For the poems recited by Barney and Ted, see The Sexless Innkeeper (poem).
The Sexless Innkeeper

HIMYM episode 5x04 (92)

First aired:
October 12, 2009
Pamela Fryman
Kourtney Kang
Barney's Blog

Images (27)

Barney tells Ted he's been used after a girl stays over but doesn't have sex with Ted. Barney and Robin suffer through an awkward "couple's night" with Marshall and Lily.


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Lily and Marshall are very excited to have another couple to hang out with. Future Ted explains that they had fared poorly with previous couples, coming across as clingy and desperate. With Barney and Robin now being a couple, they hope to turn their luck around. After an evening together, Lily and Marshall are under the impression that it was the best night ever, but Robin and Barney leave with the opposite impression.

Robin and Barney ignore their messages and avoid Lily and Marshall, but after a half-hearted lie about aliens, they admit that they don't want to hang out. Devastated, Lily and Marshall blame each other for the failure, citing Marshall's photo montages and Lily's tendency to plan big outings much too quickly. After a week apart from Lily and Marshall, Robin and Barney realize they miss their friends, and head over to their condo, only to find them enjoying the company of another couple. Quickly, they become jealous of Lily and Marshall's new couple friends, leading to a rendition of "All by Myself" as a duet.

They interrupt another couple's night at Lily and Marshall's apartment, leading them outside with a trail of egg timers for Charades. In the rain, they profess their desire to be a foursome, and they all hug.

Meanwhile, Ted has settled into the persona of a professor, often wearing a tweed jacket, even at MacLaren's. He claims it attracts the ladies, but after a woman leaves his apartment in the morning without having sex, Barney calls him "The Sexless Innkeeper." He elaborates with a poem set in a Dickensian version of Queens, where he was caught in a blizzard, walked a few blocks to an ugly woman's apartment, and feigned sleep to avoid sex. Ted is understandably annoyed at the new nickname.

Later, as Barney and Robin prepare to leave for brunch with Lily and Marshall, Ted recites a poem of his own for Barney, telling the tale of a busty young blonde woman who was turned on by his professor persona. Despite Barney's skepticism, the young woman soon reveals herself at Ted's bedroom door, inviting Ted back to bed, thus ending the reign of the Sexless Innkeeper. Barney shouts "What have I done?" in shock, clearly missing his bachelor life.


  • Marshall's fondness for making up songs was previously seen in Sweet Taste of Liberty and Slapsgiving, and was pointed out as an annoying habit of his by Robin in Spoiler Alert.
  • Robin and Barney are met with raised eyebrows at the restaurant when they attempt to go to dinner without another couple, which happens to Marshall in World's Greatest Couple when he tries to go to brunch alone.
  • In addition to "", Marshall has previously made several other home-made websites, including "", seen in Wait For It and Slapsgiving, and "" in Everything Must Go.
  • Lily and Marshall wanting to hang out with other couples was referenced previously in The Platinum Rule and Definitions, and comes up again in Perfect Week.
  • In The Possimpible, Robin mentions being over her "dating prison inmates" phase from high school, and here, she brings up her attraction to her 10th grade math teacher, currently in jail for tax evasion ("among other things", according to Robin).
  • Hooking up at a bar solely to avoid having to pay for a hotel room (also known as "paratrooping"/"banging for roof") is one of the 50 reasons for having sex on Lily's list in The Naked Man.

Future References (Contains Spoilers)

  • Barney wanting to be single again will start causing problems between him and Robin by The Rough Patch.


For a listing of all images on the wiki tagged as being from this episode, see Category:The Sexless Innkeeper images.

Memorable Quotes

Lily: Hey, guys, good news. First of all, you can ignore all the e-mails and texts we've sent you.
Robin: We have. Go on.

Ted: Barney, are you wearing sweatpants?
Barney: Maybe. But they're Armani!

Marshall: Oh, right back at you! (high five with neighbors) (knocking at door) (ticking) (bell dings) (ticking continues) (bell dings) (ticking continues) (a wet Robin and Barney are waiting outside in the rain)
Barney and Robin: Ding.
Robin: For charades.
Lily: (in an upset tone) How do we know you two won't hurt us again?
Robin: You don't.
Marshall: You know what? We have two very nice people up in that apartment who are perfect for us.
Barney: Then what are you doing, standing out in the rain with us?
Lily: Damn it. Why is there something so attractive about a bad boy (pause) and girl?
Marshall: I think we can change them.
Lily: Come here, you two.
Barney: (sobbing) We'll never sleep on the gouda again.

Barney: No way. You made that up. (a girl comes out of Ted's room)
Random Girl: Are you coming back bed, professor?
Ted: Whew! God, I love being single.
Robin: Barney, you ready for brunch with Lily and Marshall?
Barney: What have I done?

Marshall: We never joke about B & B's, especially during syrup season.

Notes and Trivia

Goofs and Errors

  • At the beginning of the episode, Lily and Marshall are entertaining guests in their new apartment, which was supposed to take place in the year 2007. Although Lily and Marshall bought their apartment in November 2007 in Dowisetrepla, they didn't move in until March 2008, in No Tomorrow. Even then, they couldn't move in for months later because of the crooked floors.
  • The calendar in Marshall's video has October 14 and 15 twice, while there are no October 11 and 12.
  • In the scene where Ted is sitting at the table having breakfast and watching videos Marshall has published online, he is holding the spoon in one hand, but that hand appears next to the computer when there's a close-up of the laptop screen.
    • Furthermore, the computer background in that video is the same one seen when Ted was sitting on the couch while he watched the first video,
  • Lily eats ice cream when crying, but she said she was lactose intolerant in Showdown.
  • Barney is in a bad photo of himself taken by Marshall in the slideshow he created for Robin and Barney.

Allusions and Outside References


Other Notes

  • The website Marshall creates,, is real and shows some scenes from the couples night and a video of Marshall and Nuno Bettencourt.
  • International Airdate: Australia: March 4, 2010 on Channel 7; United Kingdom: June 17, 2010 on E4.


  • Julianna Guill - Busty Girl
  • Marshall Manesh - Ranjit
  • Sarah Edwards - Suzy
  • Trey Ellett - Paul
  • Nikea Gamby-Turner - Hostess
  • Maura McCarthy - Shea
  • Kristen Sullivan - Geri
  • K.T. Tatara - Py
  • Phillip Wilburn - Joe


  • Donna Bowman of The A.V. Club rated the episode with a grade B. [1]
  • Brian Zoromski of IGN gave the episode 6.8 out of 10. The title of his review described the episode as disappointing and mostly unfunny, he went on to explain it felt like there was a good premise of Marshall writing songs but that it was not part of a believable story. [2]
  • Cindy McLennan of Television Without Pity rated the episode with a grade A. [3]
  • The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 8 out of 10 stars. "...great just for the storytelling...and Marshall's songs..."


External Links

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Robin 101
The Sexless Innkeeper
(all episodes)
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Duel Citizenship