Why the How I Met Your Mother Series Finale was Actually Genius

The mother makes her first appearance.

Almost a year ago on March 31st, 2014, How I Met Your Mother fans everywhere were sad to see the story of Ted Mosby and his search for love finally come to an end. After eight seasons of waiting to find out who the mother was, she was finally revealed to the world in the last sixty seconds of the season eight finale, carrying her iconic yellow umbrella and bass guitar. She was then present throughout all of season 9, shown not only meeting everyone except for Ted, but also shown developing her relationship with him through clever flash-forwards, including their first date and Ted’s heartfelt proposal. Fans got to know the mother and watch her become a real character in the show for the first time, but they were not able to actually witness the moment she and Ted meet until the last five minutes of the final episode. While their meeting was the moment that everyone had been waiting for since the very first episode, it was not what had everybody talking after the series finale.

Tracy on her deathbed.

After Ted is shown meeting the mother, the show flashes forward to him talking to his kids on the couch and finally being able to say, “And that, kids, is how I met your mother.” Penny’s response was not what was expected. After sitting down and listening to her father talk her ear off for what seemed like an eternity, Ted’s daughter responds with, “That’s it?” and proceeds to take an unexpected, skeptical approach. This is where fans watched in absolute shock as Penny began to accuse their father of being madly in love with their “Aunt” Robin. Viewers almost did not have time to process what was happening while the mother is revealed to be deceased for six years, the kids encourage Ted to call Robin, and he makes his way to her apartment, holding out the one and only blue french horn. When the credits came, fans were raging.

The whole point of the show was ruined, Robin and Ted are overrated, the mother was incredible, etc. These are the types of reactions that originally formed directly after the classic sitcom finally came to an end. Everyone was utterly disappointed. However, when looking back and analyzing every aspect of the show, it is extremely evident that this ending was absolutely brilliant, not only because of its “wow” factor, in the sense that no one saw it coming, but also because every single detail presented throughout the series finally made sense.

First, let’s take a look at Ted and Robin’s relationship, starting from the very beginning, the very first time Ted lays eyes on her in the first episode. He is talking to Barney about Marshall proposing to Lily and how it is making him question whether or not he should be at that point in his life as well. Ted goes on, in a joking manner, saying “Ok, I’m ready. Where is she?” and then he turns and sees Robin for the first time. There she was. Ted was always a head in the clouds romantic, always ready to settle down and start a family, but in that moment, he was truly ready. If it were up to him, he would have looked no further and he would have married Robin on the spot. It was always about her. The creators of the show revealed to us who Ted’s true love really was right in the first five minutes of the series, and then discouraged us by saying, “because, that, kids, is the true story of how I met your Aunt Robin,” at the end of the episode.

Love at first sight.

No matter what happened between Robin and Ted from that point on, viewers always had it in the back of their minds that Robin was not the mother (which was true) and that Ted would not end up with her (which was not true). She was eliminated as a possibility right away, making the show’s finale that much more clever and unexpected. However, there was one small glimmer of hope in the middle of season 7 which made viewers question what was really going to happen between the two. In episode 17 of season 7, titled No Pressure, Barney finds Marshall and Lily’s box of long-term bets, one of which is “Lily bets Marshall that Ted and Robin won’t end up together”. The show then presents a montage of moments where Lily has told Marshall to pay up during times where it seems as though Ted has moved on, such as his wedding with Stella. Marshall’s response was always, “Not yet.” At the end of the episode, Robin tells Ted that she does not love him and she moves out of the apartment, causing Lily to tell Marshall to pay up. This is the last time we hear about it, but Marshall still says, “Not yet,” with no explanation. As Ted’s best friend, Marshall knows who Ted is meant to be with. Most fans do not catch this or relate it to the fact that Ted and Robin actually do end up together, but it is one of the minor details that becomes very clear with the show’s end.

The Final Page, Part One And Two
Barney proposes to Robin.

Another argument that skeptics of the finale posed was the fact that Barney and Robin seemed perfect for each other. She was the only girl who actually got Barney to walk down the aisle and yet they ended up getting divorced for what seemed like not a good enough reason three years later. Most fans were more upset about Barney and Robin breaking up rather than Ted and Robin getting together. These same fans were also team Ted and Tracy (the mother). She and Ted had so much in common and also seemed meant to be, just like Barney and Robin. However, these viewers did not take a step back and look at yet another minor detail which pointed directly to the fact that these “dream couples” were in fact not meant to be together.

One of the most iconic and well received episodes of How I Met Your Mother took place in the ninth season. The 200th episode, titled How Your Mother Met Me, walked through the mother’s life during the same timeline as Ted’s, touching on the various moments where they were in the same place at the same time. This episode in itself reflected the brilliance of the show, putting the whole story together and tying in parts from various seasons and episodes throughout the series. However, the one key detail comes from the words of wisdom Tracy provided us with recently after her boyfriend, Max, passed away. She is talking to her future roommate, Cindy, in economy class (where Ted happens to accidentally teach that day) and she happens to mention, “I believe that each of us only gets one. And I got mine already.” This may not seem like such a big deal in the moment, but it all makes sense when the season finale rolls around and Ted, in fact, does not end up with Tracy for the rest of his life.

Max was Tracy’s one. Robin was Ted’s one. Barney was incapable of being anybody’s one. Furthermore, if Barney and Robin had stayed together, Barney would have never experienced the emotional moment of holding his own daughter in his arms. Fans reportedly loved those rare moments when Barney would show his soft side, and this was the biggest soft side of all. He finally had something that was genuinely important to him, that gave him his meaning in life and made him truly feel “legendary”. If he had stayed with Robin, they never would have had kids, and even if they did, it would not be their own because Robin was incapable of having children. Barney had his daughter, Ted finally got Robin, and Tracy was able to spend the rest of eternity with Max. Most fans did not even realize that everybody actually ended up with who they were supposed to be with.

Barney meets his daughter.

Finally, let’s not forget Ted’s heartwarming speech about lasting love. As mentioned before, Ted was always a head in the clouds, hopeless romantic. He moved audiences to tears with his multiple lessons on love and destiny. However, arguably Ted’s most prominent and memorable speech took place in episode 17 of season 9, titled Sunrise. For those of you not familiar with this speech, here it is:

Ted giving his speech on love.

“Actually, there is a word for that. It’s love. I’m in love with her, okay? If you’re looking for the word that means caring about someone beyond all rationality and wanting them to have everything they want, no matter how much it destroys you, it’s love! And when you love someone, you just, you don’t stop, ever. Even when people roll their eyes or call you crazy. Even then. Especially then! You just– you don’t give up! Because if I could give up if I could just, you know, take the whole world’s advice and-and move on and find someone else, that wouldn’t be love. That would be that would be some other disposable thing that is not worth fighting for. But I– that is not what this is.”

He was talking about Robin. No person on earth can speak words like that about another human being and simply throw all of those feelings away. Like Ted said, when you love someone, you don’t ever stop. Ted always loved Robin and was always meant to be with her. What Tracy did was give him a glimpse of the life he had always dreamed of. She was the woman who played bass guitar, the woman who bore him children, the woman who shared his love for coin collections, dorky driving gloves, corny jokes, and so many other things that simply made her “too perfect”. In the end, Ted and Tracy were far too similar and there was no real passion. She gave him what he had always thought he wanted for a few years, and he gave her a few years of happiness before she was to be reunited with her one true love. But when everything was said and done, he still wanted Robin. He never stopped fighting for her, just like he said in his speech.

How I Met Your Mother Series finale was actually genius


After looking at the first episode, the last episode, and a few key messages and hints from those in between, it is obvious that the How I Met Your Mother series finale was, in fact, one of the most well crafted plot lines ever executed in TV history. In addition to its long running series of hidden connections, the show gave fans laughter, tears, suspense, romance, drama, and, most importantly of all, hope. If the show had simply ended after Ted met Tracy, the message would have been that everyone eventually finds their soul mate, which is a remarkable message indeed, but this ending gave viewers more. Yes, everyone does eventually find their soul mate, but the real message is that it can happen in the most unexpected and unimaginable way possible. Love is about risk and sometimes even heartbreak, but that is the beauty of it. When you find someone you are willing to take that leap for, someone you will never stop fighting for, you have found your soul mate, no matter how long it takes or how many obstacles fall in your path. This is the real message of How I Met Your Mother, and this is why the show’s finale was undeniably and indubitably, absolutely genius.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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  1. Matthew Sims

    A lovely and well thought out article, Jessica. I think that time will treat both this series and how its final hours played out better than it was initially. While it is not as instantly likeable as other finales, it is meant to be seen as a part of the larger story, rather than the end most people want. Another integral part of its reading is the episode ‘The Time Travelers’, where Ted imagines asking Tracy for another 45 days, still a heart-breaking scene. Despite the fact that he knows they were not meant to be together, he still wants to make the most of the time he has got.

    • Jessica Zalzman

      I agree, the 45 days scene is absolutely heartbreaking and I also admire the fact that Ted did appreciate Tracy to the fullest. He also talks about it in the last episode where he says, “I have to love this woman for as much as I can and as long as I can, etc.” He still gave his all to Tracy for as long as he had her even though, like you said, he knows they were not meant to be together. Thank you Matthew!

  2. Nice article. I like it. I find it funny. Yes, it’s formulaic, but it’s a sitcom and there’s only so much you can do with that format.

    • Jessica Zalzman

      This is why I think the creators of the show are brilliant. They took that sitcom, comedic format and made it into this incredible story that all came together in the end. I think they did a wonderful job with it. Thank you WiMie!

  3. They would have been better spending more time on the last episode and less on the Barney/Robin wedding, a good deal of which was not funny. The last ten minutes especially felt like a real let down, and I for one was dismayed at the way it looked so rushed. It went out with a whimper rather than a Big Bang.

    • Jessica Zalzman

      I think by leaving it all until the last ten minutes they were trying to prolong the suspense even more. The fact that they were able to keep the story going for nine whole seasons and then still make you wait until the last few minutes of the very last episode to ACTUALLY see the moment where they meet was brilliant to me. If he had met the mother earlier in the season or even before season 9, the show “How I Met Your Mother” would have technically been over. Thanks Slack!

  4. Barnhill

    I always thought the premise of the show was an interesting conceit. There was some lovely writing during the show, although it was never the funniest or otherwise best of US sitcoms. But making nine series – 80 hours – of a sitcom with the ending itself as the hook, now that was a brave thing to do. Perhaps in hindsight that bravery was foolhardy.

    • Jessica Zalzman

      I think setting the ending as the hook was the perfect tactic because it made fans want to watch the entire thing in order to see how it all turned out. Although many people disagree with the series finale (which is the reason why I wrote this article), they still cared enough and stuck around to watch it. Thanks Barnhill!

  5. The final series was patchy, jumped all over the place, and wasn’t as great as those that had preceded it. Even so, I still rate HIMYM as one of my favourite sitcoms of all time (it made me laugh a lot and I never missed a single episode), but that final season needed to be rewritten.

    • Jessica Zalzman

      I see that you are talking about all of season 9 as a whole. My article was simply addressing the final episode and how everything turned out in the end. While I am a strong defender of the series finale, I do agree with you in some aspects of season 9 AS A WHOLE. At first I thought it was cool that they decided to stretch all of season 9 out over the span of a few days before the wedding, but then I found myself missing all of the other seasons and feeling like something was off. So, I do agree that the final season could have been improved, but the actual ending itself was brilliant. Thanks GYU!

  6. DonnieSexton

    I found the entire episode to be patchy, uneven and ultimately a massive let down. On the positive side, it was nice seeing Marshal realise his dream of being a judge, but on the flip side, no mention was made of what Lily was doing after the year in Italy. It’s almost as if she was “just a wife and mother” was good enough for her character (which it shouldn’t have been).

    • Jessica Zalzman

      I agree that it would have been nice to see more of Barney, Marshall, and Lily in “present day” time, meaning as Ted is telling his kids the story. However, there has to be a point where the writers put the pen down. Otherwise, the series could have gone on until all of them passed away. The premise of the show was not simply about the lives of all the characters. Instead, it was “How I Met Your Mother”. It was all about how Ted met Tracy and the intention was to stop there. I think the flash forwards they provided for us were the perfect amount. People will always be wanting to know more and know what happened after the show ended, after Ted and Robin got together, etc. I think that is part of the beauty. It leaves a bit for the viewers to think about.

  7. Christina Cady

    Nice read, I think that the show’s ending made sense for the reasons that were laid out here though I will agree that the final season wasn’t the best but that’s beside the point. HIMYM has always been a show that had a strong grounding in it’s story concepts and arcs I think this is a theme that was pretty well reflected in its finale. Thanks for the article!

    • Jessica Zalzman

      I also am a bit on the fence about season 9 as a whole, but I stand strongly by the finale and how everything actually turned out in the end, as you can tell. Thanks Christina!

  8. LaurenCarr

    Great read. It’s typical for last shows/seasons to be a let down or at least not as strong as the beginning. I like your perspective.

  9. Brooke McQueen

    I honestly, from the very first episode of this show, never ever thought for a second that from the moment Ted laid eyes on Robin that he was not in love with her and that he truly wanted to be with her the whole time. I am absolutely in love with this article, very well written. I also completely agree with what you said the message of the show was. I always thought it was about how things happen so unexpectedly and how that leads to ending up with who you are supposed to be with. Ted never stopped fighting for her. He wanted her to stay apart of his life so bad that he was willing to be just friends with her and even watch her date his best friend. This article is very informative and I would definitely encourage anyone who has watched “How I Met Your Mother” to read this. Yes, I do agree with your article, but you also gave me so many connections and points of the show I did not really catch.

    • Jessica Zalzman

      I’m so glad you enjoyed reading it! Unlike yourself, I was completely blindsided by the ending because I was one of the ones who ruled Robin out the second he said that was aunt Robin in the first episode haha. But thank you so much for the positive feedback!

  10. McCaggers

    Interesting look on the finale! Its nice to see a more positive look at it. You brought up a lot of points I hadn’t thought about! Well done!

  11. Francesca Turauskis

    Nope. I get the mum dieing (why else would Ted talk about her ALL the time). I get Robyn and Barney breaking up so he can have a lil’ girl. But I still can’t get over two things. 1: Ted basically uses Tracey as a baby mamma. What if she HADN’T conviently died? Ted and Robyn have an affair? Because let’s face it, if he still loved her, it would have grown to resentment soon enough…it’s just sloppy writing for convienience.
    2: Ted and Tracey’s kids have lost thier mum very young, not too long ago. Are we REALLY expected to believe thatbthe first time they hear of thier dad’s love for someone they have known all their lives is going to be met with ‘go get her Dad!’ Not ‘how could you?’ not ‘did you ever even love mum?’ just ‘yeah we’re totally up for this brand new change in our circumstances’ !! lazy writing, ignoring reality.

    • Jessica Zalzman

      Well to hit on your first point, there is no what if. The mother did die and it happened for a reason, not just so Ted could be with Robin but also so that Tracy could be with Max, as mentioned in the article. Maybe she could be seen as a baby mama but the same could be said for Ted. He also gave Tracy the family she was never able to have with Max. It works the same way and everything happened for a reason and I thought that it was brilliant.
      As for the second point, I think the fact that the kids had known Aunt Robin their entire lives made them more inclined to be excited for their father. If it was some random woman, they may have been more skeptical. Furthermore, it had been six years since Tracy died and maybe they had seen how unhappy their dad had been raising them alone and wanted him to move on and be happy. They put his happiness above theirs because they cared about him.
      Some people did complain that they did not show enough of the grieving of Ted’s family after the mother passed, and maybe that’s why the kids’ reactions seemed more detached and heartless. However, we do not know how difficult it was for them all to move on after Tracy passed. Maybe they all knew that it was time to move on. Thanks Francesca!

  12. I’ve watched the show more on than off since it began. Barney has always and continues to annoy the piss out of me.

  13. Downing

    barney is the most repellant sitcom character ever whilst being entirely absent of any comedy value whatsoever. in many way’s ‘it’s always sunny in philadelphia’s dennis is quite similar, and that show goes way further but it always make clear the joke is on him.

    • Jessica Zalzman

      I agree that Barney could get pretty annoying at times, but where would the show be without him? It seems like he is the one causing a lot of plot lines even if he is not the one directly contributing to the humor of the situation. Thanks for your comment Downing!

  14. My wife was in tears and outraged at the treatment of the mother. I quite liked the final episode but had grown bored of the interminable episodes devoted to Robin and Barney’s wedding, which didn’t even result in anything enduring. I never believed they made a convincing couple and so was glad to be proven right in that regard.

    • Jessica Zalzman

      Yeah in a previous comment I talked about how the the kids may have seemed heartless when urging Ted to go for Robin in the end, but it is only because we did not get to see the grieving period right after the mother passed away. In my opinion, them pushing Ted to go for Robin was an attempt at moving on and allowing themselves and Ted to finally be happy. Six years had passed, after all. Thanks Sean!

  15. I have enjoyed How I Met Your Mother for many reasons, including a great nickname it once gave to one of its characters.

  16. Bell Speer

    I tried watching this, along with The Big Bang Theory, but they’re pretty rubbish. I’ve been watching early seasons of Frasier on YouTube. Now there was one amazing show.

    • Jessica Zalzman

      I’ve never seen Frasier but if you don’t like How I Met Your Mother I’m not sure I can take your word for it.;) To each his own! Thanks for your comment Bell Speer!

  17. Venus Echos

    Thanks for this article, I could not continue with the program and wondered how it ended. Thanks.

  18. I think I must be one of the few people who doesn’t find American comedy these days in the least bit funny (Big Bang Theory excepted) I hate all the pretty people in beautiful houses, the formulaic plot lines, the good looking characters. Modern Family and How I met your Mother make me want to scream. I yearn for the days of MASH and Married with Children.

  19. Very interesting article. At first, I was upset, like many fans from around the world that it did not end the way everyone expected it to. Barney and Robin was suppose to live happily ever after and adopt a few kids and Ted and Tracy were suppose to sit by a fireplace surrounded by their loving children like from one of those 50’s infomercials. However, I soon realized that by turning the tables and making such a huge plot twist, stimulated conversation and frenzy and thats what any writer should aim for. Its not always about giving exactly what the audience wants, but what can improve the story and allow viewers to feel a genuine connection. Men around the world can understand Barney’s sudden revelation with his baby girl, men who have lost wives can comprehend Ted’s pain, and Robin, wishing to have to be a successful career woman and putting everything on hold. The episode was emotional, but importantly it touched upon what reality really is: it doesn’t always go as planned.

  20. Tyler McPherson

    Personally I liked the finale, I would have liked to see more of Ted and Tracey but unfortunately that couldn’t happen. I liked that it stuck to it’s own, it didn’t aim to impress fans but stuck to the plan they originally had, as well as to provide an ending that was true to the show.

  21. Violeta

    Totally agree!!! I loved the finale, honestly, it made me cry (and i NEVER cry watching movies or tv shows).Thanks for writing this, enough with all the finale hate!!!!

  22. Kenneth Merchant

    This show has been absolutely thrilling to watch, and I’ve been watching it inclusively from the very beginning. I agree with you completely that the season finale was ingenious because it delivered what the audience must have been expecting all along, but never had it quite delivered. In some ways we could have expected it to end this way, but a part of us wanted to disbelieve it because of how obvious it would be. Now for some quick criticism:

    I enjoyed reading this article, but I feel it was all too lengthy for what your were trying to deliver. Some parts of this article were a bit repetitive and some other parts could have been cut down shorter.

    • Jessica Zalzman

      I guess I was just really trying to prove my point because all I’ve heard about the finale is nothing but hate. I let my passions get carried away haha but thank you kmercwriter!

      • Kenneth Merchant

        Trust me when I say I wasn’t trying to be harsh with my comment. I just felt like this article was long winded for what you were attempting to do. I personally felt like your article would have been stronger if it were more focused instead of being a long rant. I was convinced within the first couple of sections, and with the conclusion.

  23. It’s quite a gentle nondescript comedy with some pretty faces. There will be another to replace it.

  24. How has this show been allowed to run for almost a decade? John Goatbirth and airy fairy are quite right, HIMYM isn’t a patch on the likes of Frasier or MASH and is barely a level above Everybody Loves Raymond. How many more years will E4 run repeats of the show for?

  25. Remembering the fact that Ted’s daughter did say he clearly told the story because he still loves Robin so why would he not be mentioning her wedding day which at that moment of time in his life was probably ripping him apart.

    The ending was rushed and all could’ve been better but the final series to me, made a lot of sense.

  26. I was disappointed with the ending, and thought that Ted and Robin getting together was basically spitting in the face of the Mother.

  27. Hi Jessica!
    Great article filled with insightful observations. I am always fascinated by how the writers of long running shows like HIMYM, Friends and even J.K. Rowling with the Harry Potter series seem to map together such intricate clues throughout the story that all tie together in an otherwise “surprise ending.”
    I have to admit I was one of the disappointed viewers at the finale because of the very reasons you outlined. However, after reading your article I have to say that you’ve swayed me! Which can only mean that you hit the mark on your rationale.
    The fact that in the first episode we are basically told the ending to a never-ending story is both ironic and hilarious. Kind of like a joke between the writers–you know?
    I also think your point on the ending telling us about true love is very sweet and also so fitting with Ted’s character and the tone of the entire series.
    Yeah they could have given us a bit more time to accept both Tracy’s death and Ted’s decision to go to Robin (it felt like IMMEDIATELY after Tracy died Ted got over it, which obviously wasn’t the case) but overall, and after your argument, I can say that the ending was rather touching.
    Great job. I hope to read more of your work.

  28. Ashley Allen

    Great article that really makes you think. Loved the show and was very sad to see it go, but I felt that it went on for a few seasons longer than it needed to.

  29. I completely agree with your view of the finale. When the it originally came out, I was not disappointed. I knew that most people had been, as it did develop very suddenly, and it did not allow viewers much time to adjust. However, it felt to me like the last five minutes was just nine years in the making. To finish the show with the Ted and the mother happy and in love would not have been true to the show itself. The show progressed in such a way that a denial of Ted’s love for Robin in the end would have made those nine years of memories of his constant devotion to Robin seem meaningless.

    I remember in one episode in the first or second season, Ted got a response from an online dating service, where the woman he was matched with had all the qualities he had been searching for (and all the qualities he eventually found in the mother). Ted, however, decided that he didn’t even want to meet that perfect woman, because he didn’t want perfect, he wanted Robin. I feel like this perfectly describes why the show had to culminate in Ted once again vying for Robin’s affections.

    Anyways, I appreciate that someone else had a similar outlook on the merits of the finale.

  30. I completely agree. I was rooting for Ted and Robin the entire time and upset as to how Robin could not be the mother when Ted so clearly loved her. I thought that there would be a process of Ted getting over Robin somewhere down the line because he would have had to in order for her not to be the mother but the way they did it was way more clever.

    Well done article!

  31. Jenna Mae

    Seeing romance-drive Ted outside Robin’s apartment again with the blue French horn resulted in a beautiful full-circle. To find love again, renewed, after so long is extraordinary.

    I only wished for a few things:
    More time with the mother (on-screen time): I wish to have seen the relationship develop and flourish, as we have seen with all the potential others (Robin, Stella, Zoey, etc.) While I fell in love with the mother in the little time we were given, I can’t helped feeling robbed of a large part of Ted’s love story.

    Robin to have maintained character development: Robin grew so much throughout the series. She came to a point where she finally chose love over her career (Don), yet in the end, we briefly find out that all that development had been scratched out. She, yet again, chose her career over her marriage, becoming a large reason contributing to the reason it eventually failed.

    Ted mourning: I think closure and acceptance would have been easier if we were able to see Ted mourning the mother. Instead, we find out that she has died. In the next moment, we find out that Ted wants to get back together with Robin. While a lovely ending, it was difficult to jump from one scene to the other.

    The story was, however, brilliant of the writers. The audience was led to believe one idea right up until the very last moment. If that isn’t clever story-telling, I don’t know what is:)

  32. I have to admit, reading this has made me hate the finale a little less. You raised some interesting points (particularly with Barney and his daughter and how the characters were all able to find their “one”). Although, I still don’t really like the finale itself ( I felt it was too rushed and why would they spend the whole ninth season set the weekend of the wedding that they were going to erase three minutes later?), I can sort of understand the plot points a little more after reading your take on it. Very insightful article. Also, you pointed out a few more hints throughout the series that I had not previously been aware of which I appreciated. Well done:)

  33. Nope! The show mass itself to clever in the end. The issue most people had was the fact that the mother was killed off so soon. It was almost as if we participated in a murder.

  34. Mark Huppert

    I just finished binge watching the whole series. What a stunning, towering creation. I don’t really have words to express what the show did to me. Thanks to everybody involved in its creation.

  35. It’s nice to remember that show-runners and writers have planned out the arc of a story for many years. For me, the show did too good of a job developing The Mother’s mystique and set-up to create the perfect match for Ted. Of course, your perfect match shouldn’t be exactly what you’ve always imagined! That is what made Robin and Ted such an interesting couple. If the show had ended in season 4 or 5, Ted and Robin would still have had the same magical chemistry that more fans rooted for initially as opposed to a 9 season run where the idea of Ted and Robin felt a little stale.

  36. As someone who completely wanted Barney and Robin together from the moment they played laser tag in season 1, I can see your point in this article. Obviously, Ted was in love with Robin from the beginning, and they tried dating in Season 2 only to be ripped apart by fate. They had met too early, Ted had needed to find Tracy. Even though they weren’t meant to be, Ted was meant to find Tracy, fall in love with her, get married, have kids, and eventually witness her death. Tracy was meant to have Max die on her and go on to meet Ted. Robin and Barney were meant to fall in love in the crazy way that they did, and of course Barney was meant to have his child. Everything was meant to happen the way that it did, and I love how well you articulated that.

  37. As much as I agree with everything this article says, I also wholly disagree with it. The show was beautiful, it really couldn’t have ended any other way. It was both satisfying and infuriating at the same time, and, to quote a certain legendary blonde man, that’s the dream. But being that I am, like Ted, a hopeless romantic, I have to find fault with ending, no matter how much I like it. Yes, Barney needed to have a daughter, but he also needed to stay with Robin. Yes, Ted needed to be with Robin, but he also needed to be with Tracy. I realize that that is a really confusing thing to say, so I’ll explain. The show did one thing wrong. They discounted those relationships that are, as has been said, “too perfect” and replaced them with relationships that didn’t make sense. Ted and Robin being together makes no sense. Ted and Robin being in love makes no sense. It has been my experience, and I don’t mean to tout this as a universal truth, but it has been my experience that relationships that don’t make sense don’t last. Had Tracy not gotten sick, she and Ted could have been happy for the rest of their lives. Had Robin not had to travel so much, she and Barney could have been happy for the rest of their lives. But Ted and Robin are so different, that there will be times in their future when they aren’t happy, and I think that alone should be reason enough for them not to end up together. Because I am a hopeless romantic. I believe there is someone out there that is “too perfect” for all of us, and if we settle for less, we’re selling ourselves short.

  38. As an avid HIMYM watcher, I knew it had to end and by the 8th season I was ready. Like is said in the article, the show did a great job of not just showing the mother in the last season, but in tying up the loose ends to make all of these people we have grown to love over the years happy. It makes it easier to lose them now that they are off the air… maybe.

  39. The is really awesome. HIMYM was a good show, but it turned out to be a great show after it ended. The show had a great balance between closure and thought-provoking interest. Great article.

  40. This show has absolutely changed the way I look at love and life. I was in-fact one of those people who were upset that Barney and Robin didn’t end up together; however, I did enjoy that the ending to the show was very surprising and kept me on my toes. I did not get closure in the show, but it kept me searching for something more in my life and wanting me to make the most out of everything; which was, in my opinion, the essence of the show.

  41. I totally agree , the ending was amazing

  42. Watching the finale of HIMYM I, like most fans, was in shock and disbelief. I felt like the ending was just slapped together and completely out of nowhere. My main reason for these feelings was because I loved Barney and Robin and thought they were perfect for each other. Due to this love for a couple that the writers tore apart I was unable to see the bigger picture. I really loved this article and how real it was. It actually made me see the, as the author puts it, “genius” behind the finale. I also really liked how this article talks about the unexpected moments that comes with true love and how you know it is real when you would set your life on fire to keep it.

  43. As an avid watcher I found the series finale both above and below expectations. I had always wanted and expected Ted to end up with Robin. But always wondered how. When at the end of season 8, when they showed the mother-I kinda lost hope, but some how in early season 9 could speculate that they might kill the mother-but thought this as bizarre and offcourse too sad. At the end when they showed Ted with the blue french horn that was romantic, but expected a bit longer episode. This does gives faith that eventually everyone finds their Ted or Robin.

  44. As an avid watcher I found the series finale both above and below expectations. I had always wanted and expected Ted to end up with Robin. But always wondered how. When at the end of season 8, when they showed the mother-I kinda lost hope, but some how in early season 9 could speculate that they might kill the mother-but thought this as bizarre and offcourse too sad. At the end when they showed Ted with the blue french horn that was romantic, but expected a bit longer episode.

  45. The show has been off the air long enough that I havent thought about it in a while. I’m not one to normally be all “I TOLD YOU!!” however, when I watched the ending I literally jumped out of the chair and pointed at my friends and said I TOLD YOU!!! I had said right from the start “If the mother isn’t dead at the end of this show, I’m gonna be pissed.” Mostly everyone thought I was morbid and strange for feelig that way, but it was immediately clear to me that it was the only way to make the entire series make sense. I miss this show dearly. It makes me so badly want to create a sitcom based on my own life

  46. Vanessa Fernandes

    Wow love this article!
    I feel like you and I think the show was brilliant!
    It was always about Robin 🙂

  47. Finally, someone who truly understands the series. You put the right words, I also thought it was an amazing ending. Yes, in life, you can think that achieving certain things are happiness. But the universe or whichever force that regulates our existence can prove us that what you want to live is not actually what you are meant to live. Life gave them both what they thought would make them happy, but how many of us can certainly know that?

    We see it in our friends, when I get money, when I get a promotion, when I get married, when I have kids…I will be happy. But when having those things, life will show you that that’s not what happiness is all about.
    I also believe that when someone loves you this deeply when never forget all that. People felt disapointed of not having such a predictable ending which would have made the series so common. However, they were not really thinking that Ted has been pouring in all seasons his true love for her. Both, Ted and Robin made sacrificies for each other, that is true love.
    Tracy and Ted were just too ideal, and that can be nice and fulfilling for the ego to believe that a quiet love is meant to last.
    The energy that made you love someone this much even if at some point life sets you apart may also bring you back together. I love this series so much!

  48. Finally, someone who truly understands the series. You put the right words, I also thought it was an amazing ending. Yes, in life, you can think that achieving certain things are happiness. But the universe or whichever force that regulates our existence can prove us that what you want to live is not actually what will make you truly happy. Life gave them both what they thought would make them happy, but how many of us can certainly know that?

    We see it in our friends, when I get money, when I get a promotion, when I get married, when I have kids…I will be happy. But when having those things, life will show you that that’s not what happiness is all about.
    I also believe that when someone loves you this deeply, they can never forget all that even if they move on in life. People felt disappointed of not having such a predictable ending which would have made the series so common. However, they were not really thinking that Ted has been pouring in all seasons his true love for her. Both, Ted and Robin made sacrifices for each other, that is true love.
    Tracy and Ted were just too ideal, and that can be nice and fulfilling for the ego to believe that a quiet love is meant to last. I just saw an episode of Ted trying to make the perfect match in Season 1, but even when he gets her he refuses seeing her. He didn’t want perfect, he wanted Robin.
    In the end, life gave him the perfect so he could moved on but at heart, there was always Robin.
    The energy that made you love someone this much even if at some point life sets you apart may also bring you back together. I love this series so much!

  49. Ricky

    Absolutely great article to sum up a fantastic show! A series that anyone can connect with. Hats off to the creators/writers/actors of this show.
    Brilliant work

  50. Burbuja

    Everyone who claims that Barney and Robin should’ve ended up together forgets the episode 12 of season 8, where Barney after various lies including asking Ted to hold the fact he was getting engaged with Patricia on the top of the WWN so eventually he would tell her so she can be happy. This episode shows how good-hearted Ted was and how manipulative Barney was to get her. On top of that he thought that if Ted would do tell her that, he was letting her go and giving his blessing…but it isn’t like he knew the truth, it was all set up…so it makes you wonder, if Barney was able to lie all that he really didn’t deserve Robin and Ted deserved that much less.

    In the end, it was that proposal and that wedding that set apart Ted and Robin for years…because Ted really thought there was no hope between them and because Robin wouldn’t let him be without the kids and family he so much wanted. That is why it makes me soooo mad when I see these comments wanting these two together and not understanding these little details.

  51. Sana

    I still don’t like the final. For me it wasn’t a twist or unexpected at all. It’s was exactly the opposite and just made the show end like every typical love story in movies. Where one already knows the right couple from the start but they don’t get together till the end. It’s always like this.
    I don’t really mind Ted not ending up with the mother, but ending up with Robin was a quite boring end to me and made the whole last season completely useless to me.

  52. Bootsie

    I NEVER comment on articles like these but I just had to after reading this. I’m sorry but the idea that Max and Tracey somehow got a happy ending because they were reunited after death is a really creepy way of looking at things. I find it weird that you can class that as ‘everyone ending up with who they were supposed to be with” and that “Tracy was able to spend the rest of eternity with Max.” The concept that “you only get one love and if you die, no big deal, cos one day they’ll die too and you can be together then” is a really simplistic and idealistic vision of life and death.
    I feel the programme was saying something far more mature – and far more interesting.That you can love more than one person in your life, that different loves exist in different ways for different people, and one isn’t necessarily better or more perfect or more “meant to be” than the others.
    And I really wouldn’t count someone dying and potentially (but only if you believe in an afterlife) being reunited with their loved one after death as a happy ending, ever.

  53. Harsh

    Brilliantly written . Just perfect

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