How I Met Your Mother: 10 Saddest Moments, Ranked

How I Met Your Mother, the sitcom which aired for 9 seasons, is known for its laughs and one-liners. But the show had sad moments, and we ranked them.

When Barney Cleans Up Rose Petals Off Robin’s Bed

“Tick Tick Tick,” the tenth episode of season seven, is pretty hard to watch for fans given all the events that go down involving Barney and Robin, and the icing on that heartbreak cake comes at the very end of the episode.

Ted returns to his apartment to find Barney blowing out candles and throwing out rose petals that were all across Robin’s room. Seeing Barney so distraught is hard enough, but on top of that, we know that he would never have told anyone about this painful, vulnerable moment had Ted not caught him, he would have suffered in silence.

When Stella Left Ted At The Altar

Poor Ted. He just wanted to do the right thing. Stella objected to Ted inviting Robin to their wedding, so he decided to invite Stella’s ex Tony to level the playing field and prove that inviting exes to your wedding is fine. But then Robin decides she shouldn’t be there and takes the ferry back to New York, where she sees Stella and Tony canoodling together.

Ted finds a note and realizes he’s been left at the altar. One by one, his friends join him and try to comfort him. Fans did not really like stella  from the off, so no one was disappointed when she left, but we all felt bad for Ted.

When Barney Couldn’t Forgive His Dad

When Barney finally met his biological father, he was disappointed by how lame he’d become. He used to be a roadie who toured the United States with some of the biggest rock bands in the world, sleeping around with more women than Barney himself, but now, he’s settled down into a suburban existence with a wife and kids.

Barney is ostensibly disappointed by this because his dad isn’t as cool as he thought he was, but then he reveals why he’s heartbroken: “If you were going to be some lame suburban dad, why couldn’t you have been that for me?”


When Marshall Listened To His Dad’s Final Words To Him

In the episode “Last Words,” Marshall spends his dad’s funeral hung up on a voicemail he received from him between the last time he saw his dad and his dad’s death. All throughout the episode, Marshall thinks that his dad’s final words to him were simply a recommendation to watch Crocodile Dundee III.

However, he leaves the church during the service and listens to the final message, a pocket dial that ends with Marshall’s dad saying, “Marshall? Oh, it looks like I’ve been calling you for almost five minutes. How’s my pocket sound? Oh, sorry about that, buddy. Um, anyway, your mom and I had such a great time seeing you. I love you.”

When Ted Showed How Devastating Robin And Barney’s Engagement Was For Him

When Barney reveals that he’s been orchestrating “The Robin,” the final play in his Playbook, to woo Robin and eventually propose to her, Ted gives the engagement his blessing. But then he gets a text confirming the engagement, and he describes the emotional agony he felt in that moment to his kids with a fast-cutting montage of every single moment in the series where he got punched, kicked, or otherwise seriously injured.

He then says that it felt like all of that pain combined and then multiplied by a million. We get a pretty clear idea of what he’s talking about.


When Ted Found A Heartbroken Marshall In The Rain

The first season of How I Met Your Mother ends with two huge uppings of the stakes. First, Ted and Robin properly get together, so Ted feels on top of the world. Then, he returns home to find Marshall sitting in the rain on the steps outside their apartment building, looking forlorn and holding Lily’s engagement ring.

In a million years, the last thing How I Met Your Mother fans were expecting was for college sweethearts Marshall and Lily – perhaps the most adorable couple in the world – to break up. These final moments of season 1 were still memorable eight seasons later.

When Barney & Robin Divorce, & Robin Drifts From The Group

The finale of How I Met Your Mother made many controversial and heartbreaking decisions that annoyed fans, betrayed character arcs, and were just unnecessary. One that arguably fits all three was the decision to divorce Barney and Robin.


When Tracy Dies

Of course, the foreshadowing of the Mother’s death is only heartbreaking in hindsight. Had Tracy never died, there would be no foreshadowing. Unfortunately, fans did not get the alternate show ending, and Tracy did die.

When The Show Ends

For any show that runs for an extended period of time and has a fanbase the size of HIMYM’s, there will always be a guaranteed heartbreaking moment in it; the end.

Saying goodbye to these characters that fans spent nine years with, who went on many ups and downs, was very hard. Even more so considering how the show ended. Even with the divisive finale, though, the fact remains that the show ending for good is just about as emotional as the show gets.

When Marshall’s Dad Died

Of course, this one tops the list. On every rewatching, even though they can see the moment coming the second, they see the episode-long countdown begin, How I Met Your Mother fans choke up when Lily tells Marshall his dad is dead. Jason Segel’s reaction to the gut-wrenching news has a tragic ingenuity layer because he wasn’t told what the twist ending was.

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