How I Met Your Mother premiered in 2005 and lasted for nine seasons. When the show was coming to an end, fans of the show were very focused on the series’ polarizing finale. Even Craig Thomas and Michael Bays didn’t expect their show to run that long. After all, as much as it was about Ted’s love life, the show had its moments of friendship, with the gang maturing over that period.
But, what about some of the interesting things that went on during the show’s run? Nobody expected a Big Bang Theory star to audition for one of the roles or that a pop star’s appearance was a bit too concerning for the creators. These facts are just as legendary as the show itself.
Ted, Lily, And Marshall Are Based On Actual People
When writers Carter Bays and Craig Thomas were invited to pitch a network series, they flashed back to 1997.
The pair hung out at Thomas’ apartment, which he shared with his girlfriend Rebecca, as Bays complained about being single. In the script, Bays became Ted, Thomas was Marshall, and Rebecca was Lily.
Barney Was Always In A Suit… Well, Almost
There are only 16 times in the shows nine seasons that Stinson wasn’t in his favorite suit. Think about it — that’s a ton of suits to go through in a near-decade.
Not only that, but having to wear a suit on a daily basis must have been exhausting. But, it’s all about the paycheck, right?
Jason Segel Was The First Choice For Marshall
During an interview, Bays and Thomas admitted to being fans of Freaks and Geeks. They loved Jason so much that he became their first choice for the role he would eventually play.
In the same interview, Segel responded that “they waited for me to get this role.” Just ahead, some big names were almost cast on the show, including the actress from Clueless.
Cobie Smulders Was Diagnosed With Ovarian Cancer In The Third Season
Smulder was diagnosed with cancer at 25 years old, and kept it a secret from the public for two years.
After several surgeries, the Canadian declared herself to be cancer-free. And even though doctors said she wouldn’t be able to conceive, she has two kids with her husband Taran Killam.
The “Have You Met Ted?” Line Came From A Letterman Writer
Justin Stangel invented the pickup line. Whenever the former Letterman writer and Bays were out at the bar, Stangel would stop a girl and ask, “Have you met Carter?”
That became Barney Stinson’s icebreaker for Ted and several other characters throughout the series.
Some Big Names Were Almost Cast On The Show
Jennifer-Love Hewitt was offered the role of Robin. Clueless star Alicia Silverstone was originally cast as Stella.
However, Hewitt declined for another show and Silverstone’s camp was concerned she would be overshadowed by acting alongside Brittney Spears. Still on the way, before this CBS hit, one actor almost landed the role of Barney Stinson.
Ted’s Kids Knew Who The Mother Would Be
Lyndsy Fonseca and David Henrie, who played Ted’s kids, shot all of their scenes during the first season.
When the kid’s footage for the show’s finale was shot, Thomas and Bays were the only people present. Fonseca and Henrie also signed a confidentiality agreement to not reveal what they know to the public.
Josh Radnor Kept The Blue French Horn
Bays and Thomas agreed to split custody of the iconic prop. However, Josh Radnor humbly and sweetly asked for it. It felt right he got to keep the horn because he played the show’s main character.
Neil Patrick Harris took home Barney’s playbook and the group’s tabletop at MacLaren’s, while Smulder’s kept and Robin Sparkle’s denim jacket.
Jim Parsons Auditioned For Barney
Parsons described the role of Barney Stinson to be a “big lug of a guy.” The future star of The Big Bang Theory auditioned anyways, but lost the part to Neil Patrick Harris.
Harris was credited for the physical comedy he provided during his try out. Harris did a dive roll that ending with his body hitting the chair when he pretended to play laser tag. Who was the pop star that wanted to be on the show but worried the show’s creators? More on that later.
The Actor’s Significant Others Played Characters On The Show
Alyson Hannigan’s husband, Alexis Denisof, plained vain news anchor Sandy Rivers. Smulder’s husband, Taran Killam, played Gary Blauman, both before and after he was on Saturday Night Live.
Harris’ husband David Burtka portrayed Lily’s high school boyfriend, Scooter.
Alyson Hannigan And Cobie Smulders Hid Their Pregnancies
Producers of the show weren’t ready for either Robin or Lily to become moms. In the case of Robin, she medically couldn’t get pregnant.
So, their stomachs were hidden to not make it so obvious. Nobody could tell if they were expecting a child or not.
Britney Spears Asked To Be On The Show
Bays and Thomas were worried that the pop singer wanted to play Stella. Instead, she played the role of Abby, Stella’s receptionist.
At the time, the episode was the most-watched episode in the 18-49 year old demographic. It was credited with possibly saving the show from being canceled. Coming up, if the show lasted one season, Robin wouldn’t have been the mother. Find out who would shortly.
Neil Patrick Harris Gets Free Red Bull For Life
The actor enjoys the energy drink a lot. He loves it so much on and off the set of the show that was given a lifetime supply.
In addition to that, Harris also received a mini-refrigerator from the company. This is all thanks to the amount of free advertising Harris gave the product.
Jason Segel’s Smoking Was A Concern For His Co-Star
Alyson Hannigan was upset over having to kiss her on-screen boyfriend-turned-husband. The American Pie actress described it was like “kissing an ashtray.”
Segel would eventually drop the habit for a year, until stress caught up to him which made him start again.
Victoria Would Have Been The Mother If The Show Got The Axe
The first season was initially 13 episodes. It was supposed to end with “Drumroll, Please” where Ted meets Victoria at a wedding.
If the show were to be canceled, the mother would have been Victoria. But, thanks to the ratings and characters of the show, Victoria never became the mother. Who was the mastermind behind the slap bet? It was one of the creators of the show.
There Was A Real Proposal On The Show
During the season two finale “Something Blue,” extra Timothy Russo proposed to his girlfriend during the restaurant scene.
During rehearsals, an actor took the ring from Robin to finish the scene. Jana Rugan, Russo’s girlfriend, thought it was going to happen when the cameras started rolling.
All Of The Websites Are Real
And there’s even a website for Slap Bet. It’s great because people can make a countdown for their victims.
The Idea For The “Slap Bet” Between Marshall and Barney Came From Bays
Bays would make slap bets with his high school friends. He wasn’t alone in the shenanigans because Bays admitted in an Ask Reddit that he and a friend, Jon Read, made the bets.
The elephant painting from the “The Ashtray” episode was from Bays slap bet buddy.
They Filmed The Show In A Silent Studio
The show was responsible for shooting multiple scenes which took place over three days.
The pilot had 60 scenes and after that, an audience watched the episode. Their laughter made it into the laugh track and the rest was said and done.
Barney And Robin’s Relationship Wasn’t Planned From The Beginning
Of course it wasn’t. The creators came up with an idea after they saw the chemistry between Harris and Smulders.
They took that idea and put into the third season, but were worried their relationship would tarnish Ted. But, they got married anyway.