How I Met Your Mother Review: Shalloween

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I'm sure when the How I Met Your Mother writers finished scripting this year's Halloween episode, they felt what they had created, like the title they gave it, was "Perfect on Paper." I tuned in with the highest of expectations, like when I used to run up to that first house on Halloween.  

Instead of a delicious treat, however, thiswas like the old lady who handed out pennies and raisin boxes as opposed to candy.

Appearance of Slutty Pumpkin

Ted was right, some things just aren't meant to be and Katie Holmes as the Slutty Pumpkin was one of those thing.

With her best days behind her, lost on the waters of Dawson's Creek, Holmes was not the least bit slutty nor engaging before or while she wore the now legendary costume. It was like seeing Topher Grace cast as Venom in Spiderman 3. The popularity that had built up over the years among fans set a bar of expectation that few could have matched.

Unfortunately, with Holmes' stardom also came all of her sorted history and it overshadowed the costume that has become such a big part of HIMYM lore. The "To Do List" costumed girl from the roof party would have been a far better choice if you ask me. 

Even the great Barney Stinson's Apollo Creed entrance, a la Rocky IV, wasn't enough to pick this episode up off the mat. Like Lily on the way back from the bathroom, it never seemed to find its way. Jokes such as Lily's pregnancy brain and Robin's obscure Canadian references were overused and lacked the usual amazing timing that we are accustomed to seeing between the main characters. It was as if the cast of another show dressed up as our beloved crew for Halloween. I did love how excited Marshall got when presented with the extra skinny microphone from Lily's grandfather, however... but there was no new car at the end of this showcase.

Anyone who follows my reviews of this show knows that I am a huge fan of Carter, Craig and their team of writers, but this year's Halloween special left me saying "Boo" - and not in the spooky sense normally associated with my favorite night of the year. Normally, I have to restrain myself from including nearly every line from the show in my favorite quotes section, but yet another indication of my disappointment was the difficulty I had in finding any lines worth noting.

How I Met your Mother is not the Bare Naked Ladies of sitcoms, thank goodness. Sadly, though, there was no hope someone would "Pinch Me" this week and end my bad dream; it really happened. With time, I will forget about this episode like I did the monsters under my bed and focus instead on all the amazing installment we've shared and no doubt will be treated to in the future.   


Editor Rating: 2.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.1 / 5.0 (131 Votes)

Didn't think the reviewer would actually do it but he did. A 2 is exactly what this episode deserved. It was thoroughly boring and pointless. There's something about Katey Holmes that made me wanna vomit. She seemed....old...Glad yesterday's episode was much better.


I hate when someone who cant act is called actress.
Katie holmes, please, dont act.
Dont act as you are still silly little girl. Ugh


This episode was a let down, but I still love the show. Katie Holmes didn't look like a slutty pumpkin. She looked like a sweet pumpkin. Although a major casting may have seen like a great idea, Katie didn't put the "slutty" in pumpkin. The Lily was stupid thing... God that was lame. Sure pregnant women can be hormonal; they don't suddenly lose all their brain cells. Oh well.

C f ohara

I have to respond to Michael's comment about how maybe TVFanantic should get a "fan of the show" to review it. You must have not finished my review which stated, "Anyone who follows my reviews of this show knows that I am a huge fan of Carter, Craig and their team of writers." In fact, a couple of them follow me on twitter and one was a classmate of mine in college. Just because your favorite team loses a game doesn't mean you stop being a fan and or you can't be critical of their play. When the next game rolls around though you still show up to cheer as loud as ever. This was a rare miss for HIMYM but I'll be on the edge of my couch as always next week looking forward to another episode as will all of those people who also left critical comments this week to which I say thank you for your opinions and honesty. Hopefully we can all gush over the next episode together. The people who cover shows here do so BECAUSE they are fans, but in this culture where trophies for 8th place are handed out to kids it seems to shock some when we don't systematically shower each episode with praise. Not every episode is a winner but more importantly we are all entitled to our opinions...just dont misjudge them as a lack of fandom.

Uncle jackass

@Tees Canadian, Thanks for the lessons, I only watched the episode once. I supposed it'll be sitting in my TiVo til the Dvd set comes out.


Funniest episode of the season! Probably cause I'm Canadian...


@uncle jackass. The quote is:
Robin; welcome to the tribe HOSER HOSER is a reference to the movie Strangebrew. The Mackenzie Brothers would call each other and other male characters HOSER Overall, think Katie was an alright choice but thought the way that story played out was lame. I would say 1 if not for the Canadian stuff but I am Canadian so got the references. As for pregnancy brain it is true but if someone gives you a house pregnancy brain or not you consider living there or test it out for a few weeks,


I liked the episode. The fact that they didn't forget about slutty pumpkin in the first place shows some good continuity.
Was Katie Holmes the right choice? Maybe - maybe not. Does it matter? Not to me. I was only interested in the storyline to be honest and I thought it was a good move to make this hyped up love interest the most awkward relationship Ted's ever had. These things happen. Loved Robin's Canada references. Absolutely hated Lily's "pregnancy brains". I don't even want to get into how stupid that was. Apart from the fact that I usually don't like any of Lily's storylines, this one was one of the worst.
I should mention here that I don't like Alyson Hannigan's acting either. She can't even attempt to cry. I didn't like the ending of the episode however, it felt too rushed and there could've been more to it.


Robin's Canadian references weren't so obscure for me. It helps that I'm Canadian. Whenever they do Canadian stuff on HIMYM I get a huge kick out of it. Usually, American shows don't reference Canada. I'll admit I get excited when it happens. Even though it's usually to make fun of Canada. And the BNL reference I found pretty funny too. The Katie Holmes part? Not so much.


the whole "lily is stupid b/c shes preg." was incredibly stupid and not the least bit entertaining [c'mon HIMYM your better than that]
the whole barney/robin/canada it felt rushed and like it was just thrown in there. it was good and funny and all but it just didnt exude the same level of awesomeness that barney scenes usually do.
if this is the best they can do for closing a storyline 7 years in the making i shudder to think what's going to be done when the "mother" starts to get more concrete overall [i gotta say the 2 is a little harsh] 3/5

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