Robin Scherbatsky (full name Robin Charles Scherbatsky, Jr., a.k.a. Robin Sparkles) is a fictional character created by Carter Bays and Craig Thomas for the CBS television series How I Met Your Mother, portrayed by Canadian actress Cobie Smulders. Her last name is a reference to one of the main female characters of Leo Tolstoy's novel Anna Karenina. Ekaterina Alexandrovna Shcherbatskaya (Kitty) is pursued by Konstantin Dmitrievitch Levin (Kostya) through the early stages of the novel, before she finally accepts his proposal of marriage.
Born to Robin Charles Scherbatsky, Sr., who was intent on having a son, Robin was raised as if she were a boy. This ended when she was fourteen and Robin Sr. caught her kissing a boy from her hockey team and realized he had a daughter after all. Robin then moved in with her mother; during that time she became a teen model and recorded a minor Canadian bubblegum pop hit called "Let's Go To The Mall" under the name "Robin Sparkles." After an accompanying music video and the ensuing year-long mall tour, she developed a serious aversion to shopping malls. Robin followed "Let's Go To the Mall" with the "artistic follow-up" "Sandcastles in the Sand."
Robin was a news anchor for a fictional New York cable news channel, Metro News 1, but now hosts her own morning talk show that airs at 4:00 in the morning. Robin lived in the Park Slope area of Brooklyn, as was stated in the first season episode, Nothing Good Happens After 2 A.M., until her temporal unemployment (before the morning talk show) forced her to move in with her ex-boyfriend, and the show's main character, Ted. Like Smulders, she is originally from Vancouver, and has a younger teenage sister named Katie, who appears in First Time in New York. Although she was a reporter for "fluff news pieces" at the end of news segments at the time of first meeting Ted, over the series she has worked her way up to be lead news anchor at Metro News 1, before taking a prominent anchoring position in Japan, only to return to New York and, with help from Barney Stinson, hosting her own talk show.
She has performed several embarrassing dares on television in exchange for money from Barney, including saying the word "nipple;" spanking herself; and honking her own breasts. In 'Mary the Paralegal', Robin won an award for her report on Pickles the singing dog, and attended the Local Area Media Awards show (LAMA's) with the group. She brought Sandy Rivers, a fellow reporter, as a date in order to make Ted jealous.
Robin is the only main character on the show who smokes cigarettes sober (as Marshall has admitted to smoking while drinking and Lily smoked on her wedding day); however, none of the other characters, with the exception of Barney, who pointed it out, know this. Ted asks her about it in 'Moving Day', and Robin tells him no, but is then shown smoking in the hot tub in her apartment later in the episode. She has an in-depth knowledge of cigars and was shown enjoying one with Barney in 'Zip, Zip, Zip' at his cigar bar, with a glass of Johnnie Walker Blue Label, in Marshall's car in a flashback with Lily in the episode 'Arrivederci, Fiero', in a flashback very late at night before Marshall was scheduled to take the bar exam in episode 'Dowisetrepla', and with Barney in Ted's new car in 'The Chain of Screaming'. Robin is also an avid gun enthusiast, having a subscription to Guns & Ammo magazine and having taken Marshall to the shooting range in order to get over Lily. She has been known to use the word "Literally" far too often as pointed out by Ted in a season 3 episode 'Spoiler Alert'. According to Ted, she cannot tell a lie without giggling, but she has been shown numerous times throughout the series lying smoothly.
It is also revealed in 'The Goat' that by Ted's 31st birthday, Robin will be living in Ted's apartment. This happens in present-day in 'Not a Father's Day' when Robin moves into Ted's apartment after coming back from a brief job in Japan. Future Ted also reveals that Robin traveled the world and lived in many different countries.
Many people thought that she was the "mother" referred to in the show's title, but this was ruled out when Future Ted is talking to his children in 'Pilot', and refers to her as "Aunt Robin." Based on this, though, is apparent that even in the future Robin remains a very important part of Ted's life and eventually the lives of his children.
Ted Mosby: Robin dated Ted, who, believing he loved her, professed his feelings for her on their first date. After that incident, Ted and Robin split up, on the grounds that they wanted different things in relationships. They remained friends until it is later revealed that Robin has feelings for Ted, just as he embarks on a relationship with baker Victoria, whom he meets at a wedding. When Victoria goes to Germany for a culinary fellowship, Ted lies to Robin and tells her he and Victoria broke up in order to start a relationship with Robin. Robin, however, finds out, and this almost ends her friendship with Ted.
They manage to rebuild their friendship, and in the first-season finale, Ted again professed his feelings for Robin, but she already had a date of sorts with fellow news anchor Sandy for the company camping trip. The trip, however, is canceled by a thunderstorm that Ted himself "caused" by doing a rain dance. Robin decided to finally act on her feelings when Ted went to see her that night, and the two finally embarked upon a relationship. This relationship comes to an end nearly a year later in the second-season finale, again because they both want different things in a relationship; it is at this point that Ted reveals that he no longer sees Robin as "The One."
Ted and Robin's friendship post-breakup was initially somewhat rocky, and in Slapsgiving they decided to stop seeing each other. However, in the same episode they realize that their friendship is an 'involuntary reflex' and they remain close. As of Not A Father's Day, Robin has moved in to Marshall and Lily's old room in Ted's apartment. They attempt a friends-with-benefits relationship in Benefits, but Ted decides to end it after learning that Barney has feelings for her.
Their former relationship has caused some tension with girls Ted has dated, most notably Blah-blah and Stella Zinman.
Barney Stinson: In the season 1 episode Zip, Zip, Zip, when Barney is missing a wingman due to Ted's relationship with Victoria, he and Robin embark on a night of "bro" activities that include Laserquest and smoking cigars. He then mistakes an invitation to her apartment to play Battleship as code for sex, at which point she confesses to him that she has feelings for Ted.
In Slap Bet, Barney uses his various connections (including a man in Malaysia) to find Robin's "Let's Go To the Mall" video. At the end of the season 3 episode 'Sandcastles in the Sand,' Robin and Barney kiss while they're watching Robin Sparkles's second music video. In the next episode, 'The Goat', it's revealed they slept together. While at first she insists that it "never happened", feeling guilty, she later apologizes to Ted about the fling, explaining that she was feeling vulnerable following being dumped by high school boyfriend Simon (James Van Der Beek) a second time. Ted seems to accept this explanation, reserving his anger for Barney. For the rest of the third season, Robin and Barney continue to pretend that they never slept together.
In the season 4 premiere, 'Do I Know You?', Barney tells Lily that he is in love with Robin, though he has no intention of pursuing her in a romantic relationship. He eventually attempts to tell her how he feels, but is stopped short when Robin reflects aloud that dating friends doesn't ever work out (Benefits).
Marshall Eriksen: Marshall and Robin connect in the fourth season episode Little Minnesota as both are from frigid areas and enjoy the same things while in a Minnesota-themed bar. They sometimes fall on opposite side of an argument, such as how love is best portrayed (Three Days of Snow), but each admit to the validity of the other's argument and remain friendly.