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Tropes for How I Met Your Mother, Season Nine.


  • Air-Vent Passageway: Barney gets to Lily's hotel room through air ducts like how the "bad guy" did it in Die Hard.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
  • Amicable Exes: Upon seeing each other for the first time in years, Loretta and Jerry greeted one another politely (and no comment was made about Jerry's new wife), leading Barney to believe his parents are getting back together.
    • When Ted can't find Robin's locket, he calls two of his ex-girlfriends, Stella and Victoria, to see if they have it. Though both of them did call him out for his unrequited feelings to Robin, who's going to get married, they're still kind enough to offer some help where Stella tells him that the locket is probably in her storage unit but Ted still can't find it and Victoria, who happens to have the locket, mails it back to Ted.
      • Jennette, not so much.
    • Robin and Barney, although there's still some soreness there.
  • And You Were There: In Marshall's story of how he learned the Slap of a Million Exploding Suns, the three masters who teach him are played by Robin (Red Bird), Lily (White Flower) and Ted (The Calligrapher).
    • The three of them appear in clothing and hairstyles reminiscent of 1970s Kung Fu movies.
    • Also, a Shout-Out to Kill Bill with the three titles of the masters and the book, "The Slapping Tree," written by "Pei Mei," Chinese for "Old Man."
  • All for Nothing: Everything Barney did for Robin was ultimately this, due to in the finale it's revealed they get divorced after 3 years, due to the fact that Robin's job has her travelling constantly all over the world. Also the Mother dies from cancer, and Ted goes back to his first romantic pursuit Robin.
  • Armor-Piercing Question:
    • From The Mother to Barney: Do you wanna keep playing, or do you wanna win?
    • In "Unpause", Marshall asks Lily, after bringing up the possibility that she could have found success when she was in San Francisco, if he, Marvin, and any future they might have are acting as a consolation prize to that.
    • Robin treats her mothers' question of if she truly trusts a man enough as one in "Daisy".
  • Artifact Title: "Slapsgiving 3" is not a Thanksgiving Episode, despite having the same title as the other Slapsgiving episodes.
  • Artistic License – Law: Marshall refers to New York's highest court as the state's "Supreme Court". In reality, New York's highest court is called the "Court of Appeals". The "Supreme Court" in the state is actually the local trial court.
  • Aside Glance:
    • Lily looks at Ted when he accuses her of ruining the photo.
    • Advertisement:
    • In "Rally", Ted hesitates about eating bacon saying "What if I don't like bacon?". Both the Farhampton Chef and Marshall glance at the camera with a "Are you serious? Who doesn't like bacon?" look in their faces.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Three HUGE examples in "Rally":
    • The episode opens to a Flash Forward to just before a party Ted and the Mother are going to, where the Mother worries that Ted's going to get drunk. He tells her not to worry about it since he made a vow. The episode flashes back to the morning of Barney's tremendous hangover. One by one, we see each cast member vow to never again get as drunk as Barney is right now, only for Future!Ted to Flash Forward to a moment where that cast member broke the vow and did indeed get that drunk again. Finally, Ted becomes the last person to make that vow. We then Flash Forward to the morning after that party at the beginning...only to see that Ted kept the vow. Instead, it was the Mother who got drunk that night and is now nursing a tremendous hangover that Ted cures with Barney's Magic Feather.
    • We get a montage of brief images that are all that Barney remembers from that morning, including an image of a ferocious bear roaring, that will remind the audience of the ringbear. Instead, it's just footage from a nature documentary on TV that Robin and Lily are showing to Barney in a futile attempt to wake him up.
    • After 9 years of Lily making all sorts of Ambiguously Bi Les Yay at Robin, they finally kiss (to wake up Barney) only for Lily to decide the kiss was "weird" and she's now completely over Robin. But Robin loved that kiss, and manages to make almost as much Ambiguously Bi Les Yay at Lily in the 30-second Stinger as Lily had to Robin in the past 9 seasons.
    • After several times finding out Robin can't have kids, in a flashforward to 2016, Robin and Barney wake up in a hotel room in Argentina to the sound of a crying baby. As she starts to comfort the child, Robin asks,"Barney, whose baby is this?" The child's mother comes in, yelling at the stupid, drunk Americans. Seems they were in the wrong room.
    • As the finale shows, The entire show was one big example. The Mother had died of unspecified illness 6 years before the start, and Ted's story was subconsciously a way to ask his kids if it was okay for them if he started to date their Aunt Robin.
  • Batman Gambit: Turns out Barney works for the same guy who stole his girlfriend, and took the job as part of a revenge plan to take him down by working with the FBI to get him arrested for all the company's illegal deals.
  • Been There, Shaped History: It seems like The Mother is encountered by the gang at a critical juncture in their lives.
  • Best Served Cold: Barney worked for fifteen years for the Corrupt Corporate Executive who stole his first girlfriend Shannon (which started Barney's Start of Darkness) just so he could turn over all the dirt he had on him to the Feds and watch as he's arrested.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Darren is a definite male version. He charms Lily and Robin (and later Ted and Barney), calling them "hilarious and adorable", isolates one of them, gets them to open up to him, and then "accidentally" spills their secret just to screw with the close relationships of people he doesn't even know. Not to mention almost kicking The Mother out of her own band.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The series finale itself where Barney and Robin divorced after three years of marriage. Tracy (the titular Mother) died six years before the "present" when Ted is telling his kids the story. But the kids help Ted realize that the story has a deeper meaning that he still has feelings for "Aunt Robin" who they permit him to date, telling him that "it's time". And the story ends with Ted, holding the blue French horn and standing outside Robin's apartment, implying that they do end up.
  • Black Comedy: Used in "Rally":
    Chef: At the Farhampton Inn we don't cook with grease. Our menu is organic. Farm to table. Locally grown. No "grease".
    Marshall: Sir, I am from Minnesota, where every meal is cooked with grease and my father dubbed that food "The Tastiest eats in the Gosh Dang World".
    Chef: And how is your father's health?
    Marshall: Point is it tastes really good.
  • Black Dude Dies First: While he doesn't actually die, James taking a bullet for Barney and Robin and meeting with the old relatives first is treated like it. He even references this trope.
  • Blatant Lies: The night clerk from "No Questions Asked" gives a series of this, giving all the failures in Room 13 to "The Ghost of the Hooker".
    Lily: Sounds like you're using Captain Dirdoff as an excuse for a crappy room.
    Clerk: I beg you pardon. I did not get to be 40 year old night clerk with making excuses. Now, if there's anything wrong with the room that isn't ghost-related , I'm more than happy to address it.
    Lily: The Wi-Fi doesn't work.
    Clerk: Ghost interferes with electronic devices.
    Lily: The shower is leaking.
    Clerk: Dirdoff likes the sound of dripping. It reminds him of his bleeding victims.
    Lily: And the door won't lock.
    Clerk: Captain Dirdoff doesn't want to... you know, been locked out of his room.
    Lily: Why would a locked door keep a ghost out? Can't he just walk through the walls?
    Clerk: Maybe he's afraid of rats.
    Lily: There're rats in the walls?!
    Clerk: (Beat) No.
  • Book Ends: The pilot episode starts with Ted, holding a blue French horn and standing in front of Robin's apartment with Robin looking out from her window. And the series finale ends with older Ted, who is now a widower, doing the exact thing.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Lampshaded everytime Lily smashed a glass and Linus handed her a new one.
    Lily: You're slipping, Linus.
    Linus: We're running out of glasses.
  • A Boy, a Girl, and a Baby Family: Lily and Marshall wind up with at least this by the final show. We never find out if the third one was a boy or a girl.
  • Breaking the Fellowship: In the final episode, we learn that after Barney and Robin's divorce the gang slowly started to drift apart. Especially Robin, who intentionally kept her distance from the others because it was too difficult for her to be around her ex-husband as well as the man she believes she should have married and the mother of his children.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: During the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue part of "Gary Blauman", Future!Ted is explaining what became of Blah Blah (or rather, revealing that he doesn't know)... only to remember her name is Carol. She then turns to the camera in exasperation. "Thank you!"
    • The Stinger to "Slapsgiving 3: Slappointment in Slapmarra" has Marshall talk directly to the audience as he introduces Boyz II Men, who then perform "You Just Got Slapped".
    • When Ted expresses his concerns that he won't like bacon in "Rally", we cut to Marshall and the chef the two of them were talking to... who then give a blatant Aside Glance.
  • Broken Record: Lily in "Coming Back" whenever the bartender gives her a drink because she told him to- "Thank you, Linus. Thank you, Linus. Thank you, Linus..."
    • The Mother is also on the "Kennedy plan."
  • But Now I Must Go: After Barney passes all his knowledge to Kyle and Justin, he leaves without them even knowing his name.
  • Butt-Monkey: Cassie. The entire universe seems to have it in for her this weekend.
  • Call-Back:
    • Ted, dropping fragile objects (e.g. a glass or a cup) when he hears something shocking back in Season 6, "Subway Wars". Though this time in "Last Time in New York", he hears the Wham Line straight from Barney's mouth.
    • Marshall playing Zitch Dog and "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" on his road trip with Daphne in "The Lighthouse" calls back previous road trips with Marshall and Ted.
    • In "Unpause", the name of Ted's daughter is revealed to be Penny, a reference back to Lucky Penny, in which Ted says that, if not for the penny he found on the subway, he never would've stayed in New York and met the Mother.
    • "Stupid...stupid...sooo stupid..."
    • "Vesuvius" has a reference to the sequel to The Wedding Bride, as well as a stage adaptation.
    • The Mother is named Tracy — referencing a joke that Ted made about a stripper named Tracy way back in Season 1.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • During "The Rehearsal Dinner", the "Let's Get This Party Started" cow.
    • The toy car that Cassie trips on, sprains her ankle and totally ends any chance with Ted while going to "The Lighthouse," has been sitting on the stair landing since Lily yelled at the kid during "The Poker Game."
    • The Slap Bet ends up becoming one when Marshall uses his final slap to snap Barney out of his last-minute panic attack as they are standing at the altar waiting for Robin to walk down the aisle.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    King Joffrey's parents were brother and sister, and he was a fair and wise leader.
    • This is also a Late-Arrival Spoiler.
    • In "Daisy", Ted becomes convinced that Lily briefly took up smoking again following her stressful fight with Marshall the previous night, but when he searches for evidence he instead finds a pregnancy test, leading Billy Zabka to exclaim in surprise "You can smoke those?!"
  • Comically Small Bribe:
    • Ted attempts to bribe Curtis for information on Barney's mysterious room.
    Curtis: I'm so sorry. I wasn't clear. I can't violate our hotel privacy policy. For five dollars.
    • Later tries to bribe Lily for 10 dollars.
    Ted: Lily. Drop this whole thing, and I'll give you 10 bucks.
    Lily: No.
    Ted: (Beat) I can't go higher than 10.
  • Companion Cube: 7 year old Ted's best friend was a balloon.
  • Complexity Addiction: In "No Questions Asked", Ted, Barney, and Robin all come up with difficult methods to sneak into Lily's room before Marshall can tell them they can just open the door because the lock's broken.
  • Condescending Compassion: Curtis pities Ted for being single. It really gets on Ted's nerves.
    • He later puts the Mother in the room next to Ted (which had been reserved for Robin's mom), and does it with a sly smile.
  • Connected All Along: It's revealed throughout the course of the season that Lily, Marshall, Barney, and Robin all met Tracy before Ted did.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: The season was already heavy on Continuity Nods, but the finale took it to new levels. Almost every word out of a character's mouth that wasn't a Wham Line was either a Call-Back or a Continuity Nod, and the whole thing ends with a shot for shot recreation of Ted's iconic presentation of the blue french horn.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Lily's body pillow, Marshpillow, from Season 6's "Desperation Day", whenever Marshall is away.
    • William Zabka, who is in Barney's bachelor party from Season 8's "The Bro Mitzvah", is back this time as Barney's new Best Man...but temporary.
    • In episode 1, Barney calls Prince Joffrey from Game of Thrones a wise leader, even if his parents were brother and sister, calling back to Barney's favoritism for bad guys.
    • The swords from Season 1, "The Duel" which was used again in another sword fight between Marshall and Ted.
    • In the flashback for "The Rehearsal Dinner" with the gang talking about the wedding, when Ted mentions how he's the best wedding present-giver ever he gets death glares from Marshall and Lily, referencing the events of "The Poker Game".
    • Barney, mentioning that Marshall and Robin are the only platonic relationship among the group, goes back to the episode, "The Mermaid Theory" where Marshall is not attracted to Robin and only sees her as a manatee.
    • Episode 4 calls back to Ted getting left at the altar by Stella, and features a brief cameo by the Slutty Pumpkin. The one time Ted didn't go as "Hanging Chad."
    • In the "The Broken Code", Ted and Barney, together with Marshpillow reenact the scenes from Weekend at Bernie's which is one of Barney's old plays from the Season 8 episode, "Weekend at Barney's". Later, in "Knight Vision", Barney wants to use his "Weekend at Barney's" play after the wedding minister died but Robin rejected it.
      • It happens again in "Rally", when the gang pulls the stunt during the wedding photos. Or at least that's what they tell Barney to cover up the fact that the photos were cancelled.
    • Ted, playing detective since Season 3 which he called it, "The Mosby Boys". He did it again in "Daisy" where he figures out that Lily is keeping a secret which leads to her second pregnancy.
      • Since season one, if the Pineapple Incident Big Board is anything to go by.
    • A slow-jam version of the "bang, bang, bangity bang" song plays while Jerry and Loretta are stuck in an elevator.
    • Another flashback from the same episode had Ted make a joke about a Canadian band, then scoff at the idea of a band at all, referencing "Band Or DJ?"
    • The Psychic Conversations make a return between Lily-Robin and Ted-Barney.
    • The song "Marshall Versus the Machines" from "Subway Wars" plays as Marshall walks to the Farhampton Inn.
    • Marshall and Lily's system of "pausing" their arguments goes back to season 1 finale.
    • The Mother is wearing driving gloves in "Bass Player Wanted", calling back to the season premiere when Future!Ted claims that she had them.
    • "Bass Player Wanted" ends with Marshall about to give Barney the fourth Slap Bet slap. The following episode, "Slapsgiving 3: Slappointment in Slapmarra", is all about how Marshall prepared for it.
    • In "Slapsgiving 3: Slappointment in Slapmarra" White Flower tells Marshall to get slapped by Barney's former conquests so he can move on to his training. Barney's former conquests include Shannon and Nora, who are his ex-girlfriends.
    • Ted's mom's warning about something bad happens after 2 A.M. resulted to Ted losing his relationship and friendship with Victoria and Robin respectively in Season 1. In "Unpause", this also happens to Marshall and Lily's fight regarding the former's judge offer and the latter's career in Italy which ended with Lily, leaving the inn after Marshall reveals his resentment about her leaving him for San Francisco back in the Season 1 finale. Though in 2017, something good happens after 2 A.M. with the birth of Ted's son, Luke.
    • In "Unpause", there's one to Barney's Start of Darkness. It's revealed that Barney's job has him act as a fall-guy for his company's illegal dealings. Barney managed to turn the tabled by working with the FBI and getting his boss arrested. His boss being the guy who slept with Shannon all those years ago. There's even another one in the same scene: the song from Barney's Awesome Video Resume plays while his boss is being arrested.
    • "How Your Mother Met Me" has a lot of nods from the previous seasons like Ted's shellfish joke which made the Mother laugh during class, the return of Mitch the Naked Man who happens to be The Mother's instructor in orchestra and pulling his stunt of her (which failed), Ted walking in McLaren's in a green dress, the bar named Puzzles ("unless that's the puzzle"), "Save the Arcadian" posters etc.
    • In "Sunrise," Barney takes Justin and Kyle to The Crab Shed, which Curtis (the desk clerk) mentioned earlier. Also, to get Ted to talk, Robin tells him "Its for the Bride," which is a nod to how Barney got crazy stuff done in the Second Season Finale.
    • Barney tells Justin and Kyle about the three "chicken magnets" he's used: the teacup pig, his niece Sadie (Hurricane), and Brover.
    • In the last episode of season 7, Lily tells Ted that the love of his life will be wearing cute boots that she'll lend to Lily, since they will be the same size. When The Mother is revealed in that season's finale, she is wearing boots, and when she meets Lily on the train, they are the same size. (Shows just how well Lily knows Ted.)
  • Continuity Porn: The entire "How Your Mother Met Me" episode. See above.
    • Generally, the entire season has a lot of continuities from the previous seasons. Some of them are important plot points.
    • Bonus points for all the references to the Mother that future!Ted had been doing throughout the entire series, which are all addressed (her laughing at his "shellfish" joke, him calling her the next morning instead of waiting three days, etc.)
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: After she finds out Ted and Marshall ruined her rehearsal dinner dress with their sword fight, Lily forces Ted to wear an early 20th century bathing suit hanging in the hotel's bar and Marshall to wear Packers gear (including a cheesehead) while he's in Wisconsin.
  • Cradle of Loneliness: In episode "How Your Mother Met Me", The Mother is seen twice cradling things when she thinks about Max, her beloved boyfriend who died.
    • In a scene where she apparently has just returned from his funeral, she opens his present. It's a ukulele and she holds it, pressing it to her chest.
    • Years later, she hugs a pillar on a patio when she tries to connect with him and sort of asks him if she is ready to let go.
  • Crash-Into Hello: "And that's how Robin met your mother."
  • Cross-Referenced Titles: The title "Last Time in New York" mirrors a season 2 episode "First Time in New York".
  • Cutting the Knot: After Barney and Robin devise another overly complex plan to get Lily's phone, Ted comes in and reveals that he cashed in a "no questions asked" Lily had with him to get her to smash her phone.
  • Daddy's Girl: Barney, of all people, ends up invoking this in the finale.
  • A Day in the Limelight: The 200th episode "How Your Mother Met Me" is devoted to the Mother's story from the beginning of the series all the way to the wedding weekend.
  • December–December Romance: Barney attempts to make a match between Jerry and Loretta (his parents), while James wants to set up his biological parents Sam and Loretta. Sam wins.
  • Digital Avatar: At times, such as the poker game and the Shout-Out to Weekend at Bernie's, Marshall is "present" by replacing the Marshpillow picture with a tablet showing a live two-way feed of his face, still in the car with Daphne. He even wins a hand in poker this way. (Yeah, the kid is that good!!)
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Barney wants to kick Gary Blauman out of the wedding. Why? Because Gary ate four of his fries! The fourth one is a curly fry! Ted and Marshall agree with him.
  • Divorce Is Temporary:
    • James manages to get back with his husband Tom.
    • Averted with Barney and Robin.
  • Double Meaning: After the first scene featuring both Ted, and The Mother, we see Ted and the Inn Keeper, who gives this bit of dialogue.
    Inn Keeper : I'm sorry, that took a long time.
  • Double Standard: Robin falls into this in her state of panic before the wedding, thinking all of Barney's romantic gestures were actually based on a lie and she can't base a marriage on deception, while Ted has always gone out of his way to make her happy and is very open and straightforward with her, and gives the time he stole the Blue French Horn for her as an example of his dedication. Apparently, lying (or, more accurately, tricking) for a big romantic gesture is out of the question, but theft for a big romantic gesture is great.
  • Dramatic Drop:
    • At the end of "Last Time in New York", Ted was about to share a bottle of scotch with Barney except the latter see the former holding hands with Robin back Season 8's "Something New" which cause Ted to drop the bottle in an instant.
    • Barney drops a bottle when he saw his mom and James' dad, making out.
    • Those poor bottles. Ted drops a third when the Mother's asshole bandmate runs into him, prompting Ted to lay him out.
  • Dramatic Spotlight: When Ted eats bacon for the first time. "I have seen the face of God!"
  • Dropped a Bridge on Her: The Mother dies from an unspecified illness in the last five minutes of the finale.
  • Dynamic Entry: Lily tackles Ted from off-screen. She later tackles William Zabka as well.
  • Easily Forgiven: This trope is played with. As You Know, it took Lily and Marshall a few episodes before they got back together in season 2. Given the circumstances, the fact that Marshall forgave Lily at all for her transgression is a really big deal. But, as Unpause clearly shows, Marshall has always been afraid that his life with Lily was just a consolation prize to Lily. So despite their time together, some part of Marshall hasn't really forgiven Lily.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Ted finally gets the woman of his dreams. We already knew that, we just don't know how they got there.
  • The Ending Changes Everything: In the series finale, Penny reveals that Tracy, the Mother, has been Dead All Along for six years, meaning she has been dead since Ted started his story.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The Mother offers Lily, a complete stranger at that point in time, cookies since she's so depressed she hasn't seen Marvin for a week. And they manage to hang out during the train ride to Farhampton.
  • Elevator Failure: Barney invokes this to try to get Loretta and Jerry back together. He does it again for Loretta and Sam.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Ted gives Jeannette a passionate speech about what love is: Trying to do anything in his power to make Robin happy even if All Love Is Unrequited, even if it's not to get the girl back. She still calls Ted "crazy" and throws the locket down the lake.
  • Exact Words: While under the truth-serum drunk, Barney tells Robin there will be a ring bearer, Trevor Hudson, who's adorable. He doesn't mention that Trevor is a bear (with the rings tied to his collar). He cancels the flower gorilla.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: In "Rally", Ted tries to deny Marshall's claim that Ted's mom lied to him about being allergic to bacon.
    I'm allergic to a lot of stuff. Bacon, donuts...Halloween candy...not saying, "Thank you"...Oh my God! That bitch lied to me!
  • Extremely Short Timespan: Where previous seasons have generally covered a year each (give or take), this final season all takes place over the course of three days (not counting the odd Flash Back or Flash Forward).
    • Lampshaded in Daisy when Ted says that a lot of stuff has happened in the last few days.
  • Finale Season: Ted finally meets the mother in this one.
  • Five-Man Band: In "How Your Mother Met Me", we get this alignment.
  • Foregone Conclusion: In "Unpause" Lily left the Farhampton Inn in tears after Marshall called her out for her selfishness and hypocrisy. We already know they're going to get back together because the show has had flash-forwards of Marshall and Lily attending their college reunion, as well as Marshall reading Lily's death letter.
    • No matter what happens, we have seen all of the gang present at the wedding just before it begins. So no matter what, everyone will be back and relatively sober.
  • Foreshadowing: Ted almost cries at the end of Vesuvius when the Mother notes that no mother wouldn't show up at their daughter's wedding day. The series finale shows that The Mother died six years prior to when Ted is telling the story to their teenage kids.
    • "How Your Mother Met Me" could be foreshadowing of the end of the Finale. Just as The Mother had to get over a dead boyfriend before meeting Ted, Ted would have to get over The Mother before working up the courage to ask Robin out again in 2030.
    • Despite how many drinks Lily has she never acts really drunk or get hangover, which is really noticeable when Barney spends two episodes drunk. This foreshadows she isn't drinking alcohol and thinks she could be pregnant.
      • In "The Locket," she also mentioned that the train would have a 21st toilet.
      • If you recall, it was revealed in "Last Cigarette Ever", Lily quit smoking the day she started trying to get pregnant. That automatically blows a hole in Ted's theory in "Daisy".
    • In "Slapsgiving 3", when Marshall slaps the jukebox and breaks it, Lily yells "The Slap of a Million Exploding Stars!!" not "Suns!!", showing that it's a setup.
    • In "Gary Blauman" Robin called into Patrice's radio show, and complains about how Barney never listens to her, heavily implying they are having marital problems. Come the finale, we find out that Robin and Barney got divorced 3 years after the wedding.
    • In the first episode of the season, Ted is reading Love in the Time of Cholera, wherein the protagonist meets up with an old flame after a long time and thinks about rekindling their relationship. That happens in the end, with Ted rekindling his relationship with Robin 6 years after the death of the Mother.
  • Friendship Moment: The first episode shows how Lily met the Mother. In a moment of compassion, she offers Lily some cookies and a joke.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • In "Rehearsal Dinner", during the montage of Canadian jokes, a couple in the background appear to meet for the first time, then get engaged, then pregnant, then celebrating their son's graduation, all the way to being an old married couple, implying that the jokes lasted a whole lifetime.
    • "How Your Mother Met Me" has a lot which are Continuity Nod. For example, after The Mother accepted Louis' number and leaves, Barney and Lily were talking about the Mermaid Theory and then, hugged each other before Ted arrives in a green dress. There's also Robin, photobombing the picture of Louis and The Mother.
    • When Ted finds the pregnancy test in the Captain's daisy, the Captain looks at his fiancee, but she waves it off, "Not mine!"
  • Fun with Acronyms: Barney's job is to Provide Legal Exculpation And Sign Everything. Thus, all the times he dismissively said "Please!" when asked what he did for a living, he was actually saying it.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Marshall gives Barney the final Slap Bet slap to calm him down at the wedding.
  • The Ghost: Out from the main five's parents, Robin's mother is the only parent who does not have an official appearance onscreen throughout the show. She can't come to her daughter's wedding due to her fear of flying and we only know little details about her such as being stung by a jellyfish and making the best scrambled eggs. She is finally shown in Vesuvius.
  • Gilligan Cut: Right after Marshall telling Daphne that the fight with Lily about his judgeship won't be physical because "she's not animal:"
    Lily: Sorry I tried to bite you.
    The Mother: Sorry I hit you on the nose with a rolled-up magazine.
    Lily: It's the only way I'll learn.
  • Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: In "Rally" Lily and Robin kissing is what made Barney wake up for a while.
  • A Glass in the Hand:
    • Lily in "The Lighthouse" whenever she hears a legal term like "court", "judge" or "gravel" (it sounds like "gavel"). She even does it when she herself says "trial".
    • The Mother in "How Your Mother Met Me" when Lily mentions the ad saying she was only a 6.
    Lily: You're slipping Linus!
    Linus: We're running out of glasses.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: After he divorced from Robin, Barney knocked up a one-night stand. While he's devastated, there were apparently no other options.
  • Graceful Loser: In "Sunrise", Ted finally lets go of Robin and accepts that they're never going to be together. Then comes the twist in the Grand Finale.
  • Gratuitous French: Ted and another guy exchange some French talk.
  • Gypsy Curse: According to Barney, the reason why he and his brother are so horny.
  • Happy Ending: The alternate ending found on the Season 9 DVD. Tracy doesn't die and she and Ted live happily ever after. And it's also hinted that Barney and Robin may possibly get back together.
  • Hero of Another Story: In How Your Mother Met Me, we see a brief glimpse of the Mother's side of the story, starting on the same night that Ted met Robin.
    • Marvin W. started college (Wesleyan, of course) around the same time (2030) that Future!Ted started telling Luke and Penny about meeting their mother.
  • Hideous Hangover Cure: The Stinson Hangover Fixer Elixir. Known ingredients include Tantrum soda, Funyuns and grease.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: When Marshall complains about the a/c in his room, Curtis, the desk clerk, uses the excuse that the sea captain's ghost likes it muggy. Marshall knows he can't argue the point since he specifically requested that room because of the ghost.
  • How We Got Here:
    • "The Rehearsal Dinner" begins with Barney and Robin at a laser tag security office, and the rest of the episode shows how they ended up in this situation.
    • "How Your Mother Met Me" plays the events from the previous seasons and episodes in the Mother's perspective before she went to Barney and Robin's wedding and met Ted.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Jeannette accuses Ted of being crazy because he is going through so much trouble for nothing. Says the same person who trashed his apartment, broke federal law several times and plans to send to another ex-boyfriend a dead squirrel.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Gary Baluman to Ted
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Angry at Marshall being late, Lily pays a bartender to hand her drinks whenever she doesn't have one in her hand. "Thank you, Linus."
    • In "Bass Player Wanted", The Mother requested the same treatment due to Darren.
  • I Never Told You My Name:
    Lily: I still can't believe [Ted] dragged me to the childhood home of some stupid bucklesmith no one's has even heard of.
    The Mother: Yeah, who cares about Florian Von Otterloop?
    Lily: I never told you his name.
    The Mother: Sumbitch?
  • In Vino Veritas: When Barney gets drunk enough he becomes unable to lie.
  • Innocent Swearing: Little Marvin's first words were "Skunkjunk". Both Marshall and The Mother promptly got Oh, Crap! in their faces.
    Marshall: For the record, his first word was "Mommy".
  • Insult Backfire: In "Unpause", Lily and Marshall get into an argument over him accepting a job as a judge without consulting her first. Lily tells Marshall that she has never done anything that selfish to him, and he immediately brings up the incident in Season One where she broke up with him and moved to San Francisco so she could go to art school. Lily is unable to respond to that, and when Marshall twists the screws even further by revealing that he's unsure if she would have come back to him if she had been successful, Lily gets so upset that she leaves.
  • I Resemble That Remark!: If you listen closely, Barney and Robin's objections to Lily's criticisms of them in "Knight Vision" ("a sociopath who's slept with over 100 women" and "a slut who once let [her] boss feel [her] up", respectively) actually confirm what she said:
    Barney: I slept with 200 women!
    Robin: I felt him up!
  • Ironic Echo: Early in "Platonish", Barney says, "I don't want to win, I want to keep playing!" Later in the same episode, the Mother asks Barney, "Do you want to keep playing or do you want to win?" Barney answers, "I want to win."
    • In "Bass Player Wanted," The Mother saying, "You make some good points" immediately after Marshall challenges her, like he did earlier with Daphne, showing that they have the similar flaw of giving in to other people. The interaction also shows that Marshall is learning to stand up for himself, by him advising The Mother to do the same for herself.
    • In "Last Forever", Barney tells a woman "You are the love of my life. Everything I have, everything I am, is yours. Forever." Only he doesn't mean it and was simply making a point to Ted that he wasn't going to settle down''. Later he says the same line to [[spoiler:his newborn daughter, only this time he means it.
  • Ironic Echo Cut: In "Rehearsal Dinner."
    Robin: (talking to Barney about him going off to laser tag) Our marriage has to be based on honesty and trust and all that Lily and Marshall crap!
    Lily: (talking to Ted about her problems with Marshall) I thought our marriage was based on honesty, trust, and all that Lily and Marshall crap.
  • Just Friends: One episode debates whether it's ever possible for a guy and a girl to be friends, specifically regarding Ted and Robin. Barney attests that it is impossible, except for one example: Marshall and Robin, who would sooner let Lily die than ever make out with each other.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Again, Darren.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: When Mitch is telling the mother that she should follow her dream he mentions living in his parents' basement:
    Mitch: ...playing video games. those video games.
  • Least Rhymable Word: On "Bedtime Stories", Marshall gets stuck trying to find a rhyme for Canada. He is saved by a bystander who gives a rapid-fire rap on it.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Ted, who is known for being nice, never gets into a physical fight but gets his ass kicked if he does, punches Darren on the face for knocking out a bottle of Glen McKlenna from his hand while celebrating Marshall's arrival. The rest of the gang are amazed by this.
  • Lies to Children: Ted says Virginia told him as a child he was allergic to bacon, donuts and Halloween candy so he would eat healthy.
  • Like Mother, Like Son: In a flash-forward, we see that Marvin eventually inherits Lilly's Catch Phrase "You, Son-of-a-bitch!".
  • Like Parent, Like Spouse: What finally makes Robin start to freak-out is when her mother starts describing her own relationship with Robin's father: He was a womanizer, a sociopath, was engaged with a stripper, would lie about his job... And all this is illustrated with montages of Barney in past episodes.
  • The Lost Lenore: The Mother's boyfriend Max, who died on her 21st birthday back in 2005. "How Your Mother Met Me" is all about the Mother getting over him and moving on to find the next true love.
    • The Mother (whose name is Tracy) eventually became one for Ted when he told the story to his kids.
  • Love at First Note: Ted is amazed by The Mother singing "La vie en rose" without seeing her.
  • Love at First Sight: In a non-romantic example: Barney, when he sees and holds his newborn daughter Ellie for the first time. Especially since he had been dreading this throughout the entire pregnancy and was hoping he wasn't the father.
    Barney: (crying) You are the love of my life... Everything I have... and everything I am... is yours. Forever. (kisses her)
  • Love Epiphany: Zig-zagged in "The End of the Aisle," Robin is freaking out because of wedding jitters and the bad omen of never finding the locket. Ted gives the locket to Barney to take credit for finding it, but Robin sees right through it. Seeing how much effort Ted went through to find the locket, she suggest the two of them run away together because Ted is the more logical choice than Barney, who has always hidden behind layers upon layers of lies. Ted defies her epiphany and tells her that Love is not logical and even if she doesn't understand why, she loves Barney. Once she calms down (after a run-in with the Mother), Barney approaches her and says he will offer only one promise to her: no more lies. The ceremony goes fine after that.
  • Magic Feather: In "Rally", the gang tries to prepare the Stinson Hangover Fixer Elixir, Barney's cure for hangovers, to sober Barney up in time for the wedding photos. They gather all the ingredients they know and try to wake up Barney enough to tell them the secret ingredient. Barney tells them that there is no secret ingredient; the Elixir is a fake, they got cured only because they thought it would. In a flash-forward at the end, Ted pulls the same trick on the Mother.
    • In the same episode, Robin mentions the Trope Maker from Dumbo (or Dum-bro as Barney puts it).
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: Barney and Robin try to find an unusual place to make love before getting married.
    No, not there! It's never there!!
  • Maybe Ever After: The series ends with Ted deciding to ask Robin on a date. Do they go on a date? Does it work out? Do they eventually get married? Or is it doomed like it was the last time they tried it? We don't know the answers to any of these questions.note 
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: William Zabka; everyone "boos" him for playing villains, even his own mother. This is why he appreciates Barney, as the only one who considers him a hero.
  • Meet Cute: Ted finally officially meeting The Mother, Tracy, qualifies as she recalls attending his disastrous first college class, and they playfully bicker over ownership of the yellow umbrella.
  • Milestone Celebration: "How Your Mother Met Me", dedicated entirely to the mother, is the 200th episode.
  • Missed Him by That Much: Happens repeatedly in the 200th episode "How Your Mother Met Me" with Ted and the Mother.
    • Both went to the St. Patrick's party and if the Mother had went to the dance floor, she could have been the one to bump into Ted instead of the other random girl.
    • After believing she was in the wrong classroom, the Mother had ran out and was about to return to the classroom, nearly bumping into Ted who was rushing to get to his right classroom.
    • When Ted broke up with Cindy, he exited Cindy's room just as the Mother entered into her room and closed the door. And again, when Ted left, the Mother emerged from her room.
    • When the Mother went for drinks with Louis, she left MacLarens after telling him she wasn't ready to date, passing by Ted in a dress with neither of them realizing it.
  • Mondegreen: When Lily and Robin swordfight, Lily believed the line from Inigo Montoya was something else entirely.
    "My name is Rodrigo DeGoya. You killed someone I love. Prepare to dance."
  • Mood Whiplash: "The Lighthouse" goes from having Robin try to make better scrambled eggs than Loretta to the public reveal of Robin's inability to have kids in one scene.
    • "Unpause" keeps cutting back and forth between Ted and Robin asking Drunk!Barney questions to Lily and Marshall's fight near the end. Especially jarring as one of these cuts happens after Marshall brings up San Francisco.
    • "How Your Mother Met Me": We open with a scene with The Mother's gang and her talking about the birthday presents she's gotten from Max, her boyfriend, when she gets a call and goes outside to answer it. We never get to see him on screen...
    • "Last Forever" The episode swings back and forth between heartbreaking and heartwarming: Ted decides not to move to Chicago after all, Robin and Barney get divorced, Robin distances herself from her friends because it's too painful for her to be around them, Barney becomes a dad, Ted and Tracy finally get married after years of being together, Tracy gets sick and dies, and then we flash back to see the first time Ted and Tracy meet each other. After this emotional rollercoaster, we finally come to the year 2030 where Ted's kids excitedly tell him to go after Robin (accompanied by a wildly inappropriate laugh track). It was very off-putting to many viewers, to say the least.
  • Motor Mouth: The Mother tends to ramble when explaining how she got to the class, starting with how she lost Max on her 21st birthday. Cindy only wanted directions from the subway.
  • Multiple Endings: In addition to the original ending for the show, the Season 9 DVD includes an alternate ending that is more happy and less controversial than the original ending. Some fans have nicknamed the original ending and the alternate ending as the "Blue French Horn Ending" and the "Yellow Umbrella Ending" respectively.
  • My Greatest Failure: Ted about his failed attempts to resolve the Pineapple Incident.
  • My Secret Pregnancy: Lily managed to hide this even a week before the wedding. She only got busted because Ted guessed all her actions to date and Marshall found her pregnancy test in a pot.
    • Done again with Marshall and Lily in the finale. Lily gets pregnant again in 2016, and they hide it from the rest of the gang, but Barney immediately deduces it based on Lily's breasts getting perky and Marshall drinking all of Lily's alcoholic drinks for her.
  • Mythology Gag: Ted says to the Mother "Hey, Beautiful," in a Flash Forward scene, which is the full title of the Opening Theme Song.
    • The last photo in the opening theme appears as an actual photo in universe.
  • New Old Flame: Ted and Robin at the series finale.
  • N-Word Privileges: Played with during Marshall and Daphne's roadtrip.
    Daphne: You are NOT allowed to use that word! Only WE'RE allowed to use that word!!
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Darren was a jerk, no doubt, but his trolling of everyone did wind up bringing them together stronger than before. He also indirectly led to Ted meeting The Mother as Ted punching him out led to her liking him before meeting him.
  • No Bisexuals: In "Gary Blauman", after James reveals that he had an affair with Gary Blauman, Ted realizes that his battle of knowledge against Gary over a woman was really Gary competing with the girl for Ted. It's never brought up that he could be a bisexual.
  • Nobody Poops: Very averted.
    Lily: I'm dumping out! I don't control when my deuces happen!
  • Non-Indicative Title:
    • In "How Your Mother Met Me", the Mother doesn't actually meet Ted, although she does see him at least twice; once when he started teaching class in the wrong room (and she laughed at his "shellfish" joke), and a few moments later when she was about to turn and head back to the right classroom, he came rushing by, heading for his real class.
    • The episode "Vesuvius". Vesuvius is the name of the active volcano best known for its eruption in 79 A. D. that destroyed the city Pompeii. But the volcano is never mentioned once, not even obliquely, in this episode. No one gets angry enough to have an outburst that could qualify as an "eruption", the two main events of the episode the first ever appearance of Robin's mother and the hint at the end foreshadowing Tracy's death don't seem to have anything to do with the volcano. There's simply no obvious reason why this episode was called "Vesuvius".
  • Noodle Incident: The recurring gag of "No Questions Asked". However, most of the Noodle Incidents are explained eventually... well, except Robin and the whole 'Night Falcon' thing.
    • Marshall and Lily's in-joke, "The elevator!" that apparently is not at all inspired by real-life events.
    • Marshall's nickname "Big Fudge" comes from his celebrating acceptance to Columbia Law School: He ate an eight pound block of fudge in twelve minutes.
  • Not So Different: In this season we learn that Ted and the Mother have one big thing in common: both of them have spent years trying to get over somebody whom they, while still loved, thought was the only person for them. For Ted it was Robin, whom he's been in love with since the first season. For the Mother it was her boyfriend Max, who died on her 21st birthday and whom she's spent nearly a decade mourning.
  • Off Screen Break Up: James Stinson and Tom.
  • Older Than They Look: In "Slapsgiving 3", Marshall guesses the ages of Red Bird and White Flower who are actually 87 and 108 respectively. Inverted, for The Calligrapher who is actually 34.
  • Old-Timey Bathing Suit: Lily forces Ted to wear one in order to humiliate him and punish him.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: In "Daisy", after Ted proposes a theory that Lily went to the Captain's go get one last smoke, Marshall manages to work out what actually happened after Ted uncovers a positive pregnancy test from the daisy's flower pot.
  • One-Hit KO: Darren is on the receiving end of this from Ted.
    • Marshall gives one to The Captain in "Daisy".
  • The Oner: The "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue in "Gary Blauman" is done as one long 360-degree shot along the parking lot.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Lily, Barney, and Marshall have already met the Mother, but the audience doesn't know her name yet. Even her actress doesn't know the Mother's name.
    • Even Mitch (the Naked Man), who taught her in music camp, avoids mentioning her name, after years of not seeing her.
  • Pair the Spares: The Captain and Becky, Kevin and Jeanette, Scooter and "Stripper Lily" Jasmine.
  • Parental Hypocrisy: "Rally" flash forwards to 2030 where Marshall and Lily drop Marvin off at Wesleyan for his first year of college. They warn him not to do any underage drinking, but Marvin, well aware of what they did in college, goes to a bar moments after they leave�. only to run into his parents doing shots.
  • Parody Episode: "Slappointment in Slapmarra" is a parody of chop-socky kung fu movies, or more specifically, the kung fu homages in Kill Bill.
  • Passing the Torch: In "Sunrise," it turns out the reason Barney disappeared was so he could find someone to pass the Play Book to and teach them how to live.
  • Pet the Dog: The Mother gives this to Barney after she realizes his constant challenge quests were driven by frustration.
  • PlaceBRO Effect: The true Secret Ingredient of the Stinson Fixer Elixir from the episode "Rally."
  • Rapid-Fire "Yes!": In "The Lighthouse", Ted proposes to The Mother at said lighthouse the year after Ted went on a disastrous date with Cassie. Before he can even finish his sentence, The Mother elatedly said "Yes" many times.
  • Reality Ensues: "Kids, it takes more than 2 months to learn how to figure skate."
    • In the final episode, despite Lily asking the rest of the gang to always be there for the big moments, the inevitable truth is that they drifted apart over the years and have a hard time getting everyone together due to work, children and other personal matters.
    • Also in the ending, Barney gets divorced from Robin and resumes his womanizing ways. Which leads to him knocking someone up. Which, statistically, was likely to happen sooner or later, given how much sex he has.
  • Red Herring: Way back in "The Locket", Barney and Robin were worried that there would be a Wild Card at the wedding which leads all signs to Ted, who looked for the locket and found it. In "The End of the Aisle", Ted attempts to calm Robin down by letting Barney give the locket to her and saying that he found it, except Robin realized that Ted is the one who found the locket which made her think that he is the right person for her. But considering that Ted finally let go of his unrequited feelings on the morning of the wedding day and with the reassurance from The Mother who managed to calm Robin down, the wedding went on without problems.
  • Remember the New Guy?: The Mother's best friend Kelly, who was at MacLaren's the night Ted and Barney met Robin, was with the Mother at the St. Patrick's Day party where she was unsuccessfully hit on by Barney, and we later learn was successfully hit on Barney a bit later from one of his moves in the Playbook.
  • The Reveal: "The Rehearsal Dinner" has a surprising one in regards to its plot: Robin was led into thinking that Barney was being held by security at a local laser tag place due to his thinking that she was actually having the rehearsal dinner there... only for Barney to reveal that none of this is true; Barney, to honor Robin's original wish to have the wedding in Canada, tricked her into going to a Canada-themed rehearsal dinner at a local hockey rink.
    • Also we finally see Robin's mom in "Vesuvius".
    • "Unpause" reveals the names of Ted's children: Luke and Penny. It also reveals what Barney does for a living, and that it was all a Batman Gambit to get even with the guy who stole his girlfriend.
    • A minor one in "Rally": we find out how Marshall got the name Big Fudge. By eating a whole lot of fudge, of course.
    • Daisy has the reveal that Lily's pregnant again, not to mention the introduction of Daisy Eriksen, Marvin's younger sister.
    • In "Gary Blauman", we learn that Blah-Blah's actual name is Carol.
    • It's not until the last episode that we learn The Mother's name is Tracey.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Replace smoking with potential pregnancy, and Ted's theory about Lily going to the Captain's house in "Daisy" is still accurate. Hell, that's what Marshall did.
  • Romantic Rain: Ted meets the love of his life when it's raining at a trainstation.
  • Romantic Runner-Up: Louis, the Mother's then-current boyfriend. He was depicted of a Nice Guy but the Mother realized after dating for a few years, that it just wasn't love.
  • Rule of Three:
    • In "Slapsgiving 3" Marshall guesses Red Bird is 32 (she's 86), White Flower is 32 (she's 106), and The Calligrapher is 35 (he's 34).
    • This is also when we learn how the "2 out of 3" probabilities of success of "The Naked Man" work. The Mother was Mitch's 3rd try.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: "Bedtime Stories". Justified in that Marshall is trying to get Marvin to sleep, and Nursery Rhymes are the only thing that will do that.
  • Runaway Bride: and groom, as both Barney and Robin get cold feet. They change their minds and on Robin's case, it's all thanks to The Mother.
  • Running Gag:
  • Samus Is a Girl: Marshall didn't expect Red Bird, master of speed, to be a girl.
  • Sassy Black Woman: Daphne. She is Angie, after all.
    • Her daughter inherits it too as seen in her speech.
  • Secret Ingredient: The secret ingredient for the Stinson Hangover Elixir is...nothing. Barney's secret was that it was a placebo he used because his friends were at the lowest they could go, so they had to feel better afterwards.
  • Separated by the Wall: In "How Your Mother Met Me", this is what happens to Ted and the Mother (though both parties are unaware of the fact) after the Mother turned down her then-boyfriend's wedding proposal and ended in the room adjacent to Ted's.
  • Serious Business: Barney hates Gary Blauman not for eating four of his fries, but for the fourth fry being a curly fry that was accidentally left there. The other guys agree.
    Marshall: You take another man's wife before you take his accidental curly!
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The plot arc of everyone trying, and failing, to secure a bottle of 30 year Glenn McKenna (to the tune of 3 broken bottles) ultimately proves fruitless when it's revealed that the bartender had 35 year Glenn McKenna all along.
  • Shipper on Deck:
    • Barney and James try to reunite their mother with their respective father. Barney even sends away his step-mother. In fact Loretta already went back with James' dad.
    • Curtis smiles knowingly when he puts The Mother in the room adjacent to Ted's.
    • Based on his reaction when he finds out the Mother is single, at which point he runs over to Ted to try & introduce him to her, Barney ships Ted & the Mother.
    • Ted's kids ship Ted & Aunt Robin.
    • As does Marshall And Future!Ted said he always wins his bets....
  • Shout-Out:
    • "Last Time in New York" drops two references of The Princess Bride such as Mandy Patinkin, who played Inigo Montoya, in which mentioning his name attracts old people and the Trope Namers in Ted and Marshall's sword fight:
    • Ted and Barney reenact scenes from Weekend at Bernie's with Marshpillow in "The Broken Code".
      • It happens again in "Rally", when the gang pulls "Weekend at Barney's" during the wedding photos. Or at least that's what they tell Barney to cover up the fact that the photos were cancelled.
    • Barney reminds Ted to choose the right girl during the weekend as how Indiana Jones choose the Holy Grail.
    • Robin eating a whole wedding cake in "Bedtime Stories" is compared to the egg-eating contest in Cool Hand Luke.
    • The chapters in Slappointment in Slapmarra is similar to the ones in Kill Bill
    • In "Unpause", as Barney's predecessor in his P.L.E.A.S.E. job as being led away, he yells "It's a trap!!" like Princess Leia in ''The Empire Strikes Back."
    • The beginning of the series finale where just before attempting the "High Infinity" high five, Barney and Ted quote from Ghostbusters (1984).
    Barney: See you on the other side, Ray
    Ted: Nice working with you, Dr. Venkman.
  • Slimeball: Darren. Befriends people, sucks up to them, but he's going to turn on you.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Max, the Mother's First Love is never even seen on-screen, but his death is enough for the Mother to swear off dating for a good eight years or so.
  • Snow Means Death: "Vesuvius" ends with a pan out of the porch of the Farhampton Inn in a heavy snow storm immediately after heavy foreshadowing that someone's mother died before her daughter's wedding.
  • Soap Opera Disease: In the series finale, Tracy (the titular Mother) dies six years before Ted told his kids the story. It was never stated if she died of cancer or some degenerative disease.
  • Spot the Thread: Watch carefully in "The Rehearsal Dinner" when Barney arrives at the "lazer-tag" joint; the sign above the building saying it's lazer-tag is clearly covering another sign beneath it, foreshadowing The Reveal that it's actually an ice-skating rink. This would also explain why there's a sign pointing to an ice factory near the front door.
    • In-Universe, we have Robin noticing that Barney got out of his handcuffs.
  • Spy Cat Suit: Robin has a purple catsuit in her "Night Falcon" thing.
  • Stage Money: When Lily orders "the Kennedy Package" from Linus the bartender, the $100 bill she shows him rather obviously does not have a picture of Benjamin Franklin on it. (Ain't hi-def TV wonderful?)
  • Straight Gay: In "Gary Blauman", James reveals that he had cheated on his husband with Gary, to the surprise of others (including Ted, who had thought the two were competing over a girl). Gary never shows any stereotypical behavior.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: The Mother and Ted are shown to have similar tastes.
    • When The Mother meets Robin, she says that as a child, she was a bit of a detective (a la Mosby Boys.)
    • There's also Barney and Robin's Running Gag for this season.
  • Supreme Chef: Loretta's scrambled eggs became a sensation at the hotel. Robin also claimed that her mother made the best scrambled eggs, though this has yet to be proven.
  • Surprise Incest: Barney and Robin thought they were related. They're not.
  • Take That, Us: While the group, sans Robin, is making Canada jokes, Marshall makes one that actually sounds more like a burn on America than Canada.
    What, you're gonna have universal health-care so people don't have to decide between going bankrupt and treating a life-threatening illness?
  • Take Up My Sword: Barney bequeaths his playbook to Kyle and Justin before he goes off to get married.
  • Talking to the Dead: When Louis proposes, The Mother goes to the porch to ask Max if it was alright for her to move on with her life. She says she doesn't expect an answer, but then a wind kicks up she takes "as a yes."
  • Tender Tears: When Ted and Barney realize they just smashed a $600 bottle of scotch.
  • They Do: We knew it was coming, but "The Lighthouse" shows us Ted proposing to the Mother in a flashforward two years from now.
  • Theme Naming: Marshall and Marvin, Lily and Daisy
  • Think Unsexy Thoughts: Marshall does this to pace himself during sex with Lily in "Unpaused", thinking of roadkill, toenail clipping and bugs, then weaning himself back thinking of bugs with boobs.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: "We're Marshmallow and Lilypad, bitch."
  • To Be Continued: "Bass Player Wanted" ends on one when Barney realizes that Marshall is about to slap him. (There wouldn't be another episode until four weeks later.)
  • Tranquil Fury: Lily has a chillingly calm reaction to Marshall telling her he took the offer to become a judge without telling her when they had plans to live in Rome.
  • Troll: Darren apparently lives to ruin peoples' relationships for giggles.
  • Umbrella of Togetherness: The Mother's yellow umbrella is an arc symbol signifying the love of Ted's life and narrator Ted made it clear that had it played a major role in their first encounter, and even before because the umbrella had got lost. Ted meets Tracy the Mother at the train station when it's raining. He comes to talk to her and she encourages him to cover under her umbrella as well.
  • The Unintelligible: Barney when he gets "Jabba drunk".
  • Unrequited Love Switcheroo: Played for Laughs when Lily and Robin finally have a kiss...but Lily found it awkward. Robin, on the other hand, wanted some more.
  • Variations on a Theme Song: The theme song is modified to sound like a children's music box in Episode 11
  • Wedding Finale:
    • The entire final season took place during the weekend that lead to Barney and Robin's wedding.
    • The alternate ending of the last episode ends with snippets of Ted's own, long-awaited, wedding.
  • Wham Episode: "Platonish" is a Whole Episode Flashback to nine months earlier (to the fall of 2012) that looks like it's going to be a lighthearted Breather Episode centering around increasingly difficult "Challenge Accepted"s Barney tried to pull off. Then, it reveals that this is when Barney first met the Mother, probably earlier than any of the Core Five and also reveals that the Mother inspired Barney to come up with "The Robin".
    • "Unpause". We learn that Barney's job was actually an extended Batman Gambit to get back at the guy who stole Shannon from him and we have Marshall and Lily's fight... which takes a massive turn when Marshall uses San Francisco against her, causing Lily to leave the Inn.
    • The 200th episode, How Your Mother Met Me, centers on the Mother and reveals that her boyfriend died in 2005 and she hasn't been able to get over him since. Also, in terms of the wedding itself, The Stinger has Ted noticing that Barney escaped their room.
    • "Daisy" is one in the form of Lily and Marshall learning she's pregnant again and that they name their daughter Daisy.
    • The finale itself: Robin and Barney get divorced after three years. The Mother, named Tracy dies of some unspecified illness. The kids notice that the story was more about Robin than Tracey, and they deduce that Ted still has feelings for her. With their consent he goes to ask her out on a date.
  • Wham Line: From the end of "Last Time in New York"
    Barney: I saw you and Robin at the carousel.
    • "Unpause" has a weird example in that Marshall brings up something we already knew (heck, it was a plot point even), but it's a Wham Line none the less because no one expected him to go there, and it changes the course of Lily and Marshall's fight.
      Marshall: broke up with me and moved to San Francisco.
      • The Stinger also has one (keep in mind, Barney had mentioned that one Trevor Hudson would be the ring bearer):
        Animal Keeper: (while pulling a chain) C'mon Trevor Hudson, it's feeding time. (cue a growling noise as we zoom in on the chain)
      • Though it turns out that the ring bear is actually a cute cub which make Robin go "awww".
    • In "Sunrise", when Ted and Robin are discussing his five best girlfriends.
      Ted: There is no top five, there's just a top one, and it's you.
    • In "Vesuvius", the wham's not so much from the line (not yet, anyway) as it is from Ted's reaction:
      The Mother: What mother is going to miss her daughter's wedding?
      • After the finale it appears that The Mother may have already been diagnosed with her illness at the time and Ted was thinking about how she wouldn't be at their children's potential weddings in the future. The foreshadowing was about herself, not about their wedding.
    • The final episode:
      Robin: We got divorced.
      • From the same episode, these words from Ted's daughter.
      Penny: Mom's been gone for 6 years now.
      • No, right before that...
      Penny: No. This is a story about how you're totally in love with Aunt Robin.
  • Wham Shot: Two in "Platonish": the women Barney tries to make a play on at the pharmacy being The Mother and Barney starting to write out "The Robin" in the Playbook.
    • Actually, anyone other than Ted meeting The Mother seems to be this trope in a reoccurring form, as her being on Lily's train in "The Locket" and her being the on to pick up Marshall in "Bass Play Wanted" also counts.
    • The Stinger for "How Your Mother Met Me" reveals that Barney, who's still drunk, has sneaked away the night before his wedding.
    • In "Vesuvius", Ted breaking into tears in 2024, after the mother asks what mother would miss her daughter's wedding, hinting that someone's mother died before their wedding.
    • Lily's positive pregnancy test in "Daisy".
  • What The Damn Hell, Hero?: Almost word-for-word what Daphne says when she finds out Marshall took the judge job without talking to Lily.
    • Also quoted almost word-for-word by Marshall when Daphne (after trying to get Marshall to quit pursuing the judge job) reveals she is actually a lobbyist for a big oil company.
    • Marshall again in "Unpause" to Lily, specifically when he calls her out on actions back in Season 1.
    • When Ted can't find Robin's locket before leaving to Farhampton, he calls his ex-girlfriends, Stella and Victoria, to see if they have it. Both of them call him out that giving the locket to her would ruin the wedding due to his unrequited feelings to her.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Older Ted fills in on what happened to several of the show's minor characters in "Gary Blauman".
    • Carl now runs MacLaren's as a family business.
    • Jeannette was arrested for sending jars of urine to Val Kilmer (no, not that Val Kilmer), but manages to avoid prison by getting psychological help with Kevin...whom she then romantically hooks up with and they're now living in Poughkeepsie.
    • Kevin romantically hooks up with his patient Jeannette.
    • Ranjit now owns the limo service.
    • Patrice is the host of a call-in advice radio show, whom Robin sometimes calls for advice...and still screams at.
    • William Zabka became the youngest winner of the American Humanities medal for Literature.
    • Zoe still stages protests for noble causes that don't always end well for her.
    • Scooter marries Lily's doppelganger Stripper Lily
    • Stripper Lily marries Scooter.
    • Blitz became a gambling addict but finally kicked the habit after a three day bender at the same slot machine...only to see the next customer on that slot machine hit the jackpot on the first pull. "Aw, man...
    • Blah Blah we don't get an explanation (due to Future!Ted not knowing) but we do get her name: Carol.
    • Sandy Rivers lost his job as a news anchor for his sexual harassment, then became a news anchor in Moscow...where he's still a sexually harassing pig.
    • James got back together with Tom.
    • Gary Blauman, who was kicked out of the wedding, invited back, but was so disgusted he swore never to see them again and drove off drove right back, apologized, and was at the wedding after all.
  • Wild Card: Barney and Robin are worried that someone might ruin the wedding. Signs point to Ted.
    • Though Ted already let go of his feelings with Robin on the morning of the wedding day and thanks to the Mother's intervention to stop Robin from running away, the wedding went on smoothly.
  • Wimp Fight: Barney vs James in "Mom and Dad".
  • Writers Have No Sense of Scale: Marshall was only five miles away from the hotel. Even with luggage and a child, a man of his stature should have been able to handle that just fine. Even if he couldn't due to exhaustion or fatigue, the car ride with the Mother should have only taken a few minutes tops.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: When Justin and Kyle see Barney shambling up the road in "Sunrise," Kyle turns and asks if they're in a zombie movie.
  • You Just Told Me: In "The End of the Aisle", Ted gives Barney Robin's lost locket and tells him to say he found it. After he does, Robin confronts Ted, saying that she knows Ted found the locket because Barney couldn't tell her how he found it. As Ted comes up with a story, Robin reveals that Barney did make up a story; she just wanted Ted to confess.
  • You Owe Me: Ted, Barney and Robin owe a "no questions asked" to Marshall. So does Lily to Ted.
  • Your Cheating Heart: James cheated on his husband Tom with Gary Blauman, though they did get back together.


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