How I Met Your Mother has one of the most controversial endings of all time, and for some fans, it almost ruins the show as a whole.
The first two episodes of the show’s spin-off, How I Met Your Father, have just been released the US, and while the UK still have a bit of a wait for a release date, quite a few people are already feeling nostalgic for the old series and cast.
The new series stars Hilary Duff as the protagonist, as she tells her son the story of how she… well, you get the idea.
The Lizzie McGuire star plays Sophie, who leads the cast as they try to make sense of the modern dating scene in New York, complete with apps and hook-ups galore.
But while the spin-off follows How I Met Your Mother’s unique way of telling the story – with flashbacks and time jumps – and has the same solid premise of young people trying to make it in New York City, fans are hoping the writers don’t mess with our heads as much this time around.
Ask any How I Met Your Mother fan what they thought about the show’s contentious ending, and most will give an exasperated sigh, or say a word that we can’t really print here – while others (they’re fewer, but they do exist), will say they loved it.
So, what happened at the end of How I Met Your Mother and why does the conclusion continue to spark controversy?
How did How I Met Your Mother end?
Strap yourselves in folks – it’s a wild one.
The final season of How I Met Your Mother is all played out over three days – the weekend of Robin and Barney’s wedding.
Then, the final episode – a two-parter – spans over the years following, leading up to future Ted saying those fateful words to his children: ‘And that’s how I met your mother.’
Ted and Tracy meet at a train station in Farhampton just after the wedding, both sheltering under the iconic yellow umbrella and pretty much falling instantly in love.
That sounds nice, right? Well, not exactly.
After an entire season based around Robin and Barney and the upcoming wedding, and a full nine seasons leading up to the moment Ted meets Tracy, the children’s mother, the final episode pretty much negates everything.
Within 10 minutes of the final episode, Robin and Barney reveal they got divorced.
And then, in the last 10 minutes of the final episode, Ted reveals to the audience that Tracy died some years before – of some random unnamed illness.
The children – who have sat through nine years of Ted telling them how he met their mother – then tell Ted the story wasn’t about their mother at all, as it’s how he ‘has the hots for Aunt Robin’.
They give him their blessing to tell Robin how he feels, because their mother has been dead for years (poor Tracy) and encourage him to call her up and ask her out.
But Ted, being Ted, takes it further. He goes to Robin’s apartment, where she lives alone but for her multitude of pet dogs, and stands outside, holding up the blue french horn he stole for her all the way back in the first episode.
And then, just like that, the series ends: Ted and Robin end up back together. After all of that.
Why was the How I Met Your Mother ending so controversial?
It’s not hard to see why the ending of How I Met Your Mother causes such debate, but any excuse for us to have a bit of a rant about it.
Fans were hugely frustrated by how the writers, Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, dragged out the final series over three days, with 22 episodes dedicated to Robin and Barney getting married, just to rush massive, devastating plot twists in the finale.
The writers have previously said this was always how How I Met Your Mother was going to end, with Ted standing outside Robin’s flat with the blue french horn, decades after they had last dated, and years after the children’s mother passed away.
Which is all well and good, as even the most rage-filled HIMYM fan should be able to admit that it is a beautiful scene that brings things completely full circle.
The issue is that the show went on too long for this to be a happy ending – Robin and Barney had gone through hell on earth and an insane amount of ups-and-downs to finally make it down the aisle, only to almost casually announce they were divorced minutes into the final episode.
Plus, viewers had waited nine seasons – nine seasons º for Ted to finally meet Tracy, and the moment they met was, genuinely, wonderful… only for Ted to say seconds later, ‘and then she got sick’ – cue a shot of Tracy in a hospital bed.
They killed off the titular character in a matter of seconds, without even naming the disease she died from – what?!
Sure, throughout the season, thanks to the narrative being able to jump forwards and backwards, we got to catch tiny glimpses of Tracy and Ted’s married life, but for many fans that somehow made it worse, as Cristin Milioti was instantly loved by viewers before she was ripped away.
The How I Met Your Mother fandom was in an actual crisis the day the finale aired, and even now, seven years later, it doesn’t take much for fans to get riled up about it.
Some life-long viewers have said they even find it hard to even go back and watch old episodes, saying they feel cheated by the finale.
Others refuse to watch the finale at all, while more simply pretend the final 10 minutes just didn’t happen, turning it off after Ted and Tracey meet under the yellow umbrella.
Then again, over time, other viewers have begun to appreciate the ending and have admitted that yes, it does make sense in a weird way, and that final shot is beautiful.
But on the other hand – come on.
Credit: Original article published here.