25 Interesting Facts About How I Met Your Mother

Published on 11/26/2020
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How I Met Your Mother was among the most popular sitcoms of the 21st century. During its nine-season run from 2005 to 2014, the ever-growing fandom of Ted Mosby fell in love with the main character as he struggled for the woman of his destiny, along with his mates Marshall Eriksen, Lily Aldrin, Robin Scherbatsky, and Barney Stinson. However, several of the same cult founders have flipped against the series following the inconsistencies in its somewhat controversial final series. Want to see more of behind the scenes?

Mimesis: The Imitation of Life In Art

The origin story of How I Meet Your Mother starts at Wesleyan University in the mid-90s, where the show Carter Bays and Craig Thomas met. Later, the pair will take on the nature of their friendship while forming a relationship between the various protagonists: Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) and Marshall Eriksen (Jason Segal). Also, the role of Alyson Hannigan, Lily—girlfriend Marshall’s and later wife—was supposedly based on Craig Thomas’ wife.

Mimesis: The Imitation of Life In Art

Mimesis: The Imitation of Life In Art

 

Originated From Letterman

After college, the tandem developed a writing collaboration. They also took a job at The Late Show with David Letterman. Their experience working for Letterman’s New York show would stimulate environments and NYC-centric story ideas which would eventually come to symbolize HIMYM. In the 2000s, the pair switched from Letterman to write various scripts of comedies by American Dad and Oliver Beene before finally selling the idea of How I Meet Your Mother and the pilot to CBS.

Originated From Letterman

Originated From Letterman

“John Belushi Type”

Even during the series’ preliminary audition process, the Barney Stinson part was identified as “John Belushi type.” The show’s casting agent persuaded the producers to permit Neil Patrick Harris—then better remembered as Doogie Howser’s child star—to test for the part. Long story short, Harris was so apprehensive that the role was revised to fit more from his looks and behavior.

"John Belushi Type"

“John Belushi Type”

Practically Famous

As per Bays and Thomas, the character of Robin Scherbatzky was proposed to star Jennifer Love Hewitt—of the Five Fame Party—and rejected. The then-unknown Cobie Smulders ultimately won the role. After several years, Bays and Thomas acknowledged that Hewitt’s rejection of the show was a blessing in disguise. “Thank God we did for a million reasons … When Ted’s seeing her (Smulders as Robin) for the first time, America’s seeing her for the first time — the intriguing nature of that propelled the show going forward and kept the show alive.”

Practically Famous

Practically Famous

One Season For The Kids

All the 2030 scenes of Ted Mosby’s children (Lyndsy Fonseca and David Henrie) were shot already in the first episode of the season and used throughout the series. This covers situations about the destiny of the mother, which was included in the final season. This has contributed to a great deal of debate, which we will touch on later.

One Season For The Kids

One Season For The Kids

Unconventional Style

Although How I Met Your Mother featured a conventional sitcom laugh track all along, the series was not regularly shot in front of a studio audience due to the quick-cut/numerous time-frame style of storytelling. Instead, the HIMYM episodes were shot and edited, and then presented to a live audience whose responses would have been recorded.

Unconventional Style

Unconventional Style

Real Life Scene

Though there are no existing MacLaren’s in New York, the pub and atmosphere are based on various establishments that Bays and Thomas regularly visited throughout their tenure at The Late Show. McGee’s, a Midtown Manhattan bar that supported the show’s success by offering HIMYM-themed cocktails and merch, is by far the most famous of these authentic pubs. MacLaren’s was titled after Bays and Thomas’s secretary, who also gave his first name to the bar’s recurring bartender Carl.

Real Life Scene

Real Life Scene

The Solids

How I Meet Your Mother‘s iconic “bah-bah bah bah-bah bah” opening theme is an excerpt of a lengthier song titled “Hey Beautiful” by the rock group The Solids. Not too coincidentally, Carter Bays and Craig Thomas are the guitarist/singer and drummer of The Solids.

The Solids

The Solids

Emergency Plan: Greatest Reveal

If How I Meet Your Mother had been canceled after its first period, the producers had scheduled to add an additional monologue to the season finale of Ted’s love interest, Victoria (Ashley Williams), as her mother. Although this wasn’t the case, the role was very successful with viewers, many wishing somehow that she would be exposed as a titular mother later in the show.

Emergency Plan: Greatest Reveal

Emergency Plan: Greatest Reveal

A Legit Wedding Proposal

“Something Blue” focuses on Robin’s suspicion that Ted was proposing to her when the diamond ring was mistakenly brought to their restaurant table. During the episode, another diner asks for the diamond and proposes it to the girl at his table. She says yes hints in observant viewers that there’s more to the story. In reality, the guy (a friend of the producers) was proposing to his real-life girlfriend, who assumed that the couple was merely going to be extras on the set. Her “yes” was 100% real.

A Legit Wedding Proposal

A Legit Wedding Proposal

The Magician’s Code

During the show, Barney Stinson’s character displays an increasing interest in magic, concluding in the seventh season of The Magician’s Code,” a story based on one of his magic tricks. The reason for the character’s enthusiasm is the real-life interest of actor Neil Patrick Harris in the issue. Harris has conducted magic on several shows and worked as chairman of the Hollywood Magic Castle board of directors.

The Magician’s Code

The Magician’s Code

Countdown from 50

If the audience pays special attention to the “Bad News” segment of the sixth season, he will find a countdown going through the entire episode. Context signs, narration, and other hints go from 50 to 1 in the course of the episode. At the end of the timer, Segal’s character, Marshall, discovers that his dad died of heart failure, revealing the show’s title.

Countdown from 50

Countdown from 50

A load of Guests

For nine years, HIMYM welcomed a variety of celebrity guests, both in cameo and on-going roles. These celebrities included Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Sarah Chalke, Bryan Cranston, Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, Kal Penn, Mandy Moore, Rachel Bilson, Katie Holmes, Lucy Hale, Ashley Benson, Tim Gunn, Wayne Brady, Bob Barker, and Karate Kid Billy Zabka. The spouses of Alyson Hannigan, Cobie Smulders, and Neil Patrick Harris—Alexis Denisof, Taran Killam, and David Burtka, respectively—had recurring roles during the series.

A load of Guests

A load of Guests

How The Mother Was Chosen

After years of uncertainty on whether the mother will ever ultimately surface in the show, viewers were surprised to see the role of star Christin Milioti in the final of season eight. Thomas described how Milioti, at the time renowned in Broadway, was picked for the role, saying, “We didn’t want it to be a big popular actress, since we didn’t want the broader audience to be associated on whatever actress this would be. The whole premise is that Ted has never seen this female before, so it’s easier for the viewer to feel the same way.” The actress made frequent appearances during the show’s final season and was praised by viewers and critics alike as a bright spot.

How The Mother Was Chosen

How The Mother Was Chosen

Robin Sparkles: Candian Star

One of HIMYM’s longest-running gags dealt with Robin’s past life as a teen pop star in her native Canada. The character’s history was first revealed in season two of “Slap Bet” and further unveiled in season three of “Sandcastles in the Sand” and season six of “Glitter.” The story of Robin Sparkles reached its zenith in season eight of “P.S. I Love You.” Part of the show is an in-universe Behind the Music spoof titled Below the Tracks, which traces the rise and fall of Robin’s career in traditional cliché terms. The episode features various real-life Canadian musicians and pop culture figures—including Geddy Lee, Jason Priestly, and Paul Shaffer—discussing Robin’s career.

Robin Sparkles: Candian Star

Robin Sparkles: Candian Star

They Had Their Cake and Ate it To

Sagal said, “When your idol is Peter Sellers, playing one character for eight years isn’t what you’re trying to do. I don’t feel like I have that much more to offer with this character. Maybe if we got divorced or something — but that’s not gonna happen. It’s going to be some iteration of, like, my TV wife opens the fridge, and she’s like, “What happened to the birthday cake?” And I walk in with a little frosting here, ‘What birthday cake?‘”

They Had Their Cake and Ate it To

They Had Their Cake and Ate it To

Authentic Websites

Throughout the series, several fictitious websites—including www.canadiansexacts.org, www.stinsonbreastreduction.com, and www.lilyandmarshallselltheirstuff.com—were used as part of the series plot. In each scenario, the creators set up an actual, fully in-universe website for fans to explore.

Authentic Websites

Authentic Websites

Conan Cameo

As stated earlier, over the years, HIMYM has featured a variety of celebrities. However, one of the most prominent stars featured only briefly in the background. Talk show host Conan O’Brien won a charity auction to participate in the series and was briefly seen as a bar patron in the seventh season episode, “No Pressure.”

Conan Cameo

Conan Cameo

How “The Pineapple Incident” Came About 

Until the finale, its most seen segment was season one of The Pineapple Incident.” It follows Ted’s hungover as he attempts to remember his intoxicated escapes the night before and find out why there’s a strange pineapple in his room. However, at the end of the show, the older narrator Ted admits that the mystery has never concluded. Bays and Thomas wished they hadn’t written into that section. The deleted scene from the nine-year episode of “Daisy” explained that the pineapple was linked to a long-standing recurring character, The Captain.

How “The Pineapple Incident” Came About 

How “The Pineapple Incident” Came About

An Unexpected Ending…

The episode shows the following: the titular mother dies of terminal illness after her and Ted’s children’s birth. Ted chooses once again to seek a relationship with Robin. Even though the end had been planned since the first season, as shown by the scene as mentioned earlier shot with the children’s actors, many fans decried the final for betraying the show’s core values. In response to the conflict, Bays and Thomas released an alternative final scene in which Tracy stayed, and she and Ted spent their lives together.

An Unexpected Ending

An Unexpected Ending

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