Love it or loathe it, How I Met Your Mother is now thought of as one of the most successful sitcoms of all time, winning a number of awards throughout its nine-year run. Following the lives of five friends, the show mainly focuses on Ted Mosby and his quest to reveal the exact details of how he met their children’s mother. Set in New York, the show was originally billed as the next Friends, especially with regards to its humor, and themes of friendship, romance and living situations. Known for its unique sense of story telling, the story often goes into flashbacks, connecting the 27-year-old Ted Mosby to the older version of himself in the year 2030. However, although original in some parts, the show is also famed for its traditional love-story structure, entering into a classic “will they or won’t they” type drama, as well as love triangles, marriage, break-ups and death.
Sold as a cross between Friends, and The Wonder Years, due to its classic voice over narration at the start of every episode, the show was an immediate success. But, although a success, the show was also noted for being extremely confusing, especially with regards to its non-linear narrative, and extravagant plot lines. Time and time again, audiences were thrown into the past, only to be spat right back up into the future, having witnessed a number of large and important moments in each character’s lives. So, for all those moments you may have failed to catch, here are 15 things you missed on How I Met Your Mother.
15. Barney Invented The Phrase “Bro Code”
Now one of the most famed phrases in the world, it is somehow hard to believe that the expression itself came straight out of the mouth of “legendary” ladies’ man, Barney Stinson. That’s right, actually coining the exact expression, the show’s writers came up with the term to express the unspoken relationship often seen between close male friends. Unheard of beforehand, Google recently confirmed that the phrase only became a certified expression searched on the famous website after it was initially heard on the show. Stating rules such as, “to have your bro’s back, no matter what,” and “If a bro’s girlfriend asks you about where he is, you know nothing – nothing at all. Keep their whereabouts to yourself, hang up and warn them,” the bro code is now a real life book, available to buy all over the world.
14. The Clock In Ted’s Apartment Was Always Set At 4:20
Ever notice that the clock in Ted, Lily and Marshall’s apartment is always set to 4:20? Well you have now. Always set at this specific time, the actual reason behind the concrete time setting is never revealed. However, that doesn’t stop fans of the show from trying to figure out if there is a deeper meaning behind the mysterious time fix. That’s right, from time travel adventures, to a Lost type limbo scenario, some even claimed that the alluded time is a reference to smoking marijuana. Yep, a term that refers to the smoking of cannabis, the number is also celebrated as a date, with April 20th (4/20) in the U.S. known as “national” cannabis day, and a favorite holiday among many. What do you think?
13. Alyson Hannigan Hated Kissing Jason Segel
Firm friends off screen, as well as lovers on screen, Alyson Hannigan and Jason Segel were everybody’s favorite married couple. However, said to have hated kissing Segel due to his torrid smoking habit, Hannigan actually went as far as asking the producers not to script anymore scheduled smooches. That’s right, not a fan of smokers, Hannigan hated the stench of Segel’s sordid breath, comparing kissing him to “kissing an ashtray.” Ouch! Not letting his unruly habit to get in between them, Hannigan and Segel were still the best of pals, proven in an emotional video during the last season of the show. Asked who she would miss the most, Hannigan burst into tears, describing her co-star as “a wonderful guy” before jokingly pretending that she wouldn’t miss him at all. Awwwww.
12. Their Spouses Also Appeared On The Show
A family affair, How I Met Your Mother was famed for also inviting the stars’ other halves, with three of the cast’s spouses appearing throughout the show. That’s right, playing the role of Scooter, Lily’s ex-boyfriend, real life husband of Neil Patrick Harris, David Burtka, shows up in a number of random episodes throughout the series. Seemingly enjoying a good joke, the show then cast Lily’s real life husband, Alexis Denisof, to play the hilariously over-the-top news anchor, Sandy Rivers. And, if that wasn’t enough, producers then cast SNL legend and husband of Cobie Smulders, Taran Killam, as the unlikable and crude, Gary Blauman. However, mirroring that of his own character on screen, actor Josh Radnor has yet to marry, resulting in no cameos for him and his equally unlucky in love persona, Ted Mosby.
11. All The Scenes For Ted’s Kids Were Filmed In One Season
Disappointed with the ending, a number of fans worldwide made no secret of their hatred for how the show ended. However, with the ending of the series actually set in stone from the very beginning, it seems producers really had no choice. That’s right, with the final scene filmed around the start of season two, the footage was shot due to the rapid growth spurts of the two actors playing the role of Ted’s children. Obviously a huge part of the show’s premise, the two actors had to be seen to be the same age as in season one, therefore the ending was decided as early as possible. Commenting on the matter, creators, Craig Thomas and Carter Bays claimed, “we’ve had a plan since the pilot and we actually shot a little piece of it at the beginning of season two, using the kids, because we knew if we waited until the finale of the series, the kids would have aged like six years. So yeah, part of our plan for how we want to end it all has already been done.”
10. Alyson Hannigan Wore Several Disguises To Hide Her Pregnancy
With a number of actors forced to hide their pregnancies on screen, the results can be awkwardly hilarious. From Kerry Washington keeping her bump undercover during Scandal, to Sarah Jessica Parker on Sex and the City, the creative techniques used in such a situation are extremely inventive. Obviously having fun with it, Hannigan was often seen carrying overbearing handbags, guitars, and a number of basketballs, as well as being draped in loose clothing, or donning a hilarious Halloween costume. However, it was one scene in particular that really let the audience in on the secret, with Hannigan exposing a humongous “food baby” after a hot dog eating competition. More of a “wink wink” towards the audience, the silly acts were then repeated during Cobie Smulders’ pregnancy some time after.
9. No One Told Jason Segel That His Character’s Dad Would Die
Playing the role of Marshall Eriksen, Jason Segel‘s most memorable moment came during a scene in which wife, Lily, played by the wonderful Alyson Hannigan, informs him of his father’s death. With the producers not letting him in on the big revelation, the scene only required one take, due to Segel’s sincere shock at the surprising plot twist. Speaking of the incident, Segel recalled, “she [Hannigan] came out and she was already crying and it was heartbreaking. It made acting very easy. All I had to do was react in that scene. I didn’t have to dig deep. We literally did it in one take, which was so brave of our director.” The death, which also broke the hearts of many of the viewers, went on to play a prominent part in the character’s development, with Segel later claiming, “the storyline dealt with the death of my father, which is exciting. You wouldn’t think it would be funny, but they found a way to shine a light on the funny parts of grieving. It’s great.”
8. The Couple Who Lived A Full Life In The Background
Known for its quirky humor, and extra special inclusions, one particular episode certainly didn’t disappoint with regards to the drama within drama element of the show. That’s right, spotted in season nine during the hilariously funny, “The Rehearsal Dinner,” the gang is seen chatting away at their regular spot, MacLaren’s. Teasing Robin for her expressed interest in marrying in her native Canada, Barney can be seen mocking the idea, causing the rest of the friends to laugh. However, not just your average scene, sharp-eyed fans noticed a number of interesting moments with the extras seen in the background. The couple went from their first date, to proposing, to marrying, to getting pregnant, to graduating, finally with the circle of life taking its toll when the woman, now an old lady, can be seen crying next to her husband’s urn.
7. Marshall Finally Caught The Loch Ness Monster
Best friend to Ted and loving husband to Lily, Marshall is probably the most likeable character on the show, if not the most genuine. First seen as a law student who dreams of working for the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC), Marshall is then corrupted by a multinational corporation, which he later regrets. Quitting the establishment, Marshall goes on to pursue the career of a judge and is later appointed to a judgeship, with a few mishaps along the way that is. However, it is his interest in mythical creatures and the unknown that becomes his most hilarious quality, often stating his love for the paranormal. Often declaring that creatures such as Sasquatch and the Loch Ness Monster are real, Marshall even claimed to have discovered his own mythical being, naming it, “the cockamouse”. But, it seems Marshall’s dreams finally came true, when it was revealed through a newspaper in season three that he had caught the Loch Ness Monster.
6. The Websites Used In The Show Exist In Real Life
One of the best things about How I Met Your Mother was the detail that went into each story line. Mentioning a number of websites on the show, the sites were then found to be actual domains, generating a number of views worldwide. Officially created for the show, the proceeds went to charities across the globe. That’s right, with DedDogPhotography.com, GradeMyTeacher.net, Barney’s Blog, NotAFathersDay.com, GuyForcesHisWifeToDressInAGarbageBagForTheNextThreeYears.com all making it online, the websites are just as hilarious in real life as they are on screen. However, with TedMosbyIsAJerk.com counted as one of the most memorable, it is StinsonBreastReduction.com that takes the top spot as most hilarious, with Barney revealing to the other characters that he had pretended to be a breast reduction doctor to trick big-breasted women into meeting with him. Creepy.
5. Jim Parsons Auditioned For The Role Of Barney Stinson
Famed for his role as Sheldon Cooper in the critically acclaimed Big Bang Theory, Jim Parsons has gone on to win a number of awards with regards to his performance on the comedy show. However, originally auditioning for the role of Barney Stinson, it can now be extremely difficult to picture him as anyone but Sheldon Cooper. Speaking of the audition, Parsons said, “the funny thing about this is I auditioned to play Barney, and felt I was very wrong for it, and almost ran screaming from the room after I auditioned. Like, ‘Well I did that and I don’t know why.’ They actually made me come back in as if they were interested. Not interested enough because the right person got that part, Neil Patrick Harris.” With Harris going on to capture the essence of Barney Stinson almost perfectly, Parsons certainly agreed, admitting, “look, it all worked out fine… Neil’s better for the part, let’s be honest, and it all went that way.”
4. Ted Dated Over Thirty Women
Self-professed romantic Ted Mosby is also extremely unlucky in love, well so he claims, anyway. That’s right, constantly lecturing friend and ladies’ man, Barney, on his philandering lifestyle, Ted is basically just as bad. Throughout nine seasons, Ted racked up over thirty women, all while pretending that he just couldn’t find the one. Yeah right. Secret playboy, Ted was also in a number of relationships, rekindling things with old flames, and notching up a few one-night stands for the ride. In fact, Ted is just as bad as his womanizing friend, failing to realize, thus making him even more of a jerk. Whiny, annoying, and a huge hypocrite, Ted is actually one of the worst main protagonists of a sitcom ever.
3. Conan O’Brien Appeared As An Extra
Known for its extensive use of star spangled cameos, How I Met Your Mother somehow managed to reel in the big boys, with none other than Conan O’Brien spotted lurking in the background of the acclaimed show. However, strangely not saying a word, the talk show host only stands in the background, shifting around until he vanishes into the unknown. Speaking of his appearance, O’Brien claimed, “the creators of the show were saying, we’re going to actually write you in as a character. And I was thinking, no! I think it’s much funnier if I’m in the bar, in the background…” In fact, it was later revealed that he had won the walk on part during an auction, spending an undisclosed amount of money for charity. These guys will do anything to get their five minutes of fame.
2. The Show Wasn’t Filmed In Front Of A Live Audience
Although How I Met Your Mother may seem to be your average conventional sitcom, focusing on the everyday lives of five young Americans, the show was actually rather different from the norm. From fictional flashbacks to monumental mysteries, the series most certainly left its mark on the world of comedy, inspiring other shows to even try out the unconventional format that the show is now famed for. In fact, the series is so original that the entire nine seasons were filmed without a live audience, something unheard of in sitcom land. Inserting the laughter after the show was filmed, the cast was forced to endure a three-day shooting time, rather than the one day shoot that is usually attributed to half-hour sitcoms. Speaking of the ritual, Hannigan confessed, “it’s definitely … a lot easier than a one-hour show, but it’s a lot harder than a traditional sitcom”.
1. Barney Always Uses The Same Statistics
Not the most normal of people, Barney Stinson is undoubtedly the most charming member of the cast, with Neil Patrick Harris often stealing the show a number of times. Proving to be the breakout star, Harris certainly made Stinson his own, creating a complex and strangely lovable character in the process. Known for a number of ‘Barneyisms’ it was his seemingly strange obsession with the numbers eight and three that really got fans all over the world wondering just what on earth was going on. Using 83% as his go-to statistic when trying to prove a point. The percentage was used in a number of episodes throughout the season, with Ted even pointing it out himself. With no known theory to why, fans have suggested that the number is his own success rate with the ladies, or the date of the last time he saw his father.