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How I Met Your Mother episode
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 9
Directed by Pamela Fryman
Written by Matt Kuhn
Production code 3ALH09
Original air date November 19, 2007
Guest actors

Orson Bean (Bob)

Season 3 episodes

"Slapsgiving" is the ninth episode in the third season of the television series How I Met Your Mother and 53rd overall. It originally aired on November 19, 2007.


The episode begins with Future Ted telling his kids about a private joke he and Robin used to share while they were going out where they would salute whenever another person used a word that sounded like a military rank before another word in a sentence (an example being 'Kernel (Colonel) Stuck In My Teeth'), but since breaking up simply share awkward looks whenever someone does it. It's the gang's first Thanksgiving with Marshall and Lily as a married couple. Lily is obsessing over making sure it is perfect, Robin has invited her older boyfriend Bob to Thanksgiving dinner, and Marshall is terrorizing Barney in the days leading up to Barney's third slap, and has even set up a countdown on his computer. When Robin and Ted are the only two members of the group to show up to a night of baking pies, they notice how awkward their relationship has become since they broke up; they have nothing to talk about when they are alone together, and are uneasy in each other's presence, creating a nagging feeling that they are no longer really friends. They fight, but end the night by having sex. Meanwhile, Barney begins to get upset at the notion of another slap, and, following Marshall's relentless taunting of Barney, Lily declares as Slap Bet Commissioner that no slap would occur on Thanksgiving much to Barney's delight and Marshall's dismay.

On Thanksgiving, Robin and Lily decide that Robin and Ted need to talk about what happened and Ted, Marshall and Barney have decided they must ignore it. Robin and Ted argue again and Lily forces them to talk it out. After the two discuss how weird it is to be around each other they come to the realization that they're not friends, and sadly agree that after the dinner they shouldn't see each other again.

Later, over the dinner Bob uses the phrase 'major buzzkill', causing Ted and Robin to salute without thinking, making them realize there's still a connection between them and they can still be friends. Future Ted tells his kids that he had a great evening with his friends (and Bob), and that's why he takes them to Marshall and Lily's to spend Thanksgiving every year. Barney begins to taunt dismayed Marshall as the countdown enters the last ten seconds. Lily warns him not to but when Barney keeps going regardless, she allows the slap to happen with only three seconds to go. Overjoyed, Marshall slaps Barney immediately sending him flying across the room before singing 'You Just Got Slapped' (a song of his own creation).

Later, as everyone tidies up from the dinner, Ted notes there's going to be a 'major clean-up' making everyone unknowingly salute and despair. Marshall asks if this is going to be going on from now on when Robin replies "That's the general idea," causing another salute.


Cultural references[edit]

  • When Robin walked in while Ted was talking about piercings, he quickly changed the topic and said that 'Pierce Brosnan is [his] favorite Bond actor'
  • When Ted goes to make pies with Robin and Bob, Robin mentions that Bob "went to see Green Day".
  • Barney dresses as Borat for Halloween.
  • Ted, commenting on how old Bob looks to him, says that Bob looks like Orville Redenbacher.
  • When Barney talks about the killer taking out the suspense, the killer he was using was Jason Voorhees.

Critical response[edit]

  • Eric Goldman of IGN gave the episode 8.5 out of 10. He describes the slap bet as one of the funniest running jokes of the series. Goldman was also impressed by how well Neil Patrick Harris took the slap, describing it as "like Biff Tannen taking a punch from George McFly".[2]
  • Entertainment Weekly put it on its end-of-the-decade, "best-of" list, saying, "After winning permission to slap Barney in a bet, Marshall renames Turkey Day in 2007. Slapstick ensues, setting the stage for "Slapsgiving 2" in 2009. Did we mention it's a real knee-slapper?"[3]


  1. ^ Donna Bowman (2007-11-19). "How I Met Your Mother "Slapsgiving"". The AV Club. The Onion. Retrieved 2010-05-02.  Rating B.
  2. ^ Eric Goldman (2007-11-20). "How I Met Your Mother: "Slapsgiving" Review. Watch out Barney, your time is up...". IGN (News Corporation). Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  3. ^ Geier, Thom; Jensen, Jeff; Jordan, Tina; Lyons, Margaret; Markovitz, Adam; Nashawaty, Chris; Pastorek, Whitney; Rice, Lynette; Rottenberg, Josh; Schwartz, Missy; Slezak, Michael; Snierson, Dan; Stack, Tim; Stroup, Kate; Tucker, Ken; Vary, Adam B.; Vozick-Levinson, Simon; Ward, Kate (December 11, 2009), "THE 100 Greatest MOVIES, TV SHOWS, ALBUMS, BOOKS, CHARACTERS, SCENES, EPISODES, SONGS, DRESSES, MUSIC VIDEOS, AND TRENDS THAT ENTERTAINED US OVER THE PAST 10 YEARS". Entertainment Weekly. (1079/1080):74-84

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