Alyson Hannigan, Jason Segel, Neil Patrick Harris, and Ted Radnor in the gang's signature hangout, MacLaren's, one of the many NYC-based places on the show. The final episode will air on Monday, March 31, 2014.
(Credit: Fox / Ron P. Jaffe)
For nine years, "How I Met Your Mother" has captured the lives of five New Yorkers. From the gang's quest to find out the fastest way to travel downtown to their description of what makes a real New Yorker, the show is one of the most realistic depictions of life in the city. In honor of the show's last episode, amNewYork rounds up when the show captured the most real moments of NYC life.
Fastest travel in NYC ...
In the season six episode "Subway Wars," Robin (Cobie Smulders) is having a very bad NYC week, one every New Yorker knows all too well. She needs a little pick-me-up, so she wants to go check out Woody Allen at a restaurant downtown. The rest of the gang laughs that she has never seen Woody Allen, and then they start debating the fastest way downtown. Lily (Alyson Hannigan) chooses the subway, and also reveals that she "speaks conductor"; Marshall (Jason Segel) declares he can run
seven miles faster; Ted (Josh Radnor) takes the bus (where he ends up being the crazy ranting person); Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) first tries an ambulance (where they take him to the "uptown" St. Luke's Roosevelt--think they meant New York Presbyterian-Columbia Medical Center, but fine) and then calls his driver, Ranji; and Robin opts for a cab. On top of everything else, the gang gives Robin a list of things that qualify anyone as a real New Yorker: Crying on the subway (true), steals a cab (yep), and kills a cockroach with her bare hand (gross, yet true-sob). Bonus realism points for all the sightings of Maury Povich. (Credit: Getty Images / EMMANUEL DUNAND)
Empire State Building
"How I Met Your Mother" has always had a romantic relationship with the Empire State Building. In the second season episode "First Time in New York," Robin's younger sister, Katie, visits--and Robin takes her to the Empire State Building. In a fairly apt comparison, Lily also describes her first (ultimately unsuccessful) attempt at sex as being like being in the lobby of the Empire State Building--nobody buys tickets for the lobby, they want to go all the way to the top. The gang visits the Empire State Building with Katie, but they never make it past the lobby. (Who wants to wait in line to go the top, honestly?) And in the season five premiere episode "Definitions," Ted brings a picture of the Empire State Building for his first class as an architecture professor.
(Credit: Getty Images / John Moore)
Nothing good happens after 2 am
Sure, this looks romantic. But "How I Met Your Mother" taught us an important lesson way back in season one: Nothing good happens after 2 am. In the episode with that title, Robin drunkenly calls (kids, back in 2006, before there was Tinder, single people made their drunken mistakes via phone) Ted to come over at 2 am. He says yes, despite his mother's warning to just go to bed at 2 am. And, thus he teaches us an important lesson: NYC might seem like an exciting place where anything can happen at any time at night, but really, nothing good happens after 2 am.
(Credit: Flickr / Chris Ford )
"I'm too big for New York"
Oh Marshall. In the season four episode "I Heart NJ," Marshall reveals that he actually hates New York because the whole city was designed for people smaller than him. There's no way to explain it better than he does: "Today I was walking around Price Co. Have you ever been there? It's huge. All the stores in New York are so cramped that every time I turn around, I knock something over. I'm like some huge monster who came out of the ocean to destroy bodegas ... Except that I hate [New York]. I'm too big for New York, ok? I'm always trying to fit into cramped little subway seats, or duck under doorways that were built 150 years ago. Hey, guess what, people are bigger now, build bigger doorways. What the hell is the matter with you?"
(Credit: Getty Images / Paul Hawthorne)
Robin's news jobs
Journalist Robin had perhaps one of the most realist jobs in the gang: A reporter for Metro News 1, aka Time Warner Cable News 1, New York's 24-hour cable newscast. She ran a variety of feature-y, local news segments while often pushing for more hard news. After Metro News 1, she moved on to Channel 12, where hosts an extra-early morning news show (at 4 am) called "Come On, Get Up New York!" Ask any journalist in the city, and they can tell you the joys (aka horrors) of working journalism shifts.
(Credit: Getty Images / Kevin Winter)
Best burger in NYC
In the episode titled "The Best Burger in NYC," Marshall recalls he ate the best burger in NYC, but he can no longer remember where. The gang then goes on a quest to find the place with the neon-red sign and green door. Oh, and did we mention that Robin is also on a cleanse?
(Credit: Georgia Kral)
Regis Philbin knows the best burger in NYC
During the gang's quest to find the best burger in NYC, Marshall remembers the spot where he ate the best burger in the city had an autographed photo of Regis Philbin on the wall. In his quest to find it later, Marshall even met with special guest star Regis, who says he can't find where it is either. Regis tells Barney to text him if he can find it. On the way, Barney texts Regis to tell him, and Regis walks off the set of Live! to join them. We've all been there, Reeg. Although the burgers are delicious, it's the right place--but the waitress tell them the burgers are modeled after a place uptown. Barney text Regis the update, and he breaks a postal box in frustration. Is there anyone a better sport--and more of a New Yorker--than Regis?
(Credit: Getty Images)
In the season three episode "We're Not From Here," Ted and Barney decide the best way to meet new women is to tell them they are not from NY and can only have a short fling before they return home. The women they meet are, as Ted describes them, "the two lamest New Yorkers of all time." But it turns out the women are actually from New Jersey, not New York. Note: This episode did not actually feature anyone from "Jersey Shore," they just seemed appropriate for this photo.
(Credit: MTV )
Married apartment living
"How I Met Your Mother's" longtime married couple, Marshall and Lily, lived with Ted for the early days of their marriage. This situation seems almost unthinkable outside of NYC, but the city's high rents and apartment shortage makes it pretty common here. On top of all that, when Marshall and Lily finally can afford their own place, its in a (thankfully fictional, although maybe not for long, sorry UES) DOWISETREPLA, or DOwnWInd of the SEwage TREment PLAnt. How charming, and far too realistic. Not only that, but they find out later that the apartment is slanted. No wonder they move to Long Island. All too real (sob).
This one is for not just NYC residents, but
Long Island natives as well. Is there an experience more typically Long Island than taking the last train home from the city, and having it be filled with drunk Long Islanders? Ted and Barney realize this in season seven, when they board the "drunk train" to find who Lily calls "just a bunch of drunk, sloppy idiots fresh off a night of partying in the city desperate to hook up with anything that moves." Yep. Bonus points for jokes about Ronkonkoma, the last stop on the Ronkonkoma line. (Credit: CBS / Ron P. Jaffe)
Farhampton (aka Montauk)
Welcome to the end of the LIRR, folks. We all know it as Montauk, but in the "How I Met Your Mother" universe, it's known as "Farhampton." The train station looks more like Amagansett, though. (If you're not up for the three-hour train ride for research, watch "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" for comparison instead.) The first episode that mentions this magical place is the season eight premiere, "Farhampton," where it is revealed that Barney and Robin will get married there. The entire ninth season takes place at the Farhampton Inn, where Ted and the mother met for the first time (at Barney and Robin's wedding, where she played the bass in the band). It's not the first time Long Island beaches have been used for a "HIMYM" wedding -- in season four, Ted planned to marry Stella (Sarah Chalke) in Shelter Island.
(Credit: FOX Television / Robert Voets)