During the finale of this past season of CBS’s How I Met Your Mother, the mother is finally revealed after eight years of anticipation.
With her yellow umbrella and bass guitar in tow, the mother walks through Penn Station, up to the ticket booth, and asks for “One ticket to Farhampton, please.” The only problem is, there is no Farhampton. Actually, scratch that. There are a lot of problems with this.
First of all, what city-savvy, 20-something alive today goes to the ticket booth in Penn Station to get a ticket? The mother lives in the city. She knows how to use a ticket machine.
And a savvy New Yorker isn’t going to waste time asking for “One ticket to” anywhere. She’d ask for a one-way ticket, or a roundtrip. If there was a Farhampton, the ticket agent’s next words would be, “One-way or round-trip?” But, since there is no Farhampton, the real question would be, “Where?”
Here is Dan’s Papers‘ interpretation of how that conversation would have gone in real life:
The fictional Farhampton train stop was in the eighth season premiere of How I Met Your Mother (and a traveler was seen carrying an issue of Dan’s Papers.) Farhampton plays a huge role in the ninth season, as the site of Barney and Robin’s wedding. (Ted’s almost wedding, in which he was left at the altar, was on Shelter Island—though they appeared to take the Cross Sound Ferry to get there.)
With all the villages and hamlets with “Hampton” in the name they could have chosen—Southampton, East Hampton, Bridgehampton, Westhampton Beach, to name a few—why invent a Hampton? Is Farhampton supposed to be a reference to a real spot on the East End? Could it be Montauk, the farthest one can go before falling off the island.
The name Farhampton seems to be correlated to the New York City-centric nature of the show. Some writer figured 17th century settlers on the East End would have decided to name their village based on its proximity to Manhattan.
The ticket agent actually has a schedule for Far Rockaway in his booth. Signs posted in the station read, “Long Island Railroad,” while the actual spelling is Long Island Rail Road. And a sign says Portwashington instead of Port Washington and includes another fictional LIRR train stop, Killingworth. If the latter train stop was referring to the real-life Killingworth, Connecticut, good luck getting there on the LIRR.
The band Fairgrounds named a song after the fictional Farhampton, evidence that this made up Hamptons village is already becoming pervasive in pop culture. How long before locals are stopped on the street and asked for directions to Farhampton?
As locals know, television gets the Hamptons wrong all the time. (Read: Top 5 Geography Errors on Revenge.) But it can still be fun to see the area—or a depiction of it, at least–on television and in films.