How I Met Your Mother

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Editor’s Note: TV moves on, but we haven’t. In our new feature series It Still Stings, we relive sầu emotional TV moments that we just can’t get over. You know the ones where months, years, or even decades later, it still provokes a reaction? We’re here for you. We rant because we love. Or, once loved. And obviously, when discussing finales in particular, there will be spoilers:

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Kids, let me tell you about the time I was filled with a blinding, hot rage over the series finale of How I Met Your Mother.

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The day was Monday, March 31, năm trước. I had spent nine years và 208 episodes waiting for freaking Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) to tell us how he met the mother of his children. I watched the one-hour series finale và I’m pretty sure I hate-tweeted the entire thing. My fury burned with the passion of 1,000 suns.

But in true How I Met Your Mother fashion, let me rewind. Everyone suit up because we are going baông chồng in time. Kids, baông xã in 2005 television was very different. Netflix was still the company that sent you DVDs in the mail. Amazon delivered books and nhà vệ sinh paper lớn your house. And you had to wait a whole week for a new episode to premiere. The TV schedule still ran on a September to May cycle, and as a nascent TV critic, I would spend my summer months consuming all the pilots broadcast TV had to lớn offer. So for a show lớn st& out amid a plethora of new shows meant something. How I Met Your Mother stood out immediately. It flipped the cliché of the woman being the one who always wanting khổng lồ get married and gave sầu us Ted, a man who wanted nothing more than to lớn settle down with the love of his life—he just hadn’t met her yet. Ted và friends Marshall (Jason Segel), Lily (Alyson Hannigan), Robin (Cobie Smulders) & Barney (Neil Patrichồng Harris) became my new Friends, which had just ended the year before.


The comedy also did something usually only seen in dramas, và phối up a mystery that bounced baông chồng and forth through time. The pilot showed viewers how Ted met Robin across a crowded bar, they had a great first date, he stole a blue French horn for her (long story) and we all thought okay this is how he met “the Mother” until the pilot ended with the zinger of “that kids is how I met your Aunt Robin.” It was an excellent twist & one that would play out, often frustratingly so, over nine seasons. There were hints of the mother all the time—a yellow umbrella was a recurring motif that weaved in and out of the seasons.

I loved the show. To this day I use some of the show’s most memorable quotes. I often find ways lớn work “Nobody asked you Patrice!” and “Where’s the poop Robin?” into lớn my conversations. I can’t help but salute every time I use the word “major.” In my work I even got to visit the show’s phối & interview the cast. Series creators & showrunners Carter Bays & Craig Thomas were always so generous with their time, và over the show’s run I spent many hours talking lớn them and breaking down the delightful minutiae of the show.


I think that’s why the series finale stung so much. It’s because I adored the show that I felt so betrayed. I mean you won’t find me in an outrage of the ending of King of Queens. If you reGọi, Cristin Miloti was introduced as “The Mother” in the Season 8 finale. The show then spent the entire final season on the wedding day of reformed-bad-boy-bachelor Barney và Robin. The two characters had gotten together in the Season 4 finale, and now were finally tying the knot. The entire ninth season took place at the Farhampton Inn as the gang prepared for the big wedding day. That’s five sầu full seasons following the ups and downs of Robin and Barney’s romance & 22 episodes devoted khổng lồ their wedding day.

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And what did the hour-long series finale entitled “Last Forever: Part One và Part Two” do? It had them get divorced less than 13 minutes into the finale. The couple decided lớn Call it quits after three years because Robin was traveling so much for work và their relationship just wasn’t working. WHAT? You spent all this time convincing us that Barney was a changed man because of his love for Robin. That they were truly happy together and you throw it out the window? It was a slap(sgiving) lớn the face of the audience.


But, kids, that was just the beginning of my outrage. They killed the mother off. And she wasn’t even given a diagnosis, and instead seemed to lớn die of beautiful corpse disease. This is something fans had feared since the Season 8 episode “The Time Travelers,” when Ted imagines an alternate reality where a future version of himself rushes to meet the Mother 45 days earlier. “I want those extra 45 days with you. I want each one of them,” he says wistfully. It’s hinted at again in the ninth season episode “Vesuvius” when in the future Ted và the Mother go out to lớn dinner and she wonders “what kind of mother is going to miss her daughter’s wedding?” & Ted’s eyes fill with tears. But this is aaalllll confirmed in the series finale and her quick death, dialogue-free death from beautiful corpse disease.

It just felt lượt thích such a cheat. We spent all this time wondering how Ted met the mother of his children not even knowing her name (it was Tracy by the way) only lớn kill her off. Bays and Thomas said they always knew how the show was going lớn end, which means from the jump they knew they would kill Tracy off.


You would think that was the worst part, right? But no the absolute worst part is legen—wait for it—dary. The final moments of the series finale find Ted’s children telling him that they know the point of Ted’s extremely long story is to lớn get their blessing to ask out Robin. So the finale ends with Ted recreating the scene from the pilot & arriving at Robin’s stoop with a xanh French horn in his hands as she smiles out the window. I felt betrayed. Hoodwinked. Played for a fool. I had spent all this time invested in the show. Thinking I was on this journey to meet the love of Ted’s life, when the love of his life was Robin và the mom was one more obstacle for them to overcome in their gr& romance.

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Oh but it gets worse. And I’m sorry I really bởi vì have sầu to yell here: THERE WAS AN ALTERNATE ENDING! An ending where the Mother didn’t die & Barney and Robin stayed married. The ending was released in September of năm trước on the boxed DVD mix & can be seen here. The ending honored the romance between Ted & the Mother as they lived happily ever after.


Thomas and Bays bet & they bet wrong. Unlike, say, the controversial ending of Lost or The Sopranos where you can actually find viewers who were happy with the ending (I’m #TeamILikedtheEndingofLost), no one was even remotely happy with this ending. No one. Most, like me, were filled with a blinding rage.

But I have to lớn tell you, a funny thing happened when I re-watched the series finale in preparation for this column. I wasn’t as angry. Time has softened the blow. The hour-long finale watched in isolation và separate from the rest of the seasons has some very poignant moments. I had totally forgotten that Barney became a dad. And how many lovely moments between the Mother và Ted the finale squeezed in.

And while the series finale still stings in a major way (hvà salute: Major Way), my fondness for the show remains. To quote Ted, “sometimes even if you know how something’s gonna kết thúc, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the ride.”