How I Met Your Mother Finale – ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?

"He chose … poorly" - Knight from Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade

‘The writers, they chose … poorly’ – what the Knight from Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade would probably say about that Finale.

So I wish I could tell you that finale was an early April Fools’ joke, but sadly – until CBS says otherwise – it wasn’t. That was the long awaited series finale that was 9 seasons in the making. Now if you thought that finale was perfect, then you should probably stop reading now, unless you want it to be *the sound of glass shattering* spoiled.

Disclaimer: The episode itself – and thus the original idea the writers had – wasn’t that bad . . . IF it had come 3-4 seasons earlier. But it didn’t. Ergo, it was THAT bad.

Wasted Last Season:

When HIMYM revealed that its entire last season would be all the events of Barney and Robin’s Wedding, people were nervous. The stretch out some simple event for an entire season was kind of overkill in the first place; but when you make that marriage end in divorce only a little while later, you basically admit to wasting everyone’s time.

Now before you say “oh, it was a huge event. It had to be given weight.”, no, not really. Marshall’s and Lilly’s Wedding was only 2 episodes – and they’re still together. Season 8 and 9 was all about character development. We saw how Barney went from a womanizer with sociopathic tendencies to someone who could give everything in his life to Robin. We saw some of this with Nora, then a little more with Quinn; and finally the culmination of these developments with his quest to get Robin – despite all the times she’s hurt him in the past.

"What the hell is wrong with you!!!!!" - Son

“What the hell is wrong with you!!!!!” – Son

To just have Barney go back to his womanizing ways because it couldn’t work with Robin completely turn away from everything they gave us about Barney’s character the past few seasons. In the end his quest for love, his quest to find his father, his quest to come to a deeper understanding about who is he was all for nothing.

As for Barney getting a girl pregnant, several things. One, how did it take THIS long for Barney to get someone pregnant? He passed the 200 women mark back in Season 4 for God’s sake! Secondly, this whole bit was just sloppy. The birth of a child and holding it in your arms is a momentous occasion, but to have him change that fast for such a simple act. Hell, I’m sorry it took this long for him to get some girl pregnant. In the end, the years and seasons of character development meant nothing. Only the birth of a daughter could change him.

Wasted Mother:

Continuing the theme of a wasted last season, we come to the mother. Beyond Barney and Robin’s Wedding, this season was meant to introduce us to the mother and show why – unlike any woman before her as Lilly pointed out – this one was different, but was she?

Tracey – the mother as we now know her – was absolutely the most important woman in Ted’s life: the mother of his children, the reason he didn’t leave for Chicago, his other half in every way. Though apparently that doesn’t mean anything. In the end, the mother did in fact die; but remember when I pointed out how such an ending would be disrespectful, well HIMYM apparently wanted to outdo my predictions because what followed was actually more disrespectful than anyone could have imagined.

Look at how cute they are? I'm sorry, THIS is Ted's girl.

Look at how cute they are? I’m sorry, THIS is Ted’s girl.

In the end, this wasn’t one big story to inform his children about their mother. The kids even point out how she doesn’t play a big role in his story. The real reason for this story was as a set-up to ask his kids permission to ask out Aunt Robin. If you can’t see how wrong that is, then I can’t help you; but let me try to sum up. The story of the woman he loved – the story of the mother – is less than 5% of the story. To use the story of meeting your dead wife just to ask out another woman is so incredibly disrespectful to Tracey in every way.

This ending makes Robin the most important woman in Ted’s life, the one he’s always been waiting for. What happened to all those speeches about having to let her go? What happened to all the times he realized that they weren’t right for each other? If he was meant to end up with Robin in the end, fine. But NOT after you spent all this time trying to bring in the mother and show her as the most important woman in Ted’s life.

Now I know you might say “She was important to him, but you can’t help the fact that she died. That’s life! He deserves to move on.” This is true, but let me ask you this: If the mother was so important to the story, why was their time together crammed into about 30 minutes?

Wasted Years:

The writers stretched out a single weekend into a single season, but crammed 10+ years of life together with the mother into only about 30 minutes. We can comment all we want about Ted’s life, but in the end, Ted’s not real. He’s a character, everyone is. This show is a story, and in terms of the storytelling, the mother isn’t important at all. This entire show/story was leading to Robin – which makes Tracey no different from any of the other women in Ted’s life. Stylistically, the only purpose she really served in the end was explaining how the kids got there and that’s it. Now do you see why this ending is so disrespectful to her?

*gives HIMYM the 'you're dead to me' look*

*gives HIMYM the ‘you’re dead to me’ look*

The mother’s identity in the very end wasn’t important. If Ted had married Stella, or Zoey, or any of the women he dated, the ending would have been the same. Why have nine seasons if that was going to be the end result? Go back and watch the ending of Season 1, Episode 9 when Ted met a stripper named Tracey – I’ll wait. He tells the kids “and that’s how I met your mother… just kidding”. That might as well have been the truth!

Wasted Character Development:

Again, the initial plan for the shows end was a good idea, but after 9 seasons it’s just insulting to the fans. You could respect the writers for keeping this original plan in tack, but to cling to an original idea regardless of all the evidence that’s come in between to say no is just pathetic. In 9 seasons, no one changed. Someone please let me know how the gang was any different by the end? All of their experiences weren’t leading to anything – except back to where they’ve always been.

  • If Barney got a baby season 2, same thing would have happen. No deeper soul searching needed. No relationships building upon each other until he was ready to respect women.
  • Lily and Marshall are still the couple that fight occasionally but they’d be the exact same if it they got kids in Season 3. I mean just look at Marshal’s profession by the end: corporate law. The job he had for all the early seasons until he left to follow his dream and become an environmental lawyer. Well he’s back and hates it. Lily’s career isn’t mentioned at all, so I guess that time in Italy was really worth it.
  • Ted constantly fills his heart with one woman only to fall back to Robin. As crazy as it sounds, Robin is Ted’s back up. He hasn’t matured at all; he was always ready for Robin.

This story might as well be “How I Wore Your Aunt Robin Down Until She Finally Said Yes”, but it can’t even be that because Ted just falls back for her. He hasn’t made a conscious decision to be with Robin for a long time. In the end Barney fought for Robin more than Ted ever did. Ted always just somehow seemed to backslide to her after every failed ‘the one’. And who says that Ted and Robin would end any differently from her and Barney?

In the end, it’s not the finale itself that pissed off so many people; it was the fact that finale after 9 seasons was the same finale that could have happened even at the end of Season 1. This ending was nothing more than the writers trying to pander to fans of Season 1 and 2. If you followed the story and all the twists and turns through the seasons, this ending is basically nothing more than a slap in the face. There was so much potential. It could have ended so well, but it’s like they went out of their way just to screw with everyone. At best, it’s lousy writing. At worst, it’s insulting to the majority of HIMYM fans that have been faithful throughout the seasons. They kept going for of ratings – plain and simple. Though in the end, they couldn’t even respect their fans of 9 years. Apparently Season 1 is all that mattered.

Final Thoughts:

Title

In the end, – if I can offer any words of comfort – remember the good times: The Slapbets, the Hot/Crazy scale, the Platinum Rule, the Yips, etc. That is what I’m taking away from this show – or just pretending those last 5-10 minutes after the train station don’t exist. If that doesn’t help, then here’s some photos of puppies cuddling stuffed animals.

Update: 4/16/14  – Official Alternate Ending In BoxSet

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33 thoughts on “How I Met Your Mother Finale – ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?

  1. Basically a waste of 9 faithful years by fans who actually loved the show and how it progressed. Sadly the finale was a horrific immature twist that still is unable to digest. For me the end of season 9 was the 2nd last episode. Ted and Robin is difficult to digest. I think they made a joke of Barney, he was left out again from where he started. Playbook 2. What a joke. They could have let Barney be with Quinn or Nora if all the writers wanted was Ted & Robin. But no they had to make a joke and marry off Robin to Barney just to stab us in the back an episode later. A pathetic ending really. The show should have ended years ago if that was gonna be the end. But no you drag 9 years to a point where all of us wanted a nice end, just to do that again. Im hating wht kind of a person robin is skiping from oneto the other to the other to the other friend. Its not a good feeling as if she never was a true friend to either of them because a true friendship is not like that. Overall the worst possible ending ever. How I met your dad will be an epic failure now, thats all I will say.

    • The Playbook 2: Electric Boogaloo lol And yah, the fact that the mother died after Robin was explicitly saying Tracey and Ted were the reason she couldn’t be around the group anymore was also in very poor taste.

      • why find or introduce a mother to us? they cud have just married off robin to ted instead of dragging in barney. It was the creators who made us buy robin and barney. Everyone thought it was ted and robin, but season 3 showed barneys feelings. They gradually buit it up to a point when we actually believed this. My favourite part was barneys play THE ROBIN. Im so devastated that i dont think i could ever go back to watch any of the previous episodes. Ever! Tracey was a genuinely good person, unlike robin who after 3 yrs of marraige is sick of it. I cant forget all those barney robin moments spanning from season 4 until season 9, to be told no they were just in the moment for some love and later thought otherwise. These ppl werent teenagers, they were in the 30s for God’s sake. how can these morons make a stupid stupid ending!!!!!

      • I agree 100% Angelinefire, what were they thinking? It’s ridiculous because they constantly had Barney and Robin facing challenges and actually work through them without constantly breaking up at the drop of a hat, like Ted and Robin did. Ted and Robin just do not work well together! With Barney it looked like Robin met the guy who could be the one for her. With Ted… they constantly prove to be bad for each other. Also I think it’s kind of pathetic that Ted and Robin actually say in the show “if we’re single by our 40s we’ll marry each other as a last option” which to me signified as “That’s kind of sad and a little pathetic…” but that’s pretty much what happened only they’re older than 40 and still have that dumb mindset.

    • The worst is when people say “it wasn’t about the mother, it was about Robin and Ted’s friends… WHY CALL IT HOW I MET YOUR “MOTHER” THEN!!!

  2. Pingback: How I Met Your Mother Finale – ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!? | Desert wanderer

  3. Wonderfully said!! This article, well, articulated every frustration I had, and some I didn’t even realize I had with the finale.

  4. I haven’t been as depressed and angry as I am after seeing the finale! (I am one of those who had started to like tracy’s character and who believed that she truly was the one meant for Ted)
    It was so disrespectful to her especially after knowing that Ted has never been as happy, and quoting Lily’s words– “This one is different”.
    The second waste was all the effort taken on Barney’s transformation. If you say that the daughter is the one who got the transformation in him and not Robin, what the hell were they thinking!
    His wedding vow was never to lie.
    So if in the finale Robin and Barney were together it would have been THE transformation..
    So he did reach that point of change..
    However since according to the writers, Robin was to go back to Ted in the finale they simply twisted the transformation, making it look worthless..
    Lastly, Robin to me now is just this girl who wanted to have a taste of everything before she chose what she wanted–DISLIKE!

  5. All of the people saying negative things do not follow the concept of the whole story at all. It was a story how Ted met Tracy, the mother. It’s a simple english yet most Americans cant comprehend the meaning of the story ” HOW I met your mother”. The finale itself made sense and all of the questions are answered. How he met the mother and why he was telling these stories to his kids. if you dont get that, you’re not really a fan.

    • But you do realize though that the mother occupied less than 5% of the story right? Also, why 9 seasons. You see how that belief starts to fall apart right? If this happened 3-4 seasons ago, I’d be right there on board with you. But after 9, I’m sorry. But no. Ted even admits that the story wasn’t about the mother but rather to prep the kids to ask to date Aunt Robin.

      And a fan is anyone who watches a show consistently. Who lets it into their lives and lets it become a part of them. HIMYM has countless fans, and you don’t have the right to revoke their fan status just because they don’t share your belief. You’re entitled to your opinions, but don’t dismiss the fans who were disappointed – especially since they are actually the overwhelming majority

      • I met your mother in a train. She was reading the same book as mine, we talked, we went out two times”. Thats a “met story” After that its not about meeting. If people wanted “Ted and Trace play Family” that is a completely different show.

        In the show X-Files, Mulder searched for the proof of Aliens. And then we saw the Space ship for 10 seconds. “No! No! After 9 Seasons I want Mulder on the spaceship like in Star Trek. I waited enough! Show me space fights!” No, thats not X-Files, thats “Star Trek: Mulder Edition”.

        People expected a completely different show in the 9th. And now they are angry because it wasn’t “Full House: Ted Edition”

      • Again, it’s more upset over the pacing of the story. Also, if Ted and Tracey met at the train station and that was it, BOOM! Perfect. At least for me, I didn’t need them playing house. It would have been really nice to see, but as you said thats a different story – but so to is “How I Got Permission To Chase Your Aunt Robin Again After All These Years” lol After 9 seasons, that just seemed like too much of a stretch to preserve something from the past – and that was proven time and again to be an awful idea.

  6. I agree with the article. I would not call myself exactly a fan, but I liked the show, it was fun etc.
    But what they did with the finale was just rude. Especially when they knew the ending from the start.
    I was hoping for bigger picture. I was hoping for Barney and Robin to work out, since they invested 2 seasons into getting them back together. But no.
    I agree, that Barney didnt need to marry Robin to be “ready” for fatherhood. He was ready for a long time and gave it up for Robin. All his character development was trashed like it was nothing.
    And as for Tracy, I dont mind she died, it was kind of obvious, why else would he be saying story without her adding and correcting events… But I do mind, how little time they invested in her character.
    The stupid wedding that wasnt meant to be and didnt last was on for a whole season. And she, supposedly love of his life is introduced in one episode and few scenes? Disrespectful.

    • can u believe a whole season 9 for a wedding weekend, and just to be told in the last episode that well no it didnt last. Why why why did the creators make us buy barney and robin, in the end what i conclude is that the whole series way they ended was abt ted and robin, and the rest of the charcters they were like the 3rd wheel. Their stories were not important, lily was only meant to have kids, marshal to again go back to corporate law and judgeship and barney to more banging and playbook 2. Really shameful and here we were happy for him to have changed. Why did they do this?

  7. “Someone please let me know how the gang was any different by the end? All of their experiences weren’t leading to anything – except back to where they’ve always been.”

    Plot-twist: the writers are actually great writers with a very nihilistic view on life.

  8. I watched it and was kind of in a state of shock. It felt like they were trying to move mountains to force Robin and Ted to be together with how they screwed over Barney and Tracey. (And made Robin and Ted look imbecilic) Let me just say this: IT WASN’T WORTH IT.

    It wasn’t even a huge twist, just a bad one. The story began with Robin, the Mother was just peppered in throughout the series. So logically someone could see it coming but it was a twist that I constantly thought, “No way, they wouldn’t be that stupid!” Especially after constantly point out how how toxic the relationship is, and after Barney changed his ways for Robin, why in the world at this point would you make them go back to their season 1 personalities just to force Ted and Robin? Ugh…

    Barney deserves better. I might have felt better about this horrible direction if –instead of making Barney a womanizer again– they had him run into Nora and rekindle it. It would have been disappointing that he didn’t end up with Robin after how well established their relationship was… BUT IT WOULD HAVE BEEN SOMETHING!!! That’s a slap in the face to have him grow up and start to respect women and grow up, only to be 40 years old using a Playbook. Gross!

    I’m really pissed about how poorly Tracey was handled. She was a lovely character and throughout the series we learn a lot about her and felt like we knew her, and when she shows up in person: Cristin played her FANTASTICALLY! I could see why Ted loved her because she was just that adorable. I could even get past her dying but it was handled in an insulting way. Dying of an illness is actually serious and scary and should be handled as such.

    With the amount of episodes the 9th season had, there is NO excuse that the plotlines in the finale couldn’t have been elaborated on. Her death and life could have been shown and done justice. The way the finale had Ted and Robin all triumphant at the end made it feel more like “well FINALLY we’re both unattached and can do it.” It doesn’t help that earlier they had Robin lament that she can’t be with the gang cause of Tracey. The implications to that one line are just awful!

    And Ted just told his kids he’d tell them the story of THEIR DEAD MOTHER only to NOT tell them that story, but rather to tell them he feels like he was meant to be with Robin. That’s… actually kind of a traumatic way to tell children that. The kids look about 14 meaning they knew their Mother at least 8 years, enough to have still miss her deeply. They might have wanted to actually have heard about HER. But whatever, Ted this was all about you…

    • YES!!!!!! I actually was thinking yesterday about all the ways this could have ended better and I thought of barney bumping into Quinn, but then I was like Nora! Yes, Nora! It would have been awkward to start, but they could have made it work. And in the end, hey it would have been something better. But yes, this entire ending was them trying to force the clock back on everyone.

      • My thoughts exactly! I was actually just telling someone earlier about how the Nora idea could work out so much better than what they did. I’ve seemed to notice that the fans of the show took a liking to Nora, the only reason some didn’t is because a) they found her nurturing demeanor a little too perfect, or b) they wanted Robin to be with Barney. Since C&C wouldn’t let Robin and Barney work, they may as well have fixed him up with someone who was sweet and cared for him more than any other woman on the show.

        They could have had Barney lamenting the fact that he lost Robin and can’t really bring himself to fill the void with meaningless relationships and he just decides to act like a regular guy without the facade (I would LOVE getting a glimpse at the Barney beneath the face he puts on) and when he’s being himself he meets Nora again and they can have a one night stand for old time sake, because both have felt deeply for each other and their relationship ended with little resolution. A few months later, Nora tells Barney that she’s pregnant which would scare Barney. She would be worried that he’ll feel obligated to stay when he doesn’t want to but tells him that she understands and is prepared to raise his baby on her own, but thought he deserved to know. Of course Barney would be decide that he loves Nora and would see her through. Inwardly, Barney doubts that he would be a good parent and husband because of his past even though he wants very badly to be right for Nora and the baby, that is until he sees baby Ellie and realizes that a life with a woman he genuinely loves and a daughter make him ultimately far more happy than endless conquests. I think this ultimately accomplishes the same sentiment that the baby ending had for Barney, WITHOUT turning him into season 1 Barney just for the sake of making #31 a stupid “mystery” that no one cares about.

  9. great post and some great replies. I wanted Ted to end up with Tracy. That would have been the happy ever after that Ted deserved. Robin and Ted never worked for me, I’m not sure why anyone loved that pairing. All Robin did was hurt Ted and break his heart over and over. She only wanted him when she couldn’t have him.
    And I don’t want my sitcoms mirroring real life. I want the happy ending. Real life sucks already without being reminded of it by a sitcom.

    • So, living 15 years and two kids with the dream girl of your life is “not ending up” with her? People are really negative and callous this days.

      • I am not mad Tracy died or even that Ted ended up with Robin. It was the way it was presented, that made me angry. The plot they squished into 40 minutes, should have been the 9th season. More time with Tracy, more time explaining why Robin and Barney didnt work out, more time with Ellie and so on… Creators knew this was final season, why they wasted 20+ episodes on wedding they knew it wouldnt last? Why they spent better part of season 8 with Barneys change? They should have focused on main storyline, preparing people on what is about to come. And not throw it at them, like last two seasons didnt mean anything.

  10. I really didn’t care so much for Robin and Barney’s failed marriage, in fact, I didn’t much care for that story at all because I felt the show focused too much on that in the last 3 seasons and not so much Ted. I admit the ending made sense as to why the focus now, but that doesn’t mean I still didn’t like it. I really was into the show to find out how this great love story would play out, because HIMYM gave to the fans something most of us want for our own lives: hope that true love comes in time. No matter how heartbreaking, long, and lonely the road to the love of your life is, losing hope should never be an option. Every episode I felt Ted’s heartbreak, I smiled knowing the perfect one for him is coming, and he has no idea. I personally connected emotionally with the show. What I wanted to see in the finale was not only for Ted to meet the love of his life, but I wanted to see true love last. Kill the mother, okay, but in old age when they lived a full life together, not after 15 years and technically less than ten years of marriage. Then to put salt on the wound, bring him back together with the one girl who ALWAYS took him for granted? In bringing Ted and Robin together in the end, this wasn’t Ted’s true love story, then, it’s Robin’s, and that hurts me as a fan who rooted for Ted since I started watching 5 years ago. I know it makes me sound like a total girl, but really, I wanted to see true love prevail, but what the finale taught me is “Eh…life happens, true love happens, then it goes…and you move on.” If the show was going to end Ted up with Robin, then they shouldn’t have built up the mother, making us fall in love with her too because she is TRULY Ted’s perfect match. She is the mother yes, but they didn’t have to build her up as the love of his life, then. And honestly, can’t be hopeful for Ted and Robin, because if Barney couldn’t handle Robin’s career just him, how so Ted with his two still minor kids? And now Robin has to live with being with a man whose previous wife was the perfect woman and is now just settling with her. Yeah, nothing heart-wrenching about that. Oh well…

  11. Actually, I think the FINALE was really really GOOD!

    It just showed how life really is – someone you wait for your whole life shows up and dies…or you split up with him/her…or he/she never shows up at all…
    It is _exactly_ what happens in life for God’s sake! The life, real life, is not about people changing, it is not about happines lasting forever. These things happen only in fairy tales.
    Lets be honest, sometimes you stop to think and suddently realize that you actually are at the same place you were 10 years ago, dont you?

    So I believe as much as cynical the end could seem to viewers, it was the best they could have done. Real life is funny, crazy and cynical and sad. It is up to people living it to make it romantic. Romantic situations and romantic life do not happen by themselves, you have make it romantic, create romantic situations with those you love and try to get as much as possible out of it – while it lasts. I believe that if you think about your lives, you probably see my point. And Ted was trying, oh god how much was he trying! Remember Stella and their 2 minute date? This is what the REAL LIFE and this whole show is actually about – IT DOES NOT MATTER who stays with who, who dies and who lives on, if the people still meet after years or not. WHAT MATTERS, is what all you have lived through together and IF YOU REMEMBER IT. Because it is what your lives consist of.

  12. Pingback: How I Met Your Mother Finale – Do You Trust An Official Alternate Ending? | The Insightful Panda

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