Unlike most sitcom characters who are in their 20s and 30s and figuring it all out in the big city, Marshall and Lily don’t date around. In fact, they date almost no one else in the entire series, and have been in a steady and loving relationship since they first met in college! In How I Met Your Mother, they essentially just watch their friends’ romantic adventures, all the while sticking together.
This doesn’t make their relationship boring, though. They do have one major breakup early on in the series, but beyond that, they keep things interesting as they figure out where they want to live, if they want to start a family, and of course, they are just so wholesome and in love that they are a joy to watch without any drama. This is how their relationship plays out across the show.
9 Season 1 – And Engagement, & An Abandonment
In season 1, Marshall and Lily have already been together for years, and live together along with Ted. In the pilot episode, they take the next big milestone step in their relationship, and get engaged (and have sex on the kitchen floor) – and it’s a sweet, funny, moment that sets up who they are perfectly. For a lot of the season, though, things aren’t as perfect as they look. Lily is happy with Marshall, but a pregnancy scare and the opportunity of an art program in San Francisco have her questioning her choices. In the end, Lily breaks up with Marshall to head to San Francisco and pursue her artistic dreams, leaving him absolutely heartbroken.
8 Season 2 – A Re-Engagement & A Wedding
Season 2 sees a whole lot happen for Marshall and Lily, as they start it entirely separated and end it married! At the beginning of the season, Lily is gone, and Marshall is struggling to adjust to life without her. However, she soon returns, and they go back and forth for a little while – Lily wants to reunite, Marshall is still too hurt and wants to date, but after one date with someone else, they end up back together. They are quickly re-engaged, and the end of the season is their wedding day, which is a sweet moment that cements their relationship for the rest of the show.
7 Season 3 – Buying Their First Home
For most of season 3, Lily and Marshall are happily married, and enjoying their time together. For the most part, they are an uncomplicated and happy couple, so most of their storylines involve the rest of the group, rather than conflict or drama between the two of them.
They do have one major life milestone in this season, though: home ownership. Marshall graduates from law school and takes a job as a corporate lawyer, Lily comes clean about her money issues, and they manage to buy an apartment. Sadly, it’s a terrible apartment, that has crooked floors and is downwind of a sewage treatment plant, though, so it’s unlikely to be their forever home.
6 Season 4 – The Relationship Matures
By season 4, Marshall and Lily are still going strong, and their next relationship milestone is likely to be children. However, when they talk about it in ‘Not A Father’s Day’, they decide that they aren’t quite ready to take that step yet. The rest of the season, then, sees their relationship continue to grow and mature with them (as Marshall says). It doesn’t change that much, though, as the heartwarming ‘Three Days of Snow’ they realize that they don’t want the relationship to change too much, and that they love all their silly and cute traditions.
5 Season 5 – Deciding To Have A Baby
Not a lot changes for Marshall and Lily in season 5 – which isn’t too surprising. They have been together for so long that they understand their relationship perfectly, they have already hit most of their major milestones, and their friends certainly provide enough drama. The only real change to their relationship that happens in this season is that they decide they are ready to have a baby (courtesy of the finale doppelganger), and start trying.
4 Season 6 – Getting Pregnant
One thing that How I Met Your Mother does well in Lily and Marshall’s storyline is to spend plenty of time on the couple trying to get pregnant, and getting worried over the length of time that it is taking… something that is extremely accurate to real life!
Season 6 sees the couple dealing with pregnancy planning and fears, and ends with the announcement that Lily is pregnant, which they are (obviously) thrilled about. However, it’s a sad season for them, too, as Marshall’s father passes away, and they deal with the fact that he will never meet his grandchild.
3 Season 7 – Pregnant & Moving To The Suburbs
This season, there are big changes for Marshall and Lily (after a few seasons of relative calm) as Lily is pregnant and she and Marshall are gifted a house in the suburbs by her grandparents. At first, they are unsure, as they love living in the city, but the more that they consider life with a baby (and the struggles they have had with their apartment), the more they think it’s a good idea. This means that the season is split, with some of the time spent in the city, and some of the time spent in the suburbs at Lily and Marshall’s new home… until they realize that they actually hate the suburbs, and move back home, to the original apartment (that Ted gives back to them).
2 Season 8 – New Parents, New Careers
In season 8, the focus for Lily and Marshall is figuring out how to deal with being new parents, as Baby Marvin takes up most of their time. They end up finding help in the form of Lily’s Dad, and slowly, they figure out how to balance life as parents, and life as their own people. The other major change this season is that Lily changes jobs, after years as a teacher. She ends up offered a dream job as an art consultant, and takes it, but the shift in priorities and lifestyle starts to take its toll a little bit.
1 Season 9 – Arguments Over Rome, & Judge Fudge
In the final season, Lily is offered a job in Rome, and Marshall has a shot at becoming a judge – which causes some serious conflict, as they cannot decide where their lives should go next. In the end, though, they come up with a plan that is perfect for both of them. Lily ends up revealing that she is pregnant again, and Marshall agrees to go to Rome so that she can have a life she always dreamed of. Flash forwards then reveal that Marshall gets his dream, too, as a much older Marshall becomes a Supreme Court Judge (Judge Fudge!). They also have a third child, and easily the happiest ever after of the series.
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