For me How I Met Your Mother is one of the definitive tv series of our generation, and certainly my favourite sitcom of all time. It manages to combine a huge amount of great comedic moments with some of the most genuinely moving and beautiful stories ever. And as tonight marks the final episode of the show ever I thought I’d take this opportunity to relive some of my favourite moments from the show. I’m going to try and cover moments from the whole 9 seasons of HIMYM so needless to say there will be spoilers.
10) Swarley. So simple yet so funny. Swarley was a joke from the episode Swarley (a great episode for HIMYM as Marshall and Lily got back together) it was simply that the lady in the coffee shop got Barney’s name wrong. I think what made this such a great moment, apart from the huge escalation of the taking the piss from the rest of the gang, was just how relatable a gag it was, I mean it could easily happen to anyone in real life. As I said the escalation, including dedicating a song on the radio to him, a prank call for Swarles Barkley and having bar chant Swarley as he walks in. And then to have a throw back to it some 7 and a half season later in one of the final episodes was just brilliant.
9) Robin Sparkles. Our first classic recurring gag from the series, and it started with Robin’s refusal to go to the mall. Following a bet over whether she was married or starred in porn (more of which later) it turns out that she’d actually been a teenage popstar in Canada called Robin Sparkles who had one minor hit entitled Lets Go To the Mall (which of course I own and play regularly). Robin Sparkles came back when a ex boyfriend of hers revealed a second song, Sandcastles in the Sand. It took another few season for Robin Sparkles to return and when she did it was with a tv called Space Teens, with her friend Glitter, which was clearly just filth, but Robin refuses to acknowledge this. This was actually a really moving episode about the effects of having a baby on your friends. Finally the was P.S. I Love You, which was used to signal the end of Robin’s music career as she turned into the grungey Robin Daggers. A good recurring gag, however it kind of failed to hit the hilarious heights of the original song, but still merits a place on the list.
8) Slap Bet. This introduced a whole new way to bet with your friends. Who needs to bet with money when you can slap each other right? The original slap bet was quite funny, but where this recurring gag got great was when a premature slap was delivered and Marshall was allowed to deliver 5 slaps to Barney at any time he wished. These were used rather sparingly throughout the show, although they still need the addition of a couple more slaps later on. The two particular slaps that stand out are the original Slapsgiving, where Marshall “slaps Barney’s soul” which his tortuous slapcountdown.com before preforming a song, and the final slap, delivered as Barney suffers pre wedding nerves so as to make him focus, something which really brought home that the series was almost over.
7) How Your Mother Met Me. I’m going to be honest, when the mother was first revealed I was kind of like huh, am I missing something, we’ve waited 8 seasons, this is a bit of an anticlimax. Then we started to get to know her at the beginning of season 9, and then came this episode. What is clearly the stand out episode of the final season to date this is where so many of us fell in love with the mother. A great idea that just flipped the show to show us how the mother had ended up at the place she needed to be to meet Ted, and whilst that took 8 season for Ted, we got it in 20 minutes for the mother. Now I know picking a whole episode may be a bit of a cheat, so if I where to go for just one moment it would be when the mother sings La Vie en Rose whilst in the room next to Ted’s. Wow, such a beautiful end to a beautiful episode.
6) Pineapple Incident. We’ve all had a night like that where we got so drunk that we were completely out of control and had no idea what we were doing. Well this one is set the morning after whilst Ted tries to piece together what happened the night before. Whilst the story is really about Ted and Robin, what we all really wanted to know is what is that pineapple doing there? We never actually got an answer to this simple question, and that the genius of this joke. It was a great gag, and anything they came up with was just going to disappoint so why include anything? If only the hangover films had decided to follow that rule and just not not existed.
5) Nothing Suits Me Like A Suit. Many peoples favourite moment, and when HIMYM finally decided to utilise the all round performing talents of Neil Patrick Harris and it only took 100 episodes. He delivers a knock out performance as Barney singing about how he’d rather have his suits than anything else in the world, after a whole episode of dressing down to impress McLaren’s new bartender. The song is funny, cleaver and brilliantly sung (NPH is a broadway star lets not forget), and the punchline of “then again, she is pretty hot” and once again lying another girl into bed. It’s probably the definitive playboy Barney moment even beating the playbook.
4) Marshall’s Dad. For me this show is so far above all other sitcoms not for it’s ability to make us laugh, which it does frequently, but for it’s ability to make us cry, and boy was this one of the biggies. Throughout the episode Marshall is worried about bad news from a fertility test, and just he gets good news he’s hit by a revelation that his dad has suffered a heart attack. During the episode that is actually a countdown in the background for 50 to 1 which signifies the countdown to the bad news. Then when it comes, it really hits the audience for two reasons, we’ve seen how close Marshall and his dad were in the duration of the episode, and Jason Segal’s breathtaking performance, I can’t imagine losing a parent, but I’m sure he just about nailed how devastated you’d be. I was torn between this and the last words bit at the funeral, but Jason’s raw grief was some of the finest acting in sitcom history.
3) Barney’s Proposal. I’m not going to go into detail of how Barney proposes to Robin, mainly because it’s set out over the course of 4 or 5 episodes, but needless to say it’s Barney’s greatest play. Leaving the final page of his playbook for Robin to find, as long as Ted has shown he can let her go, it details the crazy lengths he went to in his play ‘The Robin’. It’s easily the greatest proposal that will ever be done, I mean do not try and outdo this guys you wouldn’t be able to, and was one of the few huge romantic gestures that wasn’t done by Ted, which made a nice change.
2) 2 Minute Date. I’m a bit worried that this list is revealing my nature as a bit of a romantic at heart now, oh well as long as it’s done well, and not in a stupidly unfunny generic hollywood rom com kind of way. And some of the big HIMYM romantic moments certainly weren’t. The two minute date is a date Ted takes his doctor Stella on a two minute date in order to fit it into her busy work schedule. This is such a great moment for me because as well as being funny, Manos: The Hands of Fate reference and a cheeky appearance by the always excellent Ranjit, it is also one of the most beautiful and awesome gestures made by any character in a sitcom that I can think of (Number 1 on this list aside) and set up Ted and Stella’s story in the show.
Well here we are, my number choice for my favourite How I Met Your Mother moment over the course of the show (please don;t let me sound too soppy)…
1) Blue French Horn/Rain Dance. Ok it’s two moments, so sue me. But in my defence they are very much connected, it’s the two main moments in the Ted/Robin relationship from the first season. The blue french horn is from the pilot and kind of represents Ted’s love for Robin. He steals it for her from the restaurant where they had their first date, as he says ‘Everyone brings flowers’ before blurting out that he loves her, having only met her twice before. Their relationship ends when he is force to return the blue French horn to the restaurant he stole it from, showing just how much it represent their relationship. Secondly is the rain dance Ted performs in the final episode of the first season in the hopes of making it rain so that Robin can’t go on a company camping trip. In the end it does rain, whether through his efforts or just general luck we’ll never know, and he proudly declares to Robin that he made it rain and that he’d done his part, right before the get together. It showcases the sheer emotion and beautiful stories of How I Met Your Mother better than any other moment in the Series, that despite the sad and the funny moments, the show is really about hope and love, and genuine relatable people.
Thank you for reading, I hope tonights episode can deliver moments worthy of a high, maybe even top, spot on my list, as that would be the most fitting way for How I Met Your Mother to end. Here’s to the greatest sitcom of all time, it was LEGEN-WAIT FOR IT-DARY!!