Discrepancies, Plot Holes, Continuity Errors & Mistakes in How I Met Your Mother

Devoted fans of any show are sure to catch little moments where things just don’t quite line up right. HIMYM fans are no different, and there are a fair amount of conflicting plot points throughout the past nine seasons. Here’s a complete list of everything I’ve observed, plus everything I’ve been able to find online. If you know of something that’s missing from the list, post it in the comments so I can update accordingly!

The big ones:

  • Barney & Robin’s wedding date
  • Penny’s age
  • Proposal date
  • St. Patrick’s Day 2008

The ones you always hear about:

  • Marshall & fighting
  • Lily & Marshall sharing a toothbrush
  • Robin & team sports
  • The Hot/Crazy scale
  • The actor who plays Tom
  • Robin & nicknames
  • Barney’s ability to drive
  • Barney & bad pictures

The other ones:

  • Ted & Natalie
  • Marshall & painkillers
  • Robin & strip clubs
  • Barney & cooking naked
  • Ted & Trudy
  • Ted & vomiting
  • Robin & guns
  • Lily & Marshall’s song
  • Lily’s dog allergy
  • “Grinch”
  • Barney’s first time
  • Barney & funeral attire
  • Robin’s aunt’s lover’s name
  • Lily’s dad and the wedding
  • Barney & the belt
  • Marshall’s family at the wedding
  • Canada’s tallest mountain
  • Everyone’s spoiler alerts
  • Simon’s band name
  • Marshall & winking
  • Robin & girl friends
  • Barney & challenges
  • The Mother & Louis

THE BIG ONES

Barney & Robin’s wedding date:

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In S8E13 “Band or DJ?”, Ted specifically says that the wedding date is May 25th, 2013. That puts the wedding on a Saturday. But the first episode of season nine (S9E1 “The Locket”) opens with a title of Friday, 11 am, 55 hours before the wedding. That means that the wedding must be on Sunday, May 26th. This Sunday date has held true thoughout the entire season, so it is clear that the season 8 date is a mistake.

Penny’s Age:ted and daughter

The first image we see of Penny is in S7E20 “Trilogy Time”. The baby looks to be an infant, age approximately between 0-3 months old. This baby could be representing a newborn Penny, though, because newborn babies are rarely used in TV/movies. Next we see an older baby (but still a baby, not yet a toddler) in S8E9 “Lobster Crawl”. Lily and Marshall babysit for Ted and The Mother, and then take Penny to meet Santa for the first time.

It got a little tricky in the scenes from S9E15 “Unpause”, which showed the moments before Luke was born in 2017. As of the night of Luke’s birth, Penny looks to be the wrong age. The timeline strongly indicates she is born in early 2015, which would make her at least two years old as of 2017.

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The actual baby that played Penny for this episode is the second child of writer Carter Bays and wife Denise Cox Bays. Little Georgina was born in (approximately) August of 2012. This scene was shot in November, making the tiny actress just about 1 year and 3 months (15 months) old as of filming. Even if the night of Luke’s birth was January 1st, 2017, that still gives us a baby that was born in late 2015.

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We know that Penny was born up to a full year prior to that, so it is confusing. At first the age discrepancy seemed like a mistake or a change in the timeline. But upon realizing it is the writer’s own child, it makes sense that would sacrifice a bit of age accuracy for such a special guest star cameo. (S7E20 “Trilogy Time”) (S9E15 “Unpause”)

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Proposal Date:

At the end of S9E8 “The Lighthouse”, we see Ted at the Farhampton lighthouse with a girl named Cassie. This scene is in May 2013, as he meets her right before Barney and Robin’s wedding. Next comes a scene that is titled “Not 2 Years Later”, putting us at May 2015. Ted is at the lighthouse with The Mother, and he says “why couldn’t it have been you here with me two years ago?” This confirms that the proposal date is two years after Barney and Robin’s wedding, and therefore in May 2015.

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A proposal date of May 2015, however, means that baby Penny was certainly conceived and almost certainly born before Ted proposed. This has been hard for some fans, because it seems like such a deviation from the traditional love story that Ted is seeking. But this isn’t a traditional love story, and the timeline has been confirmed as correct:

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St. Patrick’s Day 2008:

Ted and The Mother were at the same club at the same time! The first time we saw this scene was back in S3E12 “No Tomorrow”. We saw it from Ted’s perspective in that episode, and then from The Mother’s perspective in S9E16 “How Your Mother Met Me”. In the season 9 episode, though, the scene is titled “April 2008″. St. Patrick’s Day occurs on March 17th of each year, so the scene date was a mistake.

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Things got confusing, though, because the date of the holiday was actually different in 2008.The date conflicted with the Catholic Holy Week, so things were shifted around. Some aspects were celebrated on March 15th, some on March 17th, and some on April 2nd.  Apparently this happened once before, in 1940.

This all could explain why the scene is titled as “April 2008″ even though the holiday should have occurred in March. But, in reality, most of us celebrated St. Paddy’s Day on the normal date. Show writer Carter Bays confirmed via tweet that this was a mistake:

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THE ONES YOU ALWAYS HEAR ABOUT

Marshall’s history with fights:

In S1E3 “Sweet Taste of Liberty”, Marshall challenges a guy that he thinks is hitting on Lily. The guy is gay, and Marshall expresses his relief by saying “Oh thank God, I’ve never been in a fight before”. The gay guy’s boyfriend then punches Marshall out.

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In S4E10 “The Fight”, however, Marshall repeatedly states that he has been in plenty of fights with his brothers. The gang laughs this off, because they image the Eriksen boys play fighting gently with multiple breaks for hot cocoa. At the end of the episode, Marshall punches the bartender that’s about to punch Ted. Doug the bartender goes down, because Marshall can actually hold his own. We see a flashback to the real fights between the Eriksen brothers, and they’re pretty brutal. How brutal? Well, the background music for these scenes is the infamous “Murder Train” by the Foreskins, and it’s totally appropriate for the WWE style, furniture breaking, balls to the wall, Fight Club worthy scene.

Marshall and Lily sharing a toothbrush:

In S5E14 “Perfect Week”, Lily and Marshall confess to both sharing a single toothbrush. Ted realizes that he has also been using this toothbrush, and thus Robin realizes that she used it as well when her and Ted were dating. Everyone is revolted. Lily and Marshall seem to have thought this was normal, but they realize it’s totally weird.

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BUT in S1E14 “Zip Zip Zip”, we see Lily and Marshall brushing their teeth at the same time, using different toothbrushes.

Robin and team sports:

In S1E6 “Slutty Pumpkin”, Robin says she never played team sports.

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BUT in S1E20 “Best Prom Ever”, Robin says she missed her high school prom because she had a field hockey game. Field hockey is a team sport. Also, in S4E6 “Happily Ever After”, we see a flashback to Robin kissing one of her male (ice?) hockey teammates. I believe Robin was the only girl on that team, but her father didn’t truly accept that he had a daughter until this moment. He had been treating her as a son ever since she was born and he named her Robin Charles Scherbatsky Senior.

The Hot/Crazy scale:

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In S3E5 “How I Met Everyone Else” Barney explains the Hot/Crazy scale, aka the Vickie Mendoza diagonal. “When Barney is explaining the Vicky Mendoza Diagonal, he gets his axes wrong. He implies that her stabbing him with a fork made her less hot, rather than more crazy, and that the boob job made her less crazy, rather than more hot. In fact, it would actually go right, up and then right again.” (It was too complicated for me to explain – thanks to the HIMYM wiki for this summary)

The actor who plays Tom:

In S2E10 “Single Stamina”, Barney sees a picture on his brother James’ phone. The picture is of James and Tom, the man he is engaged to. Tom is a white guy.

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BUT in S7E11 “The Rebound Girl”, we see Tom in person. In this episode he is played by a totally different guy that doesn’t look anything like original white guy Tom. Here, Tom is played by Jai Rodriguez. Now Tom is not a white guy.

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Robin and nicknames:

In S5E6 “Bagpipes”, Ted knows that something is amiss with Barney and Robin because they are using cutesy nicknames. Ted recalls that Robin hated such nicknames when they were dating, and she didn’t let him get away with calling her “Robsie Wobsie” and “Schebs”. She also does not let Ted call himself “T-Moz”.

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BUT in S2E1 “Where Were We”, Robin calls Ted “Teddy Bear”. Further down the road, in S9E3 “Last Time in New York”, Robin and Barney refer to each other as “R-Train” and “B-Nasty”, respectively. I suspect this is just something about Ted that bugged Robin, but doesn’t necessarily bother her with her other people. Or, her and Barney just love one another so much that they have in some ways become that couple that uses cheesy nicknames.

Barney’s ability to drive:

In S2E17 “Arrivederci, Fiero”, Barney reveals that he hates Marshall’s Fiero. We see a flashback to Ted realizing that Barney doesn’t know how to drive, and attempting to teach him using Marshall’s car. The lesson does not go well, and at the end Barney still seems to lack the ability to drive more than 1 MPH.

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BUT there are several earlier episodes that seem to indicate Barney’s ability to drive. In S1E22 “Come On”, Barney mentions having sex with Penelope two times in his car. This does not necessarily mean that he could drive then, though, and even owning the car may have been another Barney lie in an effort to get laid. In S4E11 “Little Minnesota”, we see a flashback to Barney driving Ted’s mom to the airport. This flashback is supposed to have occured right after S2E3 “Brunch”, which obviously aired before the Fiero episode. We also see him driving in S2E18 “Moving Day”, S4E23 “As Fast As She Can”, and S5E24 “Doppelgangers”.

Barney and bad pictures:

In S5E18 “Say Cheese”, we discover that Barney (supposedly) never takes a bad picture. Robin is repeatedly shown attempting to trick him into a bad pose or expression, but the picture always comes out flawless. Barney is also always in the same pose in every picture.

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BUT starting in S1E2 “Purple Giraffe” we see the opening montage featuring photos of the gang. Barney is show in different positions and even looking really akward and unattractive in one. This is further disproved in S3E14 “The Bracket”, where Lily takes photos of Barney for her scrapbook of his misadventures. She is able to get pictures of him being beat up and of him running away; neither of those fit with his usual pose/expression.

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THE OTHER ONES

Ted and Natalie’s dating history:

In S1E4 “Return of the Shirt”, Ted talks about a girl from his past – Natalie. He explains that they dated three years ago and he broke up with her on her birthday. Ted and Natalie are both very clear in this episode that they haven’t seen eachother in three years. This episode shows us Ted dating her for three weeks and then breaking up with her on her birthday AGAIN. This episode aired in October of 2005, so he should have originally broken up with her in October of 2002, and not seen her since.

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BUT in S5E18 “Say Cheese”, we see a flashback to Marshall comforting Natalie after Ted has broken up with her.  This memory is labeled February of 2005. This conflicts with Ted not seeing her for 3 years. Also, in S6E23 “Landmarks”, we see a series of undated flashbacks showing Ted getting back with his exes for stupid reasons. In one scene he runs out of whipped cream and then calls Natalie and asks if she wants to get back together. It is noted that they date for another three months. My best guess is that this moment is supposed to have occured in December of 2004, leading to the breakup in February of 2005. It could have happened after “Return of the Shirt” (10/2005) but they do mention in that episode that Natalie is married within a year. So it would have had to have happened between November of 2005 and November of 2006. The earlier time frame makes more sense given the dated flashback of them breaking up.

Marshall taking painkillers:

In S1E5 “Okay Awesome”, Marshall asks Barney for aspirin to ease his dental pain. Barney advises asking people in the bathroom, and Marshall emerges later under the influence of some unnamed drug. He then dances in a truly spectacular fashion:

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BUT in S2E15 “Lucky Penny”, Marshall says he doesn’t believe in painkillers. This one isn’t as confusing as some others – it’s easy to imagine Marshall making an exception if he’s suffering from intense tooth pain.

Lily peeing in front of Marshall:

In S1E14 “Zip Zip Zip”, Lily and Marshall talk about how they have never peed in front of one another.

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BUT in S1E16 “Slutty Pumpkin”, Marshall has to take Lily to the bathroom because her costume is so complicated. Technically he could have helped her get out of it without seeing her pee, but it seemed to imply that he was there for the actual peeing. This is another one of those small technicalities that could be easily explained.

Robin and strip clubs:

In S1E9 “Belly Full of Turkey”, Robin ends up spending American Thanksgiving at the Lusty Leopard with Ted and Barney. At the time she seems fine with being in a strip club and appears to be enjoying herself.

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BUT in S5E2 “Double Date”, Robin is angry at Barney for going to a strip club. This may be just because they are dating, and it’s entirely different to go to a strip club with your guy friends versus your boyfriend going to a strip club without you.

Barney and cooking naked:

Also in S1E9 “Belly Full of Turkey”, Marshall warns Ted that Barney cooks naked and is thus not a good prospect for a replacement roommate.

The Over-Correction

BUT in S2E5 “World’s Greatest Couple”, Barney shows Lily that he does not actually keep any food in his kitchen at all. Later, in S6E10 “Blitzgiving”, we see that Barney’s stove and oven are actually just cardboard displays. It is worth noting that Barney has clearly sustained himself in some manner throughout the years, so any/all of this could be more of Barney’s lies.

Ted and Trudy’s history:

We first meet Trudy in S1E10 “The Pineapple Incident”. Ted has a one night stand with her and she sneaks out via the fire escape the next morning. In this episode, Future Ted says the he left her a message, but she never called back.

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BUT in S3E3 “Third Wheel”, Ted meets up with Trudy again. He says that he was going to call her, but he was too embarassed. So it is unclear whether Ted ever called her after the night of The Pineapple Incident.

Ted’s vomiting history:

In S1E10 “The Pineapple Incident”, Ted proclaims that he is “vomit free since ’93!”

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BUT in S1E10 “Game Night”, we discover that Ted “re-returned” and vomited on Robin’s doormat as of the pilot episode (set in September of 2005). This does not really count as a continuity error since Ted is called on his lie and the group addresses the discrepancy.

Robin and guns:

In S1E11 “The Limo”, Robin is visibly afraid of Not Moby’s gun.

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BUT in S2E1 “Where Were We”, we discover that Robin is quite the gun enthusiast. She takes Marshall to the gun range to help him get over his depression from missing Lily. She also wears a necklace with a gun shaped pendant. In S2E4 “Ted Mosby: Architect” we learn that Robin usually carries a gun in her purse. In S2E18 “Moving Day” we learn that Robin has a subscription to Guns & Ammo magazine. There are many references throughout the series to Robin’s mastery of guns and her enthusiasm for them.

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This isn’t really an error, but a possible character conflict. Season 2 and beyond Robin is the type of person that, when a person pulls a gun on her, would likely pull her own gun out in return. She would then proceed to either discuss how awesome guns are, or stand her ground against someone actually trying to hurt her.

With all that being said, Not Moby was a frightening character and you really can’t blame Robin for being taken aback.

Lily and Marshall’s song:

In S1E17 “Life Among the Gorillas”, Lily and Marshall say that “their song” is “I Got You Babe” by Sonny and Cher.

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BUT in S1E20 “Best Prom Ever”, Lily says that her and Marshall’s song is “Good Feeling” by the Violent Femmes. This is easily explained though – they have one song that they always do for karaoke, and one song that is their actual song from the day they met.

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Lily’s dog allergy:

In S2E5 “World’s Greatest Couple”, Lily says can’t stay with Robin because she’s allergic to dogs, and Robin (at this point) has five dogs living with her.

BUT in S2E2 “The Scorpion and the Toad”, Lily spends time in Robin’s apartment, with the dogs present. She does not show any signs of having problems with allergies. Lily not having anywhere else to stay is the basis for the entire plot of “World’s Greatest Couple”, so the writers must have felt this was the easiest explanation. Lily is also shown petting Robin’s dogs in S2E6 “Aldrin Justice”.

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In real life, actor Josh Radnor (who plays Ted) is actually allergic to dogs. Paramedics were called in during the filming of S2E16 “Stuff”, because Josh Radnor had a severe allergic reaction to the dogs in that episode.

“Grinch”:

In S2E11 “How Lily Stole Christmas”, we hear an old answering machine message where Ted refers to Lily as being a “grinch”. This was after she broke up with Marshall and went to San Francisco, so it makes sense that Ted would not be feeling positively towards her at all. Future Ted says that he didn’t actually say “grinch”, but instead said “a bad word. A very, very bad word”. Most people think that “grinch” is a substitute for the word “bitch”. The show creators, Craig Thomas and Carter Bays, have said that this was based on a real world incident and the word was actually “bitch”. The CBS website also used to have a glossary, which defined “grinch” as “bitch”.

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BUT the word “bitch” is frequently used throughout the series, including many times by Lily herself. One of her catchphrases is even to say “youuuuu sonofabitch!” when she is angry at someone. This, combined with the random girl’s extreme reaction when she walked by and overheard the word, have led many to believe that “grinch” is actually a stand-in for the C-word. Lily also calls Ted’s mom to tell on him, and Ted’s mom then called him to lecture him about using “that word”. There is obviously a difference between calling someone a bitch jokingly and having one of your best friends specifically say that you are a bitch. But, when everything is considering, it really seems that “grinch” = C word in the world of HIMYM.

Barney’s first time:

In S2E12 “First Time in New York”, Barney reveals that his first time was with his mom’s friend Rhonda. He was 23, she was 45, and she called him “Barry” the whole time. He says “for two weeks my comforter smelled like menthol cigarettes”.

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BUT in S3E10 “The Yips” we see a flashback to Barney losing his virginity, and the big moment occured at Rhonda’s house. Barney’s sheets on his own bed should not have smelled like Rhonda, since they didn’t have sex on them. The only possible explanation is that Rhonda’s menthol cigarette scent was so pervasive that it got all over Barney and then rubbed off onto his sheets. That is gross.

Barney’s funeral attire:

In S2E14 “Monday Night Football”, Barney says that he does not wear suits to funerals. He feels that suits are for joyous occasions.

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BUT in S6E14 “Last Words”, Barney wears a suit to Marshall’s dad’s funeral.

Robin’s aunt’s lover’s name:

In S2E16 “Stuff”, Robin says that she has sent her dogs to live upstate with her aunt and her aunt’s live in “friend” named Betty. At this point Robin does not realize that her aunt and Betty are a lesbian couple.

BUT in S8E5 “The Autumn of Breakups”, Robin mentions her aunt again, but this time says her long term partner is named Maureen. This is the moment when Robin realizes that her aunt and Maureen (who may or may not be the same person as Betty) are lesbians. Both episodes seem to imply that this is a long term, commited relationship, but it is entirely possible that the aunt broke up with Betty and got together with Maureen at some point in between.

Lily’s dad and the wedding:

In S2E18 “Moving Day”, Lily responds to a joke and says that her dad isn’t going to pay for a second wedding.

BUT in S5E9 “Slapsgiving  2: Revenge of the Slap” we learn that Lily and her dad aren’t close at all. He wasn’t even invited to the wedding. Beyond that, he is constantly having financial problems due to his unsuccesful board game company, so it’s unlikely he could have paid for the wedding regardless.

Barney and the belt:

In S2E19 “Bachelor Party”, Barney says he has been in a “ten-way”.

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BUT in S3E3 “Third Wheel” Barney confesses to having panicked right before a potential three-way. He has not earned the belt yet (the established prize for whoever “rides the tricycle” first), which would imply that he lied about the ten-way. This is completely plausable, because Barney lies all the time. However, it is worth noting that a three-way is probably much more intimidating than a ten-way. In the former, Barney would have been solely responsible for pleasuring two women. In the latter, there are enough people involved that the pressure wouldn’t have all been on him.

Marshall’s family at the wedding:

In S2E21 “Something Borrowed” and S2E22 “Something Blue” we see Marshall and Lily’s wedding day. We don’t actually see any of Marshall’s family, though, despite being introduced to his immediate family in S1E9 “Belly Full of Turkey”.

Canada’s tallest mountain:

In S3E7 “Dowisetrepla” Robin says that Lily has a pile of debt the size of Mount Waddington. She says this is the tallest mountain in Canada, but that honor actually goes to Mount Logan. Mount Waddington is the seond highest in British Columbia, and the 17th highest in the country.

Everyone’s spoiler alerts:

We learn about everyone’s particular “spoiler alert” habits that the other’s dislike in S3E8 “Spoiler Alert”. Some are well documented throughout the series – we have seen Ted correcting people, Marshall singing made up songs, Robin saying “literally” incorrectly, and Barney spacing out/using a weird high pitched voice/using corny catchphrases. Despite this, we have not heard Lily’s supposed loud chewing in any episode before or after. I personally don’t care because this is my favorite episode and I think it is possibly the funniest in the entire series.

Simon’s band’s name:

In S3E16 “Sandcastles in the Sand”, we learn that Robin’s ex-boyfriend had a band called The Foreskins. When she reunites with him, and the gang meets him, Ted jokingly asks why they named their band that. Simon seems to be serious when he replies that there were four of them, and they played without shirts. But, if that was the real reason, the band name would be The Four Skins.

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We see band flyers in the flashbacks – and the Murder Train song credits when Robin is on air – that show the name is in fact The Foreskins. So basically this is just Simon being a dick to Ted.

Marshall and winking:

In S6E13 “Legendaddy”, Marshall encourages the gang to tell him about his shortcomings. He feels that they have been holding back since the death of his father, and he wants things to get back to normal. Among others on the list is that Marshall cannot wink.

BUT in S2E8 “Atlantic City” we see Marshall winking at Ted and Barney.

Robin and girl friends:

In S9E4 “The Broken Code” Lily says that Robin doesn’t have any girlfriends.

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BUT in S1E1 “Pilot”, S1E14 “Zip Zip Zip”, S4E8 “Woooo!”, S6E9 “Glitter”, and S6E16 “Desperation Day” we see Robin with various female friends.HIMYM616-0369

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Barney & challenges:

In S9E9 “Platonish”, we see a flashback where Lily accuses Barney of only ever doing his own challenges. We have seen many instances, though, where Barney does in fact accept other’s challenges. The most notable one is in S4E19 “Murtaugh”. Ted has a list of things that they are all too old to do, and Barney takes that as a personal challenge.

We also see Barney as an old man picking up a woman in S4E4 “Intervention”.

It is true, though, that Barney’s challenges tend to be inspired by others, but not actually assigned by them. Barney often makes a challenge out of something that no one intended, expected, or even wants to see.

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The Mother & Louis:

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In S9E16 “How Your Mother Met Me”. we learn about The Mother’s relationship with Louis, her last boyfriend before Ted. We see them meet in a scene titled April of 2012, but then Narrator Ted says they dated and “for a couple years it was fine”. This doesn’t make sense, because The Mother meets Ted just one year later. I think that was just a small error but with these writers who knows. They could have more confusing tricks up their sleeve but I don’t think this is one of them.

90 thoughts on “Discrepancies, Plot Holes, Continuity Errors & Mistakes in How I Met Your Mother

  1. wow corina. this was hard to put together. I would love to be able to say I found some more. But earlier when I tried you had it on your list already.

      • In “Trilogy” when they flash forward to 2015 Ted is wearing a wedding ring. In “Unpause” they flash forward to 2017 and Ted is wearing a wedding ring. Yet in the finale, it’s revealed Ted & Tracy only wed in 2020. So Why was he wearing a wedding ring prior to that? They obviously didn’t always intend for the finale to be as is.

      • hey how about barney’s job! it’s explicitly explained he’s essentially a legal scapegoat, however when marshall is interning/working there in the legal department he has no idea what he does. He should be seeing Barney’s signature everywhere on legal documents & aware of that, right?

      • watching season 4 episode 16 the reason for lily painting marshall naked is because he ate her bowl of fruit
        In an earlier season he agreed to pose for lily when she decided she wanted to paint nude models to keep her from looking at other men (same flower in the picture)

  2. I think it is awesome you took the time to do this. It had to have been quite the undertaking.

    Most of this stuff is super duper nit picky, so it probably isn’t worth mentioning, but I thought I’d throw it out there:

    The exact details of how Lily and Marshall met are kind of all over the place. Was it fate pulling Lily to Marshall’s room like in How I Met Everyone Else, or Lily being a Dahmer in P.S. I Love You?

    Ted is aware that Barney has a list of women he has slept with then is later completely unaware of said list.

    Marshall was embarrassed about the nude painting of him but Beercules is happy to run around in public naked. Not to mention Karen’s lingering but no one else is aware of the painting?

    The gang does not always go to Marshall and Lily’s place for Thanksgiving even though Narrator Ted said they do.

    The gang does not always meet up for Robots vs. Wrestlers even though Narrator Ted says they do.

    How does Ted get the blue French horn again when he and Barney try to win her back from Don? The restaurant had his info by then (from the end of season 2) and when they go back to that place in season 7 it is there again even though Robin left it in the room when she moved out.

    Barney complains Ted never suits up yet they’ve had enough Tuxedo nights to have a concept of Tuxedo night.

    No one ever calls Barney on not having an abnormally large barnacle? I mean the number of times he has used that and slept with a woman, shouldn’t it be clear this is not the case? Especially since he talks about special underwear and reduction surgery not an option?

    I think the biggest one is sadly the one that I can’t articulate my view of because I can’t find what I wrote about it in the past, either in my own notes or on a message board somewhere. It had to do with the timeline in Lucky Penny. I think what it boiled down to was that when Robin and Lily were waiting in line for the dress sale, Lily and Marshall would not have been back together at that point. I really wish I could do a better job of describing this.

    • This is all worth mentioning, no matter how nitpicky. I mean, I included a mistake about Canadian geography. I’m going for all of the errors, no matter how small! You’ve given me a bunch to include and I’m excited to update this article.

      Sent from my iPhone

      >

    • I think some of these need more explaining because I don’t really understand them, but I also understand how difficult it may be to describe some of these on the web. For example I don’t really understand your Barney and his barnacle observation. However I believe some of your observations aren’t really errors in the show. Some examples are how Lily and Marshall met, Beercules, and the Lucky Penny episode.
      Lily made it clear that she was being a Dahmer by “making her own fate” because she remembered Marshall but not his dorm room number.
      Although Marshall was embarrassed about his nude painting, he was always drunk when he became Beercules so his dignity might not have been in tact after all the drinking with Pete.
      In the Lucky Penny episode, Marshall and Lily were already together when Lily and Robin were camping outside the wedding dress store. Lily and Marshall were together while Barney was running the marathon because Lily said, “When we get married you’re getting one of those.” (Referring to the tracking device on Barney). The events leading to Ted and Robin missing the plane did not happen too long before the marathon. The day Marshall broke his toe (or maybe the day after, I’m not entirely sure), Robin said, “…you’re not going to be able to run tomorrow.” Meaning the marathon was the day after, when we know for sure Lily and Marshall were together.

      Sorry this is a very late reply, but I only came upon this website and article today.

  3. Someone else reminded me elsewhere that Ted has his own fighting problem. He said in The Fight he’s only ever been in one fight. He punched Darren in Bass Player Wanted. It might not be considered a fight because Darren didn’t hit back, but I’m not sure.

  4. Thank you for this! Some of this stuff (particularly the date Ted proposed and the age of the daughter/the fact she was even born yet in the 2015 part of Trilogy really was bugging me).

    The April 2008 thing was bugging me big time. I even watched No Tomorrow to see if they went out in April for some reason, but nope, in the episode older Ted specifically gave the standard St. Patrick’s day date of March 17, 2008. Seems weird that NO ONE caught that they put April when St. Pat’s is in March (and the general party goer isn’t going to know – or care if they did know – about the Catholic church date move around.)

    Here’s something I just caught – and it’s really nitpicky and might have an explanation as simple as people change their minds/preferences. I just re-watched the pilot and Ted is going on about his dream wedding and he says he wants a band. But when he was helping to plan Robin and Barney’s wedding he was insistent on a DJ being the better choice.

    And this isn’t a discrepancy but just something that bugged me after watching the 200th episode (which I thought was fantastic)…why did Cindy never try to introduce the mother and Ted? She knew Ted was smitten with the mother even before he met her. I could see why she didn’t initially – she was upset with him. But when she met her own dream girl, it would be obvious that she was over Ted (and realized men in general were not her thing), so it would make sense for her to introduce them. Even going on the basis of the mother not being ready to date – with her and Ted having so much in common, you’d think someone would introduce them for the sake of them being at least friends.

    I might have to just go back and watch the two episodes that have Missy the goat in them, but I can’t remember if the details lined up correctly. I always saw them with too much time in between so I can’t remember the exact details. I know Ted messed up in the initial telling and confused which birthday it was, but I can’t remember if the details lined up either way.

    • They confirmed in the Thomas/Bays Reddit AMA that St. Patrick’s Day 2008 was for sure a mistake. I don’t know how several timing errors slipped through the cracks on this episode?

      As for Cindy…I think she did not introduce The Mother because first she was into Ted, and TM kept saying she wasn’t ready for love, and then she changed her mind when she met Louis. She never really had an open window, as they have called it in prior episodes. I do think they would have been good as friends, but I can see Cindy not wanting to complicate things. This is a guy that she liked but then seemed to fall for her roomie, which led to her kissing the roomie and realizing she’s a lesbian. Ted is probably not on her mind much at this point.

      There is definitely something weird about the timeline and the birthdays and Missy the goat. I don’t remember the details but I will read up and add it to the list for sure.

    • I was wondering that too! My first thought is that Ted probably thought it was hers and packed it with her stuff when she moved out. But then he should have remembered oh yes there was a necklace in that box but I gave it to Victoria. Maybe she found it in the apartment while they were dating and thought it was a present for her? Maybe she is a bit of crazy person and she thought it was some other girl’s locket and she got angry jealous so she stole it? Maybe she assumed it was Robin’s from when they lived together and she always had resentment for Robin so she stole it. Hell, maybe her fiance stole it when he was living with her and Ted.

      I hope they explain it. It’s a little thing but since I can’t for sure figure it out I am bothered. :)

  5. A couple more:

    1. Robin saying she burned the food because she thought the oven was celcius (which would actually undercook the food).
    2. The girl who warns Lily to stay away from Barney is clearly not Abby/Britney.
    3.

  6. I have a few but i cant think of all of them right now

    Remember when Ted says that Robin traveled the world from Argentina to Tokyo
    In the episode where barney tries to explain everything in under a minute to Quinn he says Robin went to Brazil

    • Yes that’s a good one too! I have such a huge list compiled now that I don’t know when I will be able to get it all properly updated. I guess I should try to take it one thing at a time but I want to add pictures and commentary and then I get overwhelmed. Anyway, that is an excellent addition and I will take note of it.

      • While this is a blooper, it could easily be explained within the show as Barney’s lack of geographic knowledge which plays on an American stereotype – my favourite example:
        Barney: ‘Ohhh we are from Sweden, we are so cool with our Baguettes and Eiffel towers’
        Marshall: ‘You know Sweden’s not France, right ?’
        Barney: ‘Oh, its France’

        Great blog by the way! A certain Mr Stinson would be proud!

  7. Just was flipping through channels and the Playbook was on. Marshall talks about a Matthew Blitz, an accountant at his firm who gave up on love only to meet his partner shortly thereafter. In Blitzgiving, the original Blitz is Matthew Blitz who went to Wesleyan before it went coed. The dude Marshall knows doesn’t look much older than the yearbook picture of Blitz from the 60s (same guy really, he’s a production assistant on the show) and the Blitz Marshall knows is gay so he wouldn’t say aw nuts to missing out on Wesleyan being coed like it says in Blitzgiving.

  8. Two more: The timeline of the mom and Louis’ relationship is wrong, and the number of slaps is wrong in the latest slap bet episode.

    • Yes! I think the writers confirmed both of these errors and said they would be fixed in future replays. It’s just a shame that they managed to have so many continuity errors so late in the game, and at a time when there is supposed to be actual timeline confusion. It’s super difficult to figure out what’s a mistake and what is them creating a twist. I find it a bit annoying. Just do the last season right and don’t screw us around, you know? Is it honestly that hard to do a last season without remarkable glaring errors? Idk I’m feeling annoyed with them right now so I have less patience than usual. My issue is that I am on board with Penny being born before the engagement, even though it’s obviously still really confusing. But I can’t defend that position well because they are making timeline errors and that makes the end game harder to figure out. So maybe that was the plan all along? I personally wouldn’t compromise the integrity and accuracy of my work just to tease the audience but then again I’ve never written for TV before. Anyway end rant for now :)

      • actually its the episode where marshall lets Barney take off the ducky tie for 3 extra slaps if that sums it up.(Marshall slaped barney 2 times simultaniously)

  9. Just found a goof on mondays “rally” episode. During the flash forward with ted and his wife in the year 2022 ted and his wife look like they do now, but if you look at ted in the episode “how i met everyone else” in the year 2020, ted is clearly older looking, and in 2022 he looks like he does in “present” day

    • They did make that joke about Marshall losing all of his hair because of the campaign…I think that’s as far as they will go in addressing this discrepancy. Good point!

  10. I’d have to go back and check, but I’m pretty sure in the trilogy time episode when Ted is holding their new born daughter, he had a wedding ring on. So them getting engaged after Penny was born is unlikely. Unless they planned a whole Ted Mosby worthy wedding in 3 months. Another thing is when Ted says they always go to Lily and Marshall’s for Thanksgiving when in one episode they flash forward to Marshall carving the turkey with a light saber and it’s only Lily and his family at the table. Sorry I can’t be more specific with episode titles.

    • That wedding ring during Trilogy Time really confused things, didn’t it? I’m impatiently waiting for next week when all will be revealed. I will add your notes re Thanksgiving to this post whenever I find the time!

  11. Caught something else recently. In season 7, Disaster Averted, we learn that Lily and Marshall conceived Marvin in Barney’s bathtub during Hurricane Irene. The date was August 26, 2011. Then a couple episodes later in Rebound Girl, which is supposed to be taking place on Thanksgiving day of 2011 (so late November), Lily is WAY pregnant. And we know she gives birth to Marvin in May of 2012. She would have only been 3 months along in Rebound Girl. Granted I don’t know a lot about pregnancy, but she shouldn’t have been that far along looking 3 months in.

    • Lily is pretty tiny, but you’re right, it doesn’t seem like she should have been THAT pregnant THAT early on. I also felt like in last night’s episode – The End of the Aisle – they gave her a little tummy pooch all of a sudden that wasn’t there like 2 days ago in their universe. Maybe it’s just how the dress fit her, idk.

      • Alyson Hannigan was pregnant when lily was. When she got pregnant they probally wrote the episode where lily is pregnant so you know alyson was ahead of lily

    • I was also wondering that! Each time I’ve seen them it makes me think about how I wouldn’t want to risk impaling myself by having antlers on my headboard. Think about it – you sit up suddenly in the middle of the night, forget they’re there, and get brained! Alternately they could also be dangerous during Lily and Marshall’s lovemaking. The set decor has always fascinated me and I hope after the series ends we get some insight into the choices they made.

  12. i dont know if this one is mentioned a lot, but it’s always bugged me. in “the scorpion and the toad” barney is stealing numbers from marshall.lily had already come back to new york at this point and was out with ted and barney while marshall was picking up women for the first time since the breakup. but in “bachelor party” lily recounts the story of barney telling her to go back to new york and saying he can’t keep stealing girls from marshall. also, a random comment: has anyone else noticed that in the dvd set of season 1, on the second disc case, neil patrick harris has brown eyes in the picture when his eyes are blue?

    • The timing about those Barney issues has bothered me as well. I guess we could resolve it by assuming that Barney was going to keep stealing numbers from Marshall as long as possible. He could have been planning to do it until Marshall and Lily were 100% back together, or maybe he just did it for sport and as such intended to keep on keepin’ on.

      I never noticed about his eye color but I will certainly check it out.

  13. In Season 9 Episode 2 (the second half of the premiere) Lily “accidentally” reveals that James and Tom are getting a divorce. It does seem like she said it while drunk but in episode 20 it is revealed Lily was drinking non-alcoholic drinks because she is pregnant. The only explanation then could be that Lily was acting drunk or she is very bad at keeping secrets (this has been seen in the past but not to this degree).

  14. In the Pilot episode Ted says he imagines his perfect wedding having a band stating “they’ll dance anyway” but in the episode Band or DJ he argues how a DJ is a better choice”

  15. Did they ever explain the story behind the pineapple, and did lily ever pay Marshall for Ted and Robin ending up together?

    • You’ve probably seen it by now, but just in case there was a deleted scene revealed in which we see ted figure out the pineapple incident, and no we do not see lily pay Marshall, but it would’ve ruined the moment in the end if the last scene we saw was lily paying Marshall (though it would’ve been funny) also, in case you didn’t know this Lily would’ve had to pay Marshall ten bucks, because it’s very subtle but we can see Marshall paying Lily at the booth before Tracey and teds wedding in Last Forever.

  16. In the episode the chain of screaming Barney says that Gary blauman is dead however he shows up to their wedding and everyone talks to him (including Barney) without any mention of his “death.”

  17. I might be wrong, and I don’t know if it was already said, but I think that there is an episode where The Mother talks to the kids while Ted is telling them how he met their mother. But at the end, she is supposedly dead already…
    (Sorry for my english)

    • It’s Robin telling the story to her “never existing children”. In this episode it gets clear Robin can’t pshisically have children.

  18. Hi, firstly I’m not good at this kind of thing because my attention to detail is not good so excuse the fact that this is hazy, I dont have episode guides and such.

    The nature of the show had the characters jumping backwards and forwards between past present and future. …… when the script jumped forward to the furture and the characters were old and grey weren’t we lead to believe that Barney and Robin were together?

  19. With the ending now revealed, there are so many errors from The Time Travelers, The Triology, The Lighthouse. You’ve covered a lot of them here but I think there may be even more (the proposal – “not two years later” but the timing of when she has Penny” – which they said they might fix I guess?).

    In The Time Travelers, “Future” Barney has a wedding ring on, yet he divorces Robin. Would have been nice to tie that up in the S9 Finale…I’m assuming he either met someone else or married the mother of his child? Unclear though.

    Reading through all this, it seems like Bays and Thomas (and their production crew) just got lazy and let errors creep in. Probably not how it was intended but that’s how it comes across after doing so well with continuity for the first few years.

    Look up 2006 Craig Thomas quote about “Friends” – he basically says they didn’t want to repeat/copy off the show with the “will they or won’t they” aspect. But that’s essentially what they did.

  20. This bothered me about the S9 Finale – Ted, the “Best Man” at Barney and Robin’s wedding just ups and leaves in the middle of the reception?? What? What kind of best man does that? Anyway, then he gets to the Train Station…the train is running late, sure. Then Tracy shows up – but wait she was playing in the band AT THE WEDDING RECEPTION. So did they just cut that short? Or is the reception over at that point? If so, why is she literally the only person to show up at the train station…? Too many hoops to jump through to make it work. Poor writing, imo.

  21. 1. In the episode ‘Last Cigarette Ever’ Ted (as the narrator) tells the kids when everyone had their last cigarette. He mentions that Lily’s was when she started trying to get pregnant with Marvin. However, in the final season everyone including Ted finds out she’s been smoking. Marvin has clearly already been born at this point.

    2. Someone brought this up already, but in the ‘Chain of Screaming’ episode Barney tells a story that involves Gary Blauman attempting to urinate on the GNB conference table, quitting his job abruptly and eventually dying. However he is shown in later episodes to still be an employee at GNB (‘Sorry, Bro’ ‘Jenkins’) and later shows up at Barney and Robin’s wedding in an entire episode dedicated to him. It is possible that Barney lies about the story or at least parts of it, but the gang woul eventually find out as Marshall and Ted both work for GNB at certain points and there would be a confrontation. This could be explained by saying a confrontation happened offscreen but it seems like a plot hole.

    3. In the ‘Twin Beds’ episode one of the reasons Don believes Ted is gay is because Ted shows a lack of masculinity by appearing to know nothing at all about football, asking “Did the Jets get new costumes?” However, Ted is shown on muktiple occasions to be a huge Cleveland Browns fan. He also watches the Superbowl every year.

    4. In the final season it is revealed that before passing out, Barney would reach a level of drunkenness at which he would begin speaking like Java the Hut (this is before they discover he can reach a truth serum state of drunkenness.) However, we have seen Barney speaking in regular, albeit slurred English directly before passing out drunk, the ‘Twin Beds’ episode being one occasion.

    5. Robin Sparkles biggest song ‘Lets Go To The Mall’ is said to have been a minor hit that resulted only in a mall tour. Her next single ‘Sandcastles In The Sand’ was said to have been a flop. Therefore it is unlikely that she would have been asked to play an event as big as what is described as “Canada’s Superbowl.” Taking her very minor celebrity status into consideration, even if she were able to play a show of that magnitude it is highly unlikely tht her transformation into Robin Daggers would have upset as many people as it did.

    • About the first observation, I think that in the episode where the gang thinks that Lily had been smoking, she was actually pregnant. Ted thought Lily purposely ditched him, left the hotel and bought something (cigarettes) at the convenience store, and asked for gum because she was smoking. However, Lily left Ted so she could throw up in a bathroom, bought a pregnancy test at the store, and needed gum because she was throwing up from being pregnant.

  22. Hey, some of these goofs are really interesting. I don’t know if they were already mentioned, but I found two more, one of which I think is a major one:

    In Season 5, Episode 10 “The window”, there is a flashback which shows Marshall being 15 and writing himself a letter to be read in 10 years or something. Marshall being 15 is just Jason Segel being dressed up as a teenager, whereas in the very next episode, “Last cigarette ever” (S5E11) the flashback shows Marshall smoking his first cigarette at age 13 (just two years younger!). Here they had to use a different actor so Marshall could walk in the picture later in the episode.

    Now one major mistake is the theory of how Barney turned into who he is. In Episode 15 of the first season, “Game Night”, the gang meets up in the bar after Barney disappeared from emberrassement of the video they saw of him singing a song to Shannon, his first girlfriend. In this episode, Barney finds a sheet of paper which says “Suits for sale”. In rememberance of why Shannon left him (for a suit-wearing guy) he gets angry, cuts his hair and buys a suit.
    This however conflicts with the story we see in “The Yips”-Episode (S3E10): In a flashback, Barney sits on the couch with James and is devastated that Shannon left him. He only gets his confidence back after he lost his virginity to Ronda later in the episode. So Barney can not have become “evil” right after Shannon left him as he says in the first season, but got confidence through .. you know. Ronda.

    Thanks! Greetings from Germany

    Jill

  23. This was really cool to read and i think i have another plot hole. Feel free to correct me though and sorry if someone has pointed it out already. But in S07E12 Symphony of Illumination Robin is talking to her kids in the future but Robin can’t have kids and doesn’t have kids. And also apparently the kids are also Barneys but Barney only has a daughter with some random chick he hooks up with, leaving me with questions

    • I know someone else already replied to you, but I just want to make it more clear. Robin mentions at near the end of the episode that she is “glad you kids aren’t real”. Meaning that she indeed can’t and did not have kids. The son was dressed in a suit to imply that Barney was his father because when Robin had her pregnancy scare, Barney would have been the father.

  24. I have read several just right stuff here.
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  25. In one of the first season episodes Ted mentions that Marshall isn’t going to be done with school and ready to raise a baby, “for at least three years anyway”. Since Marshall is already a second year law student by the Pilot in 2005, this means Ted thinks law school takes 4 years, when in reality, it only takes 3 years.

    Additionally, if Marshall and Lily dated for eight years prior to the pilot, that only includes 4 years of college plus one year of law school. What were the two of them doing the rest of the time?

  26. I have more but I want to find the correct episodes before posting it but:
    1. S4E5 there is an implication Barney has a three way with Stella’s sister and the front desk girl.
    2. An actor played two different characters. Zachary Gordon plays Stacy’s son in S2E11 and Barney’s fake son Grant/Tyler in S4E15.
    3. I know it was because of contract disputes but they totally changed Robin’s father.

  27. Also, Scooter is called both Bill and Jeff ( Marshall and Lilly’s wedding & the teenage badass episode) and the same kid plays teds nephew and Barney’s fake son.

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  29. isnt weird how the group never touches on lily being Bi sexual. And whenever lily makes a reference to that they ignore her.

  30. also they say Ted cheated on Victoria but he never had sex with Robin. Where Victoria was clearly doing it with Clause.

    • Ted didn’t have sex with Robin, but he went over to her house late at night, made out with her, and was clearly going to go all the way. However, a call from Victoria ended it early. Victoria was not “clearly” doing it with Klaus either, she admits that they got together, but said it wasn’t until a day and a half after she and Ted broke up. So, although it was very close, she technically didn’t cheat on Ted while Ted did cheat on her.

  31. One more thing it seems Marshal’s brother name seem to change.For example in tailgate his brother;s name is markus,but in Jenkins he refers to his brother as Marvin Jr.

    • Marshall has two older brothers. The oldest of the three is Marvin Jr., the second is Marcus, and Marshall is the youngest.

  32. “In S2E16 “Stuff”, Robin says that she has sent her dogs to live upstate with her aunt and her aunt’s live in “friend” named Betty. At this point Robin does not realize that her aunt and Betty are a lesbian couple.

    BUT in S8E5 “The Autumn of Breakups”, Robin mentions her aunt again, but this time says her long term partner is named Maureen. This is the moment when Robin realizes that her aunt and Maureen (who may or may not be the same person as Betty) are lesbians. Both episodes seem to imply that this is a long term, commited relationship, but it is entirely possible that the aunt broke up with Betty and got together with Maureen at some point in between.”

    In Season 2 Episode 6 Robin actually refers to Betty as her aunt’s “lover,” showing that she was aware that her aunt is a lesbian, but then in Season 8 she “discovers” that her aunt is a lesbian.

  33. Maybe I missed something, but several times (especially the last season, but earlier as well) you see that Ted and Tracy met on the train platform while Ted was waiting for the train back to New York. However, at the end of S8 and beginning of S9, Ted clearly drives out to Farhampton. Did he ditch his car out there?

    • I’ve wondered the same thing. But it is also shown in other episodes that Ted doesn’t have a car (and he returned the one he bought) so maybe he rented a car one-way for wedding stuff?

  34. At season 7 Episode 17, when Barney goes to McLarens with the long term bets box and leaves it there. On the next scene when Barney is back at long island praying to god to find the sex tape, the long term bets box is on the table.

  35. Howdy! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could find a captcha plugin for my comment form?
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  36. Barney couldn’t have prevented Marshall from hooking up with other girls by the time he told Lily to come back because Lily was already back when Barney was stealing Marshall’s potential dates.

  37. Hi Corina and thanks for sharing this. I did’nt read it all cause I still have two episodes of the show to watch and didn’t want to be spoiled (I’m from France, so I can’t watch the episodes as sonn as I’d like!)
    I just have a little question not entirely related : would you mind if I use the picture “vomit-free since 93″ on my own blog ? I’d like to use it for an article which is not at all about HIMYM (my blog deals with pregnancy, actually !) Of course, I’d mention your blog under the image. Thanks for your answer.

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  39. Watching reruns, I just caught a continuity problem that I don’t think is covered here. In “Lucky Penny”, in the flash-forward to Ted’s wedding at the end, the wedding scene as portrayed is nothing like the actual wedding scene shown in the series finale. The location is different, Tracy’s dress is different, and Ted & Tracy are standing on opposite sides.

  40. Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Many thanks, However I am experiencing problems with your RSS.

    I don’t know the reason why I cannot join it. Is there anybody having the same RSS problems?
    Anyone that knows the answer can you kindly respond?
    Thanks!!

  41. Hello! Love your post btw I’m a total himymer and none of the other websites ever hit all of the gaps like this! Two gaps you didn’t get that I haven’t seen anyone ever get that I hope you will post are…
    1. So this one doesn’t bug me as much but in the Pilot episode Ted talks to Carl’s girlfriend and talks about his perfect wedding that has a band, and multiple times throughout the series he says the same. However, throughout the episode Band or DJ? he strongly argues a DJ. While I know the band is a metaphor for Barney, Ted could’ve argued something else just as easily.
    2. Now this one I have never found and if you post this please give me credit. So in the episode Intervention, we see Barney punch a whole in the wall that is located under that weird painting located next to the door. It is also revealed that Ted and Robin were dating at the time of the wall punching, but in season three episode one, we see Ted going through his break up phases from Robin, one of which is repainting the apartment. The strange painting is down, yet no hole.

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  43. Here is an inconsistency that you missed in this otherwise great article. In season 3 episode 14 “The Chain of Screaming” Barney is telling the story of how Gary Blauman stands up to billon, and finishes the story by saying he died. But then in season 9 episode 21 “Gary Blauman” a whole episode is dedicated to him.

  44. Robin’s aunt’s lover’s name:

    In S2E16 “Stuff”, Robin says that she has sent her dogs to live upstate with her aunt and her aunt’s live in “friend” named Betty. At this point Robin does not realize that her aunt and Betty are a lesbian couple.

    BUT in S8E5 “The Autumn of Breakups”, Robin mentions her aunt again, but this time says her long term partner is named Maureen. This is the moment when Robin realizes that her aunt and Maureen (who may or may not be the same person as Betty) are lesbians. Both episodes seem to imply that this is a long term, commited relationship, but it is entirely possible that the aunt broke up with Betty and got together with Maureen at some point in between.

    in S2E16 “Stuff” Robin actually refers to Betty as her aunt’s lover. then in S8E5 “The Autumn of Breakups” she is suprised to learn her aunt is in a lesbian relationship.

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