - Part Two - Barney reveals to Robin his final play that explained that everything he did from the events in Splitsville to The Final Page - Part One was all a ploy to propose to her. They become engaged.
- Band or DJ? - Robin has Barney meet with her dad to ask for his permission since he didn't the first time around. In the end though, Robin tells him anyway when she finds out through facebook that her dad married his girlfriend, Carol, and never invited her.
- Ring Up - Barney is going through one night stand withdraws and Robin is frustrated that she is invisible to guys. They soon learn in the end though that the only attention they need is each other's.
- P.S. I Love You - Barney is jealous that there was a guy in Canada that Robin used to be obsessed with. He goes off in search of this guy and ends up getting beaten up by Alan Thicke. He's upset with his actions as they make him a total Dahmer, but Robin relieves him by telling him that he is her Dahmer, which makes him a Dobbler.
- Weekend at Barney's - Robin is incensed when she finds out Barney never did burn the Playbook like he had said he done. He tells her he's a magician and lying is part of who he is, but he does love her. Robin forgives him and in the end, Barney gives Jeanette his blessing to blow up the actual Playbook.
- The Fortress - Robin tries to sell Barney's apartment, but after finding potential buyers, she realizes she loves Barney's good and bad aspects and decides not to sell it.
- The Bro Mitzvah - Robin plans a legendary bachelor party for Barney, making him think that every worse case scenario that could possibly happen at a bachelor party happens within one night, including her calling off their wedding.
- Something New - Robin and Barney try to break up an obnoxious couple who ruined their dinner date, but the couple gets engaged instead, because of them. The later leave for Farhampton for their wedding.
Barney and Robin have a number of similarities:
- They both have a Canadian background.
- They have a mutual love for Scotch.
- The both had issues with their fathers; Barney not knowing who his father was and Robin being estranged from hers.
- Both have issues with relationships and wanting to be in relationships. Commitment phobia as it were.
- Both were/are hesitant to have kids of their own.
- Both love cigars.
- Both love sports.
- Both love teasing one another.
- They love to place bets while watching sports.
- Both had problems about people changing their apartments. Barney didn't like it when Lily bought groceries and when Quinn wanted to use her coffee mugs. Robin had issues living with Ted because she didn't want his stuff in her apartment.
- Both have run plays on each other. Barney's "The Robin" was his elaborate proposal to her and Robin's "The Barney" was to give him a legendary bachelor party night he would never forget.