Ted is constantly an unreliable narrator, shaping the events in a way that paints him in a better light for his kids. So, what else did he change in the story that led him to eventually meeting Tracy on the day of Barney and Robin’s wedding? Well, a surprising fan theory suggests that Ted wasn’t actually all that important to the gang. Here’s the fan theory about Ted’s two best friends that could change everything about “How I Met Your Mother.”
Were Marshall and Barney the real best friends in the group?
One popular Internet fan theory suggests that Marshall Eriksen (Jason Segel) and Barney were best friends all along — instead of Ted and Marshall. Although most of Ted’s stories from college and beyond involve Marshall in some way, the theory posits that Ted is a very conceited person and is pretty judgemental of those around him. One recurring joke sees Marshall and Barney fight over who is really Ted’s best friend — which is quite funny, but it also seems like Ted might be overcompensating his friendship with both of them in hindsight.
It’s possible that Ted’s conceited nature meant that he was too proud to admit that he wasn’t actually as close to Marshall or Barney as he liked to think he was. Of course, he was a part of the gang — otherwise, 99% of the episodes wouldn’t exist — but maybe Ted wanted to make himself look cool in front of his children. There’s no hard evidence backing up this theory, except for the fact that Ted’s narration is notably unreliable throughout “How I Met Your Mother,” as he gets certain events mixed up or remembers them in a different light. He frequently remembers people’s names wrong or has forgotten them completely — like Katy Perry’s minor character who was only known as “Honey” rather than her actual name, or his ex-girlfriend “Blah Blah” (Abigail Spencer).