"How I Met Your Mother" Karma (TV Episode 2012) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • After his encounter with Quinn, Barney becomes infatuated with her. When he finds out that she works as a stripper in his favorite strip club, that infatuation doesn't stop. As he tries to persuade her to go out with him, Quinn has her own agenda. Meanwhile, as Robin has moved out of Ted's apartment after Marshall told her that staying would only hurt Ted in the long run, Ted tries to move on by figuring out something useful to do with Robin's old bedroom. Robin, not knowing where to go, is temporarily staying with Marshall and Lily in their Long Island house. Robin's stay may be longer than she first anticipated if only because Marshall and Lily, who have settled into suburban bliss, won't let her leave. As Robin tries to maneuver her way out of their house and back into the city, she learns why Marshall and Lily are so desperate for her to stay. Ted may provide the solution for Marshall and Lily's problem and well as his own.

  • Barney gets played and heart-broken over a stripper named "Karma," Robin becomes bored with her life on Long Island with Marshall and Lily, while Ted searches for a hobby to fill the empty space in Robin's old room.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Robin's all moved out and Barney recently met a girl named Quinn. Ted and Barney are at the strip club. Ted is sad about Robin being gone, and Barney is realizing he has real feelings for Quinn. He wonders why he has to be such a romantic -- while getting a lap dance. Barney says he doesn't know how to get in touch with her, but he doesn't know how. Everywhere he looks, he says, he sees her. Then he sees her for real -- dancing on the stripper pole under the name "Karma."

    Robin's moving in with Lily and Marshall on Long Island. Lily gives Robin a journal to write in.

    To fill the empty room, Ted is smoking meat. He has an imaginary conversation with Robin about it. Barney shows up and tells Ted he isn't sure how he feels about Quinn being a stripper. Ted thinks it might be destiny, but Barney blows him off, saying Destiny works at the Melon Patch. Suddenly, Barney thinks this whole Quinn thing might be destiny.

    Barney shows up at the strip club and tells Quinn he thinks fate is pulling them together. She doesn't date customers. But Barney pays her to dance around him while he makes his case.

    Robin writes in her new journal about the odd behaviors she's experiencing on Long Island, including pictures on menus, eating ice cream out of the half-gallon container while wearing "Snug-its," and early bedtimes due to a fear of the night. Robin tells Lily and Marshall she should be headed back to the city to stay with her friend, Patrice. Marshall and Lily make up a bunch of excuses as to why Robin can't leave.

    Ted is now doing some wood work in the empty room, telling imaginary Robin that he's done smoking his own meat and he's "now into wood." Robin wonders if he's hearing these words coming out of his mouth.

    At the strip club, Quinn is getting more and more cash from Barney at the end of every song by making it seem like she's about to tell him she'll go out with him.

    Barney tells Ted about the night, admitting he gave Quinn about $800 or $900 -- and whatever his Rolex is worth. Barney thinks he's in love. Ted sits in the first chair he made, and it collapses.

    Ted tells Barney that Quinn is playing him. Barney wonders why she'd agree to go out with him. Then he tells Ted that Quinn had the idea that they should go on their date at the strip club because she has to work.

    Robin is feeling like more of a captive than guest on Long Island, and Lily confesses she "accidentally" donated Robin's clothes to Goodwill. Marshall offers Robin a "Snug-it." She puts it on and starts eating ice cream right out of the half-gallon container. And she kind of likes it.

    At the strip club, Barney asks Quinn if they could go out elsewhere. She's glad he asked. We next see them in the "Champagne Room" where she gives him a private dance that's more expensive.

    Robin, meanwhile, plots her escape. She writes in her journal that she'll fake a stomach ache during dinner, then make a run for it when Marshall and Lily go to bingo. But she's caught in the act as she tries to make her escape, and Marshall holds up her journal, saying, "Bingo ... was canceled."

    Barney is at the strip club and sees Quinn giving another man the same line about having a date at the club -- and she takes the man to the Champagne Room. Barney sees this from afar and says to himself, "That was our spot."

    Barney confronts Quinn about how she gave the same line to another man. She says it's just something she says to other losers at the club. Barney buys it for a moment, then realizes again that she's playing him. He thinks Ted is at home laughing at him right that moment.

    But we see Ted, now in the empty room "throwing pottery." His pottery wheel is spinning and he balls of a piece of clay and tosses it into the wheel, watching it bounce off and fly through the bedroom window.

    Barney figures he deserves this because of all the lies he's told women. He says he's been trying to be a better person, but thanks Quinn for showing him he had it right before.

    Marshall and Lily confess that they don't actually love it on Long Island, they're only staying there because the suburbs are better for the baby. Robin tells them they should move back to the city, but they decide Long Island is where they want to be. They say it would be better if they could get one of their friends to join them. Robin smiles and tells them she'd rather set herself on fire.

    Barney, meanwhile, finds that even in a city of 8 million people, he can't get away from Karma -- or Quinn. He runs into her at a coffee place. After a bit of back and forth, she buys him a cup of coffee and asks if he has time to sit with her.

    "I don't know," Barney says. "You're wearing my watch."

    Invisible Robin finds Ted painting a new vase he just made. She suggests he turn the room into a guest room, and when he resists, she tells him that no matter how many things he puts in the room, she'll still be there.

    There's a knock on the door and it's Robin. He pours her a cup of coffee in a mug he made -- and it spills out of the bottom. She tells Ted that Marshall and Lily aren't happy on Long Island, and Ted agrees it's probably better to just face when something isn't a good fit and move on, rather than try to force it.

    Robin asks Ted what he's going to do with her old room and he says he hasn't really thought about it -- then the wooden coffee table he made collapses.

    A few days later, Marshall and Lily are sitting on the couch in their Snug-its, telling each other, "Who needs Manhattan?" Ted texts and asks if they want to hang out in the city, and they rip off their Snug-its to catch the last train, which leaves in nine minutes.

    Marshall and Lily get to the apartment and find it empty. There's a note, though. Ted explains that he never took their name off the lease, but today he took his name off. The apartment is theirs.

    He says he figured out the best thing to do with Robin's old room. They walk in to find it painted blue with a crib in the middle.

    He says the place had begun to feel haunted -- at first he thought it was haunted by Robin, but it was actually haunted by him. He says "no ghost is at peace until it finally moves on," and he needs a change. He thinks they do, too. He says the apartment needs new life, and tells them to "make our old home your new home." He says it's now ghost free. And the wooden crib he made falls apart.

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