Not only is the finale controversial, but the entire ninth and final season had How I Met Your Mother fans split down the middle! While I can't say the show is without its flaws (what show isn't) I can honestly say I very much enjoyed the ending of How I Met Your Mother! It may have become one of the most hated endings in television history, but I'm here to tell you why you should give it another chance!
The Recurring Jokes
Most sitcoms have jokes and phrases that carry over from episode to episode, but HIMYM had so many long standing gags that it really made you appreciate watching the show in order because you picked up on more and more!
"The Salute" is one of the stupidest jokes, but it's also one that was so perfect because it's literally a throw away line if you didn't see the episode it originated in. Since they didn't use the gag often you don't get sick of it, and I'll admit I got pretty excited when it made its rounds again.
HIMYM and especially Barney are constantly making Canadian jokes directed towards Robin. There are too many to name, but some of the best examples are in Robin's teenage music videos.
Since the entire cast is extremely musical it's no surprise that they're often singing! I don't just mean Robin's music videos from her former pop star days, I mean they were constantly singing! Marshall was even well-known to the gang to sing about mundane daily tasks!
While the show is still a sitcom first, I actually think HIMYM has a much more honest and serious tone than traditional sitcoms. Some of the best work the writers and actors did was in the emotionally shocking episodes.
John Lithgow was an amazing addition to the supporting cast as Barney's long lost father. In the scene where Barney finally confronts him for never being around he shouts "if you were going to be some lame suburban dad, why couldn't you have been that for me?" It's an extraordinary scene!
We were so used to having Future Ted narrate the episodes that when Future Robin got a turn to tell her kids how she met their father I was very excited! As the episode starts you know that Barney and Robin have both cheated on their partners with each other and Robin believes to be pregnant, but instead the doctor tells her she can't have children. In another unusual turn Robin refuses to tell any of her friends for months and instead just internalizes it, and deals with it alone. To me this was so true to her "lone wolf" character.
One of the saddest, and surprising, moments of the entire show was when Marshall's father unexpectedly passed away. In this episode Marshall and the viewers are led to believe that Lily is about to step out of the cab and excitedly announce that she's pregnant. Instead she has to tell her husband that his father has died. While filming the episode the cast and crew kept Lily's lines from Jason Segel so that when Lily stepped out of the cab he could react honestly. He was also expecting the baby announcement so his reaction was even more pure.
Originally watching this episode we just believe that Ted's a hopeless romantic wanting to jump into finally meeting his wife. However after re-watching you realize that Future Ted wished he had these extra 45 days because we know Tracy died in 2024, six years prior to Ted telling his kids this story. Tell me that watching this with that knowledge doesn't make you tear up!
What really makes a television show are the characters. Are they believable? Do we relate? Throughout the nine seasons we go up and down with these five, and honestly there are times that you don't care for them, and you want to see them fail. That's part of life too, we have ups and downs with the people we love! Yet we grew to love our characters with all their little idiosyncrasies.
So In Defense of the Finale...
The last season revolved around the wedding of Barney and Robin who tied the knot in episode 22! In episodes 23 and 24 we jump further into the future and find out that Barney and Robin get divorced, and the gang was growing distant from Robin. As we did these time jumps all the stories had to do with when the gang had run into her because, in reality, the entire nine seasons were not about the mother but about Robin where the show really began.
The show really is hilarious and amazing, and if you can get past the depressing ending and see it for its honest true-to-life vision you will love it. The underlying theme of How I Met Your Mother is honesty. Life can suck or life can be awesome but it's better when those you love are close. Robin drifted from the group after her divorce, and Ted was lonely after his wife passed away. I think it's only natural that they get together, and if they were real life friend of mine I'd have been so happy for them to get together after being lonely for so long.
Here's me, wanting you to love the show as I do: