How I Met Your Mother: 20 Storylines The Writers Want Us To Forget

Despite HIMYM's amazing storylines, the writers sometimes went overboard and did not make sense. Here's what they want us to forget.

Watching Ted Mosby narrate to his two children how he met their mother was a favorite past time for most of us, between 2005 and 2014. Those who had not watched the show were an utter shock to their friends, and they resorted to binge-watch How I Met Your Mother, just to fit in the gang!

To make the story of 5 best friends drinking every night at their favorite bar, MacLaren’s, an Irish bar in the middle of New York, more interesting, the writers kept us hooked with amazing and interesting stories and drama surrounding the 5 friends.  Ted Mosby was a hopeless romantic who made very weird relationship mistakes such as saying the L-word on a first date. He also had really strange one-night stands, Trudy being the most notable one.

Barney Stinson was a pathological liar, a serial playboy with witty catch-phrases, who was obsessed with suits and often challenged himself to bizarre tasks, also struggling with abandonment issues. His to-be girlfriend, Robin Scherbatsky, was struggling news anchor of Canadian origin, who loved dogs, hated children and fell for peculiar bed tricks such as the ‘naked man’. Lily and Marshall were relationship goals, bringing an excellent balance to the number of failed relationships the show had. Despite these amazing storylines, the writers sometimes went overboard and really did not make sense with their twists and turns.

Here are 20 Storylines The Writers Want Us To Forget.

20 Ted Joking That Tracy Was The Mother

Ted Joking That Tracy, A Stripper, On Season 1, Was The Mother

In episode 9 of season 1, Ted narrates to his kids about his encounter with a stripper. She first introduced herself as Amber, which was her stage name, then revealed that her real name was Tracy. As the scene ends, Teds tells his children that that was the true story of how he met their mother.

The writers did this as a joke to trick the kids and viewers that Ted’s wife was once a dancer. While we don’t judge the kind of job she did before meeting Ted, we were confused many seasons later when it was revealed that the mother’s name was indeed Tracy, and it was never confirmed if she was a dancer in the first place. What was the point of the joke, really?

19 The ‘La Vie en Rose’ Song

The ‘La Vie en Rose’ Song’s Relationship With Robin And Tracy

Evidently, Robin and Tracy were Ted’s greatest romantic interests in the series. While the two had a special place in Ted’s heart, we don’t quite understand why the writers had to relate the ‘ La Vie en Rose’ song with the two ladies. We first heard the song in season 1 when Ted and Robin shared a New Year’s kiss. As they kissed, the song played in the background, sealing their romantic moment.

A few seasons later, Ted recalled the first night he ever heard Tracy sing. She sang ‘La Vie en Rose’, and although he had heard play a million times over after that night, that first night was his favorite. They should have just left it as Robin’s song and found something from Tracy’s playlist, after all, she was a musician, she could have played a whole list of different songs.

18 Lily Breaking Off Her Engagement With Marshall

Marshall and Lily Wedding - Best How I Met Your Mother Episodes

Marshall and Lily were college sweethearts, and it was love at first sight, a relationship that led to a very funny engagement that left Lily with a black eye. All was rosy until the writers decided to break-off the two in a very heart-wrenching manner. Suddenly, Lily had the urge to move to focus on her art, causing her to move to San Francisco. This led to one of the worst and emotional moments on HIMYM when Lily broke up with Marshall.

What followed was an emotionally-torn Marshall who was a shadow of his former self. He was a wreck for a while before the writers decided to bring back Lily 6 months later. All that agony was uncalled for!

17 Marshall’s Family Not Attending The Wedding

Marshall’s Family Not Attending The Wedding

After the completely unwarranted breakup, Lily and Marshall got engaged again and planned their wedding, getting married in season 2. In both episodes 21 and 22 of the same season when the wedding happened, we didn’t see Marshall’s family despite being introduced to them in season 1.

We understand that there was a bit of drama as Marshall’s mum, Judy Eriksen, did not like Lily. Well, she liked her at first, until when Lily visited them in St. Cloud and she learned that Lily did not plan on taking the Eriksen name, even after Judy was kind enough to give her a Mrs. Eriksen apron. Lily also sort of hated the Eriksen family for loving too much mayonnaise and being huge, she could not imagine a huge baby. That aside, these were still not reasons enough for Marshall’s immediate family members to miss the wedding.

16 Lily Saying That Her Dad Would Not Pay For A Second Wedding

The story behind Lily, her dad, and the wedding was pretty confusing. In episode 18 of season 2, Lily responded to a joke, stating that her dad would not pay for a second wedding. Was this implying that he was paying for the first one?

Anyway, what was more perplexing is why the writers would lead the character Lily to say that, yet Lily and her dad had an estranged relationship, and he was not even invited to the wedding! In addition to that, the joke was quite inappropriate as Lily’s dad was an unsuccessful board game inventor, who consequently had tons of financial problems. So how could he have paid for Lily’s wedding even if they were on good terms?

15 Simon’s Band’s Name

Simon’s Band’s Name

Robin had a very interesting life back in Canada, part of which she was embarrassed about and was a source for many jokes. An integral part of her past was Simon, her ex-boyfriend. In season 3 episode 16 dubbed, ‘Sandcastles in the Sand’, we were again treated to Robin’s past. Robin Sparkles was an upcoming artist, singing alongside her then-boyfriend Simon.

In season 3, episode 16, Simon appeared again, this time with a band known as the ForeSkins. Robin introduced him to the gang and Ted jokingly inquired what the cheeky band name meant, and Simon said that they were four of them shirtless. If this were the case, then the band should have been The Four Skins?

14 Robin Claiming She Didn’t Play Team Sports

Robin Claiming She Didn’t Play Team Sports

Season 1 was also the story of how Robin joined the gang, and we got to know her deeper. In episode 6 of the season, Robin claimed that she never played team sports, only participating in Tennis in high school, where she could not even stand playing doubles. This story suited her character, as Robin seemed like a pretty independent lady that did not like being in a group.

Seems later on the writers thought that this was a mistake, just 14 episodes later, when Robin said that she missed her high school prom because she had a field hockey game. Also, in season 4, we saw a flashback of her kissing one of her ice hockey teammates. So what was the point in season 1 episode 9?

13 Robin being With a certain man

The naked man was a move to get ladies to sleep with a man, a stunt that allegedly worked 2 out of 3 times. Robin once went back to her apartment with a guy who pulled this move on her, and she ended up spending the night with him.

When the whole gang heard this story, they all, including Marshall, shamed Robin for being among the two out of three! This was quite annoying, and misogynistic, especially because Barney had slept with tones of women, probably three-quarters of New York, and no-one ever put him down. We, later on, saw Lily, Barney, and Ted attempt the naked man move. Really now?

12 The Scale

Barney’s First Time

The hot/crazy scale and cheerleader effect are arguably two of Barney’s most popular theories. While the cheerleader effect had a good point, we were a bit confused by the scale at some point, when Barney or the writers so to speak, tried to force circumstances.

When describing to the gang the hot/crazy scale, Barney explained the Vicky Mendoza diagonal, getting his axes wrong. He implied that she would hurt him with a fork making her less attractive, and then get a boob job which would make her less crazy, while the truth was a fork would make her crazier, and a boob job would make her hotter.

11 Ted and victoria

Ted Cheating On Victoria With Robin

The Robin-Ted-Victoria triangle was a mess! Ted first started dating Robin, quickly falling in love with her. Robin, however, did not want to rush into a relationship, suggesting that they become friends instead. Ted complied, moving on with his search for the perfect mate. He then met Victoria, who introduced herself as Buttercup at Stuart and Claudia’s wedding, using her Bakery’s name as a pseudo in order to flirt and have fun with Ted.

Ted, later on, discovered her real name, tracked her down and they began a relationship, which unfortunately became long-distance when Victoria was accepted into a cooking fellowship in Germany. During this time, Ted lied to Robin that he had broken up with Victoria, just to sleep with Robin. Victoria and Ted broke up as a result of the cheating, only for them to make up 6 years later, then Ted breaking her heart again, over Robin!

10 Ted and Robin Getting Back Together

Ted and Robin Getting Back Together

Since the series began, we expected, ‘and that kids, is how I met your mother,’ to be the last line in the series finale. Well, we were shocked when Penny Mosby, in an additional scene, uttered the most ill-conceived line in the whole show- ‘this is a story of how you are totally in love with Aunt Robin’.

Throughout the series, it was clear that Robin and Ted were never meant to be together. In season 9, however, Tracy, the mother, was unceremoniously killed off, to create room for a Robin-Ted reunion.  Why would we spend 9 seasons wondering who the mother was, only for the writers to kill her off for another Ted-Robin story?

9 Ted’s awful Comments

Ted’s Transphobic Comments

Ted sometimes had weird comments, but what was outright overboard was when Ted made really ignorant comments comments. In one instance, Ted told his friends that there was a bunch of models in the lobby, and the gossip was that one of them was really a dude. He then suggested to his friends that they play a game known as ‘who’s hot and who’s Scott’. Several viewers found this to be very infuriating.

The writers actually had several homophobic storylines, such as when the men constantly belittled each other for doing things that were perceived too girly, seeming ‘gay’, a good example being season 1 episode 5, when Lily and Marshall hosted a tasting party, Barney said that he did not know that being in a committed heterosexual relationship could make a guy so gay.

8 Robin getting engaged to her Therapist

Cobie Smulders as Robin Scherbatsky and Neil Patrick Harris as Barney on How I Met Your Mother1

After Robin assaulted another woman, the court ordered her to see a therapist, Kevin Venkataraghavan. Most of Kevin’s patients were criminals ordered by the court to attend therapy, and Robin was one of them. Kevin, however, was attracted to Robin and they ended up dating, even getting engaged.

This, of course, caused Kevin to stop being her therapist. While the writers seemed to have thought this part out, they didn’t complete the thought. The American Psychological Association code of ethics states that a therapist cannot have sexual relations with a client until two years after they have stopped being a client. So why was the Kevin story told?

7 Robin Not Wanting Kids, Yet Competing To Be A Godparent

In the episode, ‘ Who Wants To Be A God Parent?’, Lily and Marshall hosted a game show to determine the most suitable Godparent for their son Marvin, as Barney, Ted, and Robin had volunteered at the same time. This happened after Marshall and Lily left the gang in the bar, after a short drink, to spend some time alone in the street.

A close brush with a taxi cab caused them to consider preparing a last will and testament and finding a suitable Godparent for Marvin in case either or both of them died. What’s surprising is why Robin volunteered to be a Godparent, yet she had never been interested in kids and feared them.

6 Ted’s Relationship With Karen

Ted’s Relationship With Karen

Ted’s relationship with Karen was a very toxic one, in fact, the worst relationship Ted Mosby was ever in, and he didn’t even notice! She was his on-and-off girlfriend, throughout high school and college. While dating in college, Karen was also with her philosophy professor. The first time they ever broke up in college was before winter break of Ted’s freshman year.

Lily and Marshall hated Karen loathed Karen because of her immense pretentiousness and her ability to bring out the same in Ted. With Karen, Ted was a completely different person.  Lily particularly hated Karen because she gazed on a naked Marshall and also her frequent cheating on Ted. What we don’t know is Karen’s exact purpose in Ted’s life. She was an unnecessary headache.

5 The Incidents Before Barney Proposing To Robin

The Incidents Before Barney Proposing To Robin

Robin and Barney had strong feelings for each other but did not want to get back together, so dated other people despite being secretly jealous of each other. Nick was, however, to be Robin’s last boyfriend before being Barney’s fiancée, as Barney broke them up at Splitsville, revealing that he was irretrievably and hopelessly in love with her. This won Robin over, but Barney took her through hell as he planned on a mega proposal via his Playbook: The Robin.

Barney told Robin that he was done pursuing her, saying that he was leaving to go and pick another lady, leaving Robin confused and hurt. This sent Robin is a scheme spree, finding different ways to get Barney back. The final nail on the coffin was when she showed up at Barney’s place and stripped down to reveal purple-black lingerie when Barney turned and Robin saw Patrice on Barney’s couch. Barney told Robin that he and Patrice talked all night and they were kind of on a date, causing her to leave, visibly hurt. All this was just his and Patrice's plan for the proposal that Robin would say yes to.

4 Lily Sabotaging Ted’s Relationships

Lily Sabotaging Ted’s Relationships

Lily was a sweet lady, and when the writers decided to give us some dirt on her, they opted for the meddling, selfish Lily. That was quite odd for someone who was lovesick and always about committed relationships.

In the episode, ‘The Front Porch’, Karen breaks up with Ted and discovers that Lily was responsible and had been meddling with his relationships for years. Lily confessed that she broke up Ted with girls whom she didn’t see passing the ‘Front Porch test’. She, however, said that she did not do this with any woman who could have potentially been the mother of Ted’s children, such as Victoria and Stella. It was clearly not in her place.

3 Breaking Up Robin And Barney

Breaking Up Robin And Barney

While the story was about how Ted met the mother of his children, the story of Barney and Robin almost took over the whole series. Fans were quickly drawn to the interesting story between the two characters who evolved so fast. Apart, they were amazing to watch, and together, their chemistry was explosive.

The serial womanizer and the commitment-phobic lady were changed to a loving couple. We lived the growth, hence were disappointed when the writers decided to bring all that down by breaking up the two. We then saw Robin go back to her old ways, this time forsaking her friends. What was the buildup for?

2 Dragging The Wedding

Dragging The Wedding

At the end of season 8, the gang headed to Farhampton for Barney and Robin’s wedding, and a series of snippets and revelations followed. There was pretty of content that could have filled season 9 such as the revelations that Lily and Marshall were scheduled to spend one year in Italy but then Marshall was offered judgeship in New York.

Ted was planning to move to Chicago a day after the wedding after he accepted a job offer there. This was also his way of dealing with Robin’s loss to Barney. And finally, we were introduced to Tracy-the mother. Despite this amount of content that could have been explored, we got 22 episodes of Farhampton, that the season ended up being boring.

1 Excessive Filler In Season 9

Excessive Filler In Season 9

Dragging the wedding in season 9 subsequently caused the writers to do what they should never do to a great series- settle for excessive filler! This is what HIMYM writers decided to end the series, despite earlier worries that they could have fewer episodes to wrap up everything the way they wanted!

Instead of exploring on the excellent storylines in season 8 finale, we had to endure Marshall driving cross-country with Daphne from Minnesota to New York; Ted’s quest to get the locket; annoying flashbacks in the ‘no questions asked’ episode and Ted’s wedding date. The most annoying filler was, of course, Marshall’s drive that took 13 episodes!


What other storylines are you trying to forget from How I Met Your Mother? Let us know in the comments!

Next John Wick 4: 5 Dog Breeds That Would Save The Day (& 5 That Would Be Totally Useless)