The episode begins, and Barney's neighbor across the street is spying on him, noting that every night at exactly 8 p.m. "the well-dressed blond man appears." Night after night, he walks out of his building, "steps out seven paces, stops and smiles." It's driving the man crazy. We cut to Robin asking Barney, "But, aside from not being able to fart in the apartment, how's living with Quinn?" Barney says it's great. Barney admits it's actually pretty bad. After coming back from his "8 o'clock fart," he came back inside and Quinn asked if it would be OK if they could use her coffee mugs instead of his -- the only thing of her own that she'd like to use after having sold all of her stuff.
Lily says Barney doesn't want to get rid of any of his own stuff because he doesn't believe the relationship is going to last. Barney says he needs to assert his dominance as a man. Robin warns Barney never to say that to any woman ever, but Barney says it's too late. He said it to Quinn. It didn't go over well. They yell at him, so he goes to Ted's to hang out with him and Marshall, and they yell at him, too. But before Barney leaves, "it's trilogy time." Old Ted explains that "trilogy time" started back in the year 2000 when they vowed to watch the complete "Star Wars" trilogy at least once every three years. When they did this in 2000, they imagined their lives three years later: Ted had long hair (which he knew would eventually grow down instead of out) and was working on "yet another skyscraper," and Marshall was a successful lawyer "with a cool mustache."
Lily was pregnant and they have a rocking band, complete with a hot chick (Robin) for a bassist -- but her name was Rhiannon -- and Ted had taught himself to play guitar like a rock star. Fast-forward three years and Ted was still struggling to learn guitar, Marshall isn't even in law school yet (he's managing a Structure). Barney is there now, too, sending a hottie on her way and telling the guys they'd never see her again. They imagined their lives in another three years and Marshall was a successful environmental lawyer while Ted was an aristocratic architect who had since married Rhiannon, who was now rich and fancy -- and speaking French. Lily wanted to live close to Marshall's family because she and Marshall's mom now got along so well.
Barney's imagined life was exactly the same, but sending a new hottie on her way. In the real 2006, Marshall had gotten into law school but Lily had left him -- and now he'd never have a mustache. Robin showed up and she and Ted were planning to do it. Ted tells Marshall it will all be better in three more years, and imagines a life where he's talked Robin into marrying him, "or rather banged me into it," as Robin says. Ted assures Marshall that not only will Lily be back in 2009, not only back together but also pregnant. Marshall thinks this is too optimistic, and changes the future to have Lily pregnant with some douchey guy named Trey's baby. Trey wears a trucker hat, and so does the baby in the sonogram. But in the real 2009, Lily had actually come back but Robin and Ted didn't end up together. But Ted did get engaged, and got left at the alter.
He also started his own architectural firm, which failed after two months. Robin and Barney were secretly dating and making excuses as to why they were sharing a cab. Ted and Marshall headed to Barney's place to watch the trilogy on his giant TV and arrived while Robin was there. Barney kept her hidden in his storm trooper costume and she listened as the guys predicted their lives in 2012. Barney again said he'd be kicking out a different hottie, and the lamp next to the storm trooper was knocked over. Marshall thinks the lamp fell because he was trying to use the force. Ted suggests the storm trooper did it, but Barney says the storm trooper would know better because the lamp cost $1,200. Barney then asks the guys if they've had a fantasy about having sex with a girl in a storm trooper costume.
Marshall and Ted say they haven't. Barney asks, "So I'm the weird one?" They tell him yes, and the storm trooper nods. Ted then talks about his life in 2012 and says that he'll be 34 by then and if he hasn't gotten married by then, "Something is seriously wrong with me!" They all laugh -- including the storm trooper. In the real 2012, Ted sadly realizes, "Something is seriously wrong with me." Ted says he can't keep smiling and being optimistic. He imagines things three years from now, and he's bald and surrounded by junk and newspapers. He's on the phone lodging a complaint to the frozen food company. Ted calls Marshall to watch the trilogy, but Marshall can't make it. He's on his yacht up on the cape living the idyllic family life Ted always dreamed of.
Lily's pregnant with Baby No. 5, and Robin is there with the douchey guy she married. She tells Ted it turned out she didn't want to avoid marriage completely, she just didn't want to marry him. Ted then notes that Barney will be sending a random hottie named Melanie on her way, but Barney says he doesn't want that life in three years. He wants to be with Quinn. He marches back over to his place and tells Quinn he's excited they're living together and he's throwing away his coffee mugs. He smashes one -- it happens to have been one of Quinn's. But she gets the point, and Barney proceeds to smash the rest of his mugs. Quinn hugs Barney and he farts -- admitting that he's been going out to the sidewalk to break wind every night at the same time.
We then see the across-the-street neighbor going insane because Barney hasn't walked outside. Quinn says she's been "crop-dusting the patio" for a while. Marshall tells Ted things will be better in 2015, but Old Ted tells his kids that for the first time in his life he didn't believe it. But then we catch a glimpse of the real 2015 and Barney things it's "kind of lame" that Ted has brought a girl to watch the trilogy -- it's supposed be a guys' thing. But Marshall says they should cut Ted some slack because "he loves her" and Barney agrees "she is pretty damn cute." We then see Ted walking into the living room with a baby girl in his arms, saying, "Thank God she takes after her mother."
Ted sits down and Marshall tries to give his TV voice commands to "play 'Stars Wars' trilogy," but winds up using the remote instead. Marshall wonders if things will be a lot different when they watch the trilogy in 2018. Ted says he hopes not. The episode ends at this point.