All the Running Gags We Want to See on the How I Met Your Mother Finale

Slate's Culture Blog
March 31 2014 1:24 PM

All the Running Gags We Want to See on the How I Met Your Mother Finale

Robin Sparkles should come back to take another bow.

Photo by Michael Yarish © 2013 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The final season of How I Met Your Mother has answered a lot of fans’ nagging questions. (We finally know what Barney does!) Tonight, viewers will learn the answer to one of the most important ones—oh, and the show’s title too. But finding out about the mother isn’t the only thing that’s kept fans doggedly coming back for nine seasons; after all, we knew next to nothing about her before last season’s finale. For HIMYM fans, it’s always been about the show’s heroic, seasons-spanning running jokes. Last week, in the penultimate episode, we saw the final slap—a joke that began in Season 2, and never disappointed.

So, while we may be done with the slaps, each character has their own gag to carry. Here’s hoping these jokes make it into the two-part finale tonight:


Robin Sparkles. Robin’s Canadian pop singer alter ego has been one of the most rewarding gags on the show. We’ve seen music videos, old band mates, and even her punk successor, Robin Daggers. I would not object to an encore performance.

Barney’s rules. Barney has been the show’s most consistent source of recurring jokes. He has catchphrases, he has a bro code, but he also has insane notions about the way the world works. Now that he’s married, I’m 83 percent sure he has some statistics and graphs up his sleeves.

Marshall’s songs. Robin is the one with a past life as a pop star, but Marshall’s songs are just as entertaining. (In real life too!) Whether it’s the password he needs to find out if he passed the Bar, singing about slaps, or that time he cat-sat, there’s nothing Marshall won’t sing about. Ted meeting his wife seems like as good a reason as any.

Lily’s telepathic conversations. Lily isn’t the only character to participate in telepathic conversations, but she’s definitely the best at them, if by best, I mean worst.

Ted: Have you met him? I have a feeling the show will boil down to those four words.

The mother’s yellow umbrella. We learned a lot about the mother in that one episode, but somehow, the most identifiable object linked to the mother is the yellow umbrella. I have a feeling it will play a nice-sized role in the finale. 

And who knows, maybe we’ll find out about that pineapple. High five!

Miriam Krule is a Slate assistant editor.



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