Now I've been telling you the story of the Television Crossover Universe for quite some time, and I know you're wondering how much longer you'll have to sit on that couch, and how I ended up sounding like Bob Saget as I got older. But first, let me tell you about the chronology of How I Met Your Mother, it's major events and crossovers.
First, it should be noted that the show's narrative takes place in the year 2030, where Ted Mosby is telling the story to his children, apparently on just one day. The main part of the series takes place in flashback, from Ted's point of view, meaning that sometimes what he says isn't true, either because of poor memory of the event, exaggeration on his part, or pure lying to protect his children. And then, within the story, the main characters also have flashbacks, that are also often altered for the same reason. Now, we could dismiss it all as speculation, or, just as the show does, present it all as if it might be true.
Since the dawn of time of time--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--Season 1 Episode 3--"The Sweet Taste of Liberty"--According to Barney, since the dawn of time, man has struggled... Ted never let Barney finish this thought. Barney tells a lot of historical stories that are from his skewed version of reality, and shouldn't be taken too seriously.
1670--FAMILY GUY--"Peter's Progress"--The cast of HOW I MET YOUR FATHER somehow are thrown back in time and alter the name of their show to HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, touring kingdoms performing for kings, until killed for displeasing the King of England.
October 1905--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--Season 1 Episode 4--"Return of the Shirt"--Birth of Ethel and Sadie Margolis, who would pass away on their one hundredth birthdays.
1945--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--Season 1 Episode 4--"Return of the Shirt"--Henry begins driving a handsome cab.
1972--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--Season 1 Episode 4--"Return of the Shirt"--Micky Mantle is a passenger of Henry's handsome cab for the fourth time.
1976--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--Birth of Barney Stinson in Port Richmond, Staten Island.
March 22, 1978--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--Birth of Lily Aldrin in Brooklyn, New York. Her grandfather may be astronaught Buzz Aldrin. At least the show's creators won't dispute this claim.
April 25, 1978--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--Birth of Ted Mosby in Shaker Heights, Ohio.
1978--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--Birth of Marshall Erickson in St. Cloud, Minnesota.
July 23, 1980--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--Birth of Robin Scherbatsky in Canada.
July 23, 1981--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--Barney is taken to the museum by his real father, though Barney believes this to be his "Uncle Jerry".
1984--GHOSTBUSTERS--Ted's perfect woman is described as someone who likes dogs, drinks Scotch, and can quote obscure lines from Ghostbusters.
1985--THE GOONIES--Mentioned by Marshall
1987--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--"Slap Bet"--Ted is trapped under a fake rock at the mall.
1992--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--"Happily Ever After"--Lily passes gas and blames it on another kid, who as a result ends up becoming the least popular kid in school.
1993--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--This is the last time Ted vomits prior to the start of the series.
1993 to 1998--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--"Glitter/Slap Bet/Sandcastles in the Sand"--Robin becomes a Canadian TV star and pop music star called Robin Sparkles.
1994--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--Up to this point, Robin had been raised as a boy by her father, but after he catches her kissing a boy on her hockey team, he disowns her and she moves in with her mother.
1995--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--Ted loses his virginity.
September 1996--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--Lily, Marshall and Ted meet when they all begin attending Wesleyan University. Ted and Marshall are roommates and Lily and Marshall begin dating almost immediately. They also have a friend, Steve Henry, who has a curse that whenever he leaves early, he misses something amazing, a curse actually passes from one person to another. He earns the nick-name of the Blitz.
April 1998--SEINFELD--"The Bookstore"--Kramer and Newman begin a rickshaw transport company in New York, which apparently catches on, as seen in 2010 HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER episode "Subway Wars".
1999--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--Barney's brother James arranges for Barney to lose his virginity to the neighborhood cougar, who lies and tells Barney he was the best she ever had. This follows his recently being dumped by his girlfriend by a business man. These two events combined spark his transformation from hippie to the man he is today.
2001--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--Season 1 Episode 1--"Pilot"--Barney meets Ted.
2002--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--Season 1 Episode 4--"Return of the Shirt"--The last time Ted saw Natalie. Ted broke up with her on her birthday, on her answering machine, with all of her friends and family listening. [The episode's main portion also takes place during her birthday, so this must have been around October 10.]
Fall 2004--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--Marshall begins attending Colombia Law School.
Winter 2004/2005--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--Season 1 Episode 3--"The Sweet Taste of Liberty"--Barney shows up at Ted's apartment in a snowsuit holding a shovel, declaring, "We're building an igloo in Central Park. It's going to be to be legendary. Snowsuit up!" [This could have possibly happened any winter after Barney and Ted met in 2001. I'm just assuming it was pretty recent as it was used as a reference by Ted as to how Barney overusing the word "legendary".]
February 24, 2005--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--Season 1 Episode 3--"The Sweet Taste of Liberty"--Barney places a suitcase on a luggage carousal in his scam to pick up girls. [Date is seen on airport security camera video footage.]
March 17, 2005--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--Season 1 Episode 3--"The Sweet Taste of Liberty"--Barney places a duffle bag on a luggage carousal in his scam to pick up girls. [Date is seen on airport security camera video footage.]
May 23, 2005--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--Season 1 Episode 3--"The Sweet Taste of Liberty"--Barney is seen coming out of a suitcase on a luggage carousal in his scam to pick up girls. [Date is seen on airport security camera video footage.]
2005--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--Season 1 Episode 1--"Pilot"--This is where we meet for the first time Ted, Lily Marshall, Barney and Robin. [Takes place over a period of three days. Presumedly this occurs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This episode aired on September 19, 2005.]
2005--Between Pilot and Purple Giraffe--Robin is in Orlando for a week.
Fall 2005--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--SEASON 1 EPISODE 1--"Purple Giraffe"--Ted throws a party in hopes of seeing Robin again, but when she doesn't show up, he throws another... and another. [Takes place over a period of three days. I presume this is in the fall. The episode states it is 2005. Marshall is studying for an exam, so it is during the school year, and this episode airs on September 26, 2005. The parties take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.]
2005--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--Opening theme--The opening theme that remained the opening for the entire series first debuted with episode 2, but seems likely to be events depicted following the party on the third evening of Purple Giraffe. Pictures taken from this same night, from an alternate point of view, are shown in episode 3 as part of Ted's narrative to his children.
2005--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--Season 1 Episode 3--"The Sweet Taste of Liberty"--Barney's plan to meet girls at the airport backfires as he and Ted are picked up by airport security. Meanwhile, Lily gets jealous of Robin. [This episode takes place in one evening, a Friday night. The date isn't referenced. However, presumedly it takes place around the airdate, October 3, 2005.) Note on continuity: Marshal almost fights a man who he thinks is hitting on Lily, but is relieved when the man turns out to be gay. Marshal declares that he has never been in a fight before. In later episodes, it will turn out that Marshal has actually been in numerous extremely brutal fights with his brothers, and is a great fighter.
October 2005--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--Season 1 Episode 4--"Return of the Shirt"--Ted reconnects with an old flame and soon remembers why he dumped her in the first place. Barney pays Robin to say outrageous things on the air. [Several flashbacks are shown to several women Ted has dated in the past. It's unknown when those happened, but should have happened after college.] [Said to be October. The episode takes place over a period of three weeks. Natalie's birthday is on the last day of this episode.]
c. January 9, 2006--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--"The Wedding"--Clips shown as a flashback when Ted talks about his past encounters with Robin, including their first date.
c. May 15, 2006--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--"Come On"--The scene where Ted steals the blue French horn is shown.
September 30 to October 1, 2006--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--"Brunch"--The first time we meet Ted's parents. Your uncle Toby believes that Virginia Mosby may be the identical cousin of Angela Petrelli of HEROES, which he discuses here. Your uncle Toby concludes by saying "But then you should drag in all the other characters she has played in the past as well, from 'Picket Fences', 'Providence', ,Charmed' and 'Grace Under Fire' to one-shots like 'Saved', 'Crossing Jordan', 'CSI' and 'NCIS'. And on and on......"
October 2006--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--Season 1 Episode 4--"Return of the Shirt"--Natalie is married by this point, and will by 2030 have had three children.
Early November 2006--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--"Swarley"--the guys are in a coffee shop which is the original set of Central Perk, sitting in the same spot the FRIENDS sat in. The furniture is all different, and the shop name is different, but the layout is the same, and it's clearly the same building and room. The guys talk about how boring it is to hang out in a coffee place instead of a bar.
April 20, 2007--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--"Showdown"--Barney appears on the Price as Right, because he thinks Bob Barker is his father.
May 2007--FAMILY GUY--"No Chris Left Behind"--Even before a movie was made about Ted, apparently someone else stole his life and made a show about it, called HOW I MET YOUR FATHER. I suspect Barney, who has also had several books published, including his playbook and Bro Code, and has a popular blog.
c. May 14, 2007--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--"Something Blue"--The scene where Ted steals the blue french horn is shown.
November 26, 2007--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--"The Yips"--The gang meet Victoria's Secret models.
Mid May 2008--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--"Everything Must Go"--Lily sells one of her paintings,only because the frame is made by Anton Kreitzer. Kreitzer is a real person, though his name was once used by Norm Peterson. Your uncle Toby uses this to connect HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER to CHEERS here.
Late September 2008--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--"The Best Burger in New York"--Your uncle Toby points out that Regis Philbin appears in this episode as himself. Using his rule called "the League of Themselves", which he discusses here, this connects HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER to other shows such as "All My Children", "One Life to Live", "Primetime Glick", "The Famous Jett Jackson", "LateLine", "Caroline in the City", "Style and Substance", "Second Noah", "Soul Man", Marry Me (1997 TV movie), "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air", "Hope & Gloria", "Women of the House", "The Cosby Mysteries", "The Larry Sanders Show", "Seinfeld", "Kung Fu: The Legend Continues", "Mad About You", "Number 96", "Spin City", "Lilo & Stitch: The Series", "The Simpsons", and "Family Guy". This episode is also the first appearance of Goliath National Bank. Your uncle James has provided me with this info: So, make of this How I Met Your Mother theory what you will, but TVTropes argues that the company Barney works for--Altrucell--is actually a front for COBRA.
Think about it: what do we know about the company Barney works for?
• They spend a lot of time acquiring banks, and theoretically, have a lot of bankers/financiers working with them
• They're evil
• They regularly get attacked by ninjas
• They have destabilized at least one nation
• They regularly do business with countries the U.S. considers threats (North Korea and China, at least.)
Sounds a lot like COBRA to me.
That same day that your uncle James told me this, I got an e-mail from COBRA INSURANCE. Cobra has many fronts, including Extensive Enterprises. There's also these: FrontsTo hide certain aspects of its operation, Cobra maintains a number of legitimate business fronts (in addition to the town of Springfield itself and its encompassing businesses) nearly all of which appear to be anagrams of the word "cobra".
Naja Trading Corp and its likely subsidiary, "Naja Hanna Video Corp", is the first of these fronts to appear in the comics. It has offices in both San Francisco as well as Rio Lindo in the Republic of Sierra Gordo. Cobra used it to smuggle MX missile guidance chips out of the country inside video games. Dr. Venom was in charge of the Rio Lindo office. "Naja Hanna" is Hindi for "King Cobra".
Arbco (AKA ARBco Regional) is the largest and most prominent Cobra front in the Marvel RAH comics. Although it apparently started in Springfield, it grew to have offices in at least 10 major U.S. cities including Denver.
Arbco Furniture Company: Cobra maintained a secret testing lab within for a deadly plague toxin in Springfield, Vermont.
Arbco Moving & Storage (AKA Arbco Moving): Cobra uses moving trucks with "Arbco" stamped on the sides to transport H.I.S.S. tanks covertly into Washington D.C. for an attack on the U.S. Treasury. They were also used to transport sensitive spy equipment for reassigned undercover Crimson Guardsmen. Cobra Commander maintains a mobile office in an Arbco Moving truck.
Arbco Bros. Circus: Billy learned that Cobra uses the circus as a cover to transport HISS tanks and FANG copters (mistakenly referred to as "SNAP copters") around the country.
Carbo Plumbing: A surveillance team of Tele-Vipers eavesdrop on a military inquest from a plumbing van outside the Pentagon.
Broca Bros. Carnival
Orbac - Cobra troops were moved into the Safeco Field Stadium in Seattle using trucks with this name on the side. Zartan used an Orbac truck as a mobile HQ as well.
Extensive Enterprises - This global company based out of the twin Enterprise Towers in Enterprise City existed primarily to serve Cobra's administrative needs with Tomax and Xamot as the corporation's CEOs. Its first appearance was in the third G.I. Joe miniseries and then in the regular TV series in the episide "Red Rocket's Glare". Although the company existed primarily in the TV universe, it would later be adapted by Devil's Due for use in the comics continuity as well. In the IDW comic continuity, it is a pre-existing, corrupt multinational firm that is absorbed into Cobra.
M.A.R.S.- Military Armaments Research Systems/Syndicate - a legitimate weapons manufacturing firm headquartered in Callender, Scotland. James McCullen Destro XXIV is the current owner and CEO.
c. April 27, 2009--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--"The Three Days Rule"--the scene in which Ted tells Robin he loves her is shown
January 31, 2010--SUPER BOWL COMMERCIAL--Barney holds up a sign at the Super Bowl asking hot women to call him. And they do in the next episode of HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER.
Mid May 2010--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--"The Wedding Bride"--Barney references that the only street in New York where people act as nice as Marshall does with his neighbors has a giant yellow bird living on it.
c. May 24, 2010--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--"Doppelgangers"--The scene when Ted first sees Robin is shown.
Thanksgiving 2010--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--"Blitzgiving"--Steve "The Blitz" Henry temporarily passes off the curse, but regains it. During this day, he mentions that he "was on that island for what seems like eternity". I know very little about LOST, so I'm not sure how conflating Steve Henry and Hugo "Hurley" Reyes is possible. If anyone can help me reconcile this implied crossover, please let me know.
c. January 3, 2011--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--"Bad News"--Robin saying nonsense words on air, and falling into horse manure after interviewing a horse carriage driver is shown.
Mid to Late February 2012--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--"NO Pressure"--Your Uncle Toby assures me that it was his cousin Conan, the talk show host, who visited McClaren's bar. He talks about it here, where he makes the connection between HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER and 'Lateline', 'Eaglehart', 'Arli$$', 'Web Therapy', 'Sesame Street', 'The Office', '30 Rock', 'Veronica's Closet', "The Rutles 2: Can't Buy Me Lunch", 'Primetime Glick', "Elmopalooza!", 'DAG', the Emmy Awards, 'The Simpsons', 'Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist', 'Space Ghost, Coast To Coast', and 'Futurama'.
2013--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--"CHALLENGE ACCEPTED/MAGICIAN'S CODE"--Presumably this is when Barney marries Robin, which is FINALLY when Ted meets his future wife (not counting that she was in the classroom the day he went into the wrong room, the time they were at the same club, or when he saw her foot.)
2015--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--Ted is married and with two children at least by this date.
March 2017--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--"Last Cigarette Ever"--Barney has his last cigarette.
2021--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--At their 20th college reunion, Ted learns that he didn't make out with Lily on the day they met, and they still enjoy eating sandwiches from time to time.
2030--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--An older Ted Mosby is telling the story to his son and daughter about how he met and will eventually marry their mother. [Every episode is a story in flashback, that Ted is telling to his children in one evening. The pilot says that the first episode was 25 years earlier, so this may be Fall (September) 2030, maybe even September 19, 2030, which would be exactly 25 years after the date the pilot aired.]
2038--HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER--60 year old Marshal (of How I Met Your Mother) has access to time travel, which he uses to give 30 year old Marshal a sign that time travel will exist when he's 60. The sign is he arranges for young Marshal to get some free hot wings, a sign that young Marshal is completely oblivious to.
And that's my first draft of the How I Met Your Mother blog, about a show your mother and I wouldn't let you watch at the time, but you still managed to learn about from your friends at school. And of course, you know, if I hadn't written that blog, then I would have never become a best selling author of crossover fiction.