The story of Ted’s quest to find his future wife is the premise of How I Met Your Mother, but the show also focuses heavily on his friends and their own love lives. Everyone gets some type of a happily ever after by the time it all wraps up, but the controversial series finale wasn’t what fans were expecting.
It was no surprise that Lily and Marshall continued to grow their family, but nothing else went according to plan. Barney and Robin got divorced just a few years into their marriage, and the titular “mother” character had passed away by the time Ted’s story reached the present. Ted and Robin found their way back to each other in the series finale, but they, along with the rest of the cast, could have easily ended up with someone else.
Lily Aldrin – Robin
Robin was the only person Lily ever showed interest in other than Marshall. While it was up in the air if Lily was simply attracted to her best friend or wanted to have a relationship with her, Lily expressed interest in Robin ever since they kissed at a high school prom. There were multiple times throughout the series when Lily attempted to come up with reasons for them to kiss, and it was common knowledge among the gang that Lily carried some sort of torch for Robin.
Barney Stinson – Quinn
The great love of Barney’s life turned out to be his daughter, and it was a smart move on the show’s part. But there was another woman who seemed perfect for Barney, and while many viewers argue that it was Robin, Quinn was the only person who was just as well-versed in the art of manipulation.
Marshall Eriksen – Brad
Brad was the only person who understood Marshall after he broke up with Lily. They ended up going to brunch together and genuinely enjoying each other’s company. They found themselves easily slipping into the role of a couple and neither of them seemed to hate it.
Robin Scherbatsky – Barney
Barney was Robin’s only real option other than Ted. She didn’t have many long-term romances and the few that she did have never felt quite right. How I Met Your Mother proved that Barney and Robin would never work out after their marriage resulted in a divorce, but things could have easily gone a different way.
Ted Mosby – Victoria
If the series was canceled before it could reveal Tracy as the mother of Ted’s children, the showrunner admitted that Victoria would have been the titular character. Victoria was a favorite among fans, and because of how many times she popped back up in Ted’s life, there was no reason to discount her as a possibility.
Tracy McConnell – Cindy
There was only one person other than Ted that viewers knew Tracy to have loved, but he passed away when Tracy was in her early 20’s. Tracy’s roommate, Cindy, dated Ted briefly, but Ted’s obvious interest in Tracy prevented them from working out.