Why I Hated The How I Met Your Mother Finale

I loved “How I Met Your Mother.” I loved the characters and their relationships. I loved the inventive way the story was told backwards, and the way that we cared about these characters, even if we mostly knew what would happen to them in the end. I loved the way that I genuinely felt like these people were my friends.

I loved Ted, with his over-the-top romantic gestures and his unfailing optimism. I loved Robin and her independence, her blind ambition, and her ridiculous love for Canada. I loved the way that Marshall and Lily made me believe in true love. And Barney. Even with his gross womanizing ways, I loved that bastard so much.

I loved the lessons this show told, and the way that it told them. I loved the slap bets and the Robin Sparkles videos. I loved the laughs, the tears, the sickly sweet sentimental moments, all of it.

I loved “How I Met Your Mother,” and I am so, so glad to have watched it.

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But I hated the finale.

In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever hated a series finale more than I hated this one. And it’s because this finale — in my eyes — really invalidated what this show has been about.

To me, “How I Met Your Mother” was never truly about Ted meeting the mother and falling in love. Sure, that was the original focus, but this show became much more than that.

“How I Met Your Mother” was about friendship and growing up, about living life and loving the journey. This was a show about a group of friends and the way that they supported, cared about, and helped each other through the minor and the massive obstacles, the happy and the sad moments in life.

But the ending didn’t support that.

The ending was cheap. It was lazy and predictable, and it felt like something straight out of a bad romantic comedy.

The ending took the beautiful friendships that had been established throughout the series and replaced them with one damn blue French horn.

I’m not angry because Barney and Robin got divorced. That’s life. I can live with that. I’m not angry because the Mother died. Okay, I am angry about those things, but I’m mostly mad because this show should have been about more than who Ted wound up with in the end.

As a viewer, I feel like I deserved more. I deserved a proper goodbye to all of these characters, not another wild romantic gesture from Ted.

There was a moment when the gang was back in their booth in the bar that I thought I could be okay with this episode. Marshall turned to the kids behind them — young adults, really, who were clearly supposed to make us think of our own beloved group — and told them that so much had happened in that spot. He was right. So much has happened. For a moment, everything felt all right.

“How I Met Your Mother” should have ended like that, with this group in the bar, together again, thinking about all the things they’ve been through. Because this was never a show just about Ted Mosby. Or just about Robin. Or just about any one character or any one relationship or any one concept.

This was a show about a group of people who really loved each other, and that’s the way I wish it had ended.

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100 thoughts on “Why I Hated The How I Met Your Mother Finale

  1. I agree that the ending was a let down. I too felt betrayed because of what I wanted – an ending with more closure for each of the characters. I wanted the focus to be on more than just Ted and Robin; and, at the same time, there is so much depth to this ending.

    It is an ending that shows how long it can take for people to be honest with themselves about their feelings. In Ted’s case, he spent many years looking for the love of his life, and seemingly found two women who fit this role: Robin and Tracy. It is when he finally accepts Robin’s feelings that he is able to move on and find love.

    If anything, the writers could have offered more closure around the mother’s death, but I’m thinking would have gone against the point of the story. He never stops loving Tracy, and he never stops loving Robin. I wish that the writers would have touched on what he goes through after her death; one can only imagine how hard that situation would be. Instead, they show us his happiness and excitement at the prospect of love. They show us that life goes on, and how we choose to live it is up to us. Ted says it in the second to last episode “love is the best thing we do.” He choses to spend his life nurturing those he cares about. When you look at this story using that perspective, I think the ending is quite touching.

  2. Though the finale was hated by many, they certainly got one thing right – they’ve got everyone talking about it, which likely wouldn’t have happened with a cookie cutter ending that ended anticlimactically.

  3. I loved it. The show was ultimately about people finding love amid chaos. Lilly and Marshall found love early. Ted eluded love and ended up finding it not once, but twice. Barney finally found love not in a one night stand, but in the deep forever love of a child. And while for a moment, it looked as if Robin would find satisfaction and fulfillment in her career, even she finally looked love in the headlights. We couldn’t have an ending without that blue french horn. Cheesy in a romantic comedy way? Of course, but the show had to end with cheese!

  4. I totally agree, I hated the finale. I could not believe how they threw the ending together. It was a complete shock to the system and an insult to the show. All those years and we got that? Sad.

  5. Absolutely! I mean they began as friends, and they should have ended as that. In tthe Finale of the story they completely changed focus and did a 180. terrible, terrible, terrible.
    oh, and I hated the Barney – Robin divorce.

  6. Honestly, I couldn’t agree more with what you had said. I truly believed that Robin and Barney were the perfect couple along with Marshall and Lily and Ted and Tracy. They were six people who had all found love and in my eyes they were the three best couples ever to be seen on television. I didn’t like the blue french horn at the end, but I am very glad that Barney got a child because he loved her. The ending was cheap and nearly ruined the whole show for me.

  7. I am SO SO so glad i missed the ending,I loved the show a lot,but thats what writers do keep you on the edge of your seat,they have the power to control the ending.

  8. I agree with most everything you wrote… It all felt so rushed in the final episode that I’m not even sure I grasped the whole ending and was left feeling confused. I still love this show though!

  9. I really loved how you wrote about the ending, I totally agree with you that they should not have ended it how they did. The one thing that was great about the ending is when Barney said those oh so sweet words to his newborn daughter! That was great. I also loved how he waled up to those girls and told them to put on some decent clothes and go home. That was my favorite!

  10. Right, they should have given us a better finale. Since the show started I’m already a big fan but it disappointed me because of the fact on how they ended it. But as they say when one ends another will emerge. I love suits now!

  11. You are not alone .. most of the ppl around the world hated the grand finale of this awesome series.
    As an audience, we definitely deserved more which creators were not able to deliver.
    I wish the ending could be somewhat different. They ended at the very beginning. Pity

  12. Short, sweet, and to the point. I have to commend to the anger and agree. I also agree with the critic who said “It was six years since the mother died, but for the audience it felt like six seconds between her death and Ted’s re-involvement with Robin.” Ugh. Hey, how would you have changed the ending? Added anything, removed anything?

    1. The ENTIRE article is about the finale. That’s in the title. Sorry if you were spoiled, but I think common sense should have tipped you off for this one.

  13. I completely agree! The finale wasn’t as grand as I thought it’d be and yes predictable! Plus I could kill someone when I realized the mother died! That was pure evil!
    Now that you mention it, I feel that Barney lily and Marshall were side tracked towards the end, which is not fair.. The show wasn’t about ted and robin, it was about all 5 of them !

  14. Yea . Was totally disappointed , but they looked like they were in a hurry to finish it up. I googled but couldn’t find why they were in such a hurry. If they knew they had to end then they could have used a more subtle approach to end.

  15. i absolutley agree with you! The ending was really bad. I was so disappointed 😦 For me< I would've wanted the final scene to be the one when he met "mother" and ended it there. I did not like the Ted-Robin reunion

  16. I think we are on the exact same page when it came to this show and the finale. I may have aired my grievances about the things I hated more than you did, but I think we agree. You should check out my thoughts on the finale on my blog. Hope you read it. I’m sharing this with everyone I know 🙂

  17. With you. Loved the show, hated the finale. I got sucked into it one summer when the earlier seasons seemed to be on in syndication on three different channels.I think it’s easy to connect to that lifestyle of having all of your best friends around and involved constantly. It was one of the things I missed immediately after graduating from college. The finale didn’t do a thing for me. I had already heard the rumors that the mother died so I was waiting for that shoe to drop. My issue was structural. I didn’t need the onslaught of flash forwards to wrap up every single plot detail ever. It seemed to suck any actual emotion out of it.The series itself used flash forwards so we knew Marshall would be a successful judge, we knew that Robin would travel and have a great career etc… I don’t buy the need to FINALLY have Barney knock up another in a series of unnamed women so he can finally be involved in a child’s life. Right. I don’t believe that Ted’s kids would have been like “Sure, go date Aunt Robin, no emotional backlash here.” I’m with you that wrapping it in the booth in the bar would have been better.

  18. I agree! I was Okay with the mother dying, it broke my heart but I wasn’t mad. Barney and Robin getting divorced I did hate because they had only gotten married the episode prior and we didn’t get to see their married life at all and I have been rooting for them since they first dated. I loved the whole thing with Barney’s daughter that was amazing. What I really hated was how it ended, why does everything always go back to Robin; just move on dude; I mean she MARRIED your best friend for God’s sake. I hated how the kids just went all OH yea go Date Aunt Robin!
    I agree, it would’ve been perfect if it had ended with that scene at the bar. But there’s going to be an alternate ending being released with the whole SERIES DVD set so I’m looking forward to seeing what happens In that ending.

  19. I felt lied to. When they played Eternal Flame and Robin lifts up as a spirit on the beach that felt like the end. To have him go back to her felt wrong, like one of those films where a guy is filled with bullets but still ends up ok. There was one scene that was wonderful though. The scene in the rain with the umbrella. That really was magical.

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