Summary

  • Despite its popularity, “How I Met Your Mother’s” final season was met with mixed reviews, as critics noted a decline in the show’s quality as it stayed on the air longer.
  • The focus on Barney and Robin’s wedding in season 9 was disappointing, especially since the couple ends up divorcing in the finale, making the extensive coverage of their relationship feel wasteful.
  • The final season of “How I Met Your Mother” did not properly incorporate the mother character until the last few episodes, despite the show being about Ted’s journey to meet her. The pacing and storytelling left audiences with more questions than answers.

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How I Met Your Mother aired for 9 seasons before its end in 2014, but despite its popularity, the show’s final season was met with mixed reviews. Even though there were many who were still dedicated fans of the sitcom, critics were quick to point out the decline in the show’s quality the longer it stayed on the air. While spending time with the How I Met Your Mother characters was always great, the show may have outstayed its welcome.

The sitcom was praised for its use of humor and relatable characters, however, How I Met Your Mother‘s ending season has been widely considered to be of lesser quality compared to earlier seasons. Following the show’s success, the pressure to appease all fanbases saw many questionable changes to both the characters and their storylines. Despite being one of the best TV shows of the past decade when it comes to comedy, there are several reasons that How I Met Your Mother should have ended before season 9.

9 The Show Went Downhill When Marshall And Lily Moved

Lily, Marvin, and Marshall on the couch in How I Met Your Mother

In season 7, while Lily was pregnant with her and Marshall’s first son, Lily’s grandparents offered the couple their large suburban home. Their move splits the gang from their stomping grounds of the city and marks the beginning of Lily and Marshall leaving their crazy twenties behind. Although they eventually return to the apartment after Ted moves out, the house is burnt down by Lily’s father Mickey in season 8. Despite their return to the city, Lily and Marshall’s decision to move was a crucial moment in their lives, and the show begins to step away from its original structure of five friends hanging out in a bar.

8 There Was No Reason To Spend So Much Time On Barney And Robin

Neil Patrick Harris and Cobie Smulders in HIMYM - For entry Barney and The Robin play

How I Met Your Mother season 9 primarily focused on Barney and Robin’s wedding, only to see the couple divorced by the show’s finale. Considering Barney jumped through hoops to trick Robin into believing he no longer had feelings for her, it was implied the couple would go the distance. Throughout the season, both the bride and groom are faced with several signs from “the universe”, a trope that was brought back time and time again on the show, as to why they shouldn’t marry.

Related: How I Met Your Father Cast & Character Guide

It was disappointing to see such a focus on the pair, only for it to not last, especially as Robin was involved in an on-again-off-again situation with Ted. By the end of the show, Robin is the unique and independent character that she had aspired to be since season 1. If the writers had planned this ending for her well in advance, it seems wasteful that they spent so much time focusing on her and Barney.

7 How I Met Your Mother’s Final Season Isn’t Even About The Mother

Tracy How I Met Your Mother

Despite Tracy’s appearances throughout season 9, the storyline doesn’t incorporate her character properly until the last few episodes. Seeing as Ted had spent hours (and close to a decade for audiences) telling his kids how he and their mother met, it would have made sense that season 9 would focus more on this storyline. In fact, the two characters only have their first conversation as Ted is leaving Barney and Robin’s wedding. Although Tracy features quite often in season 9, she’s shown through interactions with the other characters, but she still isn’t integral to the main storyline.

Related: 12 Harsh Realities Of Rewatching How I Met Your Mother

6 Ted’s Disastrous Relationships Were Focused On Too Much

Josh Radnor As Ted Mosby & Ashley Benson As Carly In How I Met Your Mother HIMYM.jpg

Throughout the nine seasons of How I Met Your Mother, Ted had several relationships with a variety of women. While some of these relationships were short-lived, like his relationship with Honey (Katy Perry), some received their own story arcs. Zoey (Jennifer Morrison) and Stella (Sarah Chalke) are notable examples of this, with both appearing across multiple seasons while in complicated relationships with Ted. It seems a waste that so much time was spent on Ted’s failure to find “The One”, considering when he does meet Tracy, their relationship is wedged into a few episodes before she is killed off.

5 How I Met Your Mother Season 9 Was Badly Paced

Barney and Robin at their wedding in How I Met Your Mother.

The first eight seasons of How I Met Your Mother generally followed a story-of-the-week structure, with overarching character arcs scattered throughout. However, season 9 followed a very different structure, with an incredible 22 episodes focusing on Barney and Robin’s wedding, and the final two episodes on the gang’s future. The initial 22 episodes cover just a few days, whereas the two-part finale saw the gang’s lives across 7 years. How I Met Your Mother season 9 was weak in terms of story pacing, and with its recurring flashbacks, provides more questions than answers to audiences.

4 Ted And Robin’s On-Off Relationship Was Overplayed

Robin and Ted sitting together in How I Met Your Mother

Ted and Robin’s relationship was prominent throughout How I Met Your Mother, with Ted seemingly unable to let go of the possibility of the two of them reuniting. By season 9, as Robin planned to marry Barney, writers decided to dust off Ted’s feelings for her for what felt like the millionth time. When Ted confessed his feelings to Robin on the beach, it became exhausting and disappointing, showing that the character hadn’t really changed since season 1.

Even Ted’s decision to move to Chicago because he can’t be with Robin feels uncomfortable, considering he’d spent years chasing other women in her presence. With writers so focused on Ted and Robin, several opportunities to expand Tracy’s character further were lost. The possibility of Ted and Robin seemed to appear at times when it made the least sense to, and considering it was known from the beginning that Robin wasn’t the mother, the relationship feels very forced.

3 Season 9 Saw Little Interaction Between The Main Cast

Marshall on the bus with his son sitting next to a woman in a scene from How I Met Your Mother

Due to filming conflicts and the success of the cast outside How I Met Your Mother, there are large chunks of season 9 where the main characters do not feature in scenes together. For example, Marshall only joins the rest of the gang at the wedding in episode 13, entitled “Bass Player Wanted”, and prior to that, featured in scenes alone or with guest stars. The way the main characters interacted with one another on-screen was a huge selling point for How I Met Your Mother and is what kept audiences tuning in week after week, but season 9 failed to recreate the atmosphere that earlier seasons had nailed.

2 Ted’s Search For The One Became Boring

Ted and Tracy smiling at each other with a yellow umbrella on How I Met Your Mother

Ted’s constant complaints over not being able to find the love of his life were prominent throughout all nine seasons of the show, but as How I Met Your Mother drew to a close, his journey wasn’t as intriguing as it once was. He frequently acted insensitively towards the women in his life and saw him hurt those close to him as he was too busy with the delusion of “The One.”

It seemed that the thrill of the chase was more interesting to Ted than anything else. Ted frequently refers to Robin as being the right woman for him and even plans to move to Chicago to mend his broken heart after her wedding. However, he then meets Tracy as he is leaving, and seemingly forgets about Robin instantly, throwing out his plans to move at the drop of a hat.

1 The Gang’s Future Was Rushed And Wasn’t Thought Through

How-I-Met-your-Mother-Ending-Ted-With-Kids

The two-part finale of How I Met Your Mother season 9 focused on the 7 years after Barney and Robin’s wedding. With only two episodes, writers crammed in a lot of significant details about the gang’s lives, which made it feel rushed. There were also a lot of moments that felt very out of character for the cast, including Lily and Marshall still living in the tiny apartment with a third child on the way.

Even though Marshall wasn’t where he wanted to be career-wise, he was still a lawyer and should have earned enough to move his family somewhere larger. Of course, the main issue was regarding Tracy’s death in How I Met Your Mother, which was followed by Ted reuniting with Robin in the final moments of the show. Considering the reasons for them not to be together had been made clear since the pilot, it felt incredibly forced that the two end up together.

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