How I Met Your Father Just Remembered HIMYM’s Best Narrator Trick

Warning: Contains spoilers for How I Met Your Father episode 4.

In How I Met Your Father episode 4, “Dirty Thirty,” the show remembered and included one of How I Met Your Mother’s best narrator tricks when Sophie told a story about a taxi. While How I Met Your Father includes references to its predecessor, it is clearly trying to define itself as its own show. However, as it uses the same framing device, HIMYF has a bag of traditions and tricks that it can reuse and be confident they'll land a second time around.

In How I Met Your Father episode 4, Sophie (Hilary Duff) goes on a date with Drew (Josh Peck) and they share a classy dinner together. Afterwards, rather than calling a ride-share, Drew tries to hail a cab and talks about the magic of being able to put your hand out and have a taxi appear. However, when he does this, no taxi appears at first, and he tells Sophie that when she tells this story she should edit it to have the taxi appear then. At that moment, Sophie from 2050 (Kim Cattrall) chimes in as the narrator to say “Whoops!

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Having Sophie apparently forget to edit the taxi story at first calls back to Ted Mosby’s How I Met Your Mother narration. At several points, Ted either realized that he was telling a story wrong and had to change what was happening in the episode, remembered that a story was being told out of order, or deliberately edited the story for his children’s consumption. It serves as a reminder for the audience that the framing device is reliant on an unreliable narrator and that Sophie could - if she chose to - edit the story to portray herself and others however she liked.

One of the best uses of this narration trick in How I Met Your Mother came in season 1, episode 5, “Okay Awesome.” Ted narrates the story of Marshall and Lily escaping from their own wine tasting by jumping out of their third-story bathroom window. Ted acknowledges that he wasn’t there, but says that Marshall and Lily swear that it was what happened. As the stories in How I Met Your Mother and How I Met Your Father both are told by a single person but deal with plenty of events that happen when they are not there, this helps to cement the idea that they are only reported narratives and all of these stories are fallible. While How I Met Your Father has not employed this particular version of the narrator editorializing the story yet, the call back to this style of narration helps to remind long-time fans of the structure.

It’s worth noting that a lot of the editing that Ted Mosby provides in How I Met Your Mother is designed to make his stories more wholesome for his kids by avoiding talking about drugs too directly, for example (although this makes some of the content that he leaves in questionable). How I Met Your Father hasn’t worked to use the narration in this particular way yet, instead opting to have Sophie acknowledge in the opening that she will be more upfront about the “sexy bits.How I Met Your Father is in a difficult position, as it works to pay homage to the series that came before it, while also striking its own tone without being overly derivative. It has largely succeeded in this so far, updating certain tropes for 2022 and addressing past controversies, and this latest trick is part of how it is being successful.

Next: How I Met Your Father's Ellen Story Is A Problem In 2022

How I Met Your Father releases new episodes Tuesdays on Hulu.

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