Monday, October 5, 2009

The 15 Most Legendary Episodes of How I Met Your Mother: Part III

So, we’ve reached our final week in the 15 Most Legendary Episodes of HIMYM list. I had been procrastinating a bit on finishing this up, even though I knew the episodes I was going to include. I ended up being extremely happy when I finally got around to finishing this list, though, because these episodes are some of my very favorites. There are moments where I laughed just as hard as I did the very first time I saw these episodes, and there are moments that really made me think, especially knowing where some characters go next. It’s been a fun ride.

Part I

Part II

The Bracket

“What I do with these women should be between me and them. And you guys. And Heloise. She helped me do the decoupage.”


I don’t quite understand how Barney is able to remain at all sympathetic in this episode, but somehow Neil Patrick Harris pulls it off. One of Barney’s former conquests is “ruining his life” by covertly approaching any woman he flirts with and warning her that Barney is not to be trusted. The gang employs a March Madness style bracket of the 64 women Barney has most wronged to figure out who this woman is. This episode mostly makes my list for the absolutely hilarious scene of everybody sitting around Lily’s classroom blackboard heatedly debating which women should make it to the next round. Some of the descriptions of things Barney has done like “Fake Baby” or “12 Weeks to Live” or “Prince of Norway” are horrible, but because we know it’s fictional and the actors deliver the lines so well (they’re screaming their opinions at each other), I never fail to laugh hysterically the whole time. The scene of Lily dancing crazily at the juke box when she’s supposed to be inconspicuous (the gang is trying to set a trap for the “mystery woman”) is also hilarious. To answer the question I posed back at the beginning of this paragraph, I suppose it’s the scene Lily calls “Barney’s Redemption” that allows Barney to remain sympathetic. He profusely apologizes to the woman he believes is the mystery woman because he doesn’t remember her, and he never thought he’d be the guy who doesn’t remember women he slept with. It turns out the woman to whom he apologized was just one of Robin’s work friends, but it was a nice gesture nonetheless.

Sandcastles in the Sand

“He had the most amazing collection of Hard Rock Café T-shirts.”


This episode has more going for it than just the Barney/Robin hook-up at the end (although that’s pretty great, for sure). The concept of “revertigo,” or reverting back to how you used to be when you see someone from your past, created a lot of really funny situations. Lily and her high school friend Michelle were pretty amusing (I love when Michelle starts speaking really intelligently about her dissertation as soon as Lily leaves the table to get a drink), as were Ted and his high school friend “Punchy.” Despite what I said in the first sentence, I still love this episode most for the Barney and Robin interaction overall- not just the hook-up. It’s just adorable when Barney meets up with Robin at MacLaren’s after she’s been dumped by Simon for the second time. As soon as he realizes that she’s not talking about the time she got dumped when she was sixteen, and that what happened earlier that evening really hurt her, he’s all about being comforting and making sure she’s okay. I like that, after stating that Robin is the “second most awesome” person he knows, he doesn’t say that the most awesome person is himself, but the person he sees in the mirror. It’s some interesting insight into what makes Barney tick, and it shows that Barney is self-aware enough to know that the Awesome! persona is not who he actually truly is.

The Naked Man

“My weaknesses? Um, I would say caring too much, working too hard, and putting my career in front of my love life. Whoops! That last one was real. What?!”


This episode was the best pick-me-up when I was getting extra stressed studying for the bar exam. It’s just so over-the-top funny. The first time I saw the sequence where Barney and Ted are contemplating how to “display their Naked Man” had me laughing hysterically for a very long time. On rewatch, the Naked Man antics aren’t quite as funny when they aren’t a shock (still pretty damn funny, though), but there are still plenty of good things about this episode to give it a spot on this list. One would be the quote I included above. It always gets a laugh from my fellow job searching friends. If only we could all be as honest as Robin on job interviews. We still wouldn’t be employed, but we’d have a lot more fun! Another good thing would be the fact that this is the episode that gets Ted out of his post-Stella funk. I never loved Stella to begin with, so it was nice to see Ted back in the game. So, yeah, I’m trying to be like Robin in a way with this paragraph. She went on a second date with Naked Man Mitch to convince herself that she didn’t just sleep with him because he was naked. I’m trying to come up with intelligent things to say about the episode to prove that I don’t just like it because of naked Josh Radnor and Neil Patrick Harris.

The Possimpible

“From all of us here at News Ten, have a good evening. So good night, New York. And may the road ahead be lit with dreams. And tomorrows. Which are lit with dreams…also. Stand tall, New York! Trustworthy. Recycling. Wear a condom.”


So I made the mistake of rewatching this episode while eating dinner. Thankfully, my keyboard survived. “The Possimpible” is just that funny. Robin still doesn’t have a job, and if she doesn’t find one in the next week, she’s going to be deported. All sorts of crazy antics ensue, including the unveiling of Barney’s video resume (featuring the song “Barney Stinson: That Guy’s Awesome”…check it out at, Barney helping Robin make her own video resume, and Robin trying out to be a Lotto Girl. The rest of the gang also comes to realize that they have some “weak ass crap,” as Lily put it, on their own resumes. This gives us fun flashbacks to Pretentious!Ted’s days as lame college radio DJ “Dr. X” who wants to protest because the school’s meal plan is racist, and to Lily’s days as a competitive hot dog eater, complete with a sight gag involving Alyson Hannigan’s real life pregnant belly. Then there’s Marshall and his “Dancer’s Hip.” To top it all off, there are two incredibly sweet moments. One, when Barney is about to propose to Robin because he thinks it could help her stay in the country, and two, when Barney actually gets Robin a job at the end of the episode. Random observation: all HIMYM unemployment plots (with the exception of Ted’s) seem to end with Barney getting that person a job. I need my own Barney to get me a job, damnit!

The Leap

“Ted, remember that was your answer because…the suit is Robin.”


This episode is really the perfect example of everything that makes HIMYM great. I laughed hysterically. I “awww”-ed. I got a little teary at the end. It’s an emotional roller coaster you don’t often see with half-hour sitcoms. The episode’s message, delivered by Lily (hiding behind a bowl of popcorn), also resonates with me right now. Life doesn’t always go according to “the plan.” You just have to live it and take it as it comes. Ted sees his career as an architect take a final, fatal blow when the one job he’s managed to land since striking out on his own is once again stolen by Sven. This happens after the tussle with a goat we’ve been promised for over a season. That tussle didn’t disappoint, and the whole goat sequence was one of the things that had me laughing hysterically. Between the running gag with the goat finally paying off, another clue to the Mother’s identity (she’s in the classroom where Ted is teaching at the end of the episode), and the wonderful Barney/Robin moments, this episode was really a love letter to the fans. And about that Barney and Robin stuff…I love how it was handled in this episode. It was very true to both their characters. Robin was a little wary because she knows Barney’s history, they both acknowledged their feelings, and in true Barney/Robin form, they decided to put off dealing with it until later. The look on Barney’s face as he gets ready to leap to the next roof where Robin is standing, however, says it all.

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