While the show has been over for about three years now, it remains one of the best sitcoms since 2000. In a way, How I Met Your Mother was a corny love story, as the entire basic plot of the film is Ted Mosby, the hopeless romantic, trying to find a wife. On the other hand though, that storyline frequently took a backseat to things like “Robots Versus Wrestlers,” scotch, cigar bars, and of course, hilarious sessions of shooting the breeze in MacLaren’s Pub.
So while on the surface, the show sounds like a love-based story that would appeal to women (and did have tons of female fans), the show managed to market a love story that appealed to dudes as well. One of the best ways that the sitcom managed to do this was by offering up relatable male characters in Barney, Ted, and Marshall, along with entertaining female main characters who were also beautiful in Lily and Robin.
Of course, one of the other reasons the show was successful with men was the constant barrage of eye candy that paraded through our screens. Whether it was a major star or a lesser known actress, every few episodes, the show would bring on a new character who wouldn’t stick around long but would usually offer some cheap laughs and of course, some s*x appeal. Here are fifteen of the most beautiful women who you may have forgotten had parts on this show.
15. Laura Prepon (Karen)
We first fell for Laura Prepon as Donna Pinciotti on That ’70s Show and more recently, she has been playing Alex, one of the main characters on the Netflix hit Orange is the New Black. We loved her as a redhead in the 1970’s and she’s stunning as a dark-haired prison inmate. But do you remember Ted Mosby’s nightmarish blonde high school/college girlfriend, Karen? This was not Prepon’s greatest role and many people forget her presence in three episodes of HIMYM. “Nightmarish” might be the kindest way we can describe her. She was a dreadful character, comprised of a mix between a hippy, condescending intellectual, control freak, and of course, a cheater. As awful as the character was, Laura Prepon played her very well and did a great job portraying an awful girlfriend.
14. Mandy Moore (Amy)
One of the hottest musical acts of the 2000’s made a single episode appearance on the show back in 2007. Mandy Moore had just released her fifth full album and acted as Amy, an edgy, mouthy, tattooed beauty who takes a liking to Ted. The episode was “Wait for It,” the first episode in season three. Ted and Robin had broken up, and Ted wasn’t dealing with it very well, especially after Robin returns from Argentina with Gael (Enrique Eglasias). In a fit of jealousy, Ted is ready to move on and finds Amy at MacLaren’s. She steals some booze, finds a woman willing to do anything for Barney, and of course, pressures Ted to get that infamous lower back butterfly tattoo. At this point in the show, Amy is one of the few women who can actually put Barney in his place while Barney tries to belittle Ted, mocking his suit, and of course, calling him a nerd.
13. Jennifer Lopez (Anita)
While plenty of young up-and-coming actresses have scored parts on How I Met Your Mother, sometimes it was the former biggest name in show business. In this case, it was the latter; and while Jennifer Lopez was somewhat past her prime at this point, she looked fantastic on the show as Anita, the writer of the feminist self-help book Of Course You’re Still Single, Take a Look at Yourself You Dumb Sl**. Initially, Robin had asked Anita to “crush” Barney, using her “no” method (saying no as much as possible so that men will crave you). But eventually, she becomes the victim, as Barney decides not to take her on the “super date” after realizing how cruel he had been to Robin, bragging about his s*xual conquests. While the character was annoying, and J-Lo can’t act her way out of a wet paper bag, she looked wonderful despite being 40 at the time.
12. Jennifer Morrison (Zoey)
After years of being one of the main characters on House, Jennifer Morrison scored a small role on How I Met Your Mother as Zoey (short for Zoseph?), the woman trying to destroy one of Ted’s architectural restoration projects and also the woman with whom he would end up having a brief but unpleasant relationship. When they met, she was married to The Captain/George Van Smoot. But Ted, being the stand-up guy that he is, broke the relationship up.
11. Sarah Chalke (Stella)
Sarah Chalke, known primarily for playing Dr. Reid on Scrubs and more recently for voicing Beth on Rick and Morty, played one of the most despicable characters ever to join the show. Stella Zinman was the dermatologist who removed Ted’s lower back tattoo, and no matter how beautiful she was, Stella is a truly repugnant character. For those who don’t remember, Stella and Ted fell for each other over the course of the ten sessions needed to remove his tattoo and were actually close to getting married. But Stella left Ted at the altar for her ex, Tony. Tony would go on to make a movie about the entire situation called The Wedding Bride, which presented Ted as the monster of the situation. One would think that Stella would have talked him out of making such a cruel movie, but the woman was an absolute monster and Ted treated her far better than she deserved. At the same time, Sarah Chalke is so gorgeous we had trouble hating her character.
10. Rachel Bilson (Cindy)
After just a few small roles, gorgeous Californian Rachel Bilson managed to snag herself a job as one of the main characters on The O.C., Summer. With regard to How I Met Your Mother, she was cast as Cindy and appeared in just four episodes between 2010 and the last season in 2014. Initially, Cindy and Ted dated very briefly while he was just starting his career as a professor. The two went their separate ways after she discovered that dating a prof would put her scholarship in jeopardy.
Fast-forward a few years, and Cindy had discovered that she was into women. She was also the Mother’s roommate in college, something Ted lets us know when the two first met. Cindy had an interesting relationship with the Mother and it is heavily implied that she was secretly in love with her while the two lived together, all the while getting annoyed that so many men fell in love with her roomie.
9. Lucy Hale (Katie)
While most people know her as Aria Montgomery of Pretty Little Liars, stunning brunette Lucy Hale played Robin Scherbatsky’s sister, Katie, in two episodes. The first of these, First Time in New York, featured a story about a teenage Katie and whether or not she would sleep with her boyfriend while visiting Robin in New York. Robin is unable to talk her out of her little plan, but Ted is, by explaining to her that even the nicest guys are dirtbags in high school when they’re trying to get a piece.
8. Becki Newton (Quinn)
There are quite a few messed up relationships in How I Met Your Mother. Ted and Karen are an example of a terrible partnership. Most of Barney’s relationships are awful, but few caused more headaches for the Barnman than his courtship and brief engagement to Quinn Garvey, played by Becki Newton, who is more commonly known for her role as Amanda on Ugly Betty. When they met, she was working as a stripper at the Lusty Leopard where Barney develops an infatuation for her.
The two eventually fall in love and then get engaged, but Barney being permanently horny and Quinn being a stripper who takes it all off for anyone willing to pay, turns out to be too much for the couple to handle. They break up but she remains relatively close with the gang, even conspiring with Robin to give Barney an “awesome” bachelor party.
7. Carrie Underwood (Tiffany)
There are several phrases that How I Met Your Mother coined which became parts of regular speech while the show was on. Some of which are still thrown around to this day. We have to admit, the creative minds behind the show were clever. Many people started using “wait for it,” “suit up” (dress sharp), “lawyered,” and of course, the “Hot-Crazy Scale” after hearing these things on the show. Being “on the hook” is another concept introduced on the show which means (for those who haven’t watched the show in a while) being kept around and strung along as a romantic option.
The woman who had Ted on her “hook” was Tiffany, played by the stunning singer and former American Idol winner Carrie Underwood. This was a tough episode to watch, given that Ted was blatantly being used by this woman, but also using another woman with whom he worked, Henrietta.
6. April Bowlby (Crazy Meg)
Most people are familiar with April Bowlby because of her role as Kandi on Two and a Half Men. While she is fairly well-spoken and clearly intelligent when not acting, her role on that show was as a woman who was as dumb as she was beautiful. Kandi was stunning but dumber than a bag of hammers. On HIMYM, she played Meg, who was often known to the group as “Crazy Meg.” Crazy Meg, much like Kandi, was dopey, naive, and clearly got to wherever she was in life based on her looks. We have to say, it sucks when someone talented gets typecasted, but April Bowlby plays a dumb girl phenomenally. Considering her role as Crazy Meg, she is also able to throw in creepy, clingy, and downright scary along with dumb. But getting back to the issue at hand, she is absolutely stunning and definitely ranks among the hottest women ever to be on the show.
5. Katy Perry (Honey)
Much of what we just said about April Bowlby’s character, Kandi (and Meg for that matter), can be said of Katy Perry‘s cameo on How I Met Your Mother. While Ted was dating Zoey, her cousin Honey, a young actress, showed up to join the gang for a night in the bar. Honey was beautiful, and naive to the point of it being downright dangerous. In fact, “Honey” isn’t her real name but only a nickname assigned by the gang because every time she says something, they say “Oh, Honey” as most of her stories detail her being taken advantage of. Katy Perry, who is almost universally classified as “magnificent,” isn’t much of an actress and only spat out her lines with limited charisma. But we can’t say much else bad about her appearance on the show as it was kind of hilarious…not to mention that we’ll take any opportunity to stare at this woman.
4. Nazanin Boniadi (Nora)
Iranian-British-American actress Nazanin Boniadi, who played Barney’s love interest in seasons six and seven, was originally an academic before leaving the field of biology to focus on acting. She made the choice in the mid-2000’s and it paid off quickly, as she earned the role of Leyla on General Hospital in 2007. On HIMYM, she played one of Robin’s coworkers at Worldwide News, and while dating Barney, demanded far more respect and honesty than he was willing to give. More recently, she has been featured in film roles, including the upcoming Hotel Mumbai, which will chronicle the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India.
If you were rooting for Barney throughout the show, Nora was a frustrating character to deal with, but we can’t fault her character as she was just a woman who refused to be walked on by dudes like the “Barnacle.”
3. Stacy Keibler (Karina)
Remember the episode Girls Versus Suits? That was the one in which the beautiful new bartender at MacLaren’s can’t be wowed by Barney’s suits. In fact, she hates his fashion choice, citing a few former boyfriends who worked on Wall Street and wore suits. Stacy Keibler is one of the sexiest women ever to be featured on this show, much like she remains one of the hottest women ever to work in WWE. Unlike most of the women on this list, Keibler is pretty much retired from show business these days. She hasn’t acted in a few years, hasn’t wrestled in about the same amount of time and as far as anyone can tell, she’s married, has a kid, and has chosen that over acting and wrestling.
By the way, for those who forgot, Barney lied about getting rid of his suits to seal the deal with this sexy bartender. This was an awesome episode with that hilarious musical number “Nothing Suits Me Like a Suit.”
2. Nicole Scherzinger (Jessica Glitter)
If you don’t recognize the name, you’ll likely recognize the body and face. Nicole Scherzinger was the one memorable girl in the terrible early and mid-2000’s group The Pussycat Dolls. They were terrible and didn’t last, but she was absolutely stunning and had a very brief cameo on HIMYM. Remember how Robin was known as Robin Sparkles back in Canada and had a campy Canadian kid’s show? Well, her sidekick and best friend was Jessica Glitter, played by Scherzinger. Their relationship became strained when Jessica became pregnant with her son, but the two sang “The Beaver Song” at the Hoser Hut (Canadian bar), reminding each other that they are still friends despite their lives having gone in different directions.
1. Ashley Benson (Carly)
One of the most stunning, painfully sexy women in show business today, Ashley Benson‘s appearance in the eighth season of the show was hilarious. Barney was adamant that Ted continue to see his significantly younger girlfriend, despite there being not much in the way of chemistry. Barney’s fondness of the relationship stemmed from the fact that Barney was engaged to Robin and couldn’t date younger women. Barney’s attitude changes when he sees that Ted’s young lady friend was Carly, his half-sister. Barney tried to get the two of them to get married afterward and the episode was a rare winner in comparison to many episodes late in the series. While it is left relatively ambiguous whether or not Barney ever bedded Ted’s mother, and Barney never slept with Ted’s sister, Heather, we definitely know that Ted spent the night with Barney’s stunning younger sister. This is hilarious, given how much time Barney spent obsessing over Ted’s female family members.