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How I Met Your Mother S09E14: "Slapsgiving 3: Slappointment in Slapmarra"


Well, that's the last time I trust CBS press materials! They're all, "It's the final slap" and I'm all, "Are you sure, CBS?" and then of course they were wrong and I look like a doofus. But oh well, because you know who didn't look like a doofus tonight? The cast of How I Met Your Mother. "Slapsgiving 3: Slappointment in Slapmarra" was not only funny, but silly to the max, plus it employed enough patented HIMYM edits and gags that it really felt like an episode that could've taken place a few seasons ago during the golden age of How I Met Your Mother. Knowing that it aired as part of the final season gives me hope for the remainder of the series.

The slaps—which began way back in Season 2's "Slap Bet"—are the best long-running gag of the entire series, and they've never disappointed, which means the bar for this episode was set much higher than it's been, historically, for most of the rest of Season 9. Even fans who've given up on How I Met Your Mother could've tuned in (and if they were smart, they would have) and appreciated this episode. Not only did "Slapsgiving 3" live up to expectations, it actually exceeded them with one of my favorite closing tags the series has ever done. But before I get to that, let's talk about the build-up to this slap, because the series did a great job of growing the suspense in a very HIMYM way. 


Taking on the form of an homage to martial arts movies, Marshall sought guidance in learning the art of slapping (he's good on the kicking parts of kung fu already). We've already seen Marshall take great pleasure in terrorizing Barney in the lead up to the slaps, so it wouldn't have been surprising if he really wasn't intimidated by Marshall's tactics as he had claimed. But this is How I Met Your Mother, and that's just not how things work. So Marshall told Barney this elaborate tale about how he traveled to Shanghai and studied the art of slappage so he could slap his stupid face. And he even bought a gag jukebox to really sell it, because that's just how he rolls. Marshall has never done anything half-assed on this series (remember, this is the same man who made up his own board game), and his preparation in learning the Slap of a Million Exploding Suns was no different. 

Knowing that Marshall was lying about about Red Bird (Robin), White Flower (Lily), and the Calligrapher (Ted, obviously, who was not in China but Cleveland), of course, didn't stop Marshall from getting in Barney's head. It was so completely ridiculous, but so entirely HIMYM that there's no need to even question it. Having the gang back up his ridiculous story (and half-heartedly most of the time, too) was one thing, but the fake juke box, and finding four women to sit under a willow tree with (half of) a tiger was something else completely. So bravo, Marshall, you really outdid yourself this time. 


I'll admit that there was a fear that this episode would be a letdown. The series has failed to successfully pay-off on several of its long-running gags in the past (remember the goat?), and I was admittedly worried the same thing would happen here. I was worried the episode would take place entirely at the wedding, but thankfully I was wrong about that too. And I suppose I should have known better; the slap-focused episodes have always been high points. But having the episode take place in flashbacks, with only the slap itself taking place in present day, was a nice touch.

If I have one complaint about "Slapsgiving 3," however, it's that I don't know how the final slap could top this ridiculous, over-the-top, so completely How I Met Your Mother episode. I mean, Boyz II Men appeared at the end of the episode to sing "You Just Got Slapped," and it was beautiful. Boyz II Men! If you don't like Boyz II Men, or if you didn't think that ending was great, then you just get out right now because that's obviously ridiculous. It was a great ending to a great episode, and my expectations for the final slap are now even higher.



NOTES


– LOL @  Cleveland being the city equivalent of being slapped in the face. (It's funny because it's true, at least in reference to its sports teams.)

– Robin does not love Barney enough to take the slaps for him, but I'd totally take a slap to the face for Neil Patrick Harris—just want to put that out there in case, you know, he ever needs a stand-in.

– I loved how the Calligrapher's lesson on accuracy was just to try to aim really well. 

– How awesome was it to see all those familiar faces when Marshall had to get slapped in the face by all the women who hated Barney in order to gain strength to slap him? What a fun and easy way to bring back a lot of former guest-stars. 

thekaitling:list:how-i-met-your-mother-what-did-you-think-of-slapsgiving-iii/


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 3/31/2014

Season 9 : Episode 24

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and of what i read on other sites, this season has the lowest viewers.
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The show this season is gettin very boring and this episode was very uninteresting and not funny. I will quote sheldons fraze ''Heroes gradually lowered the quality season by season until we were grateful it ended.” i think he should put how i met your mother too.
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I guess I am in the minority here in the fact that I actually like the episode! It was funny and had quite a few jokes that made me laugh. I actually thought this episode was one of the best ones this season and was more vintage HIMYM than we have seen in a looong time. Boyz to Men singing, You Just got Slapped was the icing on the cake. I thought the rhyming episode was a wasted episode and a snooze fest, but this one, FUNNY!
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This episode sums up everything wrong with HIMYM.

1. THE SHOW IS NO LONGER... and has not been for a while... HOW TED MEETS THE MOTHER...

Why else would you put in a random running gag filler episode in the last season when they know they have no time. I mean the last 4 seasons has been focus on Barney and Robin's wedding with almost zero story progression about how Ted meets the mother.

I honestly feel like they will end with Ted and the Mother just bumping into each other and "continue" the story in HIMYF because they pretty much just got another season.
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Yeaaah, I didn't mention the yellowface thing at first because, hey, I'm not Asian, I figured other would take that torch. And my, did they take it.

And, honestly, not mentioning it doesn't mean I didn't find it weird. It weirded me out during the episode. It even weirded me out to not see it mentioned in this review. It weirded me out a little to not see it in this week's WTF list.

You know the thing about potentially offensive comedy? Believe it or not, it really does matter if it's funny. If you can laugh about it, it's not as bad. The fact that most of these jokes were not funny goes to show that a bunch of the jokes relied on the notion of seeing the white cast in yellowface, kung-fu movie stereotypes. I really kept waiting they would reveal the joke, or at least play it straight in a Tarantino-esque way, so that it becomes clear that it's tongue-in-cheek by how serious it plays. But nope. Canned laughter at every reveal of the cast in costume, very few actual jokes beyond mimicking the stereotypes.

So yeah, forget whether it's racist, it's boring. Can we all agree on that?
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I read the first part of this review and all I could think of is: "Did we really watch the same episode?". That was just god-awful, really, really bad stuff. I slept through the last part, so bored I was.
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Isn't there 4 member's of BoyzIIMen??
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This episode was just weird. I actually thought Ted was the funniest as the calligrapher. I think it was a mistake making the entire season the weekend of the wedding. So many pointless filler episodes.
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Very interesting article on Daily Banter about this whole controversy, appropriately titled Monday’s Episode of How I Met Your Mother Was Racist, Many White People Confused as to Why.

Click here if you want to read it.
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I found this episode okay but as mentioned by numerous other people, this episode wasn't trying to stereotype Asians or offend them, and Stacy Keilber coming back for a brief cameo is always nice
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Just because it wasn't "trying to offend" doesn't mean that it didn't offend.
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Can someone explain how can this episode offend Asians? Because it makes fun of their movies? Like..whaaat? So next will womenizers complain that Barney is stereotype or what...
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Man, the media is making hash of the "yellowface" Asian stereotypes promoted here. I must admit, as much as I did notice during the episode, the sense of it being a parody of kung fu movies did overwhelm my disdain - I suppose that's a common problem in our society for Asian stereotypes, that they're not seen as substantive most of the time.

As for the episode, it was a very cute one and I enjoyed a lot of it, but the actual slap was a let-down. "Red Bird" aka Robin looked amazing in her red Chinese dress and makeup, but her performance was also a surprisingly well-acted, her face was solemn and controlled, she really conveyed well as an actor in that bit.
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Yeh, I wasn't hearing about that "yellowface" angle at all until I saw some news sites. I hadn't heard anything around the water cooler or even here. And they were promoting it HARD on there.

I saw the episode more as a spoof on the multitude of kung fu / karate / etc. movies out there instead of a group of people. Other than the dress and maybe the tan, I didn't really notice anything.

And honestly, between the "tan" that comes-and-goes with both lead actresses (via real tanning or makeup) I didn't really notice any overly yellow shading. Seriously, sometimes Lilly is sometimes SUPER tan and Robin's gone from super-pale to very-tan in various seasons.

It's not like they were talking in really bad stereotype accents or anything. And the sheer amount that they've ripped on Canada in the past puts this one episode to shame. But I guess some people will be offended by stuff.
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And by "some people" I mean individuals :-)
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...that Asians aren't seen as substantive, not their stereotypes! Whoops!
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Yeah... the only thing that the episode got right was Boyz II Men. I couldn't even get through the episode in one sitting... it felt like a [bad] snl skit. Sorry.
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This episode was so bad I had to skip through it and still felt like I wast wasting minutes of my life watching it.
Not funny, not entertaining, I can't wait for the series to be over.
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Now only the final slap, Barney's job and Robin sparkles 5 and my wishlist for season 9 is complete! Seems like the second one could happen in the next episode as Barney can't lie. Definitely one of the better episodes of season 9 and bringing back the slap song was hilarious!
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Didn't like this episode.
I love HIMYM and I even found most of the episodes of this season funny, even when almost everybody else complained. But this one? Nope, sorry.
Like somebody already said, when I read the review I almost thought I watched something completely different...
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Apparently I need to get out, because I didn’t find this episode funny at all. It dragged, it was outlandish and downright offensive, and – worst of all (in show terms) – it didn’t even progress the plot. What bothered me more than anything about it, though, was that after such a highly charged emotional moment (Marshall seeing how angry and heartbroken Lily was and having them pause their fight), they launch into this cheap episode that really just didn’t cut it. Yes, I know Lily and Marshall have paused their fight and that the next episode is titled Unpause, but if you ask me, they should have switched the order of the episodes. Maybe then I would have actually liked this episode just a tiny bit. The show has been extremely hit or miss this season, and the only thing they have successfully done right so far is the Mother.

The only highlight of this episode (which is saying something, since I actually love Boyz II Men) was briefly seeing Nora. Too bad Marshall didn't pass along the kick to the nuts Barney deserves for how he treated her.
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Second worst episode of this show. I once love.d but wonder about now if I should even watch it till the last episode. Only surpassed by the rhyme episode, that I couldn't even stand for longer then a few minutes, this one just bore the hell out of me and made it just a few minutes longer. Shame on you HIMYM producing and writing team, this show deserves a great final season, not a total letdown as it is sofar...
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I thought this was the last slap too but I forgot about trading of the ducky tie for three slaps.

http://how-i-met-your-mother.wikia.com/wiki/The_Eight_Slaps
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Very bad episode..the worst one dedicated to slaps...don't see how you found it funny...I did not laugh once...and NPH's over acting is not helping....ugh, such an awful way for the show to go bow out. sad.
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This episode was boring and disappointing. The slap-thing they used so many times that it isn't funny any more. And all the pumped up story about the slap "quest". You wait so long for an episode and you get this? Terrible waist of time.
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This season has been a big disappointment, atleast it has been for me. The only episodes I have liked so far have been the ones featuring the mother. I was expecting this season to be bad after they decided to stretch the 48 hrs of wedding into the full season but never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined this and this was the worst episode so far. And seeing the name of the next episode (Unpause) gives me no hope for that one as well.
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The "Asian" Lily and Robins reminded me of how insanely white washed this show is and always has been. I am sure they meant no harm by it, but I thought it bordered on offensive.

Has the show actually gone down in quality or is it just that the formula has gotten way too worn out? I remember really enjoying it in the early seasons, but I don't think this show has had a Dexter/Homeland-esque change in showrunners/writers to merit such a big dip in quality as I perceive it to be.

I am waiting for the end, and then before that the episode called How Your Mother Met Me. But I am not really enjoying it anymore now. Sorry to be that person.

Nice seeing Nora again though.
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Disapointingly lame
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Final season and we get a filler episode like this? The Masters could've at least been cameos.

Spoiler: Final slap is going to be a love tap on the cheek.
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You know, I thought that too! For a few seconds in this episode (thanks to the slow-mo shot in the inn for the wedding) I was convinced that was going to be the 'twist' to the slap. It looks like he's putting all this force and has trained with the masters, but decided on a small tap instead. I was wrong, but I definitely haven't ruled out that possibility.
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I don't agree the episode was over the top, previous slaps were second to the story not the whole and only story, I don't think any slap is funnier than when Marshal slapped Barney in the robot custom now that was a successful slap and oh yeah the ryhiming episode is way better than this one.
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Worst episode of How I Met Your Mother
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I read the review and thought I must have missed something because this episode was terrible. I expected a lot more.
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I can't take you seriously anymore. How can you give the rhyming episode such a bad revew and this rediculuous fest such a great revew?

This episode makes me wish there were no more slaps left. I would have prefered a normal episode with a normal plot and an unexpected slap at the end instead of such an overelaborated story behind a single slap. I though marshall's martial arts story would consume a short spot on the episode, instead of the whole episode. By the time Marshall slaped Ted (I mean, the Calligrapher)'s heart out of his body, I was already hating the episode. I liked the boyz II men song at the end though.

PLease bring someone else to write this reviews. I came here to see how the Tv.com staff teared the HIMYM writters appart (as I have noticed before that whenever i think an episode is marely bad, the staff destroys it), and I come to find a overjoyed revew. It's like we have watched different episodes.
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Sorry, you're stuck with me. XOXO
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True story.
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This was the worst episode ever of my favourite comedy show. The review appears to have watched a totally different, 'funny' cut of the show to the rest of the audience. Even the Poll above reflects this. And the ridiculous song at the end? Oh, dear!
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No Cristin Milioti :(
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I thought this episode was hilarious. Even a few tears leaked out of my eyes from the laughter. I'm so glad, because I almost gave up on the series after 1.5 mins of the rhyming episode.
More of the same to close out the series please!
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The episode was great! The bad thing is that Barney and Robin's wedding is being promoted since season 6, that is why people are getting tired of this kind of episodes. Also, they want to see some more about the mother.
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I cant believe people didnt like this episode. It was fun and light-hearted. Very funny episode and I cant imagine the final slap (if we ever get to see it) would come anywhere near it. Really enjoyed it! So from me well done writers! To quote the article above; it felt like HIMYM at its prime.
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Very good episode!!
I know how and when the last slap will occur. How do I know it? Because I'm a psychic!!!
Marshall will give the last slap to Robin as a wedding gift (not slap her but give her the authorization to slap Barney for in his place) and when the priest says "you can kiss the bride", Robin will slap Barney.
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The Tale of the Schizophrenic Season

All fans of How I Met Your Mother appreciate the rich history the show has cultivated through its many seasons. Be it the Blue French Horn, Barney's ducky tie, the goat in Ted's apartment, and yes, the Slap-Bet, HIMYM has rewarded long time and diligent viewers with Tarantino-esque callbacks to previous episodes and season jumping gags. This shows strength has not exactly been the story itself, but rather the way it's been told. Some of my favorite episodes feature staggered storytelling, flashforwards/flashbacks, and focusing on individual character perspectives until they all tie together in an often humorous way.

So when I heard the showrunners were going to have the entire final season take place within a 48 hour period during Barney and Robin's wedding, I'll admit I was skeptical. For the longest time I didn't want to accept the literal interpretation of the shows title and was wishing for a linear progression of Ted and The Mothers relationship. I wanted courtship and romance dammit! But after I calmed down and thought about the implications of this plotting choice, I realized the final season could be great, if done the right way. I then hoped the final season would be an ode to long suffering fans who have stuck with the show through good times and bad (hint: it's been pretty bad since season 6). I hoped for closure and the tying of loose ends. I hoped they could bring back the glory of the shows early years if only for a few episodes. But most of all, I hoped they would get The Mother right.

The Good News? They've excelled at the only reason I've stuck with this show through 9 seasons (more on that later).

The Bad News? They've SUUUUUUUUUCKED at everything else.

"Slapsgiving 3" was not a funny episode. I've enjoyed all of Marshall's previous slaps but this one simply made me shake my head in disgust. I know they were going for a Kill Bill type parody vibe and HIMYM has obviously been known for its over the top ridiculousness, but these writers desperately need to take a page out of Dan Harmon's book because this parody had no cleverness whatsoever.

The season up to this point has been bad, folks. Really bad. Cringe-inducing-gag-reflexing-can't-stand-to-watch... bad. The writing has been sloppy (remember Barney trying to get his parents back together? Ugh/Bleck!), the creative choices have been puzzling (why Marshall was paired off with the insufferable Star Jones for 10 episodes I'll never know), but worst of all it HASN'T BEEN FUNNY! There have only been one or two genuinely funny episodes this season (the wedding gift episode was freakin' hilarious and classic HIMYM), but on the whole it's been extremely disappointing.

The criticisms of this 48 hour premise have all been sadly realized. It's been stagnant, monotonous and tedious. And if I have to listen to Lily say "Thank you, Linus" one more time, I just might create a Lily-pillow so I can decapitate then burn it.

AND YET...

The writers have NAILED the most important part of this final season. I've absolutely adored every single moment The Mother has been onscreen. Her dialogue and rapport with Lily and Marshall has just felt... right. Cristin Milioti has brought life to one of the most scrutinized TV casting choices in recent memory with her grace, beauty, wry smile and that inexplicable twinkle in her eye. Since we saw her standing in line it was character love at first site.

I lovethat she has driving gloves just like Ted. I love that she and Lily hit it off like they had been besties for years. I love that she kicked Barney's ass to get his life in order. I love that Ted brought her back to the Farhampton Lighthouse to propose. But most of all I love that with each passing scene she has solidified that picture in my mind of the perfect woman for our dear lovelorn Ted Mosby.

Cristin Milioti truly is The Mother, and for all the many criticisms I've heaved at this season, HIMYM must be applauded for not only finding the perfect actress, but also for executing The Mother with an intelligence and deftness that has been sorely lacking from the rest of the season.

"I'm coming back, and I'm bringing you" - Ted Mosby
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Anyone else ready for Ted to meet the mother already?
It'd be nice for them to meet before the final episode so that she can at least begin to get integrated into the group.
Whatever the situation it really feels like they better have some excellent eps in the next couple of months because this series deserves to go out with a bang.
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The final slap will be as Barney is trying to bail on the wedding--to knock some sense into him.
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Ohhhhhh. I hadn't thought of that. I like that a lot actually.
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That's very good idea and i hope you're right.
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Yeah I don't know.. they used this episode to go "Oh lets caricature Barney's crazy stories into one big episode to troll Barney". The only payoff was the slap, there was no character development and it really wasn't funny.

Most of the time it was like, okay I know this isn't funny but I know why they're doing this and so I have to watch it through to see the writers make a point they don't need to make.

I'd be on board with the troll if it wasn't an entire episode long but yeah even when high on weed I found this episode the biggest drag. (which is really saying something)
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Dunno what's up the comments today, I think it was a great episode (what's wrong with silly?) and a fine parody of Kill Bill.
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I thought it more a very poor parody on HIMYM.
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This was worse than watching a train-wreck, you know its awful before you even start and then you never get any payoff. I though this final season was supposed to be different from the previous seasons, supposed to wrap up the show and be something other than filler? Well so far I have been very disappointed
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OK, there are a lot of haters on this ep, but I took it to be just a parody of parodies. Its over the top zaniness was for pure funzies, and capping it all with Boyz II Men was just the goofy, awesome buttercream icing that cemented it in the ridiculous but hilarious category.
Lighten up people, since when is a plotline surrounding slapping supposed to be serious or moving the plot forward? We have next week's Unpause to deal with Marshall and Lily, and then How Your Mother Met Me after that.
So, as the Boyz would say, you just got Slaaaaped!... and it was legen... wait for it...

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Nice episode. Definitely best of this season!
I don´t know how many people don´t get the fact, that Marshall´s story was a fake...
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The fact that the story was fake doesn't make the episode good.
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This wasn't my favorite. However, it was really good, in my opinion. It just felt like something was missing. I don't know if that was the Mother, or some chemistry, or something, but there was something missing.

That being said, I enjoyed it and all of the set-ups and the goofy boys II men ending. It fell together wonderfully. I do wish Barney had done his little additions to the slap song... or something. I honestly don't know what was missing, but I do know I enjoyed it.

I admit, I am looking forward more and more to the end. Not for it to be over, but to see what they have planned. I have been mostly pleasantly surprised.
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I admit, this was the funniest episode yet of season 9. After the way the mid-season finale ended, it was fun to get a straight-up comedic episode focused entirely on my favorite gag, the Slap Bet. Most slap episodes had serious subplots, such as Lily's father returning, but THIS was just an over-the-top giggle fest (my favorite scene being Marshal getting repeatedly slapped by Red Bird as a demonstration of speed, and then eventually turning it around on her.) I also liked the cameos of all of Barney's conquests slapping the hell out of Marshall so he could acquire "the anger" THIS is the humor that has been sorely lacking these days on How I Met You Mother. Up till this episode the season's only saving grace has been "The Mother," but she's been used sparingly and the only other mildly funny episode without her was the wedding gift episode (made funny with Marshall, Ted, and Lily but made unfunny with Robin and Barney's A plot)

I give this episode a 9.9 out of 10. The ONLY complaint about the episode was that Marshall said "ONE MORE!" after the slap was done, which made me really confused. I had to rewatch a compilation on Youtube to get the exact number, and THE PROMOS LIIIIEEEEED! Marshall was originally given 5 slaps, but after slapping Barney 4 separate times he was given 3 additional slaps in exchange for letting Barney take off a stupid tie he was obligated to wear. He used two immediately, which brought the count remaining to two, but the way the promos showed it it looked like this was going to be the 8th and final slap... and it wasn't. Let's be honest, with the buildup that happened this episode, the final slap will look quaint in comparison.

Well, that's enough comedic filler for now... I think next episode is gonna suck, because now we're gonna have to see the inevitable fight between Marshall and Lily over Marshall's judgeship vs Lily's Rome trip.
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I agree completely. My only complaints with this episode however was how underwhelming the slap really was (considering all the slow-mo and music) and I didn't like the Boyz II Men bit, without Barney's inclusions (and the piano) it felt off.
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My favorite part: Ted as the calligrapher just had all that Ted-like humour that I like so much :P
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My thoughts on the final slap are that since the show will end with the wedding and then Ted's subsequent meeting of the mother, then he will probably give him a celebratory slight slap with a head grab and a "Congratulations Barney, that's five."
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Side Note: Robin looked HOT as "Red Bird".
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My guess the final slap is going to be purposely anti-climactic. Like Marshall just lightly tapping him on the cheek and saying "no hard feelings" or "good bye buddy"

OR will take place in the future during a somber moment. Like if Barney really does die at some point (per Ted's strangely specific date of when Barney stops smoking). While he's on his death bed or perhaps just dead.
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I'm actually surprised at all the hate. I really enjoyed this episode. It was zany, silly, and over-the-top like a lot of the episodes of yore that I absolutely love. I loved that they did it all through a martial arts movie homage. And Boyz II Men?!?!?! How can you not love that?
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Well if a person doesn't like B2M, there's not a lot to love about them showing up out of nowhere, i think. lol
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There are people that don't like Boyz II Men? I didn't think that was possible. :)
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Staff
BOYZ II MEN 4EVA
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It's not my type of music at all lol
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Can't stand them at all. Killed the song for me.
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I am no fan of Boyz II Men but the lyrics were pretty hilarious.
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Yes but they were the same as in Slapsgiving, season 3 episode 9.
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I guess people either loved it or hated it. I loved parts of it.

Positives
  • Marshall heavy episode after a MAJOR lack of Marshall this year.
    • He was the lead in just about every scene here.
  • Classic "going overboard with slap setup" Marshall
    • Marshall is often the most clever and/or wise of the group so it was great watching him set this up
  • Deadly Fonzie maneuver on the jukebox as well as getting MacLaren to participate
  • Seeing some of the old Barney-girls showing up, including Nora
  • Boys II Men cover of the song was great as it was hilarious
  • Ted in a fu manchu was worth a chuckle
    • Also how boring he was compared to the over-the-top trainers
  • Tree-some joke made me laugh
  • Slow-motion-slap caught on film

Negatives
  • No character growth
  • No real plot movement
  • No "mother"
  • The flashbacks were abnormally long on this episode, could have turned people off
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That's thing. I didn't hate the episode at all. I just didn't find it funny and was meh to the whole thing.
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