Looking to get onto the HIMYM train? Finally fed up with not knowing what all your friends are on about when they tell you to suit up? Bewildered as to why anyone would say “wait for it” in the middle of a word? Fear not, for we’re here to tell you which episodes are unmissable, and it won’t take us nine seasons to get to the end.
How I Met Your Mother ran from 2005 to 2014 and was the legen-wait for it-dary show that gave us Barney Stinson, The Playbook, the ultimate relationship goals of Marshall and Lily (Lilypad and Marshmallow) and a fresh look at love and friendship. Choosing just five episodes out of 208 as the best of the show is a monstrous task but after hours of watching (and re-watching) I reached a shortlist of episodes that had to be highlighted.
The Naked Man (Season 4, Episode 9)
Possibly the best one-off joke the show ever created, this episode has to be on the list. The ‘Naked Man’ is a method of getting women into bed that works two out of three times (seriously?!). Whilst the premise of the episode may seem creepy, it is put together so well you can’t help but laugh.
The Playbook (Season 5, Episode 8)
The episode where the secrets to Barney’s elaborate schemes to con girls into bed with him is revealed in the form of ‘The Playbook’. Here Barney manipulates everyone and ends up with Claire from the bar, which the gang believe is through their efforts to make Barney happy after he explains that ‘The Playbook’ is his way of coping post break up with Robin. Yet Barney leaves a page under the table with the play ‘The Scuba Diver’, revealing that all his friends acted as pawns in his plan. Typical Stinson style.
Girls versus Suits (Season 5, Episode 12)
In the 100th episode of the show there are the most clues yet to revealing the identity of the mother when Ted dates Cindy, the mother’s roommate, who annoys Cindy but who Ted thinks is secretly really awesome. In this episode there is a massive musical number where Barney sings about how nothing suits him like a suit, prompted by a hot bartender telling him it’s her or the suits.
Last Words (Season 6, Episode 14)
This episode isn’t really funny, it’s uncommonly poignant for a sitcom, but the quality of the acting and the script in this specific episode reminds us why we love the show so much and how it is actually incredibly well written and moving at points despite it being a comedy. In ‘Last Words’ Marshall attends his father’s funeral and is distressed that his last words with his father were seemingly insignificant before his sudden death. Marshall’s pain at the death of his father makes the rest of the group reconsider and reflect upon their relationships with their fathers.
The Time Travellers (Season 8, Episode 20)
One of the big tear-jerker episodes of the whole show, this not only contains the humour of Robin and Marshall and the incident of the cocktail named after Robin as The Robin Scherbatsky causing the bathroom pranks and dance off finally allowed by Lily, but this is also the episode ending with the ’45 days’ speech. Future Ted imagines running through the streets to the door of the Mother on the night of Robots versus Wrestlers and getting to spend that extra bit of time with her instead, and tells her how much he loves her and how he would give anything to spend that time with her, but that they will meet in 45 days. Hinting at the ending of the show, this episode is emotional whether it’s the first time you’re watching, or the tenth.
Don’t agree with these five? Guess it’s time to watch the whole show all over again, happily.
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Media courtesy of 20th Century Fox Television.