The characters in How I Met Your Mother took a lot of effort when it came to their Halloween costumes – here’s a breakdown of their various outfits.
Seeing as How I Met Your Mother lasted nearly a decade, the sitcom featured an array of holiday episodes, including Halloween. The series created by Carter Bays and Craig Thomas never passed up an opportunity to incorporate a holiday get-together into the lives of the core set of characters. Halloween, of course, was the perfect chance for a party, which resulted in some pretty unforgettable costumes.
In total, only three How I Met Your Mother episodes took place directly on October 31st. That said, several other episodes featured flashbacks, and in one case, a flash-forward, detailing the events of other Halloweens. For some reason, major moments in the lives of Ted and his friends occurred around the particular holiday.
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Whereas Marshall and Lily found fun in clever couples’ costumes, Ted was usually dragged into their themed attire. That was until he followed in Barney’s footsteps to use the holiday to find new potential dates. Robin, on the other hand, pretended to be “too cool” for Halloween, but in reality, it was one of her favorite days. Here’s a breakdown of the costumes featured throughout the series.
Costumes In “Slutty Pumpkin”
In the show’s first Halloween episode, Ted attended a costume party to reunite with a girl he met years prior. While sharing the story of the Slutty Pumpkin, the focus went back and forth between 2001 and 2005, revealing multiple costumes. This episode also introduced Ted’s traditional costume based on the 2000 Presidential Election.
- Ted: Hanging chad (2001 & 2005)
- Marshall & Lily: Sonny & Cher (2001)
- Marshall: Jack Sparrow (2005)
- Lily: A parrot (2005)
- Barney: Pilot from Top Gun, the Devil, and a penguin (2005)
Costumes In “Canning Randy”
Season 6’s holiday episode focused on the Goliath National Bank Halloween party. While Marshall worried about firing someone at work for the first time, the group reminisced about their favorite parade: the annual Post-Halloween Walk of Shame. To their surprise, Robin was one of the shamed participators.
Costumes In “The Stinson Missile Crisis”
While not a Halloween-focused episode, season 7’s “The Stinson Missile Crisis” did reveal various costumes worn by Ted, Marshall, and Lily over the years. A montage of photos documenting the trios’ themed outfits was then shown in the closing moments. As always, Ted’s costume represented him being the third wheel of the group.
- Marshall & Lily: Salt & Pepper (1997)
- Ted: Cumin (1997)
- Lily & Marshall: Lady & the Tramp (1998)
- Ted: A bowl of spaghetti (1998)
- Lily & Marshall: Lewis & Clark (2000)
- Ted: A canoe (2000)
- Lily & Marshall: Dr. Frankenstein and his monster (2006)
- Ted: A scared villager (2006)
- Marshall & Lily: C-3PO & R2-D2 (2007)
- Ted: A droid that Uncle Owen almost bought from the Jawas in Star Wars (2007)
Costumes In “The Slutty Pumpkin Returns”
A few episodes later in season 7, How I Met Your Mother had a traditional Halloween episode. A decade after first meeting the Slutty Pumpkin, Ted managed to find the girl’s identity. While some of the group attend the apartment’s rooftop party, Marshall and Lily deal with trick-or-treaters in the suburbs.
- Ted: Hanging chad
- Barney: A Canadian Mountie and Apollo Creed
- Robin: A Vancouver Canucks hockey player
Costumes In “The Magician’s Code”
In the two-part season 7 finale, Lily went into labor as Marshall and Barney fought hard to get back to New York in time to see the birth of baby Marvin. To distract Lily, Ted and Robin recounted events from their friendship, including a specific Halloween in which they all showed up wearing the same costume.
- Ted, Robin, Marshall, Lily, & Barney: Judd Nelson from The Breakfast Club
Costumes In “The Poker Game”
Season 9’s “The Poker Game” took place 48 hours before Barney and Robin’s wedding, but it did have a flashback to a previous Halloween. As Marshall and Ted debated over wedding gifts and thank-you notes, their costumes from years before connected to the argument.
- Ted: Thank-you note
- Marshall: A wedding present
Costumes In “Last Forever – Part One”
As part of the first half of the How I Met Your Mother series finale, the timeline jumped to 2016. Marshall and Lily get set to move to a bigger house so they decided to throw a Halloween/Farewell party. Robin showed up without a costume, but it was the first time the gang had seen her in quite some time.
- Ted: Hanging chad
- Tracy: A 2000 voter
- Marshall & Lily: Ahab and a white whale
- Barney: David Lee Roth
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