These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
People from New Jersey and Canadians get a lot from the main characters.
Fun meta-irony, Cristin Milioti, who plays the Mother, is from Cherry Hill, NJ. It remains to be seen if her character is.
Also occasional jabs at the overweight. Vegetarians are also fair game.
They (specifically, Barney) like to portray Buffalonians as being true to their namesake in appearance. This could also be Barney being Barney, though.
Alternative Character Interpretation: Is Barney a selfish and contemptible jerkass who deserves what happens to him (i.e. being temporarily abandoned by Ted for sleeping with Robin, and getting banned from laser tag for assaulting children)? Or are his actions justified based on his crappy childhood and rejections, among other issues that make him fragile? His shrink thinks the latter, calling him "A narcissist with severe attachment disorder"
When Future Ted revealed all the amazing things Robin did over the years for his children, was it to fill the void of not having kids of her own, or did she do them just because she was being a good Honourary Aunt?
Similarly, Marshall and Lily's relationship is sometimes seen less as sugary sweet perfect romance it's canonically considered and instead the pairing of a shrill harpy and a doormat settling for the first woman to sleep with him.
Lily subjecting women the Ted dated to the Porch Test. Were they really unsuitable for Ted as she claims? Or is the Porch Test rooted in Lily's unconscious desire for a perfect family with a perfect father figure, something she never particularly had growing up? Considering that Ted often takes the role of the Team Dad in their group dynamic, it's hard not to see Lily's actions as being like a young child acting out and developing an irrational hatred of their parent's new partner.
Arc Fatigue: It has been over seven seasons and there have been few hints at who the mother might be. Seven years of explaining and we only know these details:
Ted met the kids' mother the day of Barney and Robin's wedding, in which he was the best man. Her band plays at the reception.
The season 8 finale finally reveals who's gonna play her: Broadway actress Cristin Milioti. We only get to see her face, though. Nothing else about the character is revealed then, not even her name.
The Barney-Robin Romance arc was starting to become this by season 7 and 8. The sheer amount of Unrequited Love Switcheroos is getting a bit tiresome.
So was Ted-Robin, but lasted one and a bit episodes so far.
Season 9 was accused of this when it first appeared (And was later confirmed by Bays & Thomas themselves) that the entire season would be told in the timespan of Barney and Robin's wedding.
This one is interesting and doubles as a Base Breaker. Because of the small time span season 9 takes place over, it leads to bizarre mood changes for the characters. Such as James in one instance taking his relationship very seriously and only a few hours later he's making crude and mean jokes about the same topic.
Marshall's journey from Minnesota to Farhampton took over half of the season.
Award Snub: As of 2010, Neil Patrick Harris has been nominated for four Emmys for HIMYM, but has lost all four times (to Jeremy Piven, Jon Cryer and Eric Stonestreet). However, Harris won two Emmys in 2010 for guest starring on Glee and hosting the 2009 Tonys.
From the evidence on message boards, it seems that if you watch the show, you either love Lily and think she's a hilarious & endearing character and wonderful wife, or think she's a mean, shallow, selfish bitch who doesn't deserve Marshall. The latter is probably a vocal minority, but the split is quite noticeable.
Ted has a split similar to Lily's, but there's a notable trend for his haters to be extreme Barney fans. Given the fact that Ted and Lily are far less willing than Robin and Marshall to ignore Barney's bad behavior, it's hard to stop certain suspicions from emerging...
Stella. She became The Scrappy after "Shelter Island." About half the fanbase thinks "As Fast As She Can" redeemed her; the other half thinks it made her even WORSE.
The Mother. Some fans love her and think it was worth waiting 9 seasons to finally meet her, other fans think that she's an obnoxiously perfect Mary Sue / Relationship Sue.
Big Lipped Alligator Moment: Barney and Robin's dance in the seventh season premiere. Very sudden, very elaborate and the rest of the reception joins in, and then completely ignored the second the song ends.
The whole premise of the show being "How Ted Mosby met the mother of his future children" is a bit of a Love It or Hate It amongst viewers. It is either a very original premise for a Sitcom and a great way to make it popular amongst the Wild Mass Guessing crowd, or the biggest cause of Arc Fatigue and Fridge Logic in the show and makes some cynical viewers think that the show will never resolve that plot point because the show is too popular to end.
Robin's attitude towards her coworker Patrice. Although most people found it funny at first because of Smulder's over-the-top screams, some fans think the joke has long overstayed its welcome, and now it does nothing but to show Robin being a colossal jerkass.
Barney's "The Robin" play while most fans saw it as this great romantic—albeit manipulative and underhanded— scheme and a major Crowning Moment of Awesome for all of season 8, some fans...were less than thrilled, feeling that Barney had crossed the line.
The announcement of a spinoff named How I Met Your Dad has the fans split down the middle over whether it'll be independent enough of this show, or if it'll flop like the Friends spinoff, Joey. It's not helped by a notable portion of the fandom thinking it's going to be telling the story of how the mother met Ted, when it has been anounced to focus on a new set of characters.
Ted/Empire State Building. A cop suspects Ted of being an objectophiliac.
Crazy Awesome: Barney, apparently. During a joyful "you said I was crazy!" speech, he mentions that even his psychiatrist thinks he's crazy, then names the diagnosis: "narcissist with severe attachment disorder".
Don in season 5 is this to a tee. He comes on to the show just on the heels of Barney and Robin's breakup and becomes the latter's new love interest for the rest of the season. It dosen't help that just a few episode's in, the entire cast is gushing about how awesome he is, even though all his preceding appearances portray him as a Jerkass. Despite the fact that he was universally hated by the fanbase, a great deal of time was spent on their relationship, and it is just about the only big story arc on the show for most of the season. Thankfully by the end of the season, the writers have realized their mistake, and have since written him out.
Ted's season 6 love interest Zoey. While not quite as bad a case as Don, it still annoyed fans that she became such a big part of Ted's story arc that season.
Critical Research Failure: Robin uses the term hydro pole when discussing Ted's metaphor of a relationship crashing into a hydrant, then explains that it means "a Canadian telephone pole". Hydro refers to hydroelectricity from Niagara Falls, and is an almost exclusively Ontario term (Robin is hinted many times to be from British Columbia).
Though I've never heard the term "Hydro pole" and don't know if Ontarians actually use it or if it's another "those wacky Canadians" joke, I do know that British Columbia is almost exclusively hydro-powered, so maybe not as much a research failure as you thought. It's also possible that the joke was that Canadians are all about clean energy.
The episode when Ted Mosby flies his mom and dad in. It's mentioned that they don't really talk about their problems. Barney sees Mr. Mosby making out with another woman in the bar, and tells Ted. When Ted confronts him, Ted's parents reveal they've been divorced for nine months (and separated for two years) and simply chose not to tell Ted. During the credits, Ted asks how Grandma is; she hasn't been returning his calls. His parents look uncomfortable.
Anything involving Barney and the women he sleeps with.
In Sorry, Bro when Lily finds out Ted is getting back together (again) with the pretentious, cheating beeyotch he dated in college: "Ted, honey, go outside and bite the curb, I'll be out in a minute..." Hahaha, oh, Lily- wait...
"Bang, bang, bangity-bang, I said a bang-bang bangity bang!"
When A.C. Newman's "Prophets" plays at the very end of The Leap as each character takes a leap of faith into a new year, it is so awesome that it almost makes you want to jump off a New York City rooftop yourself. But don't.
Also in the episode The Leap, the music playing during the fight with the goat is the song "Murder Train" from the Sandcastles in the Sand episode (played by Robin's ex's band). They get a lot of mileage out of that song, it's also in the reveal of Marshall's fight club with his brothers, the big fight Robin and Barney have in season 5, and pretty much any other time they need a metal track.
A certain scene concerning Ted's career was appropriately accompanied by The Decemberists' "Here I Dreamt I was an Architect"
Parodied in The Limo where Barney's mix tape is "all rise" in order to "get psyched". As it keeps being restarted we only ever hear the first track, Bon Jovi's You Give Love A Bad Name, although the full track list is available on his blog. The song is then used as a straight example near the end of the episode.
Designated Protagonist Syndrome: Ted is seen by certain fans as rather dull in comparison to his more interesting friends. This isn't helped by the fact writers have had his character constantly going through the same motions of falling for a hot girl, making an overblown romantic speech and then predictably breaking up with her, for the last seven seasons.
Ted treated like a bad guy for having left a message insulting Lily for Marshall after she broke off her and Marshall's engagement and left to San Francisco.
Barney in "The Goat". After Robin reveals she and Barney had sex, Barney is portrayed as the only guilty party.
Barney and Robin are painted as being in the wrong for avoiding double-dating Marshall and Lily after their horrific first double-date.
When Robin was going through her "mourning period" post-breakup with Barney, the guys are seen as completely insensitive for not realizing it, even though Robin was actively hiding it from them and Lily, who did know, didn't tell them because she thought the "Bangity Bang" song was catchy.
Ever since the very first episode it's been evident that Ted will marry and have kids with someone else than Robin, so some Robin/Ted shippers have came up with the theory that eponymous Mother will eventually die, thus allowing Robin and Ted to get back together in the future.
Drinking Game: In the DVD commentary for the pilot, Neil Patrick Harris suggests one where viewers drink every time his character drinks following a punch line. Show creator Craig Thomas follows by suggesting a drink every time a characters says "awesome," but joked that it may actually cause alcohol poisoning.
Nora for being the most decent girl Barney has met, seeing through his tricks, and being British.
Although Quinn is disliked by Barney/Robin and Barney/Nora shippers, she does have her own fans who like her for her feistiness and the fact that she can match Barney when it comes to being cunning and manipulative.
Stan from "The Three Days Rule" is also somewhat popular, probably due to his sexy voice, recitation of Pablo Neruda, and being played by a pretty popular voice actor. One wonders how his date with Robin went...
Daphne, the Sassy Black Woman Marshall ends up hitching a ride with to get to the wedding in the ninth season.
Cristin Milioti as the Mother. While reaction to Season 9 from fans and critics alike has been mixed, the praise for Milioti has been pretty close to universal. For 8 years, fans wondered if any actress could possibly live up to all the hype and build-up. Milioti has.
SO MANY theories about who the mother is and how Ted will meet her. Among this includes "Bump Girl" from the episode "No Tomorrow," which has Ted at a bar bumping into a random girl and apologizing in stride, with the episode specifying that the mother was at that club on that night.
There's also some arguments that the mother is dead/died recently, and Ted is telling his kids the story of how they met to help cope with the grief of losing her.
Family-Unfriendly Aesop: The narrator sometimes gives these out, but usually for laughs, e.g. "I won't bother telling you not to fight, because that's pointless, but don't fight Uncle Marshall." "And that's how we learned to forget what we had learned five seconds earlier." "Don't try to make your wife/husband jealous or he/she might beat the snot out of someone." etc etc.
"Murtaugh" endorses modern America's culture of losing, by telling us that even if you put in zero effort and have no talent whatsoever, you deserve a trophy just for participating. Marshall tries to point out how insane that system is, but the ending of the episode thoroughly agrees with Lily.
Not to mention that because of that system, Lily's kindergarten basketball team does not even know how to play and loses their game by more than 100 points without even making one basket.
In "Bad Crazy" it's said that if a woman is acting crazy, the fault lies with the man that she's dating. This is one of the show's only examples of The Unfair Sex. Specifically, Robin accuses Ted of being responsible for Jeannette's insane behavior because he's been sending mixed signals to her... despite the fact that Jeannette stalked Ted for over a year and even started a fire so that she could meet him. The woman was obviously crazy long before she and Ted ever started dating.
Fan Dumb: The fans who insist that Robin is the mother, even though Ted shoots that down in the very first episode.
Fan-Preferred Couple: Barney/Robin. To a lesser extent, Ted/Victoria. One of the main reasons for their popularity (especially Barney and Robin's) is the fact that they're Birds of a Feather.
Fanon Discontinuity: Do not mention "The Rough Patch" around Barney/Robin fans. Heck, even a bunch of fans who thought the whole relationship involved undoing most of what's good about Robin's character think "The Rough Patch" was a stupid way to end the first relationship.
Fetish Retardant: Post break-up with Don Robin. As Barney puts it "you're giving me a de-rection". It should not be possible to uglify Cobie Smulders that much.
Growing the Beard: Generally considered to be "Slap Bet," although other popular choices are "Drumroll, Please" and "The Pinneaple Incident", the latter of which was the first episode in the series to use Anachronic Order.
A season 1 episode has Barney courting a bridesmaid, his excuse for never seeing her again being that in the morning he's shipping out with the Peace Corps for two years. We find out mere episodes later that his Start of Darkness was getting stood up by his girlfriend the day they were supposed to ship out with the Peace Corps together for two years.
Immediately before his first date with Stella, Ted acknowledges—for probability's sake—that the relationship will probably end on a bad note.
Several times during the first few season, Robin talks about she doesn't want kids. In season seven, she learns she can't have kids.
Later, in a season three episode, we learned that 'Aunt' Robin appeared prominently in the pictures drawn by Ted's kids.
Scooter, Lily's ex-boyfriend, is shown as still hopelessly in love with her. A season 8 episode reveals that she essentially forced him into being her boyfriend (out of sheer terror), and his status as a Hopeless Suitor or Stalker with a Crush is almost a form of Stockholm Syndrome.
Not that watching a gay man play straight is hilarious, but much like his role in the Harold and Kumar series, the extreme degree to which Neil Patrick Harris's character womanizes was cast in a humorous, ironic light after the actor announced his homosexuality.
Barney's habit of mocking Canada just gets even more hilarious after the revelation that he's one-quarter Canadian.
Ted had a date with a girl named Cindy who spent their entire date bitching about her roommate (The Mother) and being jealous over her love-life. When we met her again two seasons later she was on a date with another woman. Maybe there was another reason for her obsession.
In the fourth season, Barney insists that girls whose names end in -ly are always dirty, and gives off a list of examples: "Holly, Kelly, Carly, Lily". Four years later, his half-sister Carly hooks up with Ted on a one-night stand.
Ho Yay: "Three Day Rule" is packed with this. There was the fantasy of Marshall and Barney cuddling together in cheerleadering outfits, Marshall and Barney on the brink of sexting Ted while pretending to be a girl he likes, and later competing over who Ted would rather sleep with. Not to mention the Ho Yay generator Stan, who has such a good grasp of romantic language that Barney and Marshall nearly fall for him.
Barney: Why do we keep trying to have sex with Ted?//
Marshall: I don't know, it's weird.
The first episode has Marshall (fake)-proposing to Ted. And it also has Barney kissing Marshall.
It's also canon that Lily has sexual dreams about Robin and they kissed after Lily laments never having a "lesbian experience".
Lily full stop with Robin. The Broath has Lily mention that she tried (and is upset that Marshall refused) to get them to have a threesome with Robin. When Barney says Lily and Robin have to kiss Lily is all for it, then gets carried away and ravishes her.
Season 9 has Lily become crazy jealous after envisioning Robin with a new female best friend. The daydream ends right after Robin and her new BFF decide to have sex.
"Rebound Bro" has Barney and Ted acting as if they've broken up as a couple.
Barney in "Unfinished" in season 6 tries to seduce Ted into taking an architect job at Goliath using his techniques to pick up women. Which would lead to this gem (and gets echoed by Lily later)
Ted: Barney wants me to take the job so bad he's putting the moves on me?
In the episode "Slap Bet," after Barney tells Marshall that his hand is 'monstrous,' Marshall replies "What did you expect? You've seen my penis."
This extension of a scene in Season 3's "Third Wheel". (@ 3:26)
Barney's Relationship Advice speech to Marshall in "Bagpipes" starts with Barney talking over Marshall's shoulder, and ends with Barney's tongue practically in Marshall's ear while Marshall's eyes are almost completely glazed over. With a running theme in the episode about how hypnotically powerful this speech is to Marshall.
Ted and Barney's fantasy Super Date, complete with a musical number in "Of Course" has both of them so flustered by the end of it that they both shake it off by going to a strip club.
Marshall even has this with a random male from the college he went to with Lily and Ted: "Sweet and cute, but just enough of a jerk so you want to change him"
Marshall and Brad, when Brad was dumped by his bride.
In "The Perfect Week", Ted slaps Barney's ass reassuringly before he goes to pick up a girl.
Marshall, coming back from the restroom:
Oh, you're here. I think I have said some homoerotic things to a guy wearing shoes like yours...
Ted and Barney in season 7, when they both get sick of waiting for the right girl and very, very nearly have a child together(well, adopt, but still). They also plan out an entire Heterosexual Life-Partners scenario where they just about draw the line at having three-ways together. This comes straight after a whole conversation wishing they were gay, and talking about how much sex they would have if they were.
Ted's employee at Mosbius Design quits the job and breaks up with Robin at the same time. For those, he brings a bouquet of rose and a letter. He gives the rose to Ted, and the letter to Robin...
Marshall baby talks to Ted on phone, demonstrating separation anxiety for Kevin.
Ted and Marshall participating at the pregnant course without Lily.
Barney got really close to Ted when grilling him about the laser tag party he thinks Robin's throwing for him. And given the fact that Barney was actually planning an ice party for Robin and Ted was in on this secret, the "grilling" was quite unnecessary, other than just being for show. So why did he feel the need to get that close?
Informed Wrongness: Ted is treated as an ignorant jerk for still seeing Heather as an irresponsible teenager. This is despite the fact that she really does have a very long history of being irresponsible. And the way she decides to prove Ted wrong is to have Barney and herself undressed in his office, get caught by Lily, and then accuse Ted of being a jerk for making the obvious assumption that they had sex. Yeah, way to prove you're a smart, mature adult Heather.
Internet Backdraft: When the Facebook page of the show put a picture of Cristin Milioti as the Mother, showing clearly her face & making it very clear who the character was, right after the Season 8 finale, a lot of people who hadn't watched the episode yet called CBS on the blatant spoiler, especially the audience from outside the US. Understandably, they weren't happy.
Barney, especially in the episode "The Playbook". "The Scuba Diver" is one mean Batman-Gambit.
The Final Page reveals the entirety of Season 8 to be one huge example of how magnificent a bastard he truly is.
Also Lily to a lesser extent.
Mary Sue: The Mother. Her actions on-screen contain of... pretty much being ideal in every role she's gotten so far (Ted's soul mate and a stranger offering very helpful advice for Barney). Also a Relationship Sue.
Those who disliked Nora in seasons 6 and 7 felt like she was this. This is even lampshaded by a jealous Robin in "Noretta."
Memetic Mutation: Like so many shows, HIMYM fans have their very own private jokes.
Zoey actually keeping the recording of Ted praising the Arcadian and using it against Ted.
Tony writing (and probably therefore, Stella condoning) "The Wedding Bride".
In-Universe, Barney sleeping with Robin. Out of Universe, most believe it was blown way out of proportion.
Barney states in season 6 that he feels he's crossed it, that while he loves his life he isn't sure if he should love it so much but is too far gone to ever have a normal life. Various characters throughout the show might agree with him as well, though they would all cite different things he'd done as the reason. However, it ends up ultimately being a subversion, since a large part of his character development documents how Love Redeems.
Marshall: Deep in the Amazon rainforest, there is a tree that only grows around the body of an existing tree. It cannot survive without this tree; it's supported by this tree. Lily, we are that tree...we grew around Ted and without him we're slowly dying!
One might even speculate that part of the reason Ted's romances keep failing is because he's entangled in two OT3's and can't focus on a person from outside of his group. He even explicitly declares that he will never get serious with a woman who doesn't like his friends.
Relationship Sue: The Mother coincidentally meets and turns out to have convinced Barney to pursue his love for Robin, effectively becoming the catalyst of his and Robin most important decision in life (and actually being the indirect, but deciding reason, why Ted had to let go of then-love of his life and open to a possibility of finding a new one). Wow.
Although, "The Wedding Bride" may have undone this. While Tony wrote the movie, the details could have only come from Stella.
Rewatch Bonus: Often jokes will come back, or ideas will come back, from months and years earlier, but even rewatched a singular series, a lot of gags and themes surface. An example being The Arcadian in season 6, which is casually mentioned in Subway Wars, by Ted, but then becomes a key part of almost all of the conflict in that particular series.
Ron the Death Eater: Lily. While she's done some fairly selfish things before, they're much more uncommon than some of her detractors claim. She is often portrayed as a bratty, shrill harpy by parts of the fanbase as opposed to the decently loving and nurturing wife as the show tries to portray her.
Zoey who manipulated Ted, lied to him, tried to ruin his career and when he said "no" to saving the Arcadian, she revealed she kept the recording of Ted praising the Arcadian despite promising to erase it.
Don, though he fortunately ended up a Scrapped Scrappy. A sleazy idiot with a cavalry's worth of informed ability.
Stella became this after "Shelter Island". And just when "As Fast As She Can" allowed to some to forgive, "The Wedding Bride" threw her right back to Scrappy. Whilst it was her husband who wrote the film, many details could have only come from Stella. So she dumped him at the alter and then helped her husband slander him as the villain in a hit movie. That's stone cold.
Quinn, naturally became this to Barney/Robin shippers and Barney/Nora supporters.
Even Lily became this for many viewers at the end of season 1 when she broke up with Marshall so that she could "discover herself" by going to art school in San Francisco. Although most of the people who hated her for that incident seem to have forgiven her since then.
Jeanette. In-Universe, she is utterly despised by everyone in the gang except Ted.
Shipping Bed Death: In season 5, Barney and Robin. It was clear that writers didn't know what to do with them as a couple, leading to "The Rough Patch." However, when they get back together in season 8, the writers seemed to have figured out how to portray their relationship in a much better manner, keeping their identities intact while still making it seem like they match.
Ships That Pass In The Night: The fandom frequently paired Carl with Wendy, despite zero canon evidence of them being interested in each other. And that she ends up marrying some other guy.
Barney's deliberately-bad one-act play (revenge for Lily's unintentionally bad work of True Art). After the group starts to leave, he convinces them to stay by saying Act Two is a "masterpiece of awful."
Marshall trying to produce a sperm sample in the bathroom, while his mother stands outside and tells him about a new bikini she bought and how good she looks in it.
Robin's favorite sex act "The Old King Clancy".
Though the above is not described, Urban Dictionary does have a definition...
As the show goes on, it has been an increasingly common fan-reaction to the potential Fridge Logic / Fridge Horror that Future Ted is telling his kids about the many women that he bedded before their mother (including their Aunt Robin.)
Both in and out of universe (but especially within universe): Mickey's line in "The Over-Correction": "We're family... with benefits."
In the Comic-Con trailer, "Luke" and "Leia" tell their father that because they have been listening to the long, drawn-out story, they have not been able to go to the bathroom and have had to resort to going #2 in a bucket, cultivating a spider-farm in their "World's Greatest Dad" mug, living off rain-water, "Luke" having the hots for his sister much to his horror, and having to hear their beloved father bang "an endless parade of sluts".
Special Effect Failure: In "The Lighthouse" (Season 9), the top of said lighthouse looks... pretty fake in the close shots.
At the end of the first season, Lily breaks off her engagement with Marshall and leaves for San Francisco, leaving him crushed and sitting outside the apartment in the rain holding the engagement ring.
The ending of "Benefits", when Barney blurts out to Robin that he's in love with her...and she assumes he's making fun of Ted's overly-emotional nature. She then goes on to say (regarding her and Ted) that dating friends never works out. Barney looks completely heartbroken.
The ending of "Cleaning House", which uses a montage set to "Stand By Me" to show that Loretta was actually a wonderful mother.
In "Bad News": The death of Marshall's dad. It happens off-camera, but Lily having to deliver the news to Marshall is heartbreaking.
Even more so in the following episode: when Marshall thinks the last call his dad ever made to him was a pocket dial. Marshall's rant to his friends, his wife - even God - about how unfair his dad's death is...it's got this dead-inside troper tearing up. Jason Segel DESERVES an Emmy nomination; he can really act.
Barney and his dad, Jerry's talk in "Legendaddy"
Barney:You're lame. Okay? You're just some lame suburban dad!"
Jerry: Why does it make you so mad?
Barney: Because if you're gonna be some lame suburban dad, why couldn't you have been that for me?
Later in the same episode
Barney: A kid needs a hoop...
The last scene in A Change Of Heart, where we see Barney enter the restaurant and meet Nora's parents, then it cuts back to him standing outside the restaurant, revealing it to be his imagination. The look on his face as he decides not to go in is heart-wrenching... Wow, Season 6 is pretty sad.
The ending of "Tick, Tick, Tick..." poor Barney, he did the right thing, and ended up alone...excuse me, I need a tissue.
Especially the scene where Ted walks into his apartment and sees Barney removing rose petals from Robin's bed and blowing out candles. It was the most vulnerable, romantic thing he's ever done, and his heart was yet again broken for the umpteenth time. One wonders how he'll pull himself back after this...
To make matters worse, poor Nora gets caught up in all of this despite doing nothing wrong. After taking a huge chance on Barney, she has to find out that he cheated right after he meets her parents.
"Symphony of Illumination": The episode starts with Robin talking to her kids about how she met their father. Robin learns she isn't pregnant with Barney's children, then learns she can't have children at all. At the end, you learn the two kids she was talking to were imaginary. Good lord this show.
Also, in "No Pressure", Ted confesses that he is still in love with Robin, but she doesn't love him back. From Bad to Worse when, due to this, Ted and Robin decide that they must end their fallback marriage pact, and Marshall makes Robin move out of Ted's apartment so that Ted can move on, despite Marshall believing that Ted and Robin are meant to be together.
Uncanny Valley: In the season six episode "Baby Talk" Marshall imagines his daughter marrying Barney who appears to have maintained his good looks by a permanent botox. His face appears to be made of plastic, and it does not move at all. Take a look.◊
Unintentionally Sympathetic: Cassie, who's supposed to be 'annoying', but actually goes through some serious hardships (see: The Woobie). Ted, who has no compassion for her and is only angry about losing a chance for sex, consequently looks like a jerk.
The reveal of Robin as the bride at Barney's future wedding at the end of Season 7 came as an utter shock to about 2% of viewers. At most.
On a much smaller scale, the "twist" that the reason the Captain wanted to see Lily to hire her cane as a surprise to even fewer viewers.
Wangst: When Ted whines about never finding true love can be seen as this. In-series, even.
Warped Aesop: After Marshall's co-worker Jenkins drunkenly kisses Marshall, her immediate reaction is to go to Lily, take full responsibility for what happened, and apologize like a reasonable adult. Lily's reaction is to beat the crap out of Jenkins while Barney takes pictures. The only moral here? The Aldrin-Ericksons are nuts.
Barney, surprisingly. Most of the time he comes off like he has no doubts or problems, but not only is he an actual person, he's a pretty frail one. Especially when it comes to Robin or his father.
From a fifth season episode, one of Ted's students. Poor Cook Pu. You can't not feel sorry for her by the end.
Marshall can fall into this category at times as well.
You can't say that. His dad's dead.
Honey. "You want to wrap her in a blanket and protect her from the wolves".
Robin is being heavily woobified in season seven. Especially as of "Symphony of Illumination".
Almost anytime she mention her father and him not even acknowledging her.
The Captain. He gives off a creepy vibe without intending to, and is genuinely devastated when Zoey divorces him, even as he admits they didn't have anything in common.
Patrice is a perfectly nice co-worker who is always sweet to Robin (baking her cookies, ironing her pants, offering to help her out at work) and who is the only person on the show to show Barney, who is obviously experiencing some genuine depression with the breakdown of his engagement to Quinn/continued rejection from Robin, any genuine empathy. And all Robin does is scream at her. Real nice, Robin.
Cassie in season 9: She's fired from her job after being dumped by her boyfriend then met him with another girl, her uncle dies and finnally gets her foot broken.
Why Would Anyone Take Him Back?: Lily calls off the wedding and runs off to San Fransisco at the end of Season 1. She returns in Season 2, begging forgiveness. But the show doesn't Hand Wave the damage done to Marshall and he refuses to take her back immediately and for the rest of the season, she is seen getting back in Marshall's and Ted's good graces.
Robin and her ex-boyfriend Simon (Who is also a Future Loser but good luck convincing her that). The first time he dumped her because the girl he was chasing after had a pool. The second time, he did it again because the same girl's parents had a jacuzzi.
In-universe, Ted uses this excuse to tell Tony that Tony shouldn't pity Ted, he doesn't want Stella back.
Also Karen who is Ted's on-and-off girlfriend. She is hated by Ted's friends due to the fact she's rude, pretentious and she continuously cheats on Ted.
The rest of the group asks this of Ted after he considers getting back with Zoey after she tried to destroy his career, manipulated him, lied to him and secretly kept recordings of his conversations to screw him over.
Jeanette is a crazystalker who breaks Ted's stuff for minor offenses, but after they break up, Ted wants her back. Although this is the general attitude in-universe as all of his friends wonder this, Future Ted admits she was a big mistake, and it ends with Jeanette setting many of his belongings on fire.