27 Lessons We Learned From “How I Met Your Mother”


“How I Met Your Mother,” arguably one of the best sitcoms ever, will come to an end Monday night. Try to hold back the tears as you come to the realization that the fearsome five–known as Ted, Marshall, Barney, Robin, and Lilly–are finally parting ways. Actually, no, forget that. Wallow in your sorrows because this show taught us more about life in nine seasons than “Friends” ever did in 10. Yep, I went there. From romantic to platonic relationships, the Bro Code to family values, this show covered it all. In your honor, my dear life-changing sitcom of a best friend, I picked through Wikipedia’s episode list and found the 27 most important lessons you taught this generation. We salute you, “How I Met Your Mother,” and you will forever be in our hearts and in our Netflix favorites.

  1. Never wear jeans to a strip club. You won’t be able to hide anything.
  2. Gentlemen, suit up. Whether it’s a wet suit, a penguin suit, a nightgown suit, or a snow suit, just wear a damn suit. Barney and his brother, James, passionately suit up in order to “distinguish ourselves from the millions of T-shirt and jean lemmings out there.” And God almighty, it is guaranteed to get you laid.
  3. Ladies, aim above the crazy/hot line. The X amount of crazy you are is directly related to the Y amount of hot you should be. Science, people.
  4. You can be friends with your ex-boyfriends or ex-girlfriends. It is, indeed, possible to be amiable with the guy or gal you used to bang and share sweet nothings with without wanting to get back together with him or her. It has been done many times.
  5. Nothing good happens after 2 a.m. Just go home.
  6. Every international conflict boils down to sexual tension. The issues in the Middle East could easily be solved by Gaza Strippers.
  7. Love is nonsensical. Stop trying to make sense out of your feelings.
  8. The Mermaid Theory: No matter how repulsive the woman is, a man will eventually want to sleep with her if he spends enough time with her. Again, science.
  9. The rules for treating women are the same as the rules for treating gremlins. Never get them wet, keep them away from sunlight, and never feed them after midnight.
  10. The Naked Man works two out of three times.
  11. Jesus wants you to wait three days before calling someone. Would people have given him a second thought if he came back the next day? Nope, and she wouldn’t give you one either.
  12. If you have chemistry with someone, then you two only need one thing: timing. And timing’s a bitch.
  13. Family is a privilege, not a right. It needs to be earned. Don’t like yours? Then start your own.
  14. You’re not fooling anyone–being a woo girl means you’re single and miserable. However, every group needs a woo girl.
  15. Don’t let fear steal your funk.
  16. Gay men are our nation’s trendsetters. Everything they do catches up to the rest of us six months later.
  17. Nobody cool is on Facebook anymore. You know who runs the Facebook world now? Mom and Dad.
  18. Wait for it. Barney uses this in terms of causing unnecessary suspense, but Ted demonstrates that waiting for it–waiting for the one–is well worth the time. Slow down and enjoy life; everything happens for a reason.
  19. Always remember the Chain of Screaming. Or Circle. Or Loop. Whatever.
  20. “Challenge accepted,” always. By golly, I don’t care what the challenge is, turning it down means you are a coward.
  21. Elbows give away a woman’s age.
  22. If you want the truth out of someone, get him or her to take three tequila shots.
  23. The Platinum Rule: never date someone you already see on a regular basis, such as coworkers, tattoo removal artists, neighbors, or roommates. Do you really want to get romantic with a person you’ll see so often?
  24. Things you may not have liked at first may be better later on, like that ugly shirt in the back of your closet.
  25. When choosing your friends, imagine sitting on your front porch with them 50 years from now. Do you still want them to be there with you? If not, they’re not worth your time.
  26. Sometimes it’s okay to lie to your friends–Barney’s Hangover Fixer Elixir was a placebo shake that tricked his friends into feeling better. If it’s out of love for the other person, then lying might be the answer.
  27. The most important lesson of them all? Living by Barney’s mantra: “When I’m sad I stop being sad and be awesome instead.”

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Topanga is a contributing writer for Post Grad Problems. Lover of red wine, mediocre gossip, and Corey's whipped ass.

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