The seventh season of the American television comedy series How I Met Your Mother was announced in March 2011, along with confirmation of an eighth season. The seventh season premiered on CBS on September 19, 2011, with two episodes airing back-to-back and concluded on May 14, 2012.
Picking up from last season, Ted is best man at Barney’s wedding to a mystery bride. Barney has some pre wedding jitters which reminds Ted of the worst wedding ever, his friend Punchy’s. We flashback to Punchy’s wedding in the present day where Ted is the best man, and the entire wedding is greatly anticipating Ted’s toast because to everyone’s amusement, Ted has a history of getting very emotional. Meanwhile, Marshall and Lily have not told the gang that they are pregnant and are trying to keep it a secret so Marshall is forced to drink Lily’s drinks to avoid any suspicion. Marshall proceeds to get very drunk and comes close to ruining the wedding numerous times. In addition, Lily has forced Robin to admit to she still has feelings for Barney and just as Robin is preparing to tell him he gets a call from his ex-girlfriend Nora. Marshall and Lily eventually decide it is time to tell the gang their baby news. In the end, Ted gives his speech and as expected, is brought to tears, however Marshall interrupts him and announces to everyone that Ted’s tears are of joy and points to Lily saying she is pregnant. The bride thinks he is pointing at her and is shocked he has exposed that she is actually pregnant which upsets her father who in turn gets in a fight with Punchy’s father, ultimately ruining the wedding.
Marshall is offered the job of his dreams at an environmental law firm and is worried that during his background check, they will find immature videos from his past including one in which he is very drunk and streaks. After unsuccessfully attempting to have it taken down, he is convinced he will not get the job. But much to his surprise, he gets the job regardless. Meanwhile, Barney goes out with Nora and can’t help but lie to her yet again. After coming completely clean with her, she rejects him, and he vows to stay at the diner until she agrees to go out with him, which she eventually does. In addition, Ted has started dating again but cannot decide which girl to bring as his date to an important event. Realizing he doesn’t have feelings for any of them, he takes Robin and when he least expects it, he bumps into his old flame Victoria.
During dinner at a Japanese Steak House, Ted tells everyone about his recent run in with Victoria, an old girlfriend he was in a long distance relationship with but ruined by cheating on her with Robin. Victoria catered dessert at the event Ted was attending, and to clear his conscience as well as spend time with her, Ted goes home with her to help clean up the kitchen. During their encounter, Ted discovers that Victoria is about to get engaged and also the real reason their relationship did not work out. Meanwhile Lily and Marshall, thinking Barney is drunk and off his game, make a bet with him; if Barney’s hibachi chef skills match that of their chef, tricks included, he gets to touch Lily’s pregnancy endowed chest, if he loses he has to wear Marshall’s ducky tie for a year. Turns out Barney scammed Lily and Marshall, and has been training to be a hibachi chef for months. While Barney is performing his chef tricks, Lily distracts him by flashing her chest causing him to mess up, resulting in him losing the bet, and having to wear the ducky tie.
During a court mandated therapy session for assault, Robin tells her therapist Kevin, the story of what landed her in his office. Nora had gone away for a few days to cover a news story, during which time Barney realized he had left some loose ends in his constant pursuit of women and enlists Robin’s help. After ridding of all the evidence the two go out to celebrate but Nora shows up and surprises him. A jealous Robin directs a girl, lured into the bar by one of Barney’s schemes, to where Barney and Nora are eating, and at the last minute has a change of heart and tackles the girl outside the restaurant, thus preserving Barney’s good boyfriend status. Meanwhile Ted is becoming too involved in Marshall and Lily’s pregnancy, questioning Lily’s doctor’s laid back attitude and Marshall starts to question her decisions too. Ted signs them up for a birthing class that Lily refuses to attend so he and Marshall go without her. In the end, Marshall realizes he was wrong to be influenced by Ted and apologizes to Lily. Ted acknowledges that he is wrong and is clinging to them in part for wanting a family of his own and he steps back giving them the space they need.
Marshall, having just started working at an Environmental law firm, is surprised and disappointed by his their soft approach in settling a big case. Cootes, Marshall’s boss, takes Marshall into his office and fiercely unloads on how the world has been destroyed and the least he can do is keep his team in good spirits. Marshall powerfully expresses how they can still make a difference and save the planet, reigniting Cootes’ spirit and his determination to fight back. . Meanwhile, Ted takes his disinterested architecture class on a field trip to the GNB construction site, but for safety reasons, is not permitted on the premises. Barney helps Ted stall with the class while he scrambles for a new destination. In addition, Kevin tells Robin he can no longer see her because is moving out of town. However, she runs into him at a diner and he admits he lied because he has feelings for her. Unethical that they date, they continue to have breakfast together as friends which is short lived and they begin dating; however to make things fair since he spent two sessions as her therapist, Kevin reveals his own vulnerabilities. Meanwhile, Barney is convinced Nora has lied to him about her age because she hates Ewoks.
Ted meets a girl at the bar and the two make a pact not to look each other up on the internet beforehand. During Ted’s date, Barney and Robin can’t help themselves and do a search on his date. Shocked by what they find, they text Ted and encourage him to look her up while she is in the ladies room. Overwhelmed to find out her amazing accomplishments, Ted suddenly feels very insecure and blows his chances with her. Meanwhile, Marshall and Lily decide to wait to find out the sex of their baby, so the doctor gives them a sealed envelope with the baby’s gender should they change their minds. However, Barney refuses to let it remain a secret and harasses them into letting him open the envelope, tempted to know, Marshall throws the information out the window. While Ted is talking, Marshall notices the paper he threw out the window stuck to bottom of Ted’s shoe; it’s a boy. Additionally, Kevin as a therapist, can’t help but expresses his concerns about their very dysfunctional behavior.
The gang is disturbed as they each realize their partners remind them of a parent. While their partners flash in and out of being their parent, Barney and Nora go on a special date and plan on having sex for the first time. It turns out to be a catastrophic evening filled with injuries and unpleasant circumstances, but in the end they do what they set out to. Meanwhile Lily is feeling very unattractive as she is getting larger with her pregnancy, and Marshall does everything he can to make her feel sexy, all the while each seeing their father’s in each other spoiling the mood. In addition Kevin is jealous of Ted, feeling he and Robin are so close they must still have feelings for each other, however it becomes clear to Kevin that this is not the case, and he befriends Ted seeing how fragile he is being the only one not in a relationship.
When Ted sees the "Slutty Pumpkin” costume in a storefront window, he is able to track down the woman he met ten years ago at a Halloween party. Although Naomi is perfect on paper for Ted, he feels no chemistry, nor does she, despite their best efforts. Meanwhile, Lily’s grandparents give Marshall and Lily the key, and ownership to their house in the suburbs. Lily, who has always hated the suburbs, wants the house because she has "Pregnancy Brain,” and her hormones are causing her to act irrationally. Although Marshall wants to move, he doesn’t want to take advantage of her irrational thoughts, and they need to wait until the baby is born before they make any big decisions. In addition, Robin discovers that Barney is a quarter Canadian and endlessly teases him.
To answer the question about the origin of the "Absolutely No Boogie Boarding” sign outside the bar, Ted tells the story of what happened during Hurricane Irene. Despite Ted’s insistence that they need to evacuate, their plans get delayed and the gang is forced to stay in the city. During this time, Marshall is in limbo between health insurances, and is very paranoid he will injure himself insisting that Lily constantly be by his side to protect him, much to her annoyance. However, after the storm, Marshall is able to let go of his fears and boogie boards into the bar (hence the sign). In present day, Barney is determined to convince Marshall to free him from the ducky tie bet because Barney will be meeting Nora’s parents. Barney tempts Marshall by offering him another slap for the slap bet, and Marshall agrees that he can stop wearing the tie for three more slaps. Later, Barney and Robin discuss how they shared a moment during the storm and that they’re glad nothing happened, but this results in the two kissing.
Robin and Barney face the aftermath of their hook up, and are filled with incredible guilt because they are both in relationships with other people. The four all end up together on a work cruise and the tension mounts. Barney laments that maybe this is Robin and his chance to rekindle their relationship, because he still has feelings for her, but Robin is hesitant. Although Barney tells Nora the truth, Kevin stops Robin before she can confess and says that he loves her—leaving Barney completely heartbroken. Ted, Marshall, and Lily attend Groovapalooza, a music festival featuring nineties hippie bands. Ted and Marshall smoke pot, despite Lily’s insistence that Marshall needs to be responsible as a future father. Ted and Marshall’s quest to buy nachos for Lily becomes a metaphor for lost time and anxiety about the future.
It is Thanksgiving and Ted and Barney swear that they’re done with girls because of Ted’s string of failed relationships and Barney’s messy break-up with Nora. In this unstable state, they devise a brilliant plan: they should adopt a child together and it’ll be drama-free because they’re bros. However, Ted and Barney slowly spiral into couple-like behavior and have a huge argument with Ted telling Barney that he’s unfit to be a father. When Barney shows up at the house with an actual baby, the gang is very alarmed. They discover the baby belongs to a friend of James’s (Barney’s brother). Ted and Barney are pulled back into reality when James tells them to be patient because they will soon meet the right person. In a surprising twist, Robin tells Barney that she’s pregnant. Meanwhile, Marshall and Lily officially decide to move to the suburbs when they see how nice and spacious the house is compared to their cramped apartment in the city, despite Robin’s protests to the contrary.
Robin tells Barney that she might be pregnant: she hasn’t had sex with Kevin, so it’s Barney’s. Robin has never wanted children and her stance is confirmed when she sees a formerly elegant couple exhausted and disheveled from parenthood. At the doctor, Robin is told that she’s not pregnant, but she’s infertile. This devastates Robin and she covers to the gang by she is ineligible to compete in the Olympics as a pole vaulter as a metaphor to explain why she’s upset. Eventually, Robin comes to terms with her infertility because she knows that she’ll never be alone, thanks to her friends. Meanwhile, Marshall is determined to decorate his house in the suburbs with the most spectacular Christmas lights display and enlists the help of a neighborhood teenager named Scott, who looks up to Marshall as a father figure. However, Scott was only using Marshall, and throws a party in the house while Marshall is trapped on the roof.
On New Years’ Day, Marshall is at the cemetery to visit his father’s grave and have a private tailgate party with his father and to his dismay his brothers Marcus and Marvin Jr, show up to do the same. Marshall attempts to retain his privacy and tells his father about the gang’s New Year’s Eve. Ted and Barney decide to convert Ted’s apartment into a bar called "Puzzles” and invite everyone up to celebrate. All seems fine until the scene grows chaotic and Ted’s apartment is trashed by the drunken crowd. Meanwhile, Robin gets called in last minute by a drunken Sandy to produce NYE live at Times Square. Robin is left chasing after Sandy, who has gone off, and stalling the broadcast. However, it works out in her favor as she gets to go on camera live to fill in for Sandy and count down to the New Year. Meanwhile, Lily finally calls her father in Chicago to tell him she is pregnant and he seems to have no reaction. However, Lily is surprised to find him on her doorstep New Year’s Day having driven all night to congratulate her in person.
Marshall and Lily have officially moved to the suburbs, and Lily’s father, Mickey, has been living with them. Both Marshall and Lily are pushed to their limits by Mickey and Marshall kicks him out. After Marshall blows a fuse and Mickey guides him through a dark house to the fuse box in the basement, they make amends and they invite Mickey to stay. Meanwhile Barney takes the rest of the gang to a strip club, where they see Jasmine, Lily’s stripper doppelganger. The gang ends up having a crazy night with Jasmine and her Russian boyfriend at an underground poker game but ultimately they rob them of all Ted’s winnings. They decide at the end of their crazy night to get on a train and go see Marshall and Lily for breakfast. In addition Robin and Kevin try to impress each other and agree to everything end up playing an escalating game of "relationship chicken.”
Lily and Marshall throw a housewarming party, where Ted nearly comes to blows with Marshall's boss, and Barney hits on a crazy divorcee.
After suffering through a blind date, Barney drags Ted along to pick up women on "the drunk train” the last train at night from Manhattan to Long Island. However, when Barney continually fails to pick someone up, Ted realizes, it’s all a cover for the fact that he actually has feelings for his date, Quinn. Meanwhile, Marshall, Lily, Robin, and Kevin embark on a couples’ getaway weekend in which Kevin proposes to her, but Robin is crushed when Kevin breaks things off after learning she can’t have kids nor does she want them.
Ted confesses his love to Robin right before she leaves for Russia, proposing they start dating again and she says she will give him an answer when she returns. Lily and Marshall try to sway the outcome because of a bet they made years ago over whether Ted and Robin’s relationship will last. Meanwhile, Barney goes snooping for Marshall and Lily’s sex tape, but winds up discovering that the couple has a secret box filled with bets on their friends’ lives. Upon returning home, Robin admits that she doesn’t love Ted and thinks they should remain friends, while Marshall decides it’s for the best that Robin move out.
Barney can’t stop thinking about Quinn and is surprised to find her at The Lusty Leopard where she works as a stripper. Quinn goes on to play him multiple times over the course of days, and gets a lot of money out of him in tips. He finally realizes that she is manipulating him and feels he is getting his pay back for the way he has treated women in the past. He runs into her at a coffee shop and after spending some time together and talking, he knows he has met his match. Meanwhile Ted is doing all he can to distract himself from the sadness of Robin moving out and trying to make use of her empty room. At the same time Robin is staying on Long Island with Marshall and Lily and they are trying to convert her into a suburbanite. In the end they admit they hate it there, and thought if she would stay it would make it bearable, and Ted decides it is time to move out and on with his life and gives his apartment to Marshall and Lily, and turns what was Robin’s room into their baby’s room.
Barney wants his friends to meet Quinn without prejudgment, but Ted breaks his promise and tells everyone she’s a stripper and he believes she is only after him for his money. After throwing a successful intervention to break up Barney and Quinn, the gang regrets their actions until they realize it was all a set-up by the new couple to teach them a lesson. Meanwhile, Marshall and Lily try to outdo one another by telling their friends embarrassing sex stories, while Ted and Robin finally come to a reconciliation to repair their friendship.
Barney and Quinn take the next step and move in together, but when Barney is unwilling to get rid of any of his old possessions, the gang suspects he thinks his relationship with Quinn won’t last. Meanwhile, Ted, Marshall, and Barney embark on another trilogy time, the three year event where they get together to watch the Star Wars trilogy and envision what their lives will be like in another three years. While Ted and Marshall have always envisioned successful careers and marriages, Barney’s fantasy has remained the same: a new girl, a new opportunity to have sex. However, this year Barney realizes he wants to be with Quinn in three years. Meanwhile, Ted loses hope that 2015 will be any better for him…until a flash forward reveals that in three years he will, in fact, have a newborn and be with the mystery mother of his children.
When Lily has a sex dream about someone she knows, Marshall tries to trick her into revealing who it is, only to be dumbfounded when the person is Ranjit. Meanwhile, Barney badgers Ted into some wild nights out as a distraction to his insecurity about Quinn's stripping, leading Ted to realize that Barney is in love with her. Finally, Robin is sorely disappointed that her reporter job doesn't provide her with celebrity recognition, only to see fate reversed when her news helicopter pilot suffers a stroke and she is forced to land the chopper herself while the whole city watches.
When Lily and Marshall have a baby shower, Marshall starts to panic after realizing the baby is coming soon. Meanwhile, Ted and Robin come to terms with their relationship and Barney takes Marshall on a road trip.
A drunk Marshall and Barney desperately try to get out of Atlantic City and to the hospital, in order to get back in time before Lily gives birth. Meanwhile, Ted and Robin try to sooth and distract Lily during her painful contractions by telling her funny stories about their group, including the time Robin and Ted were cab-napped by a homeless man, the time Marshall thought his pants were cursed, the time Barney acted like the Terminator to pick up girls and the tale of the mysterious door at McLarens. At the hospital, Lily panics as she goes into labor and Marshall is still not there, but her father, Mickey, shows up to try and comfort her. Finally, Marshall arrives in the nick of time to see the birth of his son.
Barney and Quinn go on their first vacation together and get stopped by airport security because of a magic trick Barney refuses to open due to "Magician’s Code”; Robin struggles to get a good picture of baby Marvin for the birth announcement, and Ted gets in touch with his ex-girlfriend Victoria wondering if he still has a chance.