Trilogy Time

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"Trilogy Time"
How I Met Your Mother episode
Episode no. Season 7
Episode 20
Directed by Pamela Fryman
Written by Kourtney Kang
Original air date April 9, 2012 (2012-04-09)
Guest actors
Season 7 episodes

"Trilogy Time" is the 20th episode of the seventh season of the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother, and the 156th episode overall. It aired on April 9, 2012.[1]


An unknown man obsesses over "the blond man in the suit" who comes outside at 8:00pm every night and smiles. The man is revealed to be Barney, who is trying to fart without Quinn around because they now live together. However, they have been fighting; although Quinn has thrown out most of her things in order to appease Barney's irrational fear of change, Barney won't even let her keep her coffee mugs. Barney finds all his friends are unsympathetic, though Ted and Marshall suggest it would be a good time to sit down for another "trilogy time", in which they watch the original Star Wars trilogy and predict what their lives will be like in another three years. The tradition started in 2000 when Ted and Marshall chose to watch the entire trilogy instead of studying for their economics final after Marshall stated that if one didn't watch the trilogy through every three years, "the dark side wins".

Ted and Marshall begin to predict their futures three years at a time. Ted consistently imagines himself as a successful architect who has designed multiple skyscrapers and married to a woman who resembles Robin. Marshall imagines himself with a mustache, married to Lily, and as a successful lawyer with a family of five children. Barney hopes to live his life the same way as he currently is, introducing the gang to a new girl he is sleeping with only to kick her out so that they will never see her again.

In 2012, Ted realizes after reflecting on the trilogy times of 2000, 2003, 2006, and 2009 that his friends are all moving on without him, and that there must be something wrong with him. He predicts a bleak future of himself living alone while Marshall and Lily are happy with a large family and Robin has married someone else, with the only constant being Barney will always be looking for a new girl. However, Barney refutes Ted, stating that for the first time he wants to be with someone he knows three years later. He returns to his apartment, apologizes to Quinn, and christens his commitment to her by breaking some of his coffee mugs. He says that although they haven't yet talked of their future, he wants her to know that he is hers "for as long as you'll have me." When both of them wind up farting in front of each other, Quinn happily says that they are at last a real couple.

Meanwhile, Marshall comforts Ted, saying that "2015 will be different". In a flash forward to 2015, Marshall and Barney set up for another trilogy time. Though Barney complains that Ted is breaking their tradition by bringing a girl, he and Marshall make an exception because Ted really loves the girl, who is revealed to be his infant daughter.


In an interview, show co-creator Craig Thomas revealed that in the flash-forward to 2015 that Barney's left ring finger is intentionally not shown. He called it, "One of those little moments where you realize what a good actor Neil Patrick Harris is because he can somehow make hiding his left hand seem perfectly natural."[2]

Barney's Blog[edit]

Barney writes a letter to the United States Patent and Trademark Office applying for a patent for his 'invention' of "Back Boobs".[3]

Cultural references[edit]

  • The newspapers in the trilogy time predictions have Al Gore, Howard Dean, and Dennis Kucinich as US presidents, in 2003, 2006, and 2009, respectively while in the 2015 prediction, George W. Bush would serve a third term.
  • In 2000, Marshall accepts Ted's proposal of a trilogy time by saying "A greedo" in lieu of "Agreed." In 2009, Ted says "Punch it Chewie" after he and Marshall learn of the opportunity to watch the trilogy on Barney's large TV, while Robin winds up hiding from them in Barney's Imperial stormtrooper costume. In the 2015 gathering, Barney whispers to Ted's daughter that Han shot first, referencing the controversial revision made to a scene in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Also, during each flashback, the Star Wars boxsets are updated with VHS, DVD and Blu-ray.
  • In fake 2003, Ted is with a Robin-look-alike, Rhiannon, named after the Fleetwood Mac song. In the real 2003 flashback, Marshall asks Ted if he was practicing the chords for "Satisfaction". Ted replies that he is trying to play "Hot Cross Buns". Barney makes a play on words on the Kentucky Fried Chicken ad campaign about his future: “I’m KFC baby. You don’t mess with the Colonel’s recipe”. Barney also uses a Motorola Timeport phone which was a popular cell phone at the time and an update of the Motorola StarTAC.
  • During the 2003-2006 flashbacks, Barney uses the "Whassup?" catchphrase.


The AV Club's Donna Bowman graded the episode at B+, stating that it had the show's "classic trope of flash-forwards and backs," mixed with fantasy predictions.[4]

Chris O'Hara of TV Fanatic gave the episode a perfect score (5.0).[5]

Michelle Profis of Entertainment Weekly said the episode's final scene opened potential for further material late in the series.[6]


  1. ^ "Listings - HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER on CBS". Retrieved March 29, 2012. 
  2. ^ Joyce Eng (May 15, 2012). "How I Met Your Mother Boss on Barney's Bride: "It Had to Be Her"". TV Guide. Retrieved May 19, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Barney's Blog: Patent Pending". April 10, 2012. 
  4. ^ Donna Bowman (April 9, 2012). "How I Met Your Mother: "Trilogy Time"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved June 27, 2014. 
  5. ^ Chris O'Hara (April 9, 2012). "How I Met Your Mother Review: Barney Shat First?". TV Fanatic. Retrieved June 27, 2014. 
  6. ^ Michelle Profis (April 10, 2012). "How I Met Your Mother recap: May the Farts Be With You". Retrieved June 27, 2014. 

External links[edit]