How I Met Your Mother Finale Proves Even The Writers Hated The Show

Robin and Barney How I Met Your Mother GIF HIMYM(via)

I’m not even gonna lie to you guys. I love to say ’I told you so’. I love it a lot, which is why I was one of the only people on planet earth to be satisfied with last night’s How I Met Your Mother series finale.

You guys were mad at me for being pessimistic and saying the finale would be a disappointment, but I just had a feeling that after nine years of dilly-dallying and blue-balling and just general time-wasting, that they wouldn’t be able to resist the urge to leave us hanging. But that’s the part I was wrong about, because it was exactly the opposite. It was like the creators started a stopwatch at 8:00 last night and gave themselves forty-two minutes without commercials to bail on every single aspect of the show. And guess what? They succeeded.

Spoilers ahead, obviously.

Barney fake shooting himself in the head on How I met Your Mother GIF HIMYM(via)

After spending a full six episodes on Robin and Barney’s wedding, we began last night’s episode there yet again, with worst-wedding-guest-ever Ted Mosby trying to leave his best friends’ wedding early because he has to move to Chicago the next day. The marriage of not one of his best friends, but two — Ted must leave that early, because he is the worst and doesn’t deserve to be rewarded with love in any way.

Episode ends, crowd goes wild.

Okay no, that didn’t happen. Ted met The Mother while waiting in the rain for his train, and we finally learn her name — Tracy McConnell. Oh my god, so you mean to tell me that Ted Mosby, The Mother, and Tracy McConnell all have the same initials? What fun. But don’t get too invested in that moment of cleverness, because it’s the last time you’re gonna see the writers invested for the rest of the episode.

No sooner have we finished spending lit’rally six hours obsessing over the minutiae of ONE DAY of everyone’s lives, then we leap right into the format of the finale, which is to cram about ten years? More? I couldn’t even keep track, it got so Looper up in here. But you were pretty invested in Barney and Robin as a couple, right? We all spent a lot of time on that together, right? Well don’t worry, we only spend about thirty seconds on their divorce after three years of marriage. The information is literally delivered in a single sentence to ‘the gang’, and then we’re off again!

Robin and Ted saying Awww man GIF(via)

Because still in this episode, we have to pop out two Ted/Tracy offspring, one Marshall/Lily offspring, a fucking Barney Stinson offspring, sneak in a second proposal, the dissolution of a friendship, a second proposal, a wedding, and OH YEAH THE DEATH OF THE PERSON THIS SHOW WAS PRESUMABLY ABOUT THIS WHOLE TIME. I hope you were up-to-date on your internet conspiracy theories (this is why Cristin Milliotti couldn’t deny any of them!) and that you’d worked through some of your emotions in real life, because you get about ninety seconds of mourning between seeing The Mother get sick and her just vaguely being dead but no one ever saying so. Not even a funeral for the series’ only eponymous character. Not even a tasteful graveyard shot or a single glistening tear.

Neil Patrick Harris as Barney Stinson saying what on HIMYM GIF


We just don’t have time, you see! Because there are only a few minutes left of the episode, and if Ted’s kids really want him to get together with Aunt Robin, then we have to hurry! That’s right, Ted’s kids are totally over the incredibly premature death of their mother and ready to start matchmaking their father with a family friend. Purely based on the amusing anecdotes he just shared with them over the past NINE SEASONS.

“It was like six years ago, Dad! We barely remember her name! Grab your blue French horn and go get your dick wet with new-haircut-Robin! It’s what we wanted all along!”

Honestly, these kids are automatons, and so are the writers if they think we can calmly swallow this many upheavals in an hour-long episode after literally nine years of laying track in the opposite direction. What a roller coaster of contradiction and frustration.

I told you so.

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    • Kaitlin Reilly

      I can’t believe they went there. The mother-being-dead-thing could have been interesting and sweet-in-a-sad way, but the Robin/Barney divorce was SO unnecessary… pick a side, writers.

      • JJ

        I agree. If could have gone with the mother passing away thing (since it does happen in real life to couples sometimes) if they hadn’t used it as an excuse or a bridge for the terrible pair up of Robin and Ted once again. Its like the writers were in the room together and said, “hey how can we get Ted and Robin together? I know lets just kill the mother off completely, screw her. so Ted can get his true on again off again love Robin”.

    • Coco

      I actually liked the finale despite it leaving me emotionally compromised and depressed all night.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        I didn’t mind it until the last five minutes, when I realized they were gonna cram in yet another major reveal.

    • guest

      I have been waiting for this article all morning!!!!!!!! Well, not quite BUUUUUUUT: What the H*LL HIMYM?? You make us sit through a whole season of Barney and Robin’s wedding and then….. they divorce, just like that. And the Mother dies, just like that. Marshall and Lily are back from Italy. Marshall becomes a judge….. It all happened so fast!!!

      They had enough material to get rid of all the “fluffy” episodes this season and stretch out the material in the last hour. I would’ve LOVED to see an episode centered around Barney becoming a father… or Marshall becoming a judge…. or the Mother and Ted being happy and in love and planning a wedding only to have her be pregnant. SIGH.

      I think I would’ve been okay with the ending more if they would’ve spent more time on the future in more episodes. I like the idea that you don’t have to have just one soulmate. There are other types of relationships that aren’t Lily and Marshall and those are good too. You don’t have to meet the one and then everything is perfect. But they executed it SO poorly.

      I think it is going to be a while before I rewatch the series- give myself some distance…

      • Kaitlin Reilly

        I know, right? We watched a billion episodes of Barney/Robin’s wedding… and then they break up. So disappointing.

      • guest

        I know! They made us invest in this relationship, to destroy it in no time.

        Also I feel that Bob Saget got the shaft… poor guys been narrating the whole series, and he didn’t get to narrate the finale episode. He didn’t even get a cameo!!

      • Kaitlin Reilly

        How funny would it be to see Bob Saget trying to woo an older adult Robin?

      • guest

        HAH!! Now there’s an ending I could get behind. ;)

        Maybe that would make up for the awful wig they had her wear…

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        I know! They really sold short some of those powerful moments in order to diddle us around all season! What a whirlwind of plot.

    • Jessieface

      DUDE! My BF LOVES this show…and I have hated it for the entire 2 years we have been together. I was so ready to gloat last night at how terrible the ending was (bc I KNEW the mother was going to be dead) but even I couldn’t have predicted what hog wash was afoot. I couldn’t even gloat because I was so PISSED at what a cop out it was, how betrayed I felt for my BF, and how shafted The Mother got. UGH. This morning I feel satisfaction in vindication, but still – THE WORST. I waited all morning for your recap. Thank you.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        You’re so welcome! That makes me feel so great! Just call me the Dowager Countess, because I love to be waited on.

    • Jas

      Since the writers already had this ending/the kids scenes filmed since pretty much the beginning, I see why they had to do what they did to the Barney & Robin relationship and the Ted & Tracy relationship, but it definitely should not have been crammed into a 42 minute episode. I think Barney & Robin needed to get married to realize what they truly wanted and who they truly were. The kids summed it up that the point of the show all along was for him to be with Robin (which I understand would be annoying to some people b/c I don’t think a majority of people were expecting that; i’m half mehh, half yay but overall completely fine with the finale despite how rushed it was), so it seems the writers have been Team Ted & Robin from the get-go. From 2013-2030 there were a lot of ‘big moments’ within the gang that, I agree with the poster below, they could have used as arcs to focus on the last season because that would have been in line with the spirit and format of the show. The wedding weekend was a complete drag. I’m torn over the mother because I loved her and obviously would have enjoyed if they used her more and showed more scenes with her and Ted, but also I feel like if we had gotten to know the mother more, viewers/fans would be even more upset over the ending because they would have gotten too attached.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        It’s not like they even killed her off though, she just vanished into the ether. As if we’d be okay with it if we never got closure.

    • The Redhead

      I am ok with The Mother being dead. But there was this HUGE build-up to meeting her and then their story was given about 4 minutes of screen time… ugh! Not to mention the kids reaction was weird, and Robin was completely un-likable.
      I think the premise was clever, but the execution was so rushed that it left you angry. So much wasted time on the Barney/Robin wedding thing this year. There was plenty of time to go into the other stories. If they had done the flash forward in the 2nd to last episode, then dedicated the entire finale to The Mother, I think it would have fallen into place better. Unfortunately, they filmed the final scenes with the kids 10 years ago, and weren’t left with much to work with. A more extensive conversation with the children would have tied up the loose ends nicely and not left you with that yucky feeling.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Totally agreed!

      • Lian

        Yeah, they completely glossed over the grief of losing your spouse when you have two young children… After the build-up they should have given a bit more time to the mother dying. I actually thought she was dead, but when it was 7:50 I thought “Guess I was wrong! The episode is wrapping up” and then boom, mother was sick, now go bang Robin… It was just too little time for that whiplash.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Way too fast of a turnaround.

      • JJ

        Ugh I know. I would have liked to have seen some touching scenes of newly widowed Ted with his little kids comforting them and the gang being there for them. I feel like they barely touched upon Ted’s loss of his wife and the mother of his children. It was like Tracey was there and then she got sick and was gone but hey back to Robin kids! But nope lets just completely skip these sad but sweet moments for more Ted and Robin shenanigans.

    • Haley Keller

      It’s not that I expected the finale to be perfect. I was completely ready for there to be problems, but I never in a million years thought they would screw up as badly as they did. Honestly, I could have lived with everything in the finale (although not have been to happy about it) up until Robin and Ted at the end. That just sent it over the top on the horribleness scale for me.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Yeah, I feel the same way. Was fine with everything until the complete reversal of the last few minutes.

    • Bad Dad

      I never saw an episode of the show. Sounds like I win!

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Yeah, you’re definitely the champion this time around.

    • Lou

      And sometimes you just get to bask in the warm glow of knowing that a show sucked the whole time, and I spent my life in more fruitful ways with other quality programs. :)

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        My face feels like it’s been rubbed in something.

    • EmmaFromÉire

      Am I the only one who loved it?

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        I have a friend who liked it, but you’re the first person I’ve seen use the word ‘love’.

      • val97

        I did too. I keep reading all of the hate blogs, but my mind is not changing. I thought it was great.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        That’s totally fair!

      • ShanLea

        I actually liked it a lot, although I do agree that it felt a little rush-rush with everyone’s wrap-up. I’m even on board with the Ted/Robin ending. The part I loved the most though was Barney meeting his baby-that’s when the waterworks started for me!! ALL the Emmys for NPH!!!!

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Yeah, Barney meeting his baby was great. Wish it had been more than thirty seconds.

      • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

        Yeah, and I get that it’s Barney, but couldn’t it have been a baby with someone he actually gave the tiniest shit about? Argh.

      • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

        I read some critic today that did

        I hated it, but that article was well written and made me more accept it. But still…I can’t get behind it all the way.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Oh interesting. Thanks for sharing!

    • AmazingE

      I’ve never been more enraged by a shows end. Even the Dexter finale was better than this. Not by much, but at least I didn’t break anything at the end of that one.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Oh no, what did you break??

      • AmazingE

        My favorite coffee cup. I hurled it at my tv and missed.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Oh nooo! They’ve already taken so much from you!

      • AmazingE

        Right? At least I’m only out a cup, instead of a cup and a really sweet tv.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        A rare situation where it’s good to have poor aim.

      • The Redhead

        Maybe The Mother isn’t really dead… maybe she is just a Lumberjack?

      • AmazingE

        Now that I would buy because Ted is just the worst.

    • JJ

      They should have just renamed the show “How I Met Your Mother And Got Her Knocked Up Twice So I Could Have The Kids I Always Wanted While Still Getting Together With Robin In the End”. Also known as a big f*** you to the viewers who watched the show for seasons and looked forward to seeing Ted And Tracey’s journey together in the finale but all we got was a few small scenes with her and lots of big scenes where everyone talked about Robin, Robin and more Robin. We get it writers its all about Robin.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Yes, it’s lucky Ted met that child-hatchery so he was all kidded up and ready for Robin by the time she came around.

    • Nbl

      You know what? I’m NOT happy they killed the mother. Everyone saying “it’s realistic” yea, no. The show is not realistic. You had Ted who was unemployed at the time, and Marshell, a law student somehow paying rent in a pretty nice apart in NYC? Barney sleeping with that many women without contracting a STD? Here’s the deal, I watch the big three tumblr fandoms; Supernatural, Doctor Who and Sherlock. All of which tear my beating heart out of my chest and proceed to hat dance around it while I watch. As much as I would love a happy ending with those I know that if it did happen, it would feel false and leave me incredible disappointed in the show. Shows like HIMYM are my happy place, where the world can have a happy ending and it feels right. Are there going to be sad episodes? Of course, I bawled when Marshell’s dad died but that doesn’t mean it can’t have an ending that’s satifsfying without you know, a major death. Emotional crisis isn’t the only character building device. And even if the ending was predictable, that doesn’t mean it can’t have a great impact. Look at Friends. You knew Ross and Rachel were going to end up together but it didn’t make the finale less emotional. As for Robin and Ted ending up together (grinding my teeth as I write that), if that was the writers end game all along, then why spend so much time showing us how they are wrong for each other? I would have accepted it if they hinted at it but their dynamic was so much better as friends than as a couple. I have much more to say but I’m on an iPad and my finger is starting to hurt.

      • AmazingE

        *slow clap* I was tempted to create a hundred new accounts so I could upvote this a hundred more times, but my finger hurts too. Guess I should probably stop flipping off my tv now.

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    • Holy cra

      Hahaha it’s really funny how pathetic some people are. It’s youropinion, I loved it, I really did ;) and I’m definitely not the only one. I won’t start taking about how ithe finale just makes sooo much sense and that everybody who doesn’t get it should rewatch the whole show…but saying that EVERYBODY hates it? Come on…thewriters hated it, the actors hated it everybody hated the crappy finale and the title was so wrong…blablabla. It’s really pathetic. If you don’t like it, your problem. But please stop going crazy. As i said use your time on rewatching the show, then you probably would not feel the need to write all this angry little text, because you would finally GET the show.

    • Jenny

      You know, I understand why a lot of people absolutely loathed the finale, even if I think people are overreacting (I shipped Barney and Robin more than Ted and Robin, so I’d know :P) but I just think that a lot of people didn’t get the point of the show. The problem wasn’t that Robin ended up with Ted. The problem was that it was too rushed, and there were very few Ted-Tracy moments, which made a lot of viewers feel like Robin was actually The One (if in some universe, we had to chose ‘The One’, it would definitely be Tracy for Ted and Robin for Barney, but, like I said, that was not the point – or rather, the point as I understood it). But apart from that, here’s an article that totally resonated with what I felt about the finale and put my thoughts into words. The point was that Ted got over his whole romantic soulmate schtick, which I didn’t think was put forward very well by the writers, due to the cramming of everything in the finale, but I am totally on board with the story (only after a lot of thinking, though – I realllyyy loved Barney and Robin).

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