Call it my ignorance of never watching the show, but the following "How I Met Your Mother" questions seem more like trivia/off-topic for our site when compared to similar questions regarding other series:

If someone can clear up why they are good examples of questions about the series (again, it could just be my ignorance why these questions are important), then they are safe. Otherwise, they're in my radar to close (and one has already met this fate).

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    But 2nd one must be closed, it got 4 close vote. Just a silly list question not fit for Q/A site
    – Ankit Sharma Mod
    Commented Jan 31, 2013 at 7:02
  • Interesting question. Part of me thinks that until we have a concrete stance on trivia and whether it belongs here/how we define it, Movies and TV will remain in beta (though I know those in charge of such things have a more deliberate and thorough system for site graduation decisions).
    – stevvve
    Commented Feb 2, 2013 at 18:13
  • For the most part these question I think are related to continuity within the HIMYM universe which is a very important part of the show and its fanbase.
    – sanpaco
    Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 4:18

3 Answers 3


I think this is a fundamental question about this site which comes up again and again over trivia. Are we attempting to be more 'up market' analytical site, or is trivia ok. This also relates somewhat to the questions about music.

I am going to make a case for trivia (for people to vote on this).

Allowing trivia will give a broader scope for people to ask and answer questions.

Trivia is subjective - what is trivial to you, may be of interest to someone else. Fans of HIMYM may think these questions are interesting.

Contributors to this site have the opportunity to vote material on this site up or down, or cast normal close votes - of which 5 are required to close a question. I am not a big fan of closing trivia/non-trivia questions based on my subjective opinion as a moderator, as I can only cast a 'super-close' vote as a moderator. I would normally leave these borderline questions open for voting to take its course.

  • noted and reopened the one i closed.
    – Tablemaker
    Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 21:31
  • Hmm, I don't completely agree that trivia should be allowed for the sake of broadening the scope. Of course it is a democratic site, but you cannot always count on the average citizen's esteem for site quality (and trivia questions can very easily be low-quality questions that are liked by many people, but Ok, maybe this fact defines that they're on-topic and good, but well). But I agree that it is often in the eye of the individual what is trivia and what not. And as a HIMYM fan I don't really regard those questions as trivia, but at least obviously answerable plot-explanation questions.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Commented Jan 31, 2013 at 11:48
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    @ChristianRau - but that is kind of my point. TylerShads raised those specific questions as potential trivia, yet you do not agree. The problem with Tylershads, DForck42 and me applying that judgement is that it is final - if we vote to close, its closed - so I tend to reserve that for clearly trivial points, or points where the triviality has previously discussed, eg. song identification.
    – iandotkelly Mod
    Commented Jan 31, 2013 at 15:14
  • Moderator World Problems. All we can do is Downvote to show our disdain and comment. We cast a close or delete vote and poof its gone baby.
    – Tablemaker
    Commented Feb 1, 2013 at 14:45

My Opinions:

  • HIMYM Duckie Tie Meh, but i could see it staying
  • Which are the facts we know so far about Ted's wife of HIMYM? (List question) I'm not a fan of it.
  • HIMYM Slap Bet count Seems legit
  • In HIMYM, what do we know of Barney's occupation? (List question.) I'm not a fan of it.
  • Who is Barney married to in How I Met Your Mother? I'm not a fan of it.

I don't agree with all of them being off-topic/low-quality, but some indeed are. In fact it is the kind of show, where things that seem like mere trivia (especially to someone unacquainted with their meaning, "what the...? they're talking about slaps and duckie ties?") can reveal actual plot insights, or are at least valid plot-explanation questions. The writers of this show take such trivia pretty serious. But Ok, some of those questions aren't that good.

Let's see:

  • HIMYM Duckie Tie - Hmm, looks like mere trivia but is indeed a perfectly valid plot-explanation question. But Ok, in the end it could be answered if the asker had seen all episodes consistently.
  • Which are the facts we know so far about Ted's wife of HIMYM? - Meh, while it is relevant to the main theme of the show above mere trivia, it is in the end a pretty trivial list question.
  • HIMYM Slap Bet count - Looks like trivia, but is a proper plot-explanation question. But Ok, again answerable by watching it consistently.
  • In HIMYM, what do we know of Barney's occupation? - Looks to me like plot-explanation (even if the answer is just "nothing") and IMHO isn't too "listy".
  • Who is Barney married to in How I Met Your Mother? - Well, again answerable by just viewing it.

After recapitulating those questions I think many of them are not really trivia but proper plot-explanation questions. But on the other hand they can just be answered by watching the show, which might be regarded as trivia in some sense. So for me the more important question is actually, if we should encourage questions asking for explanation of plot-holes that were just created by missing an episode, which I'm not really sure about (maybe I'll open a meta discussion on this).

  • I don't think it's fair expect everyone who wants to ask a question to watch every episode of a series before asking. That's taking 'do your research' too far. Commented Jan 31, 2013 at 11:37
  • @APaleShadow Yeah, indeed. That's why it at least deserves further discussion. In the end many plot-explanation questions could be delegated to "watch more carefully!", but this would drive the purpose of them (and to a large part of this site) ad absurdum.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Commented Jan 31, 2013 at 11:39
  • @APaleShadow If we want to go a step farther, sites like SO and SF demand that you have tried everything possible for your code/your server issue before consulting them, and cite exactly what you've tried/done to resolve your issue. It is not unheard of to require 'research' (in this case, watching a series up to its current point). In a more lax case, if I ask a question about Episode X, which is answered in Episode Y and all I had to do was watch the episode, what should be done?
    – Tablemaker
    Commented Feb 1, 2013 at 14:47
  • @TylerShads Well it's down to how each site's community wants to set it's standards - as an SO user I do notice that not every question there is so highly researched. In fact sometimes doing a lot of research doesn't help get an answer to a difficult technical question. Commented Feb 1, 2013 at 14:55
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    to me, the minimum level of effort should be watching at least a full season before asking questions.
    – DForck42
    Commented Feb 1, 2013 at 17:16

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