the cast of how i met your father at a bar

Patrick Wymore/Hulu

‘How I Met Your Father’ review-bombed on Google after it made a BTS joke

'no army would ever make this joke, it’s disrespectful and rude'


Michelle Jaworski

Internet Culture

Posted on Mar 3, 2022   Updated on Mar 7, 2022, 3:47 pm CST

How I Met Your Father debuted to less than stellar reviews, but as its first season nears its end, Hulu’s sequel to the long-running CBS sitcom is getting review-bombed on Google for a throwaway joke about the K-pop group BTS.

Early in the show’s eighth episode, “The Perfect Shot,” several members of the show’s primary sextet are hanging at the bar they frequent as they look at photos that photographer Sophie (Hilary Duff) took. Jesse (Christopher Lowell), a musician and teacher, walks in with confidence as he asks the group a hypothetical question that has an obvious answer (him) and is the set up to a joke: “Guess who’s finally recording new music as a solo artist?”

Charlie (Tom Ainsley), who’s both a part of the group and working at the bar, has a quip for him.

“Did Jungkook leave BTS and go solo?” Charlie asked. “We all saw it coming!”

The moment is played for laughs, and while HIMYF doesn’t dwell on it as it quickly goes back to Jesse’s new development, the joke is apparent: That Charlie, a very posh and out-of-touch British model and ex-pat who has little idea how people function outside of the aristocracy, is the fan of a K-pop band with a fanbase made primarily of teen girls (that’s not the case) and knows who Jeon Jungkook, one of the seven singers who make up BTS, is.

It’s unclear how widespread the Jungkook name-drop was when the episode first dropped on Hulu on Tuesday, but Hulu’s official Twitter account amplified its mention of BTS and Jungkook on Tuesday night in a tweet that screenshotted the moment and included the caption “You know what we didn’t see coming… Charlie being #BTSARMY.”

The tweet and use of the hashtag #BTSARMY alerted BTS fans, many of whom are active on Twitter, to the name-drop; when one person told Hulu, “Here they come,” Hulu replied with “we’re ready.” But whether Hulu knew exactly what it was doing in alerting BTS fans about the name-drop or vastly underestimated how they would react to it, the response may have been far greater than it anticipated. But in short, they were not fans.

For the fans that took issue with the assertion that Jungkook would leave BTS and go solo, it’s a misunderstanding about how K-pop bands operate; several members of BTS, including Jungkook, have released solo tracks without leaving the band. They went as far as to correct Hulu in saying that Charlie was an anti-BTS fan—and not part of the BTS Army—because he was excited about the possibility of Jungkook leaving the band.

“BTS disbanding is not a topic to take lightly, and to joke about for that matter,” one person explained in response to asking why people were mad about the joke. “You will know this when you start watching them.”

Some BTS fans have started review-bombing HIMYF on sites like Google and IMDb directly in response. As of press time, the vast majority of the nearly 1,600 reviews for the show on Google are one-star. (A quick perusal of the one-star ratings shows that at least a few of those reviews were posted weeks before the BTS joke, so not all of the low ratings can be attributed to BTS fans.) While the extent of review-bombing isn’t as evident on other sites, IMDb’s user reviews are also showing a number of one-star reviews in relation to Hulu’s BTS joke.

But some people think that BTS fans overreacted to what they felt was a harmless (if not cringy) joke.

While HIMYF may not have been a critical darling before making a BTS joke, it appears to have done well enough for Hulu that the show was renewed for a 20-episode second season on Feb. 15.

“Isaac and Elizabeth’s inspired vision for How I Met Your Father has proven to be true appointment viewing that fans cannot get enough of week to week,” Jordan Helman, head of scripted content for Hulu Originals, said at the time. “The lives of these characters, as portrayed by the immensely talented cast led by Hilary Duff, are just starting to unfold and we’re thrilled to bring more of this group’s journey to our viewers with a supersized second season.”

Hulu still has the tweet up on its profile, but it eventually admitted that it may have been in over its head when making it.

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*First Published: Mar 3, 2022, 12:02 pm CST