Pop Culture Quest: How I Met Your Mother

One of my favorite shows of all time, CBS’s How I Met Your Mother (or HIMYM for short) is well known for spawning neologism’s left and right. The cult sit-com follows five friends in New York City as Ted Mosby, the main character, searches for his future wife.

As far as their extensive vocabulary of words and phrases that have entered pop culture, let’s be honest. Barney, played by Neil Patrick Harris, is responsible for most of them.


Here are a few of my favorites!

Revertigo: The change that happens to someone’s personality when he or she spends time with someone from his or her past.

Desperation Day: Feb. 13, the last day to find someone with whom to spend Valentine’s Day

woo-girlsWoo Girls: Single women who go out in large groups and yell “wooo!” a lot—even when nothing is actually exciting them

Steak sauce: A-1, the tops, the best, awesome.

Superdate: One date that includes “17 dates-worth of romance”

Lawyered: What a lawyer says upon winning an argument. (Not actually invented by HIMYM, but often used by Marshal)

Suit Up!: A common declaration by Barney, referring to his policy of wearing a suit for almost every occasion and often expecting others to do the same.

The Bro Code: a set of written rules for bros to follow635603241805640236-306960360_Hot Crazy Scale

The Hot/Crazy Scale: A person is allowed to be crazy, as long as they are equally hot. A
graph is used to display someone’s hot-to-crazy ratio. Ideally, you want your date to be above the diagonal line, indicating that they are hotter than they are crazy.

Slap Bet: The bet to end all bets. If you win, you can slap the person in the face as hard as you can.

On The Hook: A relationship between two people- person A is infatuated with person B, person B likes being adored, but isn’t ever going to date them. Person A is “on the hook.”

The Dobler-Dahmer Theory: “If both people are into each other, then a big romantic gesture works: Dobler, but if one person isn’t into the other, the same gesture comes off serial-killer crazy: Dahmer.” “Dobler” refers to Lloyd Dobler from the late 1980’s romantic comedy film, Say Anything, while the Dahmer is referenced to serial killer Jeffery Dahmer.

Graduation Goggles: The nostalgic feeling one has about a time or someone in their life when it is about to end, even if the time/that person was completely miserable. As soon as you are about to leave, quit or break up with someone or something, you start to enjoy everything you hated about it before because you realize that it will soon be gone forever.

ewok_line-thumb-330x199-73183.jpgThe Ewok Line: The Ewok line correlates the birth year of a person and the subsequent appreciation of Ewoks. It is used to determine whether someone is too old for you to date.

The Chain of Screaming Theory: The Chain of Screaming (also known as The Circle of Screaming or The Pyramid of Screaming), states that once screamed at by a higher authority, one must scream at an inferior.

The Lemon Law: The Lemon Law entitles either party on a date to call off the date within the first five minutes with no repercussions or hard feelings. Just cite Lemon Law and you’re out.

The Mermaid Theory: Theory that single men and married women can’t really be friends,
because every woman, no matter how initially 5727734409_aaec2abfberepugnant, has a mermaid clock— the time it takes for a man to realize he wants to sleep with her. This is due to a woman’s hotness being in direct proportion to the time exposed to her

The Sexless Inkeeper: When you have someone go home with from the bar just because they want to sleep at your place for free, not to be actually with you.

Platinum Rule: Never date someone you will see on a regular basis. Such relationships never work out in the end and lead to never-ending suffering as those involved would constantly see each other.

Nothing Good Happens After 2 A.M. Rule: … Exactly what it sounds like.


Thanks for joining me today! Want more Pop Culture Quests? Check out my two part series on Harry Potter here and here, as well as Jurassic World here.

(Resources: Time, Tampa Bay Times, EW, The HIMYM Wiki, Buzzfeed)


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