How I Met Your Mother had its share of truly great episodes, but like any other TV sitcom, it also had episodes that were just the worst.
Over the course of nine years, we’ve seen Barney attempt all kinds of gimmicks to “pick up chicks and give them the business”. In season five episode “The Playbook”, it is revealed that Barney literally wrote the book on seducing women. The eponymous book contains “every scam, con, hustle, hoodwink, gambit, flimflam, stratagem and bamboozle” you can imagine.
The episode features legendary plays like The SNASA, The Mrs. Stinsfire, The Lorenzo von Matterhorn, and of course the unforgettable The Scuba Diver, which turns out to be the entire plot of the episode. “The Playbook” is one of those expertly crafted, hilarious episodes that defined HIMYM. The punchline at the very end of the episode is absolutely brilliant.
THE PINEAPPLE INCIDENT
“The Pineapple Incident” is one of HIMYM’s funniest, best-rated, most-watched episodes and deservedly so. In an effort to get Ted to do more and think less, Barney decides to get him drunk. Ted gets thoroughly wasted and wakes up the next morning with no recollection of the night before, a girl in his bed, and a pineapple on his nightstand, hence the Pineapple Incident.
Ted then spends the entire episode trying to figure out what happened the night before and, most importantly, where the pineapple came from. Unfortunately, we never do get the answer to that question. But we do find out that he sprained his ankle by falling off the table while singing karaoke, drunk-dialed Robin numerous times, and got set on fire by Barney. As for the pineapple, according to a season nine deleted scene, Ted stole it from The Captain’s doorstep.
HOW I MET EVERYONE ELSE
Right after the first episode, it was clear to all of us watching that we’re in for a long haul until we actually get to the moment Ted and the Mother meet. Luckily, we didn’t have to wait as long to learn how everyone else met each other. In season three episode “How I Met Everyone Else”, Ted brings his new girlfriend Blah Blah to meet the gang. Embarrassed by the fact that they met online, Blah Blah tells a too-good-to-be-true bogus story about how they met, prompting a trip down memory lane.
The gang starts reminiscing about how they all met and we get some pretty hilarious moments in both the present and the flashbacks. The episode also introduced the series-long euphemism for smoking weed, “eating sandwiches”, as well as Barney’s hot/crazy scale.
Speaking of “Slap Bet”, when Robin screams at the top of her lungs that she doesn’t go to the mall, the gang goes crazy trying to figure out what happened to Robin at the mall. Theories start to develop, and Barney, of course, claims that Robin used to work in porn. Marshall and Barney decide to make a slap bet – whoever’s right gets to slap the loser as hard as they can – and thus began the series-long running gag known as Slapsgiving.
HOW YOUR MOTHER MET ME
“How Your Mother Met Me” is hands down the best episode of season nine. Told from the perspective of the Mother, aka Tracy, the episode returned How I Met Your Mother to its former glory and restored some of our waning faith (albeit, just to have it crushed in the finale). In this one glorious episode, the writers masterfully managed to show us the Mother’s life over the years, while threading the many hints we’ve gotten over the years – the yellow umbrella, the bass guitar, the econ class – into a cohesive story. We truly get to know Tracy, who she is, what she loves, and what made her the person she is when she finally meets Ted.