The long-running CBS sitcom “HIMYM” may have tarnished its reputation due to the controversial series finale. Still, when it first aired in 2005, it was arguably one of the most original comedies on television.
This is partly due to “How I Met Your Mother,” structured as a story told to Ted Mosby’s two children about how he met his future wife. The younger Ted (Josh Radnor) is a primarily successful New York City architect. Ted is on a mission to find love of his life and settle down after meeting the excellent Robin (Cobie Smulders) and learning that his best friend Marshall (Jason Segel) is marrying Lily (Alyson Hannigan). The only problem is that Barney (Neil Patrick Harris), the group’s perpetually single womanizer, has other plans for Ted.
“HIMYM” aired for nine seasons and became known for its many running gags thanks to the chemistry between the characters and strong storytelling. However, the show excelled at interspersing dramatic moments with larger jokes. For example, this is the “How I Met Your Mother” scene, which always makes fans cry.
Marshall’s shock at learning of his father’s death is still raw.
Because “How I Met Your Mother” is best known as a romantic comedy, the show’s sadder moments could have been a risk if the writing didn’t work. On the other hand, Marshall’s learning of his father’s death was universally regarded as a devastating event by fans.
Several commenters on the “How I Met Your Mother” subreddit named Jason Segel’s genuine, unscripted reaction to the news as a sad critical moment on the show in a post titled “What episodes have made you cry actual tears?” (via Entertainment Weekly).
The use of a clock in the episode as part of a pregnancy storyline. According to one Redditor, led viewers to expect a different outcome. “There’s a countdown, and at the end, you think Marshall and Lily are expecting a child. But then you learn that Marshall’s father has died. Apart from that, it’s a hilarious episode, but the twist at the end always gets me.” Another user, u/Wagrid, summed up many fans’ reactions to the storyline, writing, and other aspects of the game “From the time Lilly [sic] told Marshall until the end of the next episode, I cried four times. When I re-watch those episodes, I still cry.”
A fan named u/Slappamedoo commented on another Reddit thread about tear-jerking “How I Met Your Mother” scenes. Saying that Segel’s improvised line at the end was what made them cry. “‘I’m not prepared for this,’ says the speaker. I cried and still get choked up every time [sic] I watch that part as someone who has experienced loss.”