As How I Met Your Mother draws to a close next week, we take a look at what made the show so special for nine seasons.
The premise was clear from the beginning – older Ted (voiced by Bob Saget) telling his two children the adventurous story of how he met their mother. Sometimes reality intervened, if HIMYM wasn’t renewed for a second season, creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas had said that Robin would have been the mother. But as the audience and fan base grew, they knew they’d be allowed to see their vision through, and thus, the intricate story was woven.
What also made the show special was how different it was from other comedies. It wasn’t filmed in front of a live audience because of the quick cuts and short scenes, but that allowed for other plot devices, jokes, puns and gags to become prominent in the show’s reality.
Below are just a few reasons why the show became so entertaining. If we didn’t mention your favorite reason why, let us know in the comments!
Rarely could a show have such a smarmy man as one of their leads and have it pay off so beneficially. Barney evolved from a womanizing jokester to a serious (kind of) committed man who has grown up tremendously.
Legen-wait for it-dairy:
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Barney, the man who loved the build-up before the big reveal, coined this term back in season one and not only has it continued throughout the nine seasons, it’s become a cultural catch phrase.
Whether or not any of these plays would actually work is debatable. And if you would ever try and/or fall for one, please let us know in the comments – we’re curious. A womanizer since childhood, Barney’s playbook ranges from cunning, to blatant, to downright despicable at times. He’s had many a drink thrown in his face throughout the years because of the plays he tried to, um, play.
And subsequently, the Bro Code:
Barney may date this book back to George Washington’s time, but lets be real: no man or woman could come up with so many ridiculous rules for friendship (save for article one, which was taken from our real pop-culture.)
We now present some of the strangest rules from the Bro Code – from the actual, published book, The Bro Code:
Article 11: A Bro may ask his Bro to help him move, but only after first disclosing an honest estimate on both time commitment and number of large pieces of furniture. If the Bro has vastly underestimated either, his Bros retain the right to leave his possessions where they are – in most cases, stuck in a doorway.
Article 22: There is no law that prohibits a woman from being a Bro.
Article 52: A Bro is not required to remember another Bro’s birthday, though a phone call every now and again probably wouldn’t kill him.
Article 125: If a Bro is driving ahead of another Bro in a Bro Train, he is required to attempt to lose him in traffic as a funny joke.
Barney’s dedication to his suits has been admirable, to say the least (or was it foolish?) One episode this season was dedicated almost entirely to Barney trying to pick the perfect suit among racks and racks of fine-looking menswear. Granted, this may have been a metaphor for his anxiety about tying the knot to one woman, but Barney Stinson does not mess around when it comes to his suit and tie. Justin Timberlake would be very proud.
Nothing on the show really sparkled quite like Robin’s Canadian teen pop sensation alter ego, Robin Sparkles. Between her occasional appearance and all the country that is Canada has to offer, the gang had plenty of material to mock and joke Robin (and Cobie Smulders’) home country.
An embarrassing part of her past, Robin is haunted by Robin Sparkles and, subsequently, we are obsessed with her. The first Robin Sparkles appearance came in season 2’s “Slap Bet” and it was better than any one could have imagined – even Barney’s initial idea that Robin was involved with porn. Nope – just good old fashioned pop stardom. “Let’s Go to the Mall” (video below) was actually recorded using Cobie’s voice and of course, the fashion of 1990s Canada will never be forgotten thanks to this. And honestly, it’s pretty darn catchy.
Like any good musician, Robin Sparkles hit a sophomore slump in season 3’s “Sandcastles in the Sand.” Ex-boyfriend Simon (fellow Canadian James Van Der Beek) was featured in the Sparkles video and also makes an appearance in present-day New York City to reunite with Robin, only, he’s a complete loser and leaves her heartbroken.
It would be a few years until we hear about Robin Sparkles again, but in season 6, her third appearance is perhaps the most head-scratching one of them all. We find out that it’s not another music video, but rather a television show “Space Teens” Robin (Sparkles) starred in with her best friend at the time, Jessica Glitter (Pussycat Dolls’ Nicole Scherzinger). The unintentionally-sexual-innuendo filled show set out to teach math to the children of Canada.
Finally, the fourth and last appearance of Robin Sparkles showed us her dark side – Robin Daggars. It’s a bizarre story that we won’t get into here, but season 8’s “P.S., I Love You” focuses around Robin Sparkle’s obsession with a man who’s initials are P.S. The episode briefly features notable Canadians such as Alan Thicke, Alex Trebek, Dave Coulier, Paul Shaffer, Jason Priestley and James Van Der Beek in a video that has so many layers of meta we simply encourage you to watch it for yourself.
There is something humorous about how much the actual show loved Canada, but how much the characters detested it out of spite. Barney did not accept the fact he was partly Canadian, well at all, and even Marshall, the Minnesotan who was also mocked from time to time, never quite warmed up to the country.
On the next page: More reasons why we loved ‘How I Met Your Mother.’ Anyone feel like slapping Barney?
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