The show’s last season took place over the days leading up to their wedding, and viewers were outraged when the series finale revealed that Barney and Robin got divorced. Despite the poor execution, How I Met Your Mother was ultimately correct for breaking up the fan-favorite relationship. Barney and Robin would never have worked in the long run, and keeping them together would have negatively impacted the story that was being told.
Barney’s Proposal Was Emotional Manipulation
Although fans widely love this proposal, Barney made sure Robin was confused and vulnerable before he popped the question. When he tried to kiss her just a few weeks before, Robin shot him down. Afterward, he played with her feelings, spied on her, and pretended to date the person she hated most in the world.
In a way, it feels as though Robin may not have even said yes to Barney if he hadn’t left her so confused. He created a specifically designed situation to torture her, and she was left emotionally wrecked from all of his mind games.
Robin Kept Questioning Her Decision To Marry Barney
Getting cold feet is one thing, but Robin questioned whether or not she wanted to marry Barney more than once. In fact, she kept being drawn back to Ted, which should have been a red flag.
When someone’s really in love, they shouldn’t be as unsure about their decision as Robin was. It could be blamed on her fear of commitment, but Robin didn’t seem to be questioning her decision to get married, as much as her decision to marry Barney, specifically.
They Were Similar In All The Wrong Ways
One of the reasons viewers felt that Barney and Robin worked so well together was their similarities. They both tended to be cynical, and they were also terrified of being in a serious relationship. But putting two characters who are afraid of commitment together doesn’t help them overcome it. It makes them both worse.
Barney and Robin were a complete disaster. They pushed each other away and struggled to be open in their relationship. They had no one to encourage them to talk about their feelings, and they worried the other would see them as lame if they did. Barney and Robin often kept their emotions pent up inside, which prevented them from leaning on each other and being a united front.
Barney Lied About The Playbook
A large part of Barney’s proposal to Robin included burning the Playbook. The Playbook was written by Barney and consisted of hundreds of different schemes to trick women into sleeping with him.
Getting rid of it would have shown incredible character development and was probably one of the reasons that Robin accepted his proposal. But, as it turns out, Barney lied to her about burning his life’s work and instead burned a fake one to deceive her.
The Show Was Always Meant To Reflect Reality
People watch television as a way to escape reality, so when Barney and Robin got divorced, the audience was robbed of their “happily ever after.” Having a shocking ending rather than a happy ending is outdated and often leaves a stale taste in viewers’ mouths.
However, How I Met Your Mother made it very clear from the beginning that the show was about the ups and downs of life. It’s up to viewers whether or not that’s the type of show they want to spend their time on, but Barney and Robin’s toxic relationship would never have survived as long as it did, in reality.
They Dated And Were Miserable
Barney and Robin broke up because they realized they didn’t work as a couple. Neither of them was happy in the relationship, and even their friends knew they had to stop dating for their own good. They might have loved each other, but love doesn’t equal compatibility.
After coming to this conclusion, the two never date, yet they randomly got engaged without even a test run first. It makes complete sense that their marriage didn’t work, and no sense that they ever thought it would.
Robin And Ted Made More Sense
Robin and Ted weren’t popular among fans, but they knew each other better than anyone else. After their relationship ended, the two became best friends and lived together for years. They were each other’s person, and while Ted had several flaws, Robin had just as many. Many argue that Ted going back to Robin was character regression when it’s the complete opposite.
Ted spent his entire life searching for the perfect woman who would check off all his boxes. But he realized that there is no perfect person and that people can have more than one great love in their lifetime. Ted’s famous line, “I don’t want perfect. I want Robin,” was a sign of his growth.
They Fought Constantly
Robin and Barney’s communication problems were something they should have gone to counseling to work out. However, neither one of them wanted to address their issues healthily. Whenever a fight would start, they’d have sex to avoid the confrontation.
They kept this up for most of their relationship until they were stuck on a ski left, and sex wasn’t an option. Barney and Robin were forced to argue finally, and things got hostile.
Only Barney’s Daughter Could Change Him
As proven time and time again, romantic love was never going to be enough to change Barney. Even when Barney and Robin were engaged, he tried to sleep with Lily at his bachelor party when he thought she was offering. Barney sees women as objects and has no problem treating them like so. He even admitted to selling a woman and leaving another stranded in the woods after stealing her car.
Barney’s daughter is what made him realize the error of his ways. Barney doesn’t want anyone to take advantage of Ellie, and he shouldn’t be taking advantage of women either. Barney was saved by becoming a parent, a much more powerful and realistic story than being saved by romance.
The Truth Behind Ted’s Story Came To Light
The series finale of How I Met Your Mother was controversial because many viewers felt deceived. The audience believed that the show would end with Ted and the mother happily married, but that was merely an assumption. The story Ted told his kids came to an end, and at that end, Tracy was the last woman he had been with.
But anything that happened in the present wasn’t a part of that story. No one ever said the show would end the moment Ted’s tale wrapped up. Ted reuniting with Robin after she divorced Barney and Ted’s wife died was a shocking yet truthful ending.