"How I Met Your Mother"
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The title of the theme song is "Hey Beautiful," and it's by The Solids, an unsigned band led by the show's creators, Carter Bays and Craig Thomas. The song is available on iTunes, and can be heard in full on the band's MySpace page.

Is Robin the mother?

NO, From the pilot:

Future Ted: . Because that, kids, is the true story of how I met your Aunt Robin.

Son: Aunt Robin?

Daughter: I thought this was how you met Mom.

Future Ted: Will you relax? I'm getting to it. Like I said, it's a long story.


Clearly, Robin and the mother are not the same person.

In fact, Robin not being the mother (a revelation that provided the big twist in the pilot episode) is one of the "pillars" in the premise of the show, a constraint that makes the series fresh and largely takes it out of the "will they/won't they" territory familiar to "Friends" fans. The creators of the show have reiterated in interviews that while Robin is going to be important and crucial in Ted's romantic journey, they intend to stick to their guns: Robin is not "the one," and there will be no ultimate loophole or twist to make it otherwise.

Further evidence from several different episodes:

In "Lucky Penny," "Something Blue," and "The Leap" statements FAQ ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0460649/faq#.2.1.6 ). Narration in those episodes establish that Ted has not met the mother prior to those points, which rules out a number of women we've seen in the show, not the least of which is Robin. "No Tomorrow" also explicitly places Robin as spending the whole evening with Lily and Marshall at their apartment, while The Mother is at a St. Patrick's Day party in a Manhattan nightclub that Ted was also attending. And per "Girls vs. Suits," it seems self-evident that The Mother is someone other than Robin, being someone else's roommate and having additional quirks that she doesn't share with Robin. In the season 7 episode "Symphony of Illumination", Robin discovers that she is not able to have children. At the end of the episode, Ted implies that Robin never became a Mother but did achieve many other things in her life. Evidently, Robin cannot be the Mother of Ted's kids.

And if even all that isn't enough to convince you, here it is, straight from the horse's (show co-creator Carter Bays) mouth, in an interview conducted with Entertainment Weekly in May of 2013.

EW: Was there ever a moment when you thought about trying to make Robin the mother?

Bays: No. We've heard that question a lot. What always made the show interesting to us is that Ted meets the perfect woman, and it's [still] not his final love story.

Yes, the kids have explicitly called Ted their father. Here's just a couple of instances:

"Dad, can't you just skip ahead to the part where you meet Mom? I feel like you've been talking for, like, a year." - the daughter, "Where Were We?" (Season 2 Premiere).

"Dad!" - both kids, not buying Ted's story about how Robin's sister Katie's life turned out, "First Time In New York."

Ted's statements about how the kids "would never have been born" had the sequence of events that led him to the mother not occurred ("Right Place, Right Time") is evidence that he's the biological father of the children.

A flash-forward to 2015 in "Trilogy Time" reveals Ted to have an infant daughter at this point, while the opening and closing scenes of "Unpause" (set in 2017) show The Mother in labor with their second child, a son. (The episode also reveals the names of Ted's children to be Penny and Luke).

"Bump Girl" is the nickname fans have given to the character played by Nicole Muirbrook Wagner in the third season episode "No Tomorrow." Her entire scene amounts to Ted accidentally bumping into her while walking through a nightclub, Ted briefly apologizing and her graciously dismissing him.

In February 2011, How I Met Your Mother Production's Twitter account stated that the actress who will play the Mother has yet to be picked. In addition Ted himself has said he doesn't meet the mother until Barney's wedding,this makes it unlikely that Bump Girl is the Mother.

The "Tracy Theory" is based on the concluding scene of the Season 1 episode "Belly Full of Turkey," where Ted meets a stripper who introduces herself as "Tracy," upon which Future Ted's narration chimes in, "and that, kids, is how I met your mother." The kids react with shock, and Future Ted quickly reveals he's kidding.

Fan consensus, however, is that there's nothing that definitively establishes the mother's name as Tracy, and the "Tracy Theory" is typically disregarded:

- We know what we see and hear on the screen isn't necessarily what Future Ted tells verbatim to his kids, unless we actually hear Future Ted say it (one example: Ted and Victoria's last day together in "Cupcake"). In other words, just because we heard the stripper say "I'm Tracy," doesn't mean that Future Ted told his kids, "She said her name was Tracy."

- The kids' shocked reaction in that scene would've happened regardless of whether Future Ted mentioned the mother's real name or not. Future Ted defused the situation before the kids might've uttered something like "but her name's not Tracy!"

- Considering the series' previous "contingency mothers" (people who would've been the mother had the show been canceled at particular times) were Victoria and possibly Stella, the creators are certainly open to a mother who isn't named Tracy.

So while there's no ruling out "Tracy," there's nothing definitive about it either.

It turns out that the mother's name was, in fact, Tracy. It could be that the writers named her that as a shout-out to the fan theory.

Once in a while, someone will post their theory about how the mother could be [insert previously seen character here]. The "Lucky Penny," "Something Blue," and "The Leap" statements are lines of Future Ted's narration that establish that he has not yet met the mother prior to those episodes.

- At the end of "Lucky Penny," Future Ted wraps up the story by saying that the firm he was interviewing for hired someone else, and that person had to move to Chicago three months later. He points out: "Kids, funny thing about destiny; I thought I was destined to get that job. But I was wrong. My destiny was to stay in New York. Because if I hadn't, I never would've met your mother." Aside from strongly suggesting that he meets the mother in New York, it clearly means that he had not yet, at the time of "Lucky Penny" (and some window of time afterwards, prior to when he would have moved to Chicago) met the mother. Also Ted and Tracy name their children as Luke and Penny.

- At the end of "Something Blue," Future Ted closes the story with this revelation of his and Robin's futures: "And as hard as it was at the time, in the end we both got what we wanted. She did eventually go on to live in Argentina, and Morocco, Greece, Russia, even Japan for a little while. And I? Well, I met your mom."

- At the end of "The Leap," Future Ted offers up this summary of the fourth season: "That was the year I got left at the altar. It was the year I got knocked out by a crazy bartender. The year I got fired. The year I got beat up by a goat--a girl goat, at that. And dammit, if it wasn't the best year of my life. Because if any one of those things hadn't happened, I never would've ended up in what turned out to be the best job I ever had. But more importantly...I wouldn't have met your mother. Because as you know, she was in that class. Of course, that story's only just beginning."

So anyone Ted can be construed to have "met" before the events of "The Leap" can be definitively ruled out as the mother, including Victoria, the coat check girl, the Slutty Pumpkin, Wendy the Waitress, Trudy, Stella, and most other female characters Ted has personally significantly interacted with from Seasons 1 through 4.

Notable characters who have not definitively been ruled out by this phenomenon include the Perfect Match from "Milk" (she and Ted never met in person, though they presumably know each other's names and what the other person looks like), and the Bump Girl from "No Tomorrow" (since they merely bumped into each other).

Additional (though less explicit) statements that nonetheless establish Ted as not having met the mother yet:

"No Tomorrow" - Future Ted makes a point of the fact that he learned years later that the mother attended the same St. Patrick's Day 2008 party that he did, but did not meet her there.

"The Three Days Rule" - after telling the story of how things with Holli went, Ted mentions that when he met the mother, he didn't hesitate to call her back as soon as he got her number, strongly implying that this event has not happened yet in the timeline.

"Girls vs. Suits" establishes additional facts about the mother that rule out previous encounters (and no doubts some future ones as well). Particularly notable is the fact that he counts Cindy's description of her roommate as the first description he gets of the mother, effectively ruling out the Perfect Match from "Milk."

"Challenge Accepted" - This episode has Future Ted explicitly say that he will meet the mother the day of a Wedding and implies that to be Barney's wedding. The follow up episode, the opener of season seven, "The Best Man" confirms this as we learn that Ted will meet his wife the day of this wedding, which is in fact Barney and Robin's wedding.

(updated May 2013)

Ted is an architect and university professor. As an architect, he once worked for a big firm, but in Season 4 he gets fired from his firm and decides to become self employed, setting up a firm called "Mosbius Designs." After his one major project falls through, Ted decides to take up an offer made to him by his ex-fiance's current fianc Tony to teach architecture at Columbia University. In Season 6, in addition to his teaching position, he is working for Goliath National Bank, designing their new headquarters to be built on the site of an old building called The Arcadian.

Lily is an art consultant for the Captain, the eccentric millionaire who used to be married to Zoey Pierson, whom Ted dated. For most of the series' run, Lily was a kindergarten teacher. For a time (early in Season 2, when she returned from studying art in San Francisco) she worked as a waitress in a Hawaiian-themed restaurant and as an administrative assistant in Ted's architectural firm before returning to teaching. In Season 8 she is hired by the Captain to be his art buyer ("The Ashtray").

Robin is currently an on-air talent for World Wide News, a national cable news channel. In the first season she was a reporter, then a news anchor for a small-time local cable station ("Metro News One," presumably based on real-life station NY1), but quit for a brief stint at Tokyo Ichi (think CNN meets a Japanese game show) in Japan before quitting that job and returning to New York. She went through a period of unemployment but, with Barney's help, was hired by Channel 12 to host their 4 a.m. morning news show, "Come On Get Up New York." In Season 6 she leaves Channel 12 to become an associate researcher for World Wide News, a major news network. Later on, in Season 7, she becomes a co-host for World Wide News along with Sandy Rivers.

Marshall currently works for Honeywell and Cootes, one of the largest environmental law firms in the country. He was a law student in Season 1 and 2, with some time spent interning in the legal department of Barney's company Altrucel; after passing the bar, he worked for the corporate law firm Nicolson, Hewitt and West, but quit partway into Season 3. In Season 4, he takes on a job in the legal department of Goliath National Bank, a company recently acquired by Barney's company, a position he maintains until late in Season 6, when he quits to seek work that is more in line with his passion for saving the environment. Aside from brief stints volunteering for the NRDC and representing Zoey Pierson in her attempt to save the Arcadian, he remained unemployed until Season 7 when he was hired by Garrison Cootes to work for his law firm. At the end of Season 8/the beginning of Season 9, he accepts a position as a judge.

Barney works for Altrucel, a large evil corporation (who prefer to be recognized as the company that puts the fuzz on tennis balls), but what *exactly* he does for the company remains a mystery, a running gag for the show (upon being asked what he does for a living, Barney immediately chuckles and dismisses the question with a "please.") He has since apparently been assigned to work directly for Goliath National Bank, Altrucel's newest acquisition. One of Barney's titles is the "head of the search committee" at GNB, but it is not necessarily his full-time position at the company. Barney's official title is finally revealed in the last season: Barney literally does PLEASE: Provide Legal Exculpation And Sign Everything. In other words, Barney's company was setting him up to be a fall guy, signing off on all his company's shady, illegal dealings in exchange for a large salary. In the end, Barney got the jump on his boss (the same guy who stole his girlfriend Shannon, from back in his hippie/coffee shop days, away from him) by working with federal agents to implicate him for some good, old-fashioned revenge.

Craig Thomas, co-creator of HIMYM, revealed in an interview with TV Guide (http://www.tvguide.com/news/craig-thomas-mother/071112-02) that MacLaren's is based on McGee's Pub on 55th and Broadway in Manhattan, not far from the Ed Sullivan Theater (where he and co-creator Carter Bays worked as writers for The Late Show With David Letterman).

HIMYM has had to address the possibility of cancellation at least twice (and perhaps three times) so far in its run.

The first instance is something that's common to most scripted TV shows (a little TV industry primer follows): When commissioning a TV series, broadcast networks usually put in an initial order to the production company for 13 episodes or so. If the series is launched in the fall and brings in satisfactory ratings, the network will order additional episodes for the season (aka "being picked up for the rest of the season," or "picking up the back nine" for a full season of 22 episodes). Otherwise, if the show isn't an instantly-yanked disaster, the network will allow the rest of the initial 13 episodes to be produced, and will typically burn them off (i.e. air the episodes even though it's a doomed, "lame duck" series), though in some cases some episodes are not aired on the original network and instead air on a cable partner, shown online, or put on the DVD release of the series.

So like most any freshman series, HIMYM had an initial order of 13 episodes. And as with any series that have ongoing subplots, the writers of HIMYM were particularly motivated to provide a reasonably satisfying conclusion if those 13 episodes were all they were going to get.

And what was the 13th episode? "Drumroll, Please." And if you watch the episode, one can see where it would have provided a satisfying ending--Robin winds up unhappy, but one can see where she was instrumental in bringing Victoria and Ted together (a prerequisite of the whole story, at least if it were to end this early in the game), Lily and Marshall having a moment in the previous episode that they feel is a landmark in the journey to their wedding day, Barney being awesome as usual, and Ted and Victoria getting together in a very romantic fashion. All the episode was missing to become the finale of the show was a final voiceover from Future Ted saying "and that, kids, was how I met your mother"--something that could've been added had the situation required it.

The show was renewed for a second season before production on the first season was finished, so a "contingency" wasn't needed for the end of the first season--in fact, they made the season finale a cliffhanger.

The end of the second season wasn't as sunny, and the finale even aired before official word of HIMYM's renewal came down. So what we got in "Something Blue"--bittersweet but slightly reassuring and satisfying to some extent, with Ted's narration providing a little closure to the mother mystery without actually revealing the mother, and a memorable final punctuation mark (not a period, exclamation point or question mark, but a nice ellipsis) courtesy of Barney.

While HIMYM's renewal also came too late in the third season, it seems that the ratings boost from Britney Spears' appearance may have given the producers enough confidence in a renewal that they gave the show a little cliffhanger as well, though it's also conceivable that they would have been content with the "question mark" ending with the further assumption that Stella was the mother.

In total, eight slaps. However, the original agreement was for five.

The bet occurred because Marshall originally bet Barney the reason Robin hated going to the mall was because she was secretly married at a Canadian mall. Barney wagered she had done pornography. Upon finding a videotape of Robin under the name "Robin Sparkles," Barney slapped Marshall, thinking the tape was porn when he saw a teenage Robin "ask" a teacher to get out of detention. However, when it turned out Robin Sparkles was Robin's 80s teen pop name (in the 90s) and the tape was her music video Let's Go To The Mall, Lily...acting as Slap Bet Commissioner...ruled Barney had wrongly slapped Marshall and had to make amends.

Initially, in "Slap Bet," Barney agreed to let Marshall slap him 5 times at any time as opposed to taking ten slaps at the time of the bet.

1) In Season 2, Episode 9 "Slap Bet," shortly upon Barney choosing the "five slaps any time" option.

2) In Season 2, Episode 16 "Stuff," bringing Barney's one-man play to an abrupt end.

3) In Season 3, Episode 9 "Slapsgiving," after the Thanksgiving embargo is lifted.

4) In Season 5, Episode 9 "Slapsgiving 2: Revenge of the Slap", after Marshall's announcement that no slap will occur during Thanksgiving.

In "Disaster Averted," Marshall and Lily renegotiated with Barney. In order for Barney to remove the ducky tie he was forced to wear since "Ducky Tie," Marshall would be given three additional slaps to use at any time, bringing his total slaps to eight:

5) In Season 7, Episode 9 "Disaster Averted," after Barney removes his ducky tie.

6) In Season 7, Episode 9 "Disaster Averted," another slap is delivered directly after the last.

7) In Season 9, Episode 14 "Slapsgiving 3: Slappointment in Slapmarra" A slap is delivered in the early morning hours on the day of Barney's and Robin's wedding, in the woods, "a few weeks" after the night Marshall told Barney the story of how he learned "the slap of thousand (or million, depending on how you interpret it) exploding suns".

8) In the penultimate episode, as they are standing at the altar one minute before Robin walks down the aisle, Marshall slaps Barney to snap him out of a moment of panic.

The slap bet is complete.

You can visit the http://theslapbetcountdown.com website and note that the next slap is scheduled for Slapsgiving once again.

One of HIMYM's conceits is that the entire story is being told in one sitting; the kids are wearing the same clothes (except for the pilot, a discrepancy we're supposed to ignore because there are often changes between a series' pilot and the subsequent episodes*), and have on occasion alluded to how long Ted's been droning on.

The problem is that actors Lyndsey Fonseca and David Henrie have been growing up; one can even see the difference between their Season 1 footage and Season 2 footage. So all the footage we've seen (and will probably ever see) of the kids was shot in Seasons 1 and 2, with what apparently is a small library of reaction shots to be used in future episodes. Since many of these episodes were/are yet to be written back when they shot the footage, the kids won't be specifically reacting to stories in the future (unless they recorded some responses that are generic enough to be used as a reaction, something we haven't seen yet. Or actors, David Henry and Lindsay Fonseca are invited to record voice over reactions, such as questions to their father, or exclamations). The creators of the show have acknowledged this limitation, and believe that now that the show is well-established, viewers only need an occasional reminder of Ted's framing narrative (the non-interactive shots that we've seen since Season 3). It is also in keeping with the children's characters that they would become progressively less and less interactive as the story continues and they, not being interested in it to begin with, become progressively more and more bored.

There *is* one instance of a pre-recorded reaction to a future episode that we know of: A scene with the kids that directly relates to the identity of the mother was shot in Season 2 under very secure/secret conditions. This scene is being saved for the show's finale. (http://featuresblogs.chicagotribune.com/entertainment_tv/2008/07/barney-writes-a.html)

* the footage from the pilot was also recycled in "Last Cigarette Ever" in order to reuse the "What!" reaction of the kids.

Like most network shows, HIMYM was renewed year-to-year. Creator Craig Thomas indicated in a 2009 interview that he hoped that the show's finale would air in 2012, meaning that they were hoping for a run of 7 seasons.

However, HIMYM's continued success has resulted in the cast not only getting pay raises, but also an extension of their contracts through an 8th season (2013). Of course, there's a time limit to when Ted will meet the mother, too: Since Future Ted's son and daughter are teenagers in 2030 (their exact ages are never specified, and the actors' ages at the time don't need to correlate), Ted is going to have to meet the mother and have these kids within the appropriate timeframe.

This does not necessarily mean that Ted will meet the mother in the series finale (or, to put it another way, that the show will end when he meets the mother). The creators have expressed openness to the possibility of proceeding beyond that point, whenever that occurs.

In "Trilogy Time," Ted is shown in 2015 with a wedding ring and an infant daughter, further solidifying the window of time in which Ted should meet, marry, and conceive a child with the Mother (presumably in that order).

On December 21, 2012, it was announced that the show would get a ninth and final season. It remains to be seen whether that means that the show will venture beyond the fateful meeting and show some of the relationship with the mother, or if the show will somehow find a way to draw out the status quo, or if the show will leave its current format of keeping the timeframe in pace with "real time."

The Ninth season of the show takes place over the weekend of Barney and Robin's wedding, featuring how everybody arrived at the wedding, conflicts that took place between various characters, and it also featured an episode that gave a brief history of how the mother came to be at the hotel in Farhampton.

"Bachelor Party," Episode 19 of Season 2. Lily reveals this because Marshall was mad at Barney for ruining his bachelor party and was upset enough to consider leaving him out of the wedding.

She says: "Ach Du meine Gte, gar nichts klappt mehr, aber berhaupt gar nichts mehr" (Oh dear, nothing is working out anymore, absolutely nothing).

(thanks to IMDB HIMYM fan dancer_in_the_snow for the answer).

Aside from the CBS website, "Barney's Blog" (linked from within the CBS site), and official MySpace pages created for the show and its characters, here are sites that the show's staff have created, most of which are tied into episodes of the series:

www.marshallandlilywedding.com (not mentioned on the show, but contained photos and webisode-type footage from within the show's continuity; no longer active)

www.slapcountdown.com ("Slapsgiving"; no longer active)

www.tedmosbyisajerk.com ("The Bracket"; note that tedmosbyisnotajerk.com is fan-created and unofficial)

www.lilyandmarshallselltheirstuff.com ("Everything Must Go"; linked to a real charity auction of HIMYM props and wardrobe; no longer active)

www.guyforceshiswifetodressinagarbagebagforthenextthreeyears.com ("Everything Must Go")

www.notafathersday.com ("Not a Father's Day")

www.barneysvideoresume.com ("The Possimpible")

www.mysteriousdrx.com ("The Possimpible", not mentioned on the show)

www.canadiansexacts.org ("Old King Clancy")

www.weddingbridemovie.com/ ("As Fast As She Can")

www.deddogphotography.com (referenced in the commentary for "I Heart N.J." on the Season 4 Home Video release)

www.itwasthebestnightever.com ("The Sexless Innkeeper")

http://www.balloonexplorersclub.com/ ("The Playbook")

http://www.extremitiesquarterly.com/ ("The Playbook")

http://bigbusinessjournal.com/ ("The Playbook")

http://linsonbreastlawsuit.com/ ("The Stinson Missile Crisis")

http://stinsonbreastreduction.com/ ("The Stinson Missile Crisis")

http://theslapbetcountdown.com ("Disaster Averted")

http://puzzlesthebar.com ("46 Minutes")

http://heynannynanny.com ("Nannies")

In the first season, the font used was Century; from the second season onward (and on the DVD packaging of the first season), the typeface is Dax.

Alyson Hannigan (as well as Cobie Smulders) was pregnant during Season 4, and early in March 2009 left the show to have her baby. Her absence is partially explained at the beginning of #4.20 ("Mosbius Designs") when she is so offended by a joke Barney tells that she refuses to hang out with the guys for four weeks (presumably she still spends time with her husband and with Robin offscreen).

Hannigan gave birth to daughter Satyana on March 24, the week that #4.23 ("As Fast As She Can") was produced. The season finale (#4.24, "The Leap") was filmed in January to accommodate the actresses' pregnancies and to ensure Lily would play a role in the season finale.

In "Mosbius Designs" (#4.20) Barney tells Lily a joke that offends her so much that she refuses to hang out with the gang for four weeks (this was done to accommodate actress Alyson Hannigan's maternity leave; the season finale #4.24 was shot in advance, making a "return appearance" possible). The audience hears the setup ("What's the difference between peanut butter and jam?"), but not the punchline--Future Ted's narration obscures Barney's words.

There are multiple minor variations to the punchline as found by searching for the joke on Google, but in essence, the punchline is: "I can't peanut butter my [slang for male organ] up your [slang for buttocks]." In the footage we see Barney mouth the words "peanut butter," but his other words don't quite jibe with the known punchline, which may mean he told a variation of the joke that was even more offensive than the commonly accepted punchline.

During Robin's relationship with Ted in Season 2 (in the episode "Stuff"), Robin sent her dogs away to live on her aunt's farm in upstate New York (really, it's not a euphemism). Even though her initial reason to send them away (Ted was uncomfortable with them reminding him of Robin's ex-boyfriends) is no longer a factor, presumably she has found it more convenient to live without them...or they're really happy out there and don't want to move back.

In real life they got rid of them because Josh Radner is allergic to dogs.

Co-creator Craig Thomas' wife was a big Buffy fan, and when Thomas asked for her "blessing" to have a character based on her in the new sitcom he was creating, she agreed on the condition that they get Alyson Hannigan to play the part. This almost became a show-stopper when Hannigan read the script and said she didn't want to do another single-camera series: her experience with Buffy's grueling shooting schedule (some days running as much as 14 hours) was not something she wanted to repeat. She was assured that--despite the fast-and-loose nature of the narrative--HIMYM was indeed a three-camera show. And the rest is history...

Aside from Hannigan (and, retroactively, Neil Patrick Harris), the list of HIMYM actors known for their appearances in Joss Whedon's productions include:

Alexis Denisof (Alyson Hannigan's husband): Wesley in "Buffy" and "Angel" and Senator Perrin in "Dollhouse"; Sandy Rivers, Robin's co-anchor in Season 1. He also plays Robin's boss at her new WNN job in seasons 6 & 7.

Amy Acker: Fred in "Angel" and Whisky/Dr. Saunders in "Dollhouse"; Barney's rain-dancing ex Penelope in "Come On," Season 1.

Morena Baccarin: Inara in "Firefly"; "Crazy Eyes" Chloe in "Swarley," Season 2.

Tom Lenk: Andrew in "Buffy" and "Angel"; Scott the barista in "Swarley," Season 2.

Harry Groener: Mayor Wilkins in "Buffy"; Ted's mom's boyfriend Clint in "How Lily Stole Christmas," Season 2.

Danny Strong: Jonathan Levinson in Buffy; Trey in 'Last Words' Season 6

Seth Green: Daniel 'Oz' Osbourne in 'Buffy' and 'Angel'; Daryl LaCorte in 'The Final Page Pt1' Season 8

Lesser-known actor crossovers include:

JP Manoux: Bellman in "Are You Now or Have You Ever Been," ("Angel," #202); Not Moby/Eric in "The Limo" (Season 1).

Caroline Lagerfelt: Spike's mother Anne in "Lies My Parents Told Me" (BTVS, #717); Bridal shop lady in "Cupcake" (Season 1)

Pat Crawford Brown: a creepy old lady in "Doublemeat Palace" (BTVS, #612); Thelma, the old lady on the plane with Lily in "Three Days of Snow" (Season 4)

Rachel Bilson: Colleen, a Potential Slayer in "Dirty Girls" (BTVS, #718); Cindy, the Mother's roommate, in "Girls vs. Suits (Season 5)

Ian Abercrombie: techno-hunter in 'Homecoming (BTVS, 3.5); Ben Franklin in HIMYM 'The Goat' Season 3.

Kal Penn; Robin's therapist throughout HIMYM season 7; one of the cave men beer drinkers in 'Beer Bad' (BTVS 4.5) plus Shamen in Fez in 'That Vision Thing' (Angel;TS #302)

Ray Wise; Robin Scherbatsky Senior in HIMYM season 7; Howard Lipman in 'Dollhouse' ('The Left Hand')

Cobie Smulders: In the film Avengers directed by Joss Whedon

Phil Lewis; Mr Platt the guidance councillor in Buffy 'Beauty and the Beasts'; loan officer in HIMYM 'DOWISETREPLA'.

Eric Bruskotter; Brian in Angel 'Provider' and George in HIMYM 'Little Minnesota'.

Nancy Lenehan; Pat in Buffy 'Dead Man's Party' (BTVS #302) and Cheryl Whitaker (Barney's father's wife) in HIMYM.

thanks to HIMYM fan Riina_K for information on the lesser-known crossovers

Alexis Denisof, Alyson Hannigan's husband, plays the recurring character Sandy Rivers, Robin's co-anchor at Metro News One and World Wide News.

David Burtka, Neil Patrick Harris' partner, plays Scooter, Lily's high school boyfriend, in multiple episodes.

Taran Killam, who plays Barney's colleague Blauman in multiple episodes, is Cobie Smulders' significant other; the two had a child together and became engaged in the spring of 2009.

Lindsay Price appeared in the 2007 episode "Spoiler Alert" as Ted's chatty girlfriend Cathy; the two started dating sometime afterwards, and were together for about a year before a reportedly amicable breakup in November 2009.

Fandom is divided into two camps on this issue: Those who believe it's the four-letter "c word," and those who believe it's the five-letter "b word."

The "c word" camp's argument is that the "b word" has been used repeatedly on the show (even by Lily herself) with no major negative reaction, so the word must be significantly more offensive, particularly to women, to get the reaction it did from the different people exposed to it in this episode.

A now defunct section of the official CBS HIMYM website had a glossary ("Motherspeak") that defined "grinch" as "a four-letter word you can never call a woman."

Those in favor of the "b word" note the rhyme shared by the two words, and contend that context plays enough of a part in the offensiveness of the word that Future Ted would censor it in this instance and not in others.

The creators once mentioned in an interview that the incident in this episode was based on real-life events, and the word in the real-life instance was the "b word."



HIMYM T-shirts with the phrase "I just awesomed all over the place" were sold beginning the summer of 2010. While this is an awesome slogan, Barney has not actually said this exact phrase on the show. The actual quote is as follows, from Season 2's "Something Blue," after the happy newlyweds drive off, and Barney still thinks Robin is pregnant:

BARNEY (to Ted) "You're gonna miss out on a lot of awesome stuff. You'll be at home with the kid, while I am out awesome-ing. All over the place." (to Robin) "And you're going to get fat."

No. IMDB uses user-contributed information, and some of it winds up being inaccurate or counterfeit (years ago, IMDB's listing for HIMYM had a frequently recurring character named "Kevin" who simply didn't exist at the time). Chances are an overenthusiastic fan mixed up or intentionally distorted information regarding NPH's directorial debut "Aaron and Sarah" to create that entry. The IMDBPro entry for the supposed movie makes no mention of Carter Bays, Craig Thomas, or 20th Century Fox, three entities whose involvement in a HIMYM movie would be essential; instead, it credits screenwriters and a production company who have had nothing to do with the TV series.

EDIT: The entry for the supposed HIMYM movie has been removed, but we're keeping this here for posterity.

HIMYM is a show that follows the traditional American network broadcast schedule, which means its season runs from mid-September to mid-May, with reruns interspersed between new episodes. This is in contrast to some cable series or serial dramas that air their seasons in one or two straight chunks with lengthy hiatuses in between.

Originally, when CBS commissioned a season of HIMYM, the original size of the order was 22 episodes. Season 3 had 20 episodes because of the writers' strike of that season, and Season 4 and onward has had CBS order two extra episodes each (for a total of 24 each season), as a sign of confidence in the show's performance.

Another aspect of American television programming is the "sweeps" period. In November, February, and May, the ratings are scrutinized in order to determine how much the network charges for ads in those particular time slots. So that's where the networks tend to cluster new episodes and episodes that may have some extra appeal (big plot twists, stunt casting, etcetera) to draw in more viewers and score higher ratings; the higher the rating, the more money they can justify charging for a commercial for that time slot.

Of course, this clustering of new episodes means that in certain months--December, January, March, and April--there are fewer new episodes and more reruns.

So the "typical" HIMYM season is structured this way:

- Season premiere in mid-September, with an unbroken string of 5-6 episodes until--

- A rerun in late October (this didn't happen in S3, S6, S7, and S9, and happened in S8 only because of preemptions)

- All new episodes for the first four weeks of November for sweeps

- Starting with a rerun right after sweeps, two or three new episodes spread between December and January

- All new episodes in February for sweeps

- Two or three new episodes spread between March and early April (HIMYM also usually gets preempted the first week of April for the NCAA Basketball Finals)

- A final stretch of 3-4 new episodes from late April to the finale in May


Major aberrations in the typical schedule happened in these instances:

Season 1: Two new episodes shifted away from February in order to avoid getting trounced in the ratings by the Winter Olympics.

Season 3: The Writers' Guild strike which ran from November to February led to no new episodes from December through mid-March. A flurry of work after the strike led to an unbroken string of new episodes from that point to the finale, bringing the episode total to 20.

Season 4: The US switchover to digital broadcast signals was scheduled for mid-February, leading to February sweeps being rescheduled to March. The February switchover was then postponed to the summer, but the postponement happened too late to switch sweeps back to February.

Season 5: As in S1, two episodes were shifted away from February because of the Winter Olympics.

Season 6: There was no late October rerun. December-January had four new episodes instead of three.

Season 7: The season premiere consisted of two back-to-back episodes.There was no late October rerun. Towards the end of the season, episodes were shuffled so that a new episode aired the second week of April, a rerun aired the third week of April, the show was preempted the first week of May for a one-hour Two Broke Girls finale, and a one-hour HIMYM finale (just like the premiere, technically two back-to-back episodes) aired the second week of May.

Season 8: A rerun was scheduled the third week of October to accommodate the Vice Presidential debate. Hurricane Sandy caused a last-minute preemption/rescheduling of the new episode that was to air in the fourth week of October.

Season 9: The series finale is reportedly set for April 28th (the first week of May Sweeps), which may mean a tighter cluster of new episodes for the show's final stretch.

HIMYM's production schedule runs from mid-August to late March, with breaks for holidays. Reads and rehearsals for episodes typically take place on the Mondays and Tuesdays of the week, and filming takes place Wednesday through Friday.



The differences may not be obvious at first glance, but HIMYM isn't like its fellow CBS sitcoms; it's actually a hybrid of the traditional "three camera" show shot in front of a studio audience (like "Two and a Half Men" and "The Big Bang Theory"), and the increasingly more common "single camera" shows like "The Office" and "30 Rock" that are shot and edited not unlike TV dramas and theatrical films. HIMYM is shot to look and sound like a three-camera production (a stylistic choice by the show's creators and producers), but is actually written and produced in a similar fashion to single-camera shows. There is no studio audience; early in the show's run, the laughs were recorded from an audience brought in to screen the finished product prior to airing, but now this archived laughter from earlier recordings is used in later episodes (yes, that means it's "canned").

One notable exception was "Hooked," an episode recorded in front of a private audience that included television critics.

The following article sheds some light on HIMYM's hybrid process, and why it makes the show distinctly different: http://featuresblogs.chicagotribune.com/entertainment_tv/2007/01/how_i_met_your_.html

Ted, Marshall, and Lily were all born in 1978:

- All three are portrayed as incoming college freshmen in flashbacks set in 1996.

- Lily's senior prom in "Best Prom Ever" took place in 1996.

- "How I Met Everyone Else" establishes that Lily, Ted and Marshall graduated from Wesleyan in 2000.

- Ted turns 30 in "The Goat" (set in 2008) and 31 in "The Leap" (set in 2009). "The Goat" establishes his birthday as April 25, though "The Leap" ostensibly takes place in May.

- Lily turns 32 in "Say Cheese" (set in 2010). This makes her older than Ted by a few months, though dialogue in "The Goat" seemed to imply that she and Marshall had not turned 30 yet. In "The Front Porch" Ted yells at Lily for breaking up him and Robin, and says, "You met the love of your life in a dorm hallway when you were 18." Lily went off to college in 1996, and met Marshall, placing her birth year as 1978.

- In "The Yips," Marshall says he is 29. This episode aired in November 2007. This places Marshall's birth year around 1978 or 1977.

Barney was born in 1976. "Game Night," which flashes back to 1998, shows Barney intending to leave for the Peace Corps, which means he was probably out of college by then; In "Columns," set in 2007, Barney gives his age as 31. "Zoo or False" further confirms that he was born seven years after the first moon landing in 1969.

Robin was born in 1980. "Robin 101," set in 2009, establishes her birthdate as July 23 and gives her age at the time as 29.

The Mother was born in 1984. "How Your Mother Met Me" establishes that the day Marshall and Lilly got engaged and Ted met Robin (both of which occurred in the pilot episode, which the newer episode established to take place in September of 2005) was the day of her 21st birthday.

The episode that raises this question is Season 2's "Arrivederci Fiero," where there's a scene where Ted learns that Barney can't drive and proceeds to teach him, with disastrous results. Some viewers have taken this to mean that Barney *never* learned to drive, and are confused when they see other episodes that have shown Barney driving (Season 4's "As Fast as She Can" most prominently among them), as well as references set before "Arrivederci Fiero" that seems to contradict the scene (In "Come On," Penelope mentions making out in the back of Barney's car; Barney takes Ted's mom to the airport around the time of Season 2's "Brunch," as referred to in "Little Minnesota" and seen in flashback in "Home Wreckers").

The thing to keep in mind is that the driving lesson scene in "Arrivederci Fiero" is a *flashback* to sometime "last year"; if Ted didn't misspeak, that means sometime in 2006. Barney has a car by the Season 1 finale, "Come On," assuming that it wasn't part of some ruse; either way, he's definitely driving by "Brunch," and apparently drives a truck soon after "Arrivederci Fiero" in the episode "Moving Day" (granted, he only drove it a short distance to the back of MacLaren's, but Ted didn't seem to take Barney's supposed inability to drive into consideration). That leaves a sizable window of time in the first half of 2006 (i.e. the last half of HIMYM S1) in which Barney was able to learn to drive. Given that Barney is both impulsive and obsessively driven (no pun intended), it's possible that he got over his fear of driving and mastered the skill very quickly.

It's a strange phenomenon but a lot of people seem to forget that it was revealed a few episodes later, in "Everything Must Go," that Barney's stalker is Abby, played by Britney Spears (and previously seen in "Ten Sessions," the episode just prior to "The Bracket").

Other than "Everything Must Go" being possibly forgettable (even though it's when Ted first pulled off wearing those awesome red cowboy boots), a reason for this is that "The Bracket" was actually produced *before* "Ten Sessions," and written without a culprit in mind (the decision to make the stalker Abby was made much later, when the producers were entertaining the opportunity to bring the character back); the actress heard and seen in "The Bracket" as the stalker is not Britney Spears, and unfortunately, while it makes sense in the narrative to convey the mystery, that mystery is unfortunately retained in reruns (and memories of watching the episode) as people don't wind up connecting the voice to Britney's character.

In "Twin Beds", Ted steals the blue french horn again when he and Barney are fighting over Robin.

In "Home Wreckers," Ted buys a house in Westchester that turns out to need a lot of work, and while not shown onscreen, it's to be presumed that Ted works on fixing the place up from time to time. In "Legendaddy," the gang revisit the house in order to hold an intervention for Barney, and the house looks like it's being worked on. The house apparently suffers a setback a few months later, however, as Ted recounts in "Disaster Averted" that an oak tree fell into the living room as a result of Hurricane Irene. In the season 8 finale (Something New), Ted takes Lily to his now fully-renovated house to tell her that he is selling it, and moving to Chicago. However, Future Ted noted as early as "Home Wreckers" that the living room is the living room in which he and his children are sitting as he narrates the story so it is presumed that he did not sell it, whether or not he ended up moving to Chicago at any point.

In "Hopeless," Robin runs into a crush (played by Michael Trucco) whom she had first met while she was with Ted. The evening ends with the two not getting together, but Future Ted tells us that "it wasn't the end of that...more on that later."

The writers hoped that Trucco's character would be one of Robin's major love interests in the subsequent season; however, "Fairly Legal," the show Trucco was a regular on, was renewed for a new season, making him unavailable to HIMYM in the capacity that they originally intended. The character of Kevin (Kal Penn) was created as Robin's new romantic foil for Season 7.

In the first half of Season 8, Trucco was booked for an arc as Robin's boyfriend Nick on the show, finally paying off the original setup.

Considering that there is a large chunk of time between when we know Ted, Lily and Marshall graduated from Weslyan and when the show started, as well as the prerequisites to be a practicing architect in a city like New York - both stated by Ted within the context of the show, and the general real world logistics - it stands to reason that, given he had time to do so after getting his undergrad degree, Ted has met all the basic academic needs to at least be a practicing architect; which likely means at least a masters degree.

As for Columbia, keep in mind that Tony pulled some strings, but also a need for him to have a PhD to be an instructor there is not a given. Ted is also refereed to as Professor Mosby in season 8, indicating he didn't bother to pursue his PhD at this point.

As of the end of Season 8, Barney and Ted might occasionally smoke.

Future Ted (Season 5, Episode 11 Last Cigarette Ever): "We all quit for awhile after that but it wasn't anyone's last cigarette. We all did eventually quit for real.

Robin's last cigarette was in June 2014 [So not long after her and Barney are married]

Barney's last cigarette was in March 2017

Lily's last cigarette was the day she started trying to get pregnant [Season 5 Finale,Doppelgangers]

Marshall's last cigarette was the day his son was born [Season 7, Episode 23 The Magician's Code Part 1]

Ted's last cigarette was two weeks into dating the mother [So early June 2014]

-The Pineapple incedent

- Something is going to go "horribly wrong" with Barney and Robin's wedding. We don't know what yet but Future Ted has told us something is going to go wrong.

- The clearing up of the pregnancy, engagement timeline (which was promised to be resolved)

- Robin becoming a bullfighter

"How I Met Your Dad" is a prospective spinoff of HIMYM that is currently in the pilot stage and will be produced sometime in March or April after HIMYM wraps production. CBS will announce the new Fall 2014 series in mid-May, at which we will learn if HIMYD has been picked up to series.

The show will NOT be about the Future Mrs. Ted Mosby (played in HIMYM by Cristin Milioti); her backstory was already largely dealt with in the HIMYM episode "How Your Mother Met Me."

HIMYD is what the creators are calling a "format spinoff" of HIMYM, and utilize the same basic premise (decades in the future, a character tells their children the story of their young adult life), but will revolve around a completely different set of characters (in this sense it is more akin to the spinoffs in franchises like NCIS, Star Trek, CSI, and Law & Order). This time the story will be from a female perspective, with Sally Javits (played by Greta Gerwig) stepping into the main protagonist/narrator's shoes, and her own circle of friends and loved ones helping her navigate the trials and tribulations of her love life and career.

HIMYD will be produced by HIMYM's creators, Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, alongside Emily Spivey ("Up All Night"). Greta Gerwig, who wrote and starred in the indie film "Frances Ha," is also expected to be part of the writing staff.

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