Given how many serialized shows I watch, sometimes it's nice to just sit back and watch 22 minutes of stupid hilarity, and that's exactly what this week's "How I Met Your Mother" gave to me. Sure, there wasn't any "mother" related stuff this week, but, ya know what, I don't always need that. In fact, I think "How I Met Your Mother" is at its best when it's not doing that.
Throughout the five seasons of "HIMYM" (I'm tired of typing the whole damn name), the most memorable episodes for me have been the ones that revolve around some relatively random thing. Think the "slap bet" episodes, or the ones with Robin's Canadian pop star past, or the bro code. Sure, they had nothing to do with Ted's long-term romance, but they made me laugh.
In Monday's episode, Lily was having her birthday party, and Ted brought a random skank -- Lily's word, not mine, and the show might have set a record for the most uses of the word "skank" during a network primetime comedy -- and Lily didn't want the skank in the group picture. Ted was upset by this, until Lily brought out her photo album showing the group pictures through the years with the group and Ted's random skanks (and if you think I'm gonna stop using that word any time soon, you're sorely mistaken).
This led to this week's "thing that made me laugh so hard I had to rewind the episode because I missed jokes", the fact that Barney always showed up in the same perfect pose in every picture. They even flashed back to Barney's elementary school picture, complete with cheesy laser background, you know the one we all wanted when we were in school. Of course, Robin couldn't believe this, so she kept trying to get Barney in compromising positions (no, not THAT way) to get bad pictures of him. And they kept showing up with that same perfect pose. And I kept laughing every time.
Eventually tensions boiled over between Lily and the skank (I swear, I can't remember her name... and in the scene at the end one year in the future, Ted couldn't either), but rather than Lily getting pissed, Marshall did, in a scene that was kind of uncomfortable for the tone of the episode -- until Barney saved it with an incredibly well-timed joke right before the commercial break (a joke that involved singing a line from the Lily birthday song Marshall wrote and had been trying to get everyone to sing throughout the episode). I've said it before and I'll say it again, Barney Stinson is the funniest character on television today.
In the end, Ted and Marshall made up and the skank came back to the party, after they all came across the very first group picture -- back when the "group" was really just Ted and Marshall, and Lily had literally just come into the picture. "HIMYM" has a tendency to rely on these "slightly too convenient" endings, but I'm not gonna knock that in an episode that had me laughing so much.