Follow TV Tropes


Headscratchers / How I Met Your Mother

Go To

How I Met Your Mother

The usage of First-Person Writing is NOT awesome.

WARNING: Potential unmarked spoilers ahead.

    open/close all folders 

    Barney's Conquests 
  • Does anyone else think it pretty unfeasible that Barney can reliably pick up girls from the same not-particularly-crowded bar on a daily basis for years on end?
    • Of course it is, it is a tv show, don't try to apply realistic logic to it.
    • And of course there's the catch-all excuse of Ted not being a very reliable narrator. He could easily be exaggerating Barney's sex life.
    • It's also entirely possible that the bar is pretty popular in its own right, but the girls Barney hooks up with never come back to that particular bar (out of shame, or not liking the atmosphere there, etc), ensuring a steady stream of new potential targets for Barney.
    • Also worth remembering that Marshall calculated Barney's success rate at only just over 1%.

    Marvin's Guardianship 
  • How come Lily and Marshall can appoint three unrelated people as Marvin's guardians in the event of their death? I'm not familiar with American law, but is it like any court would allow an arrangement which would force a child to keep moving between three homes, when it's easier and more logical to just pick one? Because at that point he would have never lived with any of them before so it's not like there would be a parental/filial relationship that would give any of them certain rights.
    • Perhaps it's in sequential order, like if the first one is unavailable, it will go to the second, ditto for the second, it will go the third. Granted, this kinda goes against the point the episode made, but at least it's more plausible.
    • Maybe Marshall just figured that Future!Ted, Future!Robin, and Future!Barney would worry about it.
      • Well, Barney and Robin just got married, so that simplifies things. But, it would be sequential, much like a similar, early episode of Two and a Half Men, where Alan mentions who would take care of Jake if Alan died after Judith.
    • Marshall and Lily lied to the three of them. One of them is the 'real' Godparent, but they didn't want to upset the other two, so they made some crap up about them all being Godparents.gran
    • The number of godparents is entirely up to the parents. Many royal families have multiple godparents so it's not unheard of.
      • But the point was who gets custody of the kids in the event of Marshall and Lily's death. "Three-way tie" isn't an acceptable solution.
      • Well one never knows what could happen in the future, Ted or Barney or Robin could go bankrupt or otherwise aren't capable of raising a kid. This gives Marvin more options.
      • Which, again, is defeating the purpose. The point is to eliminate said options so that there's a clear guardian it anything should happen to Marshall and Lily. As much as they trust their friends, it's not the sort of thing they should risk being muddied. Again, the point is that there won't be a lapse in guardianship of Marvin. The last thing they want is "more options."
    • This also raises the question of why Robin, who has previously and repeatedly expressed a desire to not have kids, and continues that way even after Symphony of Illumination (being more upset about the lack of her ability to make a choice about it than the lost opportunity), would even care about all this.

    The Wedding Bride Defamation 
  • Why did Ted not sue Tony for making "The Wedding Bride"? I'm not a lawyer, but Marshall is. Even if it's not illegal to make a ninety minute movie totally taking the piss out of a guy with a wholly fucking biased opinion, there should have at least been a scene where Ted asks Marshall if he could do anything about the film.
    • Wholeheartedly agreed. Plus, didn't one of the actors actually call the character "Ted Mosby" at one point? Pretty sure that counts as slander, and Ted could sue Tony's ass off for that, as he has several witnesses to testify for him, as well as a best friend who's a lawyer.
      • I hate to do it, but I've got to cite Unreliable Narrator here. Ted was listening for Ted Mosby, so he heard it. I really do doubt the actors would say Ted Mosby without asking some questions, and no one else heard it. It makes a lot more sense. ~Fun Sunny Dayz
      • But it can't have been entirely in Ted's head, because the rest of the gang watched itnote  and laughed at how much like Ted "Jed Mosley" was.
      • Ted still cares about Stella. Suing Tony would mess up the part of her income that comes from Tony. Yes, she has her own, successful, career as a dermatologist, but still, it's just not the sort of thing that Ted would do.
    • What are his damages? Hurt feelings? The suit would get thrown out of court. The movie never claimed to be a true story, and you can't sue somebody for libel over a work of fiction.
      • His damages would be the damage of his character, I guessnote ? If Ted could show Tony had based the film largely on real events involving him, and not gotten his permission to do so, and gone and portrayed Ted is a super-crappy way, it wouldn't just get "thrown out of court".note  Of course, the above troper was right with Unreliable Narrator, in that the real movie was probably only barely based on events, with his memory noticing and blowing things all out of proportion. This is Ted we're talking about here. ~Grimace
      • Actually you can sue for libel in fiction, if you can prove that the fictional character is so obviously meant to be you or explicitly based on you. It is difficult to prove, and there is the unreliable narrator issue, but if it was as blatant as Ted showed he could have won a suit easily.
    • Also from a practical viewpoint, even if Ted found a lawyer willing to take his case, and even if the case had merit, he'd be putting himself out there in public, claiming that the A-Hole in the movie was based on him, and demanding royalties for a movie he didn't make. Ted wouldn't want to endure that sort of negative exposure. Who would?
      • I think he would probably be able to find a lawyer to take the case on. This was, apparently, the fifth highest-grossing films of all time, and it was, Unreliable Narrator aside, based entirely on Ted and Stella's relationship. You'd have thought that journalists would be asking about the inspiration for the story, and it wouldn't have been difficult to find out that the screenwriter's wife/girlfriend was named Stella and had previously left an architect at the altar. Frankly, the whole thing would have been a much bigger deal in real life. ~FELH 2
      • Would it? People write what they know all the time, and the movie was probably a very exaggerated dramatization based around the premise of "Ex-wife is about to marry another guy, I want her back." Everything else can be chalked up to embellishment, coincidence, or Unreliable Narrator.
      • Like someone mentioned above: Ted may be aware of the Streisand Effect. If I remember correctly, he initially hopes that everyone will forget the movie pretty soon, and is quite annoyed after it becomes a mega hit and thus small talk topic # 1 for quite some time. ~Lobster Magnus
      • It's definitly defemation of character. I literally just saw this episode tonight and it bugged me to no end that Tony felt the need to write the movie even though he and Ted seemed to get on quite well given the situation in season 3/4. Unofrutnately it seems Ted has to simply ignore the film, while the character is meant to be him - the film itself is laughably bad and Rule of Funny is the only thing that makes it popular. I think by the end, as previous tropers have suggested, Ted wouldn't be the guy to sue - and at the episode's finish he's accepted his emotional baggage and no longer cares. ~Cin
    • "wholly fucking biased opinion". Yeah, that's what opinions are.
  • In relation to the "Wedding Bride", Ted gets overly upset at what Tony flanderized him to be. Yet, when you look at it Tony's way, Ted is the jerk. In Tony's mind, Ted stole Stella from him, and so he obviously has made Ted out to be the villain, like Ted has made Tony. If Tony was the main character of the story, we would have thought Ted was a jerk instead.
    • Maybe, but still, the fact is this: Stella was no longer involved with Tony. Ted was being a respectable guy and was trying to be nice to Tony, and Tony stole Stella from him. I think Ted should make his own film from his point of view.
    • Nobody "stole" Stella. She's not a blue french horn or a yellow umbrella. Stella made the choice to ditch Ted and go back to Tony of her own free will.
    • Even from the point of view that you can steal a woman (which is pretty prevalent), you can't make the argument that Ted stole her. Tony and Stella had been broken up for at least five years. If it's immoral to date any girl who has had a boyfriend in the last five years then... well that's just stupid.
      • Before someone cites Barney and Robin's relationship angering Ted, Tony and Ted had no pre-existing relationship so it is not as though Ted is betraying Tony by dating his ex...
    • I was just surprised that Tony freaked out and made such a vicious, slanderous, and, yes, incorrect movie the way he did. It seemed rather out-of-nowhere given his previous characterisation as a pretty nice guy.
      • Me too—isn't Tony responsible for getting Ted the professor job? I'm inclined to think it's a combination of Unreliable Narrator Ted and Tony taking dramatic license.
      • Particularly as in her subsequent appearances, Stella feels incredibly guilty about leaving Ted. Yet she just let Tony make a film portraying Ted in such a negative light?
    • You also can't escape the fact that Stella walked out on Ted the day before their wedding. As romantic as it may seem, nothing Ted did before that can even be comparable in jerkassery.
      • Not to get nitpicky, but she left him the day OF the wedding. She was shown escaping on the ferry in her wedding dress. Even worse.
    • All of this makes sense when you see it from Ted's point of view. Imagine if Tony had met Robin and wanted to marry her, and seeing Robin with someone else made Ted realize how much he wanted her, and he made the grand romantic gesture of confessing his feelings to her before it was too late and she married Tony. There are always two sides to every story, and from Tony's side Ted is the villain. That makes perfect sense. Doesn't mean Ted can't be angry about it, but it's not outrageous from Tony's point of view.
      • Hrm. That is exactly what happened when Robin was dating Don (for both Ted and Barney). And they were portrayed as huge jackasses. Granted, a large part of it was the way they were going about it but they were portrayed as in the wrong just for wanting Robin back because she was dating someone new.
      • It is outrageous, however, when you remember that Ted saved Tony and Stella's relationship. One would think that meant Tony would give Ted some respect. There's also the previously mentioned fact that, up until that point, Tony was portrayed as a decent guy who harboured Ted no ill will.
    • Is everybody forgetting its a movie. How much do you think came from Tony and how much was Executive Meddling ?. Come on, bigwigs with a romantic comedy accepting a story where the hero isn't so heroic and the lovable 'bad guy' gets his heart broken for a feel-good summer movie? Try again Tony.
      • This would make sense if the movie wasn't filled with incredibly specific, personal slights against Ted that only Tony & Stella would've known, like Ted falling asleep during sex or the orange kangaroo.
      • So...less Executive Meddling and more Tony writing to the Lowest Common Denominator. Tony started out with a pretty accurate script, and no one would buy it. So he revised it a couple of times until it became absolute (sellable) crap. He probably never "rewrote" his script, just changed it, therefore, his mostly accurate script ended up buried under the schlock.
      • The biggest issue for me was that neither Tony nor Stella, despite both being on apparently good terms with Ted, called him to warn him that this film was coming out, and that he didn't come out particularly well in it. In that episode, Ted refers to Stella as a "horrible woman", but in the time we've seen her, Stella - while clearly a selfish person - doesn't come across as the kind of person that would let Ted's life be ruined like that.
    • And let's not forget how it's implied Stella didn't want Tony at the wedding because she already had feelings for him and knew she wouldn't be able to resist leaving Ted if Tony was there. If Ted didn't go against Stella's "no exes" policy then Tony would've never gotten his second chance with Stella and Stella probably would've left Ted after getting married anyways given how serious her lingering feelings for Tony were, so they should both be grateful for Ted, and yet this movie thing still happened.
  • No one has mentioned the fact that Tony went out of his way to make amends with Ted because he felt so guilty about what happened, and that's how he eventually got his job as a professor. I just don't understand why Tony would now want to slander Ted (especially after Ted helped them make up during that same episode) and why Stella would be telling Tony such intimate details of her and Ted's relationship. It's like she is talking smack about Ted to Tony, but why?
    • Maybe it went something like this: Ted convinced Tony to take Stella back, they made up, but Tony is still a little wary since he knows how close Ted and Stella were. To compensate, whenever Stella talks about Ted, she only says bad stuff in order to make Tony feel better (seriously, to anyone in a relationship. Try telling your significant other anything about an ex other than "oh man, you're so much better than him/her!").
  • It's probably pretty possible that most of the movie was written before Tony got back together with Stella, as sort of a fantasy for Tony. In fact, given the speed with which it became a movie it's almost certain. As such, a lot of what Tony wrote (the basic plot, Ted being a jerk) was already in place before Ted really solidified himself as a good guy in Tony's mind.
    • Much of it would have to have written after Tony & Stella got back together, because so much of it is based on stuff Tony would not have known had Stella not told him.
  • Most everyone here seems to be forgetting that we are hearing about the movie solely from Ted's point of view. He was at one of his lowest points when he saw the movie: Still getting over Stella ditching him on their wedding day, having trouble finding a new girl friend, job troubles. It's possible that the movie was actually good and treated all the characters fairly, but Ted was so shocked by having a movie based on what happened to him that he twisted it in his mind to make the film seem like it was mocking him.
    • I agree. Ted probably never watched the film between 2010 and 2030, so I doubt that he remembers anything about it right. He does remember that the movie was a major hit, and I believe it's true. I suspect that at least one of the following is correct: 1) Except for the name, Jed Mosley wasn't based on Ted. 2) The movie didn't depict Jed as negatively as Ted remembers. 3) The movie told the truth - Tony was obviously the right guy for Stella, but ted never acknowledged that.
    • And I might be mistaken but because Ted's name was changed in the film, he can't sue for defamation. The film depicts a fictional character inspired by Ted, but it's not a biopic or anything that could encourage the public to think this was a representation of him. Defamation covers: information that affects someone's good name, is presented in public form and is completely untrue. And if the information was believed to be true when it was put out there, it's a murkier issue. The plot doesn't affect Ted's good name, because the character does not have the same name as him and it's presented as a work of fiction. A figure in a biopic can sue if they feel they're not being depicted faithfully - Lana Tisdel sued the producers of Boys Don't Cry for depicting her as an alcoholic, but they used her real name and dramatised the events as they happened. ~Fearlessnikki

    Ted's New Place 
  • How come Ted really wants a new place to stay after he & Robin move out and Marshall and lily take the apartment. Didn't he buy another house in season 5 as a fixer-upper project?
    • So, he's probably still fixing it up. There was a very long list of wildly expensive things that needed repairing. Also, if you watch the end of the episode Home Wreckers, the first thing Ted displays in the house is the Mother's yellow bus which basically means his house isn't liveable until some point after he's met the Mother.
    • While I agree about the "house isn't livable" thing, just because the bus went in first in that montage doesn't mean that it really was the first thing he put in. It's just that (at the moment) it was an iconic item.
    • Plus during Hurricane Irene a tree fell through a huge part of the house.

    Gary Blauman 
  • On season 3, "The Chain of Screaming", Marshall says that it's great to fantasize about telling his boss off and then quit, but nobody ever does it. Barney then says "Gary Blaumen did it. A guy I used to work with. The guy is a legend now." Then he tells about how Blaumen was getting screamed at and then he screamed back at his boss, attempted to pee on the table, and quit. He ends the story with all the horrible things that happened to him afterwards, and finishes by saying that he died. After that Blauman continued to show up on the show, and on season 9 there is a whole episode about him showing up at Barney & Robin's wedding. Does anyone have an explanation? The actor that plays Blaumen is Cobie Smulders' real life husband, so that is probably one of the reasons he keeps coming back, but that still doesn’t explain it.
  • Considering Barney's proclivity for embellishing the truth, it should not be surprising that Barney would say that a coworker attempted to pee on the desk and then went on to die.
    • Barney was trying to talk Marshall out of telling off his boss. The whole point of his story was to tell him how badly it could turn out if he did so. Making up a story with an "and then he died" ending was the perfect way to do this.

    Marshall's Fiero 
  • If Marshall had a strict no food/no drink rule for the Fiero, how do you explain the Tantrum (TANTRUM!) and beef jerky binges they embarked on during Marshall and Ted's roadtrips to Chicago?
    • Were they ever shown drinking/eating in the car? I don't remember them being shown doing that, but still, it's a good point, especially since Marshall won't even allow groceries in the car (or bottled water and granola bars, even if they weren't being eaten). The only possible explanation is that... I dunno, those roadtrips are special and exempt from the rules? It's weak but the best I have.
      • Maybe Tantrum messed with Marshall's memory and he had so much of it to drink that he couldn't remember the rule.
      • Alternatively, maybe he and Ted are the only ones exempt from the rule. Or maybe he didn't have the rule then, but decided on it when they were older and more mature (maybe even because they spilled something on one of their roadtrips, and it cost a lot of money to get cleaned.)
      • Well, the rule was apparently made back when Marshall spilled all those coffee cups over the Fiero, back before he met Ted. Maybe he just considers the road trips a special exception? Plus, they were constantly travelling and only seemed to stop to switch drivers and probably use the loo. They probably thought getting out and going somewhere to eat would waste time on their trip.
      • Remember, though, the Fiero was totalled in the first season; the rule might not have (TANTRUM) been transferred to the new car.
      • That doesn't work since they specifically mentioned earlier roadtrips where they would eat only jerky and drink Tantrum.
      • Tantrum and jerky probably don't count as food and drink in Marshall's head

    Robin's Group of Friends 
  • In the pilot, Robin has a group of girlfriends when she meets Ted. Why, after meeting him, does she never see them again?
    • She sees the one who got dumped in the pilot again in Zip, Zip, Zip after she got dumped yet again. As for why she never saw them past the first season though, well, she had only been in New York a short while. It makes sense that once she started dating Ted and his group became her best friends, they slowly replaced those other friends she may not have been all that close with. In short, they probably just drifted apart. And hey, who's to say they don't meet up for some coffee on occasion?
      • Lily, actually. Apparently Robin has no girlfriends besides Lily, as none of them were invited to some party Lily threw for her (either a bachelorette party or birthday of some sort).
    • The fact that Robin was still new to New York it is entirely possible that her group of female friends were place holders until she found real friends. Robin doesn't seem like the kind of person who has any qualms about abandoning a friend group for better friends if they get too needy.
      • The friends could have been coworkers or acquaintances rather than true friends. Since the pilot, Robin has changed jobs multiple times, traveled, and shifted to different working hours so it is entirely plausible that she could have lost touch with them. She has also gone through a couple of depressive spirals after break-ups, and would probably not feel comfortable opening up to them about her father as she does with Ted's group. Satellite friends will eventually fall away as years go by.
    • In Woo Girls, we learn she does have a separate group of female friends that she likes to party with.

    The Blue French Horn 
  • How did Robin still have the blue french horn in episode 5.21 "Twin Beds" if it was given back to the restaurant Ted stole it from in episode 2.22 "Something Blue"?
    • Remember that earlier in "Twin Beds," Ted stole the horn again (he and Barney even fight over it briefly). Presumably, they haven't returned it yet, explaining why it was sitting in the corner of that room at the end of the episode.
      • Which explains why it isn't hung up any more like it used to be; Ted and Barney's fight robbed the horn of its sentimentality.

    The Hot-Crazy Scale 
  • Vicky Mendoza's progress on the Hot-Crazy Scale. Why do losing ten pounds and getting a boob job make her less crazy but not hotter? It's really not very important, but it's such a basic mistake.
    • He says later on that Blah Blah was getting crazier but no hotter. So obviously you can get hotter and it somehow cancels out some craziness. Which would explain why he'd keep dating someone who tried to kill him...
    • Also, stabbing him with a fork make her crazier... and hotter? Never knew Barney was such a masochist...
      • Really? You clearly haven't been paying attention. The dude's got problems.
    • Barney was just giving examples of the type of things that would happen, he never correlates specific events with specific parts of the zig-zag pattern.
      • Barney never said that a girl stabbing him with a fork made her hotter, only that it moved her over on the crazy axis. A boob job or gaining/losing weight would move her on the hot axis. Watch it again if you doubt.
    • Since the first time I saw it, the evolution of the scale seemed off. As in, what Barney did not really correspond to the evolution on the graph he pointed to, although it looked like it was meant to be correct.
    • I think it was just a mistake. A pretty stupid one, but a mistake. It's also mentioned on the IMDB page as a goof.

    Everyone's Bad Habits 
  • In "Spoiler Alert", everyone realizes they have crazy bad habits. These habits have all disappeared again by Slapsgiving. You even see Lily eating, with absolutely no ridiculously loud chewing. What happened?
    • Unreliable Narrator. Those habits only showed up in that episode because that's what the episode was about. And, honestly, didn't the loud chewing seem to be a bit of an exaggeration?
    • Actually, wait a minute... Right at the end, Future!Ted says something about how they're all such good friends that they can forget the habits again. Since they've forgotten them, they don't actually appear again - just as they didn't appear before everyone realised they existed.
    • Lily and Marshall I'll not defend, but Ted still corrects people, Robin still misuses 'literally', and Barney uses Catch Phrases and goes high-pitched and sing-song. It's nowhere NEAR as prevalent as in that episode, make no mistake, but that's because those idiosyncrasies were the point of the episode. It would be really annoying if they continued to use their habits to that degree in normal, run-of-the-mill episodes.
      • But that makes it worse. Everybody's habits still make an appearance, when you think about it... except for Lily's. Why doesn't her habit remain when everybody else's do? (Marshall also did the singing thing in Sweet Taste of Liberty)
      • The other's traits all show up again because they're funny and non-intrusive. Keeping Lily's around would shoot eating scenes dead.
      • More importantly, Ted is telling a story. He's not going to pause his story in the middle to say, "and then Lily continued chewing really loudly." It was a part he hadn't mentioned yet in the weird narrative that is the show, and so he backtracked to fill it in, just like he does in almost every other episode.

    Barney's Brother James 
  • Why does Barney never mention his brother James or his nephew? He seemed really excited to be an uncle, and then was again when Marshall and Lily were considering having a kid. So why does he never mention the kid? Show the gang some photos or something? NPH's Twitter implied Wayne Brady is going to make an appearance in Season Six, so hopefully this addresses it.
    • Because they are not an active part of Barney's life. Barney spends most of his nights going to bars while his brother has a husband and a baby with whom he spends his time. It isn't unusual for real-life adult siblings to spend months or even years away from each other, especially if one of them is married. This doesn't mean that Barney doesn't care for James or his nephew—Barney would be at his brother's side at a moment's notice if something bad happened—but there's little reason for him to bring up his brother in public.
      • James does not live in Manhattan, he lives in a more suburban area even prior to his marriage meaning that his visits are few and far between. And despite the closeness of the brothers they may not see each other frequently.

    Barney's Interest on Being Ted's Best Friend 
  • Keeping in mind I've only just finished Season 3 so maybe this has been answered - are we ever given a reason as to why Barney is so fanatically invested in being Ted's best friend? Now I'm not doing this to roundabout bash Ted, who I think is a pretty good guy in the context of the show, but Barney repeatedly goes above and beyond the call to secure and keep their friendship. Considering it all started because they met randomly at the bar and Barney proceeded to latch himself onto Ted like a Barniclenote , Barney's put a lot of emotion into it.
    • Barney is needy and has abandonment issues.
    • It's actually a semi-common sitcom trope for men to place really weird importance on the title "best friend." That and best man. Do we have this one yet?
    • Barney claims that he wants to teach Ted how to live and give him the benefit of his view of the world. However, there appears to greater complexity to it than that. Ted represents a completely different persona to the one Barney adopts (and I use the term adopts intentionally as Barney has been shown to be more complex than he first appears). He is the monogamous romantic to Barney's womaniser. In some ways, Ted has a lot more in common with the man Barney was when he was younger before he had his heart broken. It's only natural that Barney would be protective of him, especially when you consider the fact that he really doesn't seem to have any other friends outside the group (and inside the group he never seemed quite as close with Marshal and Lily).
    • Personally I chalk it up to this having to do with Unreliable Narrator Ted wanting both Marshall and Barney to want to be his best friend, and be the one they're fighting over. In actuality none of Barney's insisting that he is Ted's best friend might have taken place.

    The Terms 'Aunt' and 'Uncle' 
  • A minor complaint: Future Ted always talks to his children about "Aunt Robin, Uncle Barney, Aunt Lily, and Uncle Marshall", yet they aren't his brothers and sisters and therefore, wouldn't be the childrens' aunt or uncles. Maybe it's different in some parts of the US but the only times I've heard people being referred to as an uncle or aunt is if they were really biological uncles or aunts.
    • Well, while not an American, I call my mother's friends "Aunt" and "Uncle", and we're not related at all. It's a term of affection used for very close friends. At least, over here, and I would assume that there are people in America and, indeed, all over the world who do the same.
      • The East Coast perhaps?
      • I am American, and will confirm that "uncle" and "aunt" are indeed used as terms of endearment in this fashion.
    • Actually an official trope: Honorary Uncle.
    • Godparents are often referred to as "Aunt" and "Uncle". Considering that, judging from some of Future Ted's comments, the group stays close in the future, it's pretty reasonable to assume that Ted would bestow such titles on them.
    • There are theories that Barney and Robin marry, and that Ted marries one of their sisters (both Barney and Robin have college-aged sisters), thus making them his children's aunt and uncle. And it's incredibly likely that Lily and Marshall would be their godparents.
    • Ted explicitly says in one episode that he considers Marshall and Barney as his brothers. Those two, together with Lily and Robin, were "the 4 people he loved the most" (at that point in time, anyway). So I guess the terms 'Aunt' and 'Uncle' show that those 5 people considered themselves to be very close like a family.
    • Many American adults will use the term aunt or uncle to refer to a very close friend to their children often to the point that the children may not even know that they aren't actually related. Ted even calls Marvin the kid's cousin despite no genetic relation they were probably raised as being closer to Marshall and Lily and Barney and Robin than they actually were to their biological cousins if any exist.
    • In my case, I'am my best friends daughters "uncle" despite the fact that I'm actually their Godfather. True best friends are family.
    • Really, the question becomes why Tes calls them "Aunt Lily" and "Aunt Robin" but then mentions "my sister Heather".

    Barney's Goal of 200 
  • When Barney was nearing his goal of 200 women, Ted (and the rest of the gang) reacted with disgust saying that this was 'too many'. Yet in the latest episode when Barney mentions his updated count (236) Ted responds "Really? Respect!". When did this become okay for him?
    • I think they disapprove of Barney's absurdly high number, and should be dipped in bleach a couple of times a day, but (the guys, at least) still respect that he's actually managed to sleep with that many women.
    • I think it's also to do with seeing a list of the women vs him just saying a number in passing. Somehow seeing confirmation of it would be more disgusting.
  • This one is easy. When Ted saw the '199 women list', he was with Robin, and didn't want to be seen as pervy in front of her. But when it's just Ted and Barney, Ted congratulates Barney because he's actually quite impressed at the feat.
    • False. When Barney first reveals that he is about to sleep with his 200th woman, they are alone. Ted reacts with disgust. Maybe later, he was impressed that Barney had racked up an additional 36 in the relatively short time since.
    • Actually, they always had a combination of disgusted/impressed. As soon as Barney hit 200, Ted said "You should be proud... you should be tested, but you should be proud."

    Lily and Marshall's Apartment Floor 
  • (Just a note, I'm just finishing season 3.) Wait, so...the realtor left out dealbreaking information like a floor at that extreme of an angle and refused to explain what "Dowisetrepla" meant, and they stick with the apartment? Something about that has to break the law. Marshall never thinks of suing the realtors?
    • For what? The realtor didn't "refuse" to tell them. In an attempt to not look like idiots/to look cool, Marshall and Lily pretended to know what "Dowisetrepla" meant. And they were physically in the apartment when they bought it. If they didn't notice the floor, it's their fault.
    • What I want to know about the apartment is how did Lily, who has a degree in Art, not notice that there is that much slope in the room. I know that this is played for laughs, but with that much tilt, either the furniture that was in there was shimmed or legs shaved to counter the angle, or it is just a convenient plot device/hole.
      • Broad Strokes / Unreliable Narrator, as usual. The stench from the waste treatment plant is never mentioned again. Nor is the crippling debt Marshall and Lily should be in, either.
      • Sure it is, it's just retconned to be less dire. Marshall and Lily's financial troubles and Marshall's ensuing job hunt make up a good number of season three subplots.
      • Actually the stench is brought up in passing once or twice in future seasons as well.
    • I don't know about US laws, but in Australia it's generally assumed that the buyer will get a builder to inspect the place, and to have all offers subject to the building report. If they choose not to do so, the agent is not liable to tell them, unless they actively ask, which they did not: they can't lie, but there's very few pieces of information they're required to volunteer. There's been a few cases of people buying houses with serious structural flaws, and being stuck with it because they didn't get a builder. So, it's plausible if the laws are similar and Lily and Marshall don't think the process through, which seemed pretty clearly the case.
      • It's pretty much the same in the US - it's considered common practice to get a house inspected before you buy it, which is why Ted suddenly buying that hellhole of a house was treated as idiotic by the entire gang and the inspector. Lot of spur-of-the-moment decisions for these guys tend to bite them in the ass.
    • Most New York apartments don't have level floors. In NYC level floors are something that most residents don't think about. If it has four walls, is rodent free and doesn't cost so much that you can't eat then you often don't question something like unlevel floors until it is too late. It is actually almost more surprising that they'd spend the money to get it fixed.
    • On that note, why on Earth would they have a sewage treatment plant in the middle of Manhattan? Wouldn't that be not only really expensive for the plant (that's expensive real estate right there), but also very bad news for anyone who lived downwind, as it would tank their property values?
      • Truth in television once again, there are in fact at least two sewage treatment plants in Manhattan. And the property owners avoid having their values brought down by conning idiots into pretending they already know about the plant.

    The Ted/Robin Story 
  • Is it just me, or is Ted/Robin a massive "Shaggy Dog" Story? We're told in the first episode that they don't end up together, yet all of Season One is devoted to Ted pining over Robin, and then Robin pining over Ted, and then having them both get together. Then Season Two is focused on their relationship which, of course, doesn't last: they break up in the last episode. Then they have this weird on-again/off-again thing were they hook up, think about restarting the relationship, and decide they're better off as friends. The worst example is the "Benefits" episode, where they try to have a friends with benefits type thing, which of course doesn't work out, and they go back to being friends with no benefits. As we all know, it was a bold and original idea, that no TV show has ever tackled. At this point it's basically Future Ted bragging to his children that "yeah, your Aunt Robin was once really hot, and I had sex with her so many times. It was awesome." I wouldn't be surprised if they still hooked up occasionally.
    • In reference to the "Benefits" episode, he's clearly trying to teach his kids the lesson that a no-strings attached relationship doesn't work, and they should look for something meaningful.
    • I do not agree. It's clear from the end of the first episode that although Robin and Ted don't end up married, Robin becomes an very important woman in Ted's life, comparable to Lily. Whatever ups and downs their friendship-lives, sex lives, and romantic lives go through Ted and Robin will stay close. That's important to establish. Pairing off Robin and Ted in their doomed romantic relationship allows the characters to understand why they're not good for each other, rather then having the two of them ignore their feelings. I do, however, agree that it's odd for the children to know that their dad and their Aunt Robin had a wild, firey affair.
    • I still find it a "Shaggy Dog" Story sometimes bordering on Shoot the Shaggy Dog since the entire point of the series is to allegedly tell the kids how he met their mother. Spending what amounts to a large part of the story talking about how many times he's hooked up with and pined after their aunt would be a weird thing to tell your kids (especially if they know her), and from an audience standpoint, why should we care at all about the storyline since the outcome has already been spoiled by the narrator? It's a bad idea to dedicate multiple story arcs to a canonically doomed relationship if you don't want your audience rolling their eyes and checking their watches.
    • He specifies in season 2 that he holds a lot of resentment and anger towards his parents for never being able to talk about anything serious with him, to the point where they don't even know how to tell him his grandmother died. He pledges to tell his children everything about how he meets their mother and, obviously, honors that promise. The kids actually do seem pretty interested at a few points throughout S1 and S2 (when they were still filming reactions). He also later states in season 3 that this is also the story of "how I became the person I needed to be in order to meet your Mother".
    • Ted is operating under the idea that he is telling the complete story of how he met his wife, which includes all of the things that happened to him that put him into a position to find her. The main story takes place "today" but he is also elaborating on all the different relationships that shaped him. His time with Robin is apparently the longest and most stable relationship he had besides with "the mother," to the point they even agree to be the "back-up spouse" if they reach 40 and neither are married. It can be assumed when he finally meets "the mother" it will be a combination of all the experiences from the series up to that point that makes her fall in love with him (possibly even him relating all those stories he has to her). A "Shaggy Dog" Story seems to have importance but instead is irrelevant, the Ted/Robin story was made clear from the beginning that no matter what they don't end up together and so it isn't lying to us about it. Exactly how important that relationship is in relation to "the mother" has yet to be revealed.
      • Actually, it has been revealed now: Ted will meet the Mother at Barney and Robin's wedding.
    • The finale has finally given an answer to this question. Apparently, he is telling his kids so much about him and Robin because he is basically asking for their permission to date her six years after The Mother died. Yeah, this is horrible.
    • The finale aside, there's another option - Ted isn't just talking about the event itself of him meeting the mother, but also the circumstances that led him to that point - which makes sense, since everything that brings him and the mother to the same place revolves around Robin's entry into the group - and the events that let him be emotionally ready to meet the mother. Season 1 Ted and the mother would not have worked out. But eight seasons of character development later, he's ready to meet her. Granted, they could have skipped a bit here and there more than they did (after all, Ted and Robin date for over a year but it all takes place in the space of a single season), but it's a show.

    The Self Censors 
  • Is it just me, or is Ted kind of inconsistent about what he tells his kids and what he self-censors? For example, he disguises his dropping the c-bomb on Lily as calling her a "Grinch," but he tells them about the time that he may or may not have had a threesome (and another time, depending on your interpretation of "Woo Girls.") He uses "sandwiches" as a euphemism for smoking pot, but tells them all about the kinky shit that Aunt Lily has inadvertently admitted to being into. (Admittedly, it is funny in a meta way; if Bob Saget were really narrating the story, pretty much every other word out of his mouth would be, ahem, "Grinch.")
    • He's perfectly consistent, in that his self-censorship is "what would be allowed on a prime-time block of a 'family' channel circa the year of the anecdote he was telling". Also, maybe having kids just gave him a hangup over cursing in front of them or mentioning using drugs aside from alcohol and, once, with many disclaimers, cigarettes, but people in the future (or just Ted) are less prudent about talking about sex, a biological thing that every ancestor in existence normally does.
      • The Threesome episode starts with future Ted saying this is a story he'll never tell his kids. Don't remember Lily's kinks, but if it's not a voiceover it probably isn't told to the kids.
    • Perhaps he's a little more self-censoring when the mother's in the room listening than when she isn't.
      • Nope. She's been dead during the entire story.
    • We can safely assume more of the inappropriate/un-self censored things are omitted by Future Ted, unless Future Ted mentions them outright. Also, why would he censor the less inappropriate things about sex in a story about his sex life/relationships? And he would obviously censor drugs, smoking and such because they aren't plot-important (except when they are) and he doesn't want to set a bad example/let his kids have a 'dad smoked/did drugs, so why can't I?' excuse.
      • Then how come during Season 6 Episode 24: "Challenge Accepted," the guy who told Barney and Robin about Intersection Cafe, where Ted is meeting Zoe, he revealed himself to be a drug dealer, probably one of the two drug dealers Zoe was living with as she revealed at the beginning of the episode, he asked if Barney and Robin wanted to buy weed, how come Future Ted didn't interrupt and say, "He said sandwiches." What the heck?
      • He only censors it when someone in the gang has some. It's not that he doesn't want his kids to know weed exists, he just doesn't want them to know that he or their "aunts and uncles" ever smoked it.
      • But what about Season 4 Episode 19: "Murtaugh," where whenever someone quotes Danny Glover's "I'm too old for this s***" line, Future Ted changes it to "I'm too old for this stuff." Can you explain that?
      • He didn't do it every single time. He says it once to frame the joke and once to end the episode. Throughout the middle, plenty of people just say "I'm too old for this stuff" rather than Ted's censoring. It's actually pretty consistent with other cases in the series where Ted will stop mid-sentence to introduce how he's going to refer to someone or something (sandwiches, Blah Blah, Honey, etc) and then it's just used seamlessly the rest of the time.
      • Um, no, he's censoring it every time. They're saying "shit." Ted just isn't stopping the story to censor it. The weird taboo about "Oh no, my kids can't know that the famous actor in an R-Rated movie said "shit" always bugged me.
      • Yes, he's censoring it every time, I misunderstood the objection. I was just saying that he doesn't cut in with "he said 'stuff'" each time, based on my misunderstanding of the objection. For that matter, I still don't see what the problem is here.
      • And you know what also bugs, how are those "sandwiches" drugs, and even if they were drugs, how are Ted, Lily, and Marshall healthily fine after college, wouldn't there be any persistent health problems?
      • They represent marijuana. Smaller ones are joints, larger ones are probably bongs, and "sandwich brownies" needs no explanation. The medical community has no solid conclusions at this point in time, but there's little evidence that there are serious long-term effects of marijuana use after the cessation of use, so there's nothing wrong with them not having resultant persistent health issues.
      • Did you really not get that the sandwiches were marijuana, or do you think that people can't use marijuana in college without having severe and noticeable long-term effects?
      • When I first watched the show, I didn't know it was marijuana they were smoking, I thought they just ate sandwiches a lot, though hints like Marshall mistaking Ted for the dean until Ted himself "ate a sandwich," and Lily and Marshall making fun of a guy's suit because he was wearing it, unaware it had to do with a dead relative should have hit me sooner. But now I know.
  • I find he's a little inconsistent when it comes to sex. Telling his kids about all the casual sex he had with Aunt Robin while they were living together? Fine! Telling them about the time Barney nailed seven chicks in one week? Okey-day. The upstairs neighbors are having loud sex?, they were bagpiping. What the hey?
    • To be fair, the Perfect Week was one of the rare episodes in which someone else narrated. It was told from Barney's POV.
    • Also to be fair, he may have wanted to avoid discussing the amount of sex the two upstairs were having because they were old.
    • Bagpiping was used in place of a cruder word specifically, which wasn't the case in the other situations, similarly to when Barney chants "kiss him!" at the Wedding Bride screening. He's censoring the profanity, not the reference to sex. (Although that isn't consistent with the "tantric bagpiping" comment.)

    Anna in the "Top Four" 
  • How does Anna make it to the Top Four in the bracket? Sure, the gang didn't realize that she didn't know he had lied about his identity, but even with that added layer of deceit... this is pretty standard for Barney. I mean, he lied about his name and occupation and left a form letter. The fact he has a form letter implies that he uses it with some regularity, and lying about his name and occupation isn't even slightly new. At all.
    • The rest of the gang may still have had some hard feelings over that incident, skewing the vote in her favor. Ted probably wasn't happy about someone else using his name when one-night standing someone, and Barney's lying about his identity inadvertently caused Robin to freak out and Lily to lose a bunch of money bribing a bouncer to track him and Anna down.
    • In the DVD Commentary for that episode, the creators note what Barney did to the Final Four girls is pretty tame compared to most of eliminated girls we hear about (except abandoning Holly in the woods), but they had to get to the "girls who've been on the show before", of whom Anna was one.
    • Just an excuse for

    The Murder Room 
  • In the episode As Fast As She Can, Ted is asked to design what is described as a "murder room." The psychopath who is requesting Ted's help even leaves and causes somebody off camera to scream bloody murder. Ted talks to his friends about this, but their is no indication that he went to the police. I know, it's a sitcom. And yes, on it's own it's a very funny scene. But it's a black comedy joke. How I Met Your Mother is not a black comedy. It's a romance. And the rest of the episode is about Ted finally being able to forgive Stella and Tony and admit that he really wants to be married and be loved by someone. It's a very emotional episode, which just makes the darkly comic serial killer jokes even less funny. It's so not in the style of the series and all the character's lack of concern over the matter is possibly more horrifying than the killer. For the rest of the episode, even though Ted is making life-changing decisions, all I could think was "Lord, when did Brett Easton Ellis start writing for this show?"
    • Isn't it HIM screaming off-screen, to show the volume the 'laundry room' needs to muffle?
    • At least in the Spanish dub, it was suggested that the psycho wanted a hard S&M dungeon, so it was gross enough but not illegal.
      • I'd be interested to see how they redubbed the "OH MY GOD IT'S A MURDER HOUSE" freakout at Mc Claren's in relation to this...
      • "OH MY GOD, IT'S A TORTURE CHAMBER!", I think.
    • One of the features of the show is Ted as the Unreliable Narrator. So telling the story twenty years later it might get heavily exaggerated when at the time all he had was creepy vibe. This is pretty much a handwave excuse for any issue in the series.
    • Despite what we like to think, most of Hollywood is not made up of tropers. I bet they don't agonize as much over what style of comedy (dark or romantic) their own show "should" be. Especially for such a throwaway bit.
    • Isn't it the murder guy laughing insanely in the "laundry room"?

    Ted's Kids 
  • The show is on its sixth season. Exactly how long have Ted's kids been listening to him talk? And why doesn't their mother ever interrupt him?
    • It's become obvious that the show has much more detail than what Future!Ted is actually telling the kids. It's (somewhat) plausible that that expansion is actually ludicrous and that telling the story to the kids hasn't been going on for very long.
    • Comic-Book Time is probably the best answer.
    • Maybe it's been divided into multiple sessions? As for why their mother never interrupts, it's probably because Ted, being his obsessive, pedantic self, has asked her that he be allowed to tell the entire story by himself. She'll probably finally get her turn to talk in the last episode.
      • Definitely multiple sessions. IIRC, the children complained at the beginning of season 2 that he had been telling the story for a year.
      • I don't know about the multiple sessions. The kids are shown wearing the same clothing in every episode, except the first I think, which implies a single sitting. Also, I think their words were to the effect of, "It feels like a year."
    • Answered Here.
    • Crunching the numbers, the entire series (at about 23 minutes an episode and 208 episodes total) is 79 hours and 43 minutes long. This may not be entirely accurate for Ted's kids, though, because Ted tells the story in "Vesuvius" to the Mother, and another couple were told from Barney's perspective (like the episode "Of Course" where he jumped into the river). But the kids have definitely been on that couch for at least three days.
    • There was also the episode where Robin talks to her "kids" and, I think, an episode narrated with Marshall somewhere, in which Future Ted isn't the narrator.

    The Mermaid Theory 
  • In "The Mermaid Theory" (season 6, episode 11), Future!Ted mentions how Robin and Marshall never hung around alone together. The question is, didn't they hang out, just the two of them, in "Little Minnesota" (Marshall introduces her to the theme bar he goes to, gets her kicked out for being Canadian, then introduces her to the Canada-themed bar)?
    • That doesn't mean Marshall kept going to the Canadian bar. However, I think a bigger point would be drinking together and having dinner together are two extremely different situations, and you will likely find one easygoing and the other very awkward. Notice that they seemed to have a less awkward time when they cut from dinner discussion to getting drunk.
    • It's weird; in the fourth season, the writers were making a distinct attempt to push the two characters together simply because they had the loosest connection (see: "Little Minnesota", "Three Days of Snow"), and it worked, and it was funny. But with the failure of Barney/Robin, I guess that they felt that they had too many Robin-centric episodes and needed to rein back?

    Barney's Tailor 
  • Barney's personal tailor. In season 1, it was a Ukranian dude. Did he go and change tailors between seasons (his tailor in season 5 is Tim Gunn)?
    • Fridge Brilliance,: he orders so many suits that the Ukrainian dude couldn't keep up with it, so he needed another tailor.

    Barney Sleeping With Robin 
  • Can someone explain to me why Ted was so angry at Barney for sleeping with Robin in season 3? Maybe this is something culture specific, but to me, a non-American, it didn't make any sense. Ted and Robin were no longer together at that point, so why would Barney even have to ask Ted for permission to date her? Yes, this rule is in the Bro Code, but still.
    • Sleeping with Robin made Barney a hypocrite. The Bro Code is his thing, and Ted bends over backwards to uphold it (there's even a montage). And then Barney goes and breaks it anyway. Notice how Ted is angry at Barney, but isn't mad at Robin. It has nothing to do with them sleeping together, it's the principle that was broken that is the problem. By sleeping with Robin, Barney is basically saying that his friendship with Ted doesn't matter.
    • Also, Robin is Ted's ex-girlfriend, so he has no right to tell her who she can and cannot sleep with. On the other hand, Ted has every right to ask his best friend not to sleep with his ex-girlfriend. Keep in mind that Ted and Robin only broke up because they wanted different things, not because they didn't get on or because they didn't love each other any more. Ted probably is upset at Robin for sleeping with Barney, just as Robin admitted to being upset that Ted was marrying Stella.
    • Barney's entire shtick is that he's a terrible person but a great friend. Ted mentions that he's seen Barney do awful, short-sighted, immature things to people over the years and that he's always tolerated it because of their friendship. Remember that when Robin tells Ted that Barney slept with her, she says that she was in a vulnerable state of mind when it happened. Ted may have assumed that Barney had treated her the same way he treats the many—shall we say—less intelligent women he typically one-night stands (we even see Robin in season 5 worrying that she was just another "number" to Barney). So, somewhat hypocritically admittedly, Ted is willing to put up with Barney pulling his antics on others but not on someone Ted cares about. Also remember that Ted is alright with Barney pursuing Robin at the end of season 4, since by this point it's clear that Barney has genuine feelings for her.
    • Ted flat out says, "You think this is just about Robin?" Ted had spent the entire episode thinking about how he had grown too old for certain things, and Barney breaking his own friendship code made Ted realize that he was too old for Barney's shenanigans. It was really just the straw that broke the camel's back.
    • Ted has mentioned a few times (especially in the early seasons) that he sometimes really struggles being friends with Barney, because Barney is such a sleazeball and it sometimes carries over to Ted. He only stays friends with Barney because time with him is always a good story and he recognizes that for the most part Barney still has some personal rules. As mentioned, the Bro Code is a sacred trust that Barney treats with reverence and Ted also upholds in respect to their friendship. If Barney was a more normal friend Ted probably would have been okay with it on all sides (which is why he wasn't angry at Robin, he encouraged and expected her to move on), but since the bro code is an iron clad part of their relationship once the code was broken so was their friendship.

    False Positive 
  • "False Positive" bugs me for a few reasons. Marshall&Lily and Barney's stories make sense, but it seems way out of character that Robin would seriously consider being a "coin flip bimbo" over taking a stepping stone towards her dream job. It feels like she was written to do that so that Ted would look better when he tells her to take the news job. Speaking of Ted, when everyone else was freaking out over their life situations, shouldn't he have been doing so as well? The whole premise of the show is a retrospect of Ted trying to find a woman to marry and have kids with, and five years after he first set out to accomplish this he's still nowhere close. Where's his crushing life reevaluation?
    • I thought they did a good job of establishing a reason for Robin's behavior in the episode; she was just having a little minor crisis that almost made her make a vain decision, which Ted helped her realize. As for Ted, are you saying he hasn't had enough life changing reevaluations? Plus I feel like the characters here didn't so much all make a huge leap as they all had their own little crises, which Ted was able to help with.
    • On Ted not freaking out: everyone else was freaking out because they had big, life-changing decisions (or, in Barney's case, had a sudden windfall of money) going on in their lives. Ted, on the other hand, has a job that, much as he loves it, isn't leading anywhere and no love-life to worry over. Basically, Ted has no reason to freak out because there's nothing going on in his life. Which, if you think about it, is actually kind of sad.
    • A key difference between Ted's situation and the others' is that Ted has been consciously trying to achieve his goal of finding his dream woman for over five years by this point. Ted knows exactly what he wants from life and hasn't wavered from it, so he's content even though he's seen so little success. The other four were giving up on goals they set for themselves because they were either afraid, frustrated, or lazy. It's the difference between losing a game and not showing up for a game.
    • Robin is 30 in this season (since she was 29 in Robin 101), which is a really common age to reevaluate one's life. She still sort of feels that she "missed her shot" by turning down the Chicago job, and her career has made little to no forward progress in over five years.

    Stella's Medical Practice 
  • In "As Fast as She Can" Stella says that she was 19 when she got pregnant. Her daughter is stated to be 7 (maybe 8 by the time of the episode). So that would make her somewhere around 27 or 28. Wouldn't she be a bit young to already be a successful dermatologist with her own private practice?
    • Maybe not. She could be part of a small partnership. Also we don't know much about her early life; maybe she has family money. Or she could just be that good.
    • Best case scenario (short of a Child Prodigy) an individual can graduate with an MD at around 23-24 if they did well with pre-med like taking college classes during high school. That just barely makes it plausible to be operating in a specialty like that at that age.
    • Her daughter's father was mentioned to come from a wealthy family, maybe he loaned her the money to start the business.
    • According to her diplomas on the wall in her office, Stella got her Bachelors in chemistry in 1999, one year before Ted's graduation from Wesleyan, and her "doctorate in dermatology" in 2003 from Stanford. This is likely meant to be her general medical degree, with her dermatology certification in 2007, allowing her to practice for one year before we meet her. Her attendance at Stanford indicates either family money or a prodigy. Not to mention, this would have her putting herself through undergrad, med school, internship and residency as a single mother.
    • Or Ted just got his numbers wrong considering it was over twenty years ago.

    Barney's Job 
  • Okay, exactly WHAT does Barney do for a living?
    • Oh, please.
    • He has a lot of keys.
    • The truth is as an executive his job is probably constantly changing depending on the specific needs the company has at that time. It was specified that he was transferred to GNB and he headed the search committee for the architect to design the GNB building.
      • It's possible that, being a senior executive at Altrucell, he was given the title-only position of president, or vice president, so saying "Please" whenever someone asks makes much more sense, since they could just check GNB's website.
    • He's actually a man whore, the whole executive thing is just a façade. His job is to please.
      • Second to this. Barney doesn't lie to his friends, remember. "Please" is an Exact Word description, and so that doesn't count as lie.
      • He doesn't lie to his friends...except all the time. Lied about Mary the paralegal being a hooker, lied to Ted to get him to go to Love Solutions, lied to Robin about not wanting to chase her anymore, lied and set Marshall up with a massive bill to force him to work at GNB, lied to Ted again about planning to propose to Patrice...the dude lies all the time, he just puts more effort into the ones he tells his friends.
  • Jossed in "Unpause," when Robin and Ted get him drunk enough that he can't lie and he finally tells them. His job really is PLEASE Provide Legal Exculpation and Sign Everything. He is the fall guy for the company's illegal activities and is paid 16 craptons a year in order to sign documents without reading them. When Robin and Ted point out how stupid that was of him, he explains that it was all part of his plan. He was hired by Greg, the man who stole his girlfriend Shannon in 1998 and who failed to recognize him after his Evil Makeover. In the last 16 years has been colluding with the Feds to take down the company. When Greg asks the reason why, Barney mentions that there should be moral objections but that the real reason is that it is revenge for Greg stealing Shannon. As FBI agents arrive, putting Greg in handcuffs, Barney flashes the V sign, says "Peace out loser", straightens his tie in a mirror and leaves, all while the "Barney is Awesome" song plays on the soundtrack.
    • It seems like his job contradicts quite a few minor details from previous episodes:
      • When he was jinxed, he showed up to work late and got reamed out by his boss. Why would he, if all he does is sign documents?
      • When he was trying to achieve a perfect week, Marshall said that his boss was blaming him for something and that he might get fired. Firing him wouldn't make sense. In addition to that, there was another episode in which Barney said he had no fear of getting fired because he knew too much about the company's illicit activities.
      • How does someone who just signs documents have enough influence to get Ted and Marshall jobs?
      • The document Marshall started reading when Barney asked him to find something in the Bro Code that Ted had broken. Barney's response when Marshall questioned it implied that he actually made decisions in the company.
    • Obviously, he picked up other responsibilities. They had the guy on the payroll, and it just so happened that he was fairly competent. Why NOT also give him some tasks? His primary role is fall guy, but he may as well do some work in the mean time. Also, I interpreted the "Perfect Week" thing to be them deciding whether or not they'd implement the whole "fall guy" thing. Thus it wasn't just him possibly losing his job, but also getting arrested and all.
  • I think 2030 Ted just doesn't remember what Barney did back then. He may remember that Barney always said "please" because it was complicated to explain, and the initials thing is just a joke Ted came up with.

  • How many full drinks have the gang left on the table in Mac Laren's Pub? Every time they sit down with a full drink, they leave before it's finished. EVERY EPISODE! Bar drinks aren't cheap. They must have wasted a fair bit of disposable income over the years. just sayin'.
    • Oh, they probably finish them. It's just less time-consuming to the narrative if they don't stick around for the whole amount of time it takes to finish a cocktail.
    • They also leave quite a bit of food uneaten. It seems like they're always getting up and leaving a restaurants before finishing the meal, or in some cases after taking one bite. "Best Burger in New York" comes to mind as one of the most egregious examples, but it happen a lot. "Best Burger" is a special case where Marshal was looking for a specific burger and wouldn't let them finish their meals. Every other occurrence is a common Acceptable Break From Reality in television.
    • There is a trope for unrealistic treatment of food in restaurants and elsewhere in fictionland: They Wasted a Perfectly Good Sandwich.
    • Acceptable Breaks from Reality here. Filming wise, shooting scenes with food and drink is a pain because of continuity. If you're doing 5-6 takes of the one scene, you have to make sure the food and drink matches the levels in the previous ones. If they're shooting single camera then the food and drink being out of sync messes up continuity (and thus pedantic nitpickers go even more ballistic). Even if it's multi-cam, there might be a line that was delivered better on take two and then another on take three, so having the food match between takes allows them to edit it in seamlessly. So does it really matter in the grand scheme of things?

    The Mother 
  • The fans constantly make speculations about characters turning out to be the mother. They completely ignore the fact that no character with an established name can be the mother, because the kids or Ted logically would have pointed it out.
    • The kids haven't actually spoken since season two (well, except for that one bit in season five…). It's possible that Ted just didn't mention someone's name to the kids. Recall that if it's not in the narration, the kids don't necessarily hear it.
    • Besides that, most of the fan speculations involve extras in the background of a scene.
    • The writers do actually pull off stating the Mother's name in an episode, but successfully used our uncertainty to obscure it.

    The Murtaugh List 
  • The Murtaugh List - how is Robin able to do the stuff on the list with Barney, if she's supposed to be their age, and thus, too old to do the stuff on the list?
    • Robin did a lot of the things on the list, but she didn't pierce an ear or sleep on a futon, which seemed to be the two things that caused Barney the most pain. Also keep in mind that the Murtaugh List was supposed to be things you're too old to do once you turn 30. Barney's 33 in this episode, and Robin's about four years younger than him.
    • Also, Ted realizes that even though Murtaugh claims to be too old to do things, he still keeps making the movies. Hitting 30 isn't some magical barrier that automatically means you can't do things anymore — even if Robin were over 30, she can do whatever she wants. Anybody can.
  • My question about the Murtaugh List: how is it possible to "crash on a friend's futon" and "pull an all-nighter" in one 24-hour period?
    • Crash on a friend's futon in the morning after staying up all night. Only for about an hour or two, so you have enough time to finish the list.
    • Alternatively wake up in the morning having slept on a friend's futon, then stay up until the following morning.

    Robin's Childhood 
  • In flashbacks during "Miracles" and "Little Boys" young Robin is wearing a dress. But, she mentions in "Happily Ever After" that her being a girl never stopped her dad's plan on raising a son. So why exactly would she be wearing dresses if she was being raised like a boy?
    • The flashbacks are Ted's interpretation of past events. So before he knew about Robin's dad raising her as a boy, he pictured her as a little kid in dresses.
    • Robin's mother probably dressed her up as a little girl a few times before the divorce.
    • Other relatives could have bought her dresses as gifts and she wore them to be polite or when her dad was away.

    Korean Elvis 
  • What ever happened to Korean Elvis after Lily kicked him in the nards?
    • He probably makes a point of avoiding the group now, for obvious reasons.

    Last Words 
  • Funeral, "Last Words", season six. Why in Haruhi's name is Barney wearing a suit to the funeral?
    • The last time the gang went to a funeral, in "Monday Night Football" it was for someone none of them could even remember. In "Last Words" it was Marshall's father. Someone probably took Barney aside before they left and made sure he wore a suit out of respect for Marshall.
    • It's also possible that he did it on his own. Barney's actions throughout the series show that, as much as he says it's Ted, his best friend is actually Marshall. All of the times Barney is seen acting selflessly, it's to help Marshall. It wouldn't be out-of-character for Barney to do something completely opposite to what he would normally do if it was for the Eriksens' benefit.
    • It's possible he's still in-character, with suits having the happy connotation for him. He's trying to bring that happy to the Eriksen family when they need it most. It's kind of a stretch, but it makes sense.
    • Barney tends to play a "role" of the rebel who doesn't believe in ever doing things the mundane way. Rejecting marriage in favour of one night stands is part of that, as is showing up to a funeral in street clothes and wanting to get buried in the nude. However, if there's one couple who've ever caused Barney to show a subtle appreciation for what a conventional family can be it's Marshall and Lily and by extension their family (no matter how much Barney may push Ted to stay single, you can see how distressed Barney is by the idea of Marshall and Lily breaking up). They have the ability to bring out the side of him beneath the mask. Marshall's father's death was an extension of that and it probably didn't even occur to him not to wear a suit.

    Aunt Robin 
  • Does anyone else think its secretly horrifying how Ted started the story by how he met "Aunt Robin"? Think about it: Ted describes her in a lot of detail, making the kids believe she was their mother until the reveal at the end of the episode. Then he spends the rest of the first and second season telling them how he tried to date her, how they ended up going out, how they broke up, and how they got back together and broke up again. Now, he may have never outright said that he slept with Robin, but he implies it a lot and the kids look like they are old enough to assume they did. How exactly do they both feel about knowing that "boring ol' dad" Ted slept with "Aunt" Robin? More importantly, how does the mother feel?
    • He didn't "make the kids believe" anything. And since when was it impossible for exes to remain friends: you know that was addressed within the show, right? And why would The Mother have a problem with Ted remaining friends with his ex?
      • It's possible that the Mother is either Robin's sister, or her sister-in-law (through Barney and Robin marrying).
    • No, I mean is she okay with him telling the kids about all the sex he had with other people up until he met their mother.
    • Considering he is currently 32, and has not met their mother yet, everyone probably assumes that "Dad had sex before he met Mom."
    • Teenage kids being vaguely aware that their Dad had a sex life before he met their Mom is very different from teenage kids being told in excruciating detail about their Dad's sex life by their Dad himself.
      • Oh, please. The catch is that Ted is telling his children that he sexed up, not "someone", but Aunt Robin. They know Robin. She hangs up with Ted's family. Things between her and the kids will never be the same (sort of personal experience talking here, no questions).
      • But you have to remember, these kids also have an Uncle Barney. Odds are they've already heard tons of Aunt Robin sex stories from him.
    • This is certainly an element of Unreliable Narrator, what the audience sees on TV is not always what he tells the kids. The kids could probably infer that they had an active sex life but it's not like every Aunt Robin story was sexually graphic, only a handful of stories is it a plot element. Also, it's unknown how much of the stories the kids knew before Future!Ted sat them down to tell the whole story. It's more than likely "Aunt Robin" is an honorary title (all of his friends are referred to as Aunt and Uncle, since Ted isn't related to them that would make the mother's pedigree very interesting) and the kids know that, they may have also heard along the way that Ted and Robin used to date long ago.
    • When Victoria left to go to Germany, they were sitting in Maclaren's talking about all of the great things there were to do in New York and the narration was telling his kids about how they did all of those things. The visual on the other hand is them having sex all day. It is likely a similar device was used with Robin. Notice that the more explicit elements are only shown rather than narrated and thus isn't necessarily everything that they were told.
      • This is demonstrated again when Ted explains that the reason he was able to move past Robin's dating Gael was something "not at all macho and petty," when we see in the episode that it was, in fact, macho and petty.

    Blah Blah 
  • Exactly what did Blah Blah whisper to Ted that made her shoot up the Hot/Crazy Scale so fast?
    • Something including the words "Sexy Empire State Building Costume", I think.

    Celsius to Fahrenheit 
  • In "Honey", Robin catastrophically burns a whole dinner because she thought the oven displayed degrees Celsius. Wouldn't the food being catastrophically undercooked make more sense?
    • That being said, maybe because she thought it was in Celsius and overcompensated immensely by adding another 200 or 300 degrees. Just my opinion.
    • That or just the same old tired durr hurr hurr Canada!
    • Canadians almost never use the Celsius scale for food preparation. It's one of those Imperial scale holdovers that persists.
    • Maybe she's just really bad at cooking and used her Canadian-ness as an excuse.
      • This seems most likely, as she even paused before she said it.

    Days of Snow 
  • In "Three Days of Snow," Marshall and Lily always meet as soon as possible, before the baggage claim. So how did they get their respective six-packs on the plane?
    • ***I've gotten beer on a plane lots of times, rum too.
      • There's now the TSA rule against carrying liquids on a plane. If you can't get on a plane with a bottle of insulin you certainly can't get on with a six-pack.
      • You can carry liquids if it's in your checked luggage. They probably check it, claim their bags, and then take the six pack out of the bag before they meet up.
      • But doesn't that pose another problem of the beer being all shaken up or broken?
    • If it's a tradition then surely that doesn't rule out them packing bubble wrap or something to make sure the bottles don't get smashed.
    • You can purchase alcohol at duty-free merchants inside airports after passing through security.

    Ted and Robin Relapsing 
  • Ted says in the fifth season finale that his blonde hair stopped him and Robin from doing something they would both regret. But... they've relapsed before. At least twice. The first time was a bit awkward, since Robin was dating someone (she didn't get called out on that as much as I would've expected) but the second (extended) time was downright amicable and they only stopped because Ted was feeling bad for Barney. A one-night drunken hookup between the two doesn't seem to be the worst thing in the world. They're obviously not uncomfortable around each other (to the point that Robin is fine flashing Ted just to prove that he has a "boob giggle").
    • The only thing I can think of is that Ted would feel bad because Robin's emotionally vulnerable. Which is fairly reasonable.
    • There is a difference between hooking back up with someone while you are in the right frame of mind and hooking back up when one or both is compromised in some fashion (intoxicated or recent break-up with someone else). Their third season relapse was mostly because they were struggling with a "friend vs lover" dynamic. Their Friends with Benefits fourth season scenario was heading down a bad road and they knew it, regardless of Ted recognizing Barney's issues. While a drunken hook-up in the fifth season finale might not be the worst thing, it still would have been something they regretted the next morning and Future!Ted was grateful it didn't happen.
    • Also, the first two times had happened before Robin & Barney dated. It makes sense that if they had done it on that episode that would have affected the group dynamics in a much more destructive way.

    James, his Son, and His Father 
  • I'm sure it happened off-screen, but one thing that bothers me is that Barney's brother James finally meets his father (Sam), and produces a photo of his own son, but it doesn't come up that he's gay and the child is adopted. Sam seems like a nice enough guy, and presumably is accepting of these facts, but he's of a generation for which homosexuality is still an issue. Not only that, he's a priest, and if there's anybody that has some friction with gay people, it's the church. I don't really know how they would deal with it, but this just bugs me.
    • Seeing as James's son, Eli, is white, I think Sam can probably assume he's adopted. Religion is not necessarily homophobic, many churches are gay friendly. Besides, Sam might just be so happy he's got a grandson he doesn't care about James having a husband (like Barney did).
      • Being a priest, Sam really shouldn't have any kids at all so does he really have room to judge him?
      • Judging by the robes he's wearing in "False Positive" when Barney comes to donate the money, I'd say he's an evangelical pastor, not a priest. It's only priests in the Catholic church who are supposed to uphold a life of celibacy - as far as I'm aware, no other denominations of "mainstream" Christianity ask the same thing of their ministers.
      • Most likely an Episcopalian minister, i.e., American branch of the Church of England/Anglicanism. Anglican attitudes towards homosexuality (or female clergy, for that matter) vary by region or denomination, and North American and European congregations tend to be more liberal. So doctrinally, Sam could be just fine with James' orientation.
      • No, he's wearing a Geneva gown (pulpit robe). Most Episcopalians wear a cassock or alb. He might be Presbyterian (PCUSA) or United Methodist. Both traditions have a large number of pastors who wear similar vestments and large numbers of pastors who support full inclusion of LGBT persons in the Church. Or, he could be one of any number of smaller Protestant denominations who support LGBT rights.
      • Celibacy is only enforced after becoming a priest. Presumably lots of priests have become Catholics after a conversion and later decided to become priests. In Christianity in general, what you did before conversion is considered forgiven by God and you are given a new start (theoretically, if Catholic, this would include celibacy until marriage- or by vow if going into priesthood). But obviously real life consequences don't disappear. You still have an out of wedlock homosexual son. And you are still allowed to have normal human reactions when this kind of thing happens.
      • Even if the above isn't the case (and the thought did occur to me in this episode), there are several possible responses, some or all of which could apply: 1) Sam disapproves of homosexuality in an official religious capacity, but doesn't let that affect his relationship with his children (I have known people like that); 2) he was so happy and excited to be a grandfather that he wasn't about to do something to jeopardize his chance to meet his grandson; and 3) whatever he may think of James' lifestyle, he knew he didn't have a leg to stand on in criticizing it, given his own past.
  • People can be pretty willing to toss religious prejudice aside when faced with real people who are the subject of that prejudice, especially if they're family. My own grandmother is Lutheran (a pretty conservative denomination), and she took it completely in stride when she found out my aunt was in love with a girl.

    Robin's Interviews 
  • It's small, but in the episode "Jenkins" when Ted and Barney are participating in the Robin drinking game, she is shown interviewing a kid. It has been numerously stated that her show takes place at ridiculous hours of the morning, so why would a child be participating in a show that runs so late?
    • Not really a headscratcher: all parents are different and some would have no problem with having a kid get up that early especially to be on the news.
      • Interview segments are also frequently taped in advance. News portions of a program have to be shown live, but interviews on the kind of nothing topics Robin covers can be shown as "live on tape" (previously filmed but not edited).
    • Child performers can film at all hours - just not as many as adults. If the child was only in the studio for a couple of hours, it shouldn't matter what time the interview was filmed.

  • This one isn't really a biggie, because I get that they can't show every little thing on a show. But remember that episode where they all decided to quit smoking, and Future Ted said that none of them quit properly until later? Why didn't any of them ever smoke on camera after that? Or mention smoking at all, for that matter.
    • They didn't really smoke before that episode, either. There are lots of other little things that should logically be demonstrated, like everyone's annoying habits, but aren't. As numerous people have put forth, a good blanket explanation for such details not showing up is that since it's a narrative being told by Ted, those details don't "exist" in the story unless Ted draws attention to them.
      • You'll figure out that the brilliance of the show is that since Ted is "narrating" what happens, they can get away with a lot of potential Plot Holes.
    • Robin was shown smoking in "Moving Day" and was a minor plot point, partially that there are aspects of Robin Ted doesn't know about yet. Barney was smoking after he slept with Robin and confessed it to Lily's kindergarten class. Both implied they would smoke under certain circumstances, which was the instigation of the entire episode.
      • Marshall was shown smoking in the episode where Marvin was born, when Future Ted had said that Marshall's last cigarette was the day his son was born.
    • What I'd like to know is why the kids are so surprised at the mere idea that their father and his friends might, at some point in their lives, have smoked?
      • Why WOULDN'T it be shocking to find out your father, aunts, and uncles were all regular smokers when none of them have done so in your lifetime? It wasn't that they had ever smoked a cigarette; it's that they were full-on smokers.
      • The show is narrated from the future; maybe by 2030 smoking is such a cultural taboo that mentioning it is like hearing your parents say they were racists during the Civil Rights movement?

    Saying "I Love You" On The First Date 
  • In the pilot, what was so wrong with Ted telling Robin he loves her? It couldn't have been that bad.
    • Are you really going to tell me that you wouldn't feel incredibly awkward if your first date with someone, after only meeting a handful of times, ended with a confession of love?
      • And Robin is someone who would probably take it even less well than the average person.
    • At that point they had known each other less than two days (met her on a Thursday and went out with her Friday, this happened late night long after the date) and regardless of how well they were clicking on an emotional level that is a very big thing to do. The only possible way it would not be weird is if it was done in a completely joking manner and Ted was clearly being serious.
    • Yeah, it might easily be creepy, or at least indicate he is just In Love with Love and shouldn't be taken seriously.

    The Golden Rule 
  • In the episode 'The Platinum Rule', Barney quotes the Golden Rule wrong, and Ted seems indignant that Barney doesn't recognize the real Golden Rule, because it's from THE BIBLE. Yet, in "How Lily Stole Christmas", Ted doesn't seem to know even one single verse out of the entire Bible.
    • Knowing something is from the Bible and being able to quote something from it are entirely different things. Truth in Television, really. I knew it was from the Bible and I couldn't quote a verse. Closest I can come to quoting something is actually Corinthians... which I only know from HIMYM.
      • True, and a good point - there's plenty of stuff from the Bible (and from many other books I've read) that I would recognize if someone else quoted it, but I couldn't quote correctly myself. However, Ted corrects Barney's version by quoting the verse correctly. And from the way he says it, he insinuates that it's embarrassing that Barney quoted the Bible wrong.
      • Maybe it was embarrassing that he was trying to quote something that is well known to a lot of people (mainly church goers) and got it wrong. It was like trying to quote something from the first paragraph of the Canadian national anthem when he was in Canada getting Robin back, in the US only Robin would had known the mistake, in Canada close to everyone would had known the mistake.
      • It's a case of being Dan Browned. Ted didn't make up a rule based on a verse of the Bible and then proceed to get it 100% wrong. And really, remembering one line like that is a bit different from remembering a full verse. That would be like expecting someone to be able to quote a full scene from a movie just because he remembered a particularly memorable quote.
      • Just to clarify, when people say "Bible verse", they mean a single line or short passage. Like "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" is a "verse". Ted not being able to recite a Bible verse on cue is more like someone jumping in your face and demanding that you quote a line from a movie off the top of your head. Given time, you'd be able to, but on the spot it's hard to think of anything good.
      • But if I couldn't, I wouldn't admonish someone else for quoting it incorrectly as if it's a horrible thing to do. If someone asked me to quote a line from Star Wars and I couldn't quote one single line, I wouldn't later tell someone else "It's from STAR WARS" in a "Wow, how did you not know that" manner if they quoted it incorrectly.
      • One of Ted's major character traits is that he's a pretentious know-it-all who likes to correct people, which often in real life leads to being a bit hypocritical when correcting people on something that you've gotten wrong in the past. It's also possible that Ted didn't learn the golden rule was from the Bible until some point in the year between How Lily Stole Christmas and The Platinum Rule.

    The Leap 
  • In The Leap, they all jump across the alley to the other roof, a jump of five or six feet, to a roof that is clearly lower than their roof. How exactly did they get home? Did they just walk through someone's apartment?
    • This one is on the Fridge Logic page too. No real explanation though other than the people in that apartment must have been really cool to allow five strangers to jump across the alley onto their patio, (maybe) use their jacuzzi and then leave through their apartment without calling the cops and having the gang arrested.
    • Duh, they climbed down fire escape. No Fridge Logic necessary. I have even done this, having gotten locked out on the roof of a four story building. (And, for those now asking, well why didn't they climb up the fire escape instead of jumping from roof to roof, low rise buildings in the city usually have retractable ladders from the second floor to the ground. So when descending to escape a fire, you can extend them and reach the ground; but strangers on the ground can't access the ladder to climb up at will.)
      • How did they get home? How did they get across in the first place? No way could all 5 of them jump that far. Even with Marshall it's pretty unlikely given how despite being 6'4" he can barely touch the net on a basketball rim when he jumps.
  • Also, on Three Days of Snow Future!Ted says that "I can jump that far" is one of the "ill-advised five-word sentences every man eventually says in his life", and that Marshall would come to regret it. Why? When he did eventually jump he made it to the other side, and all the others made it with him. No one got hurt, and Ted never mentioned any negative outcome that this leap has had.
    • I'm not sure about the regretting part, but certainly the jump was ill-advised. Any member of the group would almost certainly have died if they missed the adjacent roof.

    Barney's Abandonment Issues 
  • The whole clichéd "you left me when I was little" bullcrap Barney's giving his father. It's flat-out stated that Barney's mom made Jerry leave; it wasn't his choice. So what's the deal?
    • Barney's always had a fairly childish mind, perhaps he doesn't care his mum made him leave and just blames his dad for not fighting harder to stay (not to mention Jerry forgot the last thing he said to Barney when he was small). It's similar to in 'Landmarks' where Barney thinks Ted is voting to save the Arcadian because he hates him. Barney's also always loved his mother a whole lot; he'd probably be more inclined to forgive her more easily as she's always been there for him... when she wasn't off whoring it up, I mean.
    • Not to mention that she had good reason to make him leave. The rant that he made in Legendaddy seems less childish in that light; he'd just seen that the hopeless rocker dad that he thought he had was actually capable of pulling himself together and that he had been living a responsible life for years, making sacrifices and beoing there for his other kids, but never once returning to Barney. In short: "If you were going to be a normal dad (if you were capable of being a normal dad), why couldn't you be that for me?"
    • Cliched bullcrap? People in real life can be really hurt by a parent who wasn't there when they grew up, why should Barney act differently? And just because he knows rationally that his father was forced to leave, that doesn't mean he won't feel hurt. Besides, his dad was forced to leave because he was a wreck. Then he cleans up, never bothers to check on Barney, and raises another kid. Damn right Barney would be hurt by that.
      • It's not cliched in real life, but in fiction it's a bit overused.
      • How old do you think television is? what isn't overused by now. Besides I think that the problem is that something that it's said is that when parents divorce each other, they shouldn't also divorce their kids. Even if his dad didn't get his act together, he could still be a part of Barney's life, the fact that he got his act together and instead of trying to raise Barney (while still divorced, shared custody yaddayaddayadda) he went and started another family, although starting another family is not a bad thing, forgetting about your old one is.
    • Loretta might have been able to prevent Jerry from seeing Barney when he was 6, but as Barney got older, there would be less and less she could do about it. Plus if Jerry cleaned up his act, he could have pursued legal action for visitation rights (although honestly if he cleaned up his act, he could probably have just worked arrangements out with Loretta).

    Ted Getting Beaten Up By a Goat 
  • In 'The Wedding Bride', Ted's Girl of the Week talks to her friends about the movie, and about "how funny it was when Jed got beat up by the goat". However, Stella and Tony left before Ted got beaten up by the goat on his 31st birthday. The only excuses I can think of are it being a contrived coincidence, Tony reads Barney's blog (Marshall sent him an email about Ted getting beaten up by the goat) or Future Ted is remembering it incorrectly. Or it was overlooked by the writers.
    • It was only after Ted's 31st birthday that he decided to take the job as an architecture professor. He would have had to speak with Tony to get it, since Tony was the one pulling the strings there. Ted may have said something like, "Hey, I know I turned down your offer before, but getting beaten up by a goat made me change my mind." Thus, Tony gets the idea for his movie.
    • Alternately, this can be considered another example of Ted being an Unreliable Narrator. After he convinces himself that the movie is about his personal life, the floodgates opened.
    • It is likely Ted remained in contact with them past the specific moments we see. While they likely did not stay close it is possible Ted brought up the whole goat incident in between the attack and when Tony and Stella moved to California. Sometimes things like that come up even when you are just being polite with someone you have bad blood with.

    The Exploding Meatball Sub 
  • At the end 'The Exploding Meatball Sub', Barney tricks Marshall into eating the sub in the year 2021. But, if Barney gets married before the show ends (which Word Of God have said he definitely will), why isn't he wearing a wedding ring? Or Robin for that matter, if he marries her? Or if he marries Nora or another girl, where are they? I've been told this could just be Barney's imagination, but then why is Ted wearing a wedding ring? Yes, I know I've thought about this too much.
    • The imagine-spot makes sense to me, because Barney didn't plan on getting married when he made up his meatball-plan, but knew that Ted would have married someone by then.
    • Getting married doesn't necessarily mean he'll stay married.
      • Which is exactly what happened, as evidenced by the finale.
    • Or, you know, the writers are just ignoring that whole bit when they have Barney and Robin get married.

    Robin and Dogs 
  • In one episode Robin mentions that she wants to get another dog, and Ted says no way, claiming that he'd have to clean up after it after Robin gets bored or something, the usual thing that, say, a parent would tell a child begging for a puppy. But, um, dude. First, Robin is a grown woman who owned FIVE dogs, all of them healthy-looking and well cared for. Why is she all of a sudden completely incapable of caring for one? And two, the only reason she doesn't have those dogs any more is because Ted made her get rid of them, since he couldn't date her if she kept things belonging to her ex boyfriends. And just to salt the wound, the relationship didn't even last! So she gives up her dogs, who are her friends and family, for something that lasts a few episodes and fizzles, and then the guy who made her give them up says she can't get another dog in the most condescending way possible. What the hell!?
    • Why is Ted so opposed to having a dog all of a sudden anyway? He's supposed to like dogs. In the Pilot "she likes dogs" is one of his requirements for the perfect woman.
      • Let's get one thing correct - Ted did not "make Robin get rid of her dogs since he couldn't date her if she kept things belonging to her ex". Ted pointed out that it was hypocritical of Robin to tell Ted to get rid of every single thing associated with any of his exes while not applying the same standard to herself.
      • Let's get another thing correct: there is one hell of a difference between sentimental trinkets and a living animal. For lots of people, especially dog-lovers like Robin, dogs aren't just things to be cast aside, they're part of your family. Robin DID get rid of all the little trinkets her ex boyfriends gave her, which is why it was a big deal that Ted kept his. But you don't just abandon a dog! She's lucky she had family with a big farm or whatever she could send the five dogs to, because her other option would have been just dropping them off at a shelter where they very possibly could have been destroyed. I like Ted, I really do, but in this episode he was being unreasonable. She was not being hypocritical by being a responsible pet owner, he was being irresponsible by expecting her to get rid of her pets and her friends because he was uncomfortable. If the boyfriend-gifts she wanted to keep were stuffed animals, or decorations, or anything else I would be on your side, but animals are a completely different story!
      • Let's get yet another thing correct: the things Robin made Ted get rid of weren't the "sentimental trinkets" she made them out to be. They were important parts of his life and identity and had many fond memories which had nothing to do with Ted's exes. It's not as big as a living breathing dog, but it's still hypocritical of Robin to force Ted to get rid of an entire apartment full of things that were clearly more important to him than a couple of ex-girlfriend memories. Remember, Robin's argument was that she didn't want to constantly be reminded of Ted's past relationships and this was enough reason to make him get rid of his stuff, but then she has no problem with Ted going through the exact same problem of being reminded of Robin's ex-boyfriends. It was even worse for Ted because the thing he had to put up with was a group of living dogs he had no hopes of ever getting rid of while Robin couldn't put up with a couple of inanimate objects around the apartment she didn't like (and one plant).
      • No, it's still just sentimental trinkets, just a lot of them. I really doubt Ted's entire personality is tied up in stuff like a couch cushion and a plant.
    • Yeah, it was definitely just for the sake of having Robin date some guy that acted like a dog. I think it was supposed to be Rule of Funny but they absolutely did not pull it off.
      • How can someone even claim to like dogs, yet keep five of them scooped up in a tiny apartment, with a job, dating-life and circle of friends that prevent them from getting home quite often? That gets the animal rights groups up in real life.
      • Yeah, it's a bit hoardish. But this is a romantic comedy TV show. It's a quirk. Unless your quirk is murdering the homeless or setting churches on fire, it's winsome and charming.
      • All the dogs seemed fairly happy and healthy-looking to me, they weren't overweight and all seemed calm and well-socialized. Maybe she got home more often than it seems on the show, or she paid somebody to come take care of her dogs when she was at work.
    • She is not inexperienced when it comes to taking care of dogs but she worked odd hours while Ted worked more normal hours, meaning he would likely be the one taking care of them while she is sleeping or at work.
      • Dogs will adopt whatever schedule their owner trains them to adopt. Unless you're suggesting that Robin works inconsistent hours, there's no reason her working nights would prevent her from taking care of a dog.
  • Josh Radnor, the actor who plays Ted, is allergic to dogs in real life. They had to get rid of the dogs, so they made a weak episode around it, then remembered a few years later that Robin really loves dogs and did a half-hearted Call-Back. Some things, you just have to accept the Doylist explanation over the Watsonian.
    • First of all, I agree with you. Second, Robin's personality has changed so much over the seasons, she is a completely different person now and she can't really take care of a dog responsibly. That doesn't make much sense, but think about it.
  • How is it that Robin, her furniture, and everything she owns isn't covered in dog hair? Never mind walking and feeding the dogs, she'd have to spend every waking moment vacuuming and lint-brushing.
    • Cleaning lady.
      • Or someone 'On The Hook' ?
    • Also it's not that much of a stretch to suggest that Robin paid someone else to watch her dogs while she was working. She could have paid a teenager living in her building to walk them for an hour and make sure they were fed.

    Mary the Paralegal 
  • In "Mary the Paralegal", Barney sets Ted up with a paralegal and tells him that she's a prostitute. So why does Mary, when Ted asks her if she's done Barney, say that "there's not enough money in the world"? It may have just been an expression, but that is one hell of a coincidence.
    • It's just an expression. I've heard similar expressions before, so it can just be down to coincidence. It'd be like saying "not in a million years".
    • On a similar note, why does Ted keep insisting she's a prostitute instead of continuing to play along or tell her that Barney said she was a prostitute? I mean, he seems to like her and once she starts getting upset about it you'd think he'd know to stop pushing the issue.
      • He thought she was playing along by claiming to not be a prostitute, you can see him starting to figure it out after a couple of "Yes you are"/"No I'm not" exchanges. (You could imagine a skill involved with escorts of any kind is being able to play up a role)
    • The real problem with this scene is that Ted doesn't explain why he thought that to her. Maybe it's just because it's relatively early in the series- later they probably would have gotten it sorted out and it would have backfired on Barney. Here, Barney just gets away with it.

    Canada and The Eighties 
  • Alanis Morissette, a Canadian musician who defined a lot of 90s music, actually exists in this universe (Marshall bought tickets to see her), yet according to Robin's own recording career, the 80s only happened in Canada in the 90s. The hell?
    • Well, one, the eighties thing was just a gag, and two, how do you know Alanis Morissette made the same kind of music in this universe? Or perhaps she debuted later than she did in ours, or she didn't have as big an impact.
    • Or maybe the 80's and 90's took place at the same time in Canada.
    • No matter what year it is, it's always the Eh-ties in Canada.
    • Further interesting because Robin Daggers is a pretty clear Expy of Alanis.

    Zoo or False 
  • How much of the episode 'Zoo or False' actually happened? The episode is geared towards setting up the implied-to-likely-be-made-up ending of a monkey climbing a model of the Empire State Building and having paper planes shot at it on live TV, mirroring the ending of King Kong (1933). So many of the episode's subplots are pivotal in arriving at this conclusion (Marshall being possibly mugged by a monkey, Robin needing something to report on, Ted having a model of the Empire State Building, the habit of the newsroom cameraman of making paper planes) - did any of this episode actually happen or was it all just a way for Future Ted to hint at why so much of his story is at best tangential to how he met the mother? If the former, which bits?
    • I think it's pretty obvious Marshall was mugged by a human with a gun. This is something that would actually happen, and Marshall changed that story only because Lily was freaking out and wanted to get a gun. Aside from being much more reasonable than a monkey mugging him, did you see the "flashback" in which it supposedly happened? The monkey pulls him up against the cage, and once the wallet is gone, Marshall runs away looking like he's going to cry, without a single attempt to get the wallet back. He claimed to have seen the monkey doing something with the wallet that made him not want it back, but he didn't stick around the witness this act. I think I've made my point.
      • I think you misunderstood the question, but I may be wrong. Anyway, I think there are two possibilities: 1) everything had indeed happened, and when Ted told the story and wanted a better ending he thought about all these things and how awesome it would have been if the King Kong thing had happened (i.e. they had all the ingredients, but it didn’t happen and he thought of how big the missed opportunity was); or 2) It didn’t happen at all and Ted just wanted this ending so he prepared all the hints (he knew this story is pretty lame and had wanted to make a cooler ending before he even began telling it).

    Zoey's Activisms 
  • Zoey frees several rabbits from an animal testing facility and is part of an animal rights group. She is later seen egging Ted's window. What?
    • Maybe she made sure the eggs were unfertilised? Most eggs you can buy from a supermarket are not fertilised.
    • Being part of an animal rights group doesn't make someone a vegan. Hell, Zoey eats hot dogs in Oh Honey.
    • Also, Zoey is a fucking stupid dilettante piece of shit bitch. I mean, that was her entire character! Maybe it's Fridge Brilliance. Of course, we had to put up with Zoey for 12 episodes, so the writers deserve no accusations of brilliance. Still bitter!,
      • Wow, that went a really weird place.
    • Ted nailed it when he said she was a bored little trophy wife. Her activism isn't based on any deep personal beliefs. It's more of a hobby.

    The Ducky Tie Bet and the Slap Bet 
  • Couldn't Barney claim sabotage and get to see them again and not wear the tie? Or would this always be something like Slap-bet, with Marshall doing the worse thing (Slaps Barney once in error, and tries to cover it up and gets 3 slaps then, but when Barney does slaps once in error and DOESN'T try to cover it up and he either gets 10 slaps then or 5 spread out), but Barney getting the worse end of the deal.
    • Concerning the slap bet, Barney does think it's unfair (he wrote a "letter" of complaint about the unfairness of the slap bet commissioner on his blog after the second Slapsgiving), but probably just not enough to actually call them out on it in person. He is really good friends with Marshall and Lily, so I think even he can agree that their little bets aren't worth jeopardizing their friendship. Secondly, even though she most likely hasn't, if Barney ever found Robin doing porn he'd be able to slap the hell out of Marshall, like he almost did in Glitter, and Lily didn't stop him (because she'd really have no right to, she's not so unfair that Barney couldn't slap Marshall at all). Finally, in Ducky Tie Barney did at least get to see Lily's boobs, so he probably considered it a win-win in that regard.
    • I'm hoping the Ducky tie either stays for the season, and is integral to Barney getting married (it would tie in nicely to his decision in the first episode of the season), or just disappear between episodes (with the implication that Marshall and Lily decided not to be mean and hold him to it).
    • Marshall's mistaken slap was with commissioner approval. Barney's was not. Hence his harsher punishment.
      • Not true, we see it occur. Marshall slaps Barney before Lily has a chance to approve. Would she have approved it? Almost definitely (especially given her bias), but she definitely didn't approve it.
      • It's possible that "approval" is not necessarily verbal but rather based on how well the evidence presented speaks for itself. For Marshall's part, Robin's "marriage" was confessed by Robin herself (they had no reason to assume that she had lied). The video Barney found of Robin, while definitely starting off suspiciously like porn, wasn't definitive.
      • Exactly. Marshall didn't really even slap Barney incorrectly - they had the answer to their bet straight from the source. Barney really shouldn't have gotten any "Marshall slapped Barney unfairly" counter-slaps at all.
      • Oh, for Christ's sake. This one is addressed above - if we look only at their flaws, they're all awful people. But they all, including Lily, have a lot of friendship moments to make up for the not-so-good ones. And, yes, she kept making the bet more dramatic, but she was plainly not totally biased - she did, after all, tell Barney when they found out that Robin wasn't married. And frankly, hating fictional people this violently is something everyone should reconsider - it's a comedy show, everyone's something of a sociopath.
    • The Ducky Tie bet was bad for multiple reasons. First, Lily changed the terms unilaterally. Second, she sabotaged the event. Third, the bet was never that he would succeed first try, merely that he was able to do the tricks after dinner. He should have been given the opportunity to do it again after the sabotage and would have succeeded at both seeing and touching Lily's boobs.
      • Lily never changed the terms; Barney offered to call off the bet if he could see Lily's boobs for 30 seconds in the alley. Marshall called his bluff, returning them to the original bet. Also, Lily didn't physically interfere with Barney's attempt so he can't claim sabotage. Otherwise, he could conceivably blame anything happening around him (a loud noise, a sudden movement, etc.) as 'sabotage'. Lastly, the bet is simply that he can perform all the techniques. There should be no assumption of multiple opportunities.
    • Heck, the bet was that he could do it at all, his demonstration so far had proven that. Barney definitely should have won the Ducky Tie bet.

    Barney and Ester's Show 
  • In Baby Talk, during Ester's show, she shoots a deck of cards at Barney. One of them sticks to his forehead. He then removes it, never turns it around and says "That was my card!" However... he didn't actually see it. How would he know?
    • Why would him seeing it matter? There was no card that was "his card" - that was the first time the deck of cards had shown up in that act. He was just making a silly comment.

    Barney's Origin Stories 
  • Can it be that Barney has two conflicting "origin stories"? In one episode we learn that his motivation to sleep with as many women as possible stems from a boy he knew back in school who claimed that he Really Gets Around. In this episode's flashback, Barney is played by a child actor, possibly meant to be in his early teens. In another episode, young Barney is portrayed as a Granola Boy, only changing to his now current lifestyle after his first girlfriend dumps him. This time he is played by Neil Patrick Harris himself, which means that, even taking Dawson Casting into account, he must be definitely older than in that other episode. Furthermore, a later episode did a follow-up with Neo Hippie Barney, set between the break up with the girlfriend and Barney's "transformation", wherein we learn that he was still a virgin at this point! Granted, continuity errors can happen from time to time, but in a show that otherwise seems to put some effort into being internally consistent, this one here is particularly jarring.
    • What's so jarring about it? Before he met his first girlfriend he was just regular ol' Granola Barney, but after his transformation he remembered the bet with the kid, and because suits make him AWESOME he thought he could pull it off (,and he did).
    • In my opinion it actually fits pretty well. As much as it may be reading too much into a simple gag, for naive, hippy Barney to become his later sex-addict self, he would have to already have some deep-seated issues. Also, I don't think there's any way you can slice it where Barney's lead motivation in life was impressing that kid from school; it, like many other aspects of his character, is simply a way for him to duck his underlying emotional issues.
      • Yeah, there's no conflict here whatsoever. The "early teens" Barney you reference (who actually looks more like 9 or 10 years old) clearly didn't have a transformation into a womanizer in elementary school.
    • Just FYI, Barney mentioned he was just out of college when he was with Shannon.
  • Yeah, but there are a few conflicts regardless of the above. There are some flashbacks of Barney where he seems like just a younger version of his older self (especially on Say Cheese but that is probably made up), and they seem to fit pretty well with the rest of his story if you overlook the hippie part. And there seems to be another version of his past, that includes him not being interested in sex at all (at least not before marriage) and being all hippie-like. In addition, there is another flashback of him being obsessed with magic growing up, but let's not get in to that. I know these stories didn’t happen at the same time, but each one of them seem to fit another version of Barney. That seems even weirder when you consider the reveal from Unpause.

    Season Six Finale 
  • The season 6 finale poses some issues for me. How can the gang get away with what is, in effect, corporate espionage by tearing down the lion's head? An investigation would surely point to them or GNB. Also, how can they justify this act of vandalism anyway as what Ted said about the Lion's Head appears to be true?
    • Corporate espionage is stealing corporate secrets or spying for insider information. In effect all they did was vandalism. As for any moral issues, the ultimate point of that entire story arc was that Zoey (and Ted) was holding on to something that was not worth the effort to preserve it. The building as a whole was not worth preserving and the cancellation of the GNB high-rise would put a lot of people, including Barney, out of a job.
      • Didn't Barney steal the head, or Ted had some knowledge of it, but no actual involvement?
      • No, Ted helped with the actual theft, I'm pretty sure. He was there when Lily proposed the plan, and he helped pitch it to Arthur, I know that much.
    • Honestly, the committee probably did suspect what really happened. However, they never wanted to save the building and the lion's head going missing gave them an easy out.

    Five Word Phrases in Days of Snow 
  • Did the writers forget about the last one of those five word phrases all men (and specifically Ted) say at some point from "three days of snow"? When will Ted say "I'm gonna win her back" or has he already? It seemed like something they intended for season 4.
    • For some reason, I just assumed it was from the first episode, when he decided to "take the jump" and win Robin after missing the signal. Now that I think about it (and googled it) I guess that's not the case. Huh. The only subplot that it would really fit in with would be Robin, when Ted and Barney were drunk and wanted Robin back.
    • Future Ted never said it would be brought up again. Just because "I can jump that far" was, doesn't mean this one was a future plot. It could have just been random funny example #132.
    • Similarly, what about the Flash Forward from "The Naked Truth" when the next time Marshall got raging drunk was shown, with him going nuts at a casino. That hasn't occurred yet, even though Barney is shown with the Ducky Tie, which has since been removed. Given the Anachronic Order of the episodes it's probably just a matter of time, but I thought it was worth noting since that one Ted expressly said he'd explain.
      • Can't remember if this is the exact scene, but at the end of season 7 Marshall gets raging drunk in Atlantic City while Lily's in labor. Is that the flashforward?
    • And this gun finally got fired in season 8. With his last relationship before The Mother ever, no less.
      • And sadly, rather than a meaningful moment, it was facepalm moment for fans as there was no way that even Ted should have thought for one second about winning this particular girl back.
      • And it wasn't even the same moment, those were two totally different scenes of Ted saying the phase "I'm gonna win her back."

    Ted's Design of the GNB Building and the Arcadian 
  • When Zoey and Ted first meet, he designs GNB's HQ to incorporate the Arcadian's facade. When he learns she's married, he scraps the design. And when they begin dating again, that design is never mentioned as an option again. What?
    • I wondered this too, but on a second time through it made more sense to me. This was a compromise that wasn't ever what Ted really wanted and was not the design that GNB had agreed upon to build meaning that the chances of the board going for it were very slim. The point being, it was an effort that would make no one really happy and probably was never much of a possibility. Ted just really wanted to impress Zoe before he found out she was married.

    Zoe giving Ted a bad time about the Arcadian being destroyed 
  • Zoe is leading a full-on crusade against Ted Mosby because he design the building that will replace the Arcadian. However, it's been established he did not chose the building site, he cannot have said site changed; he's only designing the replacement building. Beside rule of Drama/Comedy, why isn't she going against whomever is ACTUALLY RESPONSIBLE for the site? It's not like Ted quitting the project would prevent the Arcadian being destroyed.
    • She's leading that attack the best way she can by campaigning for landmark status. I think she chose Ted because she knows the sorts of corporate people she is dealing with and knows that the odds of getting through to any of them are nil. She may see Ted as the weak link since she has multiple plans of attack: pushing the idea he originally proposed about incorporating the Arcadian into the new design, convincing him to join her team via the relationship, or the trickery to which she eventually resorts.

    Robin's Pregnancy 
  • Why did Doctor Sonya do tests on Robin that led to her finding out that she's infertile when she was only a week late and there to find out if she's pregnant or not? It doesn't make any sense.
    • If she had an ultrasound, the doctor might've noticed something.
      • Why would she have an ultrasound? Before 8 weeks it's almost impossible to find anything even a heartbeat. Unless her hormones were pointing towards pregnancy with some oddity (like being a week late but having hormone counts in the lowest expectable for 2 weeks pregnancy instead of 3), the doctor wouldn't ask for an ultrasound.
    • On a related note, why would Robin tell anyone she's pregnant just because her period was late? Why wouldn't she at least take a pregnancy test first?
      • Rule of Drama (more like Rule of Cliffhanger... that should be a trope). I understand why she would tell Barney she might be pregnant (given that he would be the father) but... I can't imagine her actually being melodramatic enough to phrase it so resolutely. They just needed a Wham Line to end the episode.
    • Also a related note, I'm surprised they didn't mention the possibility about speaking about the issue with Kevin. I can see reasons why she wouldn't (given that she's not sleeping with him yet, she may not want to rush into telling him that) but I would imagine she'd want to disclose this to him as it could... directly affect him.
    • Maybe Robin just wanted to be absolutely sure? This doesn't paint her in the best light but if she did take a home test first (it's been a while since I saw the episode so I can't remember) then maybe she didn't want to risk Kevin seeing it? Home tests can give false results, so going to a doctor is a good way to be certain - especially since if she is pregnant then she will have to tell Kevin everything. So maybe Robin didn't feel like waiting indefinitely for her period, which would decide what course of action she had to take next with Kevin. ~Fearlessnikki

    The "Barney Was Grinding With His Cousin" Card 
  • So, why does Ted never threaten to play the "Barney was grinding with his cousin" card when Barney gets out of line? I can think of lots of opportunities, most recently when Barney was blackmailing him with the thermos incident to get Ted to speak highly of him to Nora. ~Wack'd
    • This is firmly in WMG territory but its possible Barney has since gotten dirt on Ted that is far worse. It wouldn't be surprising if Barney knew something about him that he wouldn't exactly be willing to let his kids know about.
    • Turns out Barney knew about the re-return; above troper was right. And as Robin was still around, and Barney's mistake had faded into history...
      • For one thing, we do see Ted use it a couple of times. For another, half these Headscratchers would disappear if people just realized "We aren't watching every second of all 5 characters lives so they probably did some stuff offscreen."

    Robin Being Married 
  • I've only seen up to season 2, but in Slap Bet, why does everyone act like Robin being married would not be a big deal. The general consensus is that it is wrong to push Robin on the subject, even if they want to know, because it's not any of their business. I can understand if Ted and Robin were not dating at this point, but they are. Ted should absolutely have the right to ask if his serious girlfriend is married to another man. And when the secret does come out, everyone acts as if Ted has betrayed Robin in some way. It's never even considered something that could cause Robin and Ted to breakup, just a minor inconvenience. It's not as if they don't believe in marriage, like Barney. Lily and Marshall are engaged at this point and the entire show kicks off with Ted realizing he wants to settle down. What is the deal here? I mean as much as the gang seems to concede that it's an unfortunate situation for Ted, why are Robin's actions never viewed as wrong?
    • Even though they never really say it, I assumed they meant "was married" as in "was once" or, as Robin runs with for a while, wasn't a "real" marriage.
      • No, she said she was still married.
    • Because in the universe that sitcoms take place in women are never wrong and men always are. Well not always but most of the time.
    • The betrayal was that Ted told the others about it. If he had just argued about it with Robin a lot when they were alone, he'd have been well within his rights. However, he specifically promised not to tell anyone else, so it's a betrayal of trust when he did so.
    • Nobody harped on Ted for telling them the "Robin is Married" lie, they were all in it for the gossip and the virtue of the slap bet. Robin was the only one peeved because it was supposed to be a secret (a fake secret, but still).
      • Actually, Lily did harp on Ted for it for the sake of Hypocritical Humor.
      • Even if she had been still married, it'd be a technicality; being defacto separated and just not yet divorced. Considering that as of 2015 you still need to live a year apart from your spouse to be eligible to start the divorce procedures (and it is a new law), it's not hard to imagine that the previous law stated something between 3 and 5 years (Marshall would know), and even then the process might take a while, even without kids. So, yeah, she wouldn't be doing anything wrong.
    • Ted did seem to be a little surprised and annoyed that Robin had known him nearly two years without mentioning that she had been married before. But her reasons were that it ended so badly she has an aversion to going to malls - so Ted was being a supportive boyfriend and trying to understand that she had a good reason to keep it secret. But we don't spend too much time with this, because Marshall soon reveals that Robin wasn't married.

    Lily and Marshall's Financials 
  • How do Marshall and Lily have any money? They live in the most expensive city in the country, and seem to live quite comfortably. This was odd enough when they appeared to just be two people, apparently living off of student loans and a kindergarten teacher's salary. Then it turns out Lily has obscene credit card debt. She also spent a summer in San Francisco, which couldn't have been cheap. Then they buy a very expensive apartment, and then have to pay to have the floors straightened. On top of that, Marshall has spent multiple extended periods unemployed (albeit between very lucrative jobs). It just boggles my mind that they can have enough money that they can be living so comfortably. I'm not saying they need to be living in squalor, but they take last minute flights (Lily, to and from Marshall's home during "Desperation Day") and were planning a trip to Spain while Marshall was unemployed. Hell, Lily still almost took that trip (... which was insanity, considering that part of her rationale for taking the trip was the pressure that Marshall put on her by not taking a high-paying job). With them getting Lily's grandparents' home, this is less of an issue, but still, their finances baffle me.
    • Maybe they do live in squalor, but this story is told in Ted's perspective to his kids. Ted's probably too nice a person to reveal that truth. Otherwise, "Friends" Rent Control.
    • They don't... the previously mentioned expenditures are plot-specific and thus can't be handwaved by Unreliable Narrator. And "Friends" Rent Control doesn't really apply (except for the beginning of the series) since they have an explicitly expensive apartment, and several other expenses. "Friends" Rent Control implies that they inexplicably don't have expenses, whereas they have the expenses but no explanation as to how they pay it.
      • I always got the feeling Dowisetrepla wasn't a highly up-market place? Its entire name comes from where it's situated, and apparently it smells pretty bad quite often. And the apartment floor was crooked, so that would bring the price of the apartment down. Plus, there's the whole thing in The Rebound Girl when their apartment shrinks; it's plausible it really was that size but Future Ted "makes" it bigger (never mentions it before that point) for convenience sake. And along with that Marshall worked at GNB for a while and he apparently made good money from that, at least to help them through his unemployment and work down Lily's debt. The money from GNB is probably also what paid for their flights to places. Not sure if this clears much up, though.
      • This really doesn't fly. Manhattan apartments are ridiculously expensive, even ones in less than desireable neighborhoods. Also take into account the amount of time they spend at Mc Larens. A single beer in a Manhattan bar can cost $8. Unless Ted, Robin, & Barney are always picking up the tab, there's no way two people with that kind of debt could afford to go out in Manhattan as much as they do.
      • In the second season in episode "Moving Day," after Ted moves out we see how much Marshall and Lily own which is not alot. Ted seems to be responsible for purchasing most of the daily necessities such as food and toilet paper, probably because he has more disposable income than both Lily and Marshall. Marshall probably saved his money from GNB and Ted probably continued to pay the average amount which is why Marshall and Lily have some spare expenses. Didn't Lily also settle on her debt in a past episode?
      • Her debt kinda got swept under the rug, but it certainly wasn't settled as of season 4. While Marshall was looking for a job, the fact she still has a lot of debt was mentioned. Claims that the apartment wouldn't be that expensive because it's flawed doesn't really work since, even if it's cheaper than most, it's still explicitly draining everything they have. And then some.
      • In the episode where they have to pay to fix their floor, Marshall and Lily discover that there is a niche market for Lily's paintings: veterinary practices, for calming dogs down. They even mention that they set up a website so she could reach out to more clientele. Considering she was selling her paintings to the vet at $500 a pop, I'd say that helped their financial situation.
    • It's explicitly outside their financial ability and often you are capable of living outside your means if you scrounge around and save on other things you can live outside your means. Also remember that they bought the apartment when Marshall had a lucrative job (and lost that job, then got another job), so it is likely it was excessive.
    • "Unpause" shows that expenses are an issue of contention between them, as Lily apparently hasn't been able to curb her spending entirely. It all just probably happens off-screen pushing them further into debt.

    Barney Winning the Slap Bet 
  • Hasn't Barney won the Slap Bet? The bet was that Robin had done porn. In "Rebound Bro," Barney convinces Robin to come to the bar by mentioning a tape of their night together. This is very plausible since we KNOW he has video cameras in his apartment, and I wouldn't be surprised if he and Robin filmed themselves when they were together. I'm surprised her didn't try to at the very least make this claim (even if it's not true, it's plausible, and he obviously has no problem lying about the existence of such a tape to get his way), considering how much he loves winning bets.
    • Because it wasn't a job that Robin was paid for. A sex tape isn't porn. And the two times Barney mentions there being a tape (the episode you said and in Tick, Tick, Tick) Robin was unaware they had been filmed. Also, Barney is genuinely aware of Robin's feelings in particular, and he probably figured telling Marshall about any tape would upset her.
    • Still seems like something he'd try, given the lengths that he goes to in order to win bets. He loves technicalities like that. Side note: There is at least one more time, when Robin mentions finding a camera in his headboard in "Bagpipes."
    • Even if it did count as doing porn, it wouldn't apply because the events took place after the slap bet was made, and it was stated that the events took place in the past. Therefore, Robin doing porn in the future wouldn't have won the bet for Barney, just as Robin getting married in the future wouldn't have won the bet for Marshal.

    Robin Scaring Away Kevin 
  • Why didn't Robin bring up the cheating and pregnancy scare to Kevin when he proposed, since the infertility thing is low on the priorities list after that? It would have driven Kevin away faster, and was much worse. None of her actions make any sense in "The Drunk Train".
    • Because she didn't want to drive him away, she wanted him to stay in spite of not wanting kids. What she didn't want, however, was him staying with her out of niceness for having proposed without knowing all the facts. Honestly, she didn't seem to really care about the cheating itself after "Tick tick tick." She'd moved on, per Kevin's request.
      • It does seem like she was trying to drive him away - She kept bringing up the "no kids" thing multiple times. But she should have been honest with him about the cheating and pregnancy scare - It wasn't fair to Kevin to lie to him about that, despite the fact that he requested they move on.
      • She wasn't. Hence the whole "being upset afterward" thing. She didn't want him to marry her out of obligation, she wanted him to marry her because he understands the situation, and accepts it honestly. She explicitly says she actually wanted this and finally was ready. As for not being fair to Kevin about the cheating thing... I understand it. It was a one time thing, they moved on, and he didn't want to go there. Why WOULD she bring it up? As far as either of them are concerned, it's in the past and a non-issue. Unlike the kids thing, which WILL come up and would be contentious. Bringing up kids is logical and nipping it in the bud, bringing up the incident with Barney is just creating conflict for the sake of conflict.
    • My reaction to the scene was that she didn't subconsciously pushed him away, rather than intentionally. If she consciously wanted to scare him she would've brought up the infidelity and pregnancy scare.
      • Again, she didn't want to push him away at all.
  • She was trying her hardest to make the plot work out the way the writers wanted it to. She was going to keep on badgering him until he finally changed his mind.
    • That much is quite obvious and it made the episode a lot crappier than it needed to be.
    • I disagree. As a woman who doesn't want children, her badgering made perfect sense to me. In order to be able to continue with their engagement in happiness, she had to be 100% certain that he was totally fine with never having children, otherwise she'd always be agonizing over him leaving her 'when he finally understands'. Cheating once, a pregnancy scare... Those are fleeting things in comparison. When Kevin mentioned adoption, she realized he hadn't understood and so pushed it.

    Marshall Asking Robin to Move Out 
  • Why did Marshall ask Robin to move out? Is it a bet thing, or is it a "he knows Ted better than he knows himself" thing? Either way it's a dick move, if unintentionally, because future!Ted is fairly confident he was fine with him never ending up with Robin (and it's generally fairly easy to tell when he's lying about stuff.) It feels like a "the writers want Robin out of Ted's apartment" thing, honestly.
    • Robin originally said she'd only live there 2 weeks tops but ended up living there for years, even when both were dating other people. Imagine going to your boyfriend's house and his ex is always there. Don't see any issues with that? It was a case of them both relying on each other for that sense of security which is why Ted ended the "When we're 40" plan and Marshall helped them along even further by getting Robin to move out completely.
    • It's a combination of "knows Ted better than he knows himself" (or at least believes that he does) and the fact that, even if he does know she has to go, Ted wouldn't up and kick Robin out for not dating him. The fact that Robin agrees demonstrates that he probably wasn't completely wrong, or even alone in his thinking.
      • It may not even be that he "knows Ted better than he knows himself," as much as it was the case at the end of Season 4, where everyone could tell that the situation was hurting him, but he couldn't admit it or wouldn't take steps to fix the problem because he still wanted something that he couldn't necessarily have at the time.
    • Not to mention the fact that she appeared to be packing her things when he came in.
      • She was unpacking from her trip.
    • Future!Ted says his past self was happy in some way that he'd be able to move on, but that doesn't mean he was 100% alright immediately or that having Robin around wouldn't torture the part of him that wasn't happy with her decision.
      • Exactly. Ted may have been able to close that door, but just having the empty room there was driving Ted buggy, to the point that he moved out of the apartment himself to get away from it. Having Robin staying there after what had just happened would have killed him.

    Ted Building Furniture 
  • Ted is so terrible at building simple home furniture that everything he makes falls apart. How did he get so far in his career as an architect to design skyscrapers if he can't even make a coffee table hold the weight of Robin's purse? Or a baby's crib hold the weight of a piece of paper?? I know it's supposed to be Rule Of Funny but it didn't work with the character at all.
    • He probably got everything in the designing of the furniture right (the chair looked especially nice, if plain) and was just terrible at putting it together. Maybe the screws weren't in tight enough. That's nothing to do with the design.
    • Ted's an architect. His job is to design things, yes... but on paper. His job is to make a design that his contractor likes, and run all the numbers to prove that it will stay standing. He's not supposed to worry about how it will be put together, that's someone else's job. Even if he knows how something is supposed to turn out, he apparently doesn't have enough experience to put it together. There's a big difference between getting something to work on paper and getting it to work in real life.
      • This fact is actually lampshaded when Marshall and Ted talk about the Death Star. Marshall says the architect who designed it failed, but Ted says that it could have just as easily been the contractor who screwed it up.
    • He implied he broke all his dishware because, as he said, "The china cabinet I built had some design flaws." I guess that could mean he put it together wrong, but it sounds like he did a bad job designing it.
    • This seems like a stretch, but maybe Ted's great at designing buildings, but not so great at designing dishware cabinets, cribs, chairs, or tables?

    Robin's Popularity in Britain 
  • Why is Robin (Cobie Smulders) the most popular character in the show over in the United Kingdom? I am from the UK, but doesn't get it.
    • Where did you get that? I'm also from the UK and I have a few friends who also like HIMYM, but they usually seem to prefer Barney the most (especially if they're casual fans; he IS the most popular character in general). Otherwise, maybe it's because she's Canadian?
    • I'm English and I'd say most people prefer Barney, too, so I'm not sure where this statistic comes from... Do you have a link? Just wondering, why would her being Canadian have anything to do with it? Most British people struggle to tell the difference between Canadian and American in the first place; once you know someone is actually Canadian, what would that matter?
    • This probably isn't an answer, but I guess the Ms. Fanservice aspect of this DVD cover is one reason - if that's her on the cover.

    James' Son 
  • What happened to James & Tom's adopted son? We saw him at James & Tom's wedding, a year after James' introduction (so... roughly 2008ish). Yet he's completely absent when James & Tom show up for Thanksgiving in Rebound Girl. Another instance of Chuck Cunningham Syndrome?
    • He is in The Rebound Girl. He's the little fair haired kid. Barney says hey to him before talking to Ted.
    • ... boy is my face red. I'll have to go back and check.

    The Show's Rating 
  • This might seem minor (and probably something nobody knows the answer to), but i'm gonna ask it anyway. Why is it that this show ALWAYS gets the worst ratings of everything that airs on CBS' Monday night comedy block? Two and a Half Men I understand, but do people just change their channels to CBS and 2 Broke Girls after this ends? I can guarantee that show is NOT even close to as popular as this one. Mike and Molly, too.
    • It was widely reported that S7 of HIMYM brought in the show's best ratings ever.
    • We can't be completely sure, but I have always assumed that shows that rely heavily on pop culture references and Continuity Porn, such as HIMYM and Community, are more popular among groups of people who are more likely to watch them on the internet (HIMYM in fact is listed as the most popular show on a number of websites like Watch Series and Sidereel). Therefore, much of the fanbase is not included in those ratings. I might be wrong though.
      • The Continuity Porn actually probably is a good explanation for this. Casual TV viewers might not watch the show as much as they watch ones that aren't so continuity-based since they might not find a lot of the jokes funny if they've missed quite a few episodes. And since HIMYM is in season seven and very dedicated to continuity, there's a lot that it can go through in just an episode. It's actually quite surprising HIMYM has lasted as long as it has (and it's been closed to getting cancelled quite a few times) and the production crew were very shocked when season seven saw its highest ratings in the show's history. Although the show is good at explaining its continuity jokes for the more casual viewer also.
    • Two and a Half Men probably gets extra ratings from the fact that so many channels are running it nowadays (Note: I have no idea if you can measure a show's ratings through multiple channels). The only channel I know of in England that airs How I Met Your Mother is E4. The other reason it's probably still on the air is because it's popular through Jason Segal, Neil Patrick Harris and Cobie Smoulers all being hot property. Other then that? *Shrugs*.
    • Between DVDs and the streaming episodes, we're probably entering an age when one can't tell that much from ratings. Myself, I never watch TV shows except on DVD anymore.

    Marshall Winning the Slap Bet 
  • Marshall never won the Slap Bet... if you go back to the original episode, the bet was "Did Robin do porn vs. is Robin married?" Robin never did porn, but she obviously wasn't married, either.
    • Marshall slapping Barney isn't because he won. Barney got to slap Marshall three times because Marshall was wrong: Robin never got married. However Marshall could slap Barney 5 times whenever he wants (on account of Lily's bias) when Barney slapped him again after thinking he'd won by finding porn of Robin when it wasn't. No one has won the bet, Marshall has just been dealing out his slaps over the years (along with the other three for letting Barney take off the ducky tie). The bet is actually still going on because when Barney found Space Teens and thought it was a porno, he almost slapped Marshall until Robin corrected him. Lily didn't interfere because she knew that since no one had won the bet yet then it was still very possible if Robin had indeed been married or done porn.
    • Good point. So basically... if Lily were fair, the slap countdown should have been two slaps then and there, since that was the already determined punishment for an early slap.
      • Here's a big difference: Marshall's had good and sufficient reason to slap Barney - it wasn't his fault that Robin lied and they had no way of knowing this, so from their perspective, he didn't really prematurely slap Barney, he just turned out to be wrong for reasons outside of his control. Barney slapped Marshall without reason since he hadn't actually gotten evidence that Robin did porn.

    Ted Moving in with Robin 
  • When Ted moved in with Robin, why would he take his microwave? Even if it was his in the first place, it would've just gathered dust at Robin's since she presumably has her own. That's a pretty common courtesy for someone moving out... leaving things that are necessities for some and worthless to you.
    • The whole point of that episode was to show Ted and Robin are not compatible because, among many other things, they're unwilling to give things up for each other.

    Little Minnesota 
  • Why does Little Minnesota put 100% of the blame on Ted? Sure, his outburst at the bar was over the top, but it's not like he did anything wrong by being suspicious of Barney's morals nor by refusing to be an enabler for his sister until she had proven herself.
    • It's basically a Broken Aesop, blame the writers, the whole thing was just badly put together. Ted still thinks he has an immature little girl for a sister. In any NORMAL life, she would show him that she is responsible by getting a steady job, showing that she has been putting a decent amount of it aside in savings for the future (or has been steadily paying down debt, if she has it), and doesn't impulsively sell his things and run off to other countries. Instead, she INTENTIONALLY stages a Sex Dressed moment in front of Lily, that she learned earlier CANNOT keep a secret, and when Ted doesn't bring it up immediately, she and Barney begin dropping nonstop innuendo until Ted finally snaps (as any brother probably would have at that point). Bringing up another great Idiot Ball moment by the writers - she literally had nothing other than her and Barney's word that it was staged for Lily. Given Barney's years-long innuendo and demonstrated history of being a compulsive liar when it comes to women, I would have expected Ted to demand video evidence of the situation before I believed the two of them, but he just believes it without question. Her entire plan to she show him that she isn't an immature girl anymore.... was to behave like an immature brat, and get mad when he reacted like a normal person. After the whole situation, I personally wouldn't have lent her twenty dollars, much less co signed a loan for her.
  • Why doesn't Ted's sister hang out with the gang after this episode? Ted makes such a big thing of her finally moving to New York ("I wanna *know* you."). Wasn't she expected to be seen more often?
    • She's still irresponsible after all and bailed on a whim again?

    Robin's Dogs and Her Aunt 
  • Are Robin's dogs still at her aunt's? In one episode of the first season, she says she is sending them to her aunt's farm in the country for a test run. Did she decide that it was better for them in the long run? How come no one ever brought it up, not even once?
    • Maybe they did, it's not like we see 100% of everyone's interaction. Ted wouldn't really need to tell the kids "I asked Robin where her dogs went" if there wasn't some funny or meaningful story behind it.
    • And it does get mentioned later on. Yay continuity!

    Lily's 'Perfect Girl' For Ted 
  • In "The Playbook" Lily has had, apparently, the perfect girl on hold for Ted. She took her to meet him, but he was doing something stupid so she never introduced them. Three years later, she randomly declares "Yep, now you're ready!" Why then? I can understand not setting her up with Ted for most of seasons 1 or 2 because of Robin, but what about the rest
    • Ted was still getting over Robin through most of season 3. Then he met Stella. Then he spent almost all of season 4 getting over Stella.
    • Doesn't answer why he's suddenly ready because he said something along the lines of "I could stand to date someone!" It just seems quite arbitrary since he's said that in the past, before he was suddenly ready.
    • Maybe the 'perfect girl' was nagging Lily to introduce her to this (presumably described as) 'perfect guy', and that was the first time Lily could do so without being horrendously inappropriate?
  • As Robin pointed out late in the series, Ted didn't really want to get married before he met the Mother. He stopped wanting Robin as soon as she changed her mind about marriage, sabotaged his own relationship with Stella, etc. Late in season 1 he actually said, "I don't want perfect - I want Robin" even though he knew she didn't want to get married.

    The Breakfast Club 
  • In a flashback in the season 7 finale, Ted mentions how at one point, they all decided to go as the entire Breakfast Club, but all of them ended up going as Bender. While Ruleof Funny probably applies, I get how Barney, Ted and Robin ended up all going as Bender, but wouldn't Marshall or Lily ended up going as someone else (I figure, one of them would've tried to go as Bender, but the other one would've seen that and gone as someone else)?
    • Given that Barney's favorite character was explicitly the Principal ("He's the only guy in a suit!"), and Marshall and Lily's propensity for group costumes (you'd think Lily would go as Molly Ringwald's character), the fact everyone went as Bender is surprising.
      • Upon re-watching that scene, it seems like Barney was just screwing with everyone when he said that (he did, after all, also say he roots for the T-800 while watching The Terminator, and cries when it's destroyed at the end, "And never got to kill those people. And they don't even help him up."
    • Pretty sure Marshall actually says something along the lines of "we LIVE together!", pretty sure this is just Ruleof Funny.

    Barney and Robin Cheating 
  • How come, in the one after Barney and Robin cheat on Nora and Kevin, Robin didn't text Barney to let him know she didn't go through with it, rather than hurt him at the bar?
    • Ruleof Drama, most likely.
    • She was with Kevin for an unspecified amount of time. It might've looked insensitive to start texting in the hospital when he's not only injured but declaring his love for her. Plus, she can't risk Kevin seeing the text.
    • Her phone could have been out of charge, maybe. Also, you're not supposed to have your phone on in a hospital.
    • I read it as, she wasn't expecting Kevin to profess his love and she was so blindsided that she almost forgot about Barney and when she realized that she left Barney on the hook, she tried to push the idea out of her mind. Alternatively, I'm sure Kevin was very huggy and "omg we're in love I can't stop smiling and talking to you" on the way to the bar.

    Ted and Bagpipes 
  • Why does Ted associate bagpipes with St Patricks Day, is it meant to be him being stupid or New York messing up St Patricks Day?
    • Probably meant to be Scotireland in effect.
      • Bagpipes are both Scottish and Irish, and have been made in many other countries as well, including large parts of Europe, the Caucasus, around the Persian Gulf and in Northern Africa.
      • Sure, but go ask 100 people where bagpipes are from and if you get more than 1 person say anywhere but Scotland you've got a miracle.
    • His exact words were "more bagpiping than a St. Patrick's Day parade." So... either way he's correct, since they're not really Irish, although most St. Patty's day parades do have bagpipes.

    Marshall's Family and Junk Food 
  • In a season 2 episode, Marshall doesn't want Ted to say that he was eating junk food with Lily during his (Ted's) toast at their wedding. While there is its value as a throwaway joke, it's established that Marshall's family seems to subsist entirely on junk food. Why would Marshall be so concerned with his family knowing he eats junk food when his mom's idea of a salad is mayonnaise, cheese and jelly beans?
    • "Salads" containing things like mayonnaise, Cool Whip, marshmallows, and jello are a Minnesota stereotype, you can hear Garrison Keillor make jokes about them and other Minnesota stereotypes on the St. Paul based A Prarie Home Companion.

    Marshall and Lily's Apartment 
  • Marshall and Lily's apartment has a pretty large problem; a crooked floor. Why did the previous owners not get this corrected, especially if they're selling it. Even if you could live with it, it's the sort of problem that would cause most people to not buy the apartment.
    • That could be the reason they're selling, and it did take Lily and Marshall a while to notice it, and since it doesn't show up as much later on, it's probably exaggerated on how much it's titled, and something that might only show up in an open house to a house inspector.

    Marshall and Lily as the Perfect Couple 
  • Okay, I HAVE to get this answered... exactly WHY was Marshall and Lily lauded as a perfect couple in the first place? Remember how even Barney thought they should marry because "they had something special". What exactly was this special trait? They dont share any common interests, they appear to be wildly different people, Lily is insanely pushy and unpleasant, and it seems we're just supposed to take their relationship at face value? Even NOW, this far into the characters lives, they dont seem to have anything that actually makes them a good couple.
    • Couldn't you have just said "I don't like Lily, I don't see why anyone else does."
      • Its not just her, most sitcom marriages has the wife be a shrill harpy because HERPADERP FUNNY, but their relationship is held up as ideal, with NO basis whatsoever. They're very different people, they don't actually seem to share anything that would make them a perfect couple, other than that they latched onto each other in college. I get that Lily is based on one of the creators wives, but come on!
      • Actually they have a lot in common, they both have the same sense of humor, like the episode where Lily giggles when she says "Sack Lunch" not to mention any other time they both laugh at the same joke, they have the same taste in music and movies to the point that Lily and Marshall had a conversation about the moral implications of Luke blowing up the Death Star with thousands of human storm troopers on it. They still have nauseatingly sweet rituals that they do, and they actually like to do them, the episode with Marshall picking up Lily at the airport comes to mind. They have a very healthy sex life, like near porno quantities of sex. Not to mention the crazy closeness they have, crazy isn't exactly a compliment though, it seems a little unhealthy, but both seem to enjoy that level of intimacy,so it works. Lily is incredibly supportive of Marshall's life dream of being an environmental lawyer, Marshall is supportive of Lily's painting at least to the point where one can be when it comes to supporting a profession that has a near 1 in a million chance of being successful. As for them not sharing any interests, all I can say is "Robots vs Wrestlers", if they were both that psyched to see that, they probably have a lot more common interests.
      • So her almost running off to Spain because she didn't want to deal with the effects Marshall's new job would have, or Marshall being forced to take a corporate job because of HER credit card debts makes her a wonderful spouse? Its like Ted said before, all Lily cares about is to have the life that SHE imagines, she doesn't seem to give a crap about what anyone else wants. And the little rituals they have are a sign of co-dependency, not love.
      • Her credit card debt didn't force Marshall to take a corporate job, the fact that they both had Idiot Ball moments and still decided to buy their apartment made him take the job, if they had stayed in the apartment and Marshall had taken a lower paying job they would have been able to deal with the debt. The effects of Marshall's new "job" would be eviction, bankruptcy and probably a whole host of other bad things, and that really wasn't even the reason she freaked out, she may have said all those reasons, but she puts the most emphasis on the fact that Marshall all but gave up on the idea of starting a family, and "running" off to Spain is a bit of a stretch, she had 2 bags with her, even if she had gone she wasn't staying. To answer your question though no, those events don't make her a wonderful spouse, all the good things she does for Marshall make her a wonderful spouse, these are just the things that make her human, well as human as a fictional character can be. When has Lily never given a crap what Marshall wants, aside from flitting off to San Francisco, when has she ever completely put Marshall's wants and needs aside. So what your saying is that even if they weren't in love with each other they would still do their little rituals, because that doesn't make sense at all.
      • Don't they have to be different people though, otherwise what's the point, these aren't real people, they're characters in a TV show, if you have two people who have the same job, like exactly the same things, have the exact same personality, then you might as well just have one character the other one isn't adding anything. Lily and Marshall have more than enough things in common that make them a believable couple, after that though you have to have some variety, they can't always have the same beliefs or there wouldn't be any conflict, and considering this show loves to use Lily and Marshall arguments for comedy with the exception of the Season 1 break up, if there wasn't any conflict it would get really boring after a while.
    • Marshall has a beautiful wife who forgave him for stabbing her, has the same sense of humour as him, loves him, is incredibly supportive of his decisions even when they're terrible, and who supported him through law school and does all the cooking. Lily has an adorable husband who forgave her for leaving for a summer once to find herself, has the same sense of humour as her, loves her, who was willing to pay back her debt because he considers it their debt, and who never so much as thinks about another woman. They have an amazing sex life, a long history with each other, and a willingness to get through good times and bad together. Their relationship makes absolute sense.
      • The above is true (although Marshall stabbing her was clearly a freak accident), but Marshall is clearly a better person, more selfless, sacrifices more for her than vise versa, etc, but yet she's the reacher just b/c she's hot. In fairness to her, Marshall is clearly the best human being and most selfless person out of all the main cast, not just Lily.
      • That's the thing. Lily and Marshall have a great relationship for the above reasons, but everyone demonizes Lily because, as a couple, they're constantly compared to each other rather than anyone else. Lily isn't any more flawed than anyone else in the main cast, but Marshall is the most sentimental, self-sacrificing and dedicated out of all of them. Marshall is flawed, but it's in ways that we're more likely to forgive, like making some snap decisions without thinking about them or being careless with his interests—for instance, stabbing Lily, while an accident, was the result of him playing around with swords and putting together a table with wood glue rather than screws. He's flawed in a "does stupid stuff" kind of way as opposed to "occasionally makes selfish and unreasonable decisions" way.

  • Why is every one perfectly okay with Scooter working at Lily's school, the guy has been obsessed with Lily for almost 15 years, being rejected pretty much every time he told Lily he loved her, that has to build some resentment, this guy probably has a closet full of the dead bodies of short red-heads and is one more rejection from kidnapping Lily, or killing Marshall. Why wasn't anyone a little concerned that Scooter knew where she worked in the first place, who is telling the deranged, delusional stalker where she works, and if no one told him that's even worse because then he is actually stalking her.
    • And before anyone says, it's because he looks harmless, well that's what they said about Dahmer
    • Well, he hasn't actually done anything to harm anyone. Probably having a closet full of dead bodies doesn't mean he actually does.
    • After finding out the nature of their relationship, part of the reason is probably because they pity him because he was pretty much shanghaied into being Lily's boyfriend. Heck, this is probably why Lily sees him as harmless.

    Artistic License Law 
  • Marshall is a Lawyer right? It just seems like the only time Marshall being a lawyer is brought up is when he's either quitting his job, or looking for a new job.
    1. Isn't giving a tattoo to a person under the influence, sort of illegal. I really doubt Ted asked for a butterfly tramp stamp. So he couldn't really give consent, and he was given the wrong tattoo even if he could consent, that's some sort of law suit.
    2. When Stella ran out on the wedding after Ted and her had covered the cost, couldn't Ted have made the case that she should pay for the almost wedding in it's entirety. I mean the wedding was all but paid for, it's not like they could claim that not everything was paid and ready for, she left him hours before the ceremony.
    3. The slanted floor in Lily and Marshall's apartment, even if they should have noticed, the fact is they didn't, shouldn't that have come up in disclosure, or some sort of inspection report, it's not just a standard of living thing, when a floor starts to sag or something isn't that a safety hazard.
    • Being drunk for the tattoo incident is generally mandatory for the Embarrassing Tattoo trope. Given his embarrassment he likely decided it was his own fault for behaving so stupidly. It seemed that Stella still paid for half of the wedding and he really didn't want to see her again so, again, he figured he would just suck up the costs instead of making it a big fight. And ultimately whenever you buy something, including an apartment, there is an expectation that you get all of the flaws that go along with it. If they didn't get a proper inspection beforehand and they sign into a contract they have to pay for the apartment regardless, so they probably figured the cost of fixing it to make it livable was cheaper than trying to sell a slanted apartment at a loss.
    • Yeah, it's really illegal. As in, no tattooist with a lick of sense will give any kind of tattoo to a drunk person.
    • If I recall correctly, Stella and Ted's wedding was actually paid for by Stella's sister, who broke up with her boyfriend a few weeks-a month or so before the wedding. I'm pretty sure that the reason Stella and Ted were getting married so soon in the first place was because they didn't want the already planned wedding (and all the money that went into it) to go to waste.
      • You're sort of correct. That's why they were getting married so soon, but they were explicitly paying Stella's sister for the entire cost of the wedding. I do assume that Stella and Tony footed most of the bill, I don't recall Ted ever being on the line for that.
      • For the tattoo, it isn't illegal, more like frowned upon. If you go to a tattoo artist and ask for an embarrassing or racist tattoo, they can do it, but more often than not refuse. Not because it's illegal but because if word gets out that they tattooed something like a swastika on you, it means bad word of mouth for them.
      • As for Marshall not doing any lawsuits against people, it's as if Marshall is being an Extreme Doormat and still new to the game. Even if the people might deserve a lawsuit, he might think it's too mean to go through the effort.
    • Erm... isn't Marshall an environmental lawyer? As in, specilizing in cases that sepcifically affect the environment, rather than people? If he specialized in environmental law, he might not have the knowledge or legal leg to stand on when it comes to non-environmental issues—it's kind of like asking why the cast chiropractor doesn't do anything about everybody getting the flu or having bad eyesight. Wrong area of expertise.
      • This is the one. Lawyers will almost never practice outside their field, especially lawyers in esoteric fields like environmental law. While they have the same basic understanding of the law, it's not what they have taken extra training in so they may not do as good a job as another lawyer with a proper specialty.

    Subway Wars 
  • In Subway Wars, everyone claims they have the fastest way of getting to a building six(or so) miles away. Marshall claims that he can run there just as fast as everyone else can take a cab/subway/ambulence. The race ends in a five-way tie which means that he actually did pull this off, which is fairly awesome. However, when the gang decides to break the tie with a race back, Marshall collapses, saying that it was ridiculous to think that he could run the six(or so) miles. But, he... did run six(or so) miles. He only failed at running twelve(or so) miles.
    • They didn't tie at the restaurant, they tie at a random building roughly halfway (Future Ted says he was halfway there when it happened). After they run off again, it's to get to the restaurant, which is why Future Ted says, "Just like that, the race was back on," and it ends with Robin, Ted and Barney getting to the restaurant and racing towards it. Marshall therefore only ran about three miles.

    Cloudcuckoolander Executive? 
  • If Barney has such Cloudcuckoolander tendencies, how could he possibly have made his way up into some sort of omnipotent Corrupt Corporate Executive? His job has a lot of responsibility, including contracts that, if executed improperly, would start a war with Portugal.
    • He's obviously very good with those contracts, and is able to get them in just the right way. (Heh.)
    • There are people who could do that, no doubt. But then there is Barney, who is prone to open his mouth at the worst of times, take up any challenge at the slightest provocation, and shut off any word he doesn't like like Charlie Sheen. Now, please, go reconcile them.
    • Bunny-Ears Lawyer. We never actually see him doing work-work, and when he does he usually handles it well. He is intelligent, he's creative, and he's very good under pressure. He's a great liar and improviser and he likely has a great deal of knowledge of obscure facts and data that he can execute deals and contracts quite well. Look at it this way: he devotes so much charm, intelligence, energy, and attention to detail to his ploys to sleep with women. If he devotes a fraction of that to his job, he'd be an amazing worker. And apparently he does and he is.
    • Yeah, Bunny-Ears Lawyer angle could work. The only caveat with that is that Barney doesn't seem like someone who wants to work at all. Sure, he's capable, but he's an all-play-and-no-work dude.
    • It's impossible to be all-play-and-no-work 100% of the time, especially when you have such expensive tastes as Barney. Chances are he buckles down when he has to because he has to. And you (I assume, I didn't check the history) said it yourself: he takes up any challenge at the slightest provocation. It isn't that much of a stretch to believe that he treats work as "play" given his personality. He does genuinely enjoy some of the ins and outs of office like ("Best Burger in New York," for example had him wistfully remembering how brutal and painful the merger between Altrucell and GNB was). He's got a good job that pays well, gives him enormous freedom, and he enjoys it. It's not surprising he'd from time-to-time buckle down and do work to keep it, especially if he enjoys it even slightly.
    • Agree with the above, and would like to add; while there is no reason to suspect Barney would be bad at his job (for all his faults, he is shown to be intelligent, driven and well-organized) but even if he is... there are plenty of powerful executives in Real Life who don't really do much of anything, simply delegating responsibility to their underlings and then sitting on their asses or screwing around all day. We've all worked for one (and/or been one), I'm sure.
    • Barney implies at least a couple of times that he does very little work. "The Possimpible" comes to mind. Barney's video resume features stuff like him revving a motorcycle and standing next to a horse for no reason. When Lily points out that he isn't doing anything, Barney answers, "Exactly. Because that's who corporate America wants: People who seem like bold risk-takers but who never actually do anything. Actually doing things gets you fired."
    • Now it turns out his job is to sign documents where he agrees to be the scapegoat for the company's seedy business deals and is working for FBI secretly in revenge against the guy who stole Shannon from him so no he doesn't do much work really.

    How did the Barney friendship begin? 
  • When Ted and Barney first meet Barney essentially declares he will make Ted's life better because Ted's life was boring. The next time Ted and Marshall go to the bar, Barney is there and immediately zooms in on them tries to get Marshall to cheat. While Marshall did get to pull one over on Barney when Lily walked in, I just never understood why they decided to be friends with someone who told one of them their life sucked, and tried to get the other to cheat. I also never understood why Barney decided to cling to Ted like he did when they first met.
    • Barney probably just clung to them for ages and they eventually realised he was a funny guy who could be an incredibly selfless friend, even back before season 1 (and you see him doing nice things in that season too). Obviously it's hard to say exactly why since we've never been shown it, but that could be a reason. Also Marshall had fun messing with Barney after the kissing Lily fiasco; Barney followed him around asking him to teach him how to live, so Marshall would have fun with that. Also, Barney cluing to Ted because he lost Insane Dwayne (as seen from season 7 episode 12) as a friend after he got that girl pregnant; you can see them wearing the same clothes in those flashbacks.
    • After all, Barney's determined and Ted and Marshall are going to be at Mac Laren's all the time... it's likely they just eventually warmed up to him. Ish. He's still the Token Evil Teammate but he's fun and going to be there anyway. Not like Ted and Marshall would consider going to another bar to avoid him.

     Butterflies and cocoons 
How is it that Ted of all people thinks that butterflies come from cocoons?
  • He made a mistake? Even people like Ted are capable of mixing things like that up.
  • Butterflies don't come from cocoons?
    • No, they don't. A butterfly comes from a chrysalis, whereas a cocoon is a silk wrapping that a moth uses. You'd think Ted would know that, but then he also couldn't pronounce "chameleon."
    • There is a species of butterfly that comes from a cocoon called the Parnassius Butterfly. Ted being who he is most likely knows this, and is referring to this particular type of butterfly in his speech.
      • Lots of people think butterflies come out of cocoons—just ask the Mighty Monarch what he calls his lairship.
      • Regardless to all of this, one major thing about Ted is that his Encyclopaedic Knowledge is not as perfect as he portrays but he's happy to act as if it is. For example, "encyclopaedia" could be said to be pronounced properly in many different ways, but "encyclo-pay-dia" is distinctly not one of them. For one, the "æ" it uses is not the rune as Ted claims, but rather a ligature representing the diphthong "ae". The use of the ligature in this fashion was a later stylistic invention. This diphthong is believed to have been pronounced (and is taught in modern Latin classes to be pronounced) closer to a long "i", so this would actually make it "encyclo-pie-dia". The Ancient Greek from which it was derived later shifted the pronunciation of how "παιδεύω" (one of the roots from which encyclopaedia was derived) was pronunced and following that could theoretically give us "encyclo-peh-dia", though this would be fairly strange. If the "ae" was supposed to be the rune, however, that rune would be called "æsc" in Old English, but this is more modernly rendered "ash" but either way it is pronounced like the word "ash" is today and the "æ" takes the pronunciation that implies. Via this method, then encyclopaedia would have a vowel sound that would remind one more of "cat" than "day". Anyway, the point of all of this linguistic sidetrack is to illustrate a point: Ted's character is one who thinks he knows a lot more than he actually does and who often seems to care more about appearing knowledgeable than actually being knowledgeable.
      • The above troper is absolutely correct. It's very rare that know-it-alls actually knows it all. Ted in particular is implied to be a bit of a blowhard at times.
    • Or it's entirely possible that Ted knew Barney wouldn't know the difference, was hung over and tired, and just rolled with it.

     Paying for weddings 
Twice now, Ted has been threatened with having to pay for a wedding that he interfered with. Is that... is that even possible? The first time I just chalked it up to a Rule of Funny but then they went back to it again. It's like the writers actually think this is something that happens.And, of course, there's the fact that it's not Ted's fault the wedding didn't happen since Klaus was skipping out anyway.
  • People tend to spew empty, ridiculous threats when you've made them angry and there's nothing they can do about it. If someone is perceived as having wrecked your wedding and you legally can't just kick their ass, you would at least like to think you can charge them for the expenses. Almost certainly not something you can actually do, but probably a common enough thing to say (and Ted is a nice enough guy he may actually worry about/consider actually paying).

     Stella Moving to New York 
So, we see that, after she leaves Ted for Tony, she moves to NYC. Except, she gave a list of incredibly valid reasons as to why she shouldn't leave New Jersey (Lucy's friends and school life, her being on the PTA, her position as Deputy Mayor, her believing NYC being a terrible place to raise a child). Did she just throw all of those out the window?
  • Yes. That's exactly why Ted got so mad at that; Stella didn't care about Ted enough to give up those things, but she was willing to do so for Tony.
    • How do we know that she did move, anyway? All we saw was her going to Tony's apartment. It's entirely possible that she and Lucy still live in New Jersey but come out to visit Tony on weekends and such.
    • At the restaurant, she says that she's going "straight home." Presumably, she never called Ted's place "home." Not to mention we know for a fact she uprooted herself even more by moving to LA a few months later.
      • Honestly, it's kind of common to refer to her dorm as "home" even if she doesn't live there full time. Her still living in NJ at the time is entirely plausible.

     Stella Being a Back-Up Mother 
If the show had ended on season 3, Stella would have been The Mother. Doesn't this mean that her daughter should have been there with Ted's kids when he's telling the story?
  • No. Lucy knows how Ted met Stella... she was alive and around for that.
    • Lucy was already seven or eight years old when Stella met Ted. She'd be grown up by the time Ted's telling the story to the kids.
      • They could've retconned it as Ted has three kids with his wife, but he's telling the story to his biological children who wouldn't know the story, not the stepdaughter who lived it.

     What's the deal with Matt Blitz? 
  • Did you know that Blitzgiving was not the first appearance of Matt Blitz? The name and apparently the actor were originally used in "The Playbook" as a throwaway character who was an example of someone who, as soon as they gave up on dating wound up getting married (... well, civil unioned). So this may be more of a Meta headscratcher but... why did they reuse the name and character? It can't be the same guy, because Matt Blitz from Blitzgiving left Wesleyan in 1967, while this one from 40 years later certainly wasn't 60 years old.
    • There apparently is a real Matthew Blitz who works as a PA on the show... possibly they are affectionately ribbing him by throwing references to him as these 'loser' characters. If he was a real person being mocked, it would explain the varied references. In-Universe, maybe the young Matt Blitz is the son of the old one, or is utilizing the same time-travel technology Marshall will apparently have one day.
      • Pretty sure it just a nickname that gets passed from one person to the next after they miss some event. The current "Blitz" mentions it isn't his real name after Barney inherits the "curse".
      • "The Blitz" is such a nickname that it shows to be named after a guy actually named "Matthew Blitz". As part of this they show his yearbook entry. If I remember correctly, and the above post seems to indicate I do, they use the same guy and the same name for an entirely different, younger throwaway character as well. And that is the issue at hand here.
      • The original "Blitz" wasn't that "Blitz", it was a nickname passed down as new people at the university inherit the curse. Rewatch the bit, it's made pretty clear in the narration.
      • Hrm? The original Blitz was Matthew Blitz. They show his name and everything.
      • Weird. I guess the reason is the REAL Matthew Blitz, and in-universe that can probably be explained by the fact that there could be more than one Matthew Blitz.

     The milk is OFF 
  • OK, so the morning after Ted's 28th birthday, Lily surprises him and Marshall with a big pancake breakfast, which we're told is delicious. Ted wants a glass of milk with it and discovers that the milk is sour. Marshall comments that he made the same mistake earlier. Then they sit down and enjoy the pancakes. ...FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WHAT DID LILY MAKE THE PANCAKES FROM?!?
    • There a plenty of milkless pancake mixes and recipes out there... conversely, it is entirely possible to bake with sour milk, and some people say it actually makes for quite wonderful pancakes.note 
    • Lily is lactose intolerant, so a milk-free pancake is probable. That or they had a dairy-free alternative in the fridge that she used so she could also eat the pancakes.

  • Barney is shown as ignoring a jinx on the day he got hit by a bus; however he ignores said jinx while in Ted's apartment and is explicitly stated to be hit 'later that day.' If I'm not mistaken, weren't Barney and Ted not talking at this time, since visiting Barney at the hospital is what caused them to reconcile? Why would Barney be at Ted's if they weren't on speaking terms?
    • At this point, Marshall and Lily are still living there. He's visiting with them.
    • It shows that Barney was still close to the rest of the gang after he and Ted temporarily stopped being friends.
  • In the jinx episode, why didn't Ted un-jinx Marshall and Lily? If I'm remembering right, the rules are anyone who was present for the original jinx can un-jinx someone, and I don't think it was against his deal with Barney to un-jinx them. Or have I forgotten something?
    • If I remember right, they're only jinxed briefly and Ted's a bit preoccupied by Barney's saying he'll propose to Patrice, so he probably isn't even thinking about the jinx at this point. Were he in a more playful mood, he probably still wouldn't do it, because this group of friends love messing with each other.

     Ted's Big Night 
  • Okay the Final Page Part I and II were my two favorite episodes this season. But one thing really bugs me. If Barney had the whole Robin play planned out step by step, then why didn't he make sure that it wasn't on the day of the GNB Grand Opening? I mean, you claim to be Ted's best friend, Barney, you couldn't hold off on your Big Romantic Scheme for ONE NIGHT? Seriously? Maybe the writers did this for Rule of Drama and/or maybe the exact reason for this will be explained later. But it just seems overwhelmingly selfish (even for Barney) for Barney to miss his "best friend's" big moment in order to propose to the girl that said best friend may or may not have been still pining for...
    • That's an excellent point, but it was kinda necessary. Barney had to have Ted tell Robin to pursue Barney to implicitly get his blessing. Now, Ted just saying "oh, go see Barney" on some random Tuesday night? Not as significant. But Ted telling Robin to go to Barney on his big night, and Robin choosing to chase Barney rather than spend said night with Ted? That proves more than anything that all parties believe this is the right thing to do. I do agree that it was... pretty cold.
      • I don't think it's necessarily as cruel as all that, especially since, at least thus far, Ted doesn't seem at all upset about it... I would actually think that Ted, being the romantic he is, would like the idea of Barney and Robin getting together finally and permanently on the same day his building opened; that way it would be remembered as a magical and important night for all of them, and they could celebrate it together. And Ted could pat himself on the back every day for helping to make it happen.
      • Plus, Barney had no reason to think Ted wouldn't have Marshall and Lily with him.

     Where was Jason Priestly? 
  • Earlier parts of Underneath the Tunes seem to indicate that Jason Priestly was sitting near enough Paul Shaffer to hear his stomach gurgling. Paul Shaffer was explicitly in the audience at the Grey Cup. Then how was he in Squamish inventing the Priestly doughnut?
    • Maybe he's a Time Lord?
    • Or he could just be a liar- he's playing himself as pompous enough that he might lie just to sound cooler.

     Robin's Dueling Citizenships 
  • Near the end of "Duel Citizenship", Robin was acting like her American citizenship was going to replace her Canadian citizenship, rather than be added to it, and said that she decided to get a dual citizenship. Isn't dual citizenship the default for people who are applying for citizenship to a new country?
    • No.
    • It's probably not uncommon, even if it isn't the default choice. However, the whole affair was more about Robin's sense of identity, so she probably wasn't thinking about the obvious solution.
      • A lot of countries don't allow it (if I recall correctly), so she may not have been aware off the cuff that it was an option, and she only found out later that it was, deciding that it was an elegant solution to her 'problem'.
    • Citizenship is specific to each country, and it is possible to have US citizenship and another (I myself have duel US/Brazilian citizenship) but this is only possible under very specific circumstances. In my case, I was born overseas to US citizens, so each was conferred automatically (place of birth conferred one, parents the other). However, when you apply for US citizenship, one of the requirements is that you renounce all other citizenships, therefore Robin could not have kept her Canadian passport while obtaining the US one. ~Laserviking 42
    • A further headscratcher is how Robin was going to obtain US citizenship while under threat of deportation (for starting a barfight). Generally applying for citizenship requires a clean record.

     The Last Woman Ted Told "I Love You" Before The Mother 
  • How can Ted have told Robin he loved her, and claim she was the last woman he said so to, when he ends up dating Victoria for months a few weeks later?
    • Perhaps he was cured from his I-love-you-slut-itis and he never said those three words to Victoria.
    • Which is pretty insane, when you think about it. They "picked up where they left off" and he proposed to her... but didn't say "I love you"?

     Jeanette the Policewomen 
  • How could this sadistic woman get a job as a peace officer?
    • Sounds about something like this: Police Brutality, Bad Cop/Incompetent Cop, Police Are Useless and Rabid Cop.
    • And she doesn't seem like a sadist, mind you Jeanette is crazy, but a sadist, is when a person ENJOYS causing pain, and Jeanette despite all of her crazy. Didn't seem to enjoy any of it.
    • Yeah, crazy people in uniform happens. I'm more interested in why Ted didn't call the police again and say "Hey, you know the cop you sent to deal with the crazy woman trashing my apartment? She is the crazy woman trashing my apartment. You want to send someone else?" Granted, given the habit many cops have of closing ranks when one of their number goes off the rails, he might have suspected they wouldn't help. OTOH, she casually mentions having been suspended in the past for excessive force.
  • Truth in Television

     Robin and her sport career 
  • Robin claims she's no team player and that she was never able to do such an activity. Even when she plays tennis, it must be singles, never doubles. How come she then says she played field hockey in high school, missing her prom because of it? And she also tells a story how she was a member of men's ice hockey team when she was in her early teens. Unreliable Narrator much? Or what is the deal here?
    • Maybe she played goalie, so wasn't really playing in a support-the-team work-together sort off position?
    • It sounded like something she did to try to earn her father's affection. She didn't want to, but did it anyway, and her disgust for it bled into other team sports so that now she only does solo sports.
      • That explains hockey quite well (since that was explicitly while she was still with her father), but it doesn't explain field hockey, since she was doing that in High School (the same time she supposedly wasn't playing any team sports).
    • She could've been a selfish player and these forays into team sports is what informs her future self that she isn't a team player. In most cases, "never" doesn't really mean "never" so I think we can assume it's an exaggeration.

  • Now, there are probably a few good answers to this question but I still have trouble wrapping my head around this...why does Robin hate Patrice so much? Maybe it's another case of Unreliable Narrator on Ted's part, exaggerating things (i.e Patrice might have just been overly eager to get into Robin's good books and exasperated Robin from time to time or somesuch.) as is the case with some headscratchers here. Still it just seems highly irrational of Robin and it makes her seem like a wildly unpleasant character.
    • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis. Just played for laughs.
    • Doesn't help that her first appearances were showing her reacting wildly to Barney's grand gestures to Nora. Which would certainly rub Robin the wrong way.
    • Still, it just makes her seem like a bitch and is completely unfunny besides.
    • Putting aside the fact that Robin is portrayed sympathetically because she's a main character, Robin is not a kind person in general. She is self centered and cynical. Patrice is sweet and kind, and Robin's cynicism makes her see Patrice as either being passive/aggressive or manipulative.

     Cindy calling the kettle black 
  • Probably overthinking a five second joke, but in "Band or DJ?" Cindy deflates Ted's "I always know what's what" by saying "He say to the lesbian he dated for a month". Um... she dated him as well. If she didn't know, how was he supposed to know? And if she did know, why was she dating him?
    • Maybe it's a stealth Hypocritical Humor?
    • The key word here is "always". He always know what is what. She pointed out a time when he didn't know what was what, therefore proving that he was wrong when he made that statement. The fact that she was wrong at that time as well has nothing to do with it since she never claimed that she always know what's what.
    • The issue is, that was a month? Seemed more like a week, if that.
      • Maybe he just didn't tell us about the whole month. After all, he only told us the parts that had led him towards meeting the mother... that probably wasn't their entire relationship.

     Barney and Robin 
  • I am going to commit the most heinous and blasphemous crime in all of How I Met Your Mother history by saying this, but I disagree with the dynamics of Robin and Barney as a couple. Simply put, it's very dysfunctional but laced up with constant heartwarming moments to cover that up. The more that Season 7 and 8 plod along up until their wedding, the more I find that I'm starting to dislike the characters and the way they are being written. Forgetting the fact that Barney is played by none other than NPH and that Barney x Robin is insanely popular, how can the show expect me to believe that they are a perfect couple? Barney's proposal was all one big lie to declare his love for and get her to marry him; he basically said to her that he loves her and then pretends to screw things up so she'll pine for him and then it all leads up to this big emotional finale where everyone forgets the fact that Barney is an utmost douche for pulling all of that off on Robin. Don't also forget that Robin is probably suffering very low self esteem at this point from finding out she can't have kids and even breaking up with Kevin over that. Barney might not know this about Robin at that point, but he basically exploited her into marriage because, as he says in 'Weekend at Barney's', his gambit is made up of lying. He is basically saying that he has to lie and Robin has to be okay with that. Of course, he gets away with it because the writers have to keep the pairing going and the fandom happy, while also wrecking two perfectly amazing characters.
    • THANK YOU!!
    • This isn't really a headscratcher so much as complaining... even though I agree the relationship wasn't handled very well from Season 5-onward.
    • You are not the only one who feels this way. Part of fandom might agree as someone mention Barney and Robin pairing as Shipping Bed Death.
    • I think there's a true Headscratcher in here. While the Barney/Robin pairing is popular with a lot of fans and does make sense in many respects, it is sometimes difficult to buy them as a good couple in a healthy relationship. There are some problems with the way in which the characters are written and their relationship presented, which demand that we overlook some of the things that the OP mentioned. I'd suggest that part of the problem is that both characters come off as being a bit more smug and somewhat less interesting when they're together. Robin in particular suffers from that, as Barney still has his catchphrases and the odd zany scheme. There's also an element of Pair the Spares, kind of an obvious and overdone move in a show like this. Everyone's mileage will vary, of course, but I too lean towards the crowd that isn't a fan of them as a least with the way it's been handled to date.
      • More than that, they are such dysfunctional individuals (especially Barney) who bring out the worst in each other than there was really no way to handle them well and have it be believable as a good couple. They basically had to either tone down Barney or assassinate Robin's character, and ended up doing both.
    • (OP here) I think it's more so the fact is that the show goes to incredibly stupid lengths to try and convince us that they're a good couple. I think Ted's side of the story throughout Season 8 and 9 were very realistic, considering how I struggled with similar problems, but then it's all juxtaposed with Barney doing his amazingly zany and outlandish things and it just feels comical almost. Dramatic irony, perhaps? I find it funny that people express a lot of vitriol at Ted for pining after Robin (and personally I think the show is a real bastard for bringing it up again and again, but that's what happens to some people), but not at the fact that Barney took advantage of Ted being nice, deceived Robin with emotional blackmail and all that. I got reminded of this again at the end of "Platonish" when Barney starts penning the final page of the Playbook. With the music and all that, we were supposed to feel like Barney's doing the good and right thing. When he started falling in love with Robin many seasons ago, I at least expected him to change for the better. But no, the creators can't let go of Barney and instead forced Robin to put up with him and like it. I really need a life. But god damn, it's just so annoying at the inconsistencies and characters being destroyed to cater to the shippers. Seeing as how this is one of my favourite tv shows of all time, seeing these amazing characters that I've grown to like in their own way get destroyed so they can be compatible with each other. Except Barney, of course. The world revolves around him.
      • ^ What an excellent summary. One of the best "character" moments of the show was Robin shaking her head no at Barney as time seemed to freeze for him. And they just threw it away.
      • The thing is, one of the (admittedly very weird messages of the show) is that love means not changing for someone and them liking you for you. If Barney changed, then it would run counter to this. This is explicitly part of the reason they broke up the first time... Ted says that both Barney and Robin have issues with the fact that they've become dull and stopped having Legendary Adventures. And take the episode where Ted goes on a date with a girl he went on a date with years back... at the end of the episode, they both decide that it's not true love if you don't love every aspect of your partner. The idea of changing yourself to fit them has repeatedly been shown to be a sign of a bad love (take the episode with Zoe's introduction, where Ted kept rewriting his personality to match the interest of whatever his girlfriend of the moment liked).
      • Good and well and a valid point, but there's a difference between changing your personality and improving it. In the context of relationships in our society, Barney isn't a shining example of a good husband. In the end, his character hasn't changed. The way he proposed to Robin was convoluted, went against the point of him being a better person and boyfriend and it made Robin a thing in the Playbook, something that is demonized by everyone. He could have shown how better he was by conducting himself better, but then again I guess that wouldn't make for good television. Plus the writers would have made him close to Ted, and for some reason everyone hates Ted. Point is though, Barney not doing his complicated plans wouldn't be a rewrite of his personality. Sure it'd be dull, but it would have shown that he had improved, not changed, to a better person.
      • All true. Barney grows a lot over the course of the show, but his plan to get Robin to marry him is straight out of season 1. If your big idea to romance someone involves lying to her for months, pretending to not be interested in her anymore, emotionally tormenting her by pretending to date the one person she absolutely cannot stand, and then proposing to her after luring her there on the assumption that she'll go so completely insane with jealousy over the guy who has already claimed to not be interested in her anymore, and believing that she'll ignore the hell you just put her through and agree to marry you, you have issues. Only compounded by how unhappy they were shown to be throughout the show whenever they were involved - they have conflicting personalities and both of them are too stubborn to give an inch, which was explicitly shown as a dealbreaker back when it was Robin and Ted going over the same ground. They had to skip a hefty part of the relationship and jump straight to the marriage to make it work, because it had already been shown how toxic their relationship was. It really didn't surprise when the finale casually announced their divorce, especially when they spent half of the last season hinting pretty heavily how their relationship wasn't sustainable. Really, "The Robin" being another play made perfect sense, since it seems like half of Barney's plays involve targeting an emotionally vulnerable woman (either already vulnerable or made so) for a short-term relationship.

    Birthing Class 
  • How would they let two men, neither of which are pregnant, attend a birthing class and what would the situation be like had Lily attended?
    • It's possible they posed as a gay couple preparing for the birth of their child via surrogate.
      • I really doubt birthing classes are all that strict, honestly. They've paid to attend, they probably explained that they're the father and a friend who will be attending the birth, I don't see why there would be anybody telling them to get out.
    • Honestly, if they paid the fee and weren't bothering anyone, I'd let 'em stay.

    Robots Vs. Wrestlers 
  • The last line of the episode "Robots Vs. Wrestlers" (well, other The Stinger) was "To this day, come hell or high water, we all get together and watch Robots vs. Wrestlers." However, in "The Time Travelers," it's only Barney and Ted debating on going to Rv W ( And Barney wasn't even there. The ending was ambiguous as to whether or not Ted went, but it seems like it's definitely a mild In Series Continuity Error).
    • Two possibilities on this one. First, your quote is missing the words "every year" but the show never actually says that it's only an annual event. Maybe it happens once a month but they always make sure to go once a year? Alternatively, even if it is an annual event, Robots vs. Wrestlers: Legends could very well be a special extra event for the year.
    • Alternatively, the tradition of them all going to see it every year (no matter what) may have started after that, or it was the one other time they didn't all go in the span of a couple of decades and Ted simply forgot/glossed over it in his previous story.

  • If Barney and his father didn't commit any crimes and weren't actually arrested, why were they handcuffed?
    • It wouldn't be implausible to assume that a less-than-honorable cop would detain them for puking on his car.
    • Less than honorable? That's definitely disorderly conduct, and Barney is drunk enough that he's a danger to himself and/or others. Detaining them is pretty reasonable.
    • He didn't puke on the car. He just claimed he did while pretending to be the wild partier he used to be.
    • ... yeah, Barney did.
      • No, neither puked on the car.
      • Let me pull out the DVD and settle this one. First/drunk-o-vision version: Jerry stumbles over to Barney and says "I just puked on the hood of that [police siren] police car!". [cut to them cuffed]. Second/actual version: Barney stumbling back to the curb, wiping his open mouth (as if he had just thrown up) and slightly gasping. "What just happened?" "... *I* just puked on the hood of that... heh... [siren] police car." [cut to them cuffed]. So... Barney puked on the car.

    Never invite an ex to a wedding 
  • Never ever, ever invite a ex to your wedding. Except that one time when your aunt Robin did exactly that and I ended up meeting your mother.
    • Simple: It wasn't Robin who invited him, it was Barney.
    • Alternatively: The lesson isn't "don't go to your ex's wedding," so even though it's fine from Ted's end, maybe it wasn't from Robin's? Heck, maybe Ted did ruin the wedding and that contributed to his rule. It is mighty suspicious that he would be heading home from the wedding alone.
    • It probably just stands as an exception to the rule, given his long and close friendship with both of the people getting married.
    • It's heavily implied that Ted will screw up the wedding somehow.
    • Again, the rule isn't "Don't go to an ex's wedding," it's "never invite an ex to your's." Going to Stella's wedding worked out WONDERFULLY for Tony, after all. Hell, maybe the secret second aesop is "go to your ex's wedding."
      • Further confirmed by the finale. Later, Robin bemoans the fact Ted has someone... someone whom he would've never met if she hadn't invited her ex to the wedding. So "Don't invite an ex to your wedding" is accurate 2/2 (and incidentally, "go to your ex's wedding" is also 2/2).

    Where are the mothers of Robin and Lily? 
  • All the other parents of the five main characters are semi-regular characters in the show, but Robin's mother is never seen or (as far as I know) even mentioned. Robins still keeps in touch with his dad, even though her past with him is extremely traumatic, so why is her mom never heard of? As for Lily's mom, she appears in Lily's bridal shower and her wedding in the second season, but is never again seen after that. For all we know, she still lives in NYC, and Lily doesn't hate her like she hates her dad, so why doesn't she show up again?
    • They're in their mid-30s and don't talk to their parents that often, and when they do it's boring old conversations not worth mentioning via the show's (oft forgotten) framing device?
    • Lily's mother not showing up much makes sense given how her father is now around quite a bit, and they are certainly not Amicable Exes. Though the seven seasons prior, there isn't much of an excuse. She almost certainly lives in NYC as of season 5 (you don't ask people to catsit that don't live in the same city as you). Ditto Ted's sister, assuming she ever did move to/stays in NYC. But Robin's mom not being mentioned much makes sense. She just doesn't talk to her parents much, and when she does it's off-screen since it's boring and probably something Robin would do when she's alone, not around Ted. Though in season 2 she was on the phone with her mother when Ted walks in, and season 5 she gets off the phone with her mother at one point.
    • I understand that the characters' parents don't appear unless it's relevant to the plot, but there are times when seeing Lily's and Robin's mothers would have been relevant. When Marshall and Lily need a babysitter for their kid, why isn't Lily's mom among their options, if she lives in the same city? And when Robin and Barney get engaged, a big deal is made of how Robin breaks the news to her dad, but we never see her telling her mom about it, not even in a phone conversation. I get it, a big part of Robin's personality is that she's a "Well Done, Son" Guy type of character, so her relationship with her dad is shown more because it provides more drama... But completely excluding her mom makes it look like Robin has only parent.
    • How would Lily's mom be a babysitter? The problem was Lily going back to work... and Lily's mom also works. She's not an eligible option. As for Robin's mom, Law of Conservation of Detail . Her giving the news to her mom was simple and stress-free. We never see Barney tell Loretta, either. They have a relatively normal, healthy relationship... no one wants to see that.
    • Lily's mom does appear at her wedding shower, I think. And one time, Robin is on the phone with her mother, but just makes vague noises to keep her talking and doesn't seem much interested in having a real conversation.
    • Aaanndd Robin's mom is finally shown on season 9 ("Daisy") . She has an English accent, for some reason.
      • Being English is probably the reason.
    • Cobie Smulders has an English mother in real life too, so presumably they Robin match hers.

    Gypsies vs. reindeer 
  • In "Splitsville", Robin decides it's time to split up with Nick, because he's kinda dumb. As proof of his stupidity, we're shown a scene at McLaren's where the gang finds out that Nick thinks Gypsies are fictional. But only a couple of seasons ago we found out that Robin thought the North Pole and reindeer are fictional too (even though she comes from a land where actual reindeer live). So how can she consider the Gypsy thing as proof of Nick being too dumb for her? Okay, maybe Robin's being a bit hypocritical, but shouldn't the others have at least pointed out that Robin used to harbor equally silly beliefs?
    • In Robin's case it was a "gap in knowledge," in Nick's case it really was an accurate indicator of his knowledge. Context is key.
      • Plus it's not that unreasonable for Robin not to know reindeer are real. They're called caribou here, and until just a few years ago I myself thought caribou and reindeer were two completely different species, rather than the same animal with two names. Sp where Robin just had one blind spot and was otherwise an intelligent person, Nick's just straight-up dumb, as the poster above me said.

    "The Robin" 
Having just watched "The Final Page Part 2", I think there where several problems with Barney's scheme:
  • 1) Why does Barney pull "The Robin" in the first place? Sure, Batman gambits like this are Barney's forte, but wasn't the whole point that Barney wanted to show Robin he had changed, that they would now work as couple, even though they didn't when they dated previously? So why doesn't he simply confess his love to Robin and hope Robin feels the same way, instead of pulling an emotionally manipulative and torturous stunt on her? Shouldn't doing something like that prove to Robin that Barney can't change, therefore making her less likely to start dating him again? Shouldn't Barney know this?
    • Robin wants what she can't have, even when it's something she really wants regardless. Barney ending the chase and then dating Patrice was a double dose of it. Also, Barney's change wasn't in relation to his gambits specifically; it was the meaningless one-night stands and lack of commitment. He used his various gambits in pursuit of that lifestyle, but they weren't the main issue. He ran "plays" (even if they weren't specifically designated as such) in virtually every aspect of his life. Getting Marshall to work at GNB, getting Marshall to help with his prank war, getting Ted to wear a dress, getting Ted the GNB architect job, getting the gang to stop meddling in his relationship with Quinn, stopping Marshall from hooking up during Lily's absence in San Francisco, etc.
  • 2) After "The Robin" is revealed, Robin points out all of the above... but she still accepts Barney's proposal. Why?
    • Because she really does love him, warts and all.
  • 3) Why is Patrice willing to work with Barney to pull off "The Robin"? Patrice is depicted as a genuinely sweet person who cares about Robin, so why does she agree to a plan that will put Robin through emotional torture? It'd be much more fitting for Patrice to refuse to take part in something as awful as "The Robin", and to suggest a much simpler solution to Barney, i.e. that he should just confess his feelings to Robin, without any machinations.
    • Patrice loves Robin and wants to help make her happy and I doubt she knows that much about Barney's exploits. He asked Patrice to help with a big romantic gesture for someone she considers her best friend that will lead to them getting married. That sounds like something Patrice would be extremely interested in.
    • What Barney needed to show Robin was that she still loved him, Ted wasn't in the way, and show that he was willing to sacrifice to make a relationship work. Plus remember, as Ted said during "The Rough Patch," the reason Robin hated Barney by the end of the relationship was because he wasn't himself anymore. He stopped being Barney and became boring. I don't think proving he had matured was necessary, but proving he was devoted (burning the Playbook, putting this much effort in) helped.
    • That said, women in fiction forgive literally anything when a guy proposes. It's a weird trend. I agree she should be a bit less quick to forgive. But hey, she loves the guy.
    • Because Barney's convinced Patrice it's for the best. For all of Barney's Complexity Addiction tendencies, "The Robin" is pretty brilliant in that it simultaneously forces both Robin and Ted to face their feelings without being overtly asked about it (which with Robin especially causes severe denial).

     Double Casting? 
  • Confusing in-universe but more of a complaint out-of-universe, I noticed that the child actor who plays one of Ted's nephews in "How Lily Stole Christmas" is the same child actor who plays a child actor in-universe as Barney's fake son in "The Stinsons". Even if you explain this by saying the nephew actually did become a child actor, how would Ted not recognize him? I guess we're just meant to assume it's a coincidence, a doppelganger, but it still seems like needlessly lazy casting. ~docpotterywood
    • Ted doesn't seem particularly close to that branch of his family, so Ted not recognizing him isn't impossible. I know I have cousins that I'd never recognize if I passed them in the street — I shared a math class with a cousin of mine back in high school and didn't realize until we saw each other at the family Christmas party that year. If you only meet someone once or twice a year it's rather understandable. ~saltyoldbones
    • On the other hand, it's entirely possible that Ted doesn't exactly remember what Barney's fake kid looks like, only that "he looks like your cousin," and imagination filled in the rest. From what we see of her, I somewhat doubt that Ted's sister would let her kid be a child actor, let alone one who's had a nosejob, as he mentions.

     Meeting in College 
  • If Marshall and Ted did not meet until they became roommates, Lily and Marshall met within the first week of college, and Ted and Lily presumably met very soon after, then they've all known each other for roughly the same amount of time. So why then does the show sometimes like to imply Marshall and Ted were best friends or knew each other extremely well before Lily came along? While living together would of course equate to spending a lot of time together, Lily has still been around (even just as part of their lives if not always physically present) for pretty much the duration of their friendship.
    • The show has never implied they knew each other long before Lily came around, but it does suggest they became friends before Marshall and Lily became an official couple. In that case it makes a lot of sense, meeting a girl and a new friend at near the same time means they likely bonded by discussing (and Ted supporting) Marshall and Lily's burgeoning romance, which is supported by a lot of the flashbacks.
      • An example that springs to mind is Lily tagging along for the road trip with Ted and Marshall; they seem to play up the idea of Ted "losing" Marshall to Lily, and this is especially pointed out when they listen to the book on tape, which is meant to parallel the situation. The line "for so long, it had been just me and him" isn't really the most accurate description when it hadn't been just Ted and Marshall for very long, and if it's only meant to refer to this specific road trip tradition (which was established as something done only by Marshall and Ted) it seems like the problem is still being viewed by Ted at least as a broader one regarding their entire friendship (as Ted expresses some concerns even before the road trip.) While the show does keep up the continuity with flashbacks or actual dialogue just fine, it simply feels like sometimes the tone is more consistent with a different history between the three.
      • Ted and Marshall lived together as best friends and roommates for the first 9 years of Marshall and Lily's relationship. While Marshall and Lily dated for nearly that same amount of time, it's a different relationship dynamic. Once they get married and Ted no longer lives with them, that officially changes the trio to a duo. Ted still sees Marshall at the bar and when they hang out in the apartment, but it's not quite the same.

     Robin's obliviousness to her aunt 
  • There's a callback in "The Autumn of Break-Ups" to Robin's aunt who lives on a farm and takes care of her dogs, a plot point originally brought up in the episode "Stuff"— in the later episode, Robin is surprised to hear Barney call her aunt a lesbian and then has the realization that it's true and the woman she lives with is not her "special friend". But in "Stuff", while Robin does question Lily's comment that "they" love dogs, she explicitly calls Betty her aunt's "lover". Even if she had used "girlfriend" or "partner" you could perhaps make a case for a very naive person misunderstanding the term, but lover seems hard to interpret as anything else.
    Robin: My aunt is awfully lonely up there. It's just her and her lover Betty.
    • Haven't seen the episode, but she could have been joking without knowing it was true.

     Marshall's Biggest Mistake 
  • On Dowisetrepla Ted says that buying the apartment was "Marshall's biggest mistake". How? Sure, it has the smell problem, but that's pretty much it. The thing with the crooked floor was fixed thanks to Lily's paintings and the vets, and considering the fact that Marshall has started a website for selling Lily's paintings, all of her debts are probably gone. She is capable of selling a painting for 500$, and considering her paintings' affect vets are probably buying a lot of them(and we know she still sells them because on Blitzgiving Zoey says she's bought them). That means most of their debts are also gone, and that leaves them with nothing but a smelly apartment. When they sell the apartment they don't even have to try – a guy just asks to buy it and they agree. They get a free house from Lily's grandparents (unless it wasn't free and I just misunderstood), and then they sell it too. That leaves them with money from selling an apartment AND a house in the suburbs (which could not have been cheap), and now they live in their old apartment which they only pay rent for. Marshall has probably saved a lot of money from working at GNB, and Lily's work for the Captain seems to be pretty high paying. So why on earth was it "Marshall's biggest mistake"?
    • First off, he says that he's only made three HUGE mistakes. And it was huge. Just because it wasn't absolutely crippling in the long-term doesn't mean it wasn't a big mistake. We know they spent at least a full year in heavy debt. And they wound up okay, but imagine how much better off they'd be if they hadn't been throwing their money away on that apartment. An apartment that they didn't even want, as they wound up, you know, moving out and never looking back. And their debts are not "probably gone" as their spending is a point of contention as late as season 9.
    • Lily does make decent money selling her paintings, however her credit card debt is quite large (15 credit cards that are all maxed out is definitely north of $100,000). Marshall spent three years at Columbia Law financed by student loans - meaning he easily owes $150,000 in student loans. Lily's credit card debt is still the biggest factor in the high interest rate when they purchase the apartment. Even taking into account that lenders are more likely to forgive installment accounts than revolving accounts, if Lily's debt was even in the same league as Marshall's student loans, it would have taken a whole lot of $500 paintings to pay that off. She also has a full-time job for nine months of the year, so it may have taken several summers of painting full time to pay that off.
    • Ted doesn't say that he considers it his biggest mistake. He says that Marshall considers buying the apartment one of his biggest mistakes.

     The racecar pencil box 
  • How did Ted, the Monica-Gellerish type of person he is, never look inside that pencil box in five years? When he moved, why did he even take it with him as opposed to throwing away what he clearly wasn't using (Ted being the type to get rid of things he doesn't use)? When Robin lived with him, she never happened to open it while looking for a pencil and wonder how her locket got there? HOW IN THE NAME OF THE UNIVERSE DID THE PENCIL BOX AND THE LOCKET BOTH SURVIVE JEANETTE BURNING ALL TED'S STUFF?
    • Ted is actually very prone to appreciating sentimental value, so it makes perfect sense he'd keep something like that. It's also perfectly plausible that Robin never needed to look for a pencil, and that Jeanette simply didn't get around to burning the box. There's no definitive reason Robin SHOULD'VE looked in the box, or that Jeanette SHOULD'VE burned the box.
    • As far as the locket surviving Jeannette's rampage - by that point, the locket was no longer in the box. Victoria had it, and it was safely in Germany.
    • The real question becomes thus: how did Victoria get the locket?

     Robin and women 
  • According to Robin, she has no female friends (aside from Lily) because she hates women. So, does Nora not exist anymore? Jessica? The women Robin was with in the pilot?
    • At this point, it seems the writers don't care so much about series continuity anymore. The most recent episode ("The Poker Game") also revealed Stuart to be a lying and cheating douche, even though there were no hints at all of this in his previous appearances. You'd think the main character would've noted these qualities in their "friend" a bit earlier?
    • Stuart had already been a bitter man who resents his wife, so it's not that much of a stretch to find out he finally decided he'd be happier with affairs.
    • While I agree, I'm not sure why Nora would want to hang out with Robin after she and Barney hooked up while they were still together.
    • Maybe Old Ted's memories are starting to get fuzzy due to age? :P
    • Well, given Robin's relationships with other women seem to just fizzle out, she's probably including these as evidence.
    • The women Robin was with in the pilot? Seen twice ever and both times Robin didn't really seem to care for her. Nora? Never really a close friend to begin with. Glitter? She gets a Christmas card every year. She's not saying that she doesn't have female acquaintances, but female friends. Which makes sense, she got on fine with her peewee hockey team when she was being raised as a boy, but when she started playing sports with other girls in high school, she couldn't even be on a team with them (... maybe).

     No Questions Asked 
  • So, if Lily was tied to the chair by her students, how did she call Ted to get the cupcakes for her, no questions asked?
  • On a similar note, why was she barefoot?
  • Presumably she dialed with her toes or something. The REAL question is, why did he insist she smash the phone rather than just give it to him so he could erase the message?
    • Because then she'd have known it was a text message he didn't want her to see
    • A: It's a "No Questions Asked" so it doesn't matter. B: He could have just said "give me your phone" and she would have no idea what for. If anything, that's more ambiguous since if she's smashing it, there's obviously something he doesn't want her to see.

     Marshall's Anger At Daphne 
  • He says that he's mostly upset at her because she threw a live grenade into his marriage and screwed things up for him and Lily. Uh, what?! Marshall did that himself. Ted successfully blocked Daphne's attempt to tell Lily about Marshall becoming a judge over the phone, and then Marshall freely chose to do that himself. And a few hours later he already forgot that he did that?
    • Wasn't he mad at her because she advised him to tell her?
    • It doesn't matter that he was the one in the end to tell lily. Daphne still *threw* the grenade, he just managed to catch it before it landed. (And then threw another one). That's not the same as her not throwing it in the first place. She still texted lily and had no way of knowing that that text would be stopped.

     When are Barney and Robin Getting Married? 
  • Two years from that wedding is when Ted proposes to The Mother. According to Trilogy Time, Ted has a daughter by mid 2015. Sure seems like The Mother should already be very pregnant with "Leia" by the time the lighthouse proposal happens. The only ways I see to reconcile this is to say that "Leia" was already born by this point, or to say that at some point the show stopped having the narration approximately match up with real time and that Barney and Robin got married very early in 2013 even though Season 9 didn't even start until September 2013.
    • Robin and Barney get married in May 2013, when season eight ended. Remember, the entirety of season nine takes place over the weekend of the wedding, which is about 55 hours, so it's still mid-May 2013 for the characters in our present time. Either the mother was already pregnant but not showing when Ted proposed, or Leia was already born but being babysat when Ted and the mother went to the lighthouse.
      • I know season 9 is all the wedding, I just wasn't sure if there was definite canonical information that said this was May 2013 (since the show usually lines up approximately with present day, but not always exactly). But if it is May, which does seem likely, there's almost no way the mother could be pregnant but not showing and have the daughter born soon enough to line up with Trilogy Time.
      • If I remember correctly Ted says it was *almost* two years after the wedding that he and The Mother were back at the light house. If he's exaggerating, that could mean the proposal could have taken place as early as January 2015. If they had a short engagement and The Mother got pregnant shortly after (or maybe they found out she was pregnant and hence moved the wedding date up), it's entirely possible that they had a baby by the end of 2015.
    • Confirmed by the finale. Ted proposes to her but they put the wedding on hold for a few years because she gets pregnant.

     The Red Boots 
  • Why does Ted insist that he looks good in the red cowboy boots, even after the uniformly negative response they get? Its not even a throwaway gag anymore, he keeps bringing them out and then gets mad when people point out how ridiculous they look, why does he cling to this thing in particular?
    • Because he thinks they look good. Both the cute shop girl and the GCWOK said that he did. That simple.
      • Yeah, but he obviously realized that the shop girl only said he did so he'd buy them, he even thought they looked stupid himself until she flirted with him. It just seems weird that this particular thing is something he refuses to let go. With his other character quirks there's generally some support for it, like his obsession with architecture trivia and fine literature.
      • I don't get what's so weird. From his POV, there isn't and never was anything wrong with them.
      • Remember the episode where Ted dyed his hair blond? Robin, Marshall and Lily managed to get him to do it because as Marshall said, "Ted Mosby responds to one thing above all else; a bunch of people emphatically telling him not to do something." It is perfectly consistent with Ted's character to stubbornly refuse to believe the boots look dorky when everyone says so.

     Robin Sparkles 
  • In "Slap Bet", when Robin reveals that she used to be a Canadian pop star, she says "I had one minor hit", but 6 seasons later, in "P.S. I Love You", her two songs ("Let's Go to the Mall" and "Sandcastles in the Sand") were big enough (in Canada, at least) to go Maple (which I assume is Canada's version of "going platinum"), and Robin Sparkles is considered the quintessential '90s musician in Canada. What gives?
    • Robin was clearly embarrassed of her musical career, maybe she tried to downplay it to the others, so they'd think "Let's Go to the Mall" was her only hit and wouldn't try to find out about the rest?
      • Although Barney missing all of it just based on her downplaying it is 100% inconsistent with the level of obsession he shows trying to find Robin Sparkles material.
      • Yeah, but pre-internet stuff is harder to find.
    • Maybe in-universe Vindicated by History. At the time Robin was discovered by the gang, it wasn't long ago enough for people to be nostalgic about. Then six years later, Robin's music has been reevaluated and the internet has allowed for more information sharing - meaning now it's easier for old school Robin Sparkles fans to gush about. And the Short-Lived, Big Impact is definitely a thing - the Spice Girls were only around for a couple of years but they're considered a defining part of 90s music.

SPOILER ALERT! (I'm not going to mark the whole thing).So on Unpause we learn that Barney has been fooling everyone the entire time. Does it mean that he is not at all like the Barney we all know and love (and sometimes hate), or does it mean he has only been fooling the people at his workplace, but the rest is real? Was he pretending to be as selfish as he was, or was getting back at the suit guy his only cause, and the rest is just his means? We know from "The Robin" that he is smart enough and capable of performing these super-schemes, but does it mean his entire identity was fake?
  • No. He rewrote his personality for a goal, but he did rewrite his personality.
  • We have a trope for this - Becoming the Mask.

     Did Sunrise Have a Memory Warping Effect Going On? 
  • For one thing, Ted explains the "Victoria couldn't handle Ted's friendship with Robin" incorrectly to Robin - in a way that makes it worse for himself than the real story would! What really happened is that Ted refused to flat-out end all interaction with Robin but still wanted to be with Victoria, but she decided to leave. What Ted tells Robin makes it sound like "Victoria wanted me to not be your friend, and so I left her." Then in Marshall's argument with Ghost!Lily, he completely forgets that the only reason he brought up Lily leaving for San Francisco was that Lily said "You just did something more selfish than anything I have ever done to you" and so he naturally pointed out that this was incorrect. Not that he was right for making a decision before talking with her about it, but he and Ghost!Lily (i.e. his own imagination) act as if he brought up San Francisco out of nowhere just to try and win the argument, or as if he thought he had the right to not move to Italy based on points she owes him because of moving to San Francisco - which is not at all how the topic actually came up.
    • We see what happened "objectively", but that's not necessarily the same as how Marshall and Ted interpreted those situations, or how they remember them. If you're feeling guilty for doing something, it's not uncommon to remember it being worse than what actually happened.

    "Future Marshall's hair" 
  • During the episode "How I Met Everyone Else" we see Ted, Lily and Marshall attend a party in the year 2020 commemorating their graduation from college 20 years ago. At this point, all 3 of them are 42 years old and Marshall is portrayed as bald. Two later episodes show Marshall in the year 2021 with a full head of hair, "The Exploding Meatball Sub" and "Garbage Island" (where he is seen via hologram).
    • Maybe he got hair plugs or a toupee or something. Or maybe the baldness was something temporary (he's been known to shave his head in times of extreme stress).
    • In "Rally" we see that Marshall lost his hair in 2020 because of stress. So maybe it simply grew back?

    "Natalie and Karen rebound" 
  • In "Challenge Accepted" we find out that at some point after breaking up with Natalie (having ran out of whipped cream) he called Natalie up and they dated 3 more months, and then, even worse, after having really bad sunburn he called Karen up and they dated another 9 months (he tried to do it with Robin after learning the zoo panda's were having a child but she shot him down). Are there any appropriate gaps for these to happen?
    • It's possible the Karen thing was the relationship with Karen that we saw in the snow. And presumably yes, there was one more off-screen relationship with Natalie (probably somewhere in late-season 1, after Ted and Victoria broke up) because "Say Cheese" had a flashback to Marshall consoling Natalie after she and Ted broke up. For obvious reasons that can't be either of the breakups shown in "Return of the Shirt."
      • There's no way the relationship we saw on the show lasted 9 months. The Natalie rebound is probably easier to find an appropriate spot for, being only 3 months, but the Karen one is harder
      • Whoever said it happened during the show's time? It could have easily happened back in 2001-2004.
      • Confirmed. Marshall comforts Natalie in February 2005 according to the show. So they dated twice prior to the show's run and once during.
      • Again, that can work for Natalie's rebound but not Karen's, seeing as we know she moved to New York right before her first appearance.
      • It doesn't make any sense for either, but maybe Ted got back together with Natalie during S5 (he has longer gaps there, though no 3 months straight in real-life time; but show time doesn't always work that way). Natalie and him being together for 9 months does not prevent it from being a on again/off again thing as in college, so it might have been anywhere in S5 or S7.

     Barney's little boy talk 
  • Barney when he was trying to pick up a girl by talking like a little boy, he sounded like a little pervert, he should have inject a LOT more innocence into his act because he was being rather vulgar.
    • It's Barney.

    The Drunk Train 
  • Later seasons of this show have had the characters doing some seriously morally questionable stuff when it comes to their sex lives, but the one that sticks out to me is Ted and Barney attempting to take advantage of tired and inebriated young women on a train. Yes, they were working under the naive assumption that the women would be happy to have sex with them, and were certainly not forcing themselves on anyone, but a person in that state really can't be considered capable of properly giving consent, even if she's the one initiating it. Yes, Ted was at a point in his life where he might have been feeling quite low and a bit desperate, but he seems to have these moments where he just throws all his moral principles out the window and starts acting exactly like Barney. What the hell, Ted?
    • Drunkenness is a spectrum. You can be drunk enough to have lowered inhibitions while still perfectly aware of your surroundings and able to decide whether or not you want to sleep with someone. Ted and Barney weren't going on the train looking to find women who were paraletic, just ones who'd had a few drinks.
    • Ted and Barney's plan was to get drunk ... which means they wouldn't be considered capable of giving consent either.
    • Their initial plan was doing it relatively sober. And the biggest "appeal" of the chicks on the Drunk Train isn't that they're drunk, it's that they're desperate and likely looking to hook up. For all the talk about it being a drunk train, they didn't seem terribly incapacitated.
    • Plus no one seemed bothered by Tracy having sex with drunk Ted back in "The Pineapple Incident".
      • Trudy. Big difference.
      • It's like it's always chalked stuff like that up to the show aging. It's kind of like how when Superbad came out, the movie was a masterpiece, but in 2020, it's a comedy film about a high school senior trying to date rape his crush.

    Baby Equals Italy 
  • How the fuck does Lily's having a baby justify Marshall's giving up his judgeship and following Lily (again) to Italy? Not to fucking mention Lily herself has agreed to stay in New York for his judgeship.
    • He was already questioning it at the beginning of the episode. We know he felt guilty for "chasing her away" (through the bizarre Ghost!Lily thing). Maybe he thought she only ended up taking his side because he made her feel guilty by asking her if raising a family with Marshall was a consolation prize while she was wondering if she was pregnant. Besides, he was perfectly happy with their plan to go to Italy before he got the judgeship, and we see him elected to the Supreme Court in "Rally," so it's not like it ended up with his dreams out the window. They seemed pretty well off to me in the flash-forward to Italy; he seemed to be happy, so it seems to me like it all worked out.
      • Because Marshall has usually been willing to give up more for Lily than vise versa. Which annoys some people. Including me. But it should be mentioned that this is just who Marshall is - the most consistently selfless person in the main cast, he usually gives up more for any of the main characters than they give up for him. Barney is the possible exception, because he's done several humongous things for Marshall, but Marshall does a lot more little things on a much more regular basis. Also, he probably felt guilty that he had just accepted the judgeship as a fait accompli, rather than talking it over with Lily like he knew he should have done.
    • The problem with Marshall letting Lily have her way again is that it fucking undoes his Character Development for over half a season. As Daphne implies, Marshall won't get ahead in life if he lets the other people keep having their way over his.
      • Relationships require compromises. If Marshall immediately takes the job, he can't go to Italy for a year, because he has to be working. However, it shouldn't be impossible for Marshall to ask for the judgeship to be postponed by a year. (Indeed, the implication is that this is exactly what happens.) That way both Lily and Marshall get what they want, instead of one of them becoming bitter because the other one robbed him/her of his/her dream. Marshall was being selfish when he immediately accepted the judgeship without even trying to get it postponed, and without talking about it with Lily.
      • Err... it's explicitly impossible for Marshall to ask for the judgeship to be postponed for a year. He did ask, and the guy offering him the job made it clear in no uncertain terms that it wouldn't be held for him. Marshall is, to his knowledge, giving up his dream. The reasoning given was fairly weak, honestly. "You're giving me my dream" is exceedingly flimsy unless the writers are trying to cram TRUE LUV down the viewers' throats. Moreover, it doesn't answer any of Marshall's (legitimate) concerns, or deal with the fact it's the sound financial decision. Accidentally getting pregnant again doesn't really prove much of anything. Personally, I wish they had just gone with "gee, if you're pregnant again, we'd better go to Rome now as there's no way we'll be able to pack and move with two rugrats."
      • Also take note that Daphne is divorced, so she might not be the best person to take relationship advice from. While her advice works for getting ahead career-wise, it's an absolutely horrible way to maintain a good relationship with your spouse.
    • And the fact that Lily's pregnant again only further supports the argument that they should stay in New York. Lily's in Italy not for vacation; she's there for a fucking job.
      • How does that support the argument? People can have jobs and be pregnant at the same time, especially when their job is buying art. Flexible hours, no heavy lifting, you can take your kid if you want once it's born. Frankly, Lily's Italy job is incredibly compatible with having kids, and she'll be giving up that job by missing out on Italy. It sounds like it makes more sense to go there; she'll be making buttloads of cash and still have a flexible enough schedule to help out at home, and Marshall will be able to be a stay-at-home dad for the year. If they stay in New York, both Lily and Marshall will be working, and even though they have Mickey to help out most parents would probably appreciate a chance to be home with their kids for the first year, if they can swing it.
    • If you only look at it in terms of one person giving up their opportunity, it looks a lot more unbalanced than if you look at it in terms of what they gave their opportunity in favor of. Lily was unhappy with where she was and Italy was going to be something amazing for her especially, but for everyone else in her family too. The judgeship was important, but Marshall gave it up in favor of a year in Italy with his family. Marshall not only agreed to go to Italy but helped make it happen when Lily had turned it down. And Lily would've been giving up her opportunity so she could...stay home with two kids while Marshall was moving forward with the kind of life and work he wanted. The logical decision on paper was New York, but the one that could make both of them happy was Italy(especially if you factor in the way Marshall is about family and how much he could enjoy taking on more of the primary caregiver role for a time).
  • Frankly I think a lot of argument against Marshall's decision to go with Italy is kind of undermined by the fact we still know he'll be a judge by 2020, and Italy is only a year. Heck for all we know Marshall not taking the judgeship might be what allows Brad to be a judge by then.
    • We, the audience, know he'd get the judgeship. Marshall doesn't.
  • "Last Forever" shows it took him four years to become a judge. What makes me bitter is how miserable Marshall is in the interim; his corporate job is even more soul-sucking than GNB, which is saying a lot.
  • The pregnancy really ought to have ended the argument in favour for Marshall. Sure, it's not a physically demanding job that Lily has, but all the same she will be going on maternity leave. Or does she intend on just taking a day off to give birth and then jump right back to it? You don't take newborn babies out to museums and art galleries, the recommendation is that you keep them away from public, crowded places for the first few weeks, and either way she probably won't want to jet off to work when the baby has just been born. Mothers tend to want to be with their infants and it's a crucial bonding period. Basically, while she certainly can do the job while pregnant she can't do it full-time for the full year and while the child is an infant it should be her priority to be with the baby. Is it ever discussed if the Captain would be willing to postpone and let her go to Italy a year later, when baby Daisy is older? Additionally, this supposed dream job of Lily's just popped up right out of the blue in season eight yet she treats it like it's been her lifelong dream and ambition. Practicing law in order to preserve the environment and make the world a better place has been Marshall's goal/dream throughout the series. Lily has always had an interest in art but becoming an art dealer was never mentioned prior to the Captain making her the offer. Why is it treated with the same weight as Marshall's dream? He has worked hard to get where he is while Lily just had it all dropped on her lap and she didn't even seem to have considered it before then. Marshall's job offer also means a stable job that he would hold indefinitely, meaning a steady income (which they very much need, especially considering Lily's credit card debt and the fact that their family is growing). Lily's is for a year only, she has no idea if she'll even have a job when the year is up and considering the Captain's fickle nature she might get fired at any point while in Rome. To me it felt like the options were "lifelong dream job that the person has worked hard for and which will provide stability and financial security for years to come, possibly the rest of their lives" and "job that the person fell instantly in love with and really wants to do but which will last only for a year and the person won't even be working that entire year due to maternity leave". It's all well and good that she has dreams but there comes a point where you have to be practical and act like an adult, especially if you have children. To me it felt like Lily holding this newfound dream as more important than all of Marshall's hard work and ambitions and the well-being of their children, and/or simply expecting Marshall to make sure it works on a practical level. I like Lily as a character but I thought she was incredibly selfish about this, and considering that selfishness was the crux of the argument...
    • One important point to consider here is that Lily went to school for art history, and this is the ONLY time in their lives (that we see) that she gets to pursue anything even art-adjacent as a career. She supports Marshall financially and emotionally (that one episode with the Spain trip aside) through years of Marshall's waffling about working in environmental law vs. taking a corporate job. Marshall more than once rage-quits a job without anything else lined up, which is terrifying given their expenses. Lily can't reasonably leave her stable job as a kindergarten teacher when Marshall is either making an environmental law salary or working at a better-paying corporate job which he might quit at any moment. It's possible that Marshall believed this was Lily's only chance to pursue an art career, and as far as we know, that's exactly how it turned out.

    What is up with Future Lily & Future Marshall? 
Okay so we all know what Marshall looks like on 2013. On "Rally" there is a flashforward to 2020, and Marshall looks like this. Did he really age that much in 7 years? Also, later there is a flashforward to the day Marhall & Lily take Marvin to college for the first time, on 2030, and Lily looks like this. Did she get younger? What is going on there?
  • He was prematurely aged during the course of a stressful election, I'm pretty sure in that episode they show a photo of him from six months earlier and he looks younger and has a full head of hair. And the only thing really different about Lily in both those photos is her hairstyle, which is certainly easy enough to change completely within a very short span of time.
    • Sure, but you can agree with me that she looks younger in the second photo. And even when you don't consider the first photo, she is supposed to be about 50 years old there, and she doesn't look like it at all.
      • Perhaps she took on the older look for the sake of appearing more mature during Marshall's campaign?
      • You do realize that an actress can't actually change her age, right? All they can do is try and use makeup to simulate the passage of time, it's not gonna be perfect. Look at Ted in the last episode; sure, they gave him some grey hair but no way does he look like a dude old enough to have teenage children. Lily looks younger because the actress isn't fifty years old in real life.

    Why was Lily chewing gum? 
  • In "Daisy", Ted does a complex, Sherlock Holmes style string of deductions based on various oddities in Lily's behaviour. Ted's explanation for them is that Lily has fallen back to smoking, so when Lily is uncharacteristically chewing a gum, Ted thinks that's because it's a nicotine gum. However, we later see the real explanation for Lily's behaviour, which covers all those quirks Ted had noticed... Except for the gum. So why was Lily chewing it?
    • I had assumed that Ted believed her to be chewing gum to cover up the smell of the cigarettes on her breath. Regardless, later, it turns out that she was chewing gum to keep herself from talking and spilling the secret that she was pregnant.
    • That, and to cover up her vomit-breath. It covers the smell issue for a different reason.
    • It may have also been a stress thing, since as we find out she clearly wasn't drinking alcohol that entire weekend. Which raises the point of why she was drinking all that in the first place if there wasn't alcohol in it.
      • It was preemptive to keep the gang from finding out about her possible pregnancy. If she didn't drink any alcohol that weekend, that would've raised questions. And at some point, it's likely one of the gang would order her/everyone a drink. Getting the Kennedy Package without alcohol kept both of those possibilities from happening.

    Why were Mickey and Judy in Rome? 
  • In the flash-forward in "Daisy", Mickey and Judy were shown in Rome. But... why? Marshall is a stay-at-home dad at the moment, that sort of defeats the purpose of Mickey being there. It's obviously not a visit, because Mickey is shown fluent in Italian.
    • Probably because Judy wanted to be with her new granddaughter and it seemed from the suit that Marshall was working somewhere in Italy so Mickey was brought along. Not to mention it's clear that Mickey and Judy are still hooking up.

    Robin's family 
Robin's extended family makes no sense. She has two surviving, married Great Grandparents who have been married for 60 years or so. She also has at least one dead grandfather, which isn't a problem in itself especially if the great grandparents aren't his. But then, given all the similarities between Barney and Robin Senior, it seems unlikely Her parents got married until their thirties anyhow, and Robin herself is in her thirties. Surviving grandparents I could buy (though they'd be in their nineties) but Great Grandparents?
  • Even given all similarities, back in the late 70's/early 80's it was usual for people to marry much, much younger - right out of college. If Robin Senior was a bachelor at 27, this was already considered to be somewhat long. Also, for all that Robin's mom say, it never meant she experienced this -after- college. They might have been friends during college, when he was a total womanizer and completely out of control. He might have gotten engaged with a exotic dancer during that or right after that. It's possible that they just started dating -after- college and then got married - not necessarily after 30, since both her parents seem to be of an age and if she was past 30 when Robin was born, she'd be a bit too old to be Kate's mother (isn't Kate, like, 10 years younger than Robin or a bit more?) - not such a common age for a woman to get pregnant in the late 80's (Kate's from around 1990). Now, it is also possible that they lived in some rural area, where people might have gotten married even earlier and with no college, which could make her great grandparents around 80/90; likely. Also, it is -very- unlikely, even if Robin's parents got married at their 30's, that so did their grandparents. If instead of 30 you use, let's say, 25; for Robin's parents (making them 57 in 2013), and another 25 for Robin's grandparents (making them 82), you could still have her great-grandparents with around 100/102 (having married earlier, of course). Not common, but not completely unheard off. And, of course, there's always teen-pregnancy; which is probably the answer here!

     Barney giving up on having children for Robin 
Robin has never wanted children. That has been consistent with her character even through all of her character development. Ted wanted kids in his life, which has never changed. The show doesn't paint either one as wrong for their desires and used this a reason why they shouldn't be together instead of having either one compromise. To hit this point home they had Ted's parents basically be like Ted and Robin who did compromise on those issues and lead to an unhealthy relationship. Part Barney's character development though was realizing he wanted a meaningful relationship with marriage and children in the future. They had a few episodes of him expressing that desire. When they revealed Barney and Robin do end up together the writers never addressed this issue at all in season 8. It's not until season 9 where Barney's mom mentions Barney's desire for children that the issue is addressed at all. Barney reveals he's fine with that because he loves Robin more. It feels like Barney's desire was swept under the rug in order to get a Fan-Preferred Couple together, which goes against earlier lessons about it being ok for people in wanting different things in life not to want to compromise or give on it. This feels odd because the writer knew they would end with Robin and Barney together, so why make him want kids at all if it is easy for him to give up on having them?
  • Barney realized he didn't want kids after he and Robin had that pregnancy scare. When he thought he wanted kids all he was really imagining was a perfect fantasy family where his life wouldn't really be that different, but he'd have love and acceptance at home with a stereotypical wife-kids-picket-fence future. To him babies were just cute pets. Then when he met Sane Dwayne again and realized how drastically different his life would be with kids, he realized that it wasn't what he wanted after all. Just like there's nothing wrong with Robin not wanting kids or Ted wanting kids, there's also nothing wrong with thinking you might want them but then changing your mind when you realize how completely they will alter your lifestyle.
    • Barney probably though he wanted kids from the very limited contact he has with them. He clearly loves babies. I'd go further down and say Barney would love to have a baby, but that is very different from actually wanting kids (people seriously confuse both). Babies are a handful, but they're also adorable and rewarding. Their stuff is so cute, yadda yadda. As they grow, they become harder to deal with, and I think that between getting a true look at how Dwayne turned out and having an insider's look at what's really like to have children after Marvin was born he noticed that while it felt perfect in his head, it wasn't something he was ready to do in real life; which seems pretty reasonable. Also, apart from a brief period while he was dating Nora, he had never before considered children and never is shown doing so again after that (it's certainly not a point he raises with Quinn). Of course, he does end up having a child and seeming to be a good parent - people can turn out to be good parents even when it comes as a surprise - but that's different from wanting children. Also, it's not always a this or that situation, it might have been a "it's okay either way".

    The Weekend At Barney's photos 
So to understand that the intended message behind that episode was that little lies to make someone happy can be a good thing, but on a story level one couldn't see why they didn't actually try to do the Weekend at Barney's wedding photos when Barney was passed out. Not actually pulling off the "convincing everyone he's awake" thing, since that's obviously not gonna work. But at least they'd get some funny, memorable photos out of it rather than not having any wedding photos at all. The lie could have been that they really did fool the guests and Robin's dad into thinking Barney was conscious, rather than that they had to cancel the photos entirely.
  • You mean telling the guests what happened and expecting them to go with it? because from what we've seen, Robin's family isn't exactly exactly the people who'd go with this idea... They could just do it with only the five of them, but that seems like a lot of trouble for just some funny wedding photos.
    • "It's for the bride."
  • It took it to mean that they did do "Weekend At Barney's" and the only lie was that it convinced anyone.
    • No, Robin said after Barney left the room that they had to cancel the photographer. But that could be wrong; it wouldn't make a lot of sense then, because what's the point to lying to Barney about the photos when he'll find out as soon as he asks to see them that there aren't any photos at all? I'll have to watch the ep again to find out, perhaps.
      • What's the point? To keep him from freaking out long enough to get the wedding done. Presumably she told him on the plane to Belize.

    Lily's Pregnancies 
Remember how it took a whole season for Lily to get pregnant the first time? Then the final season reveals that they had two more children in the near future. Also take into account that Lily's not getting any younger and you've got to wonder how she's suddenly gained the ability to have a baby on cue.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic. Pregnancy can't be easily predicted like that. Personally, my sister tried for years for their first son and expected a similar experience for the second, but they got pregnant surprisingly fast.
    • True, and consider that the reproductive endocrinologist (the Barney doppelganger) said Lily was extremely fertile and Marshall's sperm count and motility were off the charts. It take that to mean the reason they didn't get pregnant quickly is luck of the draw, like flipping a coin and having it come up heads five times in a row.
    • The Law of Inverse Fertility is a real case of Truth in Television when it comes to being harder to get pregnant when trying. The very stress tends to complicate things - it does seem very likely that Lily's following children were accidents (Daisy and Marvin certainly were, remember Marshall was unemployed when she got pregnant?), and probably came from somewhat happy, relaxing moments - which also applies to Marvin, as they were focusing on other things after Mr. Eriksen's death

     The Finale (Spoilers) 
In what conceivable reality was that a sensible way to end the series? You could say it's depressing that the mother dies, sure, but it's not even handled in an appropriate way. In the end, Tracy was nothing but a throwaway red herring who served no purpose other than to birth Ted's children that he would then attempt to raise with Robin. And the whole series' framing device is changed in a weird way too. What was originally Ted simply telling his kids about the adventures with his friends that led up to getting together with the woman of his dreams (and not Robin, who was just someone he impulsively went after, thus displaying his primary character flaw) turns into "Hey kids, is it okay if I try to hook up with Robin for the umpteenth time?" He spent the series developing as a character, learning to let Robin go, only for that to all be thrown away. Barney suffers the same fate: for about half the series at this point he has been developing as a character to get to where he could eventually settle down with someone and stop "playing" women, and then 19 minutes into the finale that gets thrown out the window too. And then they picked up the shattered pieces to assemble that plot about Barney now being a father, which could've been satisfying if it were built up to in any logical way, but it wasn't.So essentially, the series ends with Ted and Barney saying "character development be damned" and fully embracing their flaws, and meanwhile the point to the series of Ted meeting the mother is downplayed to the point where Tracy doesn't even have a reason to exist aside from having a functioning female reproductive system. Maybe this complaint doesn't belong in Headscratchers, but it's like this whole thing is confusing enough that it could almost be called a plot hole.
  • The writers wrote themselves into a corner back in season 2 when the kids final reactions were filmed "Mom died six years ago" and "You should totally ask out Aunt Robin" were always the end of the line for the characters. Barney DOES settle down, just not with Robin (presumably with the mother of his daughter, since his exhaustion implies he's actually quite invested in her upbringing) which really isn't so terrible. Barney's journey is about learning to love and function in a relationship, NOT learning to love and function in a relationship specifically and only with Robin.
  • I'm too tired to turn this into the essay it probably deserves but it was an incredibly fitting ending for the show. The episode, sadly, felt rushed and disjointed in several places so it certainly wouldn't call it the best in craftsmanship (especially after Psych just pulled off a masterful finale) but still say it worked. The show has always been about a place where idealism crashes head-on into realism. Time and time again we see that idealism crushed, albeit in a generally light-hearted manner. The way it's contrasted with Ted's idealism about The Mother makes it easy to believe that the idealism eventually will win out and that each time it doesn't is because that's not The Destiny but it really makes perfect sense that one more time realism kicks in. We've repeatedly heard about The Mother as being nigh perfect, an unattainable standard that really only makes sense as someone fondly remembering someone they've lost. Ted and Robin never lost their chemistry and by reaching an age where kids and careers are already had the only real conflict that kept them apart is removed. Barney and Robin never really worked and even when they finally got some chemistry and clicked there were so many things wrong in the relationship that were easy to paint over with idealism and a wedding. The ending doesn't show any character development being reversed at all; it shows how the character development realistically played out when not putting on a facade for others. Barney tried but couldn't handle the commitment until he was bound by the deepest feeling he had: the sense of abandonment that he didn't want his own kid to deal with. Ted loved and lost and knew that didn't meant he couldn't love again. It was a rather realistic and grounded ending to a show that started fairly realistic and grounded and grew increasingly less so season-by-season but structurally and narratively it works. Unfortunately, the fact the ending feels so rushed means it loses a fair bit of the emotional resonance that would really make a lot if it stick.
    • So it's fitting that the story of How I Met Your Mother ends with the mother suddenly stated to have died, with no respect paid to the character whatsoever even after they'd gotten us to care about her, and the whole framing device was focused on Robin, whom it was suddenly always about? The narrative sets up Ted's relationship with the mother as though it's the series' ultimate goal, but it turns out to be just one last hurdle that is pushed aside in two seconds so that he and Robin can miraculously be together. That is not how character development naturally plays out, he was literally reverted back to his season 1 self. It could be believed you about the thing with Barney becoming a father, but that was set up so quickly and clumsily that any sense it could make falls apart. Barney's character development led him toward embracing honesty, and then after three quick years he decides to go right back to the way he was, again, in season 1. He goes from a gentleman right back to a slimy womanizing creep. Sure, the kid seems to change him back again, but that is so quick and unsatisfying that you wonder what the point was of having him revert in the first place.
      • First, a tip: If you start a response to someone with whom you disagree with a question beginning with "So [...]", odds are that question is going to be a mischaracterization of what they said. Second, It's specifically mentioned the rushed and disjointed feeling as one of the episode's major missteps so harping on the pacing is not a productive part of this conversation. Structurally and narratively it works and is fitting despite the pacing. That is, the death of the Mother works but the execution falls flat because of the rush. Barney's character development works with his overall arc but the pacing leaves something to be desired. Third, Ted still wanting Robin is no more reverting back to his season 1 self any more than the fact that someone would still enjoy chocolate chip cookies means they're the same as when they were five. He is still a changed person, he has still grown, but he also realizes that he still wants Robin and that the only things that they're in a place where the only things that were a real problem in their relationship (Robin not wanting to raise kids and Robin wanting to focus on her career and travel the world) are no longer factors. Finally, the characterization of Ted's relationship with the Mother as the "ultimate goal" is a lot of what some meant when they said the ending was fitting. Throughout the series, time and time again Ted (or someone, but often Ted) gives an impassioned and idealistic speech about destiny or the universe only for realism to crash through. The ending is just one final note in the same theme. There's no Destiny guiding him to spend the rest of his life with the perfect woman but rather he just stumbled from relationship to relationship with half of the women in New York until he found one that worked and then she died before they could spend a lifetime together. Six years after her death he's idealized her, forgotten her faults, and emphasized the things he loved about her. If you've come away from HIMYM expecting the idealism without the realism the ending might be especially jarring but if you expect both it fits right in, at least conceptually.
      • The chocolate chip cookie analogy fits better here if you also add that when you were five you ate way too many chocolate chip cookies and you had just spent the last several years struggling to reduce how many sweets you eat because they're giving you health problems, and then years after finally kicking the habit you go right back to eating how many you ate at age 5. Still not a perfect analogy, but Ted's obsession with Robin was clearly presented as a flaw and something that is causing him harm in the show. Right up until the very end (apologies if these complaints still sound like issues with the pacing; it's just so bad that it's hard not to), Ted chasing after her hadn't been a healthy thing since season 1. The ending was written back then, at a time when it might've made some sense, but not now. In that time, Robin has made it clear she didn't love Ted. It's not just because they want different things out of life, either. That's just the kicker. In addition to that they're also fundamentally different people. Robin isn't so lovey-dovey like Ted, Ted doesn't approve of her gun enthusiasm, etc. Also, it's weird that he's telling his kids the story of their mother that they lost just as a way of testing the waters for Robin to become their stepmother. The kids seemed to have moved on from losing their mother, but that isn't exactly something you can just casually bounce back from in six years even if they do appear like they have. It's disrespectful to the mother to act like Robin is her "replacement," and to claim you're telling the story of how you met her but then focus on another woman instead. Also, up until now I've been thinking the death of the mother could've worked and that they just royally messed up the execution, but I'm starting to believe that the mother dying practically makes the whole show a "Shaggy Dog" Story. Every time Ted is humiliated, had his heart broken, or somehow expresses his desire to find the right woman, we have emotionally become more a part of that goal. For almost all the fans, I'm sure that is to some extent what kept them watching. And then it leads to nothing except her dying. The same goes for Robin and Barney's wedding being so important only for them to split up yet again immediately. Sure, these things portray realistic situations, but what you call "realism breaking through" one would call an ending in which nothing the characters do or fight for matters and all the audience takes away from it is depression. And yet at the same time, it comes across as unrealistically optimistic that Ted and Robin's "love" could endure as long as it did. It's only a fitting ending if you happened to believe that Ted and Robin belonged together, while the majority of the series has been sending us the message that they don't. Maybe the death itself still could've worked if done properly, but problems with pacing are still legitimate narrative problems that it does suffer from (especially if you consider that the pacing didn't allow for any emotion or importance being given to Tracy's death), regardless if you were pleased with the actual story or not.
      • Resolved? In no point Robin is shown wanting to have kid (admitting it's a possibility for the future, yes - and dismissing it when it seems to have happened - and upset that she didn't even have the choice, but that's not the same thing as wanting to). Sure, she doesn't need to have Ted's kids... Except they still exist, and while they may be teenagers (that she also doesn't like), she'd still be saddled with them for some other 7 years. Now, it'd be different if they had been in college, but they're not. So, yeah, the kids thing is still very much an issue.

They spent 20 episodes devoted to a wedding that was sunk 15 minutes into the finale, but the mother's death was shoved off-screen in the last five minutes of the series? She didn't even get any last words!

  • Are you even paying attention to anything that was said? Barney and Robin getting married is a huge step for characters who started out emotionally distant and anti-commitment. Just because it doesn't work out between the two of them specifically doesn't mean that it meant nothing. They had three years of marriage together which presumably taught Barney how to function in an adult relationship, something that would come in handy later when raising his daughter and working with her mother.
    • The wedding taught him to learn how to function in an adult relationship? How? Last I checked, he fell right back to his playbook writing, womanizing, "awesome" ways until he got a girl pregnant and learned how to shape up and be a dad. However, his character in the future is defined by his relationship with his daughter, not the relationship with her mother. We don't know if they're married, we don't know if they're dating, we don't even know her name. That alone should show the viewers that the relationship that Barney has with "Number 31" is nonexistent and his daughter is the one he truly cares about. But that has nothing to do with Robin. Him marrying Robin didn't cause him to grow up and take on the responsibilities of fatherhood, getting a girl pregnant did that. Hell, if I'll throw my own interpretation out there, Barney took on the role of fatherhood because he knows what it's like to grow up without a dad. I don't think that Robin had anything to do with it, especially because you could transplant this arc earlier in the series and change nothing.
Yes, the mother dies. The mother always died. That was decided back in season 2. I'm really not trying to say her character doesn't matter, because that wouldn't be true. This is the woman who helped Ted truly get over Robin and allowed him to start seeing her as a real person rather than an ideal. As much as it is implied the series doesn't actually end with them getting back together, just with him (presumably) asking her out on one date. It's actually more of And the Adventure Continues.
  • Sorry, no, you don't spend 20 episodes for something you're going to do away with within minutes of your finale: that's bad writing no matter what show it is. If they had spent only a few episodes, maybe it would have been acceptable, but the wedding was a big deal both in-universe and in the fandom, and erasing that is pretty cheap from a writing standpoint, no matter what your feelings on the series are. As for the mother, her death may have been planned from the second season, but that's sort of a meaningless justification for why the fans shouldn't get upset over her death. The fans didn't know she was dead. It was the decision of the writers, and they made a bad decision. Fridging a character and using them as a walking shipping device is not only dehumanizing but, with the way you stated it, implies that Ted's relationship with the Mother offered nothing but furthering of Ted's relationship with Robin.
  • How could they end the series anyway? One more season to develop everyone was out of the question and no matter what, people would be up in arms about how it ended. I'll admit, it was bittersweet in a way but in the context of the timeline it makes sense with Ted moving on. People miss the point of the whole thing and think that the show hit the reset button. It was nothing more than a symbolic full circle when Ted had stopped seeing Robin as a goddess and more of a person (as said above). Honestly, I don't want to point fingers, but all it really comes down to Barney-Robin shippers versus Ted-Robin shippers versus Ted-Mother shippers. As soon as Robin said that she and Barney had divorced, there was no doubt in my mind that people would be up in arms about it. Considering that Carter and Thomas repeatedly said that Barney and Robin weren't good to write together, I wasn't surprised in the slightest. But there is development there. It's just that the Book Ends finale made everything seem familiar and make the characters feel like they regressed back to their 2005 selves when that clearly wasn't the case. But Barney-Robin isn't endgame, so it's an awful finale.
    • If you're going to reduce this to a shipping war, it would seem you don't understand the problem. For me, and I think for plenty of people, it's not about WHAT happens as much as HOW it happens, and whether or not focus is given to important bits. Barney and Robin divorcing doesn't ruin it, nor does even Tracy's death ruin it. It's how rushed and sudden these developments are after a whole season is leading up to the wedding and Ted meeting Tracy, only for them to change everything at the last second. And Ted and Robin getting together isn't controversial just because it interferes with other ships; it's mainly because it ignores all this development about them having to let each other go because they're not truly in love with each other. They've tried everything to make it work by now.
    • How didn't they regress to their 2005 selves? In the episode that was a week before the finale, Ted made a speech about how he's over Robin and how he understands that they wouldn't work out together. And in the finale, we're supposed to believe that the entire touching story about meeting the mother was nothing but a vehicle for Ted getting with Robin.
      • People grow and change (which is only one of the core concepts of the damn show!), just because Ted and Robin didn't work out at one time or another doesn't mean they can't EVER be together. The world will not end if Ted and Robin date, it's not a fundamental law of the universe that they can't be together. Yes, Ted had to learn to let go, but that was because Robin was getting married to one of his best friends. Ted had to let go of his jealousy, not Robin, before he could meet the mother and get to the point where he actually was ready to get married and start a family.
      • People grow and change, yes, but a complete 180 in the last fifteen minutes of the show? That's just bad writing, no matter how you slice it. Ted spends virtually the entire series getting over Robin, then he meets the Mother, has kids, gets married, loses her to some mysterious sickness, grieves, gets over her loss, and goes back to Robin in the blink of an eye. It's ridiculous.
      • And yes it's not like Ted and Robin getting back together would end the world, but that's not the primary issue that many people had with the finale. The issue was that their relationship was painted as one that worked once but could never work again no matter how much Ted loved Robin, only for the finale to show that they were still meant to be together which makes everything that Ted learned about "letting go" meaningless. I don't know where you got the idea that it was his 'jealousy' he had to let go of because it was made pretty clear it was Robin and everything he felt for her that he had to let go of before he could genuinely fall in love again. That was another core concept of the show: if the person you love doesn't love you back, it's best to let them go and move on. Another way to see it is that old relationships can't be brought back and you should stop obsessing over the idea. So while "people change", that doesn't mean two people who didn't work out before can do it again. Such an important lesson for life was completely obliterated by the poorly written and rushed ending.
      • And even Ted/Robin feels ruined because it looks like it's a case of middle-age crisis (the man is accepting advice from teenagers, for god's sake) OR that Ted's a jerkass that never stopped hopping he'd get Robin even after getting Tracy.
  • Why did Future!Ted sound like Bob Saget for nine years and then back to young Ted when he finishes telling the story in the finale?
    • This bothered me too. I was really hoping for a cameo at the end of the series, (considering they effort the went to in the late future scenes to dress Ted like Danny Tanner) especially since no matter how much gray you put in his hair no one will buy Josh Radnor as the father of teenagers.

  • This sums up the problems of the finale. The bottom line is that you have planned ending but you don't know how to get there. The finale would have fit if it's only around 5-6 seasons without the needless, mundane and unfunny Filler episodes and story arcs. It would made sense if the Mother is Victoria or Stella. But no, they dragged it into 9 seasons withholding important information about the Mother and only clue on how Ted meets her is a wedding. And then, they dragged us on the identities of the bride and groom until the last episodes.
    • That being said, the finale would make more sense if it was tacked on to the end of "Drumroll Please". Robin realizes she has feelings for Ted but ultimately has an I Want My Beloved to Be Happy moment - and lets him meet the future mother of his kids. But now Victoria has been dead for six years and Robin has been left with unrequited love ever since - so it does tie up the romantic loose end there. And since Barney and Robin never would have hooked up, the "Shaggy Dog" Story wouldn't be in place.

     Future!Robin's dogs 
How and why does Robin have so many dogs if she now has to constantly travel the world?
  • Between that and past references to the kids knowing Aunt Robin well, it can be presumed that she's settled down in NYC. Now, it'd be nice if they showed that more clearly, but... yep.

I remember in season 2 that Robin's dogs were gifts from her previous boyfriends and Ted told her to get rid of them because he sees them as her exes (in leashes) which she did by sending them to her aunt's farm. I'm not much of dog expert here since I've read that dog age is different from human age. So, are those dogs the same ones that she had back in season 2?

  • No, of course not. Unfortunately, there's no way her old dogs are still alive. Also, look at this picture and this picture. Not the same dogs.
    • Getting new dogs might have helped her cope with the divorce, as she may have wanted companionship but not having to enter into another relationship. And since she's a dog person, she clearly doesn't mind having multiple. And if she has a fixed address, she's probably not always travelling the world and has times when she's able to be at home with them. And one could assume she hires someone to look after the dogs when she's away, or maybe even takes one of them with her on the trips as a travel companion.

     Future!Robin's Availability 
What could possibly make Future!Ted think that he and Robin can make it work when she got divorced from Barney and barely saw the gang over the years because she was spending all of her time traveling around the world doing her job?
  • The kids mention her coming to dinner a lot so things have changed somewhat in the ten or so years since Ted's wedding.
  • Yeah, see the Dogs IJBM above. Even though the finale didn't show it in the slightest, it's implicitly the case.

This sort of bothers me that since the finale took place 16 years in the future and today, we have social media where we can communicate people anywhere and get and share information and news. In the episode "Glitter", Robin mentions seeing Lily's baby post on Facebook. There's also Barney, twitting about how boring Ted's Robin 101 class is. And there's Marshall, e-mailing his annoying photo montages to everyone. There's even a Season 6 episode where Ted contacts Marshall who uses a Star Wars-esque hologram when he's in Hong Kong after he met Wendy the waitress (But yeah, that's in the distant future when Ted is middle age). And given that Robin is a journalist and travels around the world, I'm pretty sure that she uses social media to share the news wherever she is since it's part of the job. But not contacting her friends? Or even her friends contacting or e-mailing her or using Skype?

  • Social media and even phone calls are no substitute for seeing your friends and hanging out in person. I mean, even those that lived in NYC were drifting apart as they had less time to spend together. Mind you, I still agree that Robin dropping out of their lives was cold, but it's not like social media is a magic way to fix that.
  • And a lot of people who were young in the days before social media might not default to it as the best way to keep in touch - since the gang would all be in their thirties by the time it became a mainstream thing in the 2010s. If Robin doesn't update her profiles regularly, she might lose touch with people.

     What's the deal with Chicago? 
  • I find it odd that Chicago is the default place that everyone almost goes to. In "Lucky Penny" Ted was trying to get a job there, but failed. In Season 5, Robin was offered a job there but she turned it down. Then in Season 9 Ted was planning on taking another architect job there which he turns down. Is it just an odd coincidence or is there some significance I'm missing?
    • Chicago is the third largest city in the United States behind New York and Los Angeles respectively, and thus one of the country's largest markets. Since the characters are already situated in New York, Chicago and L.A. are basically the two most logical choices for the writers to use if they're going to have a character be offered a high profile/high paying job in another city (especially Robin, since she's in the media).
    • Also, Ted's job was in New York, just the interview was in Chicago, where the firm's headquarters were located. It's only later that they moved the guy who get the position there.
    • Ted is from the Midwest, he is also used to living in a big city from living in New York for so long, Chicago makes perfect sense for Ted. He even describes it as a "Cleveland-y New York".
    • Chicago has a similar culture to New York, despite LA being a bigger city. It's got a public transit system and is a popular destination for those who want a city life but don't want to or can't live in New York for whatever reason.

     The pre-filmed scene with Ted's kids 
  • I have seen people justify the events of the highly divisive finale on the grounds that the writers had backed themselves into a corner by filming a scene with the kids early in Season 2 for the finale. They were thus, it seems, bound to go with what it shows the kids saying. I wonder, though if the writers did (and if not, why they didn't) film multiple scenes for the finale, which besides giving greater flexibility in terms of what they could do with the finale, based on where the show had gone in the interim, would also protect against leaks. or, failing that, just scrap the scene entirely and if need be, shoot from behind with sufficiently young-looking replacements.
    • Writer's Block maybe? I think they thought of this ending back on season 2 (which would have been great then, by the way), and they fell in love with it. Because of that they couldn't think of the simple fact that it doesn't fit now.
    • I think it's less they felt that had to use the ending, but that the longer the show went on, the more they fell in love with it and wanted to go with it. After all, it was their baby, and they spent seven years planning on using it... much like Ted (apparently... despite the fact that his entire character arc this season was about him letting go [nope, not bitter]), they just couldn't let go.
    • There's also the fact that shows are funny things, legally speaking. They might have been obligated by likeness rights to actually use the footage of the younger actors they had already obtained in the finale. Granted, that doesn't explain why they didn't film multiple endings, but those aren't nearly as simple as it's made out to be.
    • Turns out they did film multiple endings. The use of the controversial ending in the TV release seems to have been interpreted as a ploy to drive up DVD sales for the alternate ending.
    • No they didn't, the "alternate ending" on the DVD was the regular episode just edited differently. No new footage was used.
    • Honestly, I think they could've just filmed Luke and Penny in 2014 with the aged actors and the audience would've gone along with it. They were older but it's a short scene and they could've easily sold the joke as Future!Ted taking that long to tell the story. The bigger issue is that they knew they were locked into that ending yet still wasted 95% of the final season on a 3-day weekend and then blitzed through the next 20ish years, which included divorce, death, multiple births, and other life changes. And one of those episodes was devoted to Ted letting Robin go once and for all. The writing during the final season doesn't jive with the preset ending they'd known about for 8 years.

    Barney's job in the future 
Barney had his boss (the guy who stole Shannon from him) arrested by the FBI after the wedding. He tags along with Robin around the world until they divorced. So, is he still working in GNB (if it still exists)? Or not? If he stopped working at GNB, does he still have the financial means to support his daughter (or buy his suits) unless woman #31 is rich?
  • Even if GNB still exists (though I find it hard to believe after what Barney did to them), I don't think they would hire the guy who pretty much destroyed them. But Barney has probably saved some money from working at GNB (just his Christmas bonus was enough for a diamond suit), and from what we have seen he is pretty much talented in everything, so I don't think he would have a problem making more money. In addition, we know Robin's family has a lot of money and Robin herself is really successful now (and she is aware of Barney's situation) so it's possible that she gave him some money when they got divorced.
  • In addition, when Robin and Barney are staying in Argentina, he's quite annoyed that he isn't able to update his "lifestyle blog". So it's possible he has made some sponsorship deal(s) for the blog, which provide him with some income.
    • Building off of that, by 2014 he had gotten the Bro Code onto airplanes and in hotels. That blog may have actually been a pretty significant source of income for him.

    The Morals on the Show 
  • So are we supposed to just un-learn every lesson we've learned from the show?
    • Nope. The end reinforces the same lesson the entire show has teaching you from the very start. Life isn't perfect and bad things happen for no good reason. But you soldier through and makes the best of it.
  • What lessons? It's a sitcom, it's the story of TED's life, not a friggin Aesop's Fable, these aren't lessons you can apply to real life. Yeah, the ending was kind of a kick in the balls, but he did tell you how he met his kids' mother. That she wasn't an eternal love out of a romantic Comedy is actually refreshing after some of the romantic tropes this show has used.
    • Sure, but I can hardly remember an episode that didn't end with An Aesop, and the ending kind of revoked almost every one of them. I guess it's true that Ted has always said that life isn't perfect and all that, but there has always been so much of this letting go crap and eventually Ted just went back to the same girl he kept telling us he had to "let go". And that is just one of the examples.

     Future!Robin Thinking She Should Have Married Ted 
  • In the finale, when Robin 'leaves' the gang, she comments that Ted is the guy she 'should' have married. But she and Barney split up because she was travelling a lot. Why does she think it have been any different with Ted? Because everyone knows Ted was always super-comfortable with her independence?. Maybe you can buy Ted and Robin getting together after she stopped travelling, but at this point Robin's overseas career is her main priority, and that's why she and Barney split. Why does she think the Ted could handle it when the Barney couldn't? Isn't half the point of the Ted/Robin conflict that she likes independence and Ted wants the domestic life? What the hell are the writers thinking?
    • Yes, that was part of the issue. The thing that split Robin and Barney up would've been much more damaging if it had been Robin and Ted... so it sure is convenient that the mother was around long enough for Robin to settle down in NYC (presumably... they never actually say this much but it wouldn't make a lick of sense if she didn't), and then die so that Ted can be with Robin.
    • "What the hell were the writers thinking" is the main thing that a lot of viewers (including myself) are wondering about the finale in general. Robin has probably finished all her traveling by this point, and everything else has magically worked out so the writers could have their way. If that explanation doesn't satisfy you (which would make perfect sense), just think that the writers wanted this ending since the beginning of the show. So you can pretty much say that regarding anything that was standing in their way (like Robin's job or the fact that The Mother is more than a walking uterus).Still bitter.
    • When Robin says she should've married Ted, it's not like she needs to draw a super-detailed scenario in her head of how their married life would actually work. At that point Ted is together with a woman he loves, so him getting back with Robin isn't something she thinks would actually happen in real life. It's just old regrets and wishful thinking on her part. As for the final scene in 2030, it's not explicitly stated Robin now has a job that has allowed to settle in New York, but that's certainly the implication. The kids mention Robin that regularly visits their house, which would suggest she at least spends a lot of time in New York. And we see she has a bunch of dogs again, which definitely implies she's settled to down to living one place. Having dogs is extremely difficult if your job requires you to travel a lot, since they need daily care.
    • Robin's offhanded comment on how she "should've" married Ted is not a major point. Seeing her ex husband again and him having resorted back to his up to eleven womanizing ways would definitely have had an emotional effect on her. Being stressed, it's safe to say that Robin was looking for excuses to leave, or that the thought had surfaced in the back of her head and she was just blurting out everything in her mind without thinking. I don't think anyone should believe that Robin spent the rest of her life up to the last scene in the finale mourning the fact that she chose Barney over Ted.
      • We're giving the show the benefit of the doubt by assuming it IS a major point. Because if not, then there is absolutely zero evidence that Ted and Robin will make a decent couple at all. That Halloween party is all of the justification that they show us on-screen for Ted and Robin getting back together.
      • While I agree that the finale was rushed, it's not like there is "zero evidence". In late season 8 and throughout season 9 there are several moments where Robin and/or Ted are shown seriously considering whether they should be together instead of Robin and Barney. This theme is carried all the way through the episode preceding the finale. Ultimately they choose not to act on their feelings, because Robin still loves Barney, and because Ted doesn't want to hurt Barney, and he feels he needs to move on in his life. But that doesn't mean those feelings completely disappear after Robin and Barney get married. It's true, though, that the finale should've actually shown how Robin and Ted's feelings for each other resurfaced after Tracy's death, instead of just having the kids summarize all that.

    No questions asked 
  • In "The Scorpion and the Toad", Marshall asks Lily to get back at Barney for him, stating she can never ask him why. Later on in "No Questions Asked". Marshall claims he and Lily never ask each other to do anything with no questions asked. Huh?
    • There's a big difference between "we never do X" and "we have never done X" and a pretty big difference between when they're together and when they're not.
    • Yeah, the big difference there is they did that while they weren't a couple.
    • And it's entirely possible - and actually quite likely - that Marshall later told her what was going on there.

     Ted as an Unreliable Narrator after the finale 
  • Okay, we all know Ted is an Unreliable Narrator right? But the finale brings it to a whole new level – if the entire point of the story was getting Luke and Penny's permission to date Robin, is it possible that she wasn't such a big part of his life after all? I mean, Ted has been going on and on about her since the pilot, making it look like she's the only girl he's ever truly loved; but what if it was all just a way to make his kids understand how much she means to him, even though he has never been as obsessed as he makes himself seem? What if they just dated for a year, broke up, hooked up a few times afterwards and then just stayed friends? Is it possible that Ted's entire life didn't actually revolve around Robin?
    • Did it actually revolve around her? Ted is involved with at least a dozen other women over the course of the series, probably closer to two dozen. He had his career, both as an architect and as a professor. However, his being an architect and his being a professor were only tangentially relevant to his meeting the Mother and his involvement with Robin, so it gets less focus. Yeah, he cares deeply about Robin, and he doesn't seem to know when to give up on things, which is both one of his greatest strengths and his greatest flaws. But taking the series as a whole? His life doesn't revolve around Robin.

     Number 31 
  • In the finale, we're told that Barney ended up getting one of his one night stands pregnant, after which, he is shown to be completely exhausted from being a father. The questions I have about this are: 1. How did the girl contact him in the first place? Barney's not exactly one to leave contact info behind. 2. If we assume that Barney still uses ridiculous lies to seduce women, why would she even want Barney in her child's life after she found out the truth about him?
    • 1: She just did. Maybe he was super-excited and wanted her contact info so she would be memorialized (there's probably a website celebrating his perfect month). Maybe she was something special that he lined up for number 31, so she had his info. But it's certainly not unheard of that she did have his contact info (considering his previous pregnancy scare also had it).
    • 2: He's got plenty of money, and she's probably not horribly responsible. Getting "the dad" to support both financially and in terms of time frees her up for... whatever it is that she does.
  • In a deleted scene, it is shown that he hastily ran to her after discovering that there were 31 days in August so he might have accidentally left some contact info
    • She may have simply gone looking for him at Maclarin's.

     Marshall's Weird Delusions 
  • This bugged me a lot during the shows run. All of the characters have various neuroses and foibles that you'd expect from a comedy show, but one thing that always weirded me out was Marshall's insistence on him being good at "street dancing" and basketball, and it's pretty clear from the tone of the joke that it's played for Pretty Fly for a White Guy. It just seems so inconsistent, because there's nothing else about his personality that even comes close to that archetype. At least with Ted and Barney, their self delusions are grounded in actual interests and traits. its sort of like Lily and her attempts to use a British accent, it makes no sense, there's no reason for either of them to have that delusion.
  • Well, Marshall is a pretty okay dancer and he is good at basketball. He hardly makes it a central part of his life, though. But he does enjoy dancing and has worked on some moves. I don't get the Headscratcher here.
    • It just seems really out of character with the rest of his personality. I get that the joke is that a white guy from Minnesota thinks he is in any way "street", but there's no other aspect of his behavior or interests that shares this. Teds an architect, so it makes sense for him to go on about that all the time, and Barney's delusions mainly stem from his massive inferiority complex, but Marshall's makes no sense.
      • Regarding basketball, Marshall is rather tall, so that helps. As for dancing, we see that, even when no one else is around, Marshall likes to dance just to celebrate something good happening.

     The Wrong Karate Kid 
  • I don't really get why Barney thinks Ralph Macchio's character was the bad guy in The Karate Kid (1984). I can get him thinking Daniel is just lame, and that the villain was cooler, but did he miss the part where every single fighter in the Cobra dojo act like sociopathic thugs, their sensei is a scheming psycho, and they tried to cripple Daniel during the tournament? And he complains about Daniel using the Crane kick after all that?
    • He also thought that the Good Guy in The Terminator was the dude walking around killing innocent women. That is the joke.
    • It's not necessarily that Barney thinks Ralph Macchio is the bad guy, he's just not "The Karate Kid". Add in that the idea that someone with a few months training could beat someone who's likely been training for close to a decade is kind of a ludicrous presumption. As for the Crane kick, it's rather obvious what Daniel is going to do in that stance. That Johnny would fall for it is just kind of Plot Armor for that movie.
    • It's just in-universe protagonist centred morality. If Johnny is the Karate kid then everything he does is fine, but someone opposing him (particularly using what Barney considers an illegal move) is clearly the villain. In all honesty, I've seen a LOT of cases online when people have characters they like, or more often characters they hate, and they interpret their interactions in a way to make their preferred villain out to be as bad as possible.

     The Dirtiest-Sounding President Names 
  • This is a minor detail but it's still inexplicably infuriating: Why does Marshall list both of the Bushes when one mention would have easily accounted for both? If they were listed one right after the other, I could possibly brush it off as him being thorough, but what really confuses me is why they are in such wildly different spots on the list. Is "H.W. Bush" somehow dirtier-sounding that "W. Bush" (or vice versa — jeez, he didn't even specify which one was which)?

So... is the gang okay with Lily basically destroying someones life when she was in high school?
  • Long story short: Yes. Short story long: Combination of Protagonist-Centered Morality, the fact she did claim to feel bad about it (despite the fact she continued calling him Gasser), and plain ol' youthful mistakes. Not to mention the show's tendency to gloss over some of the... ruder things Lily's done.
    • Yeah, that's probably the reason she's the character I disliked the most on the show. Its kinda messed up how the gang just jokes about it after she reveals it too. The guy had to move for gods sake, its like one step above causing a bullycide.
  • She was proud to be a delinquent in her teens and having frightened Scooter into hanging out with her and still displays violent tendencies now and again. Marshall could even see she had the most psycho eyes he had ever seen. About Gasser she at least shows remorse.
  • She did say she felt bad and wanted to apologize or the like. Personally I think they should have had a episode where she makes it up to him somehow, such as by going on Robin's show and farting with thousands people watching her. ~Bootlebat
    • It's not like she could've foreseen the ramifications of placing the blame on him. Also, they were high school freshmen and high school freshmen are often dumb and inconsiderate.
    • They're all pretty terrible to people at times even as adults. Natalie states that the ramifications from what Ted did to her lasted years. Barney sold a woman(!), got another woman arrested, regularly films people having sex, and that's just off the top of my head. Robin screams at Patrice almost every time they interact and frequently leaves her firearms unattended, which also has the potential to cause deaths.

     Lily's Art Career and allegedly sexist portrayal of her fate (Spoilers) 
  • Why is Lily having a third child in the finale considered a sexist portrayal of women? If anything it shows how her relationship with Marshall is based on compromise(he wants 4 kids, she wants 2—3 is a middle number). The show doesn't literally say "and then she gave up her art career" nor infer that all she will do is to create 5000 kids for Marshall 24/7, so why do some of the detractors infer that she gets reduced to a 1950s housewife? I myself hated the original finale too but no need to stretch literally everything into Unfortunate Implications and this assertion is borderline stretching the negative to the worst possible interpretation. ~Daniel 1559
    • Because that's all we learn about her after Barney and Robin's wedding. Lily has another kid and... that's all. She got a less complete epilogue than most of the characters in "Blauman." Yes, it didn't say that she abandoned her art career, but by only letting us know about the kid and not her career it's implicitly saying that it's not important. Plus, you can't treat it in a vacuum. The entire finale had unpleasant undertones of "women exist to have children" and reducing Lily's fate to "has another kid" does nothing to assuage that.
    • We really didn't find out anything about Barney's future either other than the fact that he had a kid (even after he specifically left his job, which was a big part of his identity). Yet because he's a man people don't read the same implications into that. Of all the characters, Lily's dream had the least focus in the show. Ted was constantly trying to be a great architect and meet the woman of his dreams. We always knew Marshall wanted to be a lawyer and save the environment. Robin's career and dreams of being a great journalist were a big part of her character. Lily worked as a kindergarten teacher, not really pursuing her artistic dream throughout the show. She sold a painting when forced into it by financial trouble. She ran away to San Francisco when scared about her relationship. It was never a consistent part of her character in the same way as the other characters' dreams were. She only became an art consultant for the Captain when he called her up and suggested it to her as a last minute Deus ex Machina and that allowed the character to return to her artistic side, but frankly it would have felt like a cheat to go from Lily doing nothing with her art career, to Lily doing some work for the Captain who even gives them a chance to go to Rome just at the end of the series, to revealing Lily became a successful art consultant in the years that followed. YMMV, but the finale certainly never suggested to me that the writers felt that women existed just to have kids. Robin clearly didn't exist for that purpose given she didn't have kids and had both a successful career and, while I might not be a fan of the finale, clearly Ted's enduring interest in her showed he didn't just love her for the ability to give him kids. While the loss of Tracy was sad, I don't see any reason why we should interpret that as "the writers think women exist just to reproduce" any more than if Ted had died and Tracy had ended up rekindling an old flame that we should interpret that as "the writers think men exist just to provide sperm".
      • Barney's future of having a kid actually makes Lily's "epilogue" worse. It gives us an explicit point of comparison between the two. With Barney, we see how having a child changes him and is literally the only Character Development he winds up getting in the entire show. The kid isn't what's focused on, the focus is how it changed Barney. How having another child changed Lily (or didn't) isn't even slightly touched upon. It's just another example of Acceptable Feminine Goals. Barney having a child was used as a catalyst for Barney's change and development, while his babymamma doesn't get a name, face, or actress. Literally nothing is known of her other than "she churned out a baby to make Barney grow."

    Ted Married/Not Married in 2015 
  • In the finale, Ted eventually got married in 2020, yet in Trilogy Time, set in 2015 and Unpause in 2017 (a mere 8 episodes before it's shown he gets married in 2020!), Ted has a wedding ring on!
    • Engagement ring, maybe?
    • Ted was a progressive dude, even saying he'd take Robin's last name (though he said it while drunk). It's not hard to imagine that he wore an engagement ring.
    • Obviously a mistake. The creators didn't think it through and didn't coordinated it with the finale which probably was not fully flashed out. That detail with Ted and the mother postponing their wedding all their time together is extremely out of character for the ever so hopelessly romantic Ted.

     Slutty Pumpkin looking for Ted 
  • So when we finally meet the Slutty Pumpkin, she comments that after Ted didn't call, she looked everywhere for Ted at other parties. Why did she never think to look at the actual party that they met?
    • Perhaps she couldn't remember which rooftop the party was on. She tried to figured it out, but never came to the right building.
    • Or maybe she figured he wouldn't go to the same (apparently lame) party two years in a row. Or several years in a row.
    • It's treated as a throwaway joke in a Season 9 flashback, but we see that they did go to the same party again, but somehow missed each other.

     Marshall and Lily's Bet 
  • In the finale, we see Marshall handing over the cash for the bet on Robin and Ted getting together eventually. But that means that despite everything, Marshall and Lily didn't see Barney and Robin's marriage working out even at the wedding, because otherwise they would have finished the bet then.
    • Maybe they did consider it finished then, and the payment at the end is not only the amount of money that they originally back, but twice as much.
    The Goat 
  • In “The Goat” the episode was told involving the titular goat. Then at the end of the episode Ted remembered that the goat actually was there on his 31st birthday, not his 30th. This meant that the events which involved the goat had to take place in the episode “The Leap”. That’s not a big deal, considering that the goat was seen at Lily’s kindergarten class and on the rooftop of a surprise party for Ted, the former of which Lily was still teaching a year later and the latter of which was specifically stated to be thrown two years in a row. However, there was also a scene in which Barney spoke to Lily on the phone from a limo on the way to pick up Ted to take him to Vegas to tell him about sleeping with Robin (which placed it near his 30th birthday specifically). In that scene, Lily specifically mentioned both the goat (31st birthday) and Stella (30th birthday). On Barney’s side, events were clearly taking place on Ted’s 30th birthday. So some of what was happening seemed to place the scene on Ted’s 30th birthday and some of what was happening seemed to place it on his 31st. When did this scene actually take place? Since the scene couldn’t have actually happened like this (unless Barney’s phone can call the future), did Future Ted take a real conversation between 30th birthday Barney and Lily and just imagine Lily telling Barney the part about the goat? Or did Future Ted take a real conversation between 31st birthday Barney and Lily about the goat and just imagine everything else around it (Barney being in the limo, Stella being at the party) based around what was happening on his 30th birthday? Either way, it does add to a layer to Ted’s Unreliable Narrator status if he didn’t just omit details from the scene or change the timing but completely modified what was said in the conversation or where people were when they said it.
    • I think it's similar to "The Mermaid Theory" where Future!Ted continually screws up the details of the lily/Barney fight, but the audience is unaware until he makes a correction. Since he didn't realize "The Goat" occurs a year later until the end of the episode, he never corrected those details. We can assume Future!Ted combined (at least) two different conversations together to fill in the gaps of the story.
    Marshall's Job and the Bar 
  • In I'm Not That Guy Marshall is offered a job at a law firm, but it isn't until 2 episodes later in Spoiler Alert that he finds out if he's passed the Bar or not. How could he get a job if he hadn't already passed it?
    • He was offered a position with a clause stating he had to have passed the bar. If he would have failed the offer would no longer be on the table.
    • Having worked at a law firm, its quite common to hire people straight out of law school, then wait for them to pass the bar before being given actual 'lawyer work'. Inability to pass the bar does indeed mean being given the boot.
    Littering Lily in the daisypot 
  • In "Daisy," Mosby Boy Ted deduces that Lily secretly had a smoke and hid the butt in a flower pot. But turns out, despite being right about everything else, TWIST it was a positive pregnancy test! Except... hiding a pregnancy test in the flower pot makes no sense. Cigarette butt? Sure. Those decompose and smell so burying it makes sense. Pregnancy test? Not so much. Just put it in the trash and it would go completely unnoticed. Putting it in the flower pot ensures that eventually, it will be found and will create an awkward scenario. It doesn't even make sense that burying it would even occur to someone.
    • Pregnancy brain, of which lily has shown to be susceptible to. Not only when pregnant with Marvin, but letting slip that James was getting a divorce. She blame it on the alcohol, but as we found out later, she was drinking non-alcoholic beverages all weekend.
    Marshall should be broke 
  • In short order Marshall: Discovered his wife's enormous credit card debt, bought an apartment in Manhattan (with a really high interest rate due to aforementioned credit card debt), discovered the warped floors that had to be replaced (already mentioned as really expensive to fix), then lost his job (with no severance pay). He has also mentioned student loans from Columbia Law School (specifically mentioned as expensive). The only help he's seen receiving is Ted selling a new car and giving him the money. Neither Marshall's nor Lily's family appear to have the kind of money needed to support their children. Even keeping in mind the fluid economics of living in the TV version of New York City, there is no way he didn't go bankrupt and be reduced to freeloading room and board at Ted's apartment (come to think of it, he was still on the lease at that point for that apartment too).
    • He also did have a steady and probably very well-paying job at GNB for several years. Also from everything we know about Barney, he's probably been helping the other members of the gang financially behind the scenes from time to time, possibly even anonymously.
     When James discovers Sam Gibbs is his father 
  • Why does everyone act like it's ludicrous for Sam to be Barney's biological father when Loretta is James' biological mother? In a vacuum, seeing a white man thinking a black man is his biological dad would seem ridiculous, but in this case, there's plenty of context. If a black man and a white woman can have a child together who, despite being biracial, passes for black (yes we know that Wayne Brady isn't half-white, but his character is), then why is it worthy of ridiculous to suggest that the same black man and the same white woman might have had another child who, despite being biracial, passes for white? After all, biracial people can have skin tones almost anywhere on the spectrum (compare Klay Thompson and Barack Obama, for example). And there are even families who have fraternal twins who look like they are completely unrelated to each other.
    Brad's Trick 
  • How is Brad not disbarred from his little trick in The Stamp Tramp? It's basic code of ethics that you *must* disclose who you're representing.
  • Also, getting the "firm's strategy" isn't as debilitating as the episode made it seem. There are no real surprises allowed during a trial for evidence, and much of the legal argument would have already been made in prior motions and the Complaint.
    • Since every story is being told by Future!Ted, this could be him not understanding the intricacies of court proceedings and mixing that with Marshall's rendition of the story. I don't believe the gang was present for Brad's video so Ted wouldn't have any memory of it; it could only come from Marshall.

     Lily ruining Ted's relationships 
  • Is there any reason she didn't just, you know, talk to Ted about how the girl in question didn't seem like a good fit for him, other than "she's just batshit insane."
    • We don't know that she hasn't. Knowing Lily, she would have at least dropped multiple hints throughout Ted's dating life that he either missed, ignored, or refuted. How many times was Ted blinded by a relationship to miss the obvious flaws (the biggest being Robin)? Let's also not forget his habit of doing the exact opposite of what people told him to do (pursuing Stella, dying his hair blonde). And lastly, Ted is a hopeless romantic who constantly talked about how he wanted to settle down and start a family; virtually every relationship was framed that way. Essentially if Ted made it to the second date, "she could be the one!"
    • We do see Marshall try to do this a few times with Stella, and Ted dismisses it out of hand.
    • There was an entire episode about the group ignoring bad things about each other and the people they dated: "Spoiler Alert".

     Pregnant Lily and Cheeto's 
  • This has always been perplexing, but why were Ted and Marshall concerned about the fact Dr. Sonia told pregnant Lily she was allowed to eat Cheeto's. How are Cheetos dangerous for the baby beyond being junk food?
    • Nothing. Just that it's junk food.

     Ted Mosby and Finding The Slutty Pumpkin 
  • Why didn't Ted use newspaper advertisements to find the slutty pumpkin?
    • 1. It costs money to run an ad, and there's no guarantee anyone will see it.
    • 2. Ted is really big on not pushing fate. As a hopeless romantic, he might think meeting her again at a Halloween party would prove they were meant for each other.
    • 3. He has no way of verifying the right person answers his message. He could get his hopes up time and again only to be let down by someone playing a prank, etc

     Barney was definitely lying in Rebound Bro, right? 
  • In Rebound Bro, Barney gets Robin to help him in making sure that Randy won't make any mistakes in talking to girls after a few huge mistakes. Robin says that she only helped him because he said he had a tape of their night together from 2 episodes ego and follows it up by saying that she thinks he's bluffing about having the tape, to which Barney responds by saying that by her coming down here when its so late shows that she thinks he does have a tape. How could he have the tape though? They were at Robin's apartment when it happened and I highly doubt that Barney has any secret cameras over there. If Robin isn't sure of the tape's existence then we could rule out the two of them making the decision to tape themselves. Lastly Barney planning it in advance before he came over to Robin's place doesn't make sense as it his highly implied that neither of the 2 were planning to have sex, it just happened because they were having fun watching the video and were close proximity and then presumably saw how attractive the other was. Is it just because of who Barney is, that Robin thinks it could have happened?
    • We know from "The Final Page" that Barney has hidden camera's in Marshall and Lily's apartment and his own. There is nothing stopping him from having them at Robin's apartment too. We know from "Dowisetripla" that he has been in her apartment when she wasn't there. It's possible he set them up to record him banging the girl that time and just left them there.