Click here for a compilation of all the clues and theories about The Mother!
“So fat, after you have sex with it, you don’t tell your buddies about it…”
“Over 200 women, spanning six continents, 17 nationalities, 74 sexual positions, and not a single fatty. It’s impressive.”
Quotes like these make it difficult for me to enjoy HIMYM sometimes. How I Met Your Mother is easily one of my very favorite TV shows. I saw every episode when it originally aired, and I watch the reruns all the time. I like to have them on as background noise when I’m reading or writing. Anyway, I’ve got major love for this show, but I do take exception with the constant references to how undesirable overweight women are. Based on all of these quotes, it’s pretty clear that there’s no way the mother will be fat. I think we all assumed that anyway, since fat leading ladies aren’t the norm on sitcoms. Plus there is other evidence that she is slender/skinny, but that’s not my point today. My point is that I would enjoy this show even more if it didn’t frequently insult people just like me for the sake of comedy. We get it – fat women are HILARIOUS and deserve to be mocked and disregarded. Message received, unfortunately.
(Note – Ted remembered this moment incorrectly. Not surprisingly, Barney did not say this – Lily did.)
Full list of quotes after the jump – click “read more” at right for the rest!
Season 1, Episode 13
“What was her name? Was it my fat cousin Lindsay? Don’t be embarrassed, she has pretty eyes.”
-Claudia, asking Ted about his mystery woman from the wedding
So far I haven’t noticed any such quotes from season 2, but season 3 is a veritable cornucopia of fat-shaming…
Season 3, Episode 47
“Is the aggregate weight of both contestants under 400 pounds?”
-Barney, making sure Ted is headed towards an acceptable 3-way that is sans fatties
Season 3, Episode 49
How I Met Everyone Else
“A girl is allowed to be crazy, as long as she is equally hot. Thus, if she is THIS crazy, she has to be THIS hot. Is she is THIIIS crazy, she has to be THIIIIS hot. We want the girl to above this line, also known as the Vicki Mendoza diagonal. This girl I dated, she played jump rope with that line. She’d shave her head, then lose 10 pounds. She’d stab me with a fork, then get a boob job. I should give her a call…”
-Barney, referencing his legendary Hot/Crazy scale and Ted’s internet girlfriend
*This one isn’t particularly mean-spirited but it is clear that fat can’t possibly equal hot. Also, in this episode, Barney shows Vicki Mendoza’s progress on the scale, but he does it wrong. When he says that she shaved her head, he moves the point over to the left, indicating that she is less crazy but not any more or less hot. When he says that she stabbed him with a fork, he moves the point up and over, indicating that she was crazier AND hotter. Then for the boob job he keeps the same level of hotness, but makes her less crazy. Point being, Barney sucks at graphing. He should have consulted with Marshall, obviously.
Season 3, Episode 54
“I invest in women who – how can I put this delicately? – they FAT. I give them the attention they don’t get now, and when they get hot, who do they come to? The guy who gave them attention back when they weren’t.”
-Barney, explaining how he “invests” in overweight women at the gym. One woman who wasn’t sticking to her workout was classified as “junk bond status”.
Season 4, Episode 71
Not A Father’s Day
“Now you just sound like a fat girl on Valentine’s Day.”
-Marshall, in response to Barney requesting a holiday for those who are single and like it that way.
Season 4, Episode 87
As Fast as She Can
“Please tell me he wrote you a big, fat check. A check so fat, it doesn’t its shirt off when it goes swimming.”
“That is a big, fat check. A check so fat, after you have sex with it, you don’t tell your buddies about it.”
“A check so fat, when it sits next to you on an airplane, you ask yourself if it should have bought two seats.”
-Marshall, Barney, & Robin, equating a fat check with a fat chick
Season 5, Episode 92
The Sexless Innkeeper (two gems from this episode)
“She had a peach fuzz beard and weighed 16 stone. She gobbled up hot wings, and swallowed the bones…Beneath her might hooves, the floorboards did crack.”
-Barney’s poem about feigning attraction to score a place to sleep, then faking sleep to avoid having sex with the hideous creature that was kind enough to bring you home with them. BTW, 16 stone is about 224 pounds – certainly overweight, but not morbidly obese and automatically revolting like he implies in his poetry.
“It was like we were on a date with a sad chubby girl our mom made us call.”
-Barney, describing the brutal couple’s night he and Robin endured at Marshall and Lily’s place.
Season 5, Episode 102
The Perfect Week
“Over 200 women, spanning six continents, 17 nationalities, 74 sexual positions, and not a single fatty. It’s impressive.”
-Jim Nantz via Barney’s imagination, evaluating his whoring around stats
Season 6, Episode 124
“I am Mr. Charity. I frequently sleep with sixes, chubsters, over thirty’s. I am the Bill and Melinda Gates of the sympathy bang.”
-Barney, presumably lying, unless he has changed his standards drastically to allow for such charitable contributions.
Season 6, Episode 127
“Cute means fat – cough – not fat means ugly – cough”
-Barney, expressing doubt that Zoey’s cousin could possibly be attractive. The cute girl in question was played by Katy Perry, who is not fat or ugly.
The funny part is that Barney would probably enjoy a tumble in bed with a BBW. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence suggesting that overweight women are better in bed than their slim counterparts. I don’t think this is categorically true, but the extra soft skin, curves, T & A, etc, certainly must feel nice to many a partner. I also read once in psych class that overweight women (the ones in this study, at least) are less inhibited in the bedroom. The theory was that skinny women are worried about a guy discovering some small flaw, whereas fat women figure he’s already noticed all of our flaws. I’m not trying to prove this as a universal fact, but I would very much enjoy an episode of HIMYM where Barney encounters a full-figured one night stand. Hopefully he will be stunned by her prowess and sex appeal and then maybe lay off the fat chick shit talking.
My final point of contention – apparently it’s ok for guys on How I Met Your Mother to be chubby, but not girls. Marshall (Jason Segel) has certainly increased in size since the first season, but that’s only vaguely referenced at best. Robin dates Mitch, aka “The Naked Man”, even though a woman with the same amount of body fat would likely not meet the group’s standards. She also goes out with Stan, the guy that supplies Barney and Marshall with romantic text inspiration in “The Three Days Rule”. Stan is a delicious tall drink of water with a deep voice to match, but he’s also very overweight. In “The Window”, ultimate girl next door Maggie dates several guys that don’t come close to her level of general fitness. What the F, HIMYM? I know that people in New York might generally be more in shape than the rest of us, but it’s not like the city is completely lacking in attractive plus-size women. Maybe we can retire these fat chick jokes – besides being mean, they’re also not original or even particularly funny. I expect better from the writers of my favorite show!
Thanks to the following for images/GIFs:
56 thoughts on “How I Met Your Mother (& How I Know She Won’t Be Fat)”
the whole joke with Mitch is that he’s not up to Robin’s standards…he’s unattractive and fat. he DOESN’T meet the group’s standards. just thought I’d point that out.
Another good point. I didn’t include Stuart (Stewart?) for the same reason, because the whole group acknowledges that he isn’t hot enough to be with Claudia. But Robin did still go out on a date with Mitch, and I have to wonder if Ted or Barney would even give a similar girl the time of day. Well, maybe Ted would, but surely not Barney.
I love this show, I’ve watched each episode a number of times, but I feel the same way, even about Barney’s role in general. The constant womanizing is used to make him similar to a cartoon character, to add humor to the storyline. While I think the idea is that he’s meant to be laughed at, it gives viewers the impression that treating women like pieces of meat is normal and okay. If they never made Barney fall in love and develop his character (probably the first time I respected him was when we found out about his father) I wouldn’t have ever appreciated his quirks. You have to take his parts lightly. But honestly, you would think they would have him chase a thicker, curvier woman once in awhile! Don’t tell me someone who has slept with hundreds of women wouldn’t ever go home with someone over 120 pounds.
So essentially, because you’re overweight and unhappy with yourself, everyone else should apologize to you for that? I don’t think so. It’s your problem, and nobody else’s.
Pretty sure I didn’t ask for an apology…nor did I ever say I was unhappy with myself. Ms. Sass seems like she might just be pretty unhappy with herself, what with her angry comments and all. I’m not entirely sure that she realizes that you come across as kinda sad and lonely when you resort to bitching out strangers online. Especially strangers who aren’t saying anything personal, but you’re somehow taking it personal because you disagree. It’s cool to debate what I say in my articles, or totally disagree, or insult me…I can deal with all that. But it would help to actually read the article so that when you comment, it’s relevant and taken seriously. I enjoy intelligent discourse, but you have to actually make sense for that to work. Still, very sassy, so good job sticking to your (anonymous) screen name.
His weight has definitely dropped recently, I should have noted that. Good point, thank you!
Personally I think it’s part of HIMYM’s charm. They do a lot of sometimes confronting, non PC stuff which is still pretty damn funny, and whilst they do probably offend many groups, this is the first I’ve seen of a fan taking offense. Can i ask though, if you recognise that being overweight is unattractive, and it is established through countless forms of evidence that is not healthy and life shortening, why not put conscious effort into losing weight? I have a degree in Psychology so I understand that there can be psychological disorders and that these things stack, but as someone who has an addictive personality and the willpower to keep a curb on that, why not restrict your diet and exercise more? Actually legitimately curious, I’m not trolling you.
I agree that the show does a fair amount of controversial stuff, though I’m not really taking offense to any of it. If I were to take it personally, I would need to address all of the jokes about dumb slutty women, which can also be a bit grating at times. I think part of it is that we expect that from Barney’s character, so it’s an essential part of the show. But the fat stuff comes from multiple characters, and they just seem like cheap shots. Really, anyone can write a joke about how fat women are unappealing. Most of the other content in the show is SO clever and SO well written, so I guess I’m surprised that they don’t put more effort into at least making witty fat jokes, if the jokes must be made. But maybe other people do find those jokes funny, and I’m in the minority. I suspect there are many people like me out there, though, that just have an “oh honey” moment when they slip in a line about fatties. Like, “oh honey, I know you think that’s super funny but it’s basically the same thing you can hear on the playground/in the locker room anytime”.
As to the other part of your comment – first, thank you for asking a legit question and phrasing it tactfully. That is always appreciated! The short answer is that I have put a conscious effort into losing weight, with very little success. Part of it is totally my fault, for sure, but there are lots of factors in play. I was raised being comforted by food, and offered it as a form of entertainment. There are other isues from my parents that I won’t get into, but basically my psychological connection to food is kinda screwed up. The other factors are dealing with pretty intense depression, which sometimes results in me not even getting out of bed all day. Not very condusive to the goal of weight loss, ya know? With anti-depressants I do much, much, better, but it isn’t a perfect solution. Some days are still bad, with me struggling to get the motivation and willpower to do things like call my parents or prepare breakfast. At one point I had no health insurance, and was dealing with several family members dying all at once, and I was in complete robot mode, just shut off emotionally for the purposes of being able to function. Food was one of the only things that actually made me feel better during that period of time.
But other stuff is just me, and mainly that I have somewhat given up in recent years. I’m trying to turn that ship around, but I’ve been super discouraged and feeling like it was already too late for me. I have to change that attitude, and make sure to get my ass moving every single day, so I can at least see if it’s possible to get to a healthy, normal weight. I won’t ever be skinny – just not built for it – but certainly I can and should be smaller than I am, for health purposes. I’m also fighting genetics, though, and the usual issues of finding time, money, energy, etc that so many of us struggle with. I admire your ability to maintain willpower in light of an addictive personality – I have not done so well in that regard!
I’ve found myself guilty of laughing at these jokes, and not even giving it a second thought, especially the most recent joke about Cleveland. Being a big guy, I was picked on in School and still am on occasion. and I know as well as any other big person how it feels to be ragged on just for someone else to have a quick laugh. Barney can be somewhat of a dick at certain times. and his jokes kinda slip by my radar. I think I’ll have to keep a sharper ear out for these things. On the Other Hand, Victoria is gorgeous to me and she’s not a toothpick. I agree that they should have an arc about Barney’s world being rocked! That Would be Legen- (Wait for it) -dary!
I have the same problems with “getting healthy”. It sounds good on paper and I want it more than anything, but It just doesn’t happen.
All in all, This post has given me some insight and I thank you for that. :)
I’ve laughed at them too! It wasn’t until I got hooked on the reruns that I realized how often it crops up, and then it went from being like a random possible clever comment to just something mean-spirited. But, to be fair, they also make fun of “old” women (30 & up lol), excessive tanners, cigarette smokers, potheads, and douchebags. So it’s not like they’re only focusing on the one group, but I still think it sucks. Good point about Victoria’s size – she’s very normal and healthy looking. I liked that Punchy’s wife is normal sized as well, although I guess they attribute that to her being from Cleveland/being the type of woman who likes Punchy.
Thank you so, so much for your comments – it’s so gratifying to know that people enjoy my random ramblings!
Sorry I’m so late to the game. I stumbled across this in a google search. What I wanted to know is, where are the “fat girls” on HIMYM? I’m new to the show, and I’m only up to season 5. Yes, I have noticed the fat shaming and that Marshall put on a few pounds and nobody cares. It’s not just the fat shaming that annoys me, it’s the complete absence of women over a size 8 (guessing). You won’t see a size 14 at the bar, or at a party, or even seen working out at the gym when Barney is *talking to them*. Why? Size 14 is now an average size. Why are they completely invisible on a show that is otherwise awesome?
I’m glad you commented – no worries on being late to the game. I am also bothered by the lack of diversity among the extras, smaller roles, etc. In terms of size and body shape, we see very little variation among the women. There are occasionally chubby guys – Dana (the guy who helped Barney and Ted lick the liberty bell) (it tasted like freedom!), Stan (the poetic gentleman that helped Barney and Marshall craft their texts to Ted), Doug (bouncer with anger management issues), Mitch (The Naked Man), and even Marshall sometimes. In terms of plus size women, though…I got almost nothing. Seriously, the only example that comes to mind is the fictional (?) woman that Barney pulls The Sexless Inkeeper on.
Beyond that, though, is an unsettling lack of diversity in terms of ethnicity. The vast majority of characters are some shade of white. James (Barney’s brother), Sam (James’ dad), Michelle (Lily’s “revertigo” friend), and Stan (aforementioned) are probably the most prominent (only?) black characters. Sometimes Barney goes after a black woman, or recalls one as his runs down his list of conquests, but ate generally it.
Granted, there are a few characters that are noted as – or at least appear to be – Hispanic or Asian. Or Lithuanian. Or Estonian. Barney might be disgusted by the fatties (his words not mine) but his ethnic preferences are pretty diverse.
If anyone remembers another plus size female character will you please let me know? Oh and thanks again for commenting!
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Patrice, I’m guessing? Punchy’s wife. She’s a little chubby but she’s damn cute.
I think both of those characters arrived after I wrote that post. But I do recall a recap I wrote where I talked about being happy that no one made fat jokes about Punchy’s wife – I think her name is Kelly? And also….nobody asked you Patrice!!! :)
CORINA, i was looking for an article like this! I noticed it too, it comes up too many times, and it’s a pity because it’s a LOVELY SHOW!!!! it’s annoyin that it’s said so often. i still keep the sweet doubt it’s part of the show. i mean, they might want to make joke on something that lot of people judge everyday. thanks for your words anyway! thanks for noticing :)
I am so glad to read this comment – sorry I didn’t respond sooner! I’m going to do a new post on the whole Barney/Patrice thing that touches on many of the same issues. I got sooo much crap for this post so it’s always wonderful to see some positive encouragement. :)
Thanks Corina! I was wondering if anyone else had the same feeling as me. I watch a lot of TV and while most TV shows show unrealistic images of women, this is the first like this that just seems to be ok to come out and say it and I feel really let down. Maybe I’m taking it too personally, but I won’t watch the show any longer. I’m in Ireland so was catching up via Netflix so only have gotten to Season 4. You might expect it from Barney and have the other disapproves, but it’s the same for Ted who is supposed to be more sensitive and intellectual!
This show has more fat jokes than most other shows I watch. It’s like, on one hand I think the writers are SO talented, but on the other hand, these jokes take zero effort and aren’t clever at all. Did you see my post about how the Patrice and Barney fake relationship was insulting to fans? I think you might agree with some of the points I made there as well.
I really dislike when Ted tells the jokes in particular. Well actually when any of them…Lily and Robin are portrayed as typical mean girls that are cruel to women less attractive than them – or any woman that they see as a threat. Marshall used to be chubby, both in his character’s back history/childhood and also on the actual show, he got kinda chunky there for a while. But still they show him, presumably the nicest person on the show, making fat jokes. It is unfortunate and I don’t think it’s true to his character at all. And Ted, for all his talk of being a nice guy looking for a nice girl, has no business going there. Sigh.
I completely agree with you and AnnD. HIMYM is so funny in many ways, but the immature jokes at the expense of larger women are really quite hurtful. And there is a ridiculous double standard on TV. I note the point has been made that Marshall gains weight and it goes unnoticed by everyone, while jokes continue to be aimed at overweight women by the other characters. It reminds me of Friends. Chandler made lots of jokes at Monica’s expense (regarding her ‘Big Fat Goalie’ years), yet he gains a considerable amount of weight around the time they get engaged and it’s no big deal.
I’m not saying that when a male character gains weight he should become the butt of jokes – not at all – but there should be an even keel. So many sitcoms feature an overweight husband with a model-like wife; it’s never the other way around. This discrimination against larger women reinforces negative body images, which in turn contributes to the alarming prevalence of eating disorders and mental ill-health (e.g. low self-esteem). If larger women are to feel empowered, confident and accepted, they need to be represented fairly in the media, and that means taking a more respectful approach on shows like HIMYM.
Thanks for the article. Glad there are others out there who find this kind of humour unfunny and frankly unacceptable, especially considering the fact that the show’s writers are gratuitously insulting a lot of the show’s viewers.
I would really like it if there were more fictional couples in movies/TV where the guy is “hot” or even just “average” and the woman is overweight. We basically never see that, because apparently it’s too hard for viewers to believe. But TV is such a cyclical part of our pop culture, in that it both reflects and defines soceity for us. So if we make changes on what is shown on TV, it can influence changes in the world!
Some people think TV is just for the lazy and easily entertained but I have seen it be a one way mirror that benefits many people in their own homes. Seeing things that are different, from the safety of your living room, gives you a way to acclimate yourself to new people and things.
Anyway, off my soapbox. It just seems stupid to insult overweight people when they have to make up a considerable portion of your viewing demographic. Then again, I keep watching, so I have to take responsibility for my end of it.
I really, really hoped that Barney’s interactions with Patrice would result in some sort of observable character progression. I don’t expect him (or any man in real life) to suddenly be attracted to a full figured woman, when he never has been before in his whole life. But it would have been nice to see him say, hey, fat women are people too, how about that.
If I produced a show or acted in it I would be so embarassed to tell fat jokes when there overweight people on the cast or crew. Like at least show a little respect for those specific colleagues, even if you can’t extend it to your actual audience, you know?
When you mentioned sitcoms with overweight husbands and model like wives, King of Queens came to mind. And the ridiculous part is, even on those shows, this guy probably weighs about 300 pounds, and when his slim wife gains about 5 to 10 pounds, he’s freaking out and trying to get her to lose it. And viewers commented on her weight to. There were some points at which the actress got up to maybe a size 10 at most, and people were commenting on how “fat” she was.
And Barney’s story about the woman who weighed 16 stone was offensive as well. Do they not understand that there are several women who probably weigh much more than that who watch the show? Are they automatically unattractive, just because of their weight? I think it’s ridiculous that these shows promote the idea that women have to be a size 4 or under in order to be attractive, when the truth is that many men prefer women who are actually shaped like, well, women and not 12-year-old boys. And I’m not saying that any woman who is a size 4 or under is shaped like a 12-year-old boy, before all of the skinny women take offense, I am merely pointing out that you’re not the only ones who are attractive.
I was a size 18, and I am now a size 10, due to my exercise routine finally beginning to stick. Like you, I have used food for comfort through a lot of my life. And I feel quite insulted that many men pay more attention to me now, just because of the way I look, and that they’ll be paying more attention to me as I get even smaller. I am the same person that I was before, and they didn’t think I was worth talking to, just because I had a few extra pounds on me. And nasty jokes towards large women on shows like this reinforce that mindset. If racism is taboo, why is it okay to make fun of overweight women? I think the latter type of joke is actually more offensive; if someone makes a joke about my race, I would just roll my eyes, but a joke about my weight would really hurt. I know a lot of people will say that it’s our own fault that we were overweight, but that’s just an example of ignorance. Unless you have actually walked a mile in these shoes, you’re in no position to judge. You don’t know what it’s like to be overcome by depression, and need to eat in order to make yourself feel better.
And it absolutely disgusts me when people say that nasty jokes towards overweight people actually help them, because they need to be made to feel like crap in order to get off their butts and do something about it. This type of ignorance is absolutely revolting. If you put someone down for being overweight, all it is going to do is make and eat more. They are not going to get on a treadmill and lose weight FOR YOU, they have to do it for themselves. It might seem counterintuitive, but the truth is that the way to help an overweight person lose weight is to emphasize their strengths and make them see that they are worth the effort to take care of themselves. I cannot believe that some people actually think that degrading them about is a way of helping; this is the absolute height of ignorance.
Sorry I went off on a little rant there ha ha, it just really annoys me.
You can rant all you want, I don’t mind! I think some people believe that being overweight is a choice, as opposed to skin color, which you are born with. But, hello, if it was just a choice, don’t they think that so many of us would just choose to be thin?
And the jokes that are intended to “help” are the worst. At best they’re a way for someone to be a jerk in a super passive aggressive way but with the “out” of saying it’s for their own good.
But we already know that we are overweight. We know that we want to change. Shit talking from some random passerby, or some character on TV, doesn’t help us to become healthier. If anything is discourages us even more. So I wonder if some people WANT to encourage us to stay fat, because that automatically places them higher on the social totem pole. If all the overweight women in America magically became thin, other currently thin women could be kinda screwed. Because sorry, I know that I am actually prettier and smarter and funnier than lots and lots of women. But if they have a desirable body, they are often ranked higher than me socially based on that alone. So keeping fat women fat means that thin people can enjoy the social boost of their size without calling into question their other potential defaults.
NOT TO SAY THAT THIN WOMEN ARE ALL LIKE THIS. NOT AT ALL. I tend to believe that the world is filled with generally good people that don’t want to bring others down. But there have to be some out there like that, you know? And, just to look at it from the other side, if we all did magically become skinny…
Some of us would still be screwed. I will be honest and say that my weight is an easy default reason I can assign for anyone not being attracted to me. I guess I could even say that any random person who is rude to me could be doing so because I’m fat. So if I were to think like that, then I would just be normal once the fat is gone. And I would have to look at what other things about me are unappealing or driving people away.
I had too much caffeine before I wrote this and I feel like it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense in some parts. I will review and possibly edit when I’ve calmed down :)
This is a much belated reply to your post but in watching the series straight through (up to the current season, it’s not on Netflix yet) I have been repeatedly struck by how often they make derogatory comments about overweight women. I’m glad you assembled this list; the writers should be ashamed of themselves.
Yeah it’s pretty unpleasant. Obviously it does personally bother me, but I stand firm in my assertion that it’s not even good writing. The friendship with Patrice was the perfect opportunity for Barney to demonstrate that he has matured a bit in this respect, but instead they stuck with the same tired jokes. It’s obvious that Barney had to grow up some to be able to commit to Robin, so why not make that an element of his character progression?
I just did a google search to see if anyone else noticed this. I never watched the show until recently- on Netflix. I had heard how funny it was. I think it’s a great show, but their use of demeaning fat women goes beyond any other non-PC joke on the show. I remember realizing that it was a theme during an early season when even Lily made a comment- I don’t think you listed that one. P.S. I thought I’d comment after skimming the rude comments left from others. I have no clue why people think they can talk that way to others.
Thank you for your comment. :) It is always nice to hear from others who have made similar discoveries about the show. Of course, those comments are even better when they’re as nice as yours was!
I do think it’s a shame and it reflects lazy writing, or at least an immature style of comedy. It doesn’t do it for me at all, but clearly a whole lot of people enjoy those types of jokes. So really it speaks to more systemic issue in our society today.
What’s weird is that one of the show creators/writers is an overweight man. Most of their fat jokes are directed at women, though, so that might explain some of it. Sometimes I wonder if someone behind the scenes at that show just really despises fat women?
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If Barney ever sleeps with a fat chick, I’m not watching the show anymore.
do you remember an episode when barney made a joke do you know what’s worse than sleeping with a fat girl?…
I’m not positive…this article includes all of the fat jokes I found up through what season 6? So maybe it happened after that? If you remember anything else about the episode or scene I can try to track it down.
Thanks! I will look at season 6 and 7. That at least narrows it down :)
I stopped watching for a long time after the episode where they were googling flaws of girls before dating them. I can’t remember the exact context, but one of the women was a meth addict and one USED TO be fat and they made the girl who used to be fat such a worse thing than being a meth addict. That really annoyed me. It was such a slap in the face, like, “Fuck, even if I did lose *more* weight I’d still have USED TO have been fat, and STILL undateable? Awesome.”
Thank you for this article. I’m coming late to this because I just recently finished watching all nine seasons over the course of the last year. HIMYM has become one of my all time favorite shows but the fat jokes did not go unnoticed, and I googled specifically to see if anyone else is as bothered by it as I am. Fat shaming is the last acceptable form of prejudice left :( While I don’t like being overweight, I am grateful that it has made me much more compassionate and accepting of overweight people, which I might not have been had I remained skinny all these years. Now I really don’t care what anyone weighs and see the beauty that’s there instead – and there is *always* beauty there.
I’ve definitely noticed the fat shaming too. Since the show came on Netflix my friends and I get together on weekends and PD days to watch it. It’s become a tradition. We laugh and we love it. But every time an antifat comment comes up I get really self conscious. I wouldn’t even consider myself fat or anything, but I guess my self esteem is crap, but what young girl’s isn’t. Anyways, I hate that they do it. Especially when Marshall does it because he seems so unjudgemental about everything else. The show really makes me feel like fat is the worst thing ever and I imagine it is very triggering to any bulimics or self harmers or anorexics etc. Not cool.
I don’t think the jokes were ever meant to appear mean spirited or promote unhealthy body images. It’s clear the show also hates on topics like eating disorders by the below joke:
Barney: Ted, you should be happy Robin has a secret. The more you learn about a person, the better chance you have of hitting the fatal “Ohhh…” moment.
Marshall: The “Ohhh…” moment?
Barney: Yeah. That moment when you find out that one detail about a person that is going to be a deal-breaker.
[Flashback to Barney with different girls]
Girl #1: It’s a promise ring. I made a pact with God to stay a virgin till I’m married.
Girl #2: I don’t have an eating disorder, it’s just when I put food in my mouth, I chew it and then I spit it out!
Girl #3: I just turned 30.
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