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How I Met Your Mother (& How I Know She Won’t Be Fat)


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
Drumroll, Please
“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
Third Wheel
“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
The Yips
“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
False Positive
“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
Oh Honey
“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:

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