Barney made his friends vow not to meddle in his life unless it was a matter of national security or he was about to get up on a fatty. By pretending to date Patrice, he made it so Robin could meddle without breaking her promise.
The titles look like photographs because it's Ted's memories.
Memories look like photos?
Another interpretation is that it's what the kids picture when Ted tells them these stories. They don't have the memories, but they do have photographs of them.
The final photo that ends the intro is a photo in universe and implied to have been taken sometime shortly after the pilot and them all first meeting Robin. The others are probably all actual photos in universe too.
Confirmed in Season 9's first episode- Ted gives the photo to Robin as a gift.
In the How I Met Your Mother episode "How Lily Stole Christmas", Lily accidentally hears a message where Ted calls her a "grinch." But he didn't say "grinch" and the episode implies that it's merely a substitute for a much fowler word. BUT, the episode gives a clue with the introduction of Ted's mom's new boyfriend, Clint, which is a name notorious among comic book fans.
Given the 'Clint' effect is pretty well-known urban legend...ehhhh, I give it a fifty-fifty.
The word "cunt" is still rarely used in the States. It's safer to assume that the word is "bitch". It also kind of sounds like it.
But they've used the word "bitch" on the show. (Lily calling someone a son of a bitch for example). Cunt is not a word you can say on network tv, so it makes more sense the word that grinch is a euphamism for.
Minor one, almost definitely accidental. When Lily is trying to talk Ted out of cheating on Victoria with Robin, Lily says that any future relationship will be "based on a crime." Under New York state law, adultery is technically illegal. Then again, she does also claim that "being mean" is illegal so... probably just her being dramatic.
How is that adultery? Victoria and Ted aren't married.
Ted's character in general comes across as kind of... off: he's a single guy in his twenties/thirties, yet he acts like a dorky dad and is obsessed with marriage and kids. This isn't totally weird or anything, but it's unusual. Then you realize that the entire series is Ted telling stories to his kids: he's pretending that he was the same daddish figure in his youth as he is today, so his kids don't have their view of him ruined. Likewise, Barney comes across as larger than life; in reality, he probably wasn't anywhere near as awesome/caddish, but Ted's just exaggerating his character for the sake of the story.
However, this wouldn't make that much sense with regards to Ted: he obviously has no qualms about telling his kids what an asshole he could occasionally be, so he probably isn't pretending he was different. However, it's possible that he doesn't really know how he used to appear to others vs. how he used to think and feel inside (who does?), so he may think his dad-ness was expressed more openly than it actually was.
The same could go with Robin's Canadian-ness: no Canadian is really like that, but Ted's hyperactive imagination and ignorance about Canada causes her Canadian traits to seem like ludicrously over-the-top Canadian stereotypes to him. In fact, all the outlandish and unrealistic touches to the show just makes it seem more like a person's real memories rather than less — memories are usually far more unreliable and colored by the remember-er's thoughts and emotions than fictional stories are. Ted doesn't even have to be intentionally lying: it's just his point-of-view screwing up the specifics of past events.
Actually, Ted's personality is pretty logical given his circumstances: he spent the first ten years of his adult life living in extremely close contact with/in the same dorm as/in the same apartment as Marshall and Lily, one of the sweetest and most endearing, stable, happy, enviable couples imaginable. Of course he's gonna have inflated expectations of what love is like and long for what Marshall and Lily have.
Alternatively, what we are seeing isn't Ted's view of what was happening, but his children's view based on his story. This explains not only the over-the-topness of Barney, the fact that Ted seems to act just like a dad (including the asshole-ish parts), and why most of the characters seem to behave childishly at varying times, but it also makes sense in that, whenever he makes substitutions, we see the substitutions. As the kids are filling in the blanks, a lot of the blanks tend to be filled in with whatever they're familiar with. This is why, for instance, in the Star Wars marathon episode, when they were living in the dorms and visualising life in three years, they miraculously visualised the apartment that they would actually move into - Ted never gave the kids a location, so they just substituted the same apartment they knew about.
Memory is incredibly fallible. We warp and alter our memories in lots of different ways, not least in that we remember ourselves as we are rather than as we were, and we tend to forget the unpleasant things.
The basic concept of the show seems absurd - a guy really telling a story that long and wandering to his kids? But as the show progresses, you realize that this is exactly the kind of person Ted is.
What can make this better? The fact that the story is being told by Danny Tanner
In one episode, Robin chooses to forsake dating and focus on her career. The stinger for the episode introduces Don, with the voiceover from Future Ted saying "Ironically, that was the day that she met Don." Initially, we're led to assume the irony is that they're going to get together despite her pretty much swearing off dating. But the true irony comes much later, when she is forced to choose between a dream job and Don (career vs. dating) and she chose dating. Moreover, when faced with the same decision Don makes the opposite choice (in other words, the one Robin made right before she met Don).
My second run-through of the series made me realize something: Barney cries a lot. A majority of the time it's about something really stupid and insignificant, and it's Played for Laughs. It got me thinking, though—and maybe I'm reading too much into this—but it actually kind of makes sense. Barney is completely obsessed with making sure every minute of every day is absolutely awesome, and that's gotta be stressful. Deep down, he knows all of his pursuits are meaningless, but he keeps clamping down on his insecurities by trying to stack more awesome onto everything he does. He builds up these really high hopes about how legen...wait for it...dary something is gonna be, so even the tiniest thing going wrong is enough to bring those doubts bubbling to the surface again. His crying over the little, stupid things just shows what a fragile person he really is.
This is very nearly confirmed later on, when Barney says that while he loved his life as it was happening, he realizes it was meaningless that all it really did for him was leave him "broken".
This used to bother me and then turned into Fridge Brilliance: They only seem to characterize Nora as being a lot like Robin, except British, bilingual, and wanting a family. Also significant sweet-moments between Robin and Barney become repeated with her, like her playing laser tag with him and her taking care of him when he's sick. At first I was annoyed that they didn't come up with different moments for Nora to make her unique, instead making her sort of a perfect version of Robin. But this makes sense when you think about how Ted didn't know her very well, so most memories of her probably are coming from Barney. How would Barney remember her? As the woman he dumped for Robin after realizing he still had feelings for her. So probably the things he liked about her were the things that reminded him of Robin, or at least that's all he remembers about her. The only thing not-too-similar to Robin he seemed to remember was the kids thing, because she was also the one who initially got him realizing he wanted kids.
Fridge Logic that mutates into Fridge Brilliance again: The naked man works 2/3 times, guaranteed. However, when they all tried it, Lily's version really doesn't count (it doesn't fit most of Mitch's description or philosophy of the naked man). However, the ratio still stands when you factor in Robin's, making it Mitch's success, Ted's success, and Barney's failure.
Fridge Brilliance similar to the above example: why did Robin feel so strongly about Don? He was an annoying, unprofessional sleaze at first, and a bland bore later on. It was certainly never shown why Robin would give up a great job in Chicago for him when she wouldn't do the same for her best friends. Then when you remember that this is all in Ted's memory, he probably just remembers Don as that jackass who broke Robin's heart, and Robin probably never told Ted about any of their sweet or loving moments together because all her memories of him were tainted by their bad breakup. So Ted's knowledge of their relationship is pretty rudimentary. He just remembers the stuff that actually affected the group: his shenanigans on the morning show, Robin giving up a job for him, Marshall being bizarrely infatuated with him (although probably neither Ted nor Marshall remember exactly why.)
Jessica Glitter is the "friend in Canada who got married way too young."
This one started as Fridge Logic then became Fridge Brilliance: Why would Punchy invite Ted's entire group to his wedding? He grew up with Ted and he's his best man, but does that really earn him a +4 invite? They've met and hung out but don't seem nearly close enough to invite them to the wedding. The Fridge Brilliance comes in when you realize that his father-in-law is footing the bill, and they hate each other. He invited them in order to drive up the bill. Given that Punchy had never really left Shaker Heights he could probably stand to bolster his guest list.
Loops back around to Fridge Logic when you realize the rest of the gang (Robin especially) REALLY doesn't like Punchy. Them shelling out for a flight halfway across the country for a wedding of some guy sounds pretty unlikely, especially considering Marshall is unemployed at the time.
...And back into Fridge Brilliance when you consider that Punchy probably paid for their flights because the father-in-law footed the bill.
Barney keeps drawing eerily accurate sketches of Lily's chest. How would he know the details? Two words: Stripper Lily.
Barney frequently discusses how women with daddy issues are less inhibited when it comes to sex. Lily has been shown to have both issues with her father and to be fairly dirty.
Barney is shown to prefer women with daddy issues, even bringing it up in his song. When he finally falls for someone, it's Robin, who also happens to have what? Major daddy issues. Boo-yah.
Barney grew up without a father, and the quest of finding his biological father has been a plot point in several episodes. In a certain way, he himself has daddy-issues.
When you think about it, everybody on the cast with the exception of Marshall has daddy issues (Ted's father is emotionally avoidant, the only thing they talk about is baseball; Lily's father is a deadbeat that left her and her mother.) This may explain the Ho Yay (why do we keep trying to have sex with Ted?) and Barney's obsession with Lily's boobs.
I wouldn't count Marshall out of that either. Yes he had a close relationship with his dad but there are several references to it seeming 'too close' (such as Lily getting angry when he interferes in them trying for a baby). Also, when Marshall teaches Lily's kindergarteners basketball, the brutal, cruel method he used was from how he was treated by his dad. Not such a healthy relationship after all.
Whenever we see younger versions of the characters in flashbacks (like teenage Robin in the episode with her old boyfriend Simon), they're often portrayed by the same actors. That makes a lot of sense though: Ted might have been told what happened, but unless he's seen photos, he doesn't know what they looked like then. So he imagines them looking almost like they do in the story's present, and that's what we see.
This logic doesn't really work. Ted HAS seen all of the characters when they were in their late teens/early 20s (the ages at which most flashbacks occur). He saw teen!Robin because she was in three videos, he saw teen!Lily because he met her in college (her flashbacks go back to her final days of high school), same with teen!Marshall and he saw younger!Barney in Game Night. However, there is some Fridge Brilliance in the use of the adult actors: they're normally used in late-teen flashbacks, when most people stop physically changing.
The theory still holds up if you assume the show is about how the kids are picturing the story from their fathers description, rather than how Ted remembers it.
In Sorry, Bro Barney runs from Wendy during a lunch after they've broken up when she reaches into her purse and produces a tie (He thinks she's pulling out a gun)... this gets sorted out because Barney is WEARING the tie while he tells the story.
More like Fridge Sadness than anything. In one episode, it ends with Ted reminding the kids about all the pictures they used to draw of themselves doing fun things with Robin. Its cute, right? Then comes the latest episode where Robin finds out she can't get pregnant and you realize the reason she's in all those pictures might be because Ted's kids are the closet thing she'll ever have to a child.
In "Doppelgangers", Lily says that she can't have a baby until she sees the fifth doppelganger. She convinces herself that she sees Barney's doppelganger at the end of that episode, so she's now emotionally ready to have a baby. However, and this is where the brilliance shines, she and Marshall aren't physically ready to have a baby until after she sees Barney's real doppelganger, her fertility specialist, in "Bad News".
In "The Naked Man", Barney compares himself to Batman. Coincidentally, at the time, he was having a budding romance with Robin.
The only one of the five main characters to think that the North Pole is a fictional place is the Canadian.
In "Slapsgiving", Marshall performs a song for the gang. Robin and Ted take out lighters in a Raised Lighter Tribute. Later in season 5, Ted reveals to the kids that everyone in the gang was actually a heavy smoker. Everyone, the kids and the fans, was shocked and complained about the zero build-up and foreshadowing. But if Ted and Robin were smokers, it would make sense for them to have lighters on their person, wouldn't it?
In "Return of the Shirt" Ted is planning to break up with Natalie for the second time (the first time he did it over her answering machine on her birthday) only to find out that, once again, it's her birthday. Rather than wait and do it later, he goes ahead and breaks up with her and she beats the crap out of him. Later in "Columns," Ted seems to have a hard time firing Hammond Druthers because, among other things, he finds out it's Druthers' birthday. Ted has obviously learned his lesson from his mistake with Natalie.
The shows' framing device seems absurd at first - a father narrating a story that long and meandering? - but after a while you see that some of the story might only be shown to the viewers and not told to the kids. But after watching the show a while long, it demonstrates that this is completely in character for Ted. He really is that pedantic.
More importantly, he is telling them the story in 2030; the kids are around 16, which means they were born in 2014. By the time the series ends its 8 seasons, it will be 2013 — a likely year the kids were conceived. The viewers are seeing Ted meet their mother in real-time. Basically, Ted is telling the story in the future, but the story he's telling is taking place in our present, at the same time we are watching it.
In the season six episode 'Blitzgiving' the Blitz, Steve, leaves early because he's "getting really into Madden 2k1", and Robin is clearly seen in the group. While at first it seems to be an anachronism, as Robin wouldn't join the group until 2005, it makes perfect sense when you remember that Ted is an unreliable narrator. Robin is such a permanent fixture in the group's collective unconscious that Ted just assumes she was there.
I always thought that Steve just liked to play really old video games, but that works also.
Given the theme of the Blitz is that he's chronically late, it's probably a subtle way for them to show how he's always late, not just to events but in games as well.
On the subject of the Blitz: when Ted and Stella were dating, Ted mentions how he kept missing things because he kept having to leave early to get to New York/New Jersey. Which made HIM the Blitz.
The real Fridge Brilliance here is when you remember that, like mentioned in the first Robin Sparkles music video, Canada is always about 10 years behind America. It would make sense that the game he's playing is outdated by about ten years.
Fridge Brilliance: In the episode "Ted Mosby: Architect," Robin assumes that Ted has been cheating on her based on stories that she's been hearing from strangers all night, including Ted bragging to a girl that he ended Frank Gehry's career (because he's so awesome). As it turns out, it was actually Barney masquerading as Ted all night in order to pick up chicks. Sleazy as usual, but it does show that Barney actually listens to Ted when he goes on for hours about architecture, at least enough to name drop Frank Gehry to the average bimbo.
Additionally, it may seem odd that Barney often refers to himself as a "barnacle", as being an immobile lifeform stuck to a rock, ship, or whale might seem to be antithetical to his lifestyle. Then you realize that barnacles have the longest penis proportionate to their body of all lifeforms on Earth.
Of course he listens. Barney's a terrible person, but a great friend.
Except for all the ways he's also a terrible friend, he's a great friend.
Notice how Ted has no problem talking about his and his friends’ sex life, but censors cuss words and replaces ‘weed’ for ‘sandwiches’. An interesting insight to the values of the future, perhaps?
Fridge Brilliance: At first, it seems odd: Ted really didn't realize that something went down between Barney and Robin when he saw Barney cleaning up the candles and rose petals around her bed in "Tick Tick Tick"? He wasn't under some false impression either, since he connects the dots all on his own in "No Pressure," but how come it took so long? Then you realize that Ted was still very stoned from his and Marshall's escapade at the concert at the end of "Tick Tick Tick", and probably dismissed what he saw as more drugged-up weirdness, until the events of "No Pressure" made it suddenly click for him.
In the Seventh season finale, Robin says she's delivered many babies, "one of which was even human." She delivered a baby in a Funny Background Event back in season 5.
When Ted was left at the altar in "Shelter Island", he was angrier at Stella for leaving him than at Tony for stealing her. In fact, he harbored no ill will towards Tony despite "The Wedding Bride". This may be because, in "The Magician's Code", he's about to be in his position and steal Victoria away from her groom on her wedding day.
Related to The Wedding Bride, who's to say that that version of the story isn't the more realistic? With Ted skewing the facts in his narration of the series.
Except, as has been stated previously, Ted has a pretty good track record of either: A) Stating outright what a jerk he was about something (like in "Hooked"), or B) Retroactively realizing when he was total ass (like in "No Tomorrow"). In the interest of consistency, you'd think that if any part of The Wedding Bride was truer to life than Ted thought at the time, Ted (or Future!Ted) would have said something about it.
Fridge Brilliance: In pilot episode, in the very first scene with Robin, Barney, and Ted, Ted's describing it as "like something from an old movie, where the sailor sees the girl across the crowded dance floor, turns to his buddy and says 'See that girl? I'm gonna marry her some day...'", except that he never actually finishes his sentence IRL because Barney interrupts him. This is foreshadowing. Ted doesn't marry Robin; Barney does.
Fridge Brilliance: Ted comments to Robin that they are all their own doppelgangers- different versions of themselves that have developed over time. The real 'doppelgangers' that they spot around the city could also be seen as different versions of most of the main characters. Robin's doppelganger is a short-haired boyish figure, similar to how she is seen in flashbacks growing up with her father, and could be an allusion to the person her father would have preferred her to be. Lily's doppelganger is a stripper, which relates to her personality as a very sexual person, and is further suggested in the show where she dresses in her doppelganger's clothes to get up on the pole and try out the lifestyle of her alterego. Marshall's doppelganger's main characteristic is a moustache, which Marshall is shown to equate with success when, in "Trilogy Time", Marshall's idea of himself in the future as successful and happy always shows him with the moustache he is unable to grow in real life. Barney's doppelganger... well, he's a guy that looks at lady parts all day. It fits Barney's personality so much that Lily refuses to believe it's actually not Barney. Also ironic, as the man who always tells people not to have kids has a doppelganger whose career is centred on fertility and helping couples to have children.
That whole episode ("Robots Vs Wrestlers") is about Ted being snobbish and pretentious and 'no fun'. The gang act as though he isn't any fun, mocking him for acting cultured, but then are presented with an alterego of Ted that is very cool and fun. The picture they send to Ted of his doppelganger also makes him leave the posh party he's at, realising he'd rather have fun with his friends. So Mexican Wrestler Ted signifies the side to him that is fun and, just as Ted as the narrator is the centre of the friendship group, Robots Vs Wrestlers becomes a tradition that keeps them together.
In addition, 'Moustache Marshall' is seen wielding a judge's gavel, and with the name "Señor Justicia"- that's "Mr. Justice" in English. This is foreshadowing the events of 'Twelve Horny Women' where Marshall is shown applying to become a judge. The 'successful, moustached' judge doppelganger is even more closely linked to the person Marshall wants to become.
In "The Best Burger in New York" (4.4) Regis Philbin hosts a TV show called "Million Dollar Heads or Tails". Yet, a couple of seasons later in "False Positive" (6.12), when we see the show again, it's hosted by Alec Trebek. The first thing I thought was that they just couldn't get Phibin back for a second cameo, and most likely that's true - but then I realized that Philbin probably would have gotten fired from "Million Dollar Heads or Tails" for walking off the set for the sake of a burger anyway! - Forceheretic
The story that Ted is telling is obviously a very long one and, at first glance, it could have been started at any point in his past. He could have started when he first went to college and met his roommate and future best friend, Marshall. He could have started when he graduated college and went out into the real world. He could have started when he first bumped into Barney. After all, he apparently loves long stories. So why did his story (and the series) start where it did? The answer can be found in the season finale of season 7. We already know that Ted will met the Mother at a wedding, specifically Barney's, but that episode finally revealed the bride. The reason that the first episode of the entire show was about that particular day in the life of Ted Mosby was because that's when he met Robin, the woman Barney will marry at the wedding the Mother will be present for, and brought her into the group. That day truly was the catalyst that led to him meeting the Mother.
That, or he's still pining for her in the future.
The ending of season 8 shows that Ted meet's the mother at the train station? So why didn't he just say that? He has to explain why he was at the train station, which was to move away after Barney and Robin's wedding? And he has to explain why he had to move away, which is the reason the story is so long.
Ted is on the Farhampton train station platform because he is leaving Robin and Barney's wedding to catch a plane so that he can leave New York, and Robin, behind. The Mother is ultimately there because of Robin. The Mother's roommate got her the wedding gig because the roommate's former boyfriend said he needed a band for a friend's wedding. The roommate met the boyfriend because he taught at Columbia thanks to a man who helped the boyfriend's dermatologist fiance run from the altar. The boyfriend met the fiance because he wanted to get a butterfly tattoo removed from his sacrum. He got the butterfly tattoo thanks to the rebound boyfriend Gael that came back from Argentina with Robin. Because of Robin, both parents are there at the same time, alone.
In "Of Course", Robin initially turns Don down. On the surface, it seems like she just doesn't like him all that much, which considering his personality, is a fair cop. But in the context of the episode, in which Barney is tormented by a woman whose trick is to say "no" to get what she wants, Robin could be taking that advice literally with a guy she actually likes, since she seems pretty excited about it once it's happening.
I'm fairly certain this is just me being abysmally late to the punchline, but in 6x21 (Hopeless) when kid Barney is saying goodbye to his father He says that not being able to see the Led Zeppelin cover band will suck because it would have been 'Ledengery.' It looks like he's mangled what will become his catchphrase?, but at the same time, it would be Led-an-Gerry. His father is called Gerry, the band was Led Zeppelin, Led-and-Gerry.
In "Jenkins", Ted's stock student Betty is wearing a green argyle sweater that Robin was seen wearing on-and-off in Season Three. This seems like normal wardrobe recycling, but then it comes to light that all of Ted's students watch and love Robin's show. Betty was wearing the sweater as an homage!
In "The Stamp Tramp," Ted has a video recording of Marshall in his "big suit" which he wore for his third date with Lily. Why would a big guy like Marshall have an even bigger suit? Because he's the "runt of the litter" and it was a hand-me-down from one of his (even bigger) brothers.
In The Final Page, Part 2, the final scene has the, who I assume to be, President of GNB, thanking Ted for making the GNB Building and stating that it wouldn't have been possible without him. BUT, the scenes before this had Ted urging Robin to go after Barney and the scene immediately preceding this one is Robin accepting Barney's wedding proposal. So the President thanking Ted is a meta-nod: Barney and Robin marrying wouldn't have been possible had he not told Robin to go after Barney.
Not only that. We also see a shot of Lily and Marshall reunited with baby Marvin. Earlier in the season, Ted is shown as having encouraged Marshall to keep at it with Lily. Ted is thus responsible for both of his best friends ending up with their future wives, and for the birth of baby Marvin. Ted Mosby: The Ultimate Wingman.
In Something Old, Ted actually has a revelation and gives a "World of Cardboard" Speech, when he realizes that he should take his fate into his own hands, which goes against Ted's previous way of just relying on the Universe to give him signs along the way to determine who's "THE ONE." So, in Something New, he's given the choice to do exactly just that when he finally meets the Mother.
Actually you can see this trend in Future!Ted: In The Time Travelers, possibly Ted's Darkest Hour, what does Future!Ted do? He decides to Screw Destiny and derails the whole sequence of events to meet The Mother 45 days before they were supposed to.
Something Old ends with a scene between Ted and Robin, alluding to their "old" relationship. Something New ends with the first appearance of the Mother, alluding to Ted's "new" relationship.
Keep an eye on the clown during Barney's Bachelor Party... when Ralph Macchio shows up, the clown is the only one other than Barney to express outrage. Of course he still has hard feelings towards this fake karate kid.
Fridge Brilliance: Marshall picks up on the ridiculously convoluted Chinese gambling game in "Atlantic City" because he is just unbeatable at games.
In "The Bro Mitzvah," Marshall gets taken as collateral when Barney loses his high stakes game of ... chance. It struck me as weird, because Marshall himself is not only exceptionally good at every game, but was specifically shown to be a savant at the particular game being played. He should've been able to at least coach Barney in the game. At the end, of course, it's revealed to have all been a hoax everyone was playing along with. Still, I didn't get why Barney didn't think to at least ask Marshall for help. (Barney's proud, but he's not exactly dumb) I didn't realize until later that even this was because the gang actively worked to distract Barney to the point where he couldn't think of this very logical course of action. Not only was he upset over the nights lameness, but he also has Ted there the entire time talking and taking guesses about how the game is played, the clown being a wise-ass, and Ralph Macchio (whom Barney hates) flirting with Lily (whom Barney probably still lusts for at least a little), with Marshall mostly being in the background. It was all misdirection to distract Barney from asking Marshall to help like he had last time.
Why does Barney say in "Coming Back" that James's marriage helped him believe in love, while not saying the same for Lily and Marshall? Barney has always known Lily and Marshall as a couple, and he likes them together, but they're also "lame married people" in his mind. The way they are in their marriage, sweet with lots of corny rituals and very monogamous for each other, turned him off because he could never see himself in a relationship like that. James was his wingman for a long time, and grew up with the same non-monogamous single mother he did. James was a lot like Barney. James even admitted when he told Barney about his relationship with Tom that it initially scared him, that it wasn't what he was used to, but he still committed to that lifestyle. Well, at least until we discover that they were getting a divorce and James cheated on Tom, but Barney didn't know that at the time. His faith in Lily and Marshall showed that he believed in love and marriage to some degree, but not until it happened to James did he believe it could happen to him.
In "Perfect Week" Robin asks "Mookie Wilson, is that a thing?" If you only know him from coaching the Mets and/or from his part in winning the 1986 World Series for the Mets the line is simply an amusing case of Robin confusing the two New York major league baseball teams. It wasn't until I was looking him up almost four years after the initial airdate that I realised the rest of the joke: after playing for the Mets and before coaching them he spent a couple years playing for the Toronto Blue Jays. She never followed baseball but it's entirely possible that in her teen years she heard something about Mookie Wilson being traded from a New York team and was vaguely remembering that when she asked her question.
Fridge Brilliance: Why is Robin so desolate when she finds out she cannot have children, even when she never wanted them? Because, like lobster and Barney, she wants the things she cannot have.
Fan reaction to the Mother has been mixed due to many fans thinking she's an annoyingly perfect Mary Sue character. But you have to remember that the show is a flashback told from Ted's point of view, and when people are in love they view the object of their affection as perfect in every way.
Fridge Horror: We laugh, but think about it: Scooter has been in love with Lily, and actively pursuing her and trying to get her to dump Marshall, for fifteen years. Despite the fact that he was just her high school boyfriend, and Lily has rejected him time after time. The guy has basically wasted half his life chasing an unattainable woman on the doomed hope that a perfectly happy, stable marriage will collapse.
Fridge Horror: (Season 7, Episode 2) Peter Durkenson, drunk master of Edward Forty-Hands, is actually a Surgeon
Speaking of Edward Forty-Hands, Fridge Logic comes into play. If he was initially playing it alone, and later it was just him and Marshall, how did they tape the bottles to their hands?
They showed that, he had the duct tape around one of the bottles in a later scene so he used that to let the tape spin.
The cockamouse settles in the Arcadian and has babies. Days later, Ted blows up the Arcadian, and a family of scientific wonders with it.
It's a cockamouse, though. It's probably survived far worse.
Fridge Horror: AGAIN, You know how Robin was the love interest of the main character for so long? How would you feel as a child having your dad constantly talking about all the great time he had with her and how he kept living with her even when they were not together anymore. Wouldn't you feel like your mother served as a "Second prize" and there whole relationship including YOU was the best way Ted could make up for not being with Robin.
Ted managed to get over his anger with Stella by realizing that Lucy finally had her parents back together and no matter how much he, Stella and Lucy loved each other he knew he couldn't replicate that sense of joy, even claiming that it was a perfect ending to a perfect love story. It would be all just fine, but that wasn't the end of their story as they show up later in the season. In this return, Tony ended up leaving Stella for a very short time because of Ted talking about what a horrible thing she did. They got back together because of Ted's intervention, but that really makes Tony out to be a massive flake who is looking for any excuse to leave his wife and daughter.
After Symphony of Illumination, where Robin spends the entire episode talking to her kids that don't exist the fact that Ted is actually talking to his kids is now thrown into question.
Not sure if this is really Fridge Horror, but in the episode "Front Porch," we learn that Lily sabotaged Ted and Robin's relationship back in the day. She explains that she was just looking out for them, that she didn't think they were right for each other, and that all she really wanted was to get them to talk about issues. She apologizes and everything is fine. But several seasons later, in "No Pressure," we find out that Lily had also made a bet with Marshall, that Ted and Robin would never be together. Meaning she had slightly less noble motives than she claimed for the breakup.
Jeanette is a insane woman who will trash the fuck out of your property if she feels you slight her in the slightest. She is a cop.
Ted mentions he would give a homeless man a dollar every day after promising him a million dollars for Marshall's charts and graphs, which Ted threw out. Ted has probably been supporting that homeless man's alcolohism or drug addiction for years.
In the seventh season Ted discovers that Lily and Marshall have been betting on the group members' lives, for example Lily bet against Marshall that Ted and Robin wouldn't end up together. But how could you possibly bet on this, since even if Robin and Ted did get married to other people, there's no knowing for sure that they won't some day (maybe in ten years or so) decide their lives suck and they still love each other, and get divorced and run off together. The only way to make sure that the bet has been won would be if either Ted or Robin (or both) died. Rule of Funny, I guess, but still.
Not necessarily. Lily or Marshall would pay up when Ted or Robin got married to someone else, because Ted or Robin probably couldn't marry someone if they still loved one another in any way that might make them want to get back together, either their own feelings would get in the way, or Lily would do something to stop it. I have a feeling that Robin is probably included in the Front Porch Test now.
So, why do those kids apparently not have any idea what their own mother's first name is?
That's not the case: When he tells about Robin in the pilot, he only mentions her name at the end of the episode, and all the other times he names a girl, there is no sign that the kids actually think it could be their mother.
Also, as the title implies, Ted hasn't actually met the kids' mother yet. So he probably hasn't mentioned her name.
Stella was said to have been a back-up mother—but wouldn't the kids have known? Especially considering that Stella came with a daughter—if she and Ted had gotten married, the kids would have known it since they'd undoubtedly know their own sister.
Also, some scenes (particularly sex scenes involving Ted, especially if he's paired with 'Aunt Robin') leave you thinking "Wait, the guy told his KIDS that?"
This is lampshaded quite nicely by a fanon interpretation of how his kids would react, including "Why do we need to know who your best friend was sleeping with?"
We see the story in a lot more detail than Ted's telling it, and what he's saying doesn't always match what actually happened ("Eating a Sandwich", "Playing the Bagpipes", "Grinch")
Plus, you can never be sure that what we see is what he tells his kids, except for when you hear Future Ted talk. For one thing, in a season 5 episode the kids are shocked to learn that all five of the adults smoke, even though we've seen them smoke before that episode.
...No we haven't.
Robin, Lily and Barney all smoke cigars in various episodes, and Robin was quitting smoking in the season 2 episode where she moved in with Ted.
I will give you Robin and her cigarettes (and the time Lily did it at her wedding), but cigar-smoking is a relatively common social activity, especially on special occasions. It's the fact that all of them smoked cigarettes on a semi-regular basis that is shocking.
Regarding the smoking, Lily quit when she started trying to get pregnant. Marshall quit when his son was born. So, Marshall was exposing his pregnant wife to secondhand smoke?
That's the date of Marshall's last cigarette ever. He might not have smoked during Lily's pregnancy, or at least done it outside of the apartment, and smoked his first cigarette in months on the day of his son's birth (which he does, in Good Crazywithout even realising Lily is in labour ).
... No? That's when he quit, but it's not like he wasn't without a cigarette in his hand before that. Just because he smokes it doesn't mean that he is always smoking.
Lampshaded in the one where Barney attempts a "Perfect Week":
It's also made clear that he's definitely not telling them everything we're seeing. For example, the third season episode where he's going for "the belt" starts with Future!Ted telling his kids, "There are some stories you tell, and some you don't." What follows is a story that Future!Ted is most definitely not telling his children.
In the pilot, if Lily got groped by a five-year-old, why is the handprint an adult sized hand? (Just about her own size, actually. hmmm...)
... not really. That's definitely a child-sized handprint.
Yeah, Alyson Hannigan is just a tiny person, so it looked like a bigger handprint.
According to the commentary, the hand belongs to Jason Segel.
Every time Robin says anything about Canada, she's met with derision, ignorance and scorn. You would think that she'd have learned to stop doing it.
The thing is that she has problems to discern which parts of Pop Culture are only specific to Canada, and which parts are also known in other English speaking countries.
Why did the girl from "Ted Mosby: Architect" make it to the final four in "The Bracket." The worst thing Barney did to her was give a fake name and form letter, which he presumably gave many other women. But Barney never saw her reaction, he didn't do anything harmful to her, and had no reason to think she would hate him. It seems like the only reason that she made it in was a Continuity Nod and because they had a killer joke in the form of the website Ted Mosbyisa Jerk.com.
Remember the Bracket was narrowed down by his friends. Ted was mad that Barney was being Barney under his name, and so was everyone else, as well as Robin and Lily resenting that he sent them on a wild-goose chase the entire night.
Why would Stella, a trained, licensed medical doctor not tell Ted about her apparently serious allergy of peanuts when he decides to cook? Especially since peanuts aren't that uncommon of an ingredient.
Especially since using peanuts in pesto is really not that uncommon.
Maybe Stella doesn't know that, at least for the pesto? And maybe she just forget to mention it, or maybe she didn't know Ted was going to cook until she got to his apartment, and was touched enough not to ask until she ate it.
I thought it was pine nuts, which is very common in pesto.
At the end of "The Three Days Rule," Future Ted tells his kids that he proved that the titular rule was wrong. Cut to the scene where he is on his date with Holli, the girl whom he didn't wait 3 days to call, and he is shown freaking out over the personal things she's saying to him. In response, Future Ted says that Holli needed to abide by the Three Days Rule, but apparently he himself didn't. Fridge Logic comes into play when you consider that everything Holli said to him was exactly what he was texting to her earlier in the episode. If anything, this actually proved that the Three Days Rule was right, and that Ted is a Jerk Ass employer of the Double Standard.
Ted and "Holli" were actually hitting it off before he got personal, while the actual Holli was insane. He didn't 'disprove' it with her, he called their mother right away.
The "I called her right away" is very vague because we don't know the context of the first meeting with the mother. He may literally "not wait three days to call" but the call may not be the type of call we are all assuming it to be.
And when Ted said Holli "needed" to abide by the three-day rule, he was saying it after the failure of a date, not before. As in "she should have waited three days", because she was ridiculously desperate and obviously hadn't had enough time to pull herself together — he was saying that a one-size-fits-all universal rule was a load of crap, because he was ready right to call right away, while Holli on the other hand definitely wasn't , meaning that there is no "rule" for calling dates — different people have different comfort levels, so just call whenever you feel like you're ready, not before and not after.
How is it possible for three people (and an occasional fourth) to share one toothbrush for eight years without noticing? The bristles would wear out more quickly, requiring more frequent replacements, and one of the parties should have noticed that their toothbrush was being replaced (even if it was somehow always the same model).
It's actually quite possible. Consider the circumstances: Ted is not aware that he is sharing the toothbrush with anyone, Lily and Marshal believe they only share it with each other. Ted, being the housekeeper, would buy the new toothbrush every time. Lily and Marshal would notice but would just assume the other having bought a new one. Since it is such a mundane thing to do they would have no reason to inquire if this was actually the case. It almost becomes a version of the Prisoners and Hats Puzzle!
But, as we remember, Marshall and Lily tell each other EVERYTHING.
This is especially plausible given the fact that Ted, the most anal of the group, is the lone one, therefore he would more than likely be the one replacing the toothbrush every time (well before Marshall or Lily would reach the point that they would). Ooooooooooooooof course this doesn't change the fact no one noticed the toothbrush being wet for 10 years...
...We see Lily and Marshall brushing their teeth together in "Zip, Zip, Zip"...!
Of course, having never been present when the couple got ready for bed together, and not having the shared toothbrush story in mind, Ted probably just automatically imagined them brushing side-by-side, which is why he tells the story that way.
The story could also be filtered through Ted's kids' perception, and since the kids didn't yet know about the sharing a toothbrush story, if Ted just said that Marshall and Lily were getting ready for bed, that's how they would naturally imagine it.
How exactly did the gang get from someone else's rooftop jacuzzi back to their apartment building after "The Leap" without being arrested for trespass?
Maybe the people of that apartment were really nice.
Fire escape I presume?
I can't recall if their building was higher than the other (though I assume so), but maybe we're supposed to think that they jumped back?
In "Little Minnesota", Heather complains at Ted that he still thinks of her as an "out-of-control" teenager. But why wouldn't he? As Ted himself says earlier in the episode, she got arrested for shoplifting eight months ago and her track record is not good.
Heather probably is just upset that he thinks of her that way, even though he has a point.
A point her behavior in the episode actually just reinforces, no less. That's not how grown-ups handle interpersonal problems.
The idea was probably that Ted was expecting her to screw-up in some way and that even if she really was trying to turn her life around not having his support doesn't help her. Being able to play him so easily was meant to be his wake-up call that always criticizing her and expecting her could end up as a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy. Granted, putting his own credit and reputation on the line just because they're family is its own social fallacy.
How does Ted remember everything from the past twenty-five years of his life, including events during which he wasn't even present?
Lily, Marshall, Robin and Barney probably tell him all about it at Mc Laren's. I can also remember at least one instance where Future!Ted had to make something up because he wasn't in the room at the time (Season 5, "Definitions")
He's also used the This is just what I was told, believe it or not" disclaimer a few times.
Maybe he has an eidetic memory? Also, on some occasions, he misremembers the time something has happened (e.g. at which birthday he had the run in with the goat), or has forgotten important details (e.g. one girl's name). This way we know that his memory may be quite good, but not perfect.
There are definitely episodes (Season 1, "Okay Awesome", and Season 4, "I Heart NJ") where Ted says "Now, believe this if you want, but Uncle/Aunt whoever swears this is how it happened" for particularly unbelievable moments.
Or, more simply, he doesn't and he's bullshitting. The series shows him having a spotty memory, and the entire show thrives on Ted being an Unreliable Narrator, sometimes deliberately.
Ted sure had trouble remembering why Lily and Barney was fighting in "The Mermaid Theory".
He could be writing some things down. Even if he doesn't keep a daily journal, he might keep something to write the occasional stories in. He did/does keep a dream journal, after all.
Fridge Logic: A season 6 episode features a short discussion about how gross "who's your daddy?" is under scrutiny.
How is this meant as Fridge Logic?
It's in-universe Fridge Logic regarding the use of that phrase.
Fridge Logic: It is shown that Robin's father treated her as a boy all through her life, even making her dress as a boy, and was devistated when he realized "I have no son!" Yet, several episodes later, we learn that Robin has a younger sister, and from what we see of her, she isn't being treated the same way.
Fridge Brilliance: Robin's parents were divorced. Maybe her sister lived with her mother, which * isn't too unusual given that they have a 10 year age gap between them.
This is actually pretty much implicitly the case. Robin says to her sister "Don't tell mom." Plus, after Robin's falling out with her father, she went to live with her mother, which fits in with her childhood memories of her sister.
Also, given the ten-year age gap between the two, Robin's sister could very well be her half-sister, through her mother. Thus, she would never had been around Robin's dad, and not having the same ill-effects of him on her life.
Fridge Logic: Don't Barney and Ted realize how illegal it is to run a bar out of your apartment? Even if they are just treating it as a New Year's Eve party, you still need a liquor license if you are charging people for drinks.
Since when has illegality ever stopped Barney?
Barney sold a woman and regularly works with North Korean military leaders for something, I don't think he cares about the punishment for running a bar out of his apartment.
It looked like they just moved the party to their apartment, they probably don't have the personal resources to keep a marching band stocked up on alcohol for a night.
Barney certainly does.
Barney and Robin made a sex tape. Therefore, Robin really is a porn star now. Does that mean Barney won the slap bet?
Robin wasn't paid by Barney, so she technically isn't a porn star. Sex tape =/= Porn
The bet wasn't that Robin will have ever done porn, it's that she has done porn. Even if we count the sex tape it would be akin to making a bet "I bet you it is year 2013 AD" today on 26 Sept 2012 and then coming back in January claiming you won.
Robin learned in the third season that "getting the kid is winning" in a divorce. In the fourth season, we finally learn about all of her daddy issues, how he always wanted a boy and Robin moved in with her mother after he couldn't deny any longer that she wasn't one.
In Three Days of Snow, Lily and Marshall get each other six packs with punny names. Neither one understands Aspen Yard's Ale. This is a play on the words "Yard Sale".
In "Bellyful of Turkey," Ted can't inderstand why it's so hard to volunteer at the homeless shelter on Thanksgiving, especially when Kendall tells him that it's the biggest volunteer day of the year. Simply this: all the volunteers are like Amanda; they are serving dinner to get all the "really good" food that won't be eaten to take home with themselves. Barney doesn't know that since he is there for court-ordered community service.
Some pretty sad Fridge Logic: By now Barney's Character Development has progressed to the point where he wants kids. But he's marrying Robin, who doesn't ever want kids.
The kids are fairly young, their mother likely wouldn't have told them if she used to be a stripper.
Plus we never see the kids reactions, whose to say that they actually believed all of these girls their father dated were their mother? He did specifically lie to them about the stripper, after all, even if he immediately took it back "Just kidding"
Fridge Logic: Ted and Marshall's dispute over the wedding present/thank you note prevented Ted from noticing the Slutty Pumpkin was there, several years before they finally met up again. If she'd actually been the mother, this would be Fridge Horror.