Last Forever - Part One

HIMYM episode 9x23 (207)

First aired:
March 31, 2014
Pamela Fryman
Carter Bays
Craig Thomas
Barney's Blog

Images (11)

Ted finally finishes telling his kids the story of how he met their mother.


Beginning with a flashback to September 2005, after Robin attempts to set Ted up with a girl at the bar, she mentions that she has no friends in New York. The gang quickly state that now she does, and Lily mentions that the only way she'll let anyone have sex with Robin is if someone marries her. The show then flashes forward to the wedding reception, and Barney and Robin are dancing. In between them, Ted sees the Mother for the first time. 

Barney notices the bass player as the woman who convinced him to get the girl, and asks her if she is still dating Louis. When she shakes her head no, Barney realizes that he should introduce her to Ted, so he quickly rushes over and attempts to get Ted to listen. Ted, on the other hand, mentions that he's got to go.

After a teary goodbye with the gang, Ted sits at the train station waiting for the train which is forty-five minutes late. Next to him, to whom he has been telling the story, is Bernice, an old lady that encourages him to go back to the wedding to find the bass player. She asks Ted that if there was a sign for him to go and speak to her, would he? And then reveals that the bass player from the wedding is standing not too far away. 

Bernice is excited and encourages Ted to go and talk to the girl under the yellow umbrella, but he says that he'll be in Chicago in twenty four hours so there would be no point. The show then flashes forward twenty four hours in time, Marshall and Lily enter MacLaren's saying that they can feel Ted's absence. Ted, however, is sitting at the booth; he mentions that he didn't move to Chicago because he met a girl, which he reveals to be the bass player at the wedding. Ted calls her and asks her out, and then walks away from the booth whilst talking on the phone to her. Marshall mentions that Ted does this all the time, falls in love, but Lily says that it is different this time. 

The show then flashes back to the train station, and Ted and Bernice are still discussing whether or not he should go and talk to her. Bernice tells him to go to her, and then says it will be all because of her that they get married and have a big wedding; to which Ted responds and says that big weddings are a "young man's game", and questions who would have a big wedding in their thirties. Flash forward to 2015 in the bar, Ted finishes telling Barney and Robin about the hot air balloon he has planned as his big exit at the wedding (contradicting what he told Bernice). He asks Barney how he and Robin are doing, which Barney overcompensates his response saying that "it's great" with regards to her never being at home due to her job. Then the Mother rushes in to the bar, excitedly, and tells Ted that she doesn't think they can get married in September because she wants to fit into her dress, the implication being that she is pregnant. 

The show flashes forward to May 2016, at Ted and the Mother's house the gang are all together (seen for the first time by the audience) and it is revealed that Marshall wound up back in corporate law which he does not like. The Mother asks Barney how he and Robin's trip to Argentina was, where they reveal that they got into an argument because Robin is traveling a lot and she does not have time for Barney, and Barney does not like it when she is gone. Robin then refers back to Barney's "Highway Theory" about relationships, and offers him an exit at the three year mark. After getting drunk and having sex repeatedly, they discuss the proposition of divorce and then reveal to the gang that they got divorced. Everyone is shocked, but Marshall asks if it's what they both really want, which they respond yes to. Lily says that they'll only be okay with it if it means that the gang still hangs out, but Barney counters this with the question of do they hang out anyway. But they all agree to be there for the big moments. Incidentally, that gathering is a big moment because Barney notices Lily's breasts and the fact that Marshall has been drinking Lily's champagne all night; she is pregnant with her third child. 

The show then flashes forward to October of 2016, and Marshall and Lily are finding their living arrangements too cramped. They both agree on moving to a bigger place, so they have a Halloween/Farewell, Apartment party. From the dialogue, it is the first time that the gang have seen Robin in a while; she does not dress up in a costume and, as she feels she is being ousted from the group, she leaves the party early. Lily sees her leaving and says that this is a big moment, the gang is all together, but Robin says that "the gang" to her is: a married couple that she never sees, about to have their third child; her ex husband hitting on slutty police officers right in front of her; and the person she probably should have ended up with, talking to the beautiful mother of his child. This saddens Lily, who then asks whether it means that their friendship is over. Robin says no, but it will be different which doesn't have to be a bad thing.

Continue reading on the next page


  • The first scene in this episode is a direct continuation of the last scene in Purple Giraffe​, as all the characters are dressed in the same clothes.
  • During the flashback to 2005, Barney gets excited when Lily says "there is only one way I'd let either of you have sex with her", only to be shot down when she says "not that, it's never that!". In Last Time in New York, Barney (and his brother) repeatedly got excited about Robin wanting to "do it somewhere naughty", "do it somewhere we're not supposed to" and "try the backdoor", thinking she meant anal sex.
  • Ted looking at the mother for the first time at the wedding reception was previously revealed as a flash forward in Band or DJ?
  • Barney says "Grape Scotch!" (a variation of the exclamation "Great Scott!",) a reference to when he wound up drinking grape scotch in Architect of Destruction while trying to prove to Ted that 'New is always better'. 
  • Ted and Robin salute each other, like they were shown doing in the past after someone said 'general', 'private' or 'major'.
  • Ted mentions how he and Barney licked the Liberty Bell seen in Sweet Taste of Liberty​. Barney forgot about this and says "Uh, I've done a lot of cool stuff, Ted", mimicking his line "I got a lot of stuff going on" in Something Blue​ (when he forgot about Ted and the Blue French Horn).
  • Barney mentions the time he ran into The Mother, seen in Platonish.
  • During their final goodbyes at Barney and Robin's wedding, Marshall says he's jealous that Ted will be able to have Gazzola's pizza whenever he wants when he's living in Chicago. Ted and Marshall go on a roadtrip to Gazzola's in Duel Citizenship because they're going out of business. We find out in The Poker Game that Gazzola's has reopened and Ted has a pizza delivered to Marshall on the freeway during his trip to Farhampton with Daphne..
  • Ted, after his and Barney's "high infinity", says "Worth it", similar to when Barney said this after high fiving Marshall in Miracles.
  • After performing the "high infinity", both Ted and Barney have bandaged hands, thus explaining the appearance of Ted's bandage in Farhampton.
  • Marshall tells Ted not to call The Mother and mentions the Three Days Rule, first seen in the episode The Three Days Rule​.
  • Ted says he has a "castle guy", and Barney says he has "like three castle guys".
  • When the gang meet up at Ted and Tracy's house (first seen in Home Wreckers​) they have a conversation in the same den where Future Ted of 2030 talks to his kids, as seen throughout the series.
  • Barney's blog has been running alongside the show for years, and Barney mentions it to others (e.g. Pilot, The Bracket​).
  • Robin mentions the Freeway Theory when she says "...if there was an exit ramp at the 3 year mark...".
  • Barney vowed to always tell Robin the truth in The End of the Aisle.
  • A scene in The Exploding Meatball Sub​ set in 2021 shows that Barney and Robin are not wearing wedding rings, thus coinciding with their divorce in 2016.
  • Robin mentions the first time she and Barney broke up, which occurred in The Rough Patch​.
  • Ted mentioned the time his parents got divorced in secret, as revealed in Brunch​.
  • As Ted tells Barney what will happen if Barney starts his own brewery and nails Ted's prom date (in comparison to when his parents got divorced), Barney says that Ted is "years too late on one of those." Ted learns that his father, Alfred Mosby, slept with Ted's prom date in Last Words.
  • Barney has joked about banging Ted's mom in many episodes.
  • In 2016, Barney deduces that Lily is pregnant again because of her increased chest size. The gang previously mentioned Lily's "pregnancy boobs" the first time she was pregnant in Ducky Tie​.
  • Marshall was seen drinking Lily's drink the first time she was pregnant, to keep it secret from the gang, in The Best Man​.
  • The Cockamouse is a creature first seen in Matchmaker.
  • Ted keeps up his Hanging Chad costume tradition, previously shown in Slutty Pumpkin and The Slutty Pumpkin Returns​. We also see a flashback to a scene from Slutty Pumpkin.
  • Barney accepts his final challenge (do a split in mid-air).
  • Marshall is seen paying Lily for the bet because Ted didn't get married with Robin, referencing the events from No Pressure.
  • While it's not evident, Tracy (wearing the Gore-Lieberman shirt) at the 2016 Halloween party has to be pregnant with her second child (Luke).
  • Barney and Robin being in Argentina in 2016 appears in Rally.
  • This episode will pick up where it left off in the flashback of Farhampton episode 8x01 and where Tracy McConnell walked in the train station with the yellow umbrella and Ted talking to Bernie in the park bench. 


Memorable Quotes

Robin (to Lily): We'll always be friends. It's just never going to be how it was. It can't be. And that doesn't have to be a sad thing. Look, there's so much wonderful stuff happening in all of our lives right now. We've more than enough to be grateful for. But the five of us hanging out at MacClaren's, being young and's just not one of those things. That period is over.

Notes and Trivia

Goofs and Errors

  • In Purple Giraffe​​​ Robin said she moved to New York in April, yet in the flashback at the beginning of this episode, which took place in September 2005, she said she moved to New York two months ago.  She continued to state in this episode's flashback sequence that she just began a job at Metro News One.  However in I Heart NJ, Robin stated on what was supposedly her final newscast that she had been with the station for four years.  That would have meant Robin was working for Metro News One since 2004.    
  • In Last Forever - Part One, Robin says during the flashback that she had not made any friends, yet in Pilot, she is seen with four friends the same night she met Ted.  
  • In a previous flash forward in Vesuvius, it is seen that Marshall is bald by 2020. However in a flash forward in this episode Marshall has a full head of hair.  
  • In "Tick Tick Tick" it is stated that Barney and Robin still talk about the song they danced to the night they cheated on Kevin and Nora - it makes no sense that they would talk about this were they divorced
    • On the other hand, they would have had to have told Ted this story in order for him to tell kids, because Ted wasn't there. He probably got two different versions of the story which is probably what starts the argument in the first place. Now since people don't know when they told Ted the story, it could very well have been long after they divorced.
  • After Robin leaves the Halloween/Goodbye to the apartment party, she enters the now empty apartment and the damage to the apartment listed in "Intervention" is mostly gone. Only the missing plaster from Ted's book shelves is still there, the chip in the ceiling, the hole punched into the wall by the door and the scorch mark over the fireplace are all repaired.
  • A day after the wedding, Ted rang the would-be Mother and asked for a date to take place the following night (two days after the wedding), to which she agreed to.  According to the Gary Blauman episode however, the date would take place three days after the wedding.

Allusions and Outside References

  • Ted and Lily shared an E.T. goodbye
  • Ted and Barney pretend to be Ray and Dr. Venkman from the movie Ghostbusters.
  • At the Halloween Party of 2016, Marshall dresses up as Captain Ahab, Lily as Moby-Dick, Barney as David Lee Roth, Ted as the Hanging Chad, and Tracy as a Floridian voter. Appropriately Ted and Tracy are dressed as a couple (both year 2000 election).
  • Barney says "Grape Scotch!". This is a play on "Great Scott!" the catchphrase of Doc Brown in the Back to the Future trilogy.


Future Days - Pearl Jam

Other Notes

  • The episode was originally set to air on April 28, 2014, but it was then changed to March 31, 2014.[1][2][3]
  • This is the first part of the two part series finale.  This is also the second time in the entire series that a season finale would consist of two episodes airing on the same night.  The first time it happened was in season 7.  
  • Marshall says "...and then when the next one arrives, we'll just put her crib in the shower.", leading to the assumption that their unnamed third child is a girl.
  • Josh Radnor, who plays Ted, has revealed that he's known since Season 1 how the show would end, as Carter Bays & Craig Thomas let him in on the secret. [4][5]
  • This is the only episode that does not feature Future Ted.
  • The Season 9 DVD version of the episode features slightly extended versions of the following scenes which have been removed from the Netflix version:
    • The fresh flashback scene at the beginning where Robin asked the bartender to change the TV channel to a hockey match featuring her favourite team, the Vancouver Canucks.
    • Marshall and Lily encountering Ted at McLaren's instead of him moving to Chicago. In the same scene, Lily also criticised the three-day rule for ringing a girl.
    • Marshall and Lily talking more about the former's new job at Ted's House when the Gang gathered there to see Penny.
    • Robin asking Lily as the former was about to leave the apartment 'Who in their right mind would call that group of people the Gang?'.
  • These scenes have been deleted from the broadcast but are included in the Season 9 DVD under the Deleted Scenes section:
    • Robin thanked the Mother for standing between her and running away from the wedding.
    • Robin put on her Robin Sparkles jacket and sang Let's Go to the Mall during the reception.


  • Judith Drake - Bernice
  • Marshall Manesh - Ranjit Singh
  • Joe Nieves - Carl
  • Saudia Rashed - Nurse
  • Courtney Hope Turner - Girl
  • Brooke Lynn Howard - Sexy Girl #1
  • Justene Alpert - Sexy Girl #2
  • Alexandria Skaltsounis - Erin
  • Patrick Kang - 22-Year-Old Guy
  • Kerrigan Milker - Girl



  • Donna Bowman on the A.V. Club gave this episode a B+. [6]
  • Max Nicholson of IGN gave the episode a 9.7 out of 10. [7]
  • Dhruv Rao of The DR Club gave the episode an A- [1]
  • The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 9.5 out of 10 stars. "...and then the marriage fell apart..."


External Links

Previous episode
The End of the Aisle
Last Forever - Part One
(all episodes)
Next episode →
Last Forever - Part Two

Start a Discussion Discussions about Last Forever - Part One

  • "Series Finale" Discussion Thread

    160 messages
    • the finale is so bad! barney and robin should be together,,,, i mean they understand each other and they have much more in common
    • I'm a Barney/Robin fan and I hated the way they ended. I think their quick marriage and divorce, along with Barney's lovechild rea...
  • Farewell, How I Met Your Mother

    158 messages
    • It makes me sad that it ended. I personally loved how it ended though. If you break things up like this, you will see why to...