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31% Of How I Met Your Mother Fans Think This Is The Best Running Gag - Looper Survey

Slapsgiving. The pineapple. Sandwiches. Robin Sparkles. These are just some of the many repeated references and running gags that pop up throughout "How I Met Your Mother" during its nine-season run. The show also knew how to layer in those viral watercooler slogans. Admit it — if you're a fan of the sitcom and you've seen the show at least once, you've unloaded a "legendary" on a friend. These sweet and repeated references are as familiar as a yellow umbrella bobbing along in a crowd and as unwelcome as the sight of a blue French horn being held aloft by a middle-aged man who just wasted tons of time telling his kids that he's been in love with an old family friend in what some might call one of the worst TV endings of all time. Cough.

But which running gag among the many that "How I Met Your Mother" offers is the most memorable to our readers? We polled 616 of our American consumers and asked them which repeated rib tickler is the best of all. Their ultimate answer to the question might just surprise you. 

Our readers think Barney's playbook is the best running gag

According to 31.17% of our readers, the most memorable running gag on the show involves Barney Stinson's (Neil Patrick Harris) playbook, which is loaded with tips and tricks for picking up, having congress with, then ditching women. He debuts this object during the Season 5 episode "The Playbook," and fans see bits and pieces of it throughout the ensuing seasons. 

Coming in second place is the concept of "eating sandwiches," a euphuism Future Ted (Bob Saget) uses to describe the act of smoking marijuana. Since he's telling this story to his teenage offspring, characters who are depicted snacking on sandwiches onscreen tend to subsequently display behaviors stereotypically associated with marijuana usage. "Sandwich eating" landed 23.38% of the vote in our poll. In third place is The Pineapple Incident, which occurred in the same-named Season 1 episode. It involves Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) waking up in bed with a strange woman, a pineapple, and no memory of how either ended up with him after a wild night. Pieces of the mystery pop into place over the course of the show, with the final piece coming together during the first season of the show's spin-off, "How I Met Your Father." It garnered over 17% of the vote.

In fourth place, surprisingly, is the notorious seasons-long Slap Bet between Barney and Marshall Eriksen (Jason Segel). As the result of Marshall winning a bet against Barney, the eight slaps became an annual occasion for the program, and "Slapsgiving" is even considered to be one of the best "How I Met Your Mother" episodes. It got just over 14% of the vote. And finally, bringing up the rear is the show's concept of doppelgangers, which grabbed just over 13% of the poll.