To say I love the show How I Met Your Mother would be an understatement.
I live for this show.
Okay, that’s an overstatement. But really, it’s probably not. Especially if you ask every person in my life.
I didn’t start watching HIMYM until 2010, 5 years after the show started. Considering my love for Jason Segel, it’s surprising that it took me so long, but I didn’t understand the title and I just didn’t care to start watching it. When I finally did, I immediately loved it. I love the characters and the plots and it’s ability to make me cry and laugh all the time (even after multiple viewings). Sitcoms come and go but this one has lasted 9 wonderful seasons (sure, it’s had it’s low points, but overall it is solid). I’m sad to see it go, but all things must come to an end and tonight…it will.
I decided to re-watch the entire series while watching each new episode every week. I’ve been caught up for a while (even though I used to wait for the DVDs for a few seasons), specifically so I could be shocked and sad and happy with every new episode of this final season. It’s certainly been a ride…I’ve cried at every single episode for the last few months. Only slightly ashamed to admit that. But in honor of the show ending tonight, I thought I would list my favorite episodes of each season. Here’s the top 9, with honorable mentions!
The Pineapple Incident
This episode, the 10th of the season, is one of the definitive “let’s solve a mystery” episodes, where our characters take us back and forth in time to figure out what exactly happened to a super drunk Ted, why there’s a pineapple on his nightstand, and, most importantly…who’s the girl in Ted’s bed? I’ve read that this was the most-watched episode of the season and I can totally see why. It’s just a great episode with suspense and humor.
Pilot - It’s so rare for the first ever episode to not be awkward and seem so different from the rest of the series, but this is an exception. That Blue French Horn we always talk about? Pilot episode, guys!
Okay Awesome - Marshall breaks out amazing dance moves, Barney grinds with his cousin,
Lily and Robin flash a bouncer.
Life Among the Gorillas – Marshall abandons his dreams of becoming an envrionmental lawyer to give Lily the whole package. She encourages him that he has a huge package.
Come On – Ted does a rain dance and finally gets Robin. Lily and Marshall break up (not cool, guys).
This episode is my personal most-watched of the series. To me, it is perfect. Marshall and Ted take Marshall’s Fiero out to make it to 200,000 miles but they hit a pothole right before they get there. Being that the car is quite old, it will most likely not make it. The gang sit at the auto shop and recall their memories in the Fiero, all of which brought the friends even closer together. Favorite part? Ted and Marshall’s friendship-building road trip in college and the repetition of one of the best songs ever, “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” by The Proclaimers.
Brunch – A brunch during a visit from Ted’s parents proves to be the final straw in a series of disputes within the group. We get to experience each story separately before it all culminates.
First Time in New York – Robin’s sister comes to visit and it turns out that she is planning on losing her virginity to her jerky boyfriend. Robin, desperate to stop it, tries to get everyone to help her stop and they recount the ways they lost their virginity. Robin also finally says the L word to Ted.
Ted begins dating a new girl that happens to annoy every single one of his friends. He doesn’t know why but they won’t tell him in order to keep the allure and not ruin her for him. Eventually, they reveal that she talks wayyy too much. That leads to the glass shattering for every character and their annoying habits (ex. Lily’s loud chewing) and they get into an argument that ends up leading to Marshall finding out he’s passed the bar exam. They celebrate and prove that love and friendship make those annoying things easy to handle.
The Third Wheel - Ted has the opportunity to engage in a threesome…does he? Doesn’t he? Will we find out tonight?
I doubt it. I like to think he did.
How I Met Everyone Else – Ted dates a crazy girl he met online and they tell the stories of how they met each other, all of which are super-duper cute.
The Platinum Rule – Ted is about to go on a date with the dermatologist removing his tattoo and Barney urges him not to, using the “platinum rule” to explain how this is a very bad idea. Everyone else has experienced this exact issue.
Rebound Pro – Ted and Barney have had a falling out because Barney slept with Robin. Barney is in desperate search for a new wingman and ends up with Randy (played by Will Forte, rockin’ it), a shy and useless bro.
Three Days of Snow
This was a tough call, but this episode has a great storyline in a season of some pretty great storylines.
A huge storm hits New York and the crew deals with it in different ways. Ted and Barney meet college girls who are in a band and ask them to meet Maclarens when they are done performing. The weather is awful and Carl wants to close shop, but Ted and Barney ask to stay a bit longer and end up with full range of the bar, thus satisfying the inevitable lust for owning a bar. The “band” they are in is actually a marching band with lots of members, so the bar gets crazy quickly.
Meanwhile, Lily is away from home and everyone is asking whether Marshall will pick her up from the airport. He says they’ve moved on from their silly traditions, but of course he ends up making his way there and the cutest scene involving “Auld Lang Syne” ever.
The Best Burger in New York – Marshall is having a hard time with unemployment, and reacts by forcing the game on the hunt for the amazing burger he had once (but could never find again) on his first lonely excursion in New York. His ode to that burger is one of the best HIMYM moments ever.
The Naked Man – Ted is slowly trying to get back into the dating pool and ends up with a horrible girl. Before the date, he finds a naked man in his apartment waiting for Robin to finish a phone call. It turns out that this is the guy’s move, standing there naked, and it works 2 out of 3 times. Turns out that’s true, as Ted, Barney, and Lily try it with the same results.
Murtaugh – an episode about getting too old for this…stuff. Ted and Marshall have a list of things they once were able to do with ease but are too old for now, and Barney sets out to disprove them.
The Front Porch – one early morning, Ted, Marshall, and Lily stay up to watch Robin’s TV show, but miss the craziest episode (she helps deliver a baby!) when Ted realizes that Lily has sabotaged pretty much every relationship he’s ever been in…including his relationship with Robin. Marshall and Barney in nightshirts…enough said.
Girls Versus Suits
Ted gets the closest to the mother that he has ever been when he dates her roommate, played by the adorable Rachel Bilson. We learn some of her interests (she plays bass guitar, a quality Ted has always wanted in his dream girl) and that Cindy (Bilson) hates her because everyone happens to fall for her. Ted only catches a glimpse of her ankle. TEASER!
This episode is also the 100th of the series, so to celebrate they did a great musical number in which Barney proclaims his undying love for suits. Awesome.
The Sexless Innkeeper– This is included simply for Marshall’s amazing song e-mails he sends to everyone. Cat Funeral? Classic. It’s also fun to see Lily and Marshall struggle to find the perfect couple friends, and how much they goof everything up, even when it’s just with Robin and Barney. Also, Ted is in full professor mode with his adorable tweed jackets, and disproves the theory that no one will find it sexy.
This episode is just fun. Jorge Garcia, a.k.a. Hurley from Lost, plays Blitz, the unlucky guy who always misses out on the fun when he leaves the night. There have been Blitz’s before him, and basically, the moment they turn around or leave means something amazing will happen and that they will miss it. “Ohhhhh MAAANNNNN!” Through the course of the episode, Ted and Barney switch off becoming the Blitz and crazy stuff ensues. Just a fun episode.
Subway Wars – Ted, Barney, Lily, Marshall, and Robin all take different routes to try and get to a steak restaurant the fastest to see Woody Allen. Though everyone is seemingly trying to beat each other at a silly race, they are really look for a greatly needed win after various tough moments they have been facing.
Last Words - This one is a bit of a tearjerker. When Marshall’s father passes away, everyone is trying to help him through the rough spot at the funeral. The pastor suggests the Eriksens recall their final moments with their father/husband and everyone has a great story but Marshall, who heard various ridiculous things come out of his father’s mouth. In the end, he realizes he has a voicemail on his phone.
Tick, Tick, Tick…
Despite the fact that both Barney and Robin are happily dating other people, they end up sleeping together and freaking out about whether or not they should tell their significant others. Through much debate, Robin and Barney decide they should tell them and discuss the possibility of getting back together. Barney breaks up with his girlfriend, Nora, but Robin stays with her boyfriend, Kevin. It’s a heartbreaking moment when Barney expects to be alone with Robin at the bar, but Kevin is by her side. Points for Marshall and Ted’s extremely high quest for nachos at a concert.
No Pressure – After Robin’s breakup with Kevin, Ted admits that he still loves Robin. Barney and Ted discover that Lily and Marshall have been taking bets on their personal lives, one of which includes Robin and Ted getting back together (Lily is obviously against it, Marshall is for it). Ted is upset, but Robin admits that she doesn’t love Ted that way.
The Magician’s Code Pt. 1 – Lily goes into labor the night she sends Marshall off with Barney to Atlantic City for some relaxation before the baby arrives. Ted and Robin come to the rescue and tell her various stories to calm her down.
Meanwhile, Marshall is so drunk that he struggles to find a way to the hospital.
Twelve Horny Women
Despite the silly title, this episode is a great showcase of Marshall and how his future will unfold. He has finally become an environmental lawyer, and is up for a big case against a pharmaceutical company that has been dumping toxic waste into a place called Frog Lake. The events that follow bring him in front of the NY State Judiciary Committee to discuss the case, which involved him being pitted against his former law school buddy Brad (played hysterically by Joe Manganiello) who is clearly using his good looks to win over the jury of women. What looks like a rough spot in Marshall’s career ends up leading him to apply to be a judge, hence the meeting with the committee.
The Time-Travelers – Fans might be surprised that this is an honorable mention, and I find this episode, in which Ted is alone and worrying about the past, present, and future, to be a really emotional one (the speech to his future wife is perfect). I liked the episode, but I still find myself a bit confused over it.
How Your Mother Met Me - With the hour-long finale happening tonight, it’s hard to narrow down the episodes I like as the end might be one of the bests. Still, I’m trying. This episode, the 200th in the series, was all from the perspective of the mother (I CAN’T WAIT TO FIND OUT HER NAME). We learn that her first true love died (but we don’t know how) and that it largely affected her love life (or lack thereof). We saw that she was, in fact, in Ted’s first ever class (when he accidentally ended up in an Economics classroom) and laughed at his “shellfish/selfish” joke. We also learn about her relationship with her roommate Cindy, who seemingly hated her because she actually had feelings for her (and that’s how she came to realize that she was actually gay). The mother’s performance of La Vie en Rose on ukulele is a thing of beauty. And, of course, I cried. Especially since Ted was right next door, listening.
Bedtime Stories – This entire episode was told in rhymes. Marshall is traveling with Marvin, who will only sleep if told a bedtime story. Without a book, Marshall feels a bit lost so he ends up telling stories about his friends. A lot of people didn’t dig the gimmick, but I think they pulled it off nicely.
Vesuvius – Every fiber of my being screamed after watching this, and I actually cried for days worrying about the fate of the mother and/or every other character on the show. I am hoping for peace tonight.
Sunrise – Ted finally lets go of Robin and let the tears fall.
So there you have it. It took me a long time to come up with this list because there’s over 200 great episodes of this show and I love the episodes so much for various reasons. I am so glad they made it this far, that they were able to carry out their story (instead of the threat of cancelling attacking that goal).
I am so thankful for this show, which provides a security blanket for me on really crappy days.
Here’s to a great end!
P.S. Since I’m a nail art girl, I decided to do a huge mixed manicure dedicated to the show.