Best How I Met Your Mother Episodes: Top 5 Favorites, According To Fans

From the moment you tuned into the first episode of “How I Met Your Mother,” you were welcomed into the quirky world of Ted, Marshall, Lily, Robin, and the legendary Barney. This gang of friends in New York City brought us some of the most hilarious misadventures and memorable catchphrases in TV history. Remember Barney’s “Suit up!” battle cry that had us all questioning our wardrobe choices? There is no way that we can ever forget the best “How I Met Your Mother” episodes, as they have become a part of our life experience in the way that a great sitcom does.

But it wasn’t just the catchphrases that made the show a classic; it was the heartfelt moments that hit us right in the feels. Ted’s relentless pursuit of “the one” and the twists and turns of his romantic escapades kept us guessing and rooting for his happiness. And let’s not forget the bittersweet moments that came with growing up, like Marshall and Lily’s journey into parenthood or the ups and downs of Robin’s career.

The show’s format, with Ted narrating the story to his kids, added an extra layer of humor and intrigue. As Ted recounts his past adventures we are led to guess and then finally discover when and how he would finally meet their mother.

In celebration of this awesome sitcom, StudyFinds has combed expert television reviews to create a definitive list of the best “How I Met Your Mother” episodes. Sit back and reminisce with us as we enjoy these memories once again. Which HIMYM character was your favorite? Leave a comment to let us know!

Josh Radnor at the "How I Met Your Mother" Series Farewell in 2014
Josh Radnor at the “How I Met Your Mother” Series Farewell in 2014 (Photo by Joe Seer on Shutterstock)

The List: Best “How I Met Your Mother” Episodes, Per Experts

1. “Slap Bet” Season 2, Episode 9

The most memorable episode of “How I Met Your Mother” is “Slap Bet” from season two. “This episode marks the day the gang find out Robin was a teen pop star,” writes Collider. “Ted digs to find out her secret, while Barney and Marshall make a slap bet about it. Despite wanting to keep it private, Barney shows up with a video and the gang watches the iconic Robin Sparkles music video. This episode remains one of the most rewatchable of them all, not only because of the song. The slap bet gag lasts right to the end of How I Met Your Mother, as viewers waited in anticipation for the next slap.”

Every good sitcom gives us something to look forward to and HIMYM delivered. According to Entertainment Weekly, “Every group of friends has its inside jokes, and this season 2 standout debuted two of the best recurring elements of the show: Slap Bets, and one mall-singing Robin Sparkles. Hilarious, yes, but this installment also managed to highlight the interplay between the core five that would become a hallmark of the program. We’d go to the mall with any of them any day.”

Does Marshall ever complete the slap bet? Yes, according to Cinema Blend, “Barney slaps Marshall after incorrectly assuming his bet that Robin was a porn star was true and, as punishment, must endure five random slaps, which Marshall completes in Season 9.”

2. “How Your Mother Met Me” Season 9, Episode 16

The number two spot on our list of the best episodes of HIMYM is the inverse to the premise of the show, the episode that describes how “the mother” met Ted. “The 200th episode of the series is told from the perspective of Ted’s wife and ‘The Mother’ (Cristin Milioti) and how various events in her life coincided with that of Ted and the gang,” writes Yard Barker. “The near misses and various degrees of separation between her, Ted (yes, the yellow umbrella was hers), and the other friends are unique. It was a solid build-up to the final episodes of the season.”

For a show that aimed to resolve a mystery, audiences were hoping that the reveal would live up to the hype. “The greatest thing the show did in its last season was create a mother that was as good as everything Ted had said about her over the years,” says Movie Web. “Cristin Milioti was a great addition to the cast; she had chemistry with everyone involved and was able to create a fully realized character that was perfect for Ted. This is Milioti’s episode through and through, as we discover her whole life and how she ended at Robin and Barney’s wedding, where she would meet Ted.”

Apparently, the actress nailed it, satisfying fans who had waited years for this reveal. An expert reviewer from Den of Geek adds, “A  lot of what made this episode work was down to Cristin Milioti’s exceptional performance as Tracy. She’d been drip-fed into the series up until now, and there was always a risk that fans might have rebelled against the character, but Milioti’s turn was strikingly vulnerable and charmingly funny. We fell in love with her before Ted Mosby did. It was obvious that she and Ted were made for each other.”

3. “The Pineapple Incident” Season 1, Episode 10

“The Pineapple Incident” showcased a mystery within the mystery and fans loved it. “A personal favorite of many How I Met Your Mother enthusiasts, The Pineapple Incident is a foggy recount of a night in which Ted got blackout drunk and wound up with a woman in his bed…and a pineapple,” says Popcorn Banter. “As the episode progresses, friends and acquaintances fill Ted in on his night on the drink.”

It seems that the mystery of why there was a pineapple in Ted’s bed was only a side dish to the real reason fans enjoyed this episode. Looper explains, “Drunk Ted is a welcome change of pace from the usual iteration of the character, overthinking virtually every aspect of his life. Operating like a twist on the thriller ‘Memento,’ Ted pursues the various clues around him in an attempt to piece together what exactly transpired while he was drunk.”

But Ted ends up finding out what happened, doesn’t he? He sure does! Screen Rant explains it all, “Ted asks his friends what happened and finds out his wild night included falling off a table while singing karaoke, being set on fire by Barney (Neil Patrick Harris), and drunk dialing Robin (Cobie Smulders) multiple times. From the information he gathers, he thinks the woman in his bed is Robin, but it’s actually a girl named Trudy who he met at the bar.”

4. “Game Night” Season 1, Episode 15

This episode is a sweet revelation of how one incident can change a person completely. Collider shares, “A night of harmless games soon turns into a time of reflection for Barney. The gang get their hands on a tape that Barney sent to an old girlfriend, and despite his wishes, they watch it. It showcases a different side of Barney, the man he was before he became a corporate womanizer. After watching it, Barney makes everyone else tell embarrassing stories too.”

Cinema Blend offers even more details about Barney’s transformation: “Speaking of epic bombshell discoveries, what we learn about Barney in Season 1 is arguably even more unbelievable. A simple game of ‘Marshgammon’ turns into a night of groundbreaking reveals about one another, including Barney’s past as a meek, virginal hippie whose dreams of going to the Peace Corps with then-girlfriend, Shannon (Katie Walder), were crushed when she left him for a douchebag businessman.”

After watching Barney play the hard core womanizer for so many episodes, fans found it refreshing to watch him be soft. “In Game Night, the gang find out about the ‘real’ Barney after his heartbreak led him to become the person is. Barney with a ponytail and the cringey song he makes for Shannon is reason enough for this episode to be in the top 10,” declares The Tab.

5. “Girls vs. Suits” Season 5, Episode 12

Day by day, line by line, reveal by teeny tiny reveal, viewers became hooked on HIMYM. “In the show’s 100th episode, we get the biggest Mother clues to date, as we learn that she is Cindy’s roommate and plays bass in a band—and we get a glimpse of her foot (we were taking anything we could get at that point). But the real star of this episode is the musical number at the end, as the whole gang suits up for ‘Nothing Suits Me Like a Suit,'” writes Entertainment Weekly.

Wait. So HIMYM includes an original song and dance number? “This episode definitely deserves to be in the top five of best How I Met Your Mother episodes and there will be not further debates on the matter,” declares The Tab. “As Barney tries get with the new bartender at McLarens, he has to ditch his suits and the episode then becomes a musical. Truly iconic.”

Looper was equally as astonished by Barney’s twinkle toes, “The climax of the episode was an entire song and dance number that saw Barney professing his love of suits, with the song itself nominated for an Emmy Award.”

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Which episode of HIMYM sticks with you the most? Leave a comment to let everyone know!

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About the Author

Te-Erika Patterson

Te-Erika is the Publisher of The Feisty News for Women, the only full-service news source for women. Te-Erika is also the author of How To Love a Powerful Woman, Leave Your Baby Daddy and Loving Female Led Relationships: Relationships that Empower Women. A graduate of The University of Florida, Te-Erika enjoys a thriving career as a digital content creator that has spanned more than a decade. She enjoys chocolate, wine and solitude, and she is currently living a quiet life in Montgomery, Alabama. Follow her @Te-Erika

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