“How I Met Your Mother” has captivated audiences for much of the past decade, sparking countless jokes and catchphrases, a few longstanding websites and one questionable book. Nine seasons and more than 200 episodes since viewers and Ted Mosby’s long-suffering children first sat down to hear the world’s most rambling love story, we’ll finally see it end on Monday night.
Those who have stayed with Ted, Marshall, Lily, Barney and Robin for the past nine seasons know that the journey and all the laughs along the way matter far more than learning the mother’s identity, so as we wait a few more hours to finally see Josh Radnor and Cristin Milioti meet cute at a train station, let’s remember the show’s top five moments.
1.The Marshall-Lily romance
It’s technically not a moment but a whole lifetime of them. As actor Jason Segel explains, his character of Marshall Eriksen and Alyson Hannigan’s Lily Aldrin have one of the most realistic and unique sitcom marriages.
“There’s sort of this formula of a successful TV couple that seems to involve a lot of nagging and a lot of eye-rolling,” he said. “We’ve managed to do nine years without nagging or eye-rolling.”
2.Ted Mosby, architect
Early in the second of Ted’s many failed attempts to date Robin Scherbatsky, the two have their first fight. Meanwhile, perpetual womanizer Barney Stinson realizes that the name and title “Ted Mosby, architect,” sounded just intriguing enough to entrap an attractive woman out on the town. He prevails on Ted to come out with him and Marshall to get his mind off Robin while getting other parts on another girl (Barney can be pretty vulgar), and to a sleuthing Robin and Lily, it looks like it worked. Fortunately for Ted-Robin shippers, it turns out Barney borrowed the name.
3.The two-minute date
Ted leans toward over-the-top displays of affection, and this scene in season three was the very definition of how it could be done right. When trying to date a busy doctor and single mom who turned him down because she had two minutes for lunch each day, Ted worked with local restaurants and faithful cab driver Ranjit Singh to set up a two-minute date in front of her office, complete with a couple bites of dinner and movie clips played in the window of a TV store. The only bad part of this otherwise-adorable gimmick was that he used it on Stella, who later left him at the altar.
4.“Nothing Suits Me Like a Suit”
When he’s not portraying the world’s most endearing player, Neil Patrick Harris has plenty of experience in musical theater. In this scene from season five, he puts that Broadway background to good use, dancing around the streets of New York in an upbeat number celebrating his love of fine evening wear. The rest of the gang join in, too, and it’s one of the most genuinely fun (and best-dressed) moments of the show. Suit up!
Nearly halfway through the show’s run, the season four finale ends with Ted’s 31st birthday, which he’s spending designing a building that looks like a cowboy hat. Barney and Robin are struggling with the beginnings of unexpected romantic feelings, and Marshall and Lily are both questioning parts of their lives. The episode ends with all five jumping from their roof to the greener pastures of the next building’s patio, signifying the end of one part of their journey.
Reach the managing editor at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @JMShumway