Main How I Met Your Mother Discussion

Collapse/Expand Topics

03:42:10 PM Jul 26th 2011
edited by OldManHoOh
As I'm still a bit new to this series, I'm moving these in-universe YMMVs here (plus the apparently misused Discontinuity), as I don't know which season they belong to. (Edit the post for the code)

  • Accidental Innuendo: invoked
    • Played with. Robin thinks the innuendo in Space Teens is the result of dirty American minds. To everyone else... not so much. Of course, it's entirely possible that Ted is remembering the show being dirtier than it actually was.
    • Mary the paralegal telling Ted (who believes that she is a call girl) how a guy "rode her" and how a client was "up her ass all day".
    • Ted's interview with what he thought was an architecture magazine- turns out it was a porn mag. "I can't tell you how many nights I spent bent over a table", "Well it's not just my project, I'll be working with multiple partners", "I know they're gonna ride me so hard".
    • At Lily's bridal shower, when Robin switched the labels on her present with another so no one would find out that she had gotten Lily a vibrator, it turned out that the other present was from Lily's grandmother. She thought she was giving Lily a sewing machine.
  • Canon Discontinuity:
    • Marshall's incredible fighting ability that shows up inn the fourth season stems from his epic fights with his brothers growing up; but in one first season episode he is relieved to find a man he thought was hitting on Lily was actually gay, since he "had never been in a fight in his life". The guy's boyfriend even beats him up in one sided fight prompted by jealousy after seeing them hug.
    • Remember Marshall's "no food or drink in the Fiero" rule? So how could he and Ted have their road trips to Gazzola's with jerky and Tantrum?
  • Cargo Ship: Lily had an on-again off-again relationship with her body pillow "Marsh-pillow" in season 6. invoked
  • Squick: Barney's reaction when he finds out in the episode "Okay, Awesome" that the girl that he just grinded with for about two hours was his cousin Leslie. invoked
    Barney: Ted, get your coat, we're leaving.
    Ted: What happened to that, uh, cutlet you were grinding with?
    Barney: That was my cousin Leslie!
    Ted: What!? (laughs)
    Barney: No, no, no. We are not laughing about this, Ted. This is not gonna be some funny story that we're gonna be telling in a couple of months. It's not gonna be like 'remember that time when you were grinding with'- No. And do you know why; because italics, this night did not happen.
03:51:56 PM Jul 26th 2011
Also, all of these were on Trivia for no good reason.

  • Actor Allusion:
    • "The Bracket": Barney makes an entry in his blog in the exact same way Doogie Howser, MD once wrote in his computer journal. Also, the "Doogie Howser" theme plays while he types.
    • "The Stinsons": involves a child actor who Barney gets frustrated with, and makes several comments like stating that child stars were better in the '80s.
    • Robert Wisdom starred in "Murtaugh" as a laser tag Owner sick of Barney's rough tactics parodying the Stereotypical Da Chief.Wisdom previously played renegade Police Chief Bunny Colvin in The Wire.
    • "The Playbook": Barney creates a website that features a picture of him, in scrubs, with a stethoscope around his neck. Hmmm, where have we seen that before ?
    • Also in The Playbook, a companion book to the series based on Barney's in-universe Playbook, there is a "play" called The Doogie, in which you have to attempt to convince your target that you are a former child star.
    • In "Blitzgiving", Jorge Garcia played a cameo role. At one point someone asks for random numbers and he immediately shouts "4,8,15,16,23,42!" the Arc Numbers from Lost. His character is also cursed with being unlucky (as was his Lost character), and compares said curse with being on an island for eternity.
    • In Landmarks, Barney shows Robin how to do an evil laugh.
    • John Lithgow calls Barney a "small town preacher who passed a law against dancing" in "Hopeless"
  • All There in the Manual: The hot bartender Barney seduces in "Girls Versus Suits" is named Karina; this is only divulged in an advance review of the episode.
  • Author Avatar: At least initially, Ted was based loosely on Carter Bays, whilst Marshall and Lily were based loosely on Craig Thomas and his wife. Supposedly, the only reason Thomas's wife agreed to this is that they were able to get Alyson Hannigan to play Lily.
    • Additionally, the bar "MacLaren's" is based on a real bar in New York that Bays & Thomas used to frequent when they lived in the city, called "McGee's".
  • Actor-Shared Background: Robin is Canadian, and so is Cobie Smulders. Also, Ted is from Ohio, just like Josh Radnor.
  • Bilingual Bonus: In the episode where Barney takes Marshall to his tailor, the tailor talks in a foreign language to Barney. Barney 'translated' to Ted that Ted should stop moping around because he was distracting the tailor, prompting Marshall to ask Barney if he speaks Ukrainian. It was actually Russian (to a correct degree seldom seen on American television), and the man was telling Barney that they were ALL bothering him in his work, he never says anything about Ted.
    • When Barney runs into some old Chinese gambling buddies, one of them says something along the lines of "会是 legen…等一下…DARY! 啊? Legendary!" which is essentially "it's gonna be legen—wait for it...DARY! Legendary!" in Mandarin Chinese.
    • The second time that Ted uses sign language (when he meets his ex-girlfriend's deaf fiance) he uses exaggerated facial expressions. To non-ASL users it just makes him look funnier, but those who know sign language will recognize Ted's use of non manual markers, which is a crucial part of communication.
    • Barney seems to have some degree of fluency in Spanish. He says some words from time to time, but the best indicator is that in Season 4 we know Luisa, Goliath National Bank Latin American launch lady, who doesn't speak any English. However, we know that Barney managed off camera to make her believe that he was going to marry her.
    • In New York Robin works for Metro News One. When she goes to Japan, she starts working at Ichi Tokyo - "Ichi" meaning "one" in Japanese.
  • Continuity Nod: One of the women from "Ted Mosby: Architect" is part of Barney's final four in "The Bracket". She's also the creator of, which also has a reference to a third season episode "I'm Not That Guy"
  • Continuity Snarl: In season one Robin describes her individualism by claiming she never played team sports. We later find out she played hockey in season 4 episode "Happily Ever After".
    • Perhaps justifiable as we later find out that said sport is a source of a painful exchange that lead to her estrangement from her father.
      • Season 4? At the end of season 1 Robin mentions that she missed prom due to field hockey. Which also kills that justification.
    • In "Arrivederci Fiero", it's established that Barney is terrified of driving ("God never meant for us to travel at such breakneck speeds!") and is happy to see Marshall's car die. Two seasons later, he owns a really nice car and is speeding fast enough to get tickets.
      • Word of God states that Barney did end up getting his license some time in those two intervening seasons, and the reason why he had no idea that you could talk your way out of a speeding ticket was because he was a new driver. Provided that Barney somehow overcame his fear of driving, which is possible (especially considering we know he has a therapist), it does actually make sense.
    • In an early season 1 episode, Marshall pretends to threaten a guy with beating him up, then breaks down and confesses he'd never been in a fight before. In season 4, he knocks out a guy almost twice his size and it is revealed he used to have lots of brutal fights with his brothers.
  • Enforced Method Acting: In "Something Blue", there is an engagement scene in the background after the ring is accidentally given to Robin. That is an actual engagement that the woman had no idea was going to happen. The guy planned with the show's producers to propose to his girlfriend on camera.* Reality Subtext: The episode where Barney's work takes over a bank, and Barney sings the praises of the bank all episode, happened right after the very public failure of a bank a few days before.
  • Shout-Out: The ending of the episode "The Naked Man" has Ted narrating to the style of Jim Gordon in the recent Dark Knight flick.
    • And in "The Pineapple Incident", Marshall thinks Carl is a vampire. And for a brief second, Lily seems to agree.
    • Barney (played by former child actor Neil Patrick Harris, of course) saying "Call me crazy, but child actors were way better back in the 80s".
    • Possibly in "Slapsgiving 2: Revenge of the Slap" when Lily gets crazy eyes and starts blowing people up (metaphorically, as opposed to DarkWillow).
    • And again in Baby Talk when Lily wants to name her daughter Tara.
    • Lily says in a bar, "We need a drink that can turn subtext into text!" The last half of the sentence is almost word for word what Giles tells Buffy in the episode Ted.
    • Best Prom Ever has Lily mention several times she wanted to have a lesbian experience.
    • The sequence showing the first time Barney dons a suit is an homage to the scene where Anakin Skywalker dons the Vader suit in Star Wars Episode III.
    • I'm too old for this sh... stuff!"
    • Oh Captain My Captain!
    • When Marshall describes how wonderful it feels to sleep in a nightshirt, the accompanying fantasy sequence mimics the dream sequence from The Big Lebowski.
    • Steve "The Blitz" (I forget his late name) is a walking Shout-Out to Lost:
      • First off, his name has the same form as his Lost character, Hugo "Hurley" Reyes. Both characters are chronically unluncky. When asked for random numbers, Steve calls out the Arc Numbers from Lost which "cursed" Hurley (making this one a literal shout out). Finally, he compares the unlucky streak to being on an island for a very long time, which is how Hurley's character arc ultimately ends.
    • Also from the episode "Blitzgiving", Ted mentioned he sang "Twist and shout" at the thanksgiving parade and telling Barney that he's not the Blitz, he's The Bueller
    • Marshall tells Jenkins that if she kidnaps him his family doesn't have any money but his wife has a set of special skills.
    • The McLaren's bartender gets the entire bar to shout "SWARLEY!" when Barney, er, Swarley walks in at the end of "Swarley". The closing credits use the same font as Cheers.
    • Ted describes the scene of Lily and Marshall fighting and finishes with putting his sunglasses on in a very David Caruso way.
    • In "Unfinished", Marshall has an entire elaborate Star Wars analogy for GNB and Ted being like "the guy who built the Death Star". Not designing it with any ventilation shafts and clearly marking all the trash compactors on the detention level...
    • At one point in the song on, Barney-as-Ted is accused of being a Cylon.
    • Barney buys the most expensive suit known to man, thanks to its diamond pinstripes — it's called "The DiBiase".
    • In "How Lily Stole Christmas," Ted substitutes Grinch for another word for the sake of his children, telling them: "Only I didn't say grinch." He then follows this up with: "Only I didn't say fudge," just to make the reference more obvious.
    • "Baby Talk" features one to the Pearl Jam song Jeremy in the form of Lily putting her hands up and shouting "JEREMY! NO!" before being covered in red paint.
  • Whole Plot Reference: "The Slutty Pumpkin" is a somewhat more adult It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Lampshaded by the a capella group singing the Peanuts theme.
10:30:17 PM Aug 10th 2011
foreshadowing: in "single stamina" in which it is claimed that single people have more energy than people in relationships, at the end of the episode in the "one year later" flash forward, when the gang is at Barney's brother James' wedding, Robin and Ted are shown have more stamina then Marshal and Lily. sure enough, a year later the two are broken up and are both single again.
01:08:04 PM Jul 24th 2011
edited by chizz
Is there any particular reason we have separated tropes for every season here? I don't think that's how it's usually done.

edit: Actually I did find a oage where this has been done; Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But usually they're separated by alphbets, which would be better because when listing tropes for seasons some tropes are gonna be mentioned more than once which is kinda pointless.

(I apologise for the possibly not that good grammar, but I hope everyone understands what I'm trying to say)
08:36:58 PM Dec 13th 2011
I like it this way. I'm just starting season six and the season separation is stopping this page from being a spoiler minefield.
03:03:25 PM Mar 24th 2011
edited by Thebes
Dark Willow keeps getting added and deleted, so we might need to set a standard.

Do we keep it, or put a %% flag explaining that it's missing for a reason?
08:14:28 PM May 13th 2010
I think the Crowning Moments of Whatever need to be given their own pages under their respective namespaces now. They're certainly long enough.
07:00:23 PM Mar 9th 2010
Shouldn't this be indexed in "Trope Overdosed" now? I mean, look at it!
06:17:21 AM Nov 9th 2010
Nope, it needs to appear on 155 other trope's page as an example to qualify. Keep on watching though, it's pretty close.
11:09:47 PM Jun 2nd 2011
Having gone through the tropes from A through U, I'm calling it. This show is fucking overdosed.
Collapse/Expand Topics