The Friends of our generation will be coming to a close at the end of this month. How I Met Your Mother: with this show came nine long seasons of memorable episodes, one after another. To rate which episode is the best is an impossible feat. You’ll probably be disappointed or even angry with my choices. I should know, I have several friends who are just as die hard fans of this show I am. We have argued…. and argued….. and argued…… and AGREED…. maybe one or twice, but, mostly argued about what are the best moments and episodes of this show. These six episodes are NOT the end all be all of the best. These episodes were chosen because of how hard they have made me laugh or how they have tipped my emotional scale and you are more than welcome to hate me in the comments section below. Enjoy! I think….
Oh and before I forget, even though I feel like everyone watches this show, obviously there will be some SPOILERS!
6. Come on – Season 1
Ted and Robin. Mention them and you’ll hear the vocal disgust around the nation. However, when these two finally got together at the end of season one, it was one of the defining moments in the season where you thought maybe, just maybe, Robin really is the one for Ted and some couldn’t let go. Really? I’m the only one who can’t let it go? Oh, come on! I can’t be the only member of team Tobin. Or is it team Red? Anyway, Ted has to make it rain. Thanks to Barney’s seemingly endless lists of hook ups, he has a guy for that….or girl. Ted dances, it rains, Barney gets laid again, and Ted gets Robin. Cue indie love song, roll credits, and…. Why is Marshall sitting all sad in the rain? Is that Lily’s wedding ring? Did she leave? OH COME ON! The conflicting ending of Ted and Robin finally getting together combined with Lily and Marshall breaking up is a lot to take in and they give you little warning when it happens. Fortunately, this bittersweet ending gives way to possibly the best season of the entire series.
5. Glitter – Season 6
I have a hard time choosing between season two and six as the best season overall. Both have very memorable episodes, but the moment you hear Barney shout, “It’s Robin Sparkles 3 ya’ll” you’re losing it with the rest of the gang. In “Glitter,” Barney uncovers a DVD from the Robin Sparkles era of Scherboskey’s life. Now, I could go on and say the episode shows the true meaning of friendship or how having a kid can really complicate relationships, but really, the subjective kids show of Robin’s past, “Space Teens” was just brilliant. Robin Sparkles and Jessica Glitter are just two average Canadian teens trying to catch criminals by solving math problems. However suggestive bouncing scenes, awkwardly placed joy-sticks, and songs about…. beavers, cause our mature young adult heroes to act like repressed teenagers at the sexual innuendo filled episode. It’s all hilarious and it reminds us of the times we found dirty jokes within our favorite TV shows we loved as kids when we revisit them as adults.
4. Bad News/Last Words – Season 6
One thing I’ve noticed about this series is that this show never pulls at the heartstrings very often. Then I realized that is because this show really doesn’t have very many legitimate tragic moments. Even when people do die in the series, they are usually inconsequential characters that revolve around a joke gimmick like in the “Monday Night Football” episode. Maybe the writers wanted it that way because they didn’t want the show to have very many down moments. On the other hand, maybe they knew that this one would stick with us for a long time. This may not really be considered a two-parter, but for the sake of this list it is. His appearances were few, but you always knew the kind of guy Marshall’s dad was. He was a dad. Typical suburban father figure that any child would love, look up to, and inspire to be like. He was a relatable character that might remind someone of his or her own father. So when his dad died it shattered Marshall in a way he wasn’t prepared for. Nobody would be prepared for that! These rare episodes show a character’s growth and just how good the writers and actors of How I Met Your Mother really are.
3. The Magician’s Code Pt. 1 and 2 – Season 7
This episode sounded exhausting to make, especially for the writers. How’d they pack so much into a two-parter? First of all, admit it! You did not expect the gang’s approval of the middle name Wait For It did you? Barney’s epic proposal to Quinn, Marvin Wait For It Erikson being born, Victoria showing up in a wedding dress, Ted driving her off into the sunset, and the big reveal that Barney’s bride to be was not to be Quinn, but Robin, sounds like way too much to fit into a 44 minute episode. Somehow they pulled it off. Despite that, what makes this episode so great is simply that it was really fun to watch. The stories being told within the story, Lily in labor being compared to farm animals in labor, magic tricks, Lily and Marshall hilariously adjusting to parenthood. What more can be said, the episode is very extensive both in story and in jokes and is definitely the most memorable of all the season finales in the entire series.
2. Slap Bet – Season 2
And there it is! This glorious episode tipped every fan off that this was no ordinary TV show and that it was going to be in it for the long hall. I’ve made a slap bet, that’s how iconic this episode is. However, one legendary running gag wasn’t enough, so it spawned two. Without Slap Bet and Robin Sparkles this show would not be the same. There’d be no Space Teens, Slapsgiving, Barney’s constant fear of getting slapped, and the always-hilarious slap deliveries. So many other great episodes were spawned from this single one. Yet, despite all memorable episodes, this episode holds up even more. It’s a classic gag that traces itself back to the Three Stooges, maybe even further; something about grown men slapping each other in the face makes for good comedy. Now roll that beautiful slap footage!
1. No Pressure – Season 7
I think what I like so much about Ted and Robin is how natural their relationship seems whether as friends or romantically. At the end of the day they are so close and care for each other no matter what comes between them. So when our man-boy wonder Ted over here, with his incredible sense of timing, professes his love her post broken engagement, no pressure definitely does not mean no pressure. But, Robin response was not ideal for Ted. Marshall seeing how badly Ted is suffering, advises Robin to move out of the apartment she and Ted have shared for the better half of the series. And so as Florence and the Machine’s “Shake It Out” providing background, Ted watches Robin leave and now has to force himself to view his world as a wide open one for the first time and without Robin. Of course, Barney’s search for Marshall and Lily’s sex tape adds hilarity and the couple’s long term betting is a gimmick that I think should be revisited in the final season. But most importantly, it provides appropriate closure to the story of Ted and Robin. Well, at least it would have. I’m beginning to think even the writers have a hard time letting this one go. I’m not the only one! Go team Tobin! Or Red? Still haven’t figured that one out yet.