Akin to references across the series, every well-known sitcom is going to have similar stories and plots and characters to other, perhaps lesser-known stories. Everybody’s human and everyone’s a critic. The popular website tvtropes.org knows a thing or two about the nuances and styles of narrative—from character types to relationship formats to how the next season finale will likely end.
A pretty useful site for How I Met Your Mother, yes?
The fans talk about what they may. Tropes the website spies in our beloved show include:
Hilarity Ensues. The common catchphrase following the main, oftentimes incredibly dire, plots. If hilarity didn’t ensue—and much of the time, it does not—the results for the character would be very grim indeed. Take our Ted Mosby. If hilarity didn’t spring from Jeanette wrecking his apartment, he’d be left homeless. If the Rule of Funny didn’t have his back, he’d spend his seasons lost and alone. Doesn’t make for very good TV.
Romantic False Lead. As the title suggests, this character either creates tension between the main character and the true romantic lead, or blindsides the audience by ending up not the actual endeavor. See: Robin Scherbatsky. For fluxuating seasons we called her the Mother. Now? We’re happy to see her blossom into Aunt Robin.
The Casanova. “The sexual predator — a man who relentlessly pursues, lands, loves and then abandons members of the opposite sex.” Gee, I-wonder-who-this-could-be.
Unreliable Narrator. One typically assumes the narrator tells the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth…until you land yourself Future Ted. With a memory fit for 2030, Ted Mosby often forgets small details or twists the true tale for our audience. As in the last episode…still not sure what happened there.
The best part of How I Met Your Mother? Its suit isn’t four-pieced. Check out the rest on tvtropes.org!