One day, as I was a-watchin’ one of my favorite shows, How I met Your Mother, I said to myself, I said, “Dang this show has some good music.” Which of course meant that I had to look up every song from every episode. A week later I was through season 1. Here, for your convenience and entertainment, are all the best mood-setting songs from the first season of How I Met Your Mother. No need to thank me.
Of course I have to start with the theme song: Hey Beautiful, The Solids
Ep 1: Pilot
Classic song, classic Shmosby. This is the one playing at Robin’s apartment when Ted pulls a Ted and says “I love you”. Although, with Cigarettes and Coffee by Otis Redding playing, I can’t entirely blame him.
The first of the perfectly-punctuating episode-ending tracks: Back on the Chain Gang, The Pretenders.
Ep 2: Purple Giraffe
This episode has a sweet instrumental called Haven’t We Met by Stephen Lang that accents Ted’s big “going to the roof” moment, but as far as I can find the song doesn’t actually exist anywhere else.
Ep 3: The Sweet Taste of Liberty
Nothing here. I mean, there’s one song played intermittently that sounds a lot like Led Zeppelin’s Good Times Bad Times, but I’m currently in protest against LZ and will not be endorsing them.
Ep 4: Return of the Shirt
As ted is reminiscing about Natalie, the song We Rule the School by Belle and Sebastian is used as the theme of their relationship. It’s nice.
Ep 5: Okay Awesome
Just a bunch of club music. So.
Ep 6: The Slutty Pumpkin
Inside of Love by Nada Surf plays while Ted waits for the Slutty Pumpkin on the roof with Robin.
Ep 7: Matchmaker
Parallel or Together? by Ted Leo and the Pharmacists is the first of the “Ted’s about to do something stupid” songs. Oh Ted.
At My Most Beautiful, R.E.M.
Ep 8: The Duel
Ok so this one isn’t exactly emotional or obscure, but it ends the episode well. And come on, tell me you don’t love it: Tubthumping, Chumbawamba.
Ep 9: Belly Full of Turkey
And here’s Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt by We Are Scientists, the second “Ted’s about to do something stupid” song. Oh Ted.
I’m telling you, they just know how to end an episode. You Belong to Me, The 88.
Ep 10: The Pineapple Incident
But, I mean, who hasn’t left a drunken voicemail to the tune of Voices by Cheap Trick? Anyone? No?
Then there’s this more surreal cover of Voices by Jon Brion
Ep 11: The Limo
This one psychs you out because you think it’s the end of the episode and then Derrick gets in the limo. Freaking Derrick: Major Leagues, Pavement.
Ep 12: The Wedding
I apologize for the name of the band (as much as I appreciate a well-placed cuss, I really don’t like that word) but the song just fits so perfectly well with Ted’s terrible luck that I had to include Laundry Shop by F****
Next time I lock eyes with a gorgeous girl across a crowded room, I can only hope Soul Meets Body by Death Cab for Cutie is playing.
Ep 13: Drumroll, Please
You Don’t Know Me by Michael Buble is just the best slow dance song. Ted and Victoria agreed.
And Spit on a Stranger by Pavement is everything I ever want to say to a girl.
Ep 14: Zip, Zip, Zip
Nothin’ from this episode.
Ep 15: Game Night
Just a great way to end such a great episode. I mean, the re-return and hippie Barney? Classic. As is Off the Record by My Morning Jacket.
Ep 16: Cupcake
I don’t know why Where is My Mind by Pixies just randomly plays while the girls hang out at the bar, but it works.
Ep 17: Life Among the Gorillas
Ep 18: Nothing Good Happens After 2 A.M.
This episode is kind of a musical story, which is awesome. First, there’s the start of Robin’s day with Alright by Supergrass.
Then there’s Quiet by Rachael Yamagata as Robin comes home and realizes she’s lonely.
In the DVD version, God Bless the Child by Michelle Featherstone plays as Robin comes home.
Finally, Hard Left by Robin Hackett accents Ted’s break up with Victoria in the cab he screws everything up.
Ep 19: Mary the Paralegal
Ep 20: Best Prom Ever
This one is also loaded. First, The Freshmen by The Verve Pipe during Lily’s memory of dancing with Scooter at the Prom.
When Lily gets to the Prom to hear the band, they’re playing Hide Another Mistake by The 88. Actually I think they are The 88.
Again, The 88 playing Head Cut Off at the Prom.
The episode ends with Marshall and Lily’s song, Good Feeling by Violent Femmes. Solid choice.
Ep 21: Milk
Mother of Pearl by Roxy Music ushers in the first of oh-so-many “Ted realizes he’ll always love Robin” moments.
Ep 22: Come On
And, finally (for this season), Ted makes it rain with This Modern Love by Bloc Party.
Finally, for your viewing convenience, here’s a Youtube playlist of everything you just went through. You’re welcome, world.