How I Met Your Mother: Don’t Let the Finale Ruin the Rest of the Series

I was reading Vulture today and in Margaret Lyon’s Stay Tuned column, she gave advice to someone named Alex who just finished Season 1 of How I Met Your Mother and after hearing that the finale was awful, asked if it was worth continuing to watch the show. Margaret felt so burned by the finale that she said no, stop watching. I disagree.

I was burned by the finale too. In fact, I wrote essentially a dissertation on it and my feelings have not shifted. But I think if I was talking to anyone that was unsure about committing to the full series based on hearing bad things about the finale, even though they loved the first season, I would suggest that they try to sample some of the best episodes of the following seasons. For HIMYM, there are solid episodes throughout every season – even the later years where it gets weird and the tone changes.

My suggested viewing of HIMYM is all of season 1. Hands down, a solid and lovely season that withstands multiple viewings.


I’ve limited my list of favorites from the rest of the series to my top 2 per season, plus a bonus episode (or two). I think beyond season 1, seasons 2 and 4 are worth watching in their entirety but if you’re going to take a sampling approach, try these:

Season 2:

  • Slap Bet
  • Swarley
  • Bonus:It’s a tie! Showdown & Lucky Penny

Season 3:

  • How I Met Everyone Else
  • Spoiler Alert
  • Bonus: The Bracket

Season 4:

  • Three Days of Snow
  • The Front Porch
  • Bonus:It’s a tie! Woooo! & Naked Man

Season 5:

  • Duel Citizenship
  • Robots vs. Wrestlers
  • Bonus: Girls vs. Suits

Season 6:

  • Bad News
  • Legendaddy
  • Bonus: Hopeless

Season 7:

  • The Best Man
  • The Magician’s Code
  • Bonus: Ducky Tie

Season 8:

  • The Final Page
  • The Time Travelers
  • Bonus: Something New

Season 9:

  • Unpause
  • How Your Mother Met Me
  • Bonus: Last Forever

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