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The Real-Life Bar That Inspired How I Met Your Mother's MacLaren's Pub

The popular sitcom "How I Met Your Mother," which began in 2005, immediately filled the hole that classic sitcom "Friends" left when it ended in 2004. While the setup of both shows is similar — a small group of friends (five in "How I Met Your Mother" and six in "Friends") in New York City is looking for love and success — the characters make both the shows different.

The characters in "How I Met Your Mother" simultaneously feel grounded in reality yet completely fictional, and aside from other things, they all have a very distinct vibe of a bunch of late 20-somethings in New York City. On top of that, all of them have their own quirks. Whether it's Barney's (Neil Patrick Harris) one-liners, Lily's (Alyson Hannigan) attempts to play the puppet master, or Ted's (Josh Radnor) hopeless romantic tendencies — all these distinct characteristics make them more relatable. 

But the character that is arguably the most important in the show is actually MacLaren's Pub. The meeting ground, and the most commonly featured place in the show, is a huge catalyst for major events of "How I Met Your Mother," with Ted meeting Robin (Cobie Smulders) for the first time at MacLaren's. But the bar also comes to represent the New York City hustle and bustle and everyday lifestyle. Because of this, it makes perfect sense that MacLaren's has a real-life inspiration behind it.

MacLaren's is inspired by New York City's McGee's Pub

A real-life Irish pub in Hell's Kitchen, located right in the middle of one of the most attractive spots in Manhattan, McGee's Pub provides the blueprint for MacLaren's Pub in "How I Met Your Mother."

Most things, from the red cushioned booths to the dark-wooded interiors, are directly inspired by McGee's Pub to give viewers a glimpse of an old and small, yet aesthetically pleasing setting, with posters, pictures, and loud music that you would find in any of the many crowd-filled bars that line the streets of New York City. Already famous as a local pub to hit on a weekday or weekend night by New Yorkers, McGee's pub is now known everywhere. It is also a stop on the NYC TV & Movie Tour from On Location Tours and offers "How I Met Your Mother" special cocktails, with a few of the cleverly-named drinks being The Naked Man, Robin Sparkles, and The Pineapple Incident.

McGee's focus on its connection to the show seems only reasonable since the pub's onscreen version becomes the site of many memorable "How I Met Your Mother" moments. Who doesn't remember when Ted gets drunk and calls Robin while she's on a date, when Gael (Robin's boyfriend at one point, played by the pop star Enrique Iglesias) visits MacLaren's, or when Barney slaps Marshall (Jason Segel) during one of the group's many nights there? 

Through its integral essence in "How I Met Your Mother," McGee's Pub has officially joined the list of popular and not-so-known New York City locations that are immortalized on screen.