Ted also realizes there's a part of him that still wanted to be with Robin until episode 17.
Amicable Exes: Deconstructed this season through a running theme. Victoria states firmly that Ted cannot expect to find "the one" by hanging out with Robin all the time. When she finds out him, Robin, and Barney all hang out together she expresses outright disapproval of the concept. This later becomes important as all those lingering feelings cause a great deal of strife for all involved.
Amusing Injuries: In a flashback, Marshall and Lily had a bet about Ted breaking his leg when he attempted skiing. Lily lost that bet, because Ted broke everything but his legs.
Marshall: You think that sucks? The world's going to end.
Barney: You think that's bad? MY GIRLFRIEND'S THIRTY-SEVEN.
Played straight in "Karma":
Barney: I don't know how I'd feel about her being a stripper. Ted: Why would you have an issue with that? I mean, you've dated convicted felons, arms dealers...pageant moms.
Also when Ted decides to date a girl without looking up everything there is to know about her on the internet. His friends of course can't resist and try texting him on what they found out. Ted tries to avoid clicking on their link, but has several terrifying imagine spots where it turns out she's a prostitute, or that she's a man, or that she hates Annie Hall. (She's actually brilliant, kind, wealthy and loves Annie Hall. Ted's quite intimidated)
In the season finale, Robin says Zoey was the wrong girl for Ted because she was married, trying to sabotage his career, and wore a lot of stupid hats.
Ascended Extra: Patrice was just in the background in "The Stinson Missile Crisis," and by "No Pressure," she becomes Robin's sworn enemy.
Audience Surrogate: Kevin is a Type 2. He starts out as Robin's therapist, and questions repeatedly why the story of how she got into a fight with another woman needs so much backstory and why she even brought up a Marshall and Lily subplot. Once he joins the group he is constantly doing his best not to analyze the bizarre eccentricities of the group, though he still wonders aloud at a few clearly unhealthy habits they exhibit.
Barney: (To Marshall) "I will give you... ten thousand dollars to not have to wear this tie." Kevin: (also to Marshall) "Dude! Take the money!"
Awesome McCoolname: Or at least that what the gang think with Marshall and Lily's son Marvin Wait-For-It Erikson.
In the ninth episode, on learning that baby Eriksen was conceived during the hurricane in Barney's bathroom, Ted suggests that "Hurricane Eriksen" would be an awesome name. Marshall agrees. Lily does not.
Awkward Kiss: Ted looks for a girl he met on Halloween 2001 who dressed as a "Slutty Pumpkin." In 2011, he finally meets her, and after ten years of buildup, the lack of chemistry is amazing.
Also, Robin and Kevin's first attempt at making out.
Robin: Okay, this is creepy.
Kevin: It's Crispin Glover creepy.
Batman Gambit: Barney's plan to grope Lily's boobs in "The Ducky Tie". He even spent five years using Pavlovian conditioning on Marshall to prepare for it. Could be considered a Xanatos Gambit, since Lily still had to show him her boobs in order to thwart the plan.
Barney and Quinn pull one in "The Broath" against the gang to teach them not to judge Quinn, ala The Playbook.
Birth/Death Juxtaposition: Doesn't fit the exact definition, but the (as of season nine) only significant death and the only significant birth of the series happen within the latter half of season seven.
A LOT in "The Ducky Tie". Ted makes the group guess which ex-girlfriend he met in the Architect Ball, and they started referencing all Ted's exes. Every. Single. One. Of them.
A reprise of the "Bangity Bang" song.
At the end of "Good Crazy", Marshall has a cigarette. This is only significant in light of "Last Cigarette Ever"'s reveal.
"Murder Train" is played for a montage of everyone committing acts of violence against each other.
Marshall's list of fish names shows up again.
Ted and Barney briefly end up opening their bar, "Puzzles".
Ted and Robin go back to the restaurant which had that Blue French Horn.
The most subtle example comes while Marshall and Barney are in Atlantic City, while Lily goes into labour. It's mentioned in "Last Cigarette Ever", that Marshall's was on the day his son was born. And indeed, we see him lighting up while completely drunk out of his mind on tequila.
Cliffhanger Copout: In "Symphony of Illumination" turns out when Robin said "I'm pregnant" at the end of "Rebound Girl" she really meant "I am a few days late and haven't even taken a pregnancy test yet."
Continuity Lockout: Victoria's return could have been one, but they simplify the breakup between her and Ted to save an explanation ("I cheated on you with Robin" is a lot simpler than "I thought you weren't going to call me so I was going to break up with you after I started to cheat on you with Robin whom I had told that we had broken up but I never got the chance to because you called while I was at her place, and Robin answered because we had identical phone and then we fought for a while and eventually did hook up under completely unrelated circumstances").
Crack Pairing: In-Universe. In "Noretta", thanks to Marshal and Lily being affected from Kevin's "winding up with someone resembling your parents" theorynote It's demonstrated in-episode by having one character see a spouse as one of their parents., wealmost see Marvin Erickson Sr. and Mickey Aldrin kiss.
Indiviually, however, we get Marshal x Mickey and Lily x Marvin. That's not all: we also get Barney x Loretta and Ted x Virginia.
Crazy-Prepared: Ted, desperate for something interesting to show to his intro to architecture class, brings them to Barney at GNB. Barney immediately whips out a Crazy Awesome advertisement for Sex Lessons before Ted interrupts and chastises him. Barney is too upset about Nora not liking Ewoks to actually care, and he proceeds to explain the problem using an in-depth history of the Ewoks. Ted interrupts again, telling him to "Skip to the part about you and Nora." And so Barney skips... and skips and skips and skips to the end where he presents his latest theory on the Ewok Line, proving that his "29 year-old girlfriend" has to be 37. In addition, he demonstrates that he memorized the names of Ted's 200+ students. And not just the hot chicks; he also knew Will's name, maybe because his 38 year-old mother is hot.
Dead Guy Junior: Marshall and Lily's son is named Marvin Wait-For-It Eriksen.
Darkest Hour: Ted certainly thinks this of his love life after giving up on Robin for good. Sent up in Trilogy Time where despite everything that happened to him across the series he never gave up hope on finding his true love up until now.
Deconstruction: Of the idea of a close-knit, interdependent, happy-go-lucky group of friends who really just end up meddling in each other's serious life affairs.
Doomed by Canon: In the season finale, Ted and Victoria drive past the church in which she was suppose to get married to another person and then ride in to the sunset together. Which is pointless because the viewers know that Victoria is not the mother and that Ted met her at Barney's and Robin's wedding.
This is also true for Barney and Quinn, since, despite their engagement, we already know that Robin is the bride at his wedding.
Drama-Preserving Handicap: The real reason why Ted can't get into a serious, committed relationship with other women is because there's a small part of him that still wants to be with Robin. The episode "No Pressure" makes it clear to Ted that he and Robin are Better as Friends, which opens him up to the possibility of hooking up with the Mother.
At the beginning of "Mystery Vs History" one of the people's descriptions has Josh Radnor (who plays Ted) listed in her favourite actors.
Also there's a scene in the seventeenth episode when the gang are hanging out in Mc Claren's, you can spot Conan O'Brien.
When Ted looks into online dating, the profile (made by Barney) is hilariously made for Ted. Aside from obvious points designed to make her attractive to Ted (such as referencing many of Ted's interests, including callbacks like "Anything from the guy who played Argyle in Die Hard," referencing the coin documentary he got into earlier the season), there's also many veiled criticisms of Ted that Ted would see as compliments, such as "I'm a sucker for an out-of-date plaid shirt" or "I can bend like spaghetti in the sack, which probably doesn't matter to you, but it really should, Ted."
Half of the events of Lily's birth are foreshadowed in small pieces of dialogue, flash forward cuts and Meaningful Background Event. Marshall wasn't present when Lily went into labor, Barney is seen worried on the phone with Marshall at a casino and the motorbike sign.
Pay close enough attention during Ted and Marshall's journey to get Lily nachos, and the twist can be easily revealed. Although, the fact that the bulk of the scenes involving it took place outside Gate 312was a dead giveaway.
Marshall: I wanna be the kind of man my child can look up to. So, sweeping declaration, I am never getting drunk again as long as I live. (the rest of the gang laughs) I'm serious! (scene briefly stops so Future Ted can narrate) Future Ted: Kids, it's not that your Uncle Marshall had a drinking problem. But whenever he made a sweeping declaration like that, you pretty much knew... (the next day, Marshall walks in drunk) Marshall: I DID IT AGAIN! Future Ted: But I'm getting ahead of myself.
The lighter subplot in "The Drunk Train" ends with this. After Marshall and Lily agree not to keep score anymore, it cuts to them months later, making tallies on a scoreboard to determine who changes the baby.
Gratuitous French: In "Disaster Averted", when Barney decides he has to incite Marshall to slap him, says "Le jeu commence" (The game begins) menacingly. Marshall, in the same fashion, retaliates, "Je m'appele Marshall" (My name is Marshall). And yes, the scenes are translated exactly so.
Hide Your Pregnancy: Averted with Alyson Hannigan's second pregnancy, as Lily was already pregnant.
Hearing Ted say that he's realized that if you care about somebody, you should want them to be happy even if you get left out in "The Stinson Missile Crisis", gets Robin to change her mind about trying to sabotage Barney's relationship with Nora for her own benefit. Even before this realization, she's done things such as played Cyrano for Barney and Nora, despite her own feelings for him.
After their roles have reversed in mid-season, Barney does this for Robin, saying that even though her choosing Kevin over him made him mad, she's still his bro and he doesn't mind who she dates as long as it makes her happy.
Since it was revealed that Robin is Barney's future bride, it seems like she does this again for him in the season finale, saying that she's truly happy for him after having heard the news of his engagement to Quinn.
Identical Stranger: In addition to the return of Doppelganger Lily, when Ted is in University Housing there are three college students who are dead ringers for Ted, Marshall, and Lily when they were in college.
Incredibly Lame Pun: Marshall, desperately trying to be an environmentalist lawyer, is struggling to wow three hardcore corporate attorneys. In desperation, he turns to his tried and true list of fish names. Then his boss shows up.
Amoral Attorney: Garrison. What a nice surprise. Your star apprentice was just, uh...
Insistent Terminology: Marshall insists that the gang call Barney's intervention for his relationship with Quinn a "Quinntervention". He even changes the banner.
"Quinnterest", "Quinntense" all accompanied by Marshall coughing and elbowing the person.
Internal Deconstruction: Ted and Robin's "40 and unmarried" pact from season 4 is picked apart in "No Pressure" when Ted admits his feelings for Robin meant in the back of his mind he was hoping they might work out. That means he wasn't giving his all to his immediate relationships.
Master of the Mixed Message: Lampshaded by Victoria in "The Ducky Tie." She and Ted meet up by chance and Ted offers to wash her dishes as penitence for what he did back in the first season (cheat on her long distance). It was done with genuine platonic reasons but the more they talked about what happened their old feelings resurfaced and they kissed, despite the fact Victoria was with someone else. Ted apologized but Victoria took part of the blame, saying "I said that after you washed my dishes you could clean my oven. I practically invited you into a porno!"
I'm sorry. We're great as friends. Let's just forget I ever said anything.
Meaningful Episode Title: "Karma." Marshall's good deed in "No Pressure" gets reciprocated at the end of the episode, while Barney is reaping what he sowed for being a Serial Playboy when he meets his match in Quinn, whom he genuinely likes but is playing him like a fiddle.
Mood Whiplash: Marshall is getting a soul-crushing Hannibal Lecture from an erstwhile environmental activist on how the earth is doomed in a dimly-lit office, when a party-goer bursts in with a noisemaker, funny hat and piñata. The broken environmentalist grins cheerily and says he'll be right out before immediately returning to his soul-crushing lecture.
Poor Communication Kills: Or in this case, leads to more than one bad date. When Ted finally reunites with the Slutty Pumpkin, they both quickly realize that they're completely incompatible with each other. Too bad neither of them realizes the other one realizes it.
Pseudo Crisis: One episode ends with Robin telling Barney, in no uncertain terms, that she's pregnant. The next episode starts with her clarifying that she's just a week late and hadn't even been to a doctor's yet. Halfway through the episode, she finds out she's not pregnant.
Marshall: I recognize the clichéd nature of what I'm about to say, but [beat] whoahhh.
Spit Take: Parodied in "Mystery vs. History." When astonished, they take a drink, just to spit it out. Ted later does the same thing for the same information.
Start My Own: Barney and Ted always wanted to start their own bar called Puzzles. On New Year's Eve 2011 they are outraged by the high cover charge at McLaren's and jokingly suggest that they should just start their own bar in Ted's apartment. The idea takes off and news of their bar goes viral within hours. However, as more and more people show up, the party turns rowdy. As their costs due to damages and other expenses rise, they have to keep raising their prices until they are almost the same as the real bar and everyone leaves. Also they don't actually have a liquor license.
Stepford Smiler: Marshall's boss at Marshall's new environmental activist law firm. He's convinced the world is doomed and sues bad guys for just enough money for cake. Possibly the rest of the office as well.
Barney was really hurt by Robin's decision of choosing Kevin over him, but he never told anyone else except Ted in "No Pressure."
Take That, Us: Robin's therapist Kevin gets more and more exasperated that she can't directly explain one specific event, but must work up to it with round-about side-stories that didn't even involve her. (It may also be she's been hanging around Ted too long.)
Technology Marches On: Subtly pointed out in "Trilogy Time" where the gang watches the original Star Wars trilogy once every three years. Each time they use the most recent video format, V/H/S, DVD, Blu-ray, and in a Flash Forward it was completely digital with Marshall trying to use voice commands to play it.
It's deconstructed for real in The Broath. Barney's friends meddle in his relationship with a stripper, stage an intervention for him and eventually break them up. The whole thing is set up by Barney and his girlfriend so they can force Barney's friends into realizing what they are doing.
Also Magician's Code Pt 2 shows Barney proposing to Quinn and announcing their engagement to the group, and less than a minute later flashes forward to the wedding, where the bride is Robin.
Unrequited Love Switcheroo: For most of Season 4, it's Barney who has the hots for Robin. Now it's the other way around. Except that from episode 10 onwards, it's Barney pining for Robin again. And as of "No Pressure", it's Robin pining for Barney again. Wow.
Variations on a Theme Song: Episode 14, After Barney claims to be the leader of the gang in the cold open, the theme song's words are changed, as well as the photos in the opening credits. Then later in the episode, the theme song is sung again in Russian when Stripper Lily joins the group.
Wham Episode: "The Rebound Girl" ends with Robin telling Barney she's pregnant.
Symphony of Illumination: Not only is Robin not pregnant, she discovers she can't ever have children.
No Pressure: Ted has been holding back in finding the right girl because he's been unconsciously pining after Robin after all these years. He lets this go when Robin tells him it's not gonna happen.
Karma: Ted moves out of the apartment and leaves it for Lily and Marshall.
Trilogy Time: Ted has a baby daughter by 2015.
Magician's Code: Ted and Victoria run away together, Barney and Quinn are engaged, and Robin's The Bride!
Ted: I think you know how you feel about me now, and I donít think time is going to change that. Just tell me. Do you love me?
Again in "Good Crazy":
"Barney, it's Lily. You guys need to get back to New York right away. I'm in labor!"
What the Hell, Hero?: Victoria calls Ted (and by extension, Barney) out for still being friends with Robin after their relationship is over because it's "weird" and that it can't work if he wants future relationships to go well. Future!Ted very ominously informs the audience (and his kids) that she was right.
Her warning plays out, first in "Disaster Averted", with Barney, and in "No Pressure," with Ted.
Robin also calls Ted out for chasing all the wrong girls for the past seven years.
The whole gang, including the guys (who Barney thought would back him up), calls out Barney for "asserting his dominance as a man" in his relationship with Quinn.
Who's on First?: Ted has a conversation with Victoria about her boyfriend-soon-to-be-fiance Klaus, who they apparently started dating a few days after they broke up in the first season. It worked off the similarity of how Klaus, Class and Close sound so similar "So you're close to Klaus in your class?." The funny thing is that they both followed it just fine, but the wordplay still evokes this trope.
Will They or Won't They?: Another season-long one for Barney and Robin; this time with Robin pining and Barney oblivious. As of the season finale, it appears they will.
Ted and Robin again in episodes 16 and 17. They did not.