HIMYM: Everything That Was Supposed to Happen in 2020

It’s fair to say How I Met Your Mother couldn’t be expected to predict 2020, but it’s also fun to see how wrong the show’s version of the year is.

Marshall Became A New York Supreme Court Judge

According to HIMYM flash-forwards, 2020 was the year when, in a last-minute upset victory against Joe Manganiello’s Brad Morris, Jason Segel’s career-climbing Marshall lost his hair but gained the impressive position of New York Supreme Court Judge. Certain he had lost, Marshall ended up delivering a drunken on-air victory speech wherein he promised to make Batman work harder “for Gotham” by using the Bat-signal even for “smaller stuff, like shoveling snow or if a place horse dumps in the park.”

Interestingly, this prediction for 2020 does have some connection to the reality of the year, although the link between How I Met Your Mother’s events and real life is a little tenuous. During 2020, not only was there a general election, but a real-life seat on the Supreme Court was up for grabs near the end of the year. Alas, the seat did not go to fictional sitcom character Marshall Erickson. Instead, the vacancy left by Ruth Bader-Ginsburg went to the controversial Republican appointee Amy Coney Barrett after a record-fast nomination process that took place in the weeks before Donald Trump’s general election loss to Joe Biden.

Robin And Ted Reunite On The Street

In another inaccurate 2020 prediction, Ted is delivering one of his trademark boring lectures about architectural history, and his long-lost love Robin walks into him, with the pair reuniting and sharing a hug for the first time in years. What they don’t do, however, is what anyone meeting on the street in 2020 would do (particularly in a densely populated urban center like How I Met Your Mother’s setting New York), which is maintain an appropriate, if admittedly awkward, social distance. Particularly Ted who, despite his love for Robin throughout HIMYM, is consistently depicted as a stickler for following the rules.

Marshall, Lily, And Ted Attend Their College Reunion

As unlikely as it may seem given the social distancing guidelines that precluded large indoor gatherings for much of 2020, How I Met Your Mother’s Ted, Lily, and Marshall all attended an in-person college reunion during the year according to the show’s continuity. Marshall also produces some cannabis that he “confiscated from some kids” during the function, which checks out since even if the drug were completely legalized, it’s unlikely that minors would be able to purchase it. However, the subsequent conversation between Lily and Marshall wherein he asks her permission to grow cannabis behind their garage and she resignedly reminds him they’re in their 40s raises an interesting question regarding HIMYM’s relationship with reality when it comes to the question of cannabis legality.

Wendy The Waitress Honeymoons In Hong Kong

This one would be doubly unlikely, with the worldwide travel restrictions in place throughout 2020 being the obvious reason that the minor How I Met Your Mothercharacter Wendy the Waitress and her Marshall-hating husband would be unlikely to leave the US during the year (particularly not their home of COVID hotspot New York City). However, the secondary, less likely reason that Wendy and her husband would be unlikely to enjoy a relaxing holiday in Hong Kong is that the area remains in a state of civil unrest due to widespread protesting and has done for some time now, making Hong Kong a less-than-popular pick for civilian tourists traveling from the US even pre-the COVID pandemic. It’s another case of HIMYM’s writers not only failing to predict a worldwide pandemic but also inaccurately guessing the minutiae of the international political climate. Also, there are still no phones that project a hologram of the person you’re calling while you call them, one of which Ted uses in this same scene.

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