Here's How HIMYF Actually Fits Into The HIMYM Timeline
In case that finale cameo had you confused.
How I Met Your Mother had a pretty unique format. The sitcom was split into two time periods, as an older Ted Mosby recounted his late 20s and early 30s to his teenage kids. Of course, Hulu’s reboot, How I Met Your Father, had to replicate the show’s iconic time jumps, and since the sequel series is set within the HIMYM universe, it fleshes out even more of what comprises the sitcom world. But sometimes, the two shows overlap in ways that can get confusing, so here’s a complete explanation of the HIMYF and HIMYM timeline.
Although How I Met Your Father follows a whole new crew of hapless New York City daters, the series has made its connection to the original CBS sitcom very clear. Through set pieces (Jesse and Sid now live in Marshall and Lily’s apartment; Sophie stumbles into MacLaren’s one night) and character cameos (the Captain and Becky get a divorce; Robin Scherbatsky shows up to give Sophie dating advice), it’s very apparent that the two shows exist on the same timeline. And since both stories are split into two distinct time periods, it can get a little tricky pinpointing exactly what has already happened and what is still to come. To organize all the major moments, let’s look through the four primary eras on the HIMYM and HIMYF timeline.
2005 - 2013
The core story in How I Met Your Mother took place in the years the show aired, from Ted first meeting Robin in 2005 to Robin and Barney’s wedding in 2013. The final season includes a few notable flash-forwards to important dates in the timeline’s future, such as Barney and Robin’s divorce in 2016 and Tracy (aka The Mother) passing away from an unknown illness in 2024.
Sophie finds her people in 2022, nearly a decade after Robin and Barney’s wedding but still two years prior to The Mother’s passing. Notably, Sophie’s story also begins eight years prior to Ted and Robin’s reunion in the final moments of the HIMYM finale. So when Robin showed up to talk to Sophie, she had been divorced from Barney for six years, but had not yet gotten back with Ted.
The older Ted narrating his story to his children is doing so in 2030, a couple decades into the future of the MacLaren’s crew’s hijinks. Since Ted is telling his story in one long sitting (as ridiculous as that is to believe), the years don’t change between seasons, so it’s still 2030 when Ted rushes to profess his love to Robin at the very end of HIMYM.
The furthest point in the timeline is 2050, the year in which an older Sophie is telling her life story to her son. Since this era is two decades after the HIMYM finale, the older Sophie has the potential to reveal where all the beloved characters wound up, including if Robin and Ted really managed to make their love last. But so far, she hasn’t provided any insight into that.
All episodes of HIMYF Season 1 are streaming on Hulu. Season 2 is in the works.