Since its premiere on Sept. 19, 2005, How I Met Your Mother has stood out as the heir-apparent among classic New York-based sitcoms like Friends and Seinfeld. The series follows the romantic (mis)adventures of one Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) and his four friends Marshall, Robin, Lily and Barney, as they strive to make it in the Big Apple. We’ve put together our Top Ten List of How I Met Your Mother Episodes, and think we’ve really nailed it. See if you agree!
10. S1, E10: The Pineapple Incident
It’s The Hangover, How I Met Your Mother-style! Ted downs five consecutive shots and wakes up next to an unidentified brunette lying facedown in his bed. There is a pineapple on the dresser, a pain in his ankle, and a whole lot of questions that need answering. The gang’s journey to figure out what happened turns this list entry into one of the funnier episodes in the show’s successful run. Really, this is one of the first times we caught ourselves guffawing at the antics of the Mother gang.
9. S4, E9: The Naked Man
As season four episodes go, “The Naked Man” is far and away the best of the run. Robin falls for a desperate attempt to get her into bed, and the ensuing story gives viewers some keen insight into the nature of sex in their favorite characters’ lives while also providing some hilarious hijinks between Ted and Barney as the latter nudges the former into trying out the naked man technique for himself on a new lady friend.
8. S7, E24: The Magician’s Code (Part Two)
While you could make the case season seven is one of the weaker overall efforts, the two-part finale makes us want to keep watching, especially with part two, which makes the top ten list of How I Met Your Mother shows for the way it advances the Barney and Ted stories. We finally get to learn who Mrs. Barney will be, and we also get to pursue Ted as he goes after “the one that got away.” This episode takes the overall series arc to a new high and doesn’t forget the laughter.
7. S8, E12: The Final Page (Part Two)
Seasons one and five, in our opinion, are undeniably the show’s best work, but we’ve got some love for the episodes in this new season as well, particularly part two of “The Final Page” storyline. This episode makes the list because of how well it handles the Robin-Ted-Barney triangle. Sometimes shows can go too far with the dramatics, especially when throwing characters up against each other, but this is handled in a smart and funny way that moves us briskly past the halfway point of what is probably How I Met Your Mother’s penultimate season.
6. S5, E12: Girls vs. Suits
With “Girls vs. Suits,” Barney once again plays a prominent role as he chooses between sexual relations with a hot bartender and the joy of looking like the sharp-dressed man he always is. However, it’s the Ted story that really makes us perk up and take interest as gets ever closer to meeting “the one.” We like this entry on the top ten How I Met Your Mother episodes because it really starts to move the main arc of the series forward. This may not be the funniest of the episodes, but it takes our emotional interest to an all-time high for this point in the series.
5. S6, E10: Blitzgiving
In “Blitzgiving,” Ted finds himself spending Thanksgiving with his hated enemy Zoey (Jennifer Morrison) after the gang ditches him for Steve (Jorge Garcia). Normally, Steve would hold the title of “The Blitz,” on account of his bad luck and reputation for missing out on all the cool stuff, but this year, the mantle seems to be moving to Ted. This entry on the top ten list of the How I Met Your Mother series does a great job of mining laughs out of the extended cast and giving our quintet of regulars some supporting help.
4. S3, E8: Spoiler Alert
“Spoiler Alert” is one of those episodes that features a situation to which most of us can relate. You just start dating someone new, and the time comes for your friends to meet her. You want everything to go perfectly, and it’s a little hard to not take things personally when the gang doesn’t like her. That’s what Ted is going through in this entry to our list of top ten How I Met Your Mother episodes. But rather than deal with it diplomatically, Ted gets a little hot under the collar and starts a chain reaction of pettiness that makes for some great jokes.
3. S1, E15: Game Night
“Game Night” is another season one addition that helped lay the groundwork for the greatness that the show would achieve in seasons two and three. We feel it deserves its own place on this roll call of How I Met Your Mother episodes if for nothing else, the shock of seeing another side of Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris), who in a short time had set himself apart as the comedy centerpiece of the cast. The gang’s other embarrassing tales are a nice build-up as well.
2. S2, E9: Slap Bet
“Slap Bet” is one of those episodes on this list of How I Met Your Mother classics that just gets funnier every time we watch it. Sure, the joke would eventually get played out, but here it’s fresh, funny and original, and it still works seven years later. Also, this episode is a nice showcase for Robin (Cobie Smulders) character, laying a foundation for the character that the show’s creators would mine for some more laughs later in the series.
1. S5, E8: The Playbook
By this point in the list of How I Met Your Mother episodes, the show’s creators had learned that if you had a couple of down weeks, it was always best to go back to Barney Stinson and let him steer the ship. This is classic Barney as he first throws a monkey wrench into the plan of Lily (Alyson Hannigan) to fix up Ted with her friend – by sleeping with the friend, of course – and then goes head-to-head with Lily over his stolen “Playbook.”
So, HIMYM fans, how’d we do? Share your picks with us below!