The fifth episode of HIMYF “Good Mom,” revisits an old How I Met Your Mother joke that should have remained in the original series. How I Met Your Father has, for the most part, updated the format for 2022 and addressed many of the How I Met Your Mother controversies that have arisen in the nearly decade since the show first aired. However, in some episodes of How I Met Your Father, the show continues to repeat jokes that, while not as offensive as others, could have been dropped.
After a video of his proposal being rejected on stage went viral. Jesse (Chris Lowell) is introduced in How I Met Your Father with the explanation that he doesn’t believe in love. How I Met Your Father delves deeper into that viral fail video, revealing that he fell from the stage. That someone said he wet himself, and that he simply spilled his cosmopolitan on his crotch. When Jesse returns to the scene later in the episode and goes on stage again. The heckler mocks him for drinking the same drink as his mother. And someone sends him a cosmopolitan as a joke.
In How I Met Your Father, when Jesse is publicly mocked for drinking a cosmopolitan. He explains that he enjoys them because they’re sweet and tart. This being shamed for a drink choice that makes the character happy is reminiscent of a recurring joke in HIMYM about Marshall (Jason Segal). Marshall wishes he could drink the fancy cocktails with fruit and umbrellas. But he is afraid of being perceived as girly, so when he does order one, Lily (Alyson Hannigan) assumes it’s for her. And he is embarrassed, so he gives it to her instead of having the drink he desired.
Both of these jokes are based on stoic notions of what masculinity can entail. And the toxic way in which society prevents men from doing the things they enjoy for fear of having their gender or sexuality questioned is mocked.
While this is a more direct reference to Marshall’s situation on How I Met Your Mother. The use of human looks is set to be a recurring issue on How I Met Your Father. Sid (Suraj Sharma) is mocked for wearing an engagement ring that makes him happy in How I Met Your Father episode 4. But despite the fact that more men are wearing engagement rings in 2022. He feels the need to call it a “man-gagement” ring to defend his gender identity. All of this is played as a cheesy joke, with some women assuming it’s a promise ring. The only saving grace of these scenes in How I Met Your Father is that. While the show and the characters mock the desires. The characters defend making the choice that makes them happy and persist regardless.
How I Met Your Mother was arguably even worse in terms of the conflation of tastes and gender. Even going so far as to reverse stereotypes. Marshall’s love of fruity drinks is portrayed as girly. While Robin’s love of whiskey is portrayed as manly. Even if we ignore the trauma that Robin (Cobie Smulders) endured at the hands of her father due to her gender. This transformation is just two sides of the same coin, and not as progressive as it appears. It’s disappointing to see How I Met Your Father still rely on these sexist and offensive gender stereotypes in 2022. Especially given how progressive the rest of the show is, but these jokes risk jeopardising the show’s future.