How I Met Your Mother at PaleyFest: The Cast's Favorite Moments, the Status of the Final Slap, and More

By Kaitlin Thomas

Mar 16, 2014

The March 31 one-hour series finale of How I Met Your Mother is so close I can almost smell the trash on the train platform where Ted will eventually meet the Mother. To celebrate the end of the road (without Boyz II Men, unfortunately), the cast and creators of the long-running CBS sitcom gathered in Los Angeles on Saturday evening for one last celebration at the Paley Center for Media's annual PaleyFest. Jason Segel and Neil Patrick Harris were unable to attend the event, but for a few brief moments, Harris joined the group via Skype from New York to share some of his fondest memories from the series. Series co-creators Craig Thomas and Carter Bays were also in attendance, as was Pam Fryman, who's directed nearly every episode of the series and has been credited time and again for creating a warm, safe set. "It's all about what people think and how they feel," she said.

I've gathered up some of the highlights from the panel to share with everyone who couldn't attend or view the live-stream of the event. Let's get to it!

On what the cast members have learned from their characters:

Fans often mistakenly believe that actors are similar to the characters they play on TV, and while Josh Radnor said he's not very similar to Ted, he often found that the assumption sometimes worked in his favor because he was able to lean into Ted's inherent goofiness. The character's optimism and persistance, however misguided they might have been over the years, are what he'll ultimately take away from the role. He said Ted has been his "teacher of humility" and credits the character for keeping his pride in check. Cobie Smulders, for her part, said she admires Robin's honesty and her ability to confront problems head-on, while Alyson Hannigan joked that she no longer goes out after 2am anymore.

On their favorite running gags:

Radnor is partial to the gang's interventions and cited the fact that they actually had a professional banner made for the occasions as a highlight. Hannigan enjoyed the "Thank you, Linus" big from this season, and Smulders enjoyed the repetition of numbers throughout the series, like Barney's go-to percentage of 83 percent. 

On being an actor:

When a young fan asked the cast for advice on how to become an actor, Cristin Milioti answered honestly and said that she dropped out of theater school and if the girl wanted to attend, she should "roll around in a dark room for a bit," while Hannigan warned against being a child actress, because it "sucked." When she was younger, she was told she wasn't funny enough to be on TV and she couldn't get a callback from Saved by the Bell or Blossom. Guess the jokes on those guys, eh?

On what inspired the series:

It's common knowledge that Carter Bays and Craig Thomas based the series on their own lives, but what many people don't know is that it was their shared nostalgia for the Big Apple after moving from New York to Los Angeles that really inspired them to create the show. They still stick by the idea of writing what you know, because in order to create 208 episodes of a sitcom, you really need that source material.

On the cast's favorite moments from this season:

The cast had a lot to say when discussing what the series has means to them and their fondest memories from set. When recalling their favorite moments from the final season, Neil Patrick Harris said that “getting to say my vows to Robin" was a highlight, while Smulders was just happy that the final season being set at the wedding meant they were all forced to be together quite often. Radnor's favorite moment was at the final table read, because it finally set in that this was the end of the series. Milioti noted that her final scene was the same scene she auditioned with. “To have that be the last thing... I could barely get through it,” she said. 

On the final slap:

With only three episodes left, fans are very concerned about the final slap. Thomas confirmed that it does happen, and that they didn't forget. Don't worry, I'm currently busy tracking down his home address, just so we'll have it in the event that he was lying.

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  • nasedoofantar Mar 18, 2014

    The repeated interventions were awesome. The final slap should come when Marshall makes a toast at the reception, which puts Barney off his game for the rest of the reception. Also, it'd be funny if somebody slipped Barney something that temporarily gave him erectile dysfunction on his wedding night and/or honeymoon, or maybe put tanning lotion in the stuff he puts on his junk to numb so he can "go all night long".

  • fweak Mar 17, 2014

    I hope the final slap comes in the future timeline. It'd be hilarious if Barney had to wait years for it to come.

  • SexyJew92 Mar 17, 2014

    The slap does not occur in the next episode

  • torque_smacky Mar 16, 2014

    This comment has been removed.

  • docspector Mar 16, 2014

    Why is Marshall trying to slap Ted? He's not telling THEM the story all this time...

    I think you need to work on continuity before you pitch this.

  • ionee24 Mar 16, 2014

    I can't believe there's only 3 episodes left.

  • BradGoldman Mar 16, 2014

    I have serious concerns that there will be some stories left untold and some questions left unanswered, contrary to what the powers-that-be state, and assuming there are (which I do), they will either be carried over into the spin-off, or the series will be renewed at the last moment, which I doubt.

    But I still expect some things left unanswered and some stories untold, because no series in recent history, has had a full, complete and unquestionable closure.

  • docspector Mar 16, 2014

    The spin-off has nothing whatsoever to do with the current characters. The only thing that's common across both series is the premise of telling the whole story from a future vantage-point.

    If there are questions left hanging, they can always Kickstart a movie project.

  • BradGoldman Mar 21, 2014

    I agree with your last sentence, and disagree with the rest of your post...A spin-off - While a completely different project, ALWAYS ties into it's founding show/movie, in one way or another: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. did it with the Avengers and Thor movies...The new Doctor Who series (2005+) did it on countless occasions with the Torchwood series - Both in Specials and in regular season episodes...The list goes on.

    You couldn't be more wrong.

  • thechosenonecj Mar 16, 2014

    Barney starts to have second thoughts and panics, Marshal slaps him, boom.

  • amelie88 Mar 16, 2014

    This show cannot be ending, no no no....

  • coop4ever59 Mar 16, 2014

    So glad it's almost over!!!

  • cuculhain Mar 16, 2014

    The final slap gets him to choose his tie!!!!!!!!!!!!

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