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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Rating: 2.7 / 5.0 (413 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.


Amazing episode though I get why so many people are upset. The writers took everyone's expectations and threw them under a bus to pursue a development that was very real-life realistic but not fairy-tale realistic. You just don't do things like that in a popular show and I love that the writers dared to do this - real life breaks your heart and so does this finale. Though it's really funny how the Tracy/Robin discussion rages on.
Before: Ted will end up with Tracy / Ted will end up with Robin
Now: Ted settled for Tracy before he went for Robin / Ted settled for Robin once Tracy was gone

@ Peter

And that's the thing...I don't thing that it was a matter of Ted settling either time. Ted found everything he wanted in life with Tracy. He genuinely loved her, and he cherished his life with her. It might be different if he ran after Robin after she and Barney divorced or, even after Tracy died. He didn't. He waited for 6 years, and even then, wanted his children's approval before doing anything. It's a matter of life going on. And come on, Robin was Ted's, I think, first real love. It was the same for Robin. You don't just forget that.

@ mattcris1

Totally agree. At least Ted found someone to be with at the end.


What really f***ked me up about the finale: Ted got himself an amazing woman, gorgeous and clever and kindhearted, but it's so clear that she was never anything more than a consolation prize. It made me feel like the only reason he was with her was because he wanted kids (and Robin didn't), and then puts off their marriage for years because he obviously still had dreams of hanging on to Robin.
What a f**king jerk. I wouldn't be surprised if Tracy "got sick" because he was poisoning her all along.


i think it was a perfect ending! i don't know with you guys but as what as i've remember robin has always loved ted but as it was a point in their lives that there was never a perfect timing for them. the journey they have was real they become friends then they become lover then become friends but still they know that they will always love each other. they broke because they have different outlook in life as Ted wants to have children and Robin doesn't at the time before she knows she's barren. Ted was there when she found though she doesnt but still that doesnt mean that she wasn't sad and devastated about the news there you'll see that maybe her outlook have changed that is why only ted understands what she was feeling at those moments. Its really unfair that you'll think robin as selfish maybe she was but it is a fact she was already driven when they met her. what they have with barney was also genuine but as life as is it, it was not meant to be. they are totally the same but in a different way. they maybe compatible on a very good level and loved each other but it could never work out between the two as Barney will always be Barney and Robin will always be Robin. So as she asked Barney if given an out would he take and he did. it was in the point in her life that her career has taken off as what she always wanted. they wouldn't last because what they have both is there career. if it were for Ted and if they were the one who is married i am pretty sure he will be at robins side the whole time in their marriage and it would be unfair for Ted which boils down why she can't pick TED. She knows too well how ted loves her that he would do anything for her which is the ultimate sacrifice she made by not picking ted. Ted will always loved Robin that is why Robin needs to leave the gang. I bet it was not easy for her to leave her friends but she had to... to make the ultimate sacrifice. don't get me wrong the mother and ted are very perfect for each other but with Robin still there in the picture it would be difficult. I am not saying that Ted would cheat on the mother because that is not TED but he will always put robins feelings first of all things. So it was Ted's time to be happy and for her to let go of Ted, She needs to move away just as like Ted needs to go to chicago because Robin and Barney are getting married. You see for me Robin's feelings for Ted is strong so strong that she need to leave the gang. So that is why it was a perfect ending for me because Robin has the chance to love Ted who she loved the most.

@ Andi

I agree with most of that. If you look at the final episode of season 8, in a flashback we discover that Robin left for Japan to get away from Ted because deep down she knew that it would be too hard from her to stick around watching Ted married to Stella. And that's exactly the same reason Ted was leaving for Chicago. It was always about timing for both of them. I never thought that it was selfish for Robin to pursue her dreams. I think that in the long run that's what made her realize what she had lost in Ted; but again it was timing. Ted had moved on, and had not only found real love, but had all of his dreams fulfilled, with someone who was his female counterpoint. Ted truly loved Tracy, and you could really see that. That's why Robin separated herself from the gang. Now, after 17 years, what was wrong with finding each other again, when both had had the chance to experience everything that they dreamed about. They had both changed, and maybe, finally, the timing was right. Life goes on, and both Ted and Robin deserved to be happy. Feelings change, but they never fully go away.


when the shows over i yelled out "what the f***********ckkk!!"
can't believe the ending, tracy didn't have to die just to give robin a chance, she sholud be ashamed to let her career to ruin her marriage. I just feel the ending is a mess, but that's just my thought


It finally came to me today....most of the people who are disappointed are disappointed because the creators of the show stuck ti THEIR vision; not the "happy ending" vision that so many commentors seem to have wanted. The title of the show should have given you the answer, "How I Met Your Mother" means exactly that. It does not mean "This Is The Story of Your Mother and I's Relationship". It was always going to be the story of the circumstances that lead up to Ted meeting the Mother/Tracy. Tracy was always talked about in the past tense, nobody else was. And never forget that it was known that there would be a significant time jump in the story, so it shouldn't have been that much of a shock that Tracy was dead. The creators of the show have known how the show was going to end for 7+ years, and they have been writing the show in a way that when the end came, some things would be obvious. Ted eventually ending up with Robin was obvious. She and Tracy are/were the loves of Ted's life. It's a shame that so many of you don't see that the twists and turns of life make the ending of HIMYM all that much more realistic. p.s.-for all of those who were hoping for Robin and Barney to stay together, Barney chose to take the out Robin gave him. If he really loved Robin, he would have stuck around and fought for his marriage.

@ Kasey+Henton

whole heartedly agreed.


Never watched a single episode.....don't/ won't do commercial network shxxcoms.....

@ Boyd Crowder

People who generalize and say they won't watch something just because of some unrelated fact are idiots. It's like saying you won't watch anything that airs on Thursday.


I was, like many viewers, disappointed. After the epic, "One ticket to Farhampton," moment that ended season 8, it felt like the writers were looking for ways to out do themselves in season 9. Unfortunately it felt disingenuous and not well thought out. I don't think I'll understand the necessity of spending 21 episodes on a wedding weekend of two characters that get divorced as a forced measure to put Robin and Ted back together only to spend part 1 and 2 rushing through 15 years to once again play out forced scenarios that lead to a Robin-Ted-Blue French Horn reunion. I understand trying to bring the show full circle but I always saw the show as more of a "Everything happens for a reason," because it leads to the characters growth and personality that would eventually play out in Ted meeting Tracy, the mother. Instead all the growth over the past 9 seasons is completely unraveled. At the end of the episode/show I was left feeling like Lily and Marshall were the only characters I knew. They were the only ones that felt believable and stayed true to their growth and journey.


I think that it all coming back to Robin, makes their mother (Tracy) seem like Ted's consolation prize. Like Tracy was always second to Robin in Ted's heart.

@ Kristy

I don't agree. If that were really the case then Ted had an opportunity after Robin and Barney divorced in 2016, and again after Tracy died in 2024. Tracy was Ted's soulmate, and he waited for 6 years to even contemplate trying things with Robin again. I hated that Tracy died, or that we didn't get to see more of her and Ted's life together. I think that it would have been better received it they had spent less time on Robin and Barney's wedding in this last season and more on the evolution of Ted and Tracy's relationship. One hour was just not enough time to tell that story properly.


That finale was the worst I've ever seen! They wasted 9 seasons to tell us that Ted's wife dies and he ends up with Robin! The way they should have ended it was the kids saying "You met her at a train station and you wasted our time on that!" Dumb finally. Very disappointed!


A dumb ending to a really stupid show! I haven't watched for a while now, but it's OK--I'm not in the demographic the writers had in mind. Shallow, immature characters, silly storylines, the Barney and Ted characters especially.

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