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All 9,203 Episodes of How I Met Your Broodmother, Ranked

Jenn Reese writes speculative fiction for readers of all ages. Above World (Candlewick), a Norton Award Finalist, is the first book in her trilogy about bioengineered mermaids in a post-collapse future. Her next book, A Game of Fox & Squirrels, is coming from Henry Holt BYR in 2020. Her short fiction has appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, the World Fantasy Award-winning anthology Paper Cities, and Fireside Magazine, among others. Jenn lives in Portland, Oregon, where she drinks coffee, plays video games, and talks to birds.

Beloved of trillions, How I Met Your Broodmother is the comedy masterpiece billed as humanity's Three's Company [archive link] meets Sk-Tk-Daa's Thirty-thousand Laugh Moments. It matches Tk-Tk-Kaana and Tk-Tk-Akaadi--two ambitious young Catlixian breeders trying to adjust to life on a new planet--with their fleshy human lair-mate, Jessica. Here is our optimized strategy map for successful re-enjoyment. Read thoroughly, as there is a special announcement at the end, certain to engorgify even the most emaciated of interest sacs!
8. Episode 1, "Pilot!" The least successful episode of the show is its very first, due to a misinterpretation of the human concept of "pilot" as it relates to entertainment media. Audiences and critics are unimpressed by raw footage of the eating of vast quantities of tasty human aircraft drivers, citing sloppy camera work and "lack of narrative conflict." Showrunner Ck-Ck-Preedi secreted its grave apologies and vowed to do better.
7. Episode 4, "Oops!" The writers experiment with a flashback episode, recreating the day Catlixians first arrived on this teeming planet. As the native humans hilariously attempt to communicate, Tk-Tk-Kaana and Tk-Tk-Akaadi have trouble finding an apartment large enough to house their ripening engorgifiers. The human Jessica agrees to share her living space if the breeders desist from eating her larva, but in a classic laugh moment, miscommunication occurs.
6. Episode 2, "Won't You Eat My Neighbor?" In order to earn mating rights, Tk-Tk-Akaadi enters an eating contest in Central Park, but hesitates when asked to eat one of its neighbors. Notable for the stunt casting of the human "President Rosario Sanche " as the neighbor. Although this episode scored well in the remaining human households with nearly 100% tuning in, Catlixian focus groups felt the eating contest was unrealistic and should have been judged on quantity as well as speed.
5. Episode 6, "Roadtrip!" Jessica and the breeders travel to the ruins of the human capitol city, D.C. A promising premise, but what is supposed to be a dazzling visual spectacle is marred by the lack of any discernible architecture. They should have stayed on the soundstage! The episode did earn the actor playing Jessica an award nomination for simulating the devastation of its lost culture without the use of pheromones.
4. Episode 5, "Trevor!" The lair-mates adopt an adorable young human who causes hijinks and hilarity with its repeated attempts to escape. Although the stunt did bump the ratings in the critical Molting demographic, filming proved too expensive and the producers vowed never to work with child actors again. Showrunner Ck-Ck-Preedi emitted, "They're simply too delicious at that age." All in all, over twenty-six humans played the role of Trevor in this one episode alone.
3. Episode 3, "Congratulations!" To celebrate its landmark third episode, the human actor playing lair-mate Jessica is eaten in front of the live studio audience. (The audience was eaten immediately afterwards.) In all subsequent episodes, the role of Jessica was played by actor Tk-Tk-Imlan in a human suit.
2. Episode 7, "Fleshy Cowards!" Breeders Tk-Tk-Kaana and Tk-Tk-Akaadi assist in the obliteration of the feeble human uprising, only to discover the humans have been surprisingly clever. During the distracting but engorgifying battle feast, many humans have escaped the planet in a fleet of stealth ships. Both Catlixian actors are praised for their displays of destructive rage. All the sets and the island of Manhattan must be recreated, but critics called it "a very special episode" and praised it as "an important lesson about the pitfalls of eating too slowly."
1. Episodes 8 through 9,203: "Just Kidding!" The series' later episodes are where its true brilliance shines as Jessica, Tk-Tk-Akaadi, and Tk-Tk-Kaana interview the remaining Earth humans, one by one, and offer to let them live if they reveal the location of humanity's interstellar sanctuary. The show reaches new heights--both creatively and in the ratings--with the myriad ways in which this promise is gruesomely and hilariously broken. (Who can forget "The one with the eyeballs"?)
Although the lack of extant humans resulted in early cancelation of the show, here is exciting news: Our most impressive interstellar trackers have located the escaped humans and are, even now, invading their new planet.
Which means... a spinoff!
Tk-Tk-Akaadi from the original show (famous for its catchphrases "Excuse me while I masticate" and "That's not a third mandible") will judge the devouring techniques of 3,000 Catlixian contestants and crown just one as "Most Visceral Engorgifier." Keep your antennae extruded and prepare your pleasure sacs for How I Ate Your Broodlings!
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, April 4th, 2019

Author Comments

What can I say? I watch a lot of TV and I read a lot of TV show write-ups. This story was a little dark for some of my first readers, but sometimes dark is good for the ratings, amirite?

- Jenn Reese
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