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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818 Comments
  1. phuong says:

    I hate the finale I was looking forward to it to get so disappointed. The whole season was about the wedding and they get divorce in the first half of the story!!!!!!!!! What the heck! I fell totally in love with the mother and they kill her off I feel so cheated!! I thought the show was done with shoving Ted and Robin in our throat they do not work!

  2. Toia says:

    The issue is they did all this character building. Then they throw it out the window because they want to have a twist ending. It is unfortunate they felt the need to hurt the relationship they have with their audience. I don’t know how many people that are pissed about the finally are pumped about signing on for another show with them right now.

  3. Becca says:

    I have never hated an episode of television more than I hated this series finale. They managed to negate literally everything that they built up to throughout the series. Absolutely all character development was flushed down the toilet. The beautiful mythology surrounding Ted and the Mother’s epic romance was completely THROWN AWAY by that ending. It felt forced and badly written and disappointing. I was planning on rewatching the series start to finish after the finale but that is definitely not happening after that ending.

    I feel completely cheated.

  4. Antonia says:

    I wanted Barney and Robin together! I feel that they cheated the fans

  5. jj says:

    A being the highest, I will like to give the series finale a Z. Hate is not a strong enough word.

  6. Lynn says:

    I started crying ten minutes in and didn’t stop for about ten minutes after the episode finished. I cannot believe they ruined everything. And I was going to give HIMYD a chance. But now? Not happening.

  7. mg714 says:

    With that finale, this show becaome one big April Fool’s joke a day early. I am sad I fell for it the past 9 years. So disappointed and while I don’t wish people to lose their jobs, I have to say a large part of me hopes HIMYD fails.

  8. Josh Emerson says:

    I will say it again since so many people seem to be negative about this finale, but I LOVED IT. Ted and Robin were meant to be together. I also love that this ending was planned from the start, they didn’t just throw it together. Your arguments about it being a “cop out” don’t make sense since it wasn’t exactly thrown together.

    • How exactly were Ted and Robin supposed to be together? They’ve tried how many countless times and it didn’t work! So by all means… let us try again for the millionth time.

    • tripoli says:

      It’s entirely possible that some of what happened in the finale was thrown together. They may have always planned to have Ted and Robin end up together but did not have a clear path for getting there. I imagine a lot of choices were made along the way that happened on the fly.

  9. I can’t decide if this is better or worse than The Wonder Years with how much the show apparently hated its audience.

    • Stacie says:

      Given the comparisons of the voiceover and all that I guess I’d say Wonder Years is tougher to take because that she show made you think that Winne and Kevin were ending up together and then they didn’t. For whatever bull crap reason. This one did the opposite it made you think that they were not be together and then got Robin and Ted together, but that’s not the right ending. They both screwed up.

  10. Kelsey says:

    While I’m frustrated that they crammed so much into a one hour episode and that the mother ends up being dead, I also thought it was a great episode. I look at it this way: what Tracy and Ted had was destined to be, true, happy love. And they lived it to the fullest while they had the time. They were meant to be with each other when they were together. Everything had led to that point.

    But love and loss are real life. Tracy lost Max, a true love, and that led her to the place she needed to be to meet Ted. And now Ted has lost Tracy, his true love. And through his life and marriage with her, he got the happy “ending” he had always deserved. It was meant to be. And it was meant to be for her to pass away. Things happen for a reason.

    Also, I realize I am reading way too much into a TV show, but I spent nine years with these people. I deserve to be a little attached.

    • Heather says:

      I agree, too much was crammed in the episode. I’m satisfied though. Sad that the mother died, but it’s more true to life.

    • wingsstef says:

      I was never a huge fan of Robin and Ted but didn’t hate them either. Sometimes even liked them. And the more I think of it, it makes more and more sense. It’s not completely alike, but check out a summary on Ted’s favorite book, “Love in the Time of Cholera”.

      • kelseyb8632 says:

        I’ll have to check it out! And I agree, Ted and Robin had their moments. And I think people are forgetting that they have changed over the 20 year span since they dated. It’s not like they’re the same people and their new relationship will be the same.

  11. jaded says:

    I feel like I’ve been punched in the stomach and got cheated! I watched this from the beginning and “The Mother” died? And it ends with a date with “Aunt Robin?” I wasted 9 seasons for this? We had this crappy season for this?

  12. Marianne says:

    I would have been okay with the ending, if they didn’t make this last season seem pointless. Why make Tracy out to be ridiculously important when in the end she wasn’t? All it seems like she did was conceive Ted’s kids now so he could tell his story to get together with Robin again. I don’t ever doubt Ted loving Tracy, but it really defeats what I was hoping for.

  13. Emily says:

    That was absolutely the worst finale of a show I’ve loved. I’m just going to pretend last week’s episode was the finale and assume Ted met Tracy during the wedding. This finale was infuriating and incredibly disappointing.

  14. Andie says:

    Hated it! I agree with the feelings that the writers jerked us around for 9 years. I loved the Mother. Hated she died. Wanted to see Ted and Tracy with their grandkids. Too bad, I wanted to have a satisfying ending.

  15. Andy Pilkington says:

    It’s very easy to be let down by that ending but if I think back to season 2/3, I really did want Ted and Robin to be together. The final scenes were fairly set in stone because of the continuity of the kids and I think that is it’s downfall. For the last 4 years I’ve been angry with the show for going back to the Ted & Robin storyline, I see now why they were doing that. The ending renders season 9 mostly pointless, to develop Barney into a different character was ruined in 20 minutes of the finale.
    As for the rest of the finale, I thought it was incredibly sweet and touching. Marshall and Lilly are a model TV couple in my eyes and their story was lovely.

    On the whole, I’m initially disappointed. I spent 5 years being angry with an element of the show which is now evidently important. I may re-watch it one day and change my perspective, but currently I’m still hurting.

  16. Ryan says:

    Disappointed…I was on the fence about watching the spinoff, if it happens, but I think I’ll skip it after this.

  17. Tee says:

    It kind of irritates me how the kids were all,” YAY!! We love Aunt Robin! Date her…who the heck cares about Mom!”

    • Ashley says:

      Same here

    • andrea says:

      It’s been 6 years since their mom died. Kids move on. They’ll always love and remember their mother but that’s what happens in life. Most people don’t pine away for someone for the rest of their life. Everyone needs to move on eventually

    • Meri says:

      It was six years later. She died when they were in elementary school and now they’re teenagers. They are probably at a point in their lives where they can hear about her without bursting into tears. They’re now also at a point where they have the maturity to realize that their father shouldn’t have to live the rest of his life alone. People can have more than one “love of their life”. I’m happy that a comedy illustrated that life can be complex. I would agree with you if he was telling this story only one year after her death, but six years is more than respectable for him and the kids.

  18. Ashley says:

    I’m really disappointed. They spent all season building up the Barney/Robin wedding and they get divorced in about 15 minutes into the finale? They spend 8 years giving us clues about the Mother and 9 years of us waiting for her to meet Ted, and they kill her off just so he can end up with Robin? If they always knew it was going to be a Ted and Robin, endgame they should have written it a lot better. Major letdown.

  19. Paul J. Reedy says:

    Predictable yet touching

  20. KHM says:

    It was so awful. So awful.

  21. V says:

    1. I hated that they spent an entire season focusing on Robin and Barney’s wedding only to divorce them in the episode immediately following the wedding.

    2. I hate that they killed the mother. It just served no point.

    3. I hate that they went back to the whole Robin and Ted thing and that this series was supposed to be about that. The show spends several seasons developing Barney and Robin wonderfully and now we are supposed to just go back to Robin and Ted.

    This was a horrible ending and I hate that I wasted my limited time watching that crap.

  22. Mary says:

    We need to remember that Tracy lost the love her life before Ted. So getting mad at Ted for moving on (she had been dead for 6 years) seems unfair. What I have a problem with is that he went back to Robin. A woman who was not that into him and had daddy issues because her own father was so unreliable. If I’m going to eyeroll at this pairing, I’m going to eyeroll at the fact it doesn’t seem like neither Ted or Robin grew as characters. So maybe they so belong together.

    • Ryan says:

      How did she lose the love of her life? He died when she was 21 and she was with Ted for 11 years, and probably would still be if she was alive.

      • Mary says:

        When Ted told the story about how her boyfriend, he made it sound like her boyfriend was the love of her life. And then she moved on and found happiness with Ted.

  23. Andrea says:

    Him ending up with Robin makes sense to me. She didn’t want to have kids, so now she gets to end up step mom to teenagers. Of course I wanted him to live happily ever after with the mother but that’s not always how life goes, and HIMYM has always been good at combining the joyful moments with the sad ones, just like reality. I’m okay with it.

  24. Lisa says:

    DESPISED IT! I CANT BELIEVE THEY DID THAT TO THEIR FANS! I’m sorry but i’m seriously so hurt

  25. Eric7740 says:

    As soon as Robin and Barney said they had divorced, I knew he was going to end up with Robin!!! I feel like I just watched the Dawson’s Creek finale all over again!!!

  26. Bethany says:

    Reading everyone else echoing my thoughts is actually very therapeutic (nice to know Im not alone). Horrible ending- I feel completely betrayed by the writers, definitely not watching HIMYF now.

  27. Mare says:

    Horrible, utterly horrible. What a manipulative show. They spent 9 seasons building up Ted and the Mother and it turns out, she was really nothing to him because in the end, it was always Robin. She was just some uterus that popped out the kids he wanted before he got back with the woman he REALLY wanted. They ruined Ted as a character for me. What an azz. Tracey deserved a man who really wanted her, not one who was always going to want to be with his ex. Disgusting. They ruined Robin as well with this. What selfish, hateful characters.

    I will never try their new show because in the end, they will just spit on 9 seasons worth of show and celebrate sociopathic characters.

    Ugh. What a waste of time.

  28. Casey says:

    As heartbreaking as it was, and as much as it made me cry, I accepted the mother’s death. And if it had to go down like that, then that’s where they should have ended it. But the fact that the purpose of her death was to get Ted and Robin back together is absolute B U L L S * * T. They weren’t even a good couple. And if this really was the plan all along, then it really defeats the purpose of the title HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER. WOW. This was definitely one of the worst finales I’ve ever seen. I mean, it wasn’t nearly as bad as Dexter’s, but still. I can’t even.

  29. Heather says:

    I thought it was great. Why couldn’t Ted love both of them. I guess it’s because the same thing happened to my grandmother. She was in love, but they were young and it just didn’t work out. Both married other people (whom they loved dearly) and had children. Years later when both their spouses died and their children were grown, they met again. They married within six months. They were married for 15 years and my grandmother became a widow again.

  30. Greg says:

    Ted’s prize: a dead wife, and a new gf who jerked him around for 20 years, who shown in the last episode, dragged her husband (his bf) around for 3 years before making herself feel better by force making it his “decision”, then complaining he moved on after she did this with no compromise or effort in her marraige, then she ditches all her closest friends for years, despite repeated efforts, then she shows up at his wedding to someone else (while he is I guess still yearning for her, and she him) like nothing happened, and now there are people happy that he is getting this? They literally ruined her character, not that them as an end game wasn’t bad enough, but why would anyone like this? She was written in this last episode as a downright awful person for the 15 years the finale encompassed.

    • Ashley says:

      Agreed. Robin became really unlikeable. I have a hard time believing that she would be willing to compromise for Ted and his kids (especially in terms of career demands) when she wouldn’t do it for Barney.

  31. heidi says:

    no no no no no no no

  32. Eric says:

    I thought this was so fantastic. I loved it. I can’t believe people are being so vicious. It never made sense to me that Barney and Robin would end up together. It’s just not who they are. Robin is committed to her career. Barney is a man child. They love each other, and it’s great to see them together, but I think if they lived happily ever after, I would have felt it was a cop-out and fan service. I loathe fan service. This is one of the best series finales, I think I’ve ever seen.

  33. april says:

    WHY WHY WHY? I don’t mind who ends up with who. But why would you focus an entire season (specially the last season) on 1 wedding just to throw it away. SUCH A WASTE. And then you have Ted go through all this character growth finally getting over Robin and that lasts 1 episode. WTF and I don’t mean wtf as is why the face I mean it as WTF

  34. Bluto18 says:

    They should’ve just named the mother “Macguffin”.

  35. waffles says:

    Horrible ending. And a horrible way to reward the viewers who stuck by this show for nine seasons. It was a dreadful way to end a nine year story arc for a comedy. It was also the least funny episode they had in nine seasons. The producers lied to us. It was not satisfying at all. The producers of “Breaking Bad” knew how to write a satisfying ending. This was just broken and bad.

  36. This was Mass Effect 3 all over again. Terrible ending to a great series.

  37. Rob N. says:

    Entirely mixed. I felt like the “kids” at the end were deconstructing the entire series.

  38. Dude says:

    I really liked the ending but as soon as it finished I thought “The fans are going to be PISSED!”

  39. Dan says:

    I’m so confused …. torn. We all expected the mother’s death. Leaving Ted to somehow find his way to Robin. But, dare I say it, life is messy so the finale and the series reflected that. But I am SO bummed. Kinda wanted it wrapped up in a bow even if Tracy did die. Have Ted look at photos, that montage, saying I will always love her. Fade to black. Won’t be watching the new Dad show. Gonna have a hard time watching the series again, especially this season. What were the writers smoking, thinking that this was going to please fans?

  40. NZ says:

    I feel so cheated especially since they thought the fans would love this ending. What were they smoking when they wrote it? Apparently they don’t know their audience. They got us excited about finally meeting the Mother this year. Don’t use her as much as they should have, then let Ted finally “let go” of Robin, have the wedding weekend last for the whole season only to break up that marriage after only 3 years. Seriously! The show should have been called “How I Met Your Aunt Robin Who Became Your Mother After the Writers Killed Her in The Finale and Made the Kids Encourage It.” Shame on you for ruining the DVDs I bought.

  41. Martina says:

    It was ok, I stuck with it for the last few years just to see the end, it wasn’t the ending I wanted and I’m guessing Barney will be the father in “how I met your father” hence the non disclosure of his daughters mother!

  42. Erin says:

    I don’t know how I feel about it. If they wanted it to be a big surprise, they shouldn’t have tipped their hat a few episodes ago about her dying.

  43. Whyohwhy says:

    Well, I think I’m now glad that I stopped watching the show seasons ago. I followed the plot in recaps. I was tempted to watch because of the positive reviews of the mother. But as soon as it was hinted she was dead, I decided nope. Glad I made that decision.

  44. Coco says:

    Loved it!!!!! Ted and robin forever.

  45. erin says:

    That was AWFUL. From the first ten minutes onward, not even just the end. I would rather watch the Dexter finale on repeat for days than ever watch that again.

  46. LH says:

    Loved it. I always thought Ted & Robin were going to end up together somehow. Seems like that was the vibe throughout all the seasons.

  47. Ed says:

    where was that scene where Ted and Robin met at the coffee shop?

  48. Dani says:

    WORST ENDING of a long-running sitcom EVER!!!!

  49. TV God says:

    I love Ted and Robin being together, so I’m happy.

  50. Jennifer Clifford says:

    To have this show hinge on Ted meeting the mother, which meant that he would finally meet his soul mate after endless searches and heart ache was comforting to me. When we finally met her I could see myself why he loved her. HOW can we go from that to him telling this story to get permission from his kids to date Robin? Their mom is dead, and as a mother, woman and a wife who has recently survived cancer, I cried at this ending. It is not okay with me. Robin and Ted didn’t work out at the beginning of this story or at any other point when he tried to win her over, so it won’t work out now. I am personally offended by this ending. These kids lost their mother, and instead of a sincere story about her, which could have given them some comfort or insight into who their mother was, they get duped as well.

    • Ashley says:

      Agreed. The kids seemed pretty flippant about the mother. She got pushed to the side in the finale. Ted’s story was not about honoring Tracy’s memory, it was essentially a tactic to get back with Robin. Pathetic.

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