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The 14 Best Running Jokes of How I Met Your Mother

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at OSU chapter.

Whether you’ve been watching How I Met Your Mother since the beginning or picked it up somewhere in the middle – binge watching on Netflix or reruns on Lifetime – Monday night’sseason finale is guaranteed to be an emotional one. Over the past nine seasons we have become a part of the gang; Ted, Marshall, Lily, Barney, and Robin are our best friends and there is no place we’d rather be on Monday nights than our booth at McClaren’s. We’ve been there through all their ups and downs and it is going to be sad to see them go but let’s be honest we are dying to know how Ted meets their mother. In honor of the end of of the season let’s count down the 14 best running jokes of the series. 


1.       The Pineapple

In Season 1 Episode 10 Ted wakes up next to a girl he doesn’t know, with a butterfly tattoo on his lower back, and a pineapple on his nightstand. The girl and the tattoo were figured out but the pineapple still remains a mystery despite many attempts by the gang  to figure it out. 

2.       Legendary

One of Barney’s many catch phrases. He even attempts to make every night legendary to forget about his girlfriend stripper, Quinn, for a little while in season 8. It is even the inspiration for Marshall and Lilly’s son’s middle name, Marvin Wait-for-it Erikson.

3.       Challenge Accepted

Another one of Barney’s catch phrases. Anytime anyone said something wasn’t possible Barney took it as a challenge and wouldn’t stop until he completed it even if no one actually challenged him to it. 


4.       Doppelgangers

Throughout all nine seasons the gang managed to find each of their doppelgangers- Stripper Lily, Lesbian Robin, Moustache Marshall, Mexican Wrestler Ted and OBGYN Barney.

5.      Canada

Robin being from Canada has made Canada a running joke through out the show; especially from Barney.

6.       Tantrum

Tantrum is the energy drink Ted and Marshall used to drink in college on their roadtrips from Connecticut to Chicago.

7.       Intervention Banner

  After the gang experiences their first intervention for a friend they become hooked; they make their own banner and have regular interventions.

8.       The Slap Bet

Barney and Marshall enter into a slap bet with Lily as slap bet commissioner over why Robin doesn’t go to malls. Somehow the 1 slap turns into Marshall getting to slap Barney 8 times whenever he wants throughout the show. The final slap was delivered in last weeks episode on the altar before Robin walks down the aisle. 


9.       Red Cowboy Boots

Ted for some reason believes he can “pull-off” red cowboy boots and the rest of the gang won’t let him forget it.

10.   “Eating a Sandwhich”

 The euphemism for illicit activites Ted, Marshall, and Lilly partook in during college.

11.   Barney’s Blog

Barney puts all of his rules, stories of conquest, tips, and ideas into a blog- the only problem: no one reads it.

12.   Robin Sparkles

The reason Robin won’t go to the mall? She was a teen popstar in Canada called Robin Sparkles and did a mall tour for her song “Let’s go to the Mall”. She followed up her mega-hit with an educational TV show and then a temporary goth phase.


13.   Blue French Horn

In the first season Ted steals a blue French horn for Robin in a grand romantic gesture and returns over and over again through out the series.


14.    Have you met Ted?

 The question that started it all. In the pilot Barney used the line as Ted’s wingman to hit on Robin. Since that episode it has been used countless times by every member of the cast.