Longtime fans of CBS’s hit comedy How I Met Your Mother will tell you that sweet little Easter Eggs have been planted throughout the series. The show, which lasted nine seasons, revolves around New York City architect Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor), and his small group of friends, as he goes on a quest to find love in the big city. The story has two timelines: One takes place in 2030, where an older Ted (voiced by Bob Saget) is telling his two teenage kids, Penny (Lyndsy Fonseca) and Luke (David Henrie) the loooooooong story of how he met their mother. The other timeline starts in 2005 when the story actually begins. Eagle-eyed viewers can pick out the tastiest little nuggets neatly placed in episodes spanning over its nine seasons. One thing is for sure, the producers stayed true to their most devoted fans who had been watching the show since day one.
16. The Mother’s Name Was Actually Revealed In The First Season
When we were introduced to the mother (Cristin Milioti), she was walking casually up to the train station, holding her infamous yellow umbrella, swinging her base guitar in the finale of season eight. Audiences were FINALLY given a glimpse of this woman’s face. Little did anyone know, fans would fall in love with Tracy McConnell come the final season of the series when she was introduced personally to fans. Tracy not only won the hearts of (and we’ll go in order here) Lily (Alyson Hannigan), Barney (Neil Patrick Harris), Marshall (Jason Segal), and Robin (Cobie Smulders) but she stole the hearts of actual audiences. Casual fans know we didn’t actually learn the name of the Mother until the final minutes of the series finale, but REAL fans understand that we actually learned the name in the first season of the show. In the episode “Belly Full of Turkey” which aired in the first season, a dancer is taken with Ted and reveals her true name, which is Tracy. You then hear 2030’s Ted say “And that kids, is how I met your mother.” Ted tells the kids he’s just joking after they overact, but we all know the truth come years later.
15. Websites That Were Dropped On The Show Actually Exist In RL
Over the years, fans recall hearing, and seeing, a different number of websites that were mentioned by the characters. While Barney was the one that usually would come up with these off-the-wall sites, a couple of the other characters also joined in. In fact, there are a great number of websites that are STILL to this day up and running and you can find the complete list of the websites online. Here are a few:
Tedmosbyisajerk.com: In a successful attempt to pick up a kickboxing instructor, Barney posed as Ted and then ditched the girl after a one night stand. Still believing he was Ted Mosby, the woman started this website.
Tedmosbyisnotajerk.com: A website that unsuccessfully tried to cancel out the previous site.
Goliathbank.com: The fictional bank where all three guy characters worked at one point. Ted even designed the new headquarters later in the final seasons.
14. The Clocks In Ted and Marshall’s Apartment Always Read 4:20
We first notice this in the first season when Ted and Marshall have a sword fight over who gets to keep the apartment after Marshall and Lily become engaged. The main clock above the fireplace is always set to 4:20. Fans have figured that the clock just doesn’t work and has been positioned to read that specific time due to the nature of the number. Back in college, Ted, Marshall, and Lily have been known to “eat a sandwich” which is code for “lighting up a doobie” (Ted changed it up when telling his kids, but considering their ages, I’m pretty sure they cracked their dad’s code). Flashbacks of them eating a sandwich would pop up from time to time, and even an entire episode revolved around it when Ted and Marshall ate sandwiches before attending a concert with a very pregnant Lily. And as everyone knows, 4:20 is associated with potheads so…
13. Ted’s Kids Never Age (For An Obvious Reason, Obviously)
Every time I rewatch this series, I’m always shocked that the kids just don’t get up, slap their dad, and scream “GET TO THE FREAKING POINT FOR THE LOVE OF CRAP!!!” (they actually did something akin to this eventually, but not in the way you’d think!). Alas, they never do. They just sit there for what seems like years (literally) and listen to their dad tell somewhat inappropriate stories of his youth. All the scenes with Fonseca and Henrie were filmed within the first season of the show so that it doesn’t seem like the kids age, which means both actors knew the fate of the mother and kept it a secret for eight to nine years! Before the premiere of the final episode, both tweeted about having to keep the secret for all that time. The actors even did a parody of the kids screaming at their father that was released days before the finale, which is still downright hilarious.
12. Marshall And Lily Rarely Ever Kissed On Camera
Even though you get the impression that Marshall and Lily are the best and most loving couple on the face of the planet, you’ll notice one specific thing about them: they rarely ever kiss. Of course, fans will remember the main kisses – like when they got married (all three times: once during their real wedding, once during their wedding in front of family and friends, and once when they were married for 15 seconds off the coast of Atlantic City), but you actually don’t see them do it too often. And why is that? Turns out that Alyson Hannigan was not a fan of Jason Segal’s breath due to his smoking habit. Hannigan would often say that kissing a smoker is like kissing an ashtray, so the writers tried to work around it. Even though they were clearly close in real life, the smoking habit was one vice that Hannigan couldn’t stand about her on-air hubby. With good reason.
11. Three Of The Regular Cast’s Spouses Guest Starred
Turns out the entire cast and crew of the beloved comedy were so close that they wanted to share the love with some of the cast’s spouses, who were also actors. Alyson Hannigan’s husband Alexis Denisof was the obnoxious Sandy Rivers, Robin’s co-anchor on different news stations. Sandy is pretty much responsible for harassing all the women who ever worked for him and would often be oblivious to the word “no”. Neil Patrick Harris’ husband David Butka played Lily’s high school sweetheart/stalker Scooter, a little puppy-dog eyed character who crashed Lily and Marshall’s wedding. He even took a job as a cafeteria worker at the school Lily worked for just to be close to her. And finally, Cobie Smulders’ husband Taran Killam played the infamous Blauman, who had his own episode during the final season. Blauman was apparently a guy who used to work at Goliath Bank with Barney, Ted, and Marshall and even had an affair with Barney’s brother James, which resulted in almost ruining the marriage of the latter.
10. The Song, “La Vie En Rose” Was Heard More Than Once
In the emotional season nine episode “How Your Mother Met Me”, we see how Tracy came about and where she was during all those years. They close the episode with Tracy playing the ukulele her late boyfriend had gifted her on her 21st birthday on the balcony of her hotel room and singing a beautiful rendition of “La Vie En Rose” as Ted secretly listens from the balcony next to hers.
Ted tells his children that while he had heard that song “a million times, but that first night I ever heard her sing, that one will always be my favorite.” Thing is, that song played during a significant time earlier in the show during season one. During the episode “The Limo”, when Ted and company are party hopping via a limo on New Year’s Eve, Ted and Robin share a midnight kiss while “La Vie en Rose” played in the background. So it appears that the song was highly significant to both loves.
9. Speaking Of Songs, Robin Walked Down The Aisle To Sandcastles In The Sand, Y’all
If you know the show, you know that Robin once hid the fact that she was a Canadian pop star who had one hit titled “Let’s Go To The Mall”. This was revealed in season two and the group mocked her endlessly because of it (it was even Robin’s personalized ringtone for most of the group). But during the third season, they discover that she had a follow-up to “Mall” that was not as successful. It was called “Sandcastles in the Sand” and the music video starred her then-boyfriend Simon (James Van Der Beek), 80’s pop sensation Tiffany, and the late Canadian star Alan Thicke. The music video is actually the reason why Robin and Barney ended up together (sorta) in the long run, so it makes sense that she would end up walking down the aisle to a classical version of it when she marries Barney.
8. Conan O’Brien Made A Very Quick Cameo
During the seventh season of the comedy, talk show host Conan O’Brien made a quick appearance. The entire episode is an emotional roller coaster since Ted just told Robin that he was still in love with her before she left to work on a story going down in Moscow, Russia. When she returns and they go out on a date, she realizes that she doesn’t reciprocate his feelings and ends up letting him down. Marshall then asks Robin to move out of her and Ted’s apartment because he believes her leaving is essential for his best friend to finally move on. She does, and Ted finally believes it’s a new start and that the world is open to endless possibilities now that he’s no longer clinging to the idea of him and Robin one day getting back together. During the episode, while the gang is sitting in the bar, O’Brien can be seen in the background at a table. According to show co-creator Carter Bays, O’Brien won the part during a charity auction. O’Brien said that he just wanted to be in the background of an episode, so the writers and producers complied. If you blink during the episode, you’ll miss him.
7. The Song That Played In The Background Of Every Fight Was The Same Song
Fans were introduced to Robin’s former flame Simon (Van Der Beek) when the music video for “Sandcastles in the Sand” was discovered, and the dude happened to be more than douchy. Robin still carried a torch for her balding once-beau and even went to go see his band The Foreskins, perform. The song Simon performed was amply titled “Murder Train” and he asked Robin to play it over one of her news segments – which happened to be a segment telling viewers to adopt puppies. Sharp-eared fans will remember that “Murder Train” played over every scene where an intense physical fight was going down, especially if it was during a flashback involving Marshall’s underground fight club with his brothers. It even played over the scene where Ted had the crap beaten out of him by a female goat. We bet that now all you want to do is go back to every scene and listen to this song over and over again! It’s crazy how you sometimes miss these things in shows.
6. There Was A Secret Countdown During The Episode Where Marshall’s Father Died
One of the most gut-wrenching moments in the entire series occurred when Marshall’s father (Bill Fagerbakke) passed away after visiting Marshall and Lily in the city. In the episode titled “Bad News”, Marshall’s parents drop in from Minnesota unexpectedly when the couple is in the middle of visiting a fertility expert to make sure they are able to conceive children. The show ended with Lily telling shell-shocked Marshall that his father suffered a heart attack and did not make it. The creators revealed that throughout the episode, a countdown from 50-1 can be seen on various inanimate objects in the background. This had to do with the countdown to the actual “bad news”. Fans had figured the bad news would come in the form of Marshall learning he has fertility issues, an outcome that probably would have been less tearful than the bad news he actually received. Mind totally blown.
5. Barney Is Way Too Obsessed With Ties
We already know that Barney is obsessed with suiting up, however, it becomes clear that ties come a close second in his world. In the seventh season, Marshall makes a bet with Barney that if he can’t perform a particular cooking technique at a teppanyaki restaurant, he must wear Marshall’s hilarious looking “duckie” tie for one year. Barney, of course, loses and is forced to wear the ridiculous tie for 365 days. He eventually gets out of it (by offering up three more slaps added on to his and Marshall’s slap bet), but it shows just how bizarre Barney’s addiction to ties really is. Even during his own wedding, he rents out a hotel room for ALL of his ties so he’ll be able to choose between them during the weekend of the wedding. Early on in the series when Barney makes a bet with Ted that he can do everything on his Murtaugh List (a list that names everything someone over the age of 30 is too old to do), he attends a rave dressed like a teenager in glow-in-the-dark clothing and even has a tie that matches his outfit (and wig, nevertheless).
4. Marshall Ended Up Catching The Loch Ness Monster
Throughout the series, Marshall had an unnatural obsession with Scotland’s famous Loch Ness Monster, whom he believes is a “gentle creature” who is just misunderstood in popular culture. He and Lilly even spend their entire honeymoon searching for the monster in Scotland. Marshall’s drive to prove the existence of the creature throughout the series is one of the reasons why he is so lovably goofy. However, a lot of fans never caught the fact that MARSHALL ACTUALLY CAUGHT THE LOCH NESS MONSTER. In the season three episode titled “We’re Not From Here” during a flash-forward of a poor aged Marshall, in the background, a framed newspaper article can be seen with the headline “N.Y.C. Lawyer Captures ‘Nessie’” behind Marshall’s desk. Knowing Marshall, he just captured the creature in order to prove her existence, then had her released back in the water, probably. Sounds like something he would do.
3. Robin Is Actually Seen In An Old Picture Of The Mother And Her Then Boyfriend Louis
During the final season, we finally get to see what the Mother was up to during the entire time Ted had been dating nearly every woman in New York City in an episode titled “How Your Mother Met Me”. During the episode, we learn that Tracy had lost the love of her life tragically on the eve of her 21st birthday, actually knew The Naked Man Mitch, took the economics class that Ted accidentally taught, and ended up moving in with Cindy – the lesbian who would go on to date Ted before realizing that she was gay. When Tracy finally starts dating again, she goes out with a stockbroker named Louis, who would later end up proposing (Tracy ended up turning him down). But before then, fans see a picture of both her and Louis at a bar (most likely MacLaren’s) and if one looks closely enough, you can catch a glimpse of half of Robin’s laughing head in the booth behind the pair.
2. The 1807 Moscow “Flashback” Involving Barney And His Brother
Some of the best scenes in the comedy involved Barney’s half-brother James (Wayne Brady), who Barney believes is his full brother despite the fact that James is clearly black. James is basically a gay version of his little brother and the pair are extremely close. When fans are first introduced to James, Barney is upset at the fact that James has fallen in love with a man named Tom and that they’re ready to settle down. This causes Barney to fret over losing the best wing man he ever had (he tries to replace him with Ted, but that never really holds up). During one episode, Barney tells the gang a story of how the Stinson men are doomed to never be monogamous because their ancestors once ran over a witch while living in Moscow in 1807. In the “flashback” Barney is drinking a white Russian while James is drinking a black Russian while riding in a carriage. Clever writing there.
1. Barney Is Actually A Magician In Real Life
In the show, Barney’s love for magic often puts him in the doghouse with both his friends and his love interests. While his love of childish magic trick matches his larger-than-life personality, it usually gets him in trouble and has even injured people (mainly because a great deal of it involves fire). The group even once held an intervention for him when the tricks started getting out of hand. What a lot of fans don’t know however is that the man who brought Barney to life is a magician in real life too. Neil Patrick Harris is just as obsessed with magic as Barney is, and is even the President of the Board of Director of Hollywood’s Magic Castle, a prestigious venue for magicians. Ever since he was young and starred on Doogie Howser, M.D., Harris would perform tricks on the night show circuit. One of his most notable appearances is when he was a guest on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and he read the host’s mind.
Sources: howimetyourmother/wiki.com, mashable.com