Movies & TV Shows

10 Unrealistic Storylines Redditors Struggle To Ignore

Season two of How I Met Your Father is currently in production, and fans are excited to see where the show goes next. Fans are hopeful that there will be more How I Met Your Mother cameos in the future, as well as wondering if How I Met Your Father could actually change the controversial ending of HIMYM.


While it’s unlikely that HIMYF would substantially change the outcome of HIMYM, fans are hopeful that it might at least have more realistic plot lines. How I Met Your Mother was technically set in the real world, but some of its plots were hard to accept. From obviously fantastical plot points to elements that would never work in reality, HIMYM had some completely unrealistic storylines that broke the suspension of disbelief for many Redditors. To show how unbelievable the show could be, Robin being a secret Canadian pop star didn’t even make the top ten.

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Robin Floats Away

Ted and Robin on the beach in How I Met Your Mother

One of the silliest unrealistic moments was mentioned by Skorogovorka: “Robin floating away on the beach to eternal flame. Such a weird moment.” This scene came in season nine and heavily foreshadowed the series finale, with Ted discussing the pain of losing something forever by comparing Robin to his childhood balloon friend floating away.

While it could have been a sweet moment about moving on from past relationships and being happy for exes finding new love, the way it was executed was just too absurd for fans to accept. Over 100 users upvoted the comment, proving that the HIMYM scene was cringeworthy to quite a few fans.

Outrageous Pickup Moves

Abby and Barney wearing matching outfits on How I Met Your Mother

Barney came up with some really manipulative ways to try to get women to sleep with him, but spudoc questions the validity of the show’s more extreme suggestions, such as the “Naked Man.” The Redditor questions whether that move is “an american thing,” because otherwise, it seems thoroughly unbelievable.

Over 150 other Redditors upvoted the comment because this move seems far too unusual (and inappropriate) to actually attempt. While the series depicted both men and women trying out this strategy for success, it certainly has not aged well, as the move is coercive at best. The most realistic response would be disgust or outrage, and it is definitely not to be replicated.

Marshall And Lily’s “Pause” Clause

Marshall and Lily fighting on How I Met Your Mother

Marshall and Lily were the most wholesome relationship on How I Met Your Mother, but one part of their relationship dynamic was questionable to several fans. They had a system where they could pause any argument to handle more important matters, returning to it later. But jcoddinc called this unrealistic, arguing, “You don’t just pause an argument successfully.”

While 147 Redditors upvoted the comment, others contested it, saying that they used the strategy in their own relationships. It seems like a good way to avoid saying cruel things out of anger, but the fans are divided on whether it would actually be possible.

“The Robin”

Barney texts Ted about him and Robin getting engaged on How I Met Your Mother

Barney was known for being to pull off completely ridiculous schemes from the Playbook, and fans could generally suspend their disbelief because it was Barney. But Geralt_Amx said, “even in the context of the show ‘The Robin’ seems pretty unrealistic. It needed too many moving parts for that play to work, even if one thing did not click it would and should not have worked.”

“The Robin” was Barney’s convoluted plan to propose, but it involved blowing up his relationship and intentionally aggravating Robin for no good reason. The post got 135 upvotes, indicating that a lot of fans agreed that Barney’s last play was just too insane to be believed.

Adult Friendships

How I Met Your Mother scene with the group sitting at their booth in MacLaren’s Pub

It’s relatively easy to have friendships in college, but it gets a lot harder as time goes on. With this in mind, JoeMoto_Adventures claims the least believable part of the series is “Having adult friends that you hang out with every night.”

In the real world, people have jobs and families that keep them from being constantly available, even if they are able to maintain long-term friendships. This is especially true if a member’s partner doesn’t fit seamlessly into the group. Over 250 Redditors agreed that the premise itself just doesn’t happen in the real world.

How Dating At Bars Works

Mandy Moore as Amy in How I Met Your Mother

Much of the early seasons focused on Ted and Barney hitting on girls at MacLaren’s, but BigGucciSosa14 says that just isn’t how that works. They said the show was most unbelievable for “The fact that some random small Irish bar has an endless supply of beautiful single women filtering through who show up once and then never return.”

This might be true of an extremely popular tourist bar, but in most cases, a bar like that would rely on its regulars. Even allowing for a lot of new visitors, it’s rare for women to go to bars alone instead of with their friends. The show required an endless supply of stunning, single women to visit the bar and never return, which just doesn’t make any sense.

Barney Stinson

barney-stinson-legendary

While everyone else chose a specific moment or joke, tailford07 said that the most unbelievable part of the series was “Barney. No specific moment. Just Barney as a whole.” Over 300 users agreed. Barney is certainly the least believable character between his endless conquests, his mysterious job, and his general way of living life.

While Ted usually feels like a very realistic main character, Barney can feel like an alien who integrates himself into a group of humans. He has a ton of great moments, including his spontaneous musical number “Nothing Suits Me Like A Suit,” but his charm on the show would never translate into real life.

The Geography Of New York City

Ted and the Blue French Horn in How I Met Your Mother

While those who have never visited NYC probably assume that the city is one place, it’s actually broken up into five boroughs and several neighborhoods within each. This is what Redditor BroGoLoGo called out, since “Robin living in Brooklyn but hanging out on the West Side” just doesn’t make sense.

There’s about an hour’s journey between Park Slope in Brooklyn (where Robin lives) and the Upper West Side in Manhattan (where MacClaren’s is). Frankly, it’s unlikely that Robin ever would have gone to the bar in the first place, but she certainly wouldn’t be going an hour out of her way every day to spend time with a random group of people she’d just met—especially when she had five dogs at home to care for. This might seem like a major nitpick, but 438 upvotes say this plot point rubbed a lot of fans the wrong way.

The Framing Device

Ted's children sitting on the couch on How I Met Your Mother

With nearly 500 upvotes, Small-Definition-454 provided one of the top answers to the question: “A father telling his children a complete story of how he met their mom for 9 years.” It wasn’t a bad framing device to begin with, but as the show went on longer, it just became ridiculous.

Most children only know the basics of their parents’ love lives, and that’s because neither party wants full disclosure. The children would have gotten bored and/or grossed out by all the details. Ted wouldn’t have told them about his every romantic and sexual encounter. It just didn’t make sense.

Unrealistic Housing

Ted and Marshall's apartment in How I Met Your Mother

One aspect of How I Met Your Mother was called out repeatedly for being unrealistic, receiving hundreds of upvotes each time. Redditor midloguy804 explained that Ted and Marshall “Having that big of an apartment in NYC on their salaries” was just unbelievable. True enough, a comparable apartment in the Upper West Side of New York currently costs $6,310/month (on average).

Even adjusted for inflation, the apartment should have cost around $48,000 per year. It included a sizable living room, two bedrooms, a kitchen, a bathroom, and roof access, which means it should have been more expensive than the average. Even with Ted and Marshall both having high-paying jobs (which they didn’t at the start of the series), it’s hard for any city-dwelling viewers to think of the show as anything other than a fantasy, with the group’s quality of life and housing.

HIMYM season 1-9 is available to stream on Hulu and Prime Video.

NEXT: 10 Facts In How I Met Your Mother That Were Later Contradicted

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