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GameSpot’s hit sitcom, how I Met Your Motherby Craig Thomas and Carter Berriesran for nine seasons between 2005 and 2014 with an incredibly talented ensemble cast, and among their 208 episodes were a myriad of hilarious holiday fun, the funniest being the biggest dining day of the year, Thanksgiving.
Whether it’s slapping, wild winter sports, an intense case of FOMO, or some seriously weird board games, this show has always found a way to make this holiday special. IMDb ratings made it easy to determine the best of the five how I Met Your Mother The Thanksgiving episodes (“Slapsgiving 3: Slappointment in Slapmarra” are not included, as it does not actually involve Thanksgiving).
“The Bouncing Girl” (Episode 7×11) – 7.8
In the series’ final Thanksgiving episode, Marshall (Jason Segel) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan) decide to have their big dinner party at the house Lily’s grandparents gave them while figuring out if they want to move there or not. Meanwhile, Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) and Ted (Josh Radnor) are both in an emotional spiral and hastily decide to adopt a baby together.
While a good episode, “The Rebound Girl” is definitely the weakest of all the Thanksgiving episodes, and is also the only one of the five that doesn’t show the audience the actual meal. It’s the least holiday-focused and instead focuses on the characters’ stories. Ted and Barney thinking it’s a good idea to adopt a baby follow their pattern of coming up with crazy ideas, like buying a bar or starting a band. Ted eventually comes to his senses after Barney shows up with a real baby, which we later learn belongs to his brother James (wayne brady). Then there are Lily and Marshall, who are ready to really start their lives, because Lily is pregnant and this incredible suburban house has fallen into their hands. However, Robin (Cobie Smulders) doesn’t want them to budge, and we learn at the very end that the possible reason she’s acting this way is that she believes she’s pregnant. And based on the events that took place in previous episodes, they want the audience to believe that it might be Barney.
“Slapsgiving 2: Revenge Of The Slap” (Episode 5×09) – 7.8
Slapsgiving is back, and with it comes family drama as Lily’s dad, Mickey, shows up for dinner without her knowing. Meanwhile, Marshall has decided to offer one of his slaps to Ted or Robin, but they have to decide who will be the one to slap Barney in the face this time.
The third Thanksgiving episode brings with it the fourth slap in the face, as well as the introduction of Lily’s dad, Mickey, played by the ever-funny Chris Elliot. We learn that three years prior, Lily officially cut her father out of her life, calling him dead to her. Fans never got to see this, even though it supposedly happened in 2006 when the show was already underway. Mickey is a failed board game designer, always trying to make it big with his next game, which is exactly what drove the rift between him and Lily. And then there is the slap. Ted and Robin argue quite a bit about it, but in the end, as Marshall planned, the slap brings everyone together and Marshall gives Barney his fourth slap.
“Belly Full of Turkey” (episode 1×09) – 7.9
In the series’ first Thanksgiving episode, newly engaged Marshall and Lily decide to spend the holidays in Minnesota with Marshall’s family, and Ted and Robin look for charity work. Nothing goes as planned for either of them, however, as Lily panics about being pregnant and moving to St. Cloud, and Ted and Robin discover that Barney is working at a local soup kitchen.
This is a fantastic Season 1 episode full of memorable moments, especially from the Eriksens. The image of the Eriksen family’s famous seven-layered salad, complete with gummy bears, Funyuns and sixteen cups of mayonnaise, is both intriguing and disgusting. We also see a softer, more innocent side to Barney, even if it’s just a ruse. And in the end, fans get teased the mother a bit, as Ted meets a dancer named Tracy at a strip club and jokingly claims she’s the mother. However, for those familiar with the show, Tracy is the real name of the mother of Ted’s children, making her the very first tease on the show.
“Slapsgiving” (episode 3×09) – 8.9
While being the second Thanksgiving episode of the series, “Slapsgiving” also plays a much larger role in the overall story as it’s the third in the “Slap Bet Saga.” In this episode, Lily decides she wants to have a full Thanksgiving dinner with the whole gang for the very first time, however, Marshall has other plans as he dubbed it Slapsgiving this year, and intends to deliver his third slap to Barney. on this very day. Also, Ted and Robin are still struggling with their recent breakup, which gets even worse when she brings a guy over for dinner.
The prep for this episode really begins at the very end of the season three premiere, “Wait For It,” where Marshall sends Barney a link to the slapcountdown.com website, which counts the time until the next slap. . The countdown returns in a major way and is used as a form of psychological torture on Barney. This episode also helps undo the damage caused by Ted and Robin’s breakup by finally allowing them to move on as friends. The episode ends with one of the best slaps of the entire series as Marshall punches Barney so hard he falls through a small end table, followed by Marshall sitting down at the piano to play him a song he has written about slapping him.
“Blitzgiving” (episode 6×10) – 9.0
In this episode, after coming home early one night, the “curse of the Blitz” is passed on to Ted, turning him into the personification of FOMO (fear of missing out). Because of this, Ted misses an epic night out with the gang, as well as the former Blitz (Jorge Garcia) and Ted’s nemesis, Zoey (Jennifer Morrison). But then, after getting a little too cocky for his own good, Barney inadvertently becomes the Blitz himself.
“Blitzgiving” is the best Thanksgiving episode of how I Met Your Mother for so many reasons. We finally see Ted and Zoey on good terms, Ted makes a turkey (a small turkey stuffed inside a bigger turkey), there are amazing lines (“The Gentleman!” & “Aw, Man!” to name a couple), and it’s always nice to see Barney goof around. It’s one of those episodes where there’s so much going on, it’s almost dizzying, but it’s the chaos that makes it so entertaining. And with the show Lost ending just six months before this episode, it was great to see Jorge Garcia and hear him make references to the show, like dropping the infamous number sequence (4-8-15-16-23- 42) and how he was stuck on this island for so long (referring to the Blitz all those years). Superb writing all around.
NEXT: Every ‘How I Met Your Mother’ Season Ranked, According to Reddit
Ranking Every ‘How I Met Your Mother’ Thanksgiving Episode, According to IMDb – OI Canadian
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