Nora Dominick ‘17/ Emertainment Monthly Assistant Stage Editor
It’s been 10 years since the pilot of How I Met Your Mother first aired on CBS and became one of the most iconic and legen…. wait for it…. dary sitcoms on television today. The gang may have left MacLaren’s for the last time back in 2014, however How I Met Your Mother’s influence on viewers and television continues. In honor of the pilot’s 10th Anniversary today, Emertainment Monthly has decided to count down the “Top 10 Moments from How I Met Your Mother.” Check them out below!
10. The Pineapple
It’s one of the biggest mysteries on How I Met Your Mother. The episode, “The Pineapple Incident” was part of the sitcom’s first season. The Pineapple became one of the many running gags on How I Met Your Mother. “The Pineapple Incident” episode tells the story of when Ted (Josh Radnor) ends up sleeping with Trudy (Danica McKellar) after a drunken night at MacLaren’s. When Ted wakes up the next morning, Trudy is in his bed and there is a Pineapple on his dresser. Like Marshall (Jason Segel), How I Met Your Mother fans fixated on the mysterious Pineapple. This one moment early on in the series is still one of the most talked about to this day.
9. Lily and Marshall’s Wedding
Lily Aldrin (Alyson Hannigan) and Marshall Eriksen are probably one of the best couples on television. The genuine love the characters have for each other and their friendship are two traits viewers latched onto very early on in the series. So, when the duo finally tied the knot in the two-part season two finale “Something Borrowed” and “Something Blue,” it was a major milestone for How I Met Your Mother. From Lily’s high school boyfriend Scooter (David Burtka) showing up to Marshall shaving his head, the two-part finale was one for the ages. Rarely on television do two characters stay together for the duration of a TV show, that’s why Lily and Marshall were a refreshing change of pace. Besides briefly breaking up in the beginning of season two, these two characters stood the test of time and their wedding is one of the standout moments for How I Met Your Mother. Hannigan and Segel have unmatchable chemistry and their ability to work with each other will stand the test of time.
8. The Blue French Horn
Since the pilot aired 10 years ago, french horns have always held a special place in the hearts of How I Met Your Mother fans and it all started with the pilot. In the pilot, Ted meets Robin (Cobie Smulders) and decides to ask her out. Their first date goes well, however when he returns to the bar and the gang informs him that he should’ve kissed Robin, Ted rushes to make things right. With Barney (Neil Patrick Harris), Marshall, Lily and their cab driver Ranjit (Marshall Manesh), Ted goes back to Robin’s apartment, but not before he steals a bright, blue French horn from the Italian restaurant they ate at. The Blue French Horn quickly became an important symbol of Ted and Robin’s rollercoaster of a relationship and is one of the biggest gags on How I Met Your Mother and it all started in the Pilot.
7. Barney Proposes to Robin
It was a relationship that sprung from the chemistry the two actors shared. Barney and Robin rapidly became a fan favorite couple on How I Met Your Mother and from the finale, it clearly wasn’t planned to happen. Their relationship began all the way in season three when Barney and Robin sleep together for the first time. The chemistry between Smulders and Harris was incredible and quickly led to the characters exploring a romantic relationship in season five. Although their first attempt at dating didn’t last long, the characters continue to have sexual tension and finally it came to fruition when Barney created the play, “The Robin.” In the season eight midseason finale, Barney proposes to Robin on top of the World Wide News building, her favorite place in the city. This moment encapsulated every moment the two characters had shared and it remains a huge How I Met Your Mother milestone.
6. Marshall’s Dad Dying
This singular How I Met Your Mother moment is probably the hardest to swallow. In the season six episode, “Bad News” Lily and Marshall decide to visit a doctor to make sure they can have children. In an episode that has several comedic moments including finding Barney’s doppelgänger, it rapidly turns into a sob fest. This episode proved Jason Segel’s impeccable acting abilities when, in the final moments, Lily exits a cab and informs Marshall his Dad died of a heart attack. It’s safe to say that whenever Alyson Hannigan cries on How I Met Your Mother, the entire fan-base cries, but seeing Segel also breakdown on camera was an emotional moment fans will never forget. The entire storyline of Marshall’s Dad dying helped solidify How I Met Your Mother’s rank amongst some of the best sitcoms ever because the show wasn’t afraid to stray from comedy and tell truthful, honest and sometimes emotional stories.
5. The Playbook
It’s safe to say that Neil Patrick Harris as Barney Stinson was one of the greatest aspects of How I Met Your Mother. Harris’ comedic timing coupled with the sitcom genre created a wonderful and flawless combination. Barney Stinson will probably go down as one of the greatest TV characters on television and a lot of that is thanks to Neil Patrick Harris and the incredible writing by Craig Thomas and Carter Bays. From Barney’s suits to his hatred for Canada, Barney became a hilarious and intricate part of How I Met Your Mother. The season five episode “The Playbook” introduced fans to the infamous Playbook, a book where Barney writes down all of his tricks, flimflams and bamboozles he uses to pick up chicks. The Playbook became an important gag on How I Met Your Mother and is probably one of the most memorable. Overall, Neil Patrick Harris effortlessly took Barney from a womanizer to a complex character and that is a testament to Harris’ ability to go from moments of hilarious physical comedy like The Slap Bet to moments of pure heartbreak like when he finally meets his Dad (John Lithgow).
4. The Slap Bet
How I Met Your Mother is probably best known for its running gags that would appear during it’s nine season run and The Slap Bet is probably the biggest one. It all started in the season two episode entitled, “Slap Bet,” where Marshall and Barney make a bet regarding Robin’s life in Canada. When Barney prematurely slaps Marshall, Marshall earns the ability to slap Barney five times from that moment to eternity. What ensues are years and years of Marshall slapping Barney in moments like “Slapsgiving.” The Slap Bet ends up culminating in a total of eight slaps that are finally all given out by Barney’s wedding to Robin in season nine. The Slap Bet became a staple and fan favorite gag on How I Met Your Mother and continues to be one of the most referenced moments to this day.
3. Meeting the Mother…. Finally!
How I Met Your Mother went eight seasons without revealing who the Mother was. The audience was on the journey right alongside Ted so, when The Mother was finally revealed in the season eight finale, “Something New,” fans were elated. Tony Award nominee, Cristin Milioti was finally revealed as The Mother and with it came an entire season where fans got to know the Mother, Tracy McConnell. From the moment Lily met her in the season nine premiere, fans already became attached to her. The 200th episode entitled, “How Your Mother Met Me” gave fans a detailed look at Tracy’s life and is arguably one of the best episodes of How I Met Your Mother ever. The Mother will always hold a special place in the hearts of diehard How I Met Your Mother fans and that made the finale that much harder. Fans will always carry a torch for the Girl with the Yellow Umbrella.
2. Nothing Suits Me Like a Suit
“Nothing Suits Me Like a Suit” was one of the biggest scenes on How I Met Your Mother and celebrated the shows milestone 100th episode. The episode and dance number it entailed will forever remain an important one for How I Met Your Mother fans as they watched Neil Patrick Harris and the rest of the gang put their dancing and singing to the test as Barney sang about his love for suits. This moment instantly became a classic as fans learned all the lyrics to this amazing original song. Barney Stinson further marks his place amongst the best characters on TV and this moment was just icing on the cake.
1. “Let’s Go to the Mall” and Robin Sparkles
It’s hard to even talk about How I Met Your Mother without talking about the phenomenon that became Robin Sparkles, Robin’s pop star alter ego from Canada. Robin Sparkles was first introduced to viewers in the season two episode, “Slap Bet” and this running gag quickly became a fan-favorite. The moment that started it all was her music video “Let’s Go to the Mall.” With this one musical moment, fans fell head-over-heals for the 90’s inspired pop-star from Canada that travelled around singing in malls. “Let’s Go to the Mall” will continuously remain one of the greatest reveals on How I Met Your Mother and Robin Sparkles will remain a classic character for years. From “Let’s Go to the Mall,’ How I Met Your Mother also revealed “Sandcastles in the Sand,” Robin Sparkles TV show, Space Teens, and “P.S I Love You.” Out of all the crazy moments How I Met Your Mother threw at viewers, “Let’s Go to the Mall” and all things Robin Sparkles still remain the best.