How I Met Your Mother is known for its outrageously funny running gags and legendary one-off jokes. But sometimes the humor is so absurd that it leaves you thinking “Wait, what?” Then of course there’s the outlandish character of Barney Stinson; a man whose antics are so ridiculous that they stretch the limits of what’s believable and also of what a sane person would do.
At the same time, How I Met Your Mother is a show about love, and it loves to punch viewers in the heart. From sad breakups to the complete emotional destruction of the season finale, this show can be like a rose with super-sized, poison thorns.
For more How I Met Your Mother, check out what made our list of the 12 best episodes and check out the stars you forgot were on How I Met Your Mother. And if you need to vent about that horrible series finale, here are the reasons Ted And Robin weren’t soulmates.
These are are the 15 WEIRDEST Decisions How I Met Your Mother Made.
15. Lily leaves Marshall
Lily and Marshall are the most stable couple on the show. They’re college sweethearts who have been in engaged since the audience was introduced to them. Which is why it’s so shocking when, in the season one finale, Lily leaves Marshall to go to San Francisco to pursue her dream of studying art and calling off the engagement. It’s sudden and really out of character for Lily. Of course, she comes back in the first episode of season two to tell Marshall that she’s made a terrible mistake and wants to get back together. Duh, Lily.
They do get back together, and eventually get married, going back to being the show’s resident long-term couple. But the time that Lily left Marshall to move across the country and reinvent herself will always be a black mark on their relationship.
14. Robin Sparkles
In one of the best running jokes on the show, we learn that Robin used to be “Robin Sparkles, “a teen pop star in Canada. There are several levels of WTF here. The whole Robin Sparkles brand is so far from Robin’s actual personality that it’s shocking she got away with it as a kid. Her look, the songs, and the music videos are all pretty absurd. “Let’s Go to the Mall” is such a hyper-specific song.
How was Robin able to so thoroughly bury this part of her past in the age of the internet? How did she hide it from her friends for so long? “Let’s Go to the Mall” was a pretty big hit. How did no one ever recognize her on the street?
13. Robin’s “If I don’t shave, I must behave” rule
Robin has a new idea. She’s trying not to sleep with men on the first date. So she figures that if she doesn’t shave her legs for a date, she won’t wanna get naked with a guy: “If I don’t shave, I must behave,” she explains. During the date itself, she’ll wear long boots to cover her woolly legs.
Of course, when she meets the guy, she decides she wants to go home with him, and has to bribe a waitress to bring her a razor and shave in the restroom, hiding it all from her date.
This “no shave” idea is a pretty silly way for Robin to punish herself. What if he’s Mr. Perfect and she really wants to go home with him but she ruins her chances because she can’t bare her legs? Also, is there some rule that a woman who hasn’t shaved her legs can never hook up with a guy she likes?
12. Ted dates Zoey even though she’s married and her husband, The Captain, is terrifying
Ted becomes romantically involved with a married woman, Zoey. And her husband is not just your average Joe. He’s terrifying. George Van Smoot, also known as The Captain (played by a pitch-perfect Kyle McLaughlin), is a wealthy but enigmatic boating enthusiast with the eyes of a murderer.
As Marshall puts it, “the bottom half of his face is smiling… but the top half of his face wants to murder you.” There’s no telling what The Captain is thinking or what he’ll do.
Ted is scared of him from the moment he meets him. Why would he try to steal this scary and powerful’s man’s wife? Does Ted not fear for his safety? Also, he shouldn’t even be in an adulterous relationship if he’s such a sappy hopeless romantic.
11. The “Slutty Pumpkin” is a disappointment
The “Slutty Pumpkin” is Ted’s One That Got Away. In 2001, they met at a Halloween party on his roof. She was dressed as a pumpkin, but miraculously found a way to make it flattering. The two had a connection, but Ted lost her phone number. He’s so determined to find her again that every year on Halloween, he’s returned to the party on his roof wearing the same costume he did in 2001 (a hanging chad), hoping to find her. He finally tracks her down with help from the owner at the shop where she rented the costume. It turns out she’s been looking for her too! It’s fate. They’re soulmates.
Except they’re not. Ted realizes he doesn’t love her at all. It’s so anticlimactic, so ludicrous, so classic Mosby. Eventually he ends things with her. Should we be surprised? He spent years referring to her as “slutty.”
10. Marshall freaks out and shaves his head before his and Lily’s wedding
Before Lily and Marshall’s wedding, one of Lily’s relatives does Marshall’s hair. Except, instead of a traditional wedding look, she gives him frosted tips. It looks bad; so bad that Barney jokes that he looks like one of the Backstreet Boys.
Marshall and Ted are trying to decide how to fix it when suddenly, Marshall gets a crazy look in his eye. He grabs an electric razor and shaves a huge chunk of his hair off, making the situation even worse. It’s a really dumb move. He’s clearly lost his mind.
But then he stops there and doesn’t want to shave it all off. Luckily, Lily, at least, is thinking clearly. She borrows a fedora for Marshall from a passing gardener right before the vows. It looks kinda dumb but it does cover the bad hairdo.
9. That Ted’s kids would put up with hearing this extremely long story
Every episode begins with the frame story of old Ted telling his two kids the story of how he met their mother. The show takes place over nine seasons, only revealing the mother in the final season. The events of the show take place over about 25 years.
How long has it taken for Ted to tell his kids this story? Penny and Luke have been wearing the same clothes the entire time (except in the pilot, but it’s normal for costumes to be different in a pilot). Therefore, Ted is probably telling the story in one sitting. It feels like the story has been going on for more than a day. But how can that be if they haven’t changed their clothes? Has it been a year? Fifty years? Who knows?!
Why would Penny and Luke put up with this unbelievably long story? They’re visibly impatient with the long-winded Ted, wanting him to hurry it up because it’s already been way too long. But he doesn’t listen, so couldn’t they just walk away? Is hearing how your mother and father met, no matter how romantic the story, worth wasting the best years of your life trapped on a couch?
8. Ted makes Robin gives away her dogs because they’re all from her exes
When Ted and Robin are together, she gets freaked out by how much of the stuff in his apartment was given to him by his ex-girfriends. They fight about it, and Ted eventually agrees to get rid of it all. Then he finds out that Robin’s five dogs are gifts from ex-boyfriends, and he makes Robin get rid of them.
Dogs are not the same as inanimate objects. It’s a bigger deal to ask someone to get rid of their pets than to get rid of their junk. These adorable dogs love Robin and she loves them and Ted wants to disrupt the lives of her furry friends because he’s vindictively mad that they were gifts from exes? That’s so heartless. Luckily, Robin was able to give them to her aunt.
7. Ted is a fake hopeless romantic
Ted is supposed to be a hopeless romantic. He believes in true love and isn’t giving up until he finds The One. The character’s love life is also supposed to be a disaster. Note the use of “supposed to” here.
First of all, if Ted is such a romantic person who still believes in love, why did he cheat on Victoria, one of his long-term serious girlfriends, with Robin? Seems like if you believe in the sanctity of a relationship, you shouldn’t cheat.
Second of all, for someone who’s allegedly hopeless in the dating scene, he has a lot of girlfriends. One Redditor calculated that over nine seasons, Ted has dated or slept with 31 women. Actually, Teddy Westside is doing pretty well for himself.
6. Barney’s playbook
Barney’s playbook is a pretty huge part of his womanizing personality. But if you think about it, creating a physical book called the playbook (there are two copies, actually) is kind of insane. How much effort went into this?
First of all, he wrote the whole thing. There are seemingly infinite plays in this tome. It is a thick book. Second of all, the book itself is super fancy. Leather bound, gilded gold lettering, one of those ribbons you can use as a bookmark. It’s a work of art.
5. When the cast wore yellow face for the episode “The Slap Bet”
How I Met Your Mother got slammed for racism after the show used yellow face for the episode “Slapsgiving 3: Slappointment in Slapmarra”.
The whole episode was conceived around using yellow face, making the whole ordeal even more distasteful. As part of the “slap bet,” under which Marshall can slap Barney five times whenever he wants, Marshall wants to come up with an especially painful slap for Barney. He decides to learn how to perform the king fu-type “Slap of a Million Exploding Suns,” which requires traveling to three different locations, including Shanghai, to learn from three masters. Except the masters are Josh Radnor, Cobie Smulders, and Alyson Hannigan in yellow face.
Time wrote, “What’s problematic here — other than the lazy writing — is that HIMYM doesn’t feature Asians or people of color in its regular rotation. So a white person in a Fu Manchu mustache is one of the few ‘Asian’ representations ever featured on the show. There are no other Asians on the show that are authentic (read: can speak English and lead normal lives as human beings). It’s one-dimensional and harmful.”
4. Marshall sees Robin as a manatee because of The Mermaid Theory
Barney’s Mermaid Theory dictates as follows: even if when you first meet someone you aren’t attracted to them (they look like a manatee to you) over time, completely outside of your control, they will become attractive to you (like a mermaid). According to ol’ Barney, this originated with old sailors who would get so desperate for female companionship that the manatees in the sea would start to look like mermaids.
It’s surprising when we learn that Marshall sees Robin as a manatee when she’s clearly a beautiful woman. In this case, he isn’t attracted to her because she’s Lily’s best friend. Unfortunately for Marshall, Robin starts to look like a mermaid even though he’s trying to resist the theory. But when Robin throws up in front of him, Marshall is cured once and for all.
3. Robin dates her therapist
Patients and therapists are not supposed to be romantically involved. It’s a pretty serious rule, and one that’s there for a reason. So Robin’s relationship with her therapist Kevin is doomed from the start.
First of all, the reason she’s seeing him in the first place is that, after she assaulted a woman, a judge ordered her to go to therapy to work on her anger issues. It’s pretty important for her to work those issues out. So why on Earth would she jeopardize her treatment by dating her therapist? The healthy thing to do would be to acknowledge that she and Kevin have feelings for each other and agree that she should see another therapist.
2. Barney’s Hot/Crazy scale
Although Barney’s explanation of the Hot/Crazy Scale makes for a funny scene, the scale itself is pretty sexist. The scale measures a woman’s craziness in proportion to her hotness. According to Barney, a lady’s hotness should be greater than or equal to her craziness.
For one, the scale is sexist because it only applies to women. Where’s the Hot/Crazy Scale for men? Also, Barney illustrates the scale with details about his ex-girlfriend. One of them, Shelly, went too far over to the crazy side of the scale when she “gained 20 pounds and tried to kill [Barney] with a brick.” The brick part is crazy, yes. But there isn’t an automatic correlation between gaining weight and going crazy. It’s not okay to police women’s weight, Barney.
1. Tracy dies and Ted ends up with Robin
This series finale double-whammy angered and alienated How I Met Your Mother fans and caused the show to go down in history as having one of the most hated TV series finales of all time.
How I Met Your Mother built an entire show around Ted’s journey to his true love and the mother of his children. After 9 seasons, he finally meets Tracy, and she’s perfect. Then she… dies tragically.
In the aftermath, the widowed Ted goes back to Robin, his ex-girlfriend and a woman who is decidedly wrong for him. Here are a few reasons: Robin doesn’t like feelings, Ted is a very romantic person. Robin doesn’t see kids in her future. Ted has always wanted them. Robin chose Barney over Ted.
This series finale will always be unforgivable.
What about How I Met You Mother weirded you out the most? Let us know in the comments!
- Ad Free Browsing
- Over 10,000 Videos!
- All in 1 Access
- Join For Free!