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Your Complete Guide to Binge-Watching ‘How I Met Your Mother’


How to Watch 

Netflix (full series), My Lifetime, FX online

Reasons to Watch

You will probably laugh/cry and feel all the feels throughout the show. It’s raunchy, full of heart and humor, and is sure to become your next favorite show to quote all the time.

Suggested Rate of Watching

Episodes are pretty short—only about half an hour each—so you can fit in one or two between classes. Or you could commit and binge on an entire season in one night (which we’ve done…no shame).

You Will Like This Show if You Like…

Friends, New Girl, The Big Bang Theory, The Office, Modern Family, Scrubs

Best Season

Season Three

Worst Season

The last one…but to be fair, there was really no good way to wrap up this show.

Best & Worst Episodes From Each Season

Season One

Best: 1×10 — “The Pineapple Incident”
Worst: 1×18 — “Nothing Good Happens After 2 a.m.”

Season Two

Best: 2×09 — “Slap Bet”
Worst: 2×13 — “Columns”

Season Three

Best: 3×05 — “How I Met Everyone Else” or 3×14 — “The Bracket”
Worst: 3×18 — “Rebound Bro”

Season Four 

Best: 4×09 — “The Naked Man”
Worst: 4×03 — “I Heart NJ”

Season Five

Best: 5×14 — “Perfect Week” or 5×09 — “Slapsgiving 2: Revenge of the Slap”
Worst: 5×18 — “Say Cheese”

Season Six 

Best: 6×04 — “Subway Wars”
Worst: 6×03 — “Unfinished”

Season Seven

Best: 7×08 — “The Slutty Pumpkin Returns” or 7×13 — “Tailgate”
Worst: 7×16 — “The Drunk Train”

Season Eight

Best: 8×12 — “The Final Page, Part Two”
Worst: 8×02 — “The Pre-Nup”

Season Nine  

Best: 9×11 — “Bedtime Stories”
Worst: 9×24 — The last one, “Last Forever.” (You’ll see.)

Characters You Will Aspire to Be Like

You will literally always have #couplegoals for Marshall and Lily, and occasionally want to be as awesome as Barney and as independent as Robin.

Character You Will Love to Hate 

Zoey is the WORST. You will also learn to love and hate all the characters as they move through different stages of their lives.

Couple You Will Be Shipping

Marshall and Lily are maybe the cutest couple in television history.

Terminology You Need to Know

Suit up — Let’s go! Refers to Barney wearing a suit everywhere and believing you need a suit to go out.

Cockamouse — A hybrid creature; has both mouse and cockroach features, and is able to fly.

Lemon Law — Rule that states a person is allowed to call off a date if they’re not feeling it within five minutes.

Lawyered — To outwit, out-debate or otherwise show someone else up in an argument.

Legendary — Ridiculously awesome; usually pronounced “legen—dairy.”

Slap Bet — A bet that is placed, in which the winner may slap the loser at any time following the bet, as hard as he or she wishes, for the predetermined amount of slaps.

BaskIceBall — An extremely violent mash-up of basketball and ice hockey, where there are no rules besides “wailing on each other.”

Eating a Sandwich — To smoke a joint (weed).

The Platinum Rule — Rule that states you should never date anyone you will see on a regular basis, such as your doctor.

The Bro Code — A set of rules between guy friends, written by Barney and now actually available in paperback. (No, really.)

Rebound Bro — A bro you befriend after you stop being friends with your best bro; must do a good job at being a wingman.

Date-Time Continuum — A rule that states you should never make plans with your SO that stretch into the future further than your actual relationship has lasted.

Cheerleader Effect — When women only appear attractive as a group, but not individually; also known as the Bridesmaid Paradox, Sorority Girl Syndrome or the Spice Girls Conspiracy.

Woooo Girls — Girls who yell, “Woooo!!” for literally anything, from getting free drinks to just seeing each other.

The Murtaugh List — A list of things you believe you have become too old to do anymore.

The Sexless Innkeeper — A poem written by Barney (later revised by Ted); refers to when you bring someone home from a bar, but they just use your house for a spot to sleep—rather than actually sleeping with you.

The Playbook — Written by Barney, a book of the best “plays” or moves to pick up a girl/win her over; also available in paperback.

The Perfect Week — Bringing home seven different men/women, seven days in a row.

The Curse of the Blitz — Whoever carries this curse will always miss epic and awesome moments that the rest of his/her friends get to witness; named for Wesleyan University student Matt Blitz, who left the school just before it became co-ed.

Graduation Goggles — A nostalgic, sad feeling when you’re about to say goodbye to someone or something you actually didn’t like; named for the feeling you get during high school graduation.

The Minnesota Tidal Wave/The Robin Scherbatsky — A drink containing coconut rum, peach schnapps, vanilla vodka, strawberry cream liquer, cranberry juice, sugar and maraschino cherries.  

Platonish — A “just friends” relationship that can never truly be platonic because there is always a chance they could hook up.

The Stinson Hangover Fixer Elixir — A drink Barney invented to cure hangovers; contains tantrum, grease, bananas, Funyuns, ginger and a special, secret ingredient.

Robin Sparkles — A famous 1990s teen, Canadian pop star; hits include “Let’s Go To The Mall” and “The Beaver Song.”

Hot/Crazy Scale — A scale that measures someone’s amount of crazy as compared to their level of hotness. In Barney’s words, a girl is allowed to be crazy as long as she is equally as hot. Falling below the Mendoza Diagonal means the person is too crazy to date.

Best Guest Stars

Britney Spears, Lucy Hale, Katy Perry (“Oh honey”), Jennifer Lopez, Taran Killam, Nicole Scherzinger, Bryan Cranston, Tim Gunn, Laura Prepon, Enrique Iglesias, Mandy Moore, Alex Trebek, Heidi Klum, Alan Thicke, Carrie Underwood (and a ton more, so get ready for a lot of guest celebs!)

Snacks to Eat During

Foods link to certain episodes. When the gang is out drinking, YOU want a drink. During the “best burger in New York” episode, you’ll probably crave a burger. Slapsgiving? Treat yourself to a slapless turkey.

Music You Will Be Dying to Hear Again

The theme song, obviously.

By the Numbers

Weddings: 6
Proposals: 8
Rip-your-heart-out deaths: 2
Women Barney has slept with: Over 200
Times Marshall slaps Barney: 8
Episodes in which Lily is more than a little bi-curious (especially toward Robin): 16

Best Catchphrases

“Legen—wait for it—dary” — Barney

“Wait for it” — Barney

“Haaaave you met Ted?” — Barney

“Suit up” — Barney

“Challenge accepted” — Barney

“Lawyered. You’ve been lawyered.” — Marshall

“Big Fudge” — Marshall

“But I would walk 500 miles!” — Marshall and Ted

“Major” anything — Ted and Robin

“But…umm” — Robin

“You sonuvabitch” — Lily

“True story” — Barney

Best Quotes

“Whenever I’m sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead.” — Barney

“Have you ever had one of those days where nothing at all that monumental happens, but by the end of it you have no idea who you are anymore or what the hell you’re doing with your life?” — Robin

“The future is scary, but you can’t just run back to the past because it’s familiar. Yes, it’s tempting, but it’s a mistake.” — Robin

“I used to be in such a hurry all the time. Everything was so urgent. Now I figure, if it’s going to happen, it’ll happen when it happens. I’m not going anywhere; she’s not going anywhere. What’s the rush, right?” — Ted

“She’s never seen Star Wars?! Ted, the only people in the universe who haven’t seen Star Wars are the characters in Star Wars. And that’s ‘cause they lived them, Ted! That’s ‘cause they lived the Star Wars.” — Marshall

“I’m cuddly, bitch. Deal with it!” — Marshall

“Being in a couple is hard. And committing, making sacrifices, it’s hard. But if it’s the right person, it’s easy. Looking at that girl, and knowing she’s all you really want out of life should be the easiest thing in the world. And if it’s not like that, then she’s not the one.” — Marshall

“We hate Ted now. Get on board or the sexting stops.” — Lily

“When 2 a.m. rolls around, just go home and go to sleep because the decisions you make after 2 a.m. are the wrong decisions.” — Ted

“I thought I saw Bigfoot in Central Park, so I tackled him. But it turned out to be Russell Brand.” — Marshall

“People will be like, ‘Why’s it called Puzzles?’ THAT’S THE PUZZLE!” — Barney

What to Do When You’re Done Watching

You will probably just think about life and the fact that without Marshall, Ted, Lily, Barney and Robin, you are unmistakably lost. Also, you will likely curse the writers of the show for creating such an emotional series that lasted YEARS of your life, only to end it in a completely unsatisfactory way. (Pro tip: Don’t look up spoilers anyway. The ending may have drained the last remaining shreds of hope from the collective viewers’ souls, but it still wrapped up the lives of five people you will probably become emotionally attached to. Don’t ruin it for yourself).

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Bridget Higgins

U Mass Amherst

Bridget is a senior Journalism major focusing on political journalism at UMass Amherst. She interned for the HC editorial team, writes columns for the Massachusetts Daily Collegian, and occasionally gets a freelance article or two on sailing published by Ocean Navigator Magazine. When she isn't greeting random puppies on the street, she loves to cook for her friends, perpetuate her coffee addiction, and spend too much time crafting Tweets. She is also an avid fan of chocolate anything and unnecessary pillows. If you want to know more about Bridget, follow her on Instagram - @bridget_higgins - or Twitter - @bridgehiggins
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