One of many recurring themes during the show are euphemisms Future Ted uses in front of his kids. While telling his story, he uses them to describe inappropriate things the gang did or say in his youth. Because he is speaking in front of his kids, he often uses metaphors to censor actions or dirty words he doesn't want them to know about.
These euphemisms include:
- Eating a Sandwich as a metaphor for smoking marijuana on several occasions
- Not telling his kids until Last Cigarette Ever that every member of the Gang smoked occasionally, including himself.
- At first, he tries to censor it as "go up on the roof and stand there by myself for five minutes", but immediately levels wird his kids, which is one of the rare occaisons where he explains his euphemism.
- "Grinch" and "fudge" instead of "some very bad words" in How Lily Stole Christmas
- The solution to "Grinch" has divided fans into two camps, one believing "cunt", the other thinking about "bitch", although the latter has been said several times without censoring.
- Not telling the punchline of the dirty joke “What’s the difference between peanut butter and jam?” in Mosbius Designs
- While not explicitly an euphemism, "Reading a magazine" is stated to mean reading magazines while on the toilet in Benefits.
- Barney and Marshall discuss this in the episode when Barney claims he "reads a magazine" at work; though Barney asks if Marshall means masturbation.
- In the following episode, Three Days of Snow, Marshall admits to reading Cosmo Girl magazines, further disproving the euphemism.
- "Stuff" to mean "shit" as in Roger Murtaughs famous line "I'm too old for this shit" in Murtaugh
- "Playing the bagpipe" as a metaphor for (especially loud) sex in Bagpipes
- "Giving a thumbs up" as a metaphor for people flipping others off in Robin 101
- Barney chanting "Kiss her" in the Cinema (presumably instead of "F*** her") in The Wedding Bride
- "confetti" to visualize Baby Marvin pooping all over Marshall when the latter checks his diaper in Band or DJ?
- Lily exclaiming "Holy confetti" instead of "Holy shit" moments later
- Future Ted is somehow inconsistent with his upbringing, as he does not censor (most of) the gang's sex lifes and alcohol consumption.
- However, it is possible that Future Ted does not tell his kids every single detail that we see in the show - this can be deduced by how the show is honest that Robin's present for Lily is an "adult recreational fake penis" in Bachelor Party, yet Future Ted is heard censoring the last two words as "something inappropriate" in the next scene. From this, it can be assumed that Future Ted still leaves out (at least some) of the inappropriate parts of his stories, but they are said/shown normally and without censorship, most likely because a censorship joke was unavailable.
- In Showdown, prior to Lily and Marshall's wedding, Marshall urges Ted not to embarass him in front of his family by giving a best man's speech containing storys of sex and drinking. Ted sarcastically reads out his draft, censoring one of the gang's nights out by replacing shots of alcohol with chocolate milk, and sex with holding hands.
- In Okay Awesome, Marshall breaks his tooth while dancing in the club and asks for Aspirin. On Barney's suggestion he looks for a vending machine in the restroom. He returns being psyched up and euphoric, hinting he did drugs (presumably ecstasy, concerning the loudness in the club and both being pills). However, Future Ted claims that to this day he doesn't know what really happend in there, so it possibly is no real euphemism.