While How I Met Your Father owes a lot to How I Met Your Mother. The season one finale of HIMYF demonstrated that the two shows are very different in important ways. It is never easy for a spinoff series to establish its own identity. To earn a spinoff of a show like How I Met Your Mother, the original series must be successful. And for the series to be successful, How I Met Your Mother must have a recognizable tone and style that many viewers want to see more of.
As a result, many spinoffs find themselves in the unenviable position of attempting to recreate an earlier show. While also avoiding outright copying their predecessor. In some cases, such as Roseanne’s retooling of The Conners, sitcom spinoffs will reboot the existing show. And continue the story as if nothing had changed. On the other hand, other spinoffs make an admirable attempt to recreate the atmosphere of their predecessors with entirely new characters and plots. As demonstrated by How I Met Your Father’s season 1 finale.
The events of HIMYM’s pilot were reversed in How I Met Your Father’s season one finale (albeit with some important differences). In the season one finale of HIMYF, the commitment-phobic flighty Sophie is shocked when Jesse mumbles in his sleep that he loves her. On the other hand, Ted told Robin on their first date that he loved her on purpose. This contrast allowed How I Met Your Father to demonstrate that the spinoff was more than just a parody of How I Met Your Mother.
How I Met Your Father has a similar tone and sense of humor to How I Met Your Mother. But making Sophie the heroine ensures that the film will never be a clone of How I Met Your Mother.
The How I Met Your Mother cameo worked because it reaffirmed that Sophie and Ted couldn’t be more different. Implying that the two shows’ similar tones don’t prevent them from telling very other stories. Sophie’s reaction to Jesse’s declaration of love opposed Ted Moseby’s proclivity to jump into serious relationships at the drop of a hat. To emphasize the point, Sophie later runs into Robin at a bar. Rather than defending Jesse’s actions and chastising Sophie for her freak out. Robin remarks how ridiculous Ted’s absurd “I love you” was.
The season finale of HIMYF ended up focusing on the consequences of Sophie’s freak out. Demonstrating how opposed the two protagonists and their journeys are. Sophie’s refusal to accept Jesse’s unexpected “I love you” resulted in him reuniting with his ex Meredith. Demonstrating How I Met Your Father’s Sophie suffered due to her fear of commitment. In contrast, Ted struggled due to his desire for affirmation. In contrast, the pilot episode of How I Met Your Mother ended with Robin losing interest in Ted because he told her he loved her so quickly. Highlighting a clear contrast between How I Met Your Father’s lead and the earlier show’s hero. As How I Met Your Father season 2 approaches, the spinoff is bound to borrow more from HIMYM. So this clear distinction between the two shows will become increasingly important as the series progresses.