How I Met Your Mother has held audiences captive for nine seasons and goes out with a shocking, but not so surprising ending
“How I Met Your Mother” aired its series finale after nine long seasons, finally explaining how Ted Mosby met the titular Mother. “How I Met Your Mother” spent its final season on the weekend leading up Barney and Robin’s wedding, and there were still so many unanswered questions going into the finale. Theories ran wild and expectations were high. Would the Mother die? Does Ted turn out to have Alzheimer’s? Do Robin and Ted actually end up together? If the Mother did die, are Ted’s kids (who seem exasperated at their father’s lengthy jaunt down memory lane) sociopaths?
“How I Met Your Mother” co-creator Carter Bays, when asked how he thought fans would react to the finale, said, “I think it’ll be a fantastic series finale. The series finale is kind of why we’ve done the show all along and whenever we do get to do that finale, we’re very excited about it because I think it’s going to be really heartbreaking, and sweet and wonderful.”
However, Carter Bays and co-creator Craig Thomas might have been surprised at the reaction of fans after the “How I Met Your Mother” finale aired. Social media erupted with fans who were happy and touched by “How I Met Your Mother” coming full circle, but the show’s ending outraged the vast majority of people. So, just what caused such a divisive response?
Robin, the one woman who could tie Barney down, ends up traveling the world as a reporter with her husband by her side. However, the popular “How I Met Your Mother” couple ends up divorced after three years of marriage. This information is dropped on the audience less than 20 minutes into the finale and tipped audiences off as to what was to come. Robin distances herself from the group and over time, she rarely sees her friends, letting Lily know that hanging out with her ex-husband and Ted, the guy “I probably should have ended up with” while he is with the Mother, isn’t what she considers a good group of friends.
Barney, the resident cad of “How I Met Your Mother” ends up having a daughter, Ellie, with one of his random one-night-stands. Just like that, Barney softens and actually seems thrilled about having a kid. At the end of the day, he’s still the same old Barney who likes to drink scotch and chase women though, and he asks that his friends accept that he’s never going to change.
Marshall and Lily (who is increasingly upset about the dissolution of their group of friends), wind up having three kids. Marshall ends up becoming a judge and eventually runs for the New York State Supreme Court. This couple was the ideal version of love Ted was constantly trying to emulate and they had a very happy ending.
Ted, the star and narrator of “How I Met Your Mother,” who was eccentric, emotional and too quick to fall in love, led fans through nine seasons of happiness and heartbreak. As expected, Ted meets the Mother (whose name turns out to be Tracy) while waiting at the Farhampton station in the pouring rain. The destined meeting prompts Ted to cancel his move to Chicago and ask Tracy out on a date. However, a few years down the road, in the midst of planning their wedding, Tracy discovers she is pregnant. Two kids and five years later, the duo that everyone has been rooting for, had yet to tie the knot. Ted and Tracy do eventually wed, but three years later, Tracy dies from an unspecified illness. Six years later, as Ted finishes up his epic tale, his kids call him out on the fact that he wasn’t telling them about how he met their mother, but rather asking for permission to ask out Robin, the one woman he had always loved.
The problem with this neat little wrap-up is that it completely mitigates the Mother. Fans spent eight seasons waiting and wondering whom the Mother would be, only to find out and see her for a miniscule amount of time, then she is killed off without much of their actual relationship ever being explored. Did Ted love her? Sure. However, the ending makes it seem that he never loved her as much as he loved Robin. “How I Met Your Mother” bid its fans a fond farewell with the most iconic image of the show: Ted standing outside Robin’s window holding the blue French horn. At least someone had a happy ending—just not the Mother.