How I Met Your Mother’s sour finale spurred fans to create a petition to fix its horrible ending.
Series creators Carter Bates and Craig Thomas knew exactly how they wanted How I Met Your Mother to end, even filming scenes with Ted’s kids years before the show concluded. With this challenge, Bates and Thomas had to fill in the gaps between the pilot and the finale while keeping the ending intact. However, as the series grew and the characters evolved, the pre-planned finale felt sour for many fans that followed the show from the start, and a petition was made demanding a rewrite.
The frustration began with the premiere of How I Met Your Mother’s the final ninth season. The showrunners decided to take a very different approach with Season 9; instead of having it play over an entire year of events, it was based on the three days leading up to and including Barney and Robin’s wedding. While the season received mixed reviews from audiences, it was the series finale that created the biggest uproar. The last two episodes went the usual sitcom ending route and showed where the cast would be in the future by providing snippets of their lives. This also showed Tracy McConnell aka The Mother passing away from unknown causes. As the episode came to an end, viewers saw Ted and Tracy during their very first meeting, leading up to Ted in 2030 finishing the long-winded saga of how he met her.
However, the story does not end there. Around the start of Season 2, Lyndsy Fonseca and Luke Henry — the actors who portrayed Luke and Penny Mosby — filmed the finale scenes in order to maintain the age of the teen actors when it was time for the show to wrap up. Due to this, How I Met Your Mother ended with the kids realizing that the entire story was told to them so they could give their father permission to date Robin because he is in love with her. They gave him permission and the series ends as it started, with Ted standing in front of Robin’s apartment, holding a blue tuba, asking her to give him a chance.
The reason this frustrated many viewers was because the series alluded on multiple occasions that Robin and Ted do not work out. They dated for only one season before breaking it off and then tried to rekindle the relationship again years down the line only to realize once again that they’re better off apart. Many fans demanded this to be retconned for this reason as well as the fact that the series spent years building a much better love story with Barney and Robin that melted hearts, while Ted and Robin’s entire relationship became merely an afterthought.
It was not until the release of the alternate ending that fans were slightly satisfied. It completely cuts out the death of the mother and the scenes with Ted’s kids. It shows Ted at his wedding surrounded by his friends with Ted’s voiceover summarizing the journey and even alluding to the fact that Barney and Robin will get back together while the real ending only gave audiences a shared nod. This alternate ending is the one that fans deserved and needed to see, and most believe it is the true one.
How I Met Your Mother was not the first series with a disappointing ending, and it certainly wasn’t the last, as it was followed by the disastrous finales of Game of Thrones and Supernatural which to this day are still being hounded for a rewrite of their final seasons. Despite this, audiences can still enjoy the ride that is How I Met Your Mother, given they find the “alternate ending” to finish it off on a satisfying note.