How I met your mother is an American sitcom airing on CBS. It is set in 2030 and is focussed on Ted Mosby telling the story of how he met the mother of his children. He certainly takes his time.
The story of How I Met Your Mother plays out something like a JJ Abrams project, the writers only give away mere morsels of information regarding the mother, and the Internet is rife with conjecture as to who the mother actually is.
As the story is told through flashbacks, the writers have to be careful to avoid continuity errors. Fortunately, the fans of How I Met Your Mother are happy enough to dismiss any continuity errors as future Ted having a bad memory.
Ted Mosby- The character the show is based around, Ted attended college with Marshall Eriksen and Lily Aldrin, and moved in with them after college. He is an architect, although by the end of the fourth season he is set to become a lecturer.
He has had a number of romantic attachments (see below)- including a long-term relationship with Robin Scherbatsky, but as of season 4 has yet to meet the mother of his children.
Marshall Eriksen- Ted’s best friend and husband of Lily, Marshall is a lawyer who originally had aspirations of working with the National Resources Defence Council, but ended up working at the same corporation as Barney. He staunchly believes in many aspects of the supernatural- frequently making references to the Loch Ness Monster, Sasquatch and Ghosts.
Lily Aldrin- The wife of Marshall and best friend of Robin Scherbatsky, Lily is a kindergarten teacher and is probably the most moral member of the group- often being the most appalled by the chauvinist antics of Barney- at one point leaving for 4 weeks after a joke told by him (while actress Alyson Hannigan gave birth).
Barney Stinson- Whilst the main characters in the show work well together and are more three-dimensional than those in most sitcoms, it is Barney Stinson who makes How I Met Your Mother such compulsive viewing. Barney is a character who is frequently having one night stands with a large number of women (and considers sleeping with them a second time ‘a relationship’) this makes him either utterly contemptible, or some sort of role model for cracked readers. He is opposed to the idea of marriage, although he was instrumental in reuniting Lily and Marshall when they temporarily broke up.
He is also the most quotable of the characters in the show, owning most of the more popular catchphrases, including “Suit up” (and variations of it) and “Legen…dary”. He appears to have a limitless supply of money for doing a job that hasn’t yet been revealed. This, and a complete lack of shame, allow him to perform some of the most memorable moments of the show:
Oddly enough, one of the greatest womanizers in television is played by a homosexual actor.
Although we have yet to meet the future Mrs Mosby- it has been implied she is a student of Ted’s when he becomes a lecturer- there have been some people who have come close:
Victoria (season 1):
Ted was with Victoria for several episodes in season 1, having met her at a wedding where she had made the cake. After meeting her at the wedding (where they only trade first names in order to ensure they cannot meet up later, leaving the night ‘untarnished’) this leaves Ted desperately trying to find out who she was. However, shortly after they get together, Victoria is offered a fellowship at a culinary institute in Germany, and despite trying long distance it doesn’t work out.
Just to ensure that Victoria is definitely written off as being the eventual Mrs Mosby, Ted attempts to break up with her, but is unable to contact her, and then attempts to cheat on her with Robin. This almost ends Ted and Robin’s friendship.
Mary the Paralegal (season 1)
Mary the Paralegal, as the name would imply, is a paralegal. However, Barney tells Ted that she is a prostitute who he has hired for him to make Robin jealous at an awards night (where her date is her co-host), after the attempted cheating debacle. As the night progresses they click, and Ted decides he likes her, despite her being a prostitute as far as he’s concerned, and then makes a decision to sleep with her. Outside the hotel room there is a tremendously awkward conversation with Mary saying she is a paralegal, and Ted denying it and claiming that she is a whore. Ted failing to close the deal is something of a theme at the end of the first season…
Robin (season 2)
…until the final episode, where he finally gets together with Robin. Their relationship spans virtually the entire second season, but eventually comes to an end when the differences in what they want from the relationship (marriage and kids for Ted, no marriage and no kids for Robin) become an issue. They were able to continue to be friends after this.
Girl Who Ted Bumps Into On St Patrick’s Day (season 3)
Many fans of How I Met Your Mother suspect that a woman who spent roughly half a second onscreen- bumping into a drunk Ted- will turn out to be the mother.
Stella (seasons 3-4)
Stella, played by scrubs actress Sarah Chalke, plays a doctor who Ted meets during sessions to remove a lower back tattoo of a butterfly he got when he was drunk. She comes the closest to marrying Ted, leaving it until the actual wedding to break up with him to reunite with her ex-boyfriend.