It’s been a while since CBS’s How I Met Your Mother wrapped up and its still not clear what legacy it left behind. After an awkward finale that split fans, many fans are returning to view the show and remembering the good times it brought. But for every high there’s a low and HIMYM isn’t any different.
I figured I’d look back at the ten episodes it would probably be best to skip over if you’re planning on revisiting the show anytime soon.
Which episodes did you find the worst from How I Met Your Mother?
10. “Mom and Dad” (Season 9 Episode 10)
Mom and Dad ultimately highlight the big problem with Season 9, a lot happens but none of it really matters.
This episode sees Ted play detective, trying to uncover who broke Robin’s gift. If that sounds interesting, don’t worry, the show quickly ejects all sense of fun as Ted snoops around with not a sense of fun.
Meanwhile, Barney and James’ parents turn up, causing “hilarious” awkwardness for the pair as they try to deal with the tension. Nothing of value comes from this episode, other than a rather touching moment at the episode’s end.
But did it need to be buried under all this rubbish?
9. The Stamp Tramp (Season 8 Episode 7)
Newly single Barney decides to franchise out his strip club attendance, roping the entire gang into an awkward NFL draft-type showcase.
It could have worked but the show executes the idea in the lamest way possible, shooting for the lowest comedy rung and delivering few laughs along the way.
Things don’t get much better for the rest of the cast, who end up saddled with one of the worst side plots this side of season 7. It’s an episode shockingly low on laughs.
It serves as an example of How I Met Your Mother stretching out poor ideas for the sake of padding episodes.
It also reopened the Barney/Robin on/off relationship again, something that would become much more
Such a frustrating point in the show’s history.
8. “The Autumn of Break-Ups” (Season 8 Episode 5)
This is the one where Jason Segal channels his “inner goddess” in one of the shows most cringe-worthy moments.
It’s a moment so iconically bad that it regularly gets called out as one of the worst moments in the show’s history – with good reason.
Elsewhere Ted and Victoria’s relationship hits the rocks when Victoria’s entire 8-season character arc is ejected in seconds as a lame excuse to get Ted chasing Robin again.
Victoria’s character was pretty savagely hurt by this little Season 8 return, as the show failed to explore any new ideas with her. What could have been a memorable return quickly turned into a retread of Season 1’s already exhausted storylines.
Disappointing all around.
7. The Burning Bee Keeper (Season 7 Episode 15)
The idea behind this episode was decent but the execution was savagely underwhelming.
The main story is re-told from three different perspectives – none of which are remotely interesting or funny. Perhaps the most disappointing aspect is that the conclusion of the story ultimately does little make the journey worthwhile.
It also doesn’t help that not much actually happens in the episode. The story comes across with all the excitement of filler with nothing to keep the audience engaged.
How I Met Your Mother had an excellent track of trying new ideas and experimenting. This is one of the lesser successes.
6. Zoo or False (Season 5 Episode 19)
Marshall gets mugged by a monkey and the entire episode is a poorly realized one-tone joke that fails to be funny.
Jason Segal doesn’t do it for me in this episode – failing to land any of his usual humorous trademarks. Everything from this point only falls further flat, exposing the weak premise in the process.
The only redeemable moment from this episode involves the titular monkey in the TV studio at the end, offering one of the shows more iconic moments in the process is a highlight and arguably saves the episode single-handedly.
A very early sign that the show wasn’t landing its comic punches quite as much as the show had been in earlier seasons.
5. Last Forever Part 1 (Season 9 Episode 23)
I’ve actually softened to the first half of the finale, if only because it isn’t as awful as the second part. But really this episode showcases everything wrong with Season 9 and its mixed priorities.
Instead of giving the audience all this development across the season, the show crams it inside a 22-minute episode. Robin and Barney break up, Lily and Marshall have another kid and the series revisits Robin’s insecurities – all while jumping several years at a time.
The worst part of all this is that the developments do little to serve the whole show, instead working to actively sabotage the likes of Robin – who come off much worse for the whole thing.
The whole thing feels mean-spirited and against the very core of How I Met Your Mother, punishing fans for investing in Barney’s development while also giving audiences little reason to feel good.
What a disappointing first half to the closing chapter of the show. But it only got worse from here…
4. “Last Forever Part 2” (Season 9 Episode 24)
The second part of How I Met Your Mother’s finale is markedly worse in many aspects, largely because the writers completely lost focus on what story the show was telling.
Now our gang of characters are so disenchanted that they’re actively missing major moments – destroying the very fabric of the show.
Robin is the absolute worst in this episode, barely seen and relegated to amazingly cold bitch. The coldness shown runs against the character fans had spent years rooting for and completely destroys the point of season 9 as a whole.
Not that Robin is the only character to suffer through this mess. The Mother gets killed off screen, a completely unforgivable bait and switch that leaves a sour taste in the audience’s mouth. While the sequence around this is lovely and the moment of Ted and The Mother meeting for the first time is everything fans could have dreamed for – it’s ruined entirely by the aforementioned revelation.
Honestly the ending still gets me mad to this day and the fact that the writers tried to cram in Robin and Ted to close it out underlines why this entire fiasco was so poorly received.
Oh, and Barney has a kid, that we see once and never get to know. Good times.
3. “Twelve Horny Women” (Season 8 Episode 8)
Flashbacks work in How I Met Your Mother because the narrative and framing of the show allow for them to become huge parts of the show’s lore.
Yet this episode takes the concept and throttles it against the wall, desperately trying to gain comedic value from the whole endeavor.
Watching the gang argue over who was the best teenager is about as pointless as it gets for a group of characters we’re looking forward with, not backward.
It might have been funny is the flashbacks themselves had anything fun to add, but they don’t.
The episode also serves as the conclusion to Brad and Marshall’s ongoing court saga – in that it ends and the show doesn’t try to make you care. Because it was a tedious storyline that relegated Marshall to one of the more pointless side stories in the show’s history.
But if Marshall thought Season 8 of How I Met Your Mother was cruel…
2. “Bedtime Story” (Season 9 Episode 11)
One of the more frustrating parts of How I Met Your Mother’s Season 9 was the treatment of Marshall.
The writers literally park him on a bus for half the season and gave him some of the worst material to work with – effectively turning any scene with Marshall into a distraction. So of course when an episode homes in on this aspect, it really doesn’t stand up well.
See, the premise of this episode was Marshall singing a song for his kid. It’s a nice idea but comes across so ham-fisted and bizarrely contrary to the rest of the events of the episode that it doesn’t work.
The narration by Segal is well done – but the whole thing falls apart the second the show tries to do anything with its moving parts. I get the writers wanted to try something new, but it fell apart so awkwardly that I can’t help but hate this episode.
Jason Segal had reportedly been unhappy with the state of his character throughout Season 8, leading to rumors he was looking to get out of the show.
After seeing his treatment throughout, I find it hard to argue with him on this evidence.
1. Slapsgiving 3: Slappointment in Slapmarra (Season 9, Episode 14)
Season 9 of How I Met Your Mother was bad but even the majority of episodes have some kind of redeeming quality to them.
Slapsgiving 3: Slappointment in Slapmarra pretty unredeemable. In fact, I’d go as far as to say its one of the worst TV episodes of any show I’ve ever seen.
The episode is one long build to Marshall delivering a slap to Barney. To get there though, we venture through several movie parodies that all fail miserably to raise a smile.
The episode bizarrely doubles down on its awfulness, committing to the bit so tediously that it seems everyone involved is just waiting for the credits to roll.
The slap bet was a nice little running joke in the show, but it certainly wasn’t good enough to carry an episode like this. Worse than that, it feels lazily written across the board.
Honestly, the only reason to watch this mess again is to remind yourself of how bad Season 9 of How I Met Your Mother was.