Few shows are as polarizing as How I Met Your Mother, and yes, it all boils down to the controversial series finale.
Fans and critics alike are as split as Republicans and Democrats over whether the show satisfyingly delivered on its promise to be an epic, 9-season love story. One side said the finale was rushed and manipulative, while the other argued that anyone who didn’t see Ted ending up with [SPOILERZ] wasn’t paying attention to the previous 8 seasons.
But we’re not here to argue about the series finale (you can do that in the comments if you like, though). We’d rather talk about the things you don’t know about How I Met Your Mother in the hopes that you’ll remember why this show was as fun and undeniably popular as it was before it ruined everything (or ended perfectly, depending on who you are).
Do you know how many girlfriends Ted had before he met the one? Do you know which cast member was a real-life smoker, much to the chagrin of his or her co-stars? Do you know how much each cast member made per episode?
No? Then give us 5 minutes for a quick and fun read!
Not The Sexless Inkeeper
The story of How I Met Your Mother is unambiguously Ted’s story, about his search for true love as his closest friends slowly mature and settle down around him. Ted was always an optimist when it came to finding love despite numerous heartbreaks and constant failure, and we mean numerous and constant.
We counted, and with flashbacks, one-night stands, and season-long relationships, Ted has been romantically linked to at least 29 women who are not the titular mother.
But out of those 29, which is the all-time fan-favorite? Keep reading to find out who his most popular “one that got away” is.
Ted’s Immortal Kids
Actors Lyndsy Fonseca and David Henrie play future Ted/Bob Saget’s kids in flashforwards throughout season 1. They appear occasionally thereafter, mostly in non-speaking scenes, until the very final episode of the series, in which they suddenly have all new lines and a scene to play.
These scenes, in our time, take place 9 years later, yet Fonseca and Henrie are still the same age.
That’s because those final scenes of the series were actually shot during season 2’s production because showrunners didn’t know how long the show would go, but they did know how they wanted it to ultimately end.
And after it did finally end, the entire cast pretty much looted the show’s prop room, as you’ll see up next.
They Got To Keep Some Props
Josh Radnor, who plays Ted, unsurprisingly got to keep the blue french horn that played a key role in the show’s mythology. Neil Patrick Harris got to keep Barney’s playbook, and actually took home the gang’s booth from MacLaren’s pub. There were actually three yellow umbrellas used on the show. Creators Craig Thomas and Carter Bays each have one, and the third was given to one of the show’s main directors, Pamela Fryman.
But one iconic prop is completely unaccounted for: The mysterious pineapple. Find out the answer to this long-running show mystery further down.
Barney Actually Invented “The Bro Code”
Womanizer Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris) has hundreds of quotable one-liners from the show, most of which somehow relate (even obliquely) to his sacred creed, “The Bro Code.” Though an unspoken code of honor among men when it comes to love and war is nothing new, Barney might have actually invented “The Bro Code.” According to Google searches, the term doesn’t seem to have existed before the show.
We’re wondering if “Bro Code” would have caught on at all if another famous actor played Barney instead of NPH. Find out more a few entries in.
The Pineapple Conspiracy
The season 1 episode “The Pineapple Incident” gave us an unanswered question that outlasted even the identity of The Mother: Where the heck did that pineapple get on Ted’s nightstand?
The question was finally answered in bonus content of the How I Met Your Mother complete series DVD. In a deleted season 9 scene, Ted spots a pineapple on the doorstep of The Captain (Kyle MacLachlan) and asks what it’s for. The Captain says it’s an old sailor tradition and a sign of hospitality. We then cuts to a flashback where we see Ted stealing the pineapple during “The Pineapple Incident” from the doorstep of The Captain’s city townhouse.
Bonus fun fact: “The Pineapple Incident” is the most-viewed episode of the show.
Big Barney Theory
It’s hard to imagine anyone but Neil Patrick Harris as suited-up PUA Barney Stinson, but he’s not the only one who auditioned for the role. Jim Parsons (AKA The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper) also auditioned. Bazinga!
How Smoking Killed The Show’s One True Love
In the season 5 episode “Last Cigarette Ever,” we find out that every main character has been a closet smoker in some capacity all along. Jason Segel is a habitual smoker in real life and smelled so bad sometimes that Alyson Hannigan wouldn’t kiss him on screen. Though they did kiss occasionally, it was Hannigan’s request that it be as infrequent as possible due to Segel’s breath.
Hannigan was probably busy cozying up to her real-life husband, who played a recurring role on the show anyway. Find out more next!
Real-Life Significant Other Cameos
The significant others-es-es of the main cast frequently played guest roles on the show. Alyson Hannigan’s real-life husband (and fellow Buffy alum) Alexis Denisof played vapid news anchor Sandy Rivers. Cobie Smulders’ real-life husband, Taran Killam, guest-starred as Gary Blauman, a colleague of Marshall and Barney’s. Lastly, David Burtka, the real-life husband of Neil Patrick Harris, played Lily’s high school boyfriend Scooter in several episodes.
Set For Life: How Much $$$ Each Cast Member Made
As with any uber-popular primetime sitcom, the main cast made a buttload of money after 9 years. Each cast member raked in $120,000 per episode. After 9 seasons of roughly 22 episodes each, that’s a war chest of nearly $24 million per cast member. Except for Neil Patrick Harris, who was paid $210,000 per episode, or $41.5 million over the show’s run. Now that’s legen … wait for it … [insert joke about how much money that is that is relevant to Barney’s character] dary!
Which GF Is The Fan Favorite?
Though Ted had 29 girlfriends before he met The Mother, who was the most popular with fans?
It should come as no surprise that Ted’s favorite girlfriend, according to an online poll, is cupcake baker Victoria.
Fans’ least favorite? Zoey. Pout about that, ‘Zo.
Okay, you made it through! Now’s your chance to get into the comments and duke it out over the series finale.
But if you thought we did a pretty good job here or we taught you something new about How I Met Your Mother, please hit like or share first!