Legendary ‘How I Met Your Mother’ Fan Theories

The Group’s Doppelgangers Are Representations Of Their Desires
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Credit: Ranker

Throughout the series, each of the main characters spots their lookalike out in the world. But none of the doppelgangers is quite like the original. Some fans speculate that each doppelganger represents the true desire of the character they resemble. There’s lesbian Robin, stripper Lily, mustache Marshall, Mexican wrestler Ted, and fertility specialist Barney.

Reddit user MiserableThinBelgain broke it down, describing the desire each doppelganger was depicting:

– Lesbian Robin is the masculine version of Robin that her father desired. A part of Robin likely wishes she could have remained masculine.

– Mustache Marshall is not only a lawyer but grows a sick mustache that Marshall can never grow. And for Marshall, who wasn’t even in law school yet when he saw him, this is very desirable.

– Stripper Lily represents the part of Lily who wants to embrace her slutty side and not have to worry about being a mom or being responsible.

– Mexican Wrestler Ted is this macho cool version of Ted who his friends adore because he doesn’t go on long rants. And he fights robots.

– Fertility Specialist Barney gets to look at women’s vaginas all day.

The Color Purple Is Important In The Show
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Credit: Corina Writes

Reddit user SpamFilterHatesMe shared “A Study in Violet”, a theory that points out the strange re-occurrence of purple in the show. For instance, the entire cast wore purple in season seven’s “No Pressure,” the episode where Ted and Robin end their pursuit of each other. The episode ends with yellow umbrellas, which are a symbolization of the mother.

According to basic art theory, the opposite of violet/purple is yellow, therefore the pursuit of Robin is preventing Ted from finding the future mother of his kids. He has to move on from purple to yellow to find her. Another Redditor hilariously pointed out that Barney, who marries Robin, shares a name with a purple dinosaur.

Barney Isn’t A Womanizer
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Tumblr user gingersaurus believes Barney is a way better person than he’s made out to be. According to this fan theory, the show’s playboy is much less obnoxious. The fan points out that Ted narrates the show and wants to be with Robin.

He also wants his kids to accept his decision to be with Robin. Convincing them Barney is smarmy and undeserving makes Ted seem like a good guy for “saving” Robin from Barney’s clutches.

The Women Barney Sleeps With Aren’t Dumb
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Many assume the women Barney sleeps with are dumb, but Reddit user Thestrangeone23 points out that they may simply have wanted to have sex with him, plain and simple. He also makes note of the episode in which Barney is being stalked by someone who is ruining his game, only to find that many of the women he hooked up withhold no ill will towards him, despite his poor treatment of them.

So maybe, just maybe, women simply found Barney attractive enough to play along with (or disregard) his silly games, because they wanted to have sex with him.

Barney’s Baby Isn’t An Accident
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Credit: Pinterest

The theory assumes that Barney (like Robin) is infertile. How else could he have slept with so many women without getting anyone pregnant? But unlike Robin, he realized he wanted kids, but couldn’t admit it to his friends. To keep up his playboy persona, he pretended to go out with women every night, while researching adoption agencies and trying to find the right match.

When he finally does, he claims the baby is a result of a one-night stand instead. Since it’s a closed adoption, he can never reveal the true identity of “Number 31,” his kid’s mom.

Ted Is A Liar
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One fan, Jon Solo, made a YouTube video suggesting that because the stories are being told from Ted’s perspective, they may have been heavily fabricated. The girl’s Ted hooks up with are attractive, perhaps because he retells the story that way. The mother is dead, so Ted is the only one in that room who knows what happened, and there’s nobody to call his bluff if he embellishes details.

There’s A Reason Ted Mosby’s Voice Is So Different In The Future
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Ever wonder why present Ted’s voice is so different than future Ted’s? (Besides the fact that future Ted is played by an entirely different actor.) Reddit user TheTrueRory suggested that future Ted is the “real Ted,” but when we tell the story of his younger life, he pictures himself as a better-looking, somewhat different man, AKA the Ted played by Josh Radnor. Since future Ted is imagining a stylized version of himself, it makes sense that his voice might be different.

Ted Pinned Barney’s Playbook
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This theory suggests that Barny’s infamous playbook, chock-full of strategies for picking up women, was written by Ted Mosby. Many sensible details are backing this concept, as Redditor Mila Nen wrote:

The Playbook, the totem of Barney’s preposterous sexual antics, was in fact, conceived of on the spot as Future Ted talks with his kids. It’s a storytelling device used to underscore Barney’s ways.

Ted Has Alzheimer’s
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Before the show ended, many speculated that Ted may have had Alzheimer’s Disease, which is why he was so adamant about sharing these stories with his children. It also helps explain why he was such an unreliable narrator throughout the show. The theory took on a life of its own, with many fans conjuring up their explanations for why it makes sense. Read an elaborate description of the theory from Reddit user shesagdb.

Ted Is Dead
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It’s not some Sixth Sense situation, but a different kind of ghost story. A YouTube commenter named NicoMajor101 believes that Ted died at some point before explaining the story to his kids and that their step-dad is now reading Ted’s journal to them. That explains why the narrator is Bob Saget and has an entirely different voice than Josh Radnor.

Barney’s Blog Is Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
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Barney and Dr. Horrible (from Joss Whedon’s web series Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog) are both played by Neil Patrick Harris, and djchurro on Geek Universe made some convincing comparisons between the two. He suggested that Barney has become a womanizer because he feels guilty for killing the only woman he ever truly loved, Dr. Horrible’s Penny. Is it the strongest theory? No, but it’s certainly a fun one.

The Show Is A ‘Full House’ Prequel
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This wild theory suggests that Bob Saget is Ted, and Ted is Danny Tanner, the patriarch, and storyteller on the ’90s ABC family sitcom Full House. Why? For one thing, Saget played Danny Tanner and also narrates HIMYM as future Ted. Other details align, too. For instance, the mothers on both shows are dead, and Ted leans on his friends to make things work.

Plus, Dave Coulier, AKA Full House’s Joey Gladstone, was even in an episode of HIMYM. The full theory can be found at Movie Pilot.


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