How I Met Your Mother (also known as HIMYM) is an American sitcom created by Craig Thomas and Carter Bays for the TV network CBS. starting on September 19th 2005 and finishing on March 31st 2014, it filled the void left by Friends, another popular show which finished up the previous year on May 6th 2004. Much like Friends it featured an ensemble cast and followed the trials and tribulations, as well as the relationships between a group of twenty somethings based in New York City. How I Met your Mother stars Josh Radnor as Ted Mosby, the main character, an architect, who is narrating the entire story of the show to his children. During the flashforward segments of the story, Ted is voiced by Bob Saget. Jason Segel who plays Marshall Eriksen, a lawyer and best friend to Ted, Alyson Hannigan who plays Lily Aldrin, an artist, kindergarten teacher and Marshall’s girlfriend and later wife. Neil Patrick Harris who plays Barney Stinson, a womanising playboy, and Ted’s self appointed best friend and rounding off the main cast, Cobie Smulders who plays Robin Scherbatsky, a news reporter and former teen pop star in Canada. Today I’ll be talking about my Top 10 episodes of How I Met Your Mother, which you can read below.
1. The Best Burger in New York
I really struggled with what episode was going to take the top spot but Tori B Bearly just happened to be rewatching and listening to it in the background while working I just knew instantly that although there are many good episodes throughout the approximately 208 episode run and a lot of good episodes on this list, this one had to take the first place. For a start, when I think of HIMYM this is and Swarley (which also appears on this list) are the two episodes that come to mind first, but also it balances the emotion and gravity of Marshall’s situation, unemployed and desperate for work, with the humour of the pursuit of the burger itself. Also bonus points for Regis Philbin who was hilarious throughout the entire episode.
Another classic episode, I don’t think of it in the same thought as the episode above and below it, but it’s another quintessential episode, and one that I love to watch when I just need something silly. Also a TurTurkeyKey totally sounds awesome, I don’t get why it would taste so bad especially considering how much work Ted put into it.
As I said above, this episode is where my mind goes to when I think about How I Met Your Mother. Marshall getting over Lily is an important part of the episode and Morena Baccarin as the apparently crazy Chloe was spot on, but the true highlight of this episode was the gang ripping Barney to shreds over the whole Swarley thing, a reference to his name, Barney, which was misspelled on a coffee cup.
4. The Pineapple Incident
Is a great episode, and apparently I’m not the only one that thinks so, because it’s widely considered one of the best in the entire series. I think what I like most about this, was Ted letting go, usually he’s so uptight and focused on finding ‘the one’ but he gets drunk on five shots, and just runs loose, a special highlight was him singing along to the jukebox. I was also driven crazy for years about the pineapple, until the mystery was resolved in season 9 episode ‘Daisy’ and you can check that out here.
5. Monday Night Football
A lot of my favourite episodes tackle something serious, but also have humour, this one is a lot more of the later than the former, it just involves the crazy hijinks involved in each member of the group trying to avoid seeing the results of the Super Bowl so they can watch it together within it being spoiled. It’s a super funny episode, especially Robin, a news broadcaster, trying to report the game without spoiling it for herself.
6. Game Night
This episode really made me appreciate how similar I was to Marshall, I mean we already have the whole singsong thing, but his love of games, and making games up really jives with me. Also as a fan of Victoria I like any episode she is in. But why I really love this episode is that it reveals a lot about how Barney became who he was including the origin of his catchphrase ‘Suit Up’.
7. Bad News
So the mark of a really good comedy is that it can do tragedy really well, and this episode is just so powerful, without spoiling the events of the episode a character faces a tremendous about of loss, and it really hits home, especially firmly cemented into a later season of the show, it creates a new dynamic and shifts the tone.
This follows on from the events that occurred in ‘Bad News’ and features a character returning home to deal with the death of a loved one, trying to have a moment of peace to pay respect at their graveside, but keep getting interrupted, getting increasingly irritated by the whole situation until they realised that it’s really the most fitting tribute after all.
I like a little sad with my happy, and I have my own deeply seated father issues so this episode really hits home, meeting your dad for the first time or even seeing them again after a long absence is a situation fraught with potential conflict, but HIMYM handled this perfectly. It balanced the emotional severity of the main plot with a side plot regarding the mental blindspots each member of the group has, for example Robin not knowing the North Pole is real. My favourite moment though however sad was Barney visiting his dad’s home, and eventually just losing it because he couldn’t understand why his father, Jerry Whittaker (played by John Lithgow) could have pulled himself together for his new family but not for him, taking the Basketball hoop, was both a nice bonding moment between him and his father, as well as a solid resolution to the episode.
10. Sandcastles in the Sand
Not only does this continue the Robin Sparkles story arc and showed a moment of true vulnerability for Robin’s character but also it progresses the relationship between Robin and Barney, which for me was the real endgame relationship on the show. I also genuinely love the song that the title takes its name from and you can check that out here.
Honourable mentions go to Last Words, Spoiler Alert and Subway Wars which I also really enjoyed but didn’t quite make the top 10 list.
Also a very special additional honourable mention goes to How Your Mother Met Me (season 9, Episode 16) because of Tracy McConnell’s (also known as The Mother) cover of La Vie en Rose, which you can check out here.
Dishonourable mention goes to the entirety of season 9, which despite a few highlights, such as the one listed above was deeply unsatisfying and felt like a slap in the face to the fans. I’ve further expanded on my feelings on the final season in another piece on the site which you can check out here.
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