The How I Met Your Mother Series Finale: Share Your Thoughts and Grade It! [UPDATED]

How I Met Your Mother Series FinaleMajor spoiler alert! If you have yet to watch Monday’s series finale of How I Met Your Mother, avert your eyes now. Everyone else, read on…

Ted’s journey came to a close on Monday as How I Met Your Mother finally unveiled how the bachelor met his children’s mama and (finally!) revealed her name. (It’s been nice getting to know you, Tracy Mosby.)

PHOTOS | HIMYM Series Finale: The Big Mother Reveal and 15 More Memorable Moments

But that was just the tip of the iceberg. Hopping around in time between 2013 and 2030, the series finale offered an emotional and funny — but not particularly surprising — glimpse at the gang’s future. Let’s start at the beginning…

SEPTEMBER 2005 | Kicking things off with what could have been a scene from early Season 1, Lily inducts Robin into the gang. She wants to keep the gal a part of their lives forever, so she forbids Barney and Ted from banging her – unless they marry her.

MAY 2013 | Ted’s ready to go “onwards and upwards” when he spots the pretty bassist at Barney and Robin’s wedding. The newly married groom wants to play a game of “Have you met Ted?” with them, but Ted is about to leave. The gang makes its way outside to say goodbye, and Alyson Hannigan delivers what will be the first of her many impressive waterworks during the hour. (At least Ted’s strange, E.T. goodbye with Lily makes things easier to bear.) “It helped that that was really creepy,” she says. “I don’t want to see you for a while.” But a mere 24 hours later, she and Marshall run into Ted at MacLaren’s. That whole moving to Chicago thing? Forget it! He’s got a date with the cute bassist. Marshall’s worried about Ted falling in love and getting his heart broken again, but Lily can sense that this time is different. (By the way, Ted’s wounded hand at the train station? That came from the ultimate farewell high five with Barney.)

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2015 | Ted and The Mother are planning their grand wedding when she reveals that getting hitched in September may prove problematic. You see, she wants to be able to fit into her dress… and the baby growing in her belly will soon make that impossible. Meanwhile, another couple isn’t doing quite as well. Robin’s travel-heavy work schedule has taken its toll on her marriage to Barney. While they’re in Argentina, she ends up offering him an exit at the three-year ramp; he takes it, recalling that he promised to always tell her the truth.

2016 | A preggers Lily and Marshall decide to move to a bigger place as the cockamouse makes one final appearance. Robin shows up at their Halloween/goodbye-apartment party, where Barney is back to his old ways and Ted is still wearing his hanging chad outfit. When Lily gets upset that the gang is falling apart, Robin points out that the gang is now a married couple she never sees, her ex-husband scamming on chicks, the guy she probably should have ended up with and the beautiful mother of his child. “We’ll always be friends. It’s just never going to be like how it was,” she adds.

2018 | Marshall becomes a judge! Barney argues that “if it wasn’t going to happen with Robin, then it’s just not going to happen with anybody,” so Judge Fudge rules that he is allowed to be his womanizing self.

2019 | At a robots-vs.-wrestlers match, Marshall asks Ted and The Mother if they’re ever going to get married or just continue living in sin — potentially opening the door for more Ted-and-Robin drama. Later, Barney shows up and reveals that his quest for the perfect month led to an unexpected surprise: No. 31 – “That’s a pretty name. Is that French?” The Mother asks – is pregnant! (How this didn’t happen sooner, I’ll never know.)

2020 | Barney welcomes a baby girl named Ellie, and while he’s hesitant at first, he quickly falls for her charms. “You are the love of my life. Everything I have and everything I am is yours. Forever,” he tells his newborn daughter. (Neil Patrick Harris in this scene = so good.) Meanwhile, Ted decides to finally make the mother of his children an honest woman. “Will you marry me” – she interrupts again with a chorus of “yeses” – “on Thursday?” he finishes. Guess who shows up for the big moment? At The Mother’s urging, it’s Robin — and the couple does actually get hitched. Phew! It only took seven years. But as Lily starts toasting Ted’s “emotional endurance” and Future Ted says, “If I hadn’t gone through hell to get there, the lesson might not have been as clear,” you know where this is going.

The lesson: to love as fiercely as he could and to love through all the highs and lows, which is what he does when The Mother got sick. And to be brave, or he wouldn’t have had the courage to stand up and talk to her at the train station, where they have a meet-cute about who the umbrella really belongs to. As it turns out, the initials on it could belong to either one of them because theirs are both T.M.

But wait, the kids cut in, this story isn’t about how Ted met their mother. She’s barely in it, they argue. This whole thing is really about how Ted’s in love with Aunt Robin, and he wants their OK to ask her out. Mom’s been gone six years, so Penny and Luke are totally cool with their father moving on. The final image: Ted shows up outside Robin’s apartment with the blue french horn. (Not sure how they’re going to make her job and a relationship work when she and Barney couldn’t do it sans kids, but there you have it.)

Whether you loved it or hated it or something in between, the fact that Lyndsy Fonseca and David Henri filmed that sequence years ago – and signed one heck of a non-disclosure agreement – does prove that Ted and Robin have been in the cards since the beginning. But does that sort of make the titular Mother an afterthought? Or do you feel like their love story was deep and real, too?

Grade the series ender via the poll below, then hit the comments to back up your pick!

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Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. They had been building to that ending for the past 2 years. It was obvious, but perfect! Ted and Robin belonged together; Robin just needed a little time to realize that.
    I thought the entire episode was perfect! Everything they promised and more.
    I’m really going to miss this show!
    And I won a bet: Her name was TRACY!!

  2. GuessWhat says:

    I graded it a D.
    I enjoyed this show for 9 seasons — but honestly, it should have ended 2 or 3 seasons ago.
    Might as well RE-TITLE the show more accurately for the DVD box set.

  3. Kre says:

    Worst possible ending, well for me. Barney and Robin get a divorce, the mother dies, and Ted and Robin end up together. That episode was just depressing.

    All in all I’ve been a fan of this show since the pilot episode, through the good and bad its always been one of my favorite shows and I will sincerely miss it. It’s been a good nine years HIMYM. So one last….

  4. HDH68 says:

    Hated it! Total cop out!

  5. Cop-out.

    A big, fat, unwitty cop-out.

    I feel betrayed. I feel very angry. I feel like they had nine seasons to do so many things, they took the story so many different ways, they ushered in a new way of making a multi-camera sitcom… and they ended on the sourest, bluntest, most disappointing of notes.

    Maybe that’s why the Mother (sorry, “Tracy McDowell”) wasn’t shown as much – this was never about her. I was half surprised they didn’t interject the last title card with a sign pointing to “STEP-” before “mother”.

    • Ashley says:

      I hadn’t thought of that, but you’re right…re-titling it that way would have been more appropriate, since it was really all about Robin. :(

  6. SLB118 says:

    The only thing I can say is the HIMYM finale is comparable to Dexter’s finale… both so horribly disappointing!!!

  7. While I don’t watch the show, I don’t think the negative fan reaction here bolds well for CBS’ How I Met Your Father spinoff show.

    • toni says:

      So, the whole wedding weekend season was a red herring from the start because it has always been Ted and Robin? Honestly, a waste of nine years for me. I will let all my friends currently binge watching that they don’t need to. Terrible finale.

    • I know I won’t be tuning into it, that’s for darn sure.

  8. Greg says:

    So the show really should have been, your mother was an afterthought since I never grew up and now I want to marry my best friends ex wife. Wow, I actually feel terrible about watching this show, it is almost as bad as how I felt finishing the book Mystic River.

  9. Ange says:

    I am disappointed. The only thing I liked about the finale were Barney’s words to his daughter. Everything else was predicted by people over the past few months/weeks

  10. Ray says:

    Absolute disaster. The show built the final season around a marriage that they threw away 10 minutes into the episode. Then Barney had a child out of wedlock. Then Ted who was obsessed with finding a wife and getting married for the whole run of the show doesn’t marry the mother for SEVEN YEARS! Has both of those children out of wedlock for no real reason when they could have gotten married long before that. And then the children’s reaction to the story was, “who cares about our dead mom, hook up with Aunt Robin”. Just unbelievable bad. The only thing that was redeeming about it was how good Alyson Hannigan was. Just a total fail. Why did the show spend all this time trying to make us buy into Barney and Robin as a couple just to throw it away so quickly?

    • Ashley says:

      I agree, the kids’ apathetic attitude was disappointing. It also made absolutely no sense as to why Ted took so long to marry the mother. Really felt like the finale did an about-face with several important details built up during the past 9 seasons.

    • fiona says:

      oh come on did you not notice the mom has been dead for 6 years. its not like he jumped at it right after she died. gosh stop being baby all of you

    • daisy says:

      yeah in real life, it can happen, spouses re marrying. in case you havent noticed…

  11. Karen says:

    The moment Robin looked longingly at Ted at the Halloween/Goodbye apartment party, I knew exactly what the ending was. This might not make me very popular, but as much as I enjoyed Barney and Robin together, I did always much prefer Ted and Robin together. But still really sad that the mother… eh, sorry, Tracy died. Josh Radnor and Christin Miloti have serious chemistry (get together already, you crazy kids). But the story actually makes sense. Though I would have loved it ending on a group shot, it was a really full circle moment. Loved it. Thanks for 9 great years, HIMYM.

  12. Amber says:

    I only watched the past several seasons for Barney and Robin. Thank you, for taking all those years and putting it down the drain. I don’t think I can rewatch this show for a while.

    • Patrick says:

      Why? Their coupling was little more than the staff bowing to fan pressure. They were too much alike. Both were extremely selfish and unwilling to do ANY of the work to make a relationship last. I never got them as a couple. Ever. Even a little.

      He would have eventually cheated on her. A lot. Like, a circus amount of times. And I doubt she would have noticed or cared because she was so busy.

      • Hmm. says:

        I disagree. I think they did a great job “growing” Barney enough to make it believable that he loved Robin. I honestly think that the real fan service happened tonight by throwing Ted and Robin together at the end.

        • wingsstef says:

          Well, the end was supposedly filmed during the second season.

        • C says:

          Fan service throwing Ted&Robin together at the end? The filmed the final scene when the show started! The kids are still the same age as they were in the pilot, if you didn’t notice. This was always the plan.

      • wingsstef says:

        Plus the show is about Ted, not Barney. I mean I like Barney, but he’s not the lead. I don’t think Barney cheated on Robin, but he probably was tempted and that’s why he took that out. That would be the respectful thing to do. Divorce sucks, but a lying husband that cheats on you but pretends everything is fine is even worse. I do feel for the fans that are hurt about Robin & Barney though. Still if I quit watching all the shows I watch where a couple I like broke up, well, I would miss out on some good stuff, but to each their own.

  13. Rebecca Parker says:

    What a disappointment. Just because they knew how they wanted it to end in Season 1 doesn’t mean that will work Season 9. And it didn’t. I’ve always loved Ted & Robin together, but they haven’t felt like an organic coupling in YEARS. It didn’t work having them back together, especially after this season. Tracy/Cristin Milioti was amazing, and to have her story sidelined – what was the point of even HAVING a mother? This just infuriates me. You have a whole season focused on a wedding only to have the couple divorce five minutes later – WHAT WAS THE POINT. Such a bunch of BS.

    • John NYC says:

      An author once was quoted as hating when people gushed a certain short story (Nightfall) was his best, since it was the first he had published….meaning he hadn’t grown and improved at all over his years? Staying locked into that ending over eight years of changes feels that way to me. They should have had the courage to acknowledge they’d gone somewhere else than where they’d planned NINE years in the past.

  14. Sarah says:

    So upset and can’t put into words how disappointed I am. This ruined the whole series for me.

  15. Sara says:

    Man am I glad I stopped watching like 2 seasons ago. I stopped watching because I can’t stand Ted. And I’m 10x more glad now, knowing he and Robin end up together because now I know I will never finish watching. Ted and Robin aren’t meant for each other, in any sort of way. Robin and Barney might not have been either and that’s fine in the end but ugh ANYBODY but Ted and Robin.

    • Piet says:

      You should really rethink your entire life if you don’t like Ted. For real, I am not kidding. I have never ever seen suchba likeable character in my entire life.

      • Britt says:

        A lot of people didn’t like him. So weird when people assume everyone likes what they do. It was a bad finale and I’m not investing in the spin off after that.

        • My whole problem with Ted since Season 1 – is that he would always go after ladies knowing full well that he was in love with Robin. I always put myself in the spot of the ‘other ladies’, so I thought he was a giant DB!

  16. colin123mc says:

    I feel like this was a cop out. There were people who predicted this ending three episodes into the shows run. Couldn’t ted just meet the mother and be happy? I’m so disappointed, not what I wanted this finale to be.

  17. michelle says:

    Ted/Robin was endgame from the get go. I loved the mother and wish she was in the show more than she was. However, I liked the finale. SO happy it ended with Ted and Robin.

  18. A says:

    Not enough words to say how upset I am. I’ve feared this since the “45 days” speech, but now I’m livid.

  19. Viv says:

    Nine seasons! Nine seasons about how he met the mother and at the end she is dead? And he ends up with Robin? And I don´t think I would have had a problem with this ending if they hadn´t spend the WHOLE LAST SEASON (!) on this wedding weekend. We spend nine season learning about this mother and how she is his soul mate and everything… and she dies?Oh and congrats to all those who guessed it right…

  20. stacey says:

    Hated the ending. We find out something we all predicted years ago! It feels like the mother was just a throwaway.They spent years telling us that Robin didn’t truly love Ted and now he ends up with her?.

  21. Patrick says:

    People saw in Barney/Robin what they wanted to see. She was a self obsessed career woman who was never willing to make any concessions or compromises. Barney was a womanizing selfish D-Bag. They are both good people, but they lack the commitment and resolve to stick with each other. Robin needed a guy who was willing to compromise and do whatever it took to be with her. And that wasn’t Barney. Throughout the show, as soon as anything got tough, he bailed. Ditto Robin.

    Plus, I like a world where Barney is still running game. And that he his a great Dad.

    I think we forgot that Ted and Tracey weren’t the great loves of each other’s lives. Ted’s was Robin, only she didn’t realize it. Tracey’s was the BF who died, putting her into emotional deep freeze for years. Ted and Tracey loved each other, they loved their kids, and they loved their lives together. But they weren’t the great romantic passions of each other’s lives. Tracey’s death ultimately reunited her with her great love, and it cleared the way for Ted to do the same.

    I know it wasn’t real, but Ted and Robin fell head over heels, love you for ever and ever, madly passionately in LOVE during the pilot. Ted said I love you (apprx), and Robin panicked. She feared settling down, and let that ruin their love. Barney was a relatively safe option, because her feelings for him would never be as all consuming as what she felt for Ted. For me, the best moment of the show was when Robin saw Ted at the Halloween party, and she realized what she had done, and what she had lost. Getting the chance to actually find happiness was very satisfying.

    In recent year’s all of my favorites series, be they book, TV, or movie, have disappointed me. This one didn’t. Ted and Robin were meant to be.

  22. wingsstef says:

    Not the best sitcom finale ever, that would been Scrubs (season 9 was a spin-off) but the How I Met Your Mother finale was still quite good. I give it a very strong B+. Tracy and Ted were prefect together, but he also always loved Robin. I mean he waited six years. He really had respect and love for not only his children but his wife to wait so long. It was beautiful.

  23. Bob says:

    The creators of the show should be strung up for that ending. Very, very stupid of them. Good luck, guys, with How I Met Your Dad. Epic failure already, because no one is going to be fooled again. Morons.

  24. twilight123 says:

    I just spent the last 15 minutes yelling about how horrible this ending was!!! And I’m not the type of person who has over the top reactions to television shows. At all. HIMYM has now become the exception- This was the WORST ending to a television show I’ve ever seen! I agree with everyone who said they felt cheated and betrayed.

  25. Tiggs1978 says:


    Spend an entire show building up this relationship between Ted and the mother and him telling his kids how he met their mother and don’t introduce her to the very final season. And do it at the season long wedding between Barney and Robin.
    And then have Barney and Robin get a divorce.
    And then kill the mother.
    AND THEN make it so the story was never about how he met their mother, the story is about how he’s really always been in love with Robin.
    Good job writers.
    That is a solid A+++++ not at all waste of anyone’s time finale

  26. Claudia says:

    I totally knew where it was going it was so obvious, but I was hoping it had a better ending. Loved the show until they messed up the ending

  27. Sarah says:

    I really though that if they were truly as misguided as to go THERE, they would have quickly reshot the ending when they realized how everyone reacted to the episode where the Mother revealed she was sick. I truly have no idea where their heads were at. Why can’t Ted have a happy ending? Robin traveling won’t affect Ted and his kids?!?!? REALLY?!?! I literally just kept saying “No no no no no….” as the last 5 minutes unfolded. I am just incredibly disappointed in every way.

  28. wgsecretary says:

    So disappointing! So, basically, they were not telling the story of how Ted met his kids’ mother. He was telling the story of how he should have wound up with Robin and the woman he married and had two kids with was basically brushed aside and barely important. I knew they were going to have the mother die after all of the hints they kept dropping. But, come on. We all moved on from the Robin and Ted thing long ago. They had a lovely wedding for Barney and Robin and the lead up to it lasted ALL SEASON! Then they were divorced in the next episode! WHAT!?!?!? Way to waste a lot of time. They should have called it something else, because it certainly wasn’t about actually meeting the mother.

  29. CK says:

    So the show should have been titled, “How I Met Your (New) Mother” from the beginning >.>

  30. Hmm. says:

    I only have four words: what was this crap?!

  31. Mandy says:

    Wah, wah wah. It was perfect. =)

  32. Steph says:

    Loved it. Absolutely loved it.

  33. CB2 says:

    Sigh….just too sad. The love story of Ted and Tracey (the Mom) was beautiful. The whole scene under the umbrella was perfect. That moment when they realize they were meant to be (besharit in Hebrew) was just so right. The creators did not have to kill the mom to bring Robin and Ted together. Had the whole show not been a build up to meeting the mother, this could have worked, but instead it seemed cheap.

    The entire cast however completely brought their A Game. They were perfection, hitting all the right comedic and sentimental notes. Barney and his baby girl — brilliant. I just wish that they had not gone “there”‘at the end.

  34. Orlando says:

    I loved it.

  35. anon says:

    Well… HIMYM was always the LOST of TV Sitcoms. It even started the same year. So of course it would feature an ending where she was dead the whole time. And the gang would all be togeather in a church waiting for the light

    • Clode says:

      I think that would be better than this ending

    • wgsecretary says:

      They were not dead the whole time on Lost. They were only dead in the last “flash sideways” season. Jack’s dad explained to him in the church that everything that happened was real. After they died, some on the island, some off the island, some many, many years after all the events on the island, they were looking for each other and waiting for each other so they could cross together. That last season is the only season where they were all dead. The final shot of the plane on the beach with no one there was not in the script. It was a decision made by the network to show it. The creators of the show explained that numerous times. I know this is off topic, but I was a big fan of Lost too. But, I agree that this whole ending of HIMYM was just wrong.

  36. Citizen of the Internet says:

    As much as I expected most of the twists (or at least thought they were options at some point), I’m surprised they went the way they did. The whole finale was sporadically good at best and the ending just felt wrong. I’m not against Ted and Robin, and really Luke and Penny were right – the story kept going back to the pairing, but it feels wrong with the rest of the episode. Half the theme tonight was that everyone grows up and the past can’t stay forever. And then Ted jumped back to a 25 year old relationship. That doesn’t even begin to cover the awful waste of a character as fun as Tracy/the mother.

    Even ignoring all of that and assuming that the show HAD to go inb this direction, the final season should have been formatted differently. This episode was so choppy and disjointed I could barely stay focused throughout. If the lives of the gang were going to go this way, the final season should have spanned the remaining 17 years, not one weekend. There were twenty-whatever episodes in one single weekend and then the last hour spans more than a decade. That is just bad time management.

    I loved this show and this season overall, but I just can’t help but wish it ended at last May’s finale right now.

  37. Bluto18 says:

    I think the problem with this ending is that it marginlizes the mother. She pops into the show to give Ted the kids Robin couldn’t/wouldn’t, then dies so he can end up with the original love of his life. In the end, the mother was largely irrelevent.

  38. Chris Kelton says:

    Honestly, I’m more upset that there was no Saget in the finale than anything else. After that I hate that Ted and Robin end up together. I’m totally fine with the mother dying though, predictable as it was.

  39. I can’t believe that Ted finally let go of Robin just the last episode, and then they give us this as the finale. Is this an early April Fools Prank? I can even accept Barney and Robin divorcing, as much as I hate it, and Barney having a baby with someone else, because him as a father was sweet. But after watching Ted spend this whole season meeting and falling in love with the woman he calls “the love of his life,” and we as the audience get to see this girl that’s perfect for Ted and want them together, and then she is suddenly gone and we’re brought right back to Ted and Robin AGAIN. I just can’t believe that this is really the end of a show I’ve loved so much for so long. It’s just … wow. Terrible.

  40. Maddy says:

    The only part I liked was when Barney met his daughter for the first time. That was a really sweet moment.

  41. Kaybee says:

    I feel like I must have lost a slap bet and just received the mother of all slaps in the face. Why do this to people who invested so much time in the series. Don’t think I’ll be watching the re-runs and now have absolutely no interest in their new How I Met Your Father show. What a lovely way to end a Monday.

  42. Terry says:

    Seinfeld is no longer the worst series finale of all time!!!!

  43. Sergio says:

    C’mon everyone, we knew this was going to happen they started building this along time ago.. and I loved it!! :D

  44. JESS says:


  45. Morgan says:

    Think I’m going to go and watch the Psych finale again to be reminded that not all series finales are this bad.

  46. yep says:

    To everyone who stayed on this sinking ship for the past few years and wasted all those hours of your lives, to you I say hahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    • CK says:

      I actually texted that to my friend who loves the show. I didn’t have the heart to tell him my new moniker for the show, “How I met you (new) mother”.

  47. C says:

    Looking at the positives: Barney was never going to be able to truly settle down, but he could love. Him having a kid was perfect. Marshall being Supreme Fudge is awesome, but Lily is just.. a Mother, still? What’s she doing? Robin wasn’t always a part of the group, it makes sense she’d drift in and out, liked that realism. Ted got to marry someone he was so similar too, have the two kids he always wanted, and still get the dream girl. So… that’s good? I’m not completely satisfied or anything.. but I can see what the writers were doing. There’s a reason they haven’t let go of T&R all these years- it was always the plan for them to end up together. It’s weird that people think they were entitled to Robin&Barney end game- when they didn’t start until three years in, as opposed to SINCE THE VERY FIRST EPISODE. I dunno. I liked it&didn’t. Didn’t love it or hate it. My brain&heart are so confused.

  48. sad in nj says:

    I loved it until they killed the mother and robin and Ted really? I was hoping by some miracle Ted could live happily ever after with the mother. So disappointed!!!!

  49. Morgan says:

    Not even my worst scenario of this finale was half as bad as this was… I’m sorry but Ted is a scumbag; even if he did wait so long after the mother died, this basically means the whole time he was married to “the one” he still was in love with Robin. And to have Barney go through all that character growth then get written off terribly just so Ted/Robin could happen was ridiculous. I hate Ted/Robin, but even if the writers wanted to go that way, they could have done it in a classier, more natural way. Lily/Marshall is the only constant thing I liked about this show and didn’t get wrecked in the finale.

  50. Derek Johnson says:

    I admired what they were trying to do with the bomb in the last 5 minutes, even though I didn’t love the episode. Early on it felt a lot like the Will & Grace finale, but when it came around to Ted & Robin again, I wasn’t angry. Sure it undermines what Ted was telling the kids, that his mother was destined to be his soul mate, but they were married and she died. If he wants to marry his friend later in life I’m okay with it. If the mother were still alive, he’d be with her. But she died, and Robin has come back into his life so why not?
    When I first saw that Robin & Barney got divorced, I thought that they would get back together in a year or two.