The US sitcom How I Met Your Mother premiered on CBS on September 19, 2005. Created by Craig Thomas and Carter Bays, the show is presented from the perspective of Ted Mosby in 2030 ("Future Ted") as he tells his children how he met the titular mother. The show lasted for nine seasons and 208 episodes; the finale first aired on March 31, 2014.
The main characters are: Ted Mosby, a romantic searching for "The One"; Barney Stinson, a womanizer; Robin Scherbatsky, a journalist who moved to New York in 2005; and Marshall Eriksen and Lily Aldrin, a long-term couple. Although the show is based around The Mother, her first appearance is not until the season eight finale.
Many of the main characters' relatives appear throughout the show, such as Lily's father or Barney's brother. They may also be seen in family gatherings, such as Barney and Robin's wedding or Marshall's father's funeral. Ted's children and Marvin W. Eriksen (son of Marshall and Lily) appear in the background of many episodes without being crucial to many plots.
Ranjit, Carl, and several other characters often appear because they work in places the main cast frequently visit/hang out at (such as MacLaren's Pub). Characters in relationships with Ted, Barney, or Robin often appear in several episodes within a short period of time, such as Victoria, Nora, or Kevin. Minor characters such as the Slutty Pumpkin or Mary the Paralegal may only appear in one or two episodes, but still play a crucial role in the episodes in which they appear.