How I Met Your Mother, more than many other sitcoms, seems written specifically to be quoted. Catchphrases (like ‘Suit up!’) are circled back to time and time again, cementing them in fans’ minds – and balanced out with some surprisingly incisive commentary on finding love in the Big City.
The ones that truly stick in fans’ heads include both; the truly thoughtful one-liners that make fans begin to question if they are making the same mistakes as Ted is, and the Barney-isms that have to be borrowed in real life. Of all the lines in the show, these are some of the ones that fans cannot stop thinking about.
Have You Met Ted?
This simple line is a particularly brilliant trick that Barney introduces to the gang, and that many of them use in the years after. It works precisely because it’s simple – there’s nothing creepy, presumptuous, or try-hard about it as a pick up line, and it perfectly introduces strangers.
You Can’t Just Skip Ahead To Where You Think Your Life Should Be.
When Ted wants to buy his dream family home before meeting a woman he wants to start a family with, Lily cautions him on trying to skip ahead to where he wants his life to be.
Why Am I Constantly Looking For Reasons Not To Be Happy?
Robin has some heartbreaking lines in the series, and this may be one of the most painful ones. It’s spoken to Kevin, who replies that maybe she is afraid of being happy. It’s a concept that is often explored in therapy (and proves that the series is presenting an accurate picture of therapy… up until Robin starts dating her therapist), and for good reason.
Barney is the most exaggerated character (and a popular theory suggests that this is because Ted is the unreliable narrator of the show), and one of his quirks is that he is always wearing a suit. He even wears suit-jamas to bed, and he has an entire musical number about his love of them. He’s also always encouraging the others to wear them – by telling them to ‘suit up’.
If You Have Chemistry, All You Need Is One Other Thing… Timing.
While HIMYM deals with all aspects of life, it’s really about romance – and there are some real gems of advice in the writing because of it. This one, which Robin says to Ted (and follows up with “and timing’s a b**ch”) is a refreshingly realistic take on love and romance.
Sometimes, Even When You Know Something’s A Mistake, You Gotta Make It Anyway.
Another powerfully relatable line, Ted includes this in his narration for the episode ‘Milk’, where each of the main characters make a mistake, even though they know it will be a mistake.
Whenever I’m Sad, I Stop Being Sad And Be Awesome Instead.
Another of Barney’s most hilariously memorable quirks is his love of the word ‘awesome’. It’s not just in this line, of course. He says various other versions of this: such as whenever he is sick, he stops being sick, and is awesome instead. He uses ‘awesome’ probably more than any other adjective, even including a chorus of ‘awesome’ as background music in his video resume.
Nothing Good Happens After 2:00 Am
More excellent advice given by Ted as a narrator (and ignored by young Ted in the main storyline), ‘nothing good happens after 2am’ comes from the episode of the same name. It’s solid advice, and shows how different future Ted is from young Ted, as the gang seem to be constantly out at the bar after 2am!
Shouldn’t We Hold Out For The Person Who Doesn’t Just Tolerate Our Little Quirks
When Ted is struggling to find a partner, and getting desperate, he ends up on a date with a woman that he has been on a date with before – and for a moment, he considers ignoring his gut, and starting a relationship with her even though they kind of annoy each other. However, this line represents a moment of clarity for him – and a reminder that sticking to standards and holding out for the real thing is more important than feeling pressured to get into a relationship for the sake of it. It’s some of the best advice that the series offers.
Legen- Wait For It – Dary!
Of course, probably the most iconic line from the series is another Barney-ism. And like his overuse of the word ‘awesome’, this is a line that crops up time and time again. He also twists it, proclaiming other things Legen-daddy, or expanding it to add little one-liners in between legen and dary.