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Why the HIMYM Finale Failed

Solo4114’s take on the Finale,

So, I quit watching the show after “Vesuvius” aired, and it looks like I quit at the right time (or at least the last good moment). While I haven’t watched the final episode, I’m deeply sorry for the folks who did and were bitterly disappointed in how it turned out. I know not everyone hated it, though, and for the folks who enjoyed it, I don’t begrudge you your happiness. That said, having read, oh, a bajillion recaps, comments, reviews, etc. of the finale, I think I have figured out where things went wrong. I’m going to try to explain this in a way that lays out why certain fans feel so let down, hopefully in a way that the fans who liked the outcome can still respect, rather than simply dismissing it as “Bah. Screw your Disney happy ending.”

There are actually quite a few specific problems, but from what I can tell about what I read, the biggest problem of the finale was that writers knew where they wanted to go, but they didn’t know how to get there. This showed in the writing so that the finale ended up not really jiving with a lot of what we’d seen throughout the entire run of the show.

Character Growth

This is, in my opinion, one of the biggest areas where the finale failed. Overall, the finale really undermined, ignored, misserved the characters, and their growth wound up being done extremely poorly. It’s as if the finale was written for the characters of an entirely different show.

Of all the characters, I’d say that Barney was the one where they most ignored/destroyed his character arc. Here was a guy who started out as a cad, which we found out was the result of deep emotional pain, who gradually grew to open up and want real love (and the emotional risk that comes with it) rather than mere casual banging, and who grew from there to want to give up his penchant for lying and be honest with the people he cared about (at least about the big, real things). He still was awesome/legendary/etc., but he wanted love, and he wanted to be honest about it. Turning him back into “The Barnacle,” having him write “The Playbook 2,” especially when he says “This is me. Can I just be me?” when we’ve spent, what, FIVE seasons (if you start with Sandcastles in the Sand) with him on his journey of self-improvement just completely disregards what the show had been doing with him. Oh, and then he has a baby, so now he’s a different guy. Sure. Why not. Let’s tack that on, too.

The finale also treated Ted’s character pretty poorly. Ted was a somewhat douchey, overly romantic sap, who believed big gestures were how you won a woman’s love, and who was focused on Robin as “the one” for him. Over the course of the show, however, we had him win Robin, lose her when they realized they were too different, try to be “friends with benefits”, give up on that, only to have Ted lose hope in love itself and eventual backslide to wanting her, her telling him she didn’t want him, him going back and forth about that issue interminably, only to finally say “No,” definitively after letting her go (in one of the weirdest CGI moments in the show), so that he would FINALLY be ready to meet the Mother. And in the next episode, he met her, she died, and he went right back to Robin, doing yet another “big gesture.” Remember when one episode before , he said he wasn’t the guy who stole blue French horns, and was someone different? And then he steals another blue French horn for her . Like I said: it’s as if the finale was written for fundamentally different characters – ones these characters hadn’t been for years .

Speaking of Robin, in a weird way, I actually think her character was handled the “best” (or at least, the least poorly) of all the other characters – right up until the part where she wants to be with Ted. Robin has always been pretty ambiguous about marriage vs. career, at least after the first season (when she was definitively against marriage). I actually don’t think that Robin really grew as a character during the course of the show, so much as Robin had stuff happen to her. Oh, sure, she got more comfortable with kids, and made peace with not being able to have any. And yeah, she married Barney. But her journey through the show didn’t actually seem predicated on big change in who she was as a person. And in the end, I suppose, that’s the only reason it makes sense that she would divorce Barney.

What does not make sense, though, is that after all of that, she’d say “Oh, I should’ve been with Ted.” Again, one episode before , we saw Ted telling her that, no, she didn’t want him as much as she wanted something safe because she didn’t feel comfortable with Barney. When their marriage breaks up, it’s not even because Barney is doing the things that freaked her out while they were together (e.g., his dishonesty). It’s her career and the strain that puts on their marriage that ends it, and her own self-doubt. But that’s not what the writers had been saying for at least two seasons as to why she was wary about marrying Barney. The entirety of Seasons 8 and 9 were all about her not trusting Barney, which, presumably, was resolved in The End of the Aisle.

Moreover, they spent basically zero time establishing that Robin really wanted Ted. Instead, they had her doubt Barney and look to Ted as the “safe” bet. So, why, then, would she be saying she wanted him? Why would it make sense that they’d end up together in the end after Ted finishes his story? Why would anyone believe that this is a happy ending for either of them, when everything we’ve seen about Robin has told us that she and Ted don’t work because she is fundamentally ambivalent about love!? I could see her missing her friends. I could see her second-guessing her decisions in a general sense, and I could see her – in that sense – wondering if she’d made the wrong call in turning down Ted so many times over the years. But what I can’t see is, after all of the things that happened with her, that she’d somehow suddenly decide she wanted marriage, kids, or anything of the life Ted had to offer her.

As for Lily and Marshall….eh. Not much to say, here. Their character growth, to me, happened in Season 1-7, and maybe a little bit in Season 8 with them having a kid. But after that? They stayed pretty consistent. I view the “Rome vs. Judgeship” thing as basically pointless filler intended to create drama which we always knew would be resolved. And more importantly, I don’t think it fundamentally changed who they were, so much as just presented them with an obstacle they had to overcome. Not the same thing. Again, that’s more like Robin’s character where stuff happens to them, but it doesn’t actually change them. So, I guess the finale respected their characters, but only in the sense that it didn’t do anything differently with them that had been done before. The finale would’ve had to do something like have one of them cheat on the other or something to really screw up their marriage. Actually, given how it treated the other three characters, I suppose that could have happened, and we should be thankful that the writers didn’t drop the ball with them, too.

Pacing/Length Issues

Another huge problem with the show has been a combination of its length and the pacing of its seasons. American television seems to have a common problem, in terms of how it’s written and produced. Shows often start with an awesome concept and begin with real energy. But then they drag on, lose focus, meander, and eventually peter out with some half-assed ending. This is a function of the fact that American shows are usually designed to run for multiple seasons, often with “to be continued” season conclusions, never knowing whether they’ll be renewed, or for how many seasons. Instead of being written as a complete story – like a novel, they’re written as ongoing tales which may or may not come to a close at the end of any given season. Ultimately, I think that leads to poor character development and really poor plotting, because the writers are always trying to eke out one more season, and then end up creating filler to extend a story which should’ve ended naturally several seasons ago.

At the start, HIMYM hummed along nicely, for at least the first five seasons or so. Maybe up through Season 7, even. Characters developed and progressed, plotlines felt realistic, jokes seemed fresh and funny but also grounded, etc. After that, though, it was as if the show went into low gear, slowing down dramatically, so that the writers could extend the story for however long they could. It’s this point where we started seeing Ted “re-re-re-returning” to Robin. More episodes seemed to be pointless or at least to have filler as B or C stories, even as they moved the ball ever so slightly.

Ted’s journey felt like the one that treaded water the most. Prior to Season 6, it really seemed like Ted was basically over Robin. It’s in Season 7 that we start seeing him develop feelings for her, and start the season feeling like he’d lost hope. Now, had Ted only lost hope, and later regained it on his own, and this fed into him feeling like he was ready to meet the Mother, it would’ve worked fine. But instead, we saw Ted basically spin his wheels for a while, go back to Robin to tell her he could marry her even without kids, had Robin tell him “No” she didn’t love him, then go out with Jeanette, break up with her, say he was done with dating, then hit on some random skank at Barney’s “Fortress of Barnitude,” and then go after Victoria and run off with her. In Season 8, we saw him break up with Victoria after proposing to her, because he couldn’t give up Robin, then let Robin and Barney wind up together (a repeat of having given them his blessing when he was over her back in season 5 when Barney got together with Robin the first time), and then whine about how he wanted to be with Robin. At the end, we saw him decide to leave for Chicago, but then go find the locket. In Season 9, we saw him being a loser most of the time, chasing the locket, losing the locket, telling Robin again how he felt about her, letting her go, giving Barney the locket, then telling Robin “No” he didn’t love her to her face, only to finally meet the Mother….and then BAM she’s dead, and he’s asking Robin out again with another blue French Smurf penis. They dragged out his getting over Robin, spending literally years building it up to have him finally let her go in The End of the Aisle, only to turn that on its head literally in a single episode. This, folks, is an example of bad pacing . Things dragged on interminably, came to a head at the very end, and then in the last 5 minutes of the entire 9-season show, ended up being completely undone.

At the same time, they began developing the eventual plotline for Barney and Robin. Barney dealt with his family issues in relation to his father. He began to want more than just sex, and went after Nora, then Quinn, and finally Robin. But then he and Robin seemed to keep having a fight which would resolve itself, only to lead to a fight again. I think the final insult, though, was Season 9: an entire season focused around The Wedding….which was undone in 15 minutes during the finale. It would’ve been one thing for the writers to spend all that time on the wedding wackiness, if Barney and Robin had actually stayed together. At least then, it’d seem as if the episodes weren’t a total waste of time. But to break them up 15 minutes into the finale? No. Unacceptable. One thing you absolutely do not do is waste the audience’s time. And let’s be clear: about 97.5% of Season 9 was a waste. The characters didn’t grow or develop, once you factor in the finale (although prior to that point, they did grow, albeit at a snail’s pace). The mini-dramas that happened in Season 9 could’ve been skipped over entirely. The humor wasn’t even all that funny, much of the time. It just felt like the show was treading water, and then at the end it said “You know what? None of that crap mattered anyway. Oops! Sorry.” But it didn’t have to be that way. Many of the beats in the finale might have worked, had they been set up more effectively.

For example, Robin and Barney ultimately divorcing might have worked if Seasons 8 and 9 had showcased not merely Barney’s dishonesty, but also Robin’s ambivalence about career vs. marriage. Likewise, if the the wedding itself hadn’t gotten an entire fucking season devoted to it, and we’d seen a lot more about the troubles during their marriage, it’d make more sense to have them ultimately split. The big problem here is that they showed that Barney had issues with lying but they resolved those, and ultimately broke the couple up for completely unrelated reasons. Yet, the show did next to nothing to illustrate Robin’s ambivalence aside from, oh, two episodes (Something Old, and The End of the Aisle). Even then, that had nothing to do with her career, and everything to do with her thinking that Ted does big romantic things for her, so maybe she should be with him or some guy like him. Had the show spent less time on Billy Zabka and stupid rhyming episodes, and focused more on things like Robin’s idea of how marriage will go vs. Barney’s idea, the divorce would’ve at least been more believable. It still would’ve felt like their whole multi-season plotline of getting together, breaking up, and getting back together and ultimately married was a waste, but at least it wouldn’t have felt like drama added for the sake of drama. They might as well have said “Barney was killed by a falling piece of Space Station Mir” as the reason for their marriage ending. It would’ve been equally as out-of-left-field, given what had preceded it.

The finale, therefore, ends up feeling incredibly abrupt in terms of some of the major changes it throws at the audience, and in such a rapid-fire manner. While some had been somewhat telegraphed (e.g., the Mother’s death), others like Barney and Robin’s breakup definitely hadn’t. It ends up feeling like they really didn’t “earn” the outcomes story-wise. Yes, it’s true that “life happens,” but it doesn’t happen in a vacuum. There are inciting incidents, problems that lead to more problems, that lead to an eventual break. Things like this take time to develop, but none of that appeared on the screen. Instead, you had multiple seasons devoted to (A) bringing two people together, and (B) FINALLY moving two people apart, only to do a near instantaneous 180 in a single episode in both cases. Is it any wonder that fans were left saying “WTF?!?!”

Message/Plotting Issues

To me, though, the biggest failure of the finale was in failing to live up to what I considered the bargain between author and audience to have been. When this story started, the authors (via Future Ted) said that the story was about the greatest love story ever. The tag-line of Season 1 was “A love story in reverse.” Later in the series, I believe at the beginning of Season 2, Future Ted told the kids that the story was about more than JUST how he met the Mother, but also about how he became the man he needed to be to meet the Mother. In Season 5, in the episode Girls vs. Suits, he discusses all of the wonderful quirks about the Mother. In Season 6, he elaborates that he met her the day of a wedding (The Wedding) and from that season on, much of the focus became that day itself, and how the wedding occurred. In Season 7, Klaus asks Ted if he’s found his lebenslangerschicksalschatz , and Ted replies that he thinks he has (either with Victoria or Robin, or any other woman he’s met up to that point). Klaus informs him that if he has to think about it…he hasn’t. The implication here is that this notion, your life-long-treasure-of-destiny that everyone eventually finds, is not anyone that Ted has met . In all of this, the focus is on the Mother. The Mother, the Mother, the Mother. Meeting the Mother, how the Mother is (obviously) Ted’s lebenslangerschicksalschatz , etc. It’s all about the Mother.

Starting in Season 7, though, we see Ted backslide (as I recall, for the first time in any meaningful way – I discount Twin Beds as a true backslide) to Robin, and then spend the remainder of the show with Ted needing to get over Robin, so that he can meet the Mother. But again, the focus is still on the Mother.

See, I think the show, particularly in the latter seasons, set out to do two things simultaneously. First, it set out to actually, you know, get Ted to meet the Mother. That requires Ted to get over Robin and quit being such a putz, so that he can meet the love of his life – his lebenslangerschicksalschatz . Second, the show set out to demonstrate that Future Ted had been telling this story all along because he’s in love with Robin, so that his kids can say “Dad, you’re totally in love with Aunt Robin and you should go for it.”

I think, ultimately, that these two goals work at cross-purposes. You can’t tell a story about meeting “The One” while also telling a story about how you’re in love with the woman who isn’t “The One.” It just doesn’t work without either plotline stepping on the others’ toes. If you move Ted away from Robin and show that he’s over her and ready to meet The One, then you make it harder to sell that “This story’s been about Aunt Robin all along.” If you move Ted towards Robin, then you undermine him being ready to meet The One. Lastly, if you intend to end the story with the literal meeting on the train platform, you deny yourself time to explore the aftermath of The One’s untimely demise, and show that Ted (A) really DID love her like no other, but (B) was ready to build a new relationship and move on with the girl he legitimately got over 14 ago. End result: a supremely jarring “And she’s dead. And now I’m gonna go bang Robin…ok?” Like I said, I’m not sure there’s a way to effectively do what the writers wanted to do, but they were SO committed to their plan that I think they couldn’t step back from it and see the forest for the trees.

It’s possible they could’ve plotted the 9 th season to more effectively accomplish what they wanted to accomplish. For example, the wedding could’ve lasted, oh, 3 episodes at most, followed by episodes that gradually walked forward in time, with a significant amount of time spent WITH the Mother (including her death), and AFTER her death where Ted reconnects with Robin and builds a relationship with her again. But that’s not the story we saw.

They could have also had Barney marry Quinn, Robin marry and divorce Don, and done all of this in, oh, six or seven seasons, again, allowing Ted time with the Mother to show how much he loved her, and time after to show how much he needed to move on, while also showing that he and Robin had fundamentally changed enough to actually be able to work together as a couple, rather than just an idea. But that’s not the story we saw, either.

Josh Radnor’s comments about the internal reality of the show vs. the relationship with the audience is very astute and I think, without perhaps meaning to, he highlights another key problem with the finale and the show as a whole. It may make sense – within the reality of the HIMYM universe – that Ted and Robin would reconnect after years apart, that Ted would truly have loved the Mother, and that this nine-season story was all told in maybe an hour or two to his kids who had already witnessed their dad as a broken man, alone and mourning, but seemingly finding solace and maybe even a glimmer of hope and love again with a woman from his past – with whom they’re already familiar and closely connected. But the audience never saw that .

You know how one of the tenets of script writing is “Show, don’t tell”? They didn’t show. They just told. And they told in about 30 seconds of dialogue.

If you’d watched the finale episode, and stopped it at the point where Lily raised her glass in toast to Ted and the Mother, then went and watched the edited video that was posted on this site, I think you’d think two things: (1) that the actually aired ending felt very tacked-on and jarring, and (2) that if you never saw the actually aired ending at all, the one from the video would be perfectly fitting. It’d still be a problematic show, given how long everything took to accomplish, and how poorly paced it would have been, but it would’ve ended a bit more cleanly. As it stands, the finale, especially the coda, is an abrupt info-dump with a jarring conclusion that highlights an ambiguity in the show we’ve all noticed for years, which the show as a whole only resolved literally ONE episode prior, only to then un-resolve it the immediate next episode. This put Ted saying “I’m done with dating. I’m ready to get serious,” in Weekend at Barney’s, and then hooking up with a random skank in “The Fortress” to shame as far as 180s go.

To be clear: my goal here has been to highlight the writing problems with the finale in relation to the nine seasons that preceded it. I am not trying to say that one’s preference for this or that outcome is wrong or right. I think viewers can like the outcome of the finale and still see the flaws in its telling. Even if you’re a Ted/Robin shipper, and you hated Robin/Barney as a couple, and never really got the appeal of The Mother, I think it’s reasonable to see that the finale didn’t quite earn its payoff, given how the rest of the show was structured. You may like the end, but I don’t think you can reasonably claim that it was achieved as effectively as it should have been, that it was properly built up to, and that it was executed cleanly. Also, I hope I’ve made it clearer why people who strongly disliked the finale aren’t just a bunch of whiners who wanted an unrealistic Disney outcome, or even if they did, that the show didn’t at least bear significant responsibility for leading them to believe they were going to get one.

Lastly, I did want to say a few things.  To Corina and Proffessor, who took over writing duties after I took off, thanks.  You guys did a terrific job, and really brought a new perspective to the writing.  To JD and Jordan, who first launched Have You Met Ted where many of us first came together, thanks.  The site may have had its technical difficulties, but without it, none of us would be here right now.  To Ross the Boss, thanks, man.  I don’t know if folks are aware of this, but Ross has single-handedly run the technical side of this site.  All the layout work, posting of blog posts, management of comments, etc., Ross handles all of it.  I think we all owe him a BIG thank you.  Lastly, thanks to all of you for your comments, your passion, and for a really interesting and fun ride for as long as it lasted.  I may have stepped off the train before the last stop, but I did enjoy the ride.  Whatever my – and others’ – thoughts are on the finale, this has been a great community to be a part of.

102 Comments (Add Yours)

  1. *stands and begins slow clap*

    THANK. YOU!!!

    You said almost everything that I’ve been thinking, writing, and saying to my mom since the finale. Its not just that my OTP’s (Swarkles and TM) didn’t happen. That sucks, but its so much more than that. Its that everything felt like it was thrown in as “OMG, PLOT TWISTS!” just for the sake of “OMG, PLOT TWISTS!” They weren’t earned, they practically lied about what the story was about and how it would end, and undid years worth of character development and build-up. The final season being completely devoted to the wedding weekend was pointless if they’re just going to divorce, and getting to know how wonderful The Mother was with Ted and his friends was pointless if she was just going to die.

    I just…I just want to pretend it didn’t happen. Yes, the rest of the season had its problems, but I ultimately enjoyed it, and was expecting a very happy and bittersweet finale. I COULD NOT enjoy that finale. It was crap. It was writers just being too stubborn to admit that the ending they had planned in 2006 would not work in 2014. The characters and story changed, and they should’ve been big enough to admit that and throw the old ending away.

    Again, thanks for summing up all of the problems, both for those how hated it and those who enjoyed. I feel like the only thing that’s kept me sane after viewing it is reading all of the other negative comments online and knowing I’m not alone in feeling betrayed and trolled by the writers.

    • Thanks, Athena. I don’t know if it was stubbornness on the part of the writers, or actually believing their own hype, so to speak. Like, I suspect that they really think that they sold the ending and don’t get why other people don’t get it. I think they think the way the kids did — “This story hasn’t been about that. It’s been about Aunt Robin.”

      And maybe that would’ve worked if they’d told the story differently, but I don’t think they realized (at the time, at least) that the way they told the story led in a VERY different direction, and one that ultimately just didn’t fit with the finale they wrote.

      • I just don’t see how they could see that finale as good when they built up how great Barney and Robin were together (and any problems they did have were resolved by Barney proving his love and loyalty) and how important it was for Ted to get over Robin. The finale was the exact opposite of those things.

        If any husband of Robin’s would have a problem with her traveling it would be Ted (if she ever married him)! He wanted to stay in a house in the suburbs, married with children, and keep his architecture career in New York. The reason they broke up in season 2 was because she said she wanted to travel for her career! Barney is the adventurous one who would think traveling around the globe with his world famous newscaster wife is “awesome!” I think a big reason Robin thought she could marry Barney above any other guy was because he would be the least likely to complain about that kind of thing and try to change her. They did have other problems. If they WERE going to divorce, have it be because of their other issues, not this one that makes no sense.

        And I completely agree that they just “showed, didn’t tell.” People have said “Of course Ted and his kids grieved over The Mother’s death. We don’t need to see that to know it!” Well, we kind of do. We know it happened, obviously, but it would’ve sunk in a lot more how much she meant to them and how she wasn’t just another woman in his life before eventually getting back together with Robin. Just giving us 30 seconds of her in a hospital bed and the kids saying “Its been 6 years! Go get our middle-aged aunt back!” is weak and…creepy.

        I wanted all 3 couples and families to have a happy ending, I really did, but I will say that I MAYBE could’ve accepted one out of two of those twists – The Mother dying OR Swarkles divorcing. MAYBE. If The Mother had just recently died and you saw Ted and the kids mourning but dealing with it…it maybe could’ve been bittersweet. Or if she was alive but after about 10 years, Swarkles called it quits and divorced. I would NOT have liked it, it’d still be stupid and random, but I maybe could accept it. But BOTH?! No, they only did both so that we could get the Mosbatsky ending they wrote in 2006. They needed both Ted and Robin to be single in 2030, and that was the only way they knew how. Stupid. *sigh*

  2. Awesome job and now I see why you bailed. My whole dilemma at the end were the writers. I don’t think they were thinking about character growth. I don’t think they ever really cared about Barney/Robin or ultimately Ted/Mother. I honestly think, after getting over my initial WTF just happened reaction is they knew the outcome all along. They started writing this story with one ending in mind. So to keep their secret (which I imagine they thought was mind blowing) (it wasn’t), they had to send us down the wrong path. It didn’t matter how close we had got to the characters or what we as an audience wanted to see, what mattered is how many red herrings they could toss our way so we didn’t see the Ted and Robin endgame. They were the biggest fans of the coupling and I believe they over estimated how many of us were also. I think they thought so many people were gonna be happy they ended up together they’d overlook that we were deceived getting there. By season 8 after the proposal I knew this but kept telling myself that No, they wouldn’t do that. I spent almost a decade buying what they were selling so I wanted to believe I was wrong. After the proposal there were too many little hints, like Barney and that damn playbook that kept popping up, the Weekend at Barneys dreams, the proxy bang (Ted and Carli), wanting to see the ridonkulous body of the girl in the coat, I could go on. The point was does this sound like a guy who wanted to get married? At the same time we were being fed the growth of the character, how much he loved Robin, how hard he’d have to work to get her. If any of these characters were shafted it was Barney. As far as Ted and Robin I don’t know who bought they were a couple that were in love that could possibly want to end up together. This was the biggest story telling mistake, if you want us to believe they could ever work their way back to each other you can’t tell us she absolutely positively doesn’t love him, show us no indication that she even had lingering feelings for him, show him releasing her once and for all and to tell her he doesn’t love her anymore either, and then throw it out there that she thinks she should’ve been with him during the last episode’s. It doesn’t make sense, but once again it was the writers who weren’t thinking that we’d care about any of this, that we’d be cool that they dicked us around because our only thoughts would be Ted and Robin are together in the end YAY. Sorry I let them do this to me. I wouldn’t have minded the end if there was build up and follow thru on anything that we saw in that finale. All of the season 9 wedding was a plot device to throw us off their ending. Anyway this is just MY opinion.

    • If that’s really true (that they didn’t really didn’t care about character growth or how much we loved and respected the characters personally, only about throwing us off so we wouldn’t see the ending coming), then they have even MORE reason to be ashamed than I originally thought.

      God, I hope not! Then I really can’t ever forgive them.

      • I hope you are wrong also, it did feel like they wanted Robin/Ted as an endgame and was bound and determined to get there making the last season feel rushed. But I think they were invested in their characters. They just happened to love Ted/Robin together. Up until season 4/5/6, I was onboard with them also. Everything has already been said a hundred times about this so I won’t go into the growth and changing the storyline to reflect the older characters. Just this was their baby and they did what they felt was the best for it. I don’t have to like it but I can understand it.

    • “…their secret (which I imagine they thought was mind blowing) (it wasn’t)…”

      Perfect. I don´t know how they thought this ending would be shocking in any way.

      Also, having a plot twist for the sake of plot twist like Athena said, is not very intelligent and well thought.

      A lot of people that liked the finale said on social medias that people that didn´t like it were simplistic, didn´t appreciate how life like it was, only like Disney endings, and are the reason that others shows or movies lack depth. I don´t think we can compare the plot twist in movies like Fight Club or Seven to what happen in HIMYM.

      Sometimes, being simple and clean is better. Sometimes, Disney endings are perfect, and can also be life like. And sometimes, a plot twist just don´t make any sense in the story context. And you showed that perfectly on this post, Solo.

      • Losing their mother must have REALLY messed them up or something. Either that or Ted’s a bad father. I don’t know, but either way that is not how normal, healthy teenagers behave!

      • Here’s the thing. I think the writers of this show, and the creators especially, tended to be a little like Barney with their “Challenge Accepted!” attitude towards writing tricks. The very format of this show is a “challenge.” And some of the challenges they set for themselves, they paid off reasonably well, like the “Now we’re even!” green dress moment. But others failed, in my opinion, like the 56-hour wedding format for Season 9, the rhyming episode, and The Burning Beekeeper.

        Actually, let me clarify that. The challenge — in terms of “Can we write this?” — was completed. But it often was completed at the expense of the overall story. It would usually distract, or undermine, or simply delay the development of the story. They were filler episodes, but the guys didn’t care, because the whole point to them was to complete the challenge.

        I think killing off the Mother and bringing Ted and Robin back together, while pulling at your heartstrings was another challenge they set for themselves, waaaay back at the beginning. Rather than say “Challenge failed,” but tell a more — in my opinion — coherent story, they said “Challenge completed!” and hurt their story overall.

        I don’t think the audience’s attitudes really came into this. I suspect they wrote what they wrote because…they wanted to write it and they liked it. That the audience might dislike it didn’t matter one way or the other. Likewise, I don’t think it was necessarily done out of malice towards the audience, like, trying to screw with them and throw them off, only to punch them in the gut later. I don’t think they saw what they were doing that way. I think instead, that they felt that they were completing the challenge they set out for themselves.

        And they did. At the cost of the story.

        This is why I say that these guys are very talented writers, but fairly amateurish storytellers. They’re undeniably amazing at crafting scenes, or jokes, or standalone episodes. Even with the final season being as bad as it was, many of the individual jokes and scenes were still terrific. Hell, even the finale itself — with the exception of the coda, perhaps — was (I’m told) pretty damn good if you just viewed it as some standalone episode, unconnected from the rest of the story.

        But as far as telling a complete tale? I think they aren’t that great. They set out to tell this story, and I don’t think they told it very well. If they had, I think you’d see near universal acceptance of what happened. That there is this amount of backlash isn’t solely due to the ending being sad. People can handle the sad side of things. What they don’t like is feeling like their time’s been wasted, or that they’ve been screwed with for season after season in some elaborate con. And I think they feel jerked around because of how the story was told, not just what the ending was. The “punchline” might’ve worked with a different set-up, but not with the one we saw.

  3. I feel the same way. This was just my opinion. I hope they dispute it or have reasoning behind the 180 degree turn they made when writing the finale. I just feel like from what I saw the finale couldn’t have ended that way if everything we watched leading up to it was real. Which then makes me question, if it wasn’t real it was one huge red herring so we wouldn’t guess the end was never about How I Met Your Mother, but about How I ended Up With Your Aunt Robin. They have said it was about the journey not the destination. I have a hard time with that because the title of the show was HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, and we were led to believe the journey was HOW he ended up with the Mother. I get that he did get her believe me, but then to reduce their life together down to 40mins and run (literally) back to Robin just sat wrong with me. Even the way they wrote and shot HER kids reactions were a red herring. Everyone said “Oh she can’t he dead, what kids would sit there giving their dad a hard time, looking bored, being annoyed etc. About their dead mom” Obviously Ted’s kids!!

  4. Solo, I agree with almost everything you said! I just have to disagree in one aspect: Robin´s.

    As I already comment on the finale post, I was really unhappy with how they handle Robin´s character. Of course I was even more unhappy with the end Barney and The Mother had, but Robin´s end was very awful.

    Firstly, Robin and Barney never were the commitment kind of people, but they loved each other, so why not give it a go? But they couldn´t make it work, and why? Because of her career. This was an awful excuse for them to break up. If anyone would keep up with her moving around the globe was Barney. If even Barney couldn´t be with her because of that, for me seems that the writers believe that having this kind of career is incompatible with being in a loving relationship, and that someone need to choose between the two.

    Secondly, Robin had her career over her relationship. But she also abandoned her friends over her work, I didn´t quite understood why, since the only problem was that she would only be around a little less. And she is portrayed as someone lonely and unhappy with her choices, even though she´s a very successful woman and were achieving her life goals.

    Thirdly, Barney appears finally happy and changed only when he have a daughter. Having kids is something that he told Robin he would give up for her, but in the finale he was only truly happy with a kid, a kid that Robin could never or would never give him.

    Lastly, Ted only goes for Robin after his dreams of having a family are fulfilled together with another woman. Only after that, Robin becomes a good choice.

    It seems for me that Robin´s character were handle just as poorly as all the others.

    • But Barney was still hanging around the gang after he and Robin divorced, and for awhile before the baby came along, was acting like a complete ass and sleeping around with random girls again, as if Robin never mattered to him. Would you, if you were Robin, want to hang around an ex-husband who acted that way? I understand her being hurt entirely.

      • Oh, I completely agree with you on that Athena!

        But don´t you think it´s weird that she practically stops being friends with Lily? Maybe she wanted some distance because of Barney, but you don´t abandon your best friend like that.

        And it´s still truth that Robin was shown as someone unhappy even though she was fulfilling her dreams. And that she is portrait as someone not able to make Barney or Ted happy just because of her inability or her disinterest on having kids.

        What I wanted to say with that is that not always marriage + kids is the only way to growth and be happy. And her main love interests in the whole show – Barney and Ted – needed the kids that she couldn´t or wouldn´t have to growth and be happy. Portraying her as someone sad and lonely because of that, in my opinion, sucks.

        • Yeah, that’s a big part of why the baby plot pisses me off so much (along with it being random and stupid). When you put it in the context of Robin not being able to have kids, and Barney later being so happy with the baby, its borderline offensive. And I’m not the type to call every little thing offensive.

          And the way Lily treated Robin in this finale REALLY pisses me off, but that’s a whole new rant entirely. I’m still planning to type up a big angry “WTF Lily?!” post on tumblr. I’ve never gotten on the “hate Lily” train like so many fans, but man did this one do it for me. So…yeah, don’t care that much if she missed Robin.

          Also, I thought that Ted’s kids were really close with Robin when they were little. Remember in season 3 Ted said that Robin appeared in “some very important works of art – their’s?” And it showed all of their colorings of them and Aunt Robin? So why when Penny saw her in the finale she just referred to her as “random bus lady” as if she never saw her?

    • To be clear, I don’t particularly like what they did with Robin’s character over the course of the show.

      My point was more that Robin’s character didn’t change a ton during the course of the show. I didn’t see a lot of growth from her during the bulk of the show, so there wasn’t a lot for the finale to disregard or disrespect in that sense.

      That said, I think that — in the end — Robin’s character really isn’t all that appealing. She’s deeply screwed up, maddeningly ambivalent, and always wants what she can’t have, usually with cataclysmic results for herself and those around her. But at least the ending stayed reasonably true to who she was during the course of the show, however unappealing that may be.

      Compared to Barney, though, her development didn’t get undermined so thoroughly, but that’s more because there really wasn’t much development to undermine in the first place. Which, by the way, I see as another failing of the show, but not necessarily one of the finale itself in relation to the show.

  5. Hi, I just want to contribute a little with my opinion as unpopular as it may be since I’m part of the minority who enjoy the finale. Sure given the chance I would change a few stuff (mainly how rushed it was) but aside from that I did like how things ended.
    I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I’m a late viewer of this show.

    I started bing watching episodes around the end of season 7, and only finished watching this summer. Given that short time for me with the show, I think I never really warmed to certain plots, mainly Robin & Barney, a relationship that to me always felt rather rushed and inconsistent, except for the cuteness of watching Barney falling for her in season 4. So I’m neither surprised nor troubled by their divorce. Rather I was sort of expecting it.

    I’m not sure but I think the finale works best if you watch the series as a whole in a short period of time, like I dis. Since I didn’t spend years with it, I got little chance to speculate, and to get attached to certain ideas or theories or plot lines.
    In the finale one of the main points of criticism is that it destroyed all the character development of Barney. I for once unlike the majority never see as much character development from Barney a since I didn’t spend time between seasons thinking and believing he had changed his ways and growing as person (for example the gap between seasons 6 & 7) To me he was always a jerk to women and only began to change in season 5 and even then as soon as he wasn’t in a relationship he always reverted to his womanizer self. If you watch the show one episode after the other season after season you’ll notice that what little progress he achieves it was reverted 5 or 6 episodes later. And it never stopped. It was that way after Robin, Nora, and Quinn. And even when he got back together with Robin again in season 8 thanks to that flashback scene with Tracy we know getting Robin was more about winning something.

    Other big point against the finale is Ted & Robin getting back together. Well, I know nobody is going to agree with me on this as I kept watching but after watching the 9 seasons in a row I came to the conclusion this show is actually about the story of Ted & Robin, even before the finale I always felt that way, sure it has to do with personal taste, but I found the story of Ted and Robin way more interesting than the one of Ted and the Mother. I was too perfect a story. They meet, they hit it off, and they got together. Sure they were people with a lot of baggage but by the time they meet they already deal with it, as seen in the episodes they let go so it’s not a source of conflict or development for them as a couple. Aside from the fact that the mother dies, theirs was in many ways a fairytale story, and as cute as that is, I love it more when sometimes life surprises you and your past blends together with your future in a good way. I feel good for Ted since despite all the pain he gets to be happy with the 2 most important women of his life at the right place and the right time, and at least I do find some hope and comfort in that message.

    • Your opinion is every bit as valid as any of ours. I’ve always said its cool that the show gave so many different people a different point of view!

      I also agree with Athena those were some messed up kids! Also agree with Solo that after Vesuvius the writing was on the wall and I completely understand why he stopped watching. I wanted to and didn’t have the balls, I was holding out hope and I knew better!! Funny HIMYM is on right now (reruns) and every time Ted refers to “Aunt Robin” I start to giggle. It’s like the women who bring lots of men around their kids and call them Uncle!! At least it’s an upgrade from “bus lady” Lol!!

    • Yes, watching like that did in the end give you an advantage. Good points. You did not have the time we did to get emotionally invested in each relationship and the changes. Nor I guess are you in one of those situations right now in your life.

      But Thank you for sharing that perspective.

  6. This group of individuals was always co dependant. The continuly showed that. Kevin pointed that out. Victoria pointed that out. They pointed it out to each other with the Intervention Signs.

    Second Robin Ran away From Ted Multiple times. She Ran to Barney her best Bro and Even away from Barney a couple of times. Anyone who would put career first over relationship should not be counted on emotionally

    Poor Lily. She obviously would have bonded with the Mother some of those years. We just did not get to see it. The Series ran out of time. On perpose or just poor season management we may not ever fully know.

    Most of us have drifted in and out of friend relationships. Some have even done that in combination with a romantic friendship like Ted and Robin.

    Solo always said Robin rebounded to Ted as the guy on the hook for her. When he was unavaliable and Barney back to his old tricks that had to really effect Lonely Robin. I get that.

    When finally she was ready to slow down, they wrote an out for her with Ted. Yes I would rather have had them show all six back together. No this is not how I want a Situational Comedy to end.

    I just want to take some lessons from this show. If You hit mid life and are alone 5 dogs don’t fulfill that true relationship bond. Neither are teenage kids who will soon be growing up and gone.

    So, stay together if at all possible or get together with someone before that time in your life. We are all dating later or on second relationships 30s into 40s and sometimes 50s.

    But with all that never settle. I think Ted and Robin are settling.

  7. Thank you Solo, that was written perfectly. While reading what you said, a thought popped into my head that I hadn’t really thought of yet this week. The story was built on two core moments: Ted meeting TM under the yellow umbrella, and Ted going back to Robin with the Blue French Horn. Both those moments were well thought out by the writers and both deserved to make it on screen, but they should never have taken place 3 minutes apart from each other.
    I just have to totally agree with you that CB and CT had a good idea for what they were trying to do (and it may have sounded great in their heads) but there was really just no way of making it work. As everyone has been saying all week, the show was called How I Met Your Mother, which tells us the main purpose of Ted’s story was to tell his children how he met his wife. But when you flip it around to tell them about how you want to start dating Robin again, it just doesn’t work. I had been calling it the greatest love story of all time inside of the greatest love story of all time, but as the days have gone by it just hasn’t sat well with me.
    Honestly here is the truth, they should have just had Ted meet the mother in the season 8 finale. Then they could have told more of Ted’s and her story in season 9, and develop the story lines we saw in the finale further. If people would have been upset with season 9’s outcome, hey season 8 ended perfectly and they could have just ignored season 9. I don’t know, just an idea. What I do know is that nothing is going to change. Season 8 is long gone and Season 9 just ended. HIMYM is over forever. There is nothing we can do but sit up late at night discussing things we cannot change. Which overall saddens me, because I wish I could have turned the finale off and just been satisfied.

  8. I found this blog (and Corina’s blog) about 2 years ago when I started watching HIMYM. Just like Anya, I’m a late viewer. But, I don’t like the finale either, like so many of you. It’s a very bad plot twist, and poorly delivered, and it’s like watching an ending for different show and different characters. Though I’m not watching it for the whole 9 years, but these characters sort of grow on me and affected me in so many ways.

    To me, a smart plot twist is like Shutter Island. That is a mind blown movie. But HIMYM surely not smart enough with the finale and it sadden me because for this last 2 years I am searching clues and rewatched the show so many times and I read lots of theories about TM and all this time I always think that the writers is sooo smart for teasing us, and get us into thinking that the greatest love story of all is Ted & Tracy Mosby.

    For this five days I’ve been around this blog, Tumblr, and Twitter just to find if there’s a chance Bays & Thomas would react to our disappointment. In Tumblr, fans made a petition to rewrite and reshoot the finale. I dont think that ever gonna happen. But I hope that would give a signal to CB & CT that they’re letting down lots of fans with the finale they choose. People dont like the ending, that’s happen. But in this case, people who don’t like the finale is waaaay too many than they who liked it. And to add, they who disappointed are long time viewers. Fans who CB & CT called as “our best friends”.

    Just this morning (I’m in Asia), I read that CB & CT appreciate all the controvercy and they said there’s a plan B finale that would appeared in Series 9 DVD set box. They did not mention when exactly they would release it, but I hope I will be able to have it anytime soon.

    Anyhoo, I’m still pretty pissed and before I finally found peace, I will never gonna rewatched HIMYM ever again. And I am surely not gonna watched the spin off HIMYD. Good luck with that CB & CT.

    • Yeah, but they didn’t shoot a different ending, they’re just reworking in into an alternate ending via editing. So they still have limited options. When the DVD comes out in a few months someone will put hte alternate ending on youtube, and I can see it there. I’m a little curious, but still angry, and not spending my money on it.

      And no, Craig and Carter, we are not still friends! lol

  9. I don’t want to read a post about why the finale failed by someone who hasn’t watched the finale. I didn’t like the ending either, but at least I watched it.

  10. I was on a business trip Monday night and had an important meeting Tuesday so I had a lot going on, but I did manage to catch the finale in my hotel room. I wasn’t able to fully concentrate on it, however, and so I’ve refrained from commenting until I had a chance to do a full rewatch and let the dust settle a little. I’ve been reading tons of reviews and all of the comments on here.

    I came to the series later on as well, and I’ve been saying all along that I would be OK with the Mother dying – and even, somewhat reluctantly, with Ted and Robin together after a suitable period of time, because that’s life – IF it was well done. And although I appreciated the episode much more the second time, this wasn’t well done. Like many others have said, the timing felt off. The pacing was rushed. We didn’t spend enough time or enough emotion on Tracy dying, we didn’t see Ted or the gang react in the aftermath, the reaction of the kids was off, and finally, Ted’s pursuit of Robin with the blue french horn felt trite and ineffective.

    I also missed the voice of Bob Saget, who I think through the series had been the touchstone – the voice of experience, wisdom well won, and full of maturity looking back on his youth. My alternative ending would be Saget’s voice narrating the last montage of Ted/Tracy, and his voice saying “And that, kids, is how I met your mother.” I would have cut his voice into the final interaction with the kids…I love Radnor’s interpretation of Ted, but it’s been Saget’s voice that has guided us, the viewer, on this journey. Only after the conversation with the kids was over would I have cut to Radnor, aged-up and outside Robin’s apartment. It was just another thing that felt out of place.

    And as so many have said, I felt they were trying to tell too much story in so little time, and I wondered why, with an entire season, some of these key emotional beats weren’t given more room to breathe. I easily could have lived without most of the first half of the season. I found it difficult and a real strain to watch most of it, and by the time we kicked at all into gear with “Bass Player Wanted,” I was ready for the holiday break. The second half was much better, but there was still way too much filler, and I really would have liked to see more about Barney and Robin’s failed marriage (and less of the nonsense leading to their wedding), Ted and the Mother’s romance, the Mother, Ted and their friends during her illness, and finally, Ted and the gang during the six years between Tracy’s death and Ted’s talk with the kids.

    So here’s my imagined version of why the season and the episode, although they had many good moments, ultimately won’t resonate with me like the first eight:

    Bays/Thomas and CBS agree, midway through season 8, to extend the series another year. After much consternation, Jason Segel agrees to participate, with the proviso that he miss most of the first half of filming to do a movie. And B/T take a stroll to the network offices, to fill in the suits on how the rest of season 8 and season 9 is going to go.

    B/T: “We’ve got a great plan. We’re going to end season 8 just before Barney and Robin’s wedding, and we’re going to introduce the Mother in the last episode. Ted won’t meet her yet. Then when we come back in the fall, we’ll get right into the wedding for the first few episodes, and after that the rest of season 9 is going to be time-jumping between 2013, 2030 and the intervening years. We’ll show what happened to Barney and Robin (the marriage doesn’t make it), Ted’s life with the Mother, the highs and lows ( although they won’t “meet” until the finale). Jason isn’t going to be available to us until halfway through, so to cover that, we’re going to separate Marshall and Lily for a while, and explore the underlying tensions in their marriage.They’re going to have a huge fight about judge/Italy. No worries, though, when Jason’s back, we’ll show Marshall becoming a judge, being elected to the Supreme Court, and that they’re going to have two more children. Robin will separate from the rest of the gang after she and Barney break up, Barney’s going to regress back to season 1, but he’s eventually going to become a father and change for good.

    “We’re going to show all that happening through the years, right in time for our last run of episodes. And here’s what’s going to happen then: the Mother is going to fall terminally ill, and we’re going to see the Mosby family struggle with that, and eventually she’s going to die. We’ll show the funeral, and how the gang reacts.Ted is heartbroken but finds comfort in his friends, particularly Robin, who reaches out in the aftermath. Our very last scene before the train platform and Ted meeting the Mother in 2013 is between Ted and the kids, where they give him permission to pursue a relationship with “Aunt Robin” after six years. Then boom, we cut to Farhampton under the yellow umbrella, and at the end of that scene credits roll.”

    CBS execs, advertisers, syndicators: “WHAT? You cannot do a full season of such heartbreak. We know it reflects what can happen in real life, but this is television. We need to sell soap, we need to protect the syndication rights, we need to protect that spinoff we want. NO WAY. You can have the finale to do all that….we’ll even give you a full hour (minus commercials, of course.) But before then, here’s what we want.

    “NO heartbreak of any kind. If you must break up Barney and Robin, do it in the finale. Stretch the wedding out a whole season if you have to, but don’t break them up until the end. We have to have Jason the full year, so come up with a plot device to keep him in the mix even if it’s foolish and doesn’t fit with the rest of the show. Film all his scenes at once if you have to. NO breaking up of Lily and Marshall, even for a short time. We need yuks, laughs, light-hearted moments even if they’re silly. Bring back as many guest stars as you can, even if you have to shoehorn them into the plot and green-screen them into the episodes.

    “And we don’t want to see Neil with a baby until the very end. He’s Barney! We need to market this show around Barney and people expect Awesome Barney, with his jokes, and Legendary Barney with his conquests. Marry him off to Robin but don’t ever hint that he’s changed until the finale.

    “There’s no way we will ever permit illness or tragedy between Ted and the Mother. In fact, if that’s your endgame, we don’t want to see very much of the Mother, so limit her screen time and keep her very much of a manic pixie dream girl and not anyone real. You can show some moments – Ted’s proposal, the birth of the kids, their first date and kiss – but don’t linger too long on any of that. Well, OK, you can have the 200th episode to fill in some of her back story, but other then that, keep it superficial.

    “And for heaven’s sake, we want to see those slaps!”

    B/T: “Now what the hell do we do? I guess we’re committed to doing this extra season no matter what. We’ll have to come up with a plot for Jason even if it makes no sense. We’re going to have to stretch the wedding out for the whole season even though nothing much happens at the wedding itself, so we’re going to have to make up ridiculous straw man stories about lockets, lighthouses, knights and Billy Zabka. We’ve got this incredible actress to play the Mother, she can play all these beats, from tragic to euphoria and everything in between, but we can’t really work her into the wedding plot very well, so we’re just going to have to ‘tack on’ whatever little we’re allowed to show of her to episodes about the wedding. We’re not supposed to talk about her illness or eventual death, or about Barney and Robin’s breakup, until the finale, but maybe we can drop a clue or two along the way, starting with ‘Time Travelers’ and especially in ‘Vesuvius,’ and we can tell Cobie and Neil to play the wedding as one long, LONG bout of cold feet. We want to get Ted and Robin back together in the finale, after the Mother’s death, but we’ve got to show them rejecting one another in order to credibly marry off Barney and Robin, so we’re going to have a constant push-pull between Ted and Robin. We don’t want to definitively slam the door, but somehow they each have to reject the other.

    “And that scene we filmed with Lyndsey and David in 2006? Maybe we better take another look at it and see its tone fits in with the story we’ve been telling, or if we need to indicate Ted and Robin get back together without using that footage. Oh well, no time, so we’ll just go with what we have.”

    And the result was a confusing, infuriating, and unsatisfying season and finale for everyone….the creators, the audience, and perhaps the writers and actors. The only people happy are those at the network, because the ratings are going through the roof, so “Let’s milk it with a spinoff, even though none of the characters from the root show will be on it. It’s OK, though, we’ll use the same title and the same sets, and the same format, and we’ll pretend that it’s the very same show! Look, if you squint real hard, you can almost see Awesome Barney.”

    • I actually think that makes a lot of sense. It would explain why nothing felt right this season or finale. Good points!! Personally I think that the build up of season 8 to the rooftop proposal was wrote with this being the last season in mind. They came back from break, talked Jason into staying one more year and started rearranging their storylines and timelines. I also think the whole Rome situation was thrown in so as to explain Marshalls absence. Lily could make a few extra scenes by telephone etc. At some point they decided on a 2/3 day season so none of that works now. Not to get too detailed but yeah all storylines were rushed in the slowest way possible this season if that makes sense to anyone!! I previously wrote above that I didn’t feel like the writers cared as long as they got their endgame (Ted/Robin) and now I so feel bad reading their Twitter Accts.!! I also hate the Ted/Robin shippers are pissed that anyone who didn’t like the finale are cry babies. All I can say is it wasn’t just about the Mother dying. It was the entire finale. It all felt off. I definitely complained about it but never thought they were listening. Here’s the thing though it’s not like they are just giving us what we want and caving into fan demands. They are selling a product and if the mass majority doesn’t like it they won’t buy it. I’m sure with this new sitcom coming up, unfortunately named HIMYD, they have to have this audience to help sale it to the network. So I don’t know if they are pandering to us or they truly want to get the alternate out there because that too was a vision of theirs. We may never know. Also I for one never went on their Twitter Accts., nor tweeted one word about HIMYM. This is the only site I’ve said anything!!

  11. I, as always, liked Solos post. And it in many ways jives with my views. I basically said I had to say in the thread to Corina’s episode review, so have really nothing to add here.

    • I definitely agree, always liked Solos point of view, I wrote after and agreed with him and some posters above but my comments never showed up. This is actually the third time I’m attempting to send this one! Lol!! Stupid Kindle.

  12. Great article Solo. I could not have put any of it better myself. The ending played out exactly as it was, a segment recorded years ago for a show that does not resemble the HIMYM of season 9. I couldn’t live with Ted and Robin getting back together and the only thing worse was the way that Bays and Thomas got us there. Lazy, unfulfilling, very disappointing

  13. I would tell again my theory, doesn’t mother if you call me again sheldon cooper. BTW, anyone who has tried to demonstrate that Ted would finally end with Robin received an incredible amount of “dose of reality” by B/R shippers. No offense, but it is the truth.

    Pilote episode, let’s suppose TM is alive.

    Ted: Kids, I’m gonna tell you an incredible story, the story of how I met your mother.
    Penny: Dad, Mom told me years ago when I was 12-13. May I go to the cinema with my friends?.
    End of story. Less than 10 seconds. This is why I always thought TM was dead, because even divorced in bad terms she would have told Penny, a teenager, how they met, specially if it was so romantic.

    About Ted ending with Robin. If I was Ted and wanted to explain my kids HIMYM, I will start at the wedding weekend and then go to the platform episode (superb acting by JR and CM, BTW), so starting nine years before was like “your mother was perfect, but you know aunt robin and you love her. I wanna show you how important she was for me, because I wanna date her again”.

    This is why I always thought Ted will end with Robin, not because I shipped them (to me Robin’s perfect match was Don, never Barney). I must admit that I loved Ted and Robin during the first seasons. Remember that Robin, a character that IMHO has worsened during the years, was the only one who ask Ted not to marry Stella. OK, she was selfish in a way, but I think that that her arguments were convincing. Only if you really care Ted you can say that, and none of the gang did it, even Marshall or Lily.

    BTW, when Craig and Thomas explained season 7, they said that Robin was not the mother, and one of them added “yet”. I added the youtube link and someone said that I didn’t understand sarcasm and asked me if I was sheldon cooper. Well, it seems to me that the writers never lied nor said that Barney and Robin would end together.

    Why many people are dissapointed with the ending. I think there are two reasons. First one is that HIMYM should have ended in season 6-7, then the twist would have been easier to understand because the audience would remember better the relationship between Ted and Robin and the relationship between Robin and Barney would not have gone so far. Season 8-9 doesn’t have coherence with the first ones, but this is business. The second reason is that the last episodes were not well handled. I mean, the first 10-15 minutes (all the wedding thing till the platform) could have been introduced in previous episodes eliminating some crap and leaving 40 minutes (last episode) starting in the platform. It would have left time to explain better the reasons of B/R divorce, more time to Ted&TM and, being honest with Robin, explained what happened during the last 6 years. Remember that little Penny didn’t recognize Robin and in 2030 kids love her, which means that Robin has spent a lot of time with them. With more time we should have known how devastated Ted was after TM death, and how Robin became aunt Robin. Kids gave their approval to Robin, so we can only suppose that Robin has been around during the last six years and has been an important part of Ted’s recovery and doing the things she didn’t do before, because people learn from their mistakes. I think that this approach could have been easier to accept for a B/R shipper. Many people will say that they needed more time, but this is business and they didn’t want to lose audience splitting in different episodes. No one want it.

    • I think you touch on some really good points here. Particularly the discussion of seasons 6-9 and their impact on the show, and how the final few episodes were handled by the show.

      I think that the early seasons, though, had some issues with mixed messages and lying to the audience, in a sense. Having Ted end up with Robin and the Mother being a footnote was always gonna be a con, no matter how they introduced the Mother.

      I guess the weakness I see in the story actually being about Robin is that they did so much to also make it about the Mother and Ted’s love for her, and I just don’t think they ever found a good balancing point there. The problem isn’t that you can make a convincing argument about why the show has always been about Robin. Obviously, you can. It was designed that way on purpose.

      The problem is that the show focused so much on getting Ted to meet the Mother, that I think you can also make an equally convincing argument that it was supposed to be about the Mother. It’s because it was so easy for the audience to believe “What? No, it isn’t about Robin. It’s about the Mother” that their narrative attempt was a failure.

  14. Meh….Barney was always Barney. He did seem to grow, but when he and Robin didn’t work out it makes sense he’d go back to old Barney. It also makes sense that after the birth of a child he’d change for the better.

    The signs were there about Barney and Robin all along. She was thinking of Ted on the balcony she let him know that. When she said legendary was fake, and then Ted and their wedding was legendary later it was another huge clue.

    I believe Ted

    • Well, yeah, there were signs. But in the prior 8 seasons, and even in the 9th season, there were signs that both Barney and Ted had changed. There was a ton of treading water, sure, and a ton of back-and-forth, but they seemed to resolve that with the penultimate episode.

      And I have to say, if neither Ted nor Barney grew…what the hell was the point of this story? “Kids, this is the story of a bunch of random crap I did, and a woman I never got over. Oh, and I meet your mother at the end of it, but don’t worry, she ends up dead.”

      I mean, yeah, I agree that there were definitely signs all along that it could end up this way. I think it’d be foolish to say otherwise. But there were also enough other signs that things would turn out differently that it makes just as much sense for fans to be pissed about the ending and feel that the series was an exercise in epic trolling by the creators.

      I’ll put it this way. If the ending hadn’t been set up as a “twist” and it’d been made obvious early on, I question whether I’d have chosen to watch in the first place. But if I had, if the show had started off with Ted saying that while Mom’s been dead for 6 years and he’s gotten closer to Aunt Robin, he thought he’d tell the kids the story of how he got to know Robin, if the show had been titled “When Ted Met Robin” I’d bet I and other disappointed fans wouldn’t feel like the show wasted our time and jerked us around for years.

      It’s all about managing expectations, and for a large portion of the fanbase, the writers really dropped the ball on that.

  15. was over Robin at that point. He had moved on and he didn’t want to mess over Barney, so he was never going to run away with her.

    I believe he loved the mother and was totally over Robin, but when the mother passed after several years those feelings came back. That is not a stretch at all.

    I’m okay with the ending, but I wanted more follow up and more details it felt way too rushed. I believe if they had done this part better a lot of people would have liked it more.

    I was a Ted/Robin shipper, but I wasn’t just crazy about this ending because like I said it felt rushed. They should have taken more time and I feel that this was their biggest fail.

    • @ Olive Theory,

      Your a guy, soooo do you personally relate to Ted or just follow him as a fan?

      I think for those who relate to part of Ted’s story this was a much harder ending.

      1) They wanted Ted happy with the Mother. They want to find someone and be happy for a long time (not just from 2013 through 2024). I have had over twice as long with my wife as Ted had with the Mother. I feel for him. It was a short span of his life.

      2) I agree Ted was over Robin. But after the Mothers death he got lonely. Robin came back into his life. She was a family friend. Easy for a close friend later in life to become something more.

      3) Even with the ending I see that the Mother and Ted had a more special relationship. When you find someone who totally fits (like Ted and the Mother). You can not help but recognize it.

      4) Robin had lost her way in life. She was lonely also. Ted had a ready made family. Easy for the kids to feel sorry for Dad and let him move on. Especially with someone they already are familiar with.

      5) Yes CB and CT wrote it this way from the start and that angers some. But they tried to tell a story. Tried to make it interesting. I think it was stretched a little too long and then cut short very fast.

      I thought it was very telling when the YouTube alternate ending video went down so very very fast.

      • For me, it goes beyond simply identifying with Ted. In spite of some truly weird coincidental biographical notes, I actually don’t identify with Ted by the end of the tale, mostly because I don’t feel like he’s grown all that much in the course of the story. I mean, literally, in the penultimate episode, Robin tells him he used to be the guy who steals blue french horns for her, and he says “I’m not that guy anymore.” And then he steals a blue french horn for her. So much for character evolution…

        How sad it is for Ted is kind of beside the point for me. I mean, yes, it’s sad from my point of view, because ten years of bliss is a pretty short time when he’ll likely live into his 80s or so. But the real failure, for me, is a failure in storytelling. I can live with a sad ending. I have a much harder time forgiving badly executed storytelling.

        As Olive Theory points out, the finale was way too rushed to accomplish what it attempted. Given everything that had gone before it, it basically renders the bulk of the story kind of a moot point. Saying “It could’ve worked better if…” is interesting to think about…but we’ll never get to see the “if…” scenarios that everyone’s dreamed up. All we have is what they decided to do, and what they decided to do ultimately doesn’t work all that well.

        It’s clumsy. It ends up muddling the overall narrative. It hits the reset-button on several seasons worth of character growth for at least two characters, and it renders the final season completely irrelevant (rather than just, you know, 80% irrelevant…) because anything important that happened (e.g., not involving the guest stars) was undone at the end, leaving the characters largely unchanged from where they were when the show started.

        So, yeah, it “kinda fits” and I can see what they were attempting to do. I just think they didn’t actually pull off what they attempted all that well. If they had, I doubt people would be saying “Wait, WTF?!” about the finale. They’d say “Yup. That fits,” and that’d be that. Whatever criticisms there’d be would have been about how it isn’t fair or happy for Ted, or whathaveyou. But while some are saying that, there are also plenty of other voices out there pointing out how the story just doesn’t hold together that well as a result of a mismanaged finale.

      • I can relate to him somewhat. I thought I’d marry earlier in my life than I did. I thought that I would just meet the one and get married and have kids, but this didn’t work for me. I ended up dating probably 10 different girls until I found my wife.

        We have been married a little over 9 years and have a child. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to lose her. I hope I never have to feel that or the loss of a child.

        Very good post….I really agree with most everything you stated….Especially point #5!

        Yes I love olives and my wife hates them. :)

        • The above comment was @Ross

          This one is @SOLO

          I understand where you are coming from, but about the blue french horn and him being a different person. It had been several years since he had stated that. He said that at Robin’s wedding, so he had evolved, but now that his wife is gone and he is alone and those feelings come back for Robin he gets a little of that back. I see the end as them marrying and growing old together, because it’s now the perfect timing and Ted was the one that got away for her.

          I enjoy the conversation and reading you all’s comments. Thanks for all that everyone has done I don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t have a place to let some of this out.

          • Yeah, I mean, in the timeline of the show, I agree that it’s several years and he’s probably been changed by his life with his wife and after her death. My point, though, is that narratively the moment fails because we never see that, and we’re expected to infer it from 30 seconds of dialogue. This is where your comment about them needing to take a LOT longer to sell the ending comes in. IF they’d had more time to set up Td’s life with the Mother and after her death, we might’ve been able to see how he changed between “I’m not that guy” and the re-delivery of the horn.

            Without showing that to the audience, though, they really cut the impact of the moment and throw much of the rest of the series into question. DID he evolve and regress? Is he different now? Is she? Are they doomed to yet another failed attempt because Robin’s too screwed up and Ted’s too dumb to recognize that when you touch a hot stove for the umpteenth time you’re STILL gonna get burned? I mean, sure, maybe Ted grew after marrying the Mother, and having kids with her, and losing her. But maybe he didn’t. Maybe the ending is telling us that he never EVER got over Robin, and that the Mother’s death freed him up to go after her. It’s fairly ambiguous, and that’s why I say it’s poorly handled.

            Anyway, the ending is the ending, and it won’t change. I wouldn’t hold my breath for any alternate ending on the DVDs. I know some people (yourself included) thought it worked fine, and I’ve got no beef with them, even if I don’t agree with them. Nothing wrong with disagreeing with folks. I just wish the creators hadn’t dreamed up this idea in the first place, or if they did, hadn’t decided from the get-go to set it up as a big “Surprise!” kind of moment that they save until the end. But you know what they say. You can wish in one hand…

            • They have officially stated that they will include an alternate ending on the DVD’s. Although it is only an edited ending from what we already saw and not a newly performed ending. They say it will be included on the complete series dvd’s. I hope it is included on the season 9 dvd’s too, but that was not what was specifically said. i already have seasons 1-8, so I’m not going to buy the complete series dvd’s.

              • Ah, got it. Just ran a Google search, and you’re right. Good news, though: it’ll be on the Season 9 DVDs, as well as the 1-9 set.

                I’d be curious to watch it, but I’m not sure I’m gonna buy. I held off on buying any HIMYM seasons, and now I’m glad I did.

                • I just read an article that confirmed season 9 will get it too. I am happy about that. The article I read today said the alternate ending was one that was considered before the finale ended, so It may be a little more than just editing what we saw, it could include things that were shot that we didn’t see.

                • Offer still stands. I will mail you my set anytime. No need to send them back. Just give me a call, or send a text.

  16. I don’t really have anything new to bring to the table on this one. It was good to see Solo writing again.

    I’m mostly posting so I can get the comments as they come in and because it is monday, and this was the ritual. I can’t believe it has only been a week…

    • Yeah I still can’t believe it’s over and done. I don’t see me ever following a show this closely again. I’d never done it before this show….I only ended up buying the first 4 seasons. I’ll probably keep it that way unless I decide to buy the 9th season for the extras, but someone will probably put them on youtube.

  17. Very nice post Solo that hits on all the concerns that people had with the episode. I think even those who were happy with the ending will tell you that they could have done with more time dedicated to the finale, and that it felt rushed.

    I believe that the people who liked it, were more onboard with the actual ending of the show than say it’s execution. And the reason the execution went down as badly as it did has already been highlighted by you very well.

    As for the Ted-Robin-Barney triangle. If these were real people and one was to do a psychoanalysis on them, you’d find all that all three of them had issues of some sort or the other that they fought with for the majority of their lives.

    Barney for me has always had a love-hate relationship with himself. Having had a runaway dad, obviously meant he felt lonely and left out, despite his mother’s best efforts. And that combined with his early heartbreak set about him seeking vengeance on the world so to say. He is a traditional good guy at heart, but just being good exposes him to be hurt and he feels he has had enough of it already. So, he makes up for it by being Barney.

    I know many have pinned the blame on Robin for their marriage falling out, and I think that too has got a bit to do with how poorly the finale was written. Robin has a right to pursue her career, and she gives him an out, but let’s not forget that Barney takes it. A part of him has to have been unsatisfied in some capacity or the other for him to take the drastic step of ending his marriage to the one woman that he spent a lot of time chasing and convincing. Again Solo, you were spot on that in TV – showing is telling. We are left to imagine and fend and theorize for ourselves about all this.

    As for Robin, I think her prioritising her career at one point is completely understandable. We need to remember that for almost eight years she has struggled to be relevant in her field of work. Being a bit of a media guy and journalist myself, I have many female friends who as such have given up on a well-established personal life in pursuit of a more satisfying career. In that sense, I hold nothing against her. When after years of struggle you finally get the chance to prove yourself in something that you’ve invested all your dreams and ambitions in (Robin was never the kind to dream of settling down with a family one day) then it only makes sense that you go all out to achieve it.

    Finally, Ted. Come to think of the series as a whole and you realise that he starts with ‘And that’s how I met your Aunt Robin’ and ends with ‘that’s how I met your Mother’. You can understand why Ted constantly stresses how much love he had for the Mother throughout the story because he wants to make sure that the kids don’t get the impression that he always had the hots for Robin even while being with Tracy. That’s why you see him amplifying every single memory and connection with her, which made us the viewers truly root for him and the Mother.

    Now, if the viewer are the kids sitting in that couch and we are listening to this story, then yes, Ted has done full justice as we know that what he had with the Mother was something truly very very special. But, we are also already armed with the knowledge that the Mother is dead, and we understand the point that DAD is trying to make. Hence, when he finally gets to the end of the story, you are probably going to have a reaction as the kids do, because you can see and understand what he means. But, once again the series finale didn’t really delve into this, and left it to us to understand and interpret.

    Finally, I don’t think that it’s a regression for Ted to go after Robin with the blue French horn again. This is, has been and will always be Ted. He was planning his original wedding at a castle. The years may have passed, but when it comes to love, Ted can only give his 110%, not 80-90. He can’t and won’t hold back, and it’s not just for Robin either, he was ready to move to New Jersey for Stella, he almost jeopardized his entire career for Zoey, and he cancelled on moving to Chicago after meeting Mother for ONE evening. He is what I would call painglorious (TM), he will always put himself in a position of oversacrifice, whilst hoping that when he falls someone puts out a net for him.

    • I really love several of your points. Barney did choose to take the out so the people crying about Barney’s ending can’t really complain that he got messed over.

      All your points on Ted are spot on about him telling them the story and about the horn.

      Great read!

      • Barney did choose to take the out so the people crying about Barney’s ending can’t really complain that he got messed over.

        Sorry, but that’s balderdash. It’s not Barney’s choice we’re critiquing, it’s the writers’ choice, because they wrote it badly and from the standpoint of the series, yeah, he got messed over, and he got messed over in a way fits ill within the framework of the series as a romantic sitcom.
        What we Barney shippers object against (if I may dare to speak out on the behalf of others) is not what happened or not happened to Barney, it’s the sloppy incongruity in the treatment of his character and story.

      • So, this is one of the difficulties I have in not having seen how that particular scene played out. As I understood it, Barney was already unhappy with his marriage to Robin, and told her so. Something along the lines of “I can’t do this jet-setting thing with you always gone or us having to travel everywhere, and you’re never around. Your career is killing our marriage.” Or at least something to that effect. To which Robin responds, basically “Hey, if you don’t like it, you can always just walk away.”

        If my understanding of the scene is accurate (generally), then it strikes me that they both made choices there, but ultimately, Robin did choose her career over her marriage. Yes, Barney chose to walk. But Robin chose to give him the option.

        I’ve seen this happen in real life, where a couple has different ideas about what marriage means, who has to sacrifice when, etc. And then that happens, when you have such disparate views…you end up with a divorce.

        Now, what I don’t know is whether Barney said “Give up your career altogether” or “Make time for your marriage, but go ahead and have a career.” If it’s the former, then I can fully understand why Robin would tell him “Door’s that way. Don’t let it hit you in the ass on the way out.” If it’s the latter, though, then I’d say Barney’s decision to walk was basically precipitated by Robin’s decision to refuse to compromise.

        It’s the difference between saying “Give me what I want” and “I will support you, but I need something back in return.” If you say the former and the other person tells you to go to hell, that’s one thing. If you say the latter and the other person tells you to go to hell, that’s something else entirely.

        Really, though, I think they only broke Barney and Robin up because they wanted to get Ted and Robin together at the end. Take that external constraint away, and there doesn’t seem to be any reason — character-wise — why Barney wouldn’t be perfectly happy to jet-set around the world with Robin living an awesome lifestyle of awesomeness.

        Again, it strikes me as a “twist” for the sake of having a “twist,” rather than because such a twist is dictated by the characters and where they are.

        • It would have been nice if they had fleshed out the conversation of Barney and Robin’s Divorce that same way you just did. It was a very short and abrupt conversation.

          Robin gave Barney a 3 year out. (They have a one last night together) They sit down at the end of the Bed. Barney said he would always be honest with her and then we jump to Ted’s house where they spill in the middle of a get together with friends.

    • In terms of whether the return of the Blue French Horn is true to Ted’s character or ignores his character growth, I think it’s a tough call, largely due to how Ted’s character was handled from about Seasons 7-9, which begs the question of whether Ted’s character changed at all.

      Ultimately, I think the tail end of the series, and the finale itself, really makes it seem like Ted didn’t grow very much at all. He didn’t learn anything in his journey. He didn’t change how he’d been self-sabotaging.

      It’s one thing, in my opinion, to remain true to the core of who you are. I’m not sure that grand gestures are necessarily the core of who Ted is, though. I think that kind of reduces him to a caricature, rather than someone whose actions are driven by something else.

      Frankly, by the end of the series, I really didn’t like Ted very much. Rather than a guy who is romantic, but grounded, I saw a guy who was still that dumb head-in-the-clouds kid he was when he was 26. It’s one thing to have optimism and faith in love and such, but it’s quite another to spend your 20s “going big” for a woman who isn’t right for you (which the series did a lot to show us). He’s still the guy who thinks that a grand gesture solves all your problems. And that just strikes me as foolish, naive, and immature as far as how love works.

      Really, when I stop to think about it, the character growth that Ted underwent had more to do with not wanting to date around anymore (in season 8 — which wasn’t entirely solid, either), and letting go of Robin in the penultimate episode of Season 9. Other than that? Same guy as the pilot, at least starting in Season 7.

      I thought with Ted’s loss of faith in Season 7 that maybe he’d reconfirm his own faith in love, but in a new and more realistic way. Not so much. The last season with the locket nonsense, and the finale just basically show that Ted…never really learns anything on his journey. For all the discussion about how the “journey” is more important than the “destination” (which, by the way, is nonsense anyway — but that’s a separate discussion), what exactly did Ted learn on his journey? Nothing. If the penultimate episode had been it, then it would’ve shown growth at the 11th hour, but still growth. The finale just makes it look like Ted never evolved, really.

      • I’d agree with that. Ted said he wasn’t that guy anymore when Robin talked about him going big, and we did see concrete changes early on with him and the mother, but then the whole wedding planning spectacle (not the fake ones college Ted wears) and Tracy saying she would get married in white castle (Harold and Kumar, I mean Barney and Kevin reference) but Ted wants wow made it seem like he had indeed revertigoed.

        • Ah, see, I distinguish between what Ted does with the Mother and what he does with pretty much every other woman. For me, the “going big” aspect isn’t a problem in and of itself; it’s why you go big that really, really matters.

          The show has spent an inordinate amount of time showing Ted being in love with love itself and all the pageantry that goes along with it, rather than the women with whom he interacts. While it happens most often with Robin, he’s “gone big” with other women, too. He filled his apartment with roses and dressed up in a tux when proposing to Victoria. He set up the 2-minute date with Stella. He planned a “superdate” for Barney to take Robin on. And then there’s all the stuff he did just for Robin. Christmas lights, blue orchestras, telling her he’d give up kids to be with her, blah blah blah.

          I think there’s a huge difference between “going big” because it’s a genuine expression of how you feel about the person, and “going big” because you think it will convince the other person that you’re right for them or to try to create your fantasy relationship without regard to the other person. And let’s be honest. Ted spent LOTS of time trying to create his fantasy relationship with random women, and especially with Robin.

          Yet the series spent tons of time showing us that (A) Robin and Ted weren’t right for each other, and (B) that Ted’s approach was misguided, particularly when it came to Robin. So, when Ted “goes big” with her, it seems to me that he’s trying to say “See? See?! I’M the right guy. ME.” He’s trying to convince her, to win her over. By contrast, my sense is that, with the Mother, any time he “goes big” it’s more about a genuine expression of how he feels.

          I still find it…irritating that Ted never really seems to learn the difference between substance and ritual when it comes to love, and that the latter is not a substitute for the former, but I blame that also on a poorly written finale.

          • Ted-like correction: The superdate was for Barney and JLo’s “of course you’re sing, take a look at yourself you dumb slut” character. I can’t remember her name.

            • Ah, right you are. and Barney ended up giving it to Robin and Don instead. But that just illustrates even more that Ted seems more concerned with having “a” fairytale romance than with the person with whom he’d have said romance. It’s like the women are interchangeable for his purposes.

              • But, I think he is that. Even his speech to Robin when she gets the blues before the wedding about love was an illustration of how he feels about love.

                Ted to me has always had a conception of what love is, and that is linked to going big with whomever is involved. It brings him as much satisfaction. As you said, he is in love with being in love itself. And through all these years, I think it was only the Mother who truly reciprocated that and understood just what type of person Ted is and accepted him for that fully, and hence resulted in the most satisfying of relationships for him.

                But as for Robin, while she is outwardly not about the big gestures and probably won’t do it herself. Every time she has been convinced as such has been because of a GRAND gesture. Whether it was Ted initially or even Barney’s proposal to her on the rooftop. She is someone who I see as being dishonest to herself, and a bit confused in what she actually wants.

                • Let us take this back down to our reality and off the pages of TV SItCom. Women do like it when you take them out on these surprise dates. It does make them feel special and appreciated.

                  So on one hand I see no problem with Ted’s grand gestures. On the other hand, sometimes a simple walk and talk will do the trick. Not saying that you have to do just one type all the time.

                  The important part is knowing the individual so that you can decide what type of attention, conversation, event is for that moment. And that comes from getting to know someone personally. Did Ted not do that with each individual. Get to know them first?

                  • It’s more than just that, though. Doing some mega-super-date early on will often be taken as coming on WAY too strong. Like, it’s nice, but it suggests that the guy isn’t into the girl, and more that the guy is into his fantasy about love and going through the motions. That kind of thing might work in your early 20s, but when you’re dating in your 30s many of the women you date have already dated some guy who did everything right but was the wrong guy, or who went through all the right motions but still ended up screwing them or whatever.

                    End result: you come on strong, the woman backs away because she knows it’s not about her as a person, but rather her playing a role in your little fantasy.

                    Big gestures can be great, but they’re no substitute for genuine intimacy and emotion, nor are they a shortcut to that.

                    That said, it’s different when you’re with someone who appreciates them and enjoys going through those experiences with you, but you can’t lose sight of the other person in favor of the experience.

  18. As I stated on YouTube (Quoting time):

    “Just to make sure first of all: My criticism isn’t about Tracy being killed off.

    My criticism is about Ted heading back to Robin. Again. With a Blue French Horn. Again. Like he is a speechy little douche. Again.

    My criticism is about the poor execution of the closing-ceremony this show during the final season. It was an awful way to close your show, with a fucking wedding weekend smeared out over 22 episodes (I’ll never complain about animé filler again) and 15 years in 42 minutes.

    My criticism is about the fact they actually changed the endgame by letting us actually meet Tracy and get us to know her. Craig and Carter said not so long ago they planned out you wouldn’t get to know the mother at all except for those final 5 minutes. It would’ve been not so hard to see her getting ripped away from us. Now, people started to compare her as a Lily/Robin hybrid (which I actually kinda saw in Cristin Millioti!) and loved her for her way of helping out, cried along with her when she lost Max… Only to have her ripped away for those few viewers who ignored all the character development in the last few seasons, every single time Ted got shot down by Robin and Robin marying her best bro, consuming the ultimate bromance.

    My criticism is about the fact 18 minutes of footage got cut-out of this final episode, this last farewell. Scenes containing a goodbye kiss from Robin Sparkles (with Tracy playing on her base-guitar!), a lunchmeet with Robin, explaining the bullfighting and Pineapple-incidents, Barney and Carl at MacLaren’s… All of which got cut. But ofcourse we’ll have the honor to lay down some bucks to watch those moments on the DVD-set.

    Speaking of which: My criticism is about the money. The seasons have been stacking up as hell, only to cut out those scenes that mattered and after a few days decide to give a big part of the fanbase what they’d been asking for: a happy ending. Bút then you do have to buy the complete series- or the season 9-boxset on DVD. Sum bitches.

    My criticism is about the coupling, about the shipping and about the mess it got into because of the seasons counting up faster than the creators could ‘Tell their story’ (as they stated more than once in their interviews). The last few seasons have been completely filler. They could’ve told this entire story minus the filler in a 90-minute feature! There were some good episodes but from mid-season 7 on, it wasn’t my cup of tea anymore most of the time (the ‘make every night legendary’-episode was hilarious though, with the mariachiband ^^). However, they kept on going on and going on, which didn’t progress the show in a good way at all. It kept moving Ted and Robin in opposite directions and hey, don’t get me wrong here: I LOVED Ted and Robin together in season 1 and 2, even season 3 and 4 for the biggest part. But then Barney came along. He started changing in a nice decent man-way, I started rooting for him and Robin, even moreso after Ted gave his blessings (back then for the first time). I felt really sad they broke up Barney and Robin after only just a few episodes but it looked legendary between them up until they went fat and depressive.

    It makes you think, if they can change the endgame by adding Tracy as a regular, why couldn’t they simply objectively look at the footage of the kids from 2006 or 2007 and simply notice it didn’t work anymore? It didn’t work anymore to have them almost cheerfully say ‘Hey dad, it’s been 6 years now. You totally totally, totally have the hots for aunt Robin!’, or at least that’s my opinion. And again, don’t get me wrong here: I was absolutely waiting for that footage ever since I heard there was unused footage shot for the finale, a little while up the road. And that scene and it’s continuation would’ve worked as a perfect close if:
    – They didn’t smear the show well over 8 seasons with a lot of balony-filler
    – They didn’t use 22 episodes of that final season for a final twist right in the nuts
    – They didn’t pair up Barney and Robin at all
    – They didn’t decide to let us know more about Tracy… But still kill her off at the end

    The last one in particular just amazes me. They decide to alter a big part of the endgame by actually letting us know more about Tracy (which I loved in first instance, since she was an angel of a character), only to have the other part of the endgame continue no matter what, because of those 2007-shots. But because of this decision, the tone of that 2007-footage totally changed. Didn’t they know that by doing this, they “totally, totally, totally” changed the ambiance of the final scenes? Again: hadn’t we met the mother this intimate, we wouldn’t really have felt that bad to hear that she died after 10 awesome years. It’s a really hard thing to say. Ofcourse, it’s sad but it’s not something to weep or keep weeping about someone you don’t know. And that’s how the kids are responding somehow. It sounds strange but, had we seen this scene with Ted, Penny and Luke, while we only saw the mother once, I really guess it would’ve worked out for the viewer, wouldn’t feel so lame-ass pasted together and it would’ve also made sense to have Ted head over to Robin… After all those years and all. That’s why I’m certain this finale would’ve worked best at the end of season 3 or 4.

    TL;dr: As a fan, my opinion is short, after a lengthy debate on this decision. My opinion: HIMYM unfortunately went waaaaaaay past it’s expiration date.

    And for more nice arguments on why the finale didn’t become the ‘highest of fives’ we all hoped for but only felt like the ‘final slap’ many viewers experienced, please read this well-written article over here:” —> And that’s the part where I link this particular article. xD

    Thanks for the journey guys, I know I have been late to the party in commenting actively (and even that I seldomly did), but I’ve been lurking for years on this site (well, first it was at Have-you-met-ted… Whatever happened that it changed or something? Site’s still up but hasn’t been updated in years) and loved the different views, comments and expressions on minor things and that strange uniformity sometimes on big things. :) To all of you, may it be architects, big fudges, journalists, kindergarten-teachers, lawyers, painters, captains, sparkles (see what I did there), please’ers, or maybe even some bass-players… All of my best wishes from the Netherlands, to you.

    Jordy van Eijndhoven

    • I am disappointed that they didn’t solve the problems to create a new solution and ending to the show. It\s not more than, what, 2 weeks since the final? I already have a solution they could have worked with which had opened the door to a lot of possibilities, and a legen…wait for it…dary ending to a legen…wait for it…dary show. So why couldn’t this two creative writers figure this out when I could figure it out in less than two weeks. I actually didn’t even need two weeks, I already mentioned this possibility somewhere earlier, so I in fact came up with it within a couple days. But these creative guys, who have known the ending all along, has had several seasons to figure out a smart solution to the pinch their in.

      The solution: for the final and/or end scenes. Move out of Ted telling the story in 2030, bring in the 10 years older kids and have them in 2040 discuss between them (or with Ted) the story being told in 2030. That way the original scene with the young kids could be used as a decoy false ending (the last dead herring to finish them all) or ditched all together, and a totally new well thought out and functional ending could have been crafted. I’m not saying anything that ending should have been. Just that, whatever way they wanted the chips to fall, they would have had the means to fix it, if they had just thought one step further.

      • … that would actually also make it possible to tell the story of the pine apple. Ted didn’t know in 2030 where the pine apple came from, but hey, in 2040 he or the kids might. And the 2040 device could also have been used to fix inconsistencies and provide explanations to errors (such as Barney’s driving) from Ted’s story telling in 2030.

        • In the deleted scene with Robin (or one of the other scenes of the 18 minutes worth of material that got axed), the pineapple incident actually got solved. Craig and Carter were so eager to tell us about a solution they came up with back at the Q&A on Reddit (just like the bullfighting-bit, which definitely ended up in that lunchroom-scene that ended up on the cuttingroomfloor) so it must’ve been written out. I like the way you’re thinking, dolf!

        • 2040 let me think about that, with 20 something year old kids?

          • Well, the point was simply that you by putting in a framework of 2040 can make new shots with the kids and that way remold the story the way you want without being limited by the available canned photo. And you make it possible to add on new facts and/or twists after Ted’s story telling in 2030.

  19. I was in the minority who was satisfied, but this is still funny and appropriate:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84WTdDbQw1I

    This is definitely not how I wanted the show to end, but I did like it. To me, despite all the continuity errors and issues with the pace of the final season, the ending made a lot of sense for this show.

    At the very least they all had their own version of a happy ending. The old married couple, the guy who loved his daughter, the right-place-right-time couple (T/R). A lot of things can be taken away from the finale, maybe one of them is that happiness doesn’t only come in one package? Your life can take one of 17 different directions and you can still be happy. Each character got that, I think, just in unexpected ways.

    Also in defence of the show’s premise, the finale, etc, the way I see it is that Ted did plan to start this as the story of How I Met Your Mother. But given that its been six years since she’s been gone, by the time Ted started to tell the story, he had feelings for Robin, which is why there was a lot more focus on Robin and re-re-re-returning and less on the Mother. Like us, maybe he didn’t know it either until the kids pointed it out. As an audience member, I didn’t care who ended up with who, as long as they could show us that our five favourite characters were happy, and I think they did, that’s why I was satisfied.

    Part of the reason why I can’t help but appreciate the finale is because I know a lot of people, after watching the finale betray them, probably won’t be able to watch old episodes. But as someone who’s been watching this show since the second season, and who still catches an an episode or two on TV while having dinner, hating the finale would make it harder to watch the rest of the show. And the show has just been too good (flawed yes, but good) to let go of.

    Also, that last scene was perfect, mostly because of the sense of hope it ends with.

    • Well, I think I side with Hitler on this one.

      • Dolf! You could have said it a little differently. So is he the SK? Does not sound like he gave Tracy that illness. Maybe he was just trying to find a cure in every country of the world for her?

        Anyway I always like it when they put different words to that scene. Again it was right on. I think the last time I saw someone put words to that was for the pre-trilogy movies those Three that most star wars fans say never existed.

        • This must be an international phenomenon. I’ve seen countless versions, but I think this is the first time I see an English version. As we do subtitle foreign movies by default in sweden, it kind of comes naturally to play around with the text in Swedish. But I think most attempts fall short because they don’t pay enough attention to the timing issues (and that goes also for this HIMYM version). If it really is gonna be funny, you must pace the subs so they both synchronize well with what’s actually spoken and you can read them comfortably. I have done quite some subtitle translations, so I’m speaking with a fair amount of experience on the subject. Normally you never have more than 2 lines of subs on the screen. And you have to adjust the amount of text according to how long they are displayed, which in its turn is dependent upon what is being said.
          (In an actual translation, you have to be able to play with grammar, because you unavoidably have to toss out a lot of what is being said, distilling out the essential parts, and getting it condensed to as short a form as possible, (i.e. the total opposite of what I’m doing when commenting) while still retaining fluidity, nuances etc. Puns and word-plays are a pain in the ass and a good sub-translator has to be inventive and able to think outside of the box.)

  20. I watched the finale again Friday. It was the first time since the premiere. It was pretty emotional for me from the start. I think letting it soak in a little helped me a lot. When it aired I was so stressed about what was going to happen and everything I couldn’t get it all. It was actually pretty good and didn’t feel as rushed because I had time to think about what happened all those years in between the mother passing and him telling them the story.

    I got misty eyed on several occasions, but Ted’s talk about loving her everyday and every 5am Christmas morning was probably one of the parts that got me the most this time.

    Did Lily in the white whale suit in the apartment after Robin walked out get anyone else? This was a sad scene to me. Also Marshall asking the kids in the booth next to them do you realize what happened here.

    I still can not believe it’s over and done. I’ll probably watch the finale or some of the early seasons again soon. I also caught the words to the song at the end….Remember…Rememberrrr

  21. They knew the ending from the start. So really where they messed up was making Robin and Barney an item period. Also this season was terrible time wasting (one whole season of a wedding? Really?) Maybe this is why they never wanted to show the mother. Because then ppl would get all caught up and want them to end up together. (The show was meant for 8 seasons until CBS threw all sorts of cash for everyone to be back 1 more season) Also the show was always funnier with the gang at the bar. Barney single. Robing single. And ted with one of the many problem GFs. But barney was really the funniest one. Once he sarted “growing up” the show went south in laughs . Golden years were season 1-3 maybe 4. And I have to disagree with The blog on this point.Ted was never ever ever ever over Robin. In every season their is at least 1 epsiode where you could see they plugged that in then everybody would wine about it. There was tons of clues for it. Most ppl didnt want to admit it all those years. Overall good show.

    • That was wasted time. I think the only time Ted was over Robin was when she got married and he met the mother. He was over her until she started spending time with him and the kids after the mother had passed away. Then I feel like those feelings started to come back and he was telling the story to the kids.

      It was the best show ever, and I loved it. The finale has grown on me. I didn’t love it at first, but I think that is because it was too deep to fully grasp what they did. After it soaked in a couple of weeks, and I went back and watched it I have a new respect for it.

      I wish they could have let the cat out of the bag a little earlier in the season and focused on what happened after the mother passed.

  22. Another thing that really irks me is that the entire cast knew the season finale was gonna suck and did in fact suck but when they have a microphone in their face the all say “it was beautiful.”
    Seriously!!! The cast knows and creators know their fans and what they like and they knew that the vast majority of them were going to hate the series finale.
    Alas, the cast and creators are like family, and blood is thicker than water so when push comes to shove the fans get shoved under the bus.
    It was just sickening to watch them all make the talk show rounds giving the old pro jock canned speech about how great it was just to be part of the team and how great the coaching (creators) were, and how the finale was great.
    At some point a switch must have clicked in their brain that allowed them to internally disassociate themselves with the show because they know it is beyond their control to save it, while openly praising it because in Hollywood you don’t want to ever bite the hand that feeds you.
    I just wish we could get real candid interviews from the cast (especially NPH and CS) because they were obviously upset when they found out about it…I think CS most of all.
    The entire cast needed to do an INTERVENTION with the creators and slap some sense into them before they shot the finale. WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!!! You wanted to make a statement with the series finale…well you did but you forgot that your fans would get to punctuate it for you and that punctuation is the sound of a toilet flushing!!!

  23. Actually. Check the series finale, Ted was technically cheating on the MOM because he said he had lunch with Robin the next day after she bumped into Ted and his daughter downtown. And that was before the Mom bit the dust.

  24. Wouldn’t it have been great TV history if the entire cast would have stood up together and told the creators: NO! If Barney and Robin divorce and you kill the Mother we are all walking…on the day of the final read out of r.e.s.p.e.c.t. for the fans and the integrity of the show.
    Technically on two episodes left, I think some pretty strong legal arguments could have been made in court in their favor against the creators…both for the actors and sponsors and network.
    Actually, the actors should have completed filming so they wouldn’t be in breech and then immediately got an injunction to keep the season finale from playing. This would cover the actors for damages if their new endeavors bomb because of fans lingering distaste for the HIMYM season finale and the actors association with it.
    Jury would consist of fans and damages awarded on suck factor.

  25. Wouldn’t it have been great TV history if the entire cast would have stood up together and told the creators: NO! If Barney and Robin divorce and you kill the Mother we are all walking…on the day of the final read out of r.e.s.p.e.c.t. for the fans and the integrity of the show.
    Technically on two episodes left, I think some pretty strong legal arguments could have been made in court in their favor against the creators…both for the actors and sponsors and network.
    Actually, the actors should have completed filming so they wouldn’t be in breech and then immediately got an injunction to keep the season finale from playing. This would cover the actors for damages if their new endeavors bomb because of fans lingering distaste for the HIMYM season finale and the actors association with it.
    Jury would consist of fans and damages awarded on suck factor. Obviously the suck meter would be maxed out.

  26. apologies for dupe post. I hit enter and it didn’t show, refreshed page still wasn’t their. Entered again and then it shows twice.

  27. What gave you that idea? I think Ross hit the nail on the head when he said the creators were overwhelmed by how fast the fans took the TM, Christin. She made most of the fans fall in love with her and she was the yang to Ted’s ying.
    I read somewhere she had about 28 hrs screen time on the show and in that time she has more chemistry with Ted than Robin ever had. Problem was she was as good as the rest of the cast and a perfect fit and they brought her in too late to do her justice. I think if they had done a few more episodes the finale might have been better received but instead the last two shows were a quantum leap for most of the characters and storyline. As it is the finale is a stain on the whole series.

  28. screw you the finale was incredible it made me fall in love with this show even more than i already had i loved the blue french horn scene at the end just beautiful end to a great show i will really miss this show

  29. After marathoning the entire show in a week, I loved the finale. When I first saw it I hated it, but after seeing everything again, and with the locket being with him the whole time and the love speech on the bridge and ted telling robin she’s the only one (in sunrise), with the Victoria hoping he ends up with robin, with the bet Marshall won against lily, with all their moments and with the inevitable doom of swarkle’s marriage, and with the death of the mother (which led to a great episode: the time travelers), to me it made sense
    I think there was some quote in himym that said “life is messy” and it shows that
    The finale, to me, was absolutely perfect and messy and beautiful

    • First I wanted to say we are truly glad that you enjoyed it. I am also pleased that you took the time to blog with us. Everyone has a little different perspective on television shows.

      Most of the years I really looked forward to Monday nights with HIMYM. Tuesdays enjoyed even more because of all the people that we had a chance to interact with.

      For those of us who wanted the mother to last it was a bit disappointing. We have been talking about the inevitable for years that the mother does not last because hint one they never planned on having her on the show for more that the last episode.

      But with all the Ted Robin stuff over the years we kind of did not like the Barney Robin Ted triangle. It seemed all too familiar for a TV SIT COM and that was also disappointing.

      HIMYM could have been a totally different show in many ways. But that would have been a gamble from the start. We felt they went the safe route.

      Sure we had some great stories. But the show fizzled badly towards the end few seasons. We hung on in hopes the writes would change direction. They almost did with the Mother. That would have been great. Cristin Milioti Could Have been great as the mother and more central character.

      But it turned out to be a normal situational comedy and thus will go down as just another show. Best of luck to the cast and crew. Enjoyed it while it was unique. But more than the show itself, the blog was the best part.

      • I disagree that they went the safe route. They did something most other sitcoms wouldn’t have done. This show had heart and it was the best part about it to me. They could have executed the finale better with more follow up on the mother’s illness,death and funeral, but she was never really a part of the show. They took a chance and some people didn’t like that they didn’t get the fairy tale ending they wanted. That is life it is messy and there are always hurdles and unexpected things that throw you off.

        • Thanks for taking the other side on this one. I see your point. I disagree obviously but appreciate the discussion. What ifs only matter to those of us who watch future shows.

          Like I have always said. I enjoy the guessing game portion of the Sit Com and the Blogs that go with them. I have enjoyed that part of the show. But when it deviates so drastically that plot points and twists do not make sense then I get disinterested very fast.

          That was the frustrating part of HIMYM. They never could explain to my satisfaction the some of the twist and turns in the story. I still have a “bad taste” about how the last few season wrapped.

          So yes it has negatively impacted my future viewing. Hopefully not forever. I am a little more cynical in my show selection and analysis.

          But I will stick by my point that CB and CT chickened out by not using the mother more earlier and by not altering the ending to make it a happy one for Ted and the Mother instead of Ted and Robin.

  30. I have a lot of things to say xD

    First of all: The Barney’s development never hapened. He said once to his dad “I love my life but I’m not sure that I love that I like it” He forces himself to change as “The Ashtray” when he figths himself for thinking in a open relationship with Robin or all his jokes about his futures wifes or running away in any second… and more things like that in other episodes.

    One of the thing that people don’t understand is that Ted didn’t have to stop loving Robin, to start loving the Mother. He only needed letting her go just like he did. And now he doesn’t have to stop loving The mother.
    When Klaus tells Ted he didn’t meet the one is because he was thinking in Victoria not Robin or anyone else.

    Ted obviously said no to Robin because is what he has to do. Just like when she says him no.
    As we know when she says to Kevin “Your future always had kids in it, that is something huge you would giving up for me. I just don’t think I could ever owe someone that much”
    But still she wants their pact… and she really sorry when he says no.

    Maybe the most important is WE ARE NOT THE AUDIENCE, The audience were their kids, and they already knew all the stories about their mother even how she dies, all the stories about their aunt Robin taking them to the beach, the zoo or the park, dressing with them in Halloween, having dinner with them, supporting them when their mother died…

    “I wanna be with the guy who comes true for me, you know? The guy who somehow against all odds, finds my locket” Robin Scherbatsky, four years after putting her locket into Ted’s pencil box.

    Sorry for just drop random ideas xD I don’t speak english very well as you noticed -w-

    • You typed your thoughts clearly. You summarized them very quickly. Robin was and always will be the fall back girl for Ted. Ted wanted more than Robin. The mother was his perfect and if they stayed together forever Robin would have not been a thought in his later life.

      Personally, my old female friends are not in my thoughts ever. I can not imagine a life without my wife. She is my perfect partner. Even for some who have been divorced and them married again. They find the right one.

      So, in conclusion if you have not found the right partner yet… there is hope still. And if something tragic happens I am truly sorry, but at least you had that time together.

  31. I understand and agree with the points made in the article. Season 9 could have been much better if it had been done differently.The mother dying? Not unexpected. Barney and Robin’s divorce? Not unexpected. But bringing back together two characters who were clearly not going to work based on their different opinions about marriage and kids seemed all wrong. Yes, they were good together when they were just casually dating. But the test of any relationship is about the big things. Do they have the same ideas about life? Do they want the same things from life? Obviously the answer to that question was no. So how can two people who don’t want the same things out of life end up together? That makes no sense. Yes, there was an obvious physical attraction, but that will not get you through the rough patches of life. To put these two together and imply that they spend the rest of their lives together makes no sense.Ted and Robin should have realized that a physical attraction to each other would not make a successful relationship. Well, I guess Ted never was very successful at relationships, so maybe it does make sense that his final relationship was poorly chosen.

    • Yes, But the Mother was a good relationship for Ted. That was the whole point of the show for me. The Mother completed Ted. She was what was missing. So once that was done… why, why, why, kill her off. The show was much better completing this story.

      But CB/CT told a different story that was more messy. That was the intention all along. I think that story sucked. Personal Opinion. I watched for the rest of the story. I wanted they to change their ending based on what was best for the audience/perspective etc.

      THey only did that in the DVD release. So I have to go with that. Your points are valid IMHO.

  32. I’ve watched every single episode of How I Met Your Mother from beginning to end, which is why I feel free to point out to everyone who disliked the ending that you were simply unable to understand the story that was plainly obvious to me and lots of other fans(especially Ted and Robin fans) who predicted how the show would end years ago. If you actually paid any attention to the show at all, you’ll see that from the very beginning the writers left plenty of clues that the entire story was actually about Ted and Robin, and not the mother. I apologize for the length of my post, but this will take a while to explain.

    Do you not remember how Ted only ever referred to the mother in the past tense, but always referred to “Aunt Robin” in the present tense? And the fact that the majority of Ted’s story focused on Robin and not the mother? Ted even mentioned Robin a lot more than he mentioned the mother. The writers wrote the entire story from the pilot with the understanding that the mother was dead and that Ted and Robin would end up together, which is why they structured the story in the way they did, as told in the future from a narrator who only gave small hints of information without divulging all of the information.

    Do you not remember the crayon drawings that Ted’s kids drew of them and “Aunt Robin” taking them to the beach and the zoo, which were revealed in the season 3 episode, ‘Little Boys’? Now, do you really think that would’ve happened had the mother would’ve still been alive? How many women would be okay with their husband’s ex-girlfriend being that close to their children and spending that much time with them? I think both Tracy and Robin would think that would be very inappropriate….. unless Tracy was no longer around. And you’ll notice that there was no “Uncle Barney” in any of those drawings. Or how about the season 2 episode, ‘The Slutty Pumpkin,’ where Ted mentions how his kids were so familiar with Robin being a big fan of Halloween, and always dressing in crazy costumes? Why do you think Robin is spending all this time with Ted and his kids in the future?

    Or how about the season 7 episode, ‘No Pressure,’ which established the bet that Marshall and Lily made on whether or not Ted and Robin would end up together? After Robin moves out of Ted’s apartment at the end of the episode, Lily once again asks Marshall to pay up, as she has so many times before. And like he’s done so many times before, Marshall just looks away, smiles coyly and says, “not yet,” as the screen fades to black. Are you telling me that you’re unable to notice a clear case of foreshadowing? The writers were practically screaming that Ted and Robin were by no means over.

    Then there was Ted and Robin’s 40 year pact, that they’d end up together when they were both in their 40’s, Ted’s 45 Days speech to the mother in the season 8 episode, and ‘The Time Travelers,’ which clearly foreshadowed the mother’s death long before the season 9 episode ‘Vesuvius’ left no doubt. Or how about Victoria’s ominous final words to Ted as she walked out on him in ‘The Autumn Of Breakups,’ where she told him, “I really hope you get her someday” before breaking up with him over his refusal to cut Robin out of his life? And let’s not forget Robin’s locket and her “sign from the universe” moment with Ted in Central Park, or the fact that it was revealed in the very next episode(the season 8 finale) that Lily found Robin drunk and depressed at MacLaren’s shortly before Ted’s wedding to Stella, where Robin asked Lily, “why isn’t Ted marrying me?” Does that sound like a woman who isn’t in love with Ted? And isn’t it odd to have both of those episodes right before Robin’s wedding to Barney? Seriously, this isn’t rocket science.

    If you watch the series from the beginning all over again, not only will the clues as to how the story will end become clear, you’ll also see the main theme of the show. One thing that Ted and Robin repeated to each other at several points during the show is, “if you’ve got chemistry, you only need one thing – timing.” The point of the story is that Ted and Robin’s timing wasn’t right when they first met because even though they were perfect for each other, they were at different places in their lives and wanted different things. Ted wanted to meet “the one” and have a family, and Robin wanted to travel the world and pursue her career. But over the course of nine seasons as their characters grew and changed, they both reached a point where they did want the same things and were ready to be together. Ted had his family and gave up his childish notion of “the one,” and Robin had done everything she wanted to do with her career and had settled down into a quiet life spending all her time with Ted and his kids after Tracy’s death – something she wasn’t willing to do when she was with Barney.

    Ted and Robin were actually great for each other because they brought out the best in each other. She helped Ted get over his self-centered tendencies, and he helped Robin become more emotionally open. And they were never happier than when they were with each other. Ted and the mother were a couple that was thrown together at the last minute with no relationship development at all; they barely had 20 minutes of screen time together in the entire season. And Tracy was made out to be a female version of Ted, which is rather boring and unrealistic. They both had the same likes and dislikes, the same personality quirks and traits, thought the same things at the same time, and even had the same first and last initials. When Tracy told Robin that she was “kind of a detective,” evoking Ted’s use of that phrase, I moaned and thought, “Come on, nobody’s that much alike!”

    As for Robin and Barney, the writers spent the better part of seasons 8 and 9 showing just how dysfunctional and wrong for each other they were, and how Robin’s doubts about whether she was marrying the right man kept growing right up to her wedding. Barney’s immature antics kept angering Robin with each day they got closer to the wedding. Robin spent the morning of her wedding walking barefoot on the beach with Ted, and not too concerned about searching for her missing, inebriated fiancé. And when Robin was ready to run off with Ted just minutes before her wedding to Barney, can anyone truthfully say they were surprised when the marriage didn’t work out?

    Yes, there was character development throughout the nine seasons of the show, and none of it was “retconned” or betrayed in any way because that development was meant to show how Ted and Robin went from two people who were compatible but at different places in their lives to two people who were finally in synch and ready to be together. Do you think it’s a coincidence that Ted’s favorite book on the show was ‘Love In The Time Of Cholera,’ about two people who fall in love, are separated, marry other people, and then reunite years later after their spouses have passed away? The point of the story is that there is no such thing as “the one,” and that a person can have more than one “love of their life.”

    The love of Tracy’s life was Max, her boyfriend who died years earlier. But then Tracy met Ted and went on. Robin was the love of Ted’s life, but they weren’t ready to be together when they met. Ted later met Tracy, who was also the love of Ted’s life, and he moved on. And after Tracy died, he and Robin reconnected and realized that all of the things that held them back in the past no longer existed. Robin had gotten over her aversion to children and had fallen in love with Ted’s kids, who lovingly referred to her as their “Aunt Robin” as Robin had become like a second mom to them. And Ted was no longer looking for unattainable, unrealistic love and instead was ready to accept love whenever and wherever it revealed itself, even in all of its imperfection.

    Now, what was the point of the ending, and in fact, of Ted’s entire story to his kids? Simple. In 2030, six years after Tracy died, Robin had become a part of the lives of Ted and his kids, practically becoming part of their family. She was spending Halloweens with them(which showed Robin’s change and grown, since she hated Halloween in season 1), taking Penny and Luke on holidays to the beach and the zoo, and even coming over for dinner at their house. I’d even go so far as to say that it was Ted’s kids that brought him and Robin back together. But how is Ted supposed to make his kids understand why he and the woman they’ve only known as “Aunt Robin” their entire lives are so close, and about to become a couple again? So he decides to tell them a story that he claims is about how he met their mother, Tracy, but in reality the story is about his entire relationship with Robin prior to meeting their mother – a relationship that his kids presumably know nothing about, although they probably suspected something was going on. This was to make sure that Ted’s kids would be okay with the new situation, as Robin was going to become a permanent part of their family – as well as to make sure they knew that he’s still always love their mother no matter what.

    So, there were those of you who didn’t like the fact that the writers used trickery, misdirection, and twist endings in their story? Well guess what? What show do you think you’ve been watching for the past nine seasons? In episodes like The Ducky Tie, Ted Mosby: Architect, The Burning Beekeeper, and The Ashtray, sleight of hand and misdirection have always been a trademark of the show’s storytelling style, getting the audience to think a story is going one direction, only to reveal that it was something completely different all along. Now, I’m not going to say the finale was perfect. I think it was a mistake to stretch the wedding weekend over the entire final season and to cram so many storylines into the finale, making it feel way too rushed. And if that’s the criticism then I’ll go along with that. If people didn’t like the finale for personal opinions, that’s fine. But to say that the finale got it wrong, or betrayed the story or characters in any way is just inaccurate, because anyone who watched the show and paid attention to the story that was actually being told knew how this was all going to end. It wasn’t as if no one saw this coming.

    Thank you for your time.

    • I have no disagreements with your analysis per se . I think the main point which upsets a lot of people though is that it has been a very long journey, and HIMYM is and was a sit com, so there are some boundaries that should be handled with care. HIMYM has done an excellent job in the handling of things like the death of Marshall’s father, Robin’s infertility and Barney’s daddy issues. But as a sit com, I think you kind of have to give the public a good closure for all involved. You can’t do 200+ episodes funny sit com and then in the final change it to be drama with a sad realistic ending and expect it to be lauded by the public.
      My own objection (apart from the obvious stupidity of time allotment in season 9) isn’t that Ted and Robin got together. I am totally fine on that. Heck, that was what I wanted in season 2 and season 3. It was the romance between Barney and Robin that made me let go of that dream. They should never have been put together (and I say that despite actually thinking the arch of Barney falling in love with Robin and they being a couple in the beginning of season 5 is a highlight of the whole show, and these episodes being among my favorites).
      My disagreement is not with Ted and Robin coming out on top, but with Barney being sold down the river.

  33. Thanks for posting this. I agree with your overall point on it all. For some reason a lot of people just didn’t see it coming, and they couldn’t accept it. A lot of people on here pretty much called me stupid for suggesting the mother was dead and that Ted ended up with Robin.

    I feel the same way about the ending feeling rushed. I do think Tracy and Ted were in total love, and it would have stayed that way if she hadn’t have passed. She did pass and it took Ted 6 years to fully get over her and begin to think about Robin in that way again.

    I think some people thought the kids were heartless in their reaction to Ted about pursuing Robin. It’s hard for some people to understand since it was thrown at them all of sudden, but they were what 6 and 8 probably when she died? It’s been a long time without a mother for them, and honestly they don’t have a ton of memories with her since they were so young.

    It’s took time, but I think I’m finally over the show ending. I watched it from the pilot. It started airing about a month after my wife and I were married, and it’s been part of us for 9 years. It was rough not having it this year, but I’ve finally come to grips with it. I’ve never liked a show like this and I don’t believe I ever will again. To me this was the perfect show….It had a lot of funny and a lot of heart….Part of me will always miss it I believe.

  34. Been a while since I had anything to say on this blog, or about the show (publicly, at least — I talk with friends about it now and then).

    I still mostly stand by my analysis of what was wrong with the show. There were real problems with the finale, the final season, and the overall structure of the show.

    Looking back, I think the story they told could’ve worked, but it needed to be told differently. More effectively. There were certainly hints to suggest it would end as it did, but there were also hints to suggest otherwise, and the way we got there was clearly ineffective for the audience as a whole.

    I don’t think there’s a “right” or “wrong” interpretation of the show at this point. There’s enough “evidence” to support both sides of the debate. But to my way of thinking, that’s the problem. That’s why a serious portion of the fan base found the ending to be so awful.

    While some people may have liked the episode, and found that there was evidence in it to prove that theirs was the intended ending all along, I don’t think you can argue at this point that the episode wasn’t a failure in the sense that it left a significant portion of the fanbase extremely unhappy, to the point where it almost certainly impacted the value of reruns for the show in the future.

    Compare the finale for this show with, say, the finale to Parks & Recreation. Now there’s an example of a successful finale that was true to its characters, provided solid emotional closure, took risks with its final season structure, and ultimately knocked it out of the park in a way that, I think, makes the show better for how it ended than it was before the finale aired (which was still pretty amazing). Reaction to the Parks & Rec finale was universal praise. Reaction to HIMYM was…not. To me, that’s the real reason why it’s a failure.

    I know I haven’t watched a single episode of the show since I stopped watching Season 9, and many of my other friends who loved the show have said they had zero desire to revisit it. It’s not that I hate the show (thought I still strongly dislike the ending and the final season especially), it’s just that on the whole, I have no real interest in revisiting it.

    At any rate, I was genuinely surprised to find an email in my in-box this morning from this site, which I thought was basically dead. I don’t find myself missing the show, either. At one point in time, it was very important to me, but that changed during the final season of the show, both for reasons related to the show, and for reasons entirely independent of it. Suffice to say, my life has moved on, both from this show and from the era of my life that so drew me to this show, and that’s ultimately all for the better.

    • the proof is in the pudding. That the finale got a lot of backlash kind of says it all.

    • Solo, thank you for saying Hello to everyone today. Sorry we could not talk longer today. I tried to watch the HIMYM episodes when they came on the TV, after the series was over. Funny that I packed away the DVDs from the show and removed the stored episodes in my I tunes downloads. I still have the full library to watch on the Web but I found myself becoming involved in other things. I have watched the finale a few times. But only once this year so far.

      My biggest regret about the show was expecting the writers and producers to wake up to what the audience was actually anticipating (Ted and the Mother). I mean they never seemed to really care about the audience. ONLY about their original ending, that little script, that played out between Ted and his two kids. The Ted and Robin ending up together as the last scene.

      So, that is almost a wrap for this site. I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as we did. If any of you long time fans are still out there. April is it. Speak up now. This site will soon be gone like Have-You-Met-Ted.com

      • Thanks for the timeline Ross. I’ll be sad to see the site go, but I understand, and it isn’t the same now anyway.

        And this might sound like sour grapes, but I’m tired of people telling me what I think.

        Here and elsewhere people feel the need to tell other people why they are wrong for not liking the ending. I too have seen every episode, multiple times, and yes the signs were there. There were plenty of discussions at the time, for instance with the Time Travelers and Ted’s speech raised the question of whether the mother was still alive.

        As others have pointed out, there were major structural problems with the final season and blatant continuity errors.

        Solo is right, Parks and Rec knocked its final season out of the park. I would have been over the moon if HIMYM had pulled it off.

        On a side note, I do believe that HIMYM’s finale affected how I’ve watched TV since then. I used to always need to know the end of a story and wouldn’t drop something that I felt I was losing interest in, but I’ve done it a lot since HIMYM ended. Pretty much the only stuff I watch live now is sports. I’ve watched a few episodes of HIMYM since then, but it isn’t the same.

        Anyway, I’m rambling now, not feeling that focused. I’ve truly enjoyed the conversation here. I hope you all are well and find a new show to fall into love with.

  • The Mother