Farewell, How I Met Your Mother: The Sitcom's Top 10 Most Memorable Song Moments

CBS’ How I Met Your Mother is as synonymous with music as it is with questions about Ted’s future wife.

From Robin Sparkles to “You Just Got Slapped,” the show has served up plenty of its own original songs. But it’s also made smart, clever use of popular tunes to create many unforgettable, emotional scenes.

RELATED | How I Met Your Mother Series Finale Airdate

Here, we present HIMYM‘s 10 most memorable meldings of music and story. (You can check out our slightly outdated list of the show’s 10 Best Original Song & Dance Moments here.)

EPISODE | “Best Prom Ever” (Season 1, Episode 20)
THE SONG | “Good Feeling” by Violent Femmes

Lily and Marshall’s song is aptly titled because it gives us good feelings.

EPISODE | “Come On” (Season 1, Episode 22)
THE SONG | “This Modern Love” by Bloc Party

“This modern love breaks me/This modern love wastes me,” the tune goes. And that was certainly the case as an elated Ted, fresh off successfully wooing Robin, came upon a heartbroken Marshall.

RELATED | How I Met Your Mother Exclusive: [Spoiler]‘s Back For One Final Encore

EPISODE | “Ted Mosby: Architect” (Season 2, Episode 4)
THE SONG | “Here I Dreamt I Was An Architect” by The Decemberists

In a perfect marriage of character, episode and song, The Decemberists provide the background music after Robin and Ted have their first fight.

EPISODE | “Miracles” (Season 3, Episode 20)
THE SONG | “Nice Dream” by Radiohead

As Ted’s friends rush to his side in the hospital, Radiohead’s melodic notes underscore the urgency and emotion of the moment.

EPISODE | “The Leap” (Season 4, Episode 24)
THE SONG | “Prophets” by A.C. Newman

Each member of the gang takes a leap of faith with the A.C. Newman tune giving them the courage to jump.



CLICK TO PAGE 2 FOR MORE MEMORABLE MUSICAL MOMENTS

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62 Comments
  1. Soopah Soopah Soopah says:

    I don’t know the name of the song, but its something like “Glad Girls” in the lyrics, it plays as (in a “if I had known” sequence) Ted runs and hugs everyone on the street that lead to him running into Stella on the street corner and getting the NYU Professor job. I seriously tear up whenever I hear that song now.

  2. Brian says:

    I think the one they forgot was Shake it out by Florence and the machine, that was one of my favorites in the season 7 episode “No pressure”

  3. GeoDiva says:

    I know this is about “real” songs used, but Robin’s Mall song is the best.

  4. Tom Charles says:

    I knew Victoria was coming back the second I heard the song. Benefit of being a fan of the Kinks. Also, so loved Simple Song.

  5. LOST says:

    I couldn’t get Simple Song out of my head for days after the finale. Such a great song.

  6. Hbb says:

    One the songs I greatly enjoyed hearing and was suprised wasn’t in this list was George Harrison’s “Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let it Roll)”. It really is an extraordinary song as well as how they place it in the show, revealing Barney is the one getting married!

    • side3 says:

      I agree. You rarely hear a George Harrison song on TV or movies (except maybe “What is Life”), so this was a delight.

  7. NJD says:

    “Forest Whitaker” by Bad Books in the final sequence of the last episode (“Bass Player Wanted”) was just perfect. Also “The Funeral” by Band of Horses in the wedding’s flashforward in season’s 8 premiere “Farhampton.”

    • A2i9 says:

      I totally agree!!!!
      I just saw the episode and was in tears……
      (Though that might be because the show’s coming to an end and I got no more till Jan)

  8. steven says:

    So they saved the best song for last. “And I will walk 500 miles, and I will walk 500 more”.

  9. Kristina says:

    What about AC/DC’s Highway to Hell in Symphony of Illumination?

    • Elizabeth says:

      This was the first one that went through my head when I saw the title of the article. Was disappointed it didn’t make it (but hard to knock many of the others). I totally thought about it this year over Christmas.

  10. wordsmith says:

    Drumroll, Please is one of my absolute favorite standalone episodes – Michael Buble’s “You Don’t Know Me” beautifully underscores the scene where Ted and Victoria dance alone after the wedding (though it tragically was swapped out on the DVD).

    • Rene says:

      YES! I was going to post this. I also loved the use of “Soul Meets Body” when Ted first sees Victoria at the end of “The Wedding” (I just love the crap out of those two episodes). I also agree with the above omission of “Shake It Out”. That was a great moment that felt so final… until the writers made it not so… *sigh* you can’t win them all.

  11. Goodbye Universe Guy says:

    I gotta go with Fort Atlantic’s “Let Your Heart Hold Fast” from ‘The Final Page/pt 2′.

    The song fit the scene perfectly, not only for Robin and Barney atop the WWN bld., but also for Ted, as he looked out the window of the GNB tower towards the rooftop of the WWN bld across town.

  12. Jester says:

    I have to go with the Murder Train Song, thats the only thing I remember from the episodes I watch

    • Kellie says:

      That’s what I was thinking! I hope that songs makes an appearance during the final season. It cracks me up every time.

  13. Matt Mueller says:

    Rewind by Goldspot is one of my favorite moments.

  14. saintarv says:

    How about “Voices” by Cheap Trick? This is when Ted was drunk and singing with the juke box.

  15. Reba says:

    “The Painter” from I’m From Barcelona, when Lilly is trying to paint enough pictures to show Marshal that she could make it as an artist, then we met the GCWOK’s.

  16. Jennifer says:

    For the Longest Time by Billy Joel. That was another sad episode

  17. Christine says:

    How is Murder Train not on here? It’s one of my favorite recurring tidbits in the show. Yes, I realize these are real songs, but we are talking about Murder Train!

  18. Fernanda says:

    The Solids – Soap up your Skin (seson 2 episode 18) this guys also created the legen wait for it dary show called HIMYM
    Pavement – Spit on a Stranger (season 1 episode 13) Ted and Victoria’s first kiss
    Kathryn Williams – Spit on a Stranger (season 7 episode 3) when Victoria said goodbye to Ted. That song was the beginning and almost end of Ted and Victoria’s relationship.
    The Blakes – Commit (season 3 episode 4).. this song is also used during the dvd bloopers of season 4.

  19. Kyle says:

    In “Swarly”, the song that plays when Marshall and Lily get back together: “Forever” by The Explorers Club…such a great song for a perfect moment!

  20. Jose says:

    Spit on a stranger by pavement when Ted finds Victoria in Drumroll please! At the time they didnt know Ifs victoria was going to be the mother or not and they made their first kiss soooo epic! This had to be on the list!

    • wordsmith says:

      Yeah, that’s still one of my top moments for the entire series, and the song really sold it. However, as I suggested above, I’d also nominate the use of Michael Buble’s “You Don’t Know Me” earlier in the ep when they are dancing alone and then she disappears on him.

      That whole scene was beautiful and bittersweet and heartbreaking, and that song fit perfectly.

  21. what? no vampire weekend’s oxford comma? hahah

  22. thykara says:

    Nada Surf’s ‘Inside of Love’ as Ted waits for the Slutty Pumpkin on the roof at 2:43am…and Robin joins him. Great song and perfect lyrics … I’m on the outside of love, always under or above … Can’t find my way in, I try again and again…

  23. SPF says:

    Any show that plays a song by the Replacements (Here Comes a Regular) is ok by me.

  24. Michael Rowan says:

    You Just Got Slapped.

  25. Cara says:

    Sad that George Harrison’s Let It Roll wasn’t on the list. I thought it was perfect for those two moments in season six.

  26. Brent says:

    Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk by Rufus Wainwright from the Last Cigarette Ever episode. Genius song and it fits nicely with the theme of the show because it talks about longings and cravings, some good and some bad, just like Ted’s longings to find the love of his life, some of the women were good and some bad.

  27. april-ann says:

    The episode “Shelter Island” may have been predictable. But for me, “Waiting for an Invitation” by Benji Hughes was a memorable song moment, just for the sheer poignancy of that last scene as it played out to that haunting song. Little did Ted (or we) know at the time just how long he’d be waiting!

  28. ‘Simple Song’ in the end of Season 8 is my favorite! Finally seeing the mother was really memorable!.

  29. Shari says:

    “Stones” by Barbarossa in “A Change of Heart” from season 6. I loved it so much, I put it on my mp3 player.

  30. A fan says:

    I still say the most memorable song moment was For the Longest Time, sung by Ted and Barney, Ted and Barney, and Ted and Barney.

  31. abandonedriddle says:

    ‘Careful’ by Michelle Featherstone in As fast as she can, as Ted talks to Stella near the closing of the episode.

  32. Sarah says:

    Mother of Pearl by Roxy Music in the 1×21 episode “Milk” when Ted realizes he loves Robin.

  33. Goodbye Universe Guy says:

    Hook Line and SInker by Jon Brion in the episode ‘Twin Beds’.

    I’ve been binge viewing HIMYM this holiday break, preparing for the March finale, and think ‘Twin Beds’ is one of the best episodes. The song plays as Ted and Barney agree not to mess up Robin and Don’s new romance, despite the two bro’s obvious jealousy, but it is already too late. Ted goes home and finds Robin has already moved out – just the blue French horn remains in her old room.

    “And I go for it every time, just like a heavy drinker, I go for it every time, hook, line and sinker.”

    Interesting note about this episode that I’d forgotten – Robin becomes very frustrated with Ted and Barney and decides to leave the group, at least for a while, in order to give her relationship with Don the best possible chance of survival. She tells the two bros that being friends and constantly being around her two ex-boyfriends just doesn’t work. Almost the exact same words Victoria tells Ted in ‘Ducky Tie.’ And here I thought Victoria was the smartest woman in the room – but she has company.

  34. mictori says:

    Florence + The Machine’s “Shake It Out” in the seventh season episode “No Pressure.” It’s playing when Robin moves out of Ted’s apartment and he leaves his building to a crowd of yellow umbrellas.

  35. Jasril Nazmi says:

    I’m sorry Vlada but you missed the best song to have come out from the show. Band Of Horses’ Funeral. That scene with Thomas Lennon in the Farhampton station when he describes the idea of soul mates to Ted. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H49jbunV7W4

  36. Jess says:

    You Were Born – Cloud Cult. When baby Marvin is born :)

  37. Rene says:

    I also loved the use of “Souvenir” at the end of Episode 2 of Season 9. The piano notes and the vision of Ted and The Mother together for the first time was an absolute experience!

  38. Tru says:

    Season 1 Episode: Milk has the perfect song by Roxy Music called Mother of Pearl. That song is How I Met Your Mother in a nutshell.

  39. me says:

    Rivers and roads of The Head and The heart. When Ted met Robin on the roof after she was unproposed by her boyfriend (I forgot his name)

    • Red Balloon Ted says:

      Name – Kevin

      • Red Balloon Ted says:

        Oh, I should have just scrolled down a bit more – just saw Nike19’s post. Oh well.

        I’m just rolling through this old article (now May 2014), having seen the finale of HIMYM, just to see (and be reminded) of fans thoughts on the show and accompanying music from back during holiday season 2013 and winter 2014.

  40. Nike19 says:

    His name was kevin…And I totally agree with you! It was a really romantic moment and the song perfectly fits to it! Oh god,HIMYM is full of great songs! LOVE THE BEST SHOW! LOVE HIMYM! ♥

  41. Surprised that nobody has mentioned it but The Funeral by Band of Horses when Ted and the Mother are standing on the train platform in Farhampton (It also has fueled a few of the Mother is Dead conspiracy theories).

    • Aundierae says:

      I don’t know how nobody has mentioned that song!!! Also, they used it in an instrumental version ALL throughout season 8 but nobody has noticed!!! Mother IS dead :( Cried myself to sleep that night.

  42. nitika says:

    you missed few grt songs like…the funeral frm s8 e1, then if the hudson overflows by goldspot frm s8 e11, then larger than lifesize by a fine frenzy in the s4 finale.. and also the series finale song the walkmen-heaven..

  43. Yonny says:

    Heavy Hours by Crooked Fingers was a great song when Barney is upset about Robin staying with that other guy

  44. Mr.Stinson says:

    Beautiful Beat by Nada surf?

  45. Jay says:

    “La Vie en Rose” played by Cristin Milotti on the balcony with only a ukelele (while Ted was on the next balcony), has to rank a most powerful tearjerker, only behind Otis Redding’s “Try A Little Tenderness”…and definitely a top ten contender.

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