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Kamal Kornilov
Kamal Kornilov

How I Met Your Mother Season Guide

For nine seasons (2005-2014), CBS's How I Met Your Mother was one of the funniest, most heartwarming, and uniquely creative sitcoms on network television. The ending might have fallen short in delivering the mystery of who exactly was the mother of Ted Mosby's kids. Still, he and pals Marshall, Lily, Robin, and Barney are some of the most beloved characters in TV history.

how i met your mother season guide

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One point that starts to feel thin after a while, however, is the gimmick behind the title of How I Met Your Mother. Perhaps clever in early episodes, as the seasons progress, it sometimes seems like we no longer care anymore who the mother is, what with all the storyline manipulations surrounding the topic. Robin, a strong candidate at first, has long since been ruled out, which means that Ted must eventually find a steady girlfriend. That isn't necessarily a flaw -- much of the best comedy stems from romantic misadventures -- but someday Ted will need a romantic encounter that doesn't end badly, which is unlikely to be as funny.

For nine seasons, Ted Mosby recounted the lengthy tale of how he eventually met the mother of his children on the popular sitcom "How I Met Your Mother." Joined by his longtime Marshall Ericksen, Lily Aldrin, Barney Stinson, and Robin Scherbatsky, Ted searches for true love as he enters his 30s and progresses in his career. And amidst all the jokes about the trials and tribulations of the dating scene, "How I Met Your Mother" always brought plenty of emotional depth for its story and characters as they navigated life.

Celebrity the holidays at MacLaren's, and enjoy the best How I Met Your Mother episodes featuring Ted Mosby's romantic escapades to watch during the holiday season. Whether you're looking for the one where Marshall scares Barney with the third slap in "Slapsgiving" or when Marshall goes all-out with his Christmas decorations in "Symphony of Illumination," this list of How I Met Your Mother Christmas episodes and Thanksgiving episodes also includes popular fan favorites, like "Blitzgiving," "How Lily Stole Christmas," and the New Year's Eve episode "The Limo." What is your favorite holiday episode from How I Met Your Mother?

It's time once again for our annual list of the 50 best episodes of the past year. (For previous lists check the links to the right.) As usual we'll be counting down 10 episodes a day until we get to the best episode of 2008 on Friday. The episodes on this list are based on nominations by myself, the staff and you the readers as to what we think the standout moments of the year were.Obviously our final list will differ from the ones you sent in - but that's half the fun! So sit back, relax and enjoy the countdown!40. "how i met your mother: the naked man" (cbs)(originally aired: november 24, 2008)This truly "Seinfeld"-esque installment proposed the theory that if you take off all your clothes at the end of a ho-hum date, two out of three times it'll lead to sex. It was good news for Ted and Lily. Not so much for Barney. And if that wasn't enough: Lily presents 50 reasons for having sex.39. "the unit: sudden flight" (cbs)(originally aired: october 5, 2008)They really do make a little movie each week on "The Unit" - in this case, a flight gets hijacked while the team tries to follow a scientist. From the team's MacGyvering skills to its crackerjack dialogue (Jonas: "Who here has flown a 767?" Beat. Jonas: "Who here would like to fly a 767?"), this is a show that's definitely worth keeping on your radar.38. "the mentalist: pilot" (cbs)(originally aired: september 23, 2008)Hands down the best - not to mention the most-watched - new show on the fall season "The Mentalist" made launching a new show look easy. Charming lead. Check. Procedural gimmick. Check. A mix of silly and serious. Check. Viewers. Check.37. "californication: the raw & the cooked" (showtime)(originally aired: october 19, 2008)The Moodys' dinner party started with Hank and Karen together and ended with them apart. In between we got Hank going all shotgun on Becca's new beau, Marcy and Charlie's sexual escapades making everyone uncomfortable, Lew Ashby (someone get Callum Keith Rennie his own show) turning up with the victim of Hank's mouth raping and Sonja dropping the bombshell of all bombshells.36. "30 rock: milf island" (nbc)(originally aired: april 10, 2008)Worth a spot on this list alone for the amazingly meta development of getting NBC itself into hot water over its content.35. "the office: employee transfer" (nbc)(originally aired: october 30, 2008)Wait, wait - you're going to give us Michael's perfect mate (Amy Ryan, you will be missed) and then going to send her away? Comedy never felt so cruel. 34. "fringe: the arrival" (fox)(originally aired: september 30, 2008)You could almost see the creative gears on "Fringe" shift into overdrive during this installment, which introduced "The Observer" and featured everything from a mysterious cylinder to ray guns that can knock you ten feet in the air. There's nothing quite like seeing J.J. Abrams and company reach into the toybox and go crazy with what they pull out.33. "gossip girl: the dark knight" (the cw)/32. "chuck: chuck versus the break-up" (nbc)(originally aired: september 15, 2008/october 13, 2008)Not one but two shows this year wrote master theses on how to keep its two lead characters apart without betraying their chemistry or using some artificial deus ex machina - and they both came from the same guy, Josh Schwartz. In "Chuck," it was a culmination of a three-episode arc which actually put Chuck and Sarah together, showed how work may perennially get in the way and ultimately, even when that hurdle is overcome, how life may really have two different paths in mind for them. In "Gossip Girl," it was the realization by Dan and Serena that underneath their deep feelings for each other was a deep resentment over the events of the past year. Sure both couples will inevitably get back together, but kudos for Schwartz and company for continuing to keep the dance interesting.31. "brothers & sisters: prior commitments" (abc)(originally aired: may 11, 2008)Any hint of happiness for the Walker clan is reason to celebrate - here, the much deserved nuptials between Kevin and Scotty - but as is always the case, there's a new storm around the corner - in this case, William's latest big secret. To quote my Television Without Pity friends, "Damn you, Berlanti!"COMING TOMORROW: #30-21

30. "gilmore girls: a house is not a home" (the wb)(originally aired: may 17, 2005)Reason #1 why it's crazy the Emmys continue to snub Alexis Bledel, Lauren Graham and the show in general.29. "gilmore girls: let me hear your balalaikas ringing out" (the wb)(originally aired: november 8, 2005)Reason #2 why it's crazy the Emmys continue to snub Alexis Bledel, Lauren Graham and the show in general.28. "how i met your mother: the pineapple incident" (cbs)(originally aired: november 28, 2005)For me, this was the episode where the show really found its voice as Ted struggles to recall the events of the previous night, not to mention how a pineapple inexplicably found its way into his room.27. "it's always sunny in philadelphia: gun fever" (fx)(originally aired: august 30, 2005)The image of Charlie (Charlie Day), Mac (Rob McElhenney) and Dennis (Glenn Howerton) gleefully firing a handgun into a tree stump in the basement of their bar still makes me giggle to this day.26. "monk: mr. monk goes to the office" (usa)(originally aired: july 29, 2005)Monk working undercover in an office - only to find he actually fits in - has to be one of the funniest and most clever episodes of the show to date.25. "prison break: odd man out" (fox)(originally aired: november 21, 2005)Holy crap moment from "Prison Break" thus far #1: T-Bag cutting Abruzzi's throat.24. "prison break: pilot" (fox)(originally aired: august 29, 2005)Holy crap moment from "Prison Break" thus far #2: The big tattoo reveal.23. "scrubs: my life in four cameras" (nbc)(originally aired: february 15, 2005)A real testament to how clever "Scrubs" can be, this episode saw J.D. (Zach Braff) imagine what his life would be like if he was in a sitcom - and went so far as to film a portion of it as a sitcom.22. "the shield: ain't that a shame" (fx)(originally aired: june 14, 2005)"The Shield" finales are always pitch perfect as various storylines close - both Capt. Rawling and Antwon Mitchell (Glenn Close, Anthony Anderson) are sent packing - while new ones open - the investigation into Vic's team.21. "eyes: shots" (abc)(originally aired: april 27, 2005)Here's why I desperately miss this show - when Harlan (an awesome Tim Daly) loses Leslie (Laura Leighton) to her on-again/off-again boyfriend, he literally tells her how pissy and angry he is about it.

38. "scrubs: my lunch" (nbc)(originally aired: april 25, 2006)While the show itself has waded deep into cartoonish waters as of late, this installment reminded us of classic "Scrubs'" balance of the absurd - a look inside "The Todd's" efforts to walk into conversations at the right time - and the very real - an annoying patient (Nicole Sullivan) confesses to trying to kill herself while Dr. Cox battles to break a streak of transplant patients dying.37. "entourage: vegas baby, vegas!" (hbo)(originally aired: august 6, 2006)Johnny Drama cold cocking Seth Green. End of story.36. "heroes: genesis" (nbc)(originally aired: september 25, 2006)A swift reminder that making our imaginations sizzle - what would you do if you woke up with super powers one day? - is the hardest thing to do in television. 35/34. "lost: live together, die alone, parts 1 & 2" (abc)(originally aired: may 24, 2006)After its disappointing send off in season one, we got the info dump of info dumps in its season two finale - the hatch exploding, the Others capturing Jack, Kate, Hurley and Sawyer, Desmond's backstory and the show's first post-crash visit off the island.33. "how i met your mother: come on" (cbs)(originally aired: may 15, 2006)The fact that this series can make us care about relationships that we know are destined to fail is a true testament to how great this show is. In this case, Ted finally gets together with Robin in the show's season finale while Marshall and Lily split up.32. "grey's anatomy: it's the end of the world" (abc)(originally aired: february 5, 2006)The cannon shot that marked the show's first visit to the top of the Nielsens, the famed Super Bowl episode did for America the one thing all post-Super Bowl episodes should do - check out a promising series they might not have watched before and stick around for the long haul.31. "24: day 5: 6:00 a.m. - 7:00 a.m." (fox)(originally aired: may 22, 2006)About as perfect of a finale this show has ever had - from its teaser for the upcoming season (Jack being literally shipped off to China) to the chief villain being caught (Martha Logan gets her husband to confess his part in the day's events).COMING TOMORROW: #30-21 350c69d7ab


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