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The Ted Moment In How I Met Your Mother That Didn't Age Well

Pop culture usually reflects the standards and prejudices of the people who made it and the era in which it was produced. Naturally, a show that premiered nearly two decades ago on a major network isn't always going to age like a fine wine with current-day audiences, and unfortunately, "How I Met Your Mother" is not an exception to this unwritten rule. Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris) disguising himself to meet women was never cute — it's just wrong and creepy — and hateful jokes jeering at marginalized groups also pepper multiple episodes of the CBS sitcom. Then there's the hero of the series, the hopeless romantic Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor).

Ted's inherent lameness becomes a running joke on the show anyway, but his behavior is also very questionable, especially with dating. He likes hanging out with Barney and uses his techniques to pick up women, yet he presents himself as the "nice guy" alternative to his friend's sleaze. Ted's romanticism also means that he gets the hopes up of the women he dates and then quickly breaks their hearts, all while maintaining that he's a good person. However, out of all the questionable Ted Mosby moments on "How I Met Your Mother," one of them arguably stands out as the worst.

Ted exposes himself to his date via the 'Naked Man' move

Ted does a lot of surprisingly bad things on "How I Met Your Mother," even breaking up with a partner (Anne Dudek) on her birthday on two separate occasions, but Season 4's "The Naked Man" is truly egregious. Early in the episode, Barney and Ted discover that Robin Scherbatsky (Cobie Smulders) slept with her date Mitch (Adam Paul) because he tried "The Naked Man" trick. Basically, all he does is undress and present himself naked to an unsuspecting Robin; he even tells Ted that it works "two out of three times." Both Barney and Ted then try it on separate dates, with Ted actually succeeding.

Yet, as u/CuddlePirate420 says in the "HIMYM" subreddit, "It's funny, but even when I first saw it I was like 'Barney, Ted, and Mitch' are all guilty of sexual assault.'" If you think of it, the "Naked Man" isn't really a "move" — it's indecent exposure, manipulation, and blatant ignorance of consent. U/JaneDarkbloom wrote that personally they "dont [sic] consider it assault but I would be intimidated as hell and probably really scared [if it happened]."

The show may paint Mitch as heroic for coming up with the "Naked Man," but in the end, it can be argued that it's a creepy, entitled gambit that makes women uncomfortable. Maybe the new Hulu spin-off, "How I Met Your Father," will have a stronger grasp of healthy dating strategies.