How I Met Your Mother: All Halloween And Thanksgiving Episodes Ranked Worst To Best

The Turkey Day episodes slap, but do they beat HIMYM's Halloween episodes?

barney stinson

How I Met Your Mother feels like the type of show that would embrace the fall holidays with gusto. The gang's drunken revelry falls right in line with Halloween, as does Barney's love for women in skimpy costumes. And for all the show's insane hijinks, an ongoing focus on friendship and family feels rather appropriate for Thanksgiving.

Fans may remember How I Met Your Mother's Halloween and Thanksgiving episodes quite well, but the show didn't actually air as many as you might think. Occasional flashbacks notwithstanding, the gang only sat down for five Turkey Day dinners across the series' nine-season run, and only suited up for Halloween a total of three times.

While this means there are at least more How I Met Your Mother Halloween episodes than we saw on Friends (the show it's most often compared to), the gang's 90s predecessors way outdid them in regard to Thanksgiving.

Nonetheless, How I Met Your Mother turned out some pretty memorable fall outings. The Halloween episodes made up one of Ted's most classic love story arcs, and the Thanksgiving episodes string together an interesting look at the gang's major life transitions between seasons.

The only question is, which episodes did it best?

8. The Rebound Girl

barney stinson

The Rebound Girl is the last Thanksgiving episode of the series. It's thankfully not the last holiday episode altogether, because it would be about the worst possible way to go out.

Bookended by two of the series' most emotional moments (Barney's heartbreak in Tick Tick Tick and Robin's infertility reveal in Symphony of Illumination), this episode treats both characters' current emotional states as cheap punchlines. Barney mockingly laughing and pointing at his own niece doesn't mesh with his characterization at the top of the episode, and Robin's childishness throughout appears so unmotivated that it makes her pregnancy reveal feel cheap and inorganic.

With such emotional episodes on either side of it, there's a chance The Rebound Girl is intentionally shallow to avoid depressing viewers straight through Thanksgiving. That's actually a valid decision, and the premise of Ted and Barney adopting a baby does feel like a promising setup. Unfortunately, we mostly just get a lot of jokes about Barney being a terrible father, with occasional cutaways to Robin breaking a lamp and screaming.

On the plus side, the few emotional moments we do get with the characters are touching, and at least some jokes land well enough. Wayne Brady's delivery of the episode's moral lesson and Ernie Hudson's cameo in Marshall's Ghostbusters flashback are both excellent moments in an otherwise regrettable episode.


Kieran enjoys overanalyzing and arguing about pop culture, believing that heated debates can (and should) be had in good fun. He currently lives in Fort Worth, TX, where he spends his time chatting with strangers on the bus and forcing them to look at pictures of his dog.