How I Met Your Mother Series Finale Review: 5 Big Shockers

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First off, if you haven't watched the series finale of How I Met Your Mother, STOP READING NOW.  Spoilers ahead! 

Consider yourself warned....

There were plenty of surprises in "Last Forever," but most of all it taught us that almost nothing actually lasts forever. How I Met Your Mother Season 9 Episode 23 opened with Ted saying goodbye to his friends as he planned to leave for Chicago. 

Robin and Ted did their goofy salute. Marshall made jokes. Lily cried and got an ET goodbye that was just a little creepy and Ted and Barney did a high-five to echo throughout eternity.  All of it seemed a fitting end. 

Until Ted showed up back at MacLaren's the very next day. 

The old lady on the train platform pointing out the beautiful girl with the yellow umbrella holding the bass was the perfect foil for Ted. And I loved how Ted kept telling her…

Just be cool, Lady. Damn.


Because Ted was anything but. The next day, Marshall worried about his friend. That Ted keeps doing this. He falls too hard too fast and scares off his potential love. But Lily could see it. This was different.  This was destiny calling.

Just as I was riding the high of true love, things took a turn.  

Big Shocker #1: After three years of marriage, Robin and Barney weren't happy. She was traveling around the world for her dream job but Barney was getting left in the dust. When Robin offered him an exit ramp from their marriage, I never expected that he'd take it.

When the two announced to their friends that they had divorced. I, like Lily was devastated. 

I've been a huge fan of Barney and Robin since they got together the first time and although I never expected their marriage to be easy, I truly believed it would last. 

So as How I Met Your Mother Season 9 Episode 24 opened, I was more than I little ticked off. We'd just spent an entire season leading up to Barney and Robin's wonderful wedding, only to have their entire relationship dismantled in the matter of minutes. 

Lily made them all promise to always be there for the big moments but it would never be the same. 

Lily and Marshall eventually had to move from their beloved apartment when their third child was on the way. After years of enduring a miserable existence in corporate law, Marshall finally became a judge and eventually ran for State Supreme Court. I expected nothing less.

Barney reverted back to chasing anything in a skirt. As he explained to Lily in this How I Met Your Mother quote

If it wasn't going to happen with Robin, then it's not going to happen with anyone.


I found that heartbreaking. Barney truly loved Robin and as Lily pointed out, having a playbook at 40 was just sad. That's when we got to…

Big Shocker #2… As Barney lamented the loss of his "Clooney years" when #31 became pregnant, I couldn't help but smile. Somehow I always knew he'd make an amazing dad and if there was one female in the universe who was meant to capture his heart, it was baby Ella. 

You are the love of my life. Everything I have and everything I am is yours. Forever.


Nothing was funnier than watching Barney Stinson, the life of any party beg to go home at 9:45pm so he could get some much needed sleep. 

Big Shocker # 3 was that Ted and Tracy (The Mother) still weren't married after having two children. What on earth were they waiting for?

I'd get married tomorrow in a White Castle but this guy needs more of a wow factor.

The Mother

After five years and two kids, the two finally decided to get married on a Thursday and they celebrated with their friends at MacLaren's instead of a castle in Europe. 

One of the things I loved about this scene was that Tracy was the one to make sure that Robin was there. Where so many of Ted's previous girlfriends were intimidated by Ted's relationship with Robin, Tracy wasn't. She knew it was important for Ted to have his best friend present on their big day. 

Big Shocker #4…As Ted finished telling his kids about he and their mother's romantic first meeting in the rain under the yellow umbrella, we find out that Tracy became ill and died six years earlier. I found that horribly sad. For as little screen time as they had together, they really did seem to make the perfect couple. 

Finally, we got to…

Big Shocker #5…The kids push Ted to pursue "Aunt Robin."  I had mixed feelings about this. I sort of hated that Robin was made out to be such a selfish loner for much of the finale. Not that there wasn't precedent for it. It was certainly within character. Robin was always career driven but I hated that she let that passion for her work end her marriage and drive a wedge between her and her friends. 

So, in the end I wasn't sold on a Ted and Robin pairing. I always believed that they were meant to be friends. The best of friends, but as a couple I'm still not sure they work. I suppose we'll really never know. But the reappearance of the French horn was a nice touch. 

Either way, I look back on the nine seasons of How I Met Your Mother with lots of smiles. I'm only sad that the story is over. 

What did you think, TV Fanatics. Should Ted and Robin have ended up as a couple?


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.


clueless haters unite. how sad Reality: Perfect Finale X )

@ -----

I agree. I loved it. I feel the show was heading this direction all along and the writers gave us clues the whole time, so I didn't find it shocking or disappointing. I don't think it lessens the importance of Tracy/the Mother in Ted's life...after all, it was a long road for Ted to find her and it all happened because of each of the experiences, mistakes and failed relationships he had along the way. This included Robin: if it wasn't for Barney and Robin's wedding, Ted never would have met Tracy. In a sense, Robin brought them together. I think Ted and Robin's reunion is more about old friends finding each other after many years, perhaps sharing the heartbreak both of them went through in their separate lives and learning to move on together. Life isn't perfect, triumph and tragedy are often intertwined, and sometimes after tragedy, we find comfort in old friends and "family." I found the ending powerful and sweet. Then again, I'd already accepted that the Mother was going to die when they revealed several clues earlier on during the series, so I guess I had some time to process it and wasn't surprised by this revelation in the finale (some of the big clues were revealed in "The Time Travelers," "How Your Mother Met Me" and "Vesuvius," for example). For those that hadn't caught on earlier, it probably would have been good to give this part of the story more screen time and extra special care (they did rush through the Mother's illness and death). For anyone that felt it needed more attention, I suggest going back and watching the end of "The Time Travelers"...although initially this was one of my least favorite episodes (I didn't get it at first), when you watch it knowing that the Mother is going to die young, the ending takes on a whole new meaning: you see the profound love Ted has for the Mother, how much he wished he had more time with her and get a sense of his heartache after her death. I think if they had brought a little more of that sentiment into the finale, it would have been even better. Either way, I loved finale and still think it's an amazing series. Sure, it was a little flawed, but I still think it's one of the most beautifully and uniquely crafted shows in television history (especially in the sitcom world), and I'm sad to see it end. -Lori (http://adventuresofasickchick....)

@ Lori

I also agree. The ending is not about Ted and Robin and all the obstacles that were in their way. It was about the beautiful journey that brought their roads together again. This is life. Life is full of stories of people living and and loving and finding their way back to each other after 10 maybe 50 years. The road they traveled is not to what hindered them but the road that created them. Those who lived that life with them are an integral part of them and cannot be discarded.

@ -----

Completely agree. I was in that small percentage that always thought Barney and Robin just didn't make sense. They didn't the first time around and they didn't the second. But fans loved them together. From the very first episode allllllllll those years ago - I fell in love with Robin with Ted. Amazing chemistry. The mother was even more amazing but life isn't certain. It's one of the biggest things this show is trying to teach. You have one plan and life will throw you another. He and the mother loved each other. With her passing it's okay for Ted to love again and in the end Robin always thought he was the one for her. I think it's a brilliantly told story. Those in charge of the show didn't play it safe and that in itself amazed me. The finale was perfect. :D


this thing sucked

@ me

go away, moron troll

@ -----

am I a troll for stating my opinion that it sucked? riight


The only redeeming qaulity of the series finale was Barney having a daughter, and how she changes/heals him. I love that she's the one true person/thing that can get him to leave behind his single life. The entire idea of loving someone, not being their first choice over and over again... And then finding the one, marrying her and her dying... Just to go back to Robin??? It makes the whole relationship with the mom cheap. Would she have even been his first choice? Ugh. I hated it. And I find it very, very hard to believe that Carter and Craig thought we as fans would love this. Terrible, terrible.


I was disappointed. All of the growth you saw in the characters was demolished in one hour. It felt like they had taped a particular scene with the kid actors when they were young and were stuck with it - having no idea that they would develop the characters in another direction at that time. And honestly, I was a little insulted on the Mother's behalf - they treated her like she was nothing more than a blip on the radar. Sad.

@ SG

They shot the season final with the kids during the first season I read in an interview. Ending wise I was sad Tracy died but I accepted robin and Ted I was more curious about 31 and Eli with barney

@ SG

I agree- it feels like the didn't realize where they were going at the time, tapes the scene with the kids and were stuck with it. Terrible.

@ MerDer2010

Nullified the whole show. The entire premise of it was bull shit, if the kids knew he was in love with Aunt Robin; why were the shocked to learn that was Aunt Robin in the Pilot? So basically HIMYM was FRIENDS with Bull Shit. Anyone who watched Friends knew that Rachel and Ross would end up together it is what was the biggest factor that kept the series running for 10 years. So in that regard I think HIMYM bombed. The show also reminded me a little bit of Charles Dickens: Great Expectations. I hated the ending of the book as well.

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