‘How I Met Your Mother’: Top 10 Memorable Moments

After nine seasons, the curtain is finally falling on CBS’ long-running sitcom “How I Met Your Mother.”

But before Ted finally meets The Mother on Monday’s series finale, AccessHollywood.com takes one final stroll down memory lane – from the halls of Wesleyan University to the booth at MacLaren’s, and finally, the pirate-ghost-haunted rooms of the Farhampton Inn – as we count down our 10 favorite (some side-splitting, some tear-inducing) moments in “HIMYM” history.

Suit Up! Hard to believe, Barney Stinson wasn’t always the slick, womanizing fast talker fans have come to know and love. In fact, it was during a Season 1 flashback where we met crunchy groove, green Barney – just a boy in love with a girl named Shannon. They were going to run off and join the Peace Corps together, until suit-wearing Greg Fisher swoops in and steals Shannon… all leading to Barney’s evolution to “awesome.” Not surprisingly, Barney would get the last laugh in Season 9, after a 15-year plot to destroy Greg by turning his shady business practices in to the FBI. Clearly, revenge is a suit best worn pressed.

Girls Vs. Suits: Speaking of suits… who can forget the show’s 100th episode, where Stacy Keibler appeared to lose out to… yes, a collection of formal wear. What ensued was pure musical magic, as Neil Patrick Harris took to the streets, suiting up everyone in sight for an amazing song and dance number with the cast and about 100 extras. In the end, Barney got the suits… and the girl.

Haaaaave You Met Marvin? Waitforit… no, really. That’s Marvin’s middle name. The “HIMYM” gang increased by one tiny little headcount in Season 7, when Lily and Marshall welcomed a bouncing baby boy – Marvin Waitforit Eriksen. (Best. Middle name. Ever. ). But before there was a baby, Lily and Marshall had to find the group’s five doppelgangers — Lesbian Robin, Moustache Marshall, Stripper Lily, Mexican Wrestler Ted and ultimately, the elusive Fertility Doctor Barney (who was found after several false Barney look-a-like sightings).

Ted’s Runaway Bride: After falling for his doctor Stella (Sarah Chalke) in Season 3 and being rebuffed countless times, Ted won’t give up and it eventually leads to the famed and inevitably attempted-to-be-copied-by-hopeless-romantics everywhere “The Two Minute Date.” Ted eventually wins the girl… only to eventually be left on his wedding day in Season 4 before he ever gets to the altar, in one of the most gut-wrenching “HIMYM” moments of all-time.

Robin Sparkles. Enough Said: Sorry Justin Bieber – there’s only room for one Canadian pop star in our hearts, and she goes by the name of Robin Sparkles. When the gang can’t figure out why Robin is terrified of going to the mall, the investigation begins – and the Slap Bet is born. Was she married in a Canadian mall (Marshall’s theory)? A Canadian porn past (shocker, Barney’s theory)? Nope, thanks to a MySpace video, we now know the answer – Robin Scherbatsky was once a teen Canadian pop star who went by the name Robin Sparkles. And before “Sandcastles in the Sand” and her grunge rock alter ego Robin Daggers’ “P.S. I Love You” – there was “Let’s Go To The Mall.”

What Did The 5 Fingers Say To The Face? Speaking of slapping… It was the gift that kept on giving – or in Barney’s case, continually receiving — over the years. From the first slap of Slap Bet, to the eighth and final banked slap (remember, it was five from Slap Bet, plus an extra three in exchange for not having to wear the Ducky Tie!) Marshall finally doled out on the altar as Barney awaited his bride in the penultimate episode, fans anxiously awaited each slap delivery, as much as Barney cringed with each mention.

The Final Play: From The Mrs. Stinsfire to The Time Traveler to The Cheap Trick and even The Ted Mosby, Barney Stinson’s Playbook offered up a bevy of rather ingenious – albeit often skin-crawling – get-the-girl facades, but none of the plays could match up to his final play… The Robin. A 16-step elaborate maze of misdirection culminated with Barney down on one knee asking Robin to marry him midway through Season 8. Come on, did anyone really think Barney had fallen for Patrice?!?

The Countdown: Producers counted down from 50 to 1 during the Season 6 episode “Bad News” with subtle images, never actually announcing the countdown was happening, allowing the viewer to piece it together. And as we went from 3… to 2… to 1 (the number on the cab Lily arrived in was actually 0001), she met Marshall outside of MacLaren’s, as fans waited with anticipation to find out what exactly the show was counting down to. While it was building up to potential happy baby news, sadly, as the episode’s title suggests, the countdown concluded with the revelation that Marshall’s father, Marvin Sr., had died. After the fact, it was revealed that Jason Segel was kept in the dark about the plot twist, instead expecting to hear Alyson Hanigan reveal Lily was pregnant. His final line of the episode – “I’m not ready for this.”

The ‘Mother’ Of All Reveals: It took 8 seasons and 24 episodes before audiences finally met the “Mother.” After years of speculation, best guesses and hypotheses, the woman under the yellow umbrella was finally revealed to be Cristin Milioti, to which millions of viewers said… who? Indeed, the fresh-faced former Broadway star had won producers’ hearts with a very secretive audition, and soon, fans’ hearts – as well as her eventual husband-to-be Ted’s – would fall prey to her charming smile.

Ted Finally Meets The Mother! We’ve met her. The gang has met her. We know she’s in Robin and Barney’s wedding band. We know they end up together, thanks to multiple flash-forwards… but as we head into the final episode… this actually hasn’t happened yet. The bigger moment might be the answer to fan speculation about whether or not she’s still alive, as hinted at in various flash-forward scenes. Producers have kept quiet. How will he finally meet her? What will the moment finally be? And is she still at Ted’s side recounting nine seasons worth of stories to their future children?

As they say… all will be revealed on the “How I Met Your Mother” series finale March 31 on CBS.

-- Eric Anderson

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