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HIMYM Through The Seasons: So Kids, Here's The Story So Far


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#1

TWoP Barnes

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Posted Mar 11, 2010 @ 12:32 PM

If you want to discuss the story so far -- that is compare seasons, or character development over the seasons, or follow a certain arc across the seasons, or what have you -- this is the place.

#2

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Posted Mar 11, 2010 @ 1:15 PM

For me there are some shows where I like most to all the episodes and all the seasons, HIMYM is like that for me. I got nothing bad to state about the show. It was entertaining in season1 and its entertaining now.

#3

Remlab

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Posted Mar 11, 2010 @ 10:56 PM

The story so far, for me at least, is like one giant Lucky Penny episode. I'm not that interested in meeting the mother and having the show go on after that, and don't feel like I've been on the hook for the simple reason that everything is happening for a reason. It all started with Robin, because without dating Robin Ted would never have broken up with Robin (Seasons 1 and 2). If he never broke up with her, he probably wouldn't have gotten the butterfly tattoo (Season 3). If he never got the tattoo he never would have met Stella, and if he never met Stella, he wouldn't have been left at the altar by her (Season 4). Tony wouldn't have felt guilty for Stella leaving and Ted wouldn't have gotten the job at Columbia, where he meets the mother (Seasons 4 and on). If the writers string me along, I don't really mind because while it took 4 previous seasons for Ted to get this far, I still feel like there is going to be a payoff.

I find the show as entertaining now and I did when I started watching in season 2 for the simply because I actually like characters most of the time. Plus, I wanna know how Marshall and Lily get the house with the giant study/library, AND can afford beach front property.

Edited by Remlab, Mar 15, 2010 @ 9:39 AM.


#4

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Posted Mar 14, 2010 @ 8:02 PM

Blahh this show lost me when it became the Barney/Robin show. Before it was all about the ensemble, but now it's centered about this relationship between two characters I don't give two bits about.

When it goes back to being about some friends and their foibles (and some mother hunting too) again, I'll be back.

#5

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Posted Mar 15, 2010 @ 8:12 PM

My thoughts on the seasons in HIMYM terms: Season one-soulmate, "the one" I was instantly attracted to the show, loved it unconditionally and I always thought I would. Season two-the show is my boy-friend. I was a little annoyed with it but I still loved it and watched it every week. Season three- I started getting a wandering eye and looking to see what else is out there. We are still together but I know now we want different things. Season four-"Friends with benefits". I am seeing another show on the side (Chuck) but HIMYM is my back up show. When I am bored and HIMYM is around, I watch, but there are no expectations. Season five-"The ex". I don't watch it, but I do keep track of it. I like to know what's going on with it, just in case I find myself without a show on Monday nights.

Edited by moemac, Mar 15, 2010 @ 8:13 PM.


#6

Enigma13

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Posted Mar 16, 2010 @ 4:30 AM

Season one was so-so at the beginning but really hit its stride after a while; the second half of that season is great. Season two was when this show peaked, it was the best year they've ever done. Season 3 was still enjoyable, S4 was OK but a bit patchy, and S5 has been pretty awful overall.

I honestly think that the biggest misstep the writers took was in the S3 finale. There's the start of the Barney/Robin crap, obviously. But just as important is that Barney gets hit by a bus and it's no big deal; sure, it's a sitcom. But before this HIMYM had always taken place in a funny version of our reality, and this was when it made the transition into a wacky version of reality (with time travel and light sabers). The transition to mostly stand-alone episodes didn't help, because the one thing that really made this show stand out was that it was so interconnected, it really felt like one long story.

Blahh this show lost me when it became the Barney/Robin show. Before it was all about the ensemble, but now it's centered about this relationship between two characters I don't give two bits about.

Completely agree that HIMYM went steeply downhill once B/R got together, and it's pretty much ruined both of their characters. Not to mention that the overemphasis on Barney in particular has screwed over Marshall and Lily. I'd say that overall everyone on the show has been reduced to a caricature, and the show itself is a cheap shadow of what it once was.

#7

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Posted Mar 16, 2010 @ 3:20 PM

I agree completely that the show peaked in S2. The season finale of S2 is some of the funniest and most heartbreaking television I've ever seen in my life. Since then it's slowly fallen off, but it's really nosedived in S5. The way they handled B/R was horrible.

The show is far too Barney-centric for my liking these days. For some reason there's a ridiculous number of Barney fans out there who think it's terribly hilarious that he does all this cheap shit to get laid, and that's what makes him awesome. He's always been like that, but he used to be more than that too -- and these things, like buying a ticket for Lily to go back to NYC, are what made him awesome.

It doesn't help either that the writers seem to have given up on realistically writing the romance. They were much better at selling this stuff in S1 and S3 when Ted was dating around, but there's just...nothing between Robin and Don. It makes sense that we won't see much of them, so we won't see why they're into each other that much, but we have to see something for it to be believable.

#8

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Posted Mar 17, 2010 @ 7:49 AM

It doesn't help either that the writers seem to have given up on realistically writing the romance.

In addition to your point about Don and Robin, as of episode 100 I think they may have lost me on the Mother too. I always liked getting little tidbits/clues about the her (yellow umbrella/she was the only woman I didn't wait three days to call), but I feel like they gave too much random stuff away and have kind of written themselves into a corner. Apparently this woman paints watercolours of robots playing volleyball and makes her crumpets sing arias, and this level of detail just didn't sit well with me. It feels shallow.

[Barney]'s always been like that, but he used to be more than that too -- and these things, like buying a ticket for Lily to go back to NYC, are what made him awesome.

It's not just the hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold stuff that made him an enjoyable character, but that he did occasionally do stuff that wasn't related to picking up, like appearing on The Price is Right and playing pranks on that Butterworth guy, karaoke, laser tag, etc. Now it's just about him being New York's most notorious lothario.

Edited by Enigma13, Mar 17, 2010 @ 7:50 AM.


#9

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Posted Mar 18, 2010 @ 12:44 AM

I honestly think that the biggest misstep the writers took was in the S3 finale. There's the start of the Barney/Robin crap, obviously. But just as important is that Barney gets hit by a bus and it's no big deal; sure, it's a sitcom. But before this HIMYM had always taken place in a funny version of our reality, and this was when it made the transition into a wacky version of reality (with time travel and light sabers).

I think the downward slide weíre seeing now started a little bit earlier with the Britney Spears episodes. I donít mind stunt casting so Britney isnít my problem, but it is around then that Barney started becoming too over the top. The ghost form letter is one thing, but The Bracket is basically a very long list of zany unrealistic ploys to get women. It was fine as one episode and Barney swung around the next season with his unrequited love for Robin, but now he is just the zany guy with unrealistic storylines.

Barney used to get turned down, he used to feel a little annoyed when his friends were all coupled up, he had family issues., he wanted to be Tedís best friend but wasnít. Now his biggest problem is having to turn down JLo. The random woman in The Bracket got a more heartfelt apology than his good friend Robin.

Not to mention that the overemphasis on Barney in particular has screwed over Marshall and Lily.

Has there even been a Marshall-centric episode this season? I know Lily got her suddenly deadbeat dad, but I canít think of any Marshall episodes this season.

#10

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Posted Mar 18, 2010 @ 2:23 PM

"Jenkins" was pretty Marshall-centric.

#11

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Posted Mar 21, 2010 @ 7:12 PM

Remlab, I disagree. This show isn't like "Babylon 5" where they had a five-year master plan in place before the pilot was even shot. Carter and Bays are making up the story as they're going along. There were several points where they could have introduced the mother if the show hadn't been continued. If the show hadn't been picked up for a full season back in Season 1, Victoria probably would have turned out to be the mother. If the show had ended after Season 3, Stella probably would have turned out to be the mother. (She fulfilled some of the prophecies, like being at the St. Patrick's Day party.) The show does have a built in 10-year expiration date (the kids have to be born by a certain year to be a certain age in the future) but I seriously doubt they have a 10-year master plan in place. As the show goes on, they'll probably introduce more mother candidates, and either make them the mother if the show ends, or not if it doesn't.

#12

Remlab

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Posted Mar 21, 2010 @ 10:27 PM

I didn't mean to imply that I thought Carter and Bays had this whole thing mapped out before it was even shot. My point was that whatever is happening usually has a purpose as the show goes forth. They might not know how its going to tie all in, but eventually it does, in my opinion. They set up Stella with the break up of Ted and Robin and the introduction of the tattoo, but because the show was renewed, they set up Ted meeting the mother through Stella/Tony/Columbia. If the show was never renewed, they never would have done that. I enjoy the fact that they didn't paint themselves into a corner and can change the storyline while still keeping a semblance of continuity, that's all.

Edited by Remlab, Mar 21, 2010 @ 10:28 PM.


#13

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Posted Mar 22, 2010 @ 12:12 AM

My point was that whatever is happening usually has a purpose as the show goes forth. They might not know how its going to tie all in, but eventually it does, in my opinion.... I enjoy the fact that they didn't paint themselves into a corner and can change the storyline while still keeping a semblance of continuity, that's all.

I don't know, they might have written themselves into a bit of a corner with the mother. Ted must call the mother as soon as he gets her number. The mother must have some reason for attending classes at Columbia. She has to be the kind of woman lots of men chase after. She has to paint pictures of robots and sing (which is really unlikely for the girl every man falls in love with). The more specific it gets, the more doors close.

Plus, I wanna know how Marshall and Lily get the house with the giant study/library, AND can afford beach front property.

That really isn't so surprising for a couple in their 50s when one person is a corporate lawyer.

#14

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Posted Mar 22, 2010 @ 6:43 AM

Barney started becoming too over the top. The ghost form letter is one thing, but The Bracket is basically a very long list of zany unrealistic ploys to get women.

Completely agree here. The "Lorenzo von Matterhorn" is nothing compared to what "fake baby" or "evil twin" or "thought I was a Norwegian prince" even sound like. I like the Bracket as an episode, but in the long term it would have been better to tone down Barney after that, because nothing can top those stories. Of course, it's partly the network's fault, because they really started to push Barney/NPH around the end of S3.

The show does have a built in 10-year expiration date (the kids have to be born by a certain year to be a certain age in the future) but I seriously doubt they have a 10-year master plan in place.


I actually think the show's expiration date is more like 5 years, but that obviously isn't going to happen. If anything Bays & Thomas should have made Ted, Marshall and Lily 25-26 when the show started, rather than 28. Obviously they didn't know that the show would last, but it really can't go on for another 3-4 years without us meeting the Mother and without Marshall/Lily having a kid. The older these characters get, the less plausible it seems that they spend every night at a bar. Sure, people in large cities tend to get married/have kids later, but I feel that M/L would have started trying to have a kid already.

#15

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Posted Mar 22, 2010 @ 11:08 PM

but I feel that M/L would have started trying to have a kid already.


I don't know, I think the fact that they were in debt when they got married would buy them some time. It would seem like they would decide to put that off until they had some money saved up, and gotten down some of Lily's debt, because having a baby isn't cheap. I know Marshall's a lawyer, but he's just starting out, I don't think he's making the big bucks just yet.

Just a theory.

#16

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Posted Mar 23, 2010 @ 2:48 PM

The beauty of this show is that you have a go-to excuse with everything for the most part. You can always call upon the "Narrator Coupon" as I like to call it. Basically this means that inconsistencies and changes throughout the continuity of the show can just be chalked up to the Narrator. I think that the Narrator is supposed to be unreliable in some aspects. No matter what we all like to say or think, we won't ever remember every single waking moment from our lives. There'll be some glossing of details, some things will be crossed up and perhaps misremembered. Look at The Goat for an example.

This also fits into my theory that a good chunk of elements that aren't related to Ted from Seasons 4 and 5 are mixed up. I think the narrator remembers what happened with HIM for the most part but I think with everybody else there's probably inconsistencies and misrememberings along the way.

#17

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Posted Mar 29, 2010 @ 3:45 PM

Completely agree that HIMYM went steeply downhill once B/R got together, and it's pretty much ruined both of their characters. Not to mention that the overemphasis on Barney in particular has screwed over Marshall and Lily. I'd say that overall everyone on the show has been reduced to a caricature, and the show itself is a cheap shadow of what it once was.


I agree, although I don't necessarily think that it's just the fact that B/R got together that started the problem - more the fact that them getting together was so incredibly poorly done. Based on both how bad it was, and comments from Bays/Thomas afterward, it seems to have been some weird combination of fan service and trying to convince shippers that they're wrong and get them to shut up. Neither of which are good reasons to get characters together in and of themselves, especially if you're going to destroy the characters in the process.

Caricature is exactly the word for everyone this season, and it's very sad. I barely care about the show anymore. I only discovered it the summer after season 3, and quickly bought all three seasons on DVD, then #4 as soon as it was out. I have no desire to own Season 5 unless they manage to get things back on track. Give Barney his third dimension back (or even his second), give Robin her personality back, pull back on Lily-as-harpy, give Marshall some storylines. Ted is actually the only person whose stories I've liked this season, and I hadn't really cared about him in a couple seasons! They at least managed to tone down the douche angle with him that I think they were leaning on a little too heavily for a while. Hopefully they can get their act together with the rest of the cast.

#18

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Posted May 25, 2010 @ 10:01 AM

I think HIMYM is on, or near, the downward slope of popularity. This seems to typically happen around season 5; the show is not in cancellation position, but everyone involved is ready to move on: the creators are working on other things, the actors have other projects (or babies), and the fans are noticing the repeated themes and aging characters and are ready for a new show to come in and take over).

I thought that, in that light, the "Doppelganger" episode was pretty good. They got rid of Don, whose relationship with Robin felt shoehorned into the writing. They moved Marshall and Lily into a pretty good new storyline arc - one that makes sense for a married couple so committed to each other. They toyed with those fans who insist upon putting Ted and Robin together, to show that will not (necessarily) be the move in Season 6.

I am not one of those who obsesses over every hint at who the mother is - I tend to forget about that until the show brings it up. However, I will say that bringing in some women to test viewer response, and deeming someone as "the one" would be a good way to add new life into this series; they don't have to get married right away, but adding such a characters allow for many more plot possibilities. Otherwise, just dragging it out until they cannot come up with anything more to do will just play out as a desperation move.

Similar to "Friends", after Chandler and Monica got together, we should really expect a lot more joke-based episodes, with the occasional script that moves storyline along (usually in November and May).

#19

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Posted May 25, 2010 @ 10:29 AM

It terms of ratings it seems this show is doing just fine, while some may not be okay at the direction the show is taking it still seems to be doing well ratings wise. Maybe it will be like Friends where this is only the half-way point and the ratings stay as strong. We shall see I guess.

Edited by SeattleGuy89, May 25, 2010 @ 10:29 AM.


#20

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Posted Jun 9, 2010 @ 4:52 AM

I'm not a Friends fan but, for some reason, like HIMYM. I think what appealed to me was the show (at least the early seasons) seemed like a serialized sitcom. Despite having a laugh track, the show took a more high-brow approach to the genre. It was about the people, more than the jokes. There weren't just season-wide arcs, there were mini-arcs with relationships and stuff the characters had to go through like Lily's money problems and finding a job/dealing with unemployment. (Marshall's final mirror self affirmations remain one of my favorite moments in the show's history.) The human elements heavily, heavily outbalanced the over-the-top ones.

But this season ... it just got too sitcom-y. And while other shows tend to slide into going broad, this show dived right into it and it didn't work. Compare The Leap, where characters grew up and accepted that life doesn't always work out the way you want it to Dopplegangers where nothing of the sort happens. I don't consider deciding to have a baby a sign of adulthood (especially when Lily's shopaholic tendencies have returned) nor choosing romance over career nor ... dying one's hair(?), which seemed to be Ted's great revelation in [i]DG{/i].

#21

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Posted Jun 9, 2010 @ 1:10 PM

I've been watching Season 1 again lately. I didn't find Season 5 as terrible as others but... when you compare it to season 1 ? The comparison isn't flattering.
Season 1 had a story, had heart. It was sweet, funny, hopeful. It felt like it was going somewhere. It felt like a journey.
Now, five seasons later, it feels like we've almost regressed. That makes me really sad.

#22

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Posted Jun 15, 2010 @ 10:51 AM

Season 5 has been strange for me. There have been no episodes that I found awful (like "Benefits" or "The Stinsons" last season) but other than "Definitions" and "Jenkins," I didn't find a single one great. Last season, I welcomed the decision to do a few more standalone episodes, but this season, they took it too far, to the point that this season had no storyline. It was just of a bunch of stuff that happened and it never seemed to be going anywhere.

The Barney/Robin relationship was just awfully-handled in every way. And I don't just mean the relationship itself, but also the aftermath. I didn't buy that Barney could just go back to being a manwhore and that Robin would be okay with it. "Of Course" was too little too late to resolve that issue, and it didn't end up putting much of a damper on Barney's womanizing ways. Plus the relationship itself ended up pushing Ted into the backseat of his own show, which is never a good idea.

I don't like how the characters have been handled this season. Barney has become annoying and one-dimensional. Marshall has become less funny and more immature. Robin has turned into a plot device. I was really happy with how Ted was handled for the first half of the season; he was acting more mature, less douchey, and more world-weary. But halfway through the season, it was as if the writers decided that they had progressed Ted's character too far and that they needed to scale back his development. He then went back to being douchey and pitiful. Lily is the only character that I've really enjoyed this season. She has become a little less of a high-maintenance nag and more supportive. They pushed her nagging tendencies a little too hard in "Say Cheese," but I can live with that. However, I'm still bothered by the fact that they seemed to regress her character in "Doppelgangers" just for the sake of the plot.

I hate to say it, but I think I might be over this show. I'm probably not tuning in next season. Chuck and 18 to Life are far better uses of my time.

#23

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Posted Jul 23, 2010 @ 12:16 PM

I watched HIMYM from the first episode.
I love all the characters and all gags and devices that they use (music videos, dance numbers etc..)
Besides, do I think all the men are cute:
-Jason - pudgy but handsome
-Neil - gay but hot to me
-Josh - goofy but also hot to me

#24

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Posted Sep 9, 2010 @ 9:24 PM

My baby brother once insightfully remarked on the inconsistent pace of the way they advanced the story towards the "...and that's how I met your mother". They seem to forget the development of the overall arc for long stretches, filming episodes simply for the ideas they find entertaining, then return to it, almost apologetically, out of nowhere.

As people have mentioned the show is on the downward trend, and with that in mind is anyone concerned that it might drift away either without a resolution to the overall tale, or with some rushed conclusion crammed into a fraction of a season?

#25

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Posted Sep 12, 2010 @ 12:04 AM

As people have mentioned the show is on the downward trend, and with that in mind is anyone concerned that it might drift away either without a resolution to the overall tale, or with some rushed conclusion crammed into a fraction of a season?

To me, that depends on what TPTB consider the conclusion to be. Occasional comments from the showrunners indicate that the conclusion will simply be finding out who the mother is (e.g. "And that's when, for the first time, your mother and I met face to face."), probably with a montage of lovey-dovey-ness. But I personally believe that for the show to live up to its name, it needs to show the courtship. In other words, I consider 'how I met your mother' entirely different from 'how I met the person who turns out to be your mother.' Otherwise the show might as well be called 'How My Friends Spent Their 30s While I Use Hindsight To Unconvincingly Find A Pattern In Wholly Unconnected Events.'

#26

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Posted Sep 12, 2010 @ 8:57 AM

I watched the first few episodes of Season One last night. For me, Ted really has shown the most growth. He seemed to be dripping with sincerity that first season..almost annoyingly so.
Now, he still has that passion for the one but it's tempered by experience.
Whereas, Marshal, Lily and Barney have all deviated so far from what they once were, Season One was almost sad for me to watch.

#27

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Posted Sep 16, 2010 @ 12:46 PM

Eff it. This season they should actually have Ted meet The Mother, in some surprising, last-scene shot, and then flash back to the kids on the couch, with Saget saying "And that, kids is how I met your mother...

"...but a lot would happen before we got married. Which is another interesting story."

Another interesting story told in Seasons Six through whatever of a show now titled "How I Married Your Mother." Or "HIMYM" for short. Hey, look at that!

#28

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Posted Sep 18, 2010 @ 9:01 PM

The beauty of this show is that you have a go-to excuse with everything for the most part. You can always call upon the "Narrator Coupon" as I like to call it. Basically this means that inconsistencies and changes throughout the continuity of the show can just be chalked up to the Narrator. I think that the Narrator is supposed to be unreliable in some aspects. No matter what we all like to say or think, we won't ever remember every single waking moment from our lives. There'll be some glossing of details, some things will be crossed up and perhaps misremembered. Look at The Goat for an example.

This also fits into my theory that a good chunk of elements that aren't related to Ted from Seasons 4 and 5 are mixed up. I think the narrator remembers what happened with HIM for the most part but I think with everybody else there's probably inconsistencies and misrememberings along the way


I have always thought this as well and use it as a way to overlook continuity errors in this show. ALso, not only might Future Ted recall things incorrectly, I have always been under the impression he embelishes some things and makes up other things to make the story better. We know Barney does this and part of what we hear is second hand from Barney, so the narrative is never going to be 100% accurate. Sometimes they will even go back and "correct" out mistaken beliefs within a show or later on. And really, I think that is OK to do. Its more "true to life". This is Ted's view of things 20-25 years after the fact. He isn't going to recall everything perfectly. Plus he is telling his kids the story, so he is going to change some things to make him look better and improve the story so that they remember their mom and dad in a better light.


I figure the story cannot go on without the mother being met for more than a few years, though. Those kids are in their mid-late teens, the future year is 2030, so he has 20 more years right now to meet her, date her, marry her, get her pregnaent.....all that takes 2 years minimum. He can hardly first meet her any later than 2012 or so for the kids to be able to the mid-late teenage years by 2030.

#29

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Posted Sep 23, 2010 @ 10:50 AM

Now that we have the new information about where Ted meets the mother, my mind's been going back through the show and trying to piece things together.

One of the things that I always found interesting was how willing the kids were to buy Ted's story in the pilot. There were no indications that they were shocked that their mother was a TV reporter. They were genuinely surprised by the revelation that it was in fact Robin, not their mother.

So I'm wondering if it'll turn out that Robin and the mother are both reporters and that they work together or worked together or know each other somehow through the business. That would tie into the notion that Ted is the best man at Barney and Robin's wedding, and it would make even more sense as to why he started the story with meeting Robin -- she was the beginning and the end of this major journey.

It'd also make the rest of the story relevant, particularly the professor part because without all that, he wouldn't have met Cindy, wouldn't have left the umbrella, etc. And since it's probably the umbrella that leads Ted to recognize her, it's extremely critical.

Am I stretching the story too far, or does this work as a possibility?

#30

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Posted Sep 23, 2010 @ 6:41 PM

Drew T., I do think that works as a possibility, except for one thing. Ted said that he never would've met their mother if he hadn't been a professor at Columbia. So, I think your scenario could work, but they would have to tie the Columbia thing in somehow. Like the mother sees Ted somewhere the day of the wedding and approaches him because she recognizes him as the guy who crashed her economics class. Or, Ted sees that she has the yellow umbrella he left at Cindy's apartment, which he never would've left in the first place if he hadn't met Cindy at Columbia.