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How I Met Your Mother actually gave us Breaking Bad’s best character

A scheduling clash meant that sitcom How I Met Your Mother indirectly inspired one of the best TV series ever, as Breaking Bad had to change course.

Neil Patrick Harris in comedy series How I Met Your Mother

How I Met Your Mother was one of the best comedy series on screens during the noughties, and we have a lot to thank it for. After all, Neil Patrick Harris does look really good in a suit.


But it turns out that the relationship-based sitcom also played a big role in one of the best TV series ever made. Without How I Met Your Mother, the best Breaking Bad character might never have existed.

In a video interview with Wired, Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul actor Bob Odenkirk explained that his commitments to the sitcom meant that the writers of Breaking Bad had to cook up someone new for the drama series.

“[I was in] the final four episodes of the second season [of Breaking Bad], and I was only in three of them because I had to do How I Met Your Mother,” said Odenkirk.

The actor appeared in nine episodes of the CBS sitcom between 2008 and 2012 as the businessman Arthur Hobbs, known for angry rants at his employees.

Odenkirk added: “And because I had to do How I Met Your Mother, they had to invent another character to pull that plot along, and they invented Mike Ehrmantraut. So thank God I was on How I Met Your Mother because they could invent Mike, and then me and Jonathan Banks could do Better Call Saul.”

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As played by Banks, private investigator and hitman Mike went on to appear across four seasons of Breaking Bad and all six seasons of the spin-off Better Call Saul. It’s difficult to imagine the character not existing, but we have How I Met Your Mother’s filming schedule to thank for his creation.

For more of the best of the box, check out our lists of the best anime series, the best horror series, and the best thriller series out there. Or if you prefer your screens bigger, we’ve got all of the new movies coming in 2024 and the best movies of all time.