TV URBAN LEGEND: “How I Met Your Mother” was going to reveal the secret of “The Pineapple Incident” in the final season but cut it from the show.
Few shows are quite as dedicated to getting every detail right as “How I Met Your Mother.” The popular comedy, in which a man (Ted Mosby, played by Josh Radnor) recounts to his children through a long series of flashbacks how he met their mother, was famously meticulous with its plot points, as the whole story was headed toward a specific goal. As the show kept going and going, however, those story threads had to be stretched. I wrote a while back how the show initially had “back-up” mothers in case it was canceled early. But by Season 3, the producers not only knew who the mother would be, but they had filmed the series finale, which they sat on until the show ended after nine seasons in 2014.
However, having a reputation for being so detail-oriented can have a downside: What happens when you introduce a mystery but never solve it? That’s something that weighed on the minds of creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas with “The Pineapple Incident,” a mystery from Season 1 they nearly solved in one of the final episodes of the series, but it never quite happened. Read on to find out what went down!
The 10th episode of “How I Met Your Mother’s” first season, “The Pineapple Incident” begins with Ted waking up after a hard night of drinking. He initially thinks he’s in bed with Robin (Cobie Smulders), the girl of his dreams, but instead discovers that it’s not only a mystery girl, but that there’s a pineapple next to him on the nightstand and his ankle is injured. The rest of the episode involves Ted and his friends trying to figure out what happened the night before. Eventually the mystery girl Trudy, played by Danica McKellar from “The Wonder Years,” helps to fill in most of the details, and pretty much everything is explained, including Ted’s injured ankle. However, she has no idea how the pineapple got there.
Ted ends the episode noting they never discovered the truth about the pineapple, but it was delicious. Bays later said that “we never found out where the pineapple came from” was bad dialogue, as it wrote them into a corner, and that was something he would try to avoid in the future.
The “Pineapple Incident” was occasionally referenced as the series went on, like when Ted ran into Trudy again in Season 3. Ted’s friend Marshall (Jason Segal) was particularly obsessed with figuring out the truth. There was even an elaborate board dedicated to the mystery!
However, while Ted eventually gave up, fans didn’t. So Bays and Thomas actually planned to reveal the truth in one of the series’ final episodes. The final season was already filled with a lot of little fan-service moments, like a return of “Robin Sparkles” (Robin was a pop star when she was a teenager in Canada named Robin Sparkles) and even a clever moment in which the show teased Segel over his complaints about the series. In the 20th episode of Season 9, “Daisy,” Bays and Thomas planned to reveal that the “Captain” (Kyle MacLachlan), the ex-husband of Ted’s ex-girlfriends Zoe (Jennifer Morrison), kept a “Welcome Pineapple” at the front of all of his homes as an old sailor tradition. Ted then flashes back and realizes he took the pineapple from the front of the Captain’s New York City townhouse.
Ultimately, the scene was cut for time. However, Bays and Thomas allowed Buzzfeed to reveal the sequence last yearas part of a promotion for the release of the complete series on DVD.
The legend is…
Thanks to reader Frank W. for writing in about this one! And thanks to Buzzfeed for the video!
Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is email@example.com.
Be sure to check out my Entertainment Urban Legends Revealed for more urban legends about the worlds of TV, Movies and Music.
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