How I Met Your Mother Recurring ThemesThis is a featured page


  • Awesome!
The word "awesome" appears in almost every episode. The word awesome does not appear in the episode entitled "Purple Giraffe."

  • Legendary
Used mostly by Barney, sometimes as "Legen - wait for it - dary!" with many variations.
  • Suit up!
Used by Barney to mean "put on your suit". Many variations such as "Snowsuit up", "Flightsuit up", "Penguin suited up", "Birthday suited up".

  • Variations on 'high five'
Used mostly by Barney. Variations include "tiny five" (to one of Lily's class), "phone five" (whilst on the phone) and "self-five".

  • True Story!
Used by Barney, usually as a post-script to a story which probably wasn't true.

  • What up?
Generally accompanied by 'high five'.

  • Have you met Ted?
Used by Barney to introduce Ted to random women in the bar. Has also been used by other characters.

  • Lawyered!
Mostly used by Marshall to indicate that an argument has been defeated by clever questioning.

Running Gags

  • Barney calling himself Ted's best friend or Marshall's best man, only to be corrected.
  • Slap Bet. The season two episode "Slap Bet" featured a wager between Marshall and Barney where the winner would slap the loser. Lily (the Slap Bet Commissioner) gave Barney (who lost the bet) the choice of 10 slaps immediately or five to be dished out at any time. Barney, having chosen the five slaps, has been slapped four times since then:
    • At the end of"Slap Bet", a few minutes after losing the bet.
    • At the end of season two episode "Stuff," while performing his one-man play "Suck It Lily."
    • At the end of S03E09 "Slapsgiving" during dinner. Lily, as slap bet commissioner, issues a ruling that slaps shall not occur on the holiday but Barney, feeling safe, antagonizes Marshall and Lily revokes the ruling. After the slap occurs Marshall sings a song he's composed for the occasion.
    • At the end of S05E09 "Slapsgiving 2: Revenge of the Slap" Right before dinner. Ted and Robin are bequeathed a slap by Marshall who states that they have to decide who gets to slap him and that the slap must occur before sundown. He also stipulates that Barney is to be tied to a chair, henceforth known as the "Slapping throne". Robin and Ted are unable to decide who gets the slap so they give it to Lily's Dad, Mickey, who in turn gives it to Lily who can't find it in herself to slap him. Marshall declares that no slap will occur because it served it's purpose of bringing them together. Barney is released from the slap throne and then instantly slapped by Marshall who yells "THAT'S FOUR!"
  • "Famous telepathic conversations:" If the characters want to have a private conversation in the presence of others, they will attempt to communicate with each other telepathically. Marshall has done this successfully with Ted and Lily, but when Robin attempted it with Lily it failed.
  • When asked what his job is, Barney laughs and says "Please" (and never reveals it).
  • Barney often makes up statistics (Ted claims that he always uses 83% but he has only done this once, using completely different statistics on previous occasions) in order to make his arguments sound credible. Marshall always catches him out and 'lawyers' him.
  • In response to a snarky comment about him Barney will often silently nod his head "no" slowly to hilarious effect.
  • Similarly, Marshall can often be seen staring incredulously at someone after being the butt of a joke. This usually is visible in the outer edges of the screen while another characer is talking.
  • Marshall often does The Robot when he is excited about something.
  • Robin being teased about being Canadian. She will sometimes respond with a truism about America, such as a flawed medical system or poor knowledge of international geography.
  • "Lawyering": Marshall uses his law skills to interrogate someone else in a courtroom-style fashion.
  • Giving each other a variety of unique high five, such as the "hypothetical high five", the "air five", and "the phone five" (slapping the phone in a way that imitates the high five).
  • Whenever they mention a website on the show, you can guarantee the writers will have made that website for fans to go and look up.
  • The Fourskins "Murder Train" Robin's ex-boyfriend's bands song that is stuck in several episodes including: S03E16 "Sandcastles in the Sand" (During puppy corner on metro news one), S04E10 "The Fight" (During Marshall's flashback of rough-housing with his brothers), S04E24 "The Leap" (During Ted fighting the goat), S05E07 "The Rough Patch" (During Lily's explanation of her plan to break up Barney and Robin.)

Theories, Codes and Statistics

  • "The Olive Theory"
Robin hates olives and Ted loves them. This parallel was used to describe what makes "the perfect couple". Throughout thier relationship, Marshall and Lily based their great compatibility on this "olive theory". In the pilot episode Barney revealed that Marshall had been faking and does, in fact, like olives (it was he who allegedly disliked them, Lily has always liked them). Lily was not put off by this revelation. (As Seen in S01E01 "Pilot)

  • The "Lemon Law"
From the moment a date begins you have five minutes to decide if you want to commit to an entire evening with that person. If not then you "lemon law them" (usually by stating "I'm going to lemon law you") and are able to leave the date with no hard feelings. (As Seen in S01E08 "The Duel")

  • The "Hot Crazy Scale"
A person is allowed to be crazy as long as they are equally hot. You want a person to be above the "Vicki Mendoza Diagonal" (As Seen in S03E05 "How I Met Everyone Else")

  • The "Cheerleader Effect"
A group of women that seems hot but only as a group, individually they are not attractive.

  • "The Bro Code"
A code which regulates the relationship between bros. Selected Articles stated in the show are :

1. Bros before hoes.
29. A bro will, in a timely manner, alert his bro to the existence of a girl-fight.
34. Bros cannot make eye contact during the devil's three-way (Two dudes.)
53. A bro will, whenever possible, provide his bro with protection.
87. A bro shall, at all times, say yes.
89. The mom of a bro is always off limits. But, the step-mom of a bro is fair game if she initiates it, and/or is wearing at least one item of leopard print clothing.


  • Ted has bad luck ending relationships.
  • In the episode Return of the Shirt (S01E04) he tries to rekindle a relationship with an old girlfriend that he'd broken up with on her birthday, on her answering machine.
  • Later in the episode, when the second try at dating hasn't worked, he inadvertantly chooses her birthday to break up with her a second time.
  • In the episode Columns (S02E13) Ted must fire his one-time boss for poor performance. As he's about to fire him, a birthday party begins.
  • Ted apparently likes/loves jazz.

Latest page update: made by ilovebamboo , May 6 2010, 4:22 PM EDT (about this update About This Update ilovebamboo Edited by ilovebamboo

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