As Ted Mosby begins to tell his story in How I Met Your Mother, it’s clear his romantic tale will eventually come full circle. Indeed, Ted’s a great storyteller and thus knows how to tie it all together. In the early seasons, he introduces each character and explains their goals in life.
However, the series is a master at bringing major story arcs or running gags full circle. For instance, Ted’s love life goes through numerous obstacles before coming back around. Robin’s career is like a rollercoaster ending where it started. Other times, it’s simply a classic joke or a funny character flaw that sneaks back up. As the series ended, Ted takes the story back to the beginning and shows how each character evolved or stayed the same.
Tracy Loses Max And Ted Loses Tracy
Tracy’s journey is more than just being Ted’s wife and The Mother. Her tragic story starts with heartbreak and then acceptance. But, of course, Tracy’s story ends just like it started. Her relationship with Max mirrors her marriage with Ted. The only difference is she ends up on the opposite side. For instance, Tracy’s life is turned upside down when Max suddenly dies. Later, Ted goes through a similar experience when Tracy passes away at a young age. Indeed, Tracy’s death is one of the most heartbreaking separations in How I Met Your Mother. In both cases, Tracy and Ted learn to give relationships another chance after losing a loved one. Indeed, Tracy’s tragic story ends much like it began with heartbreak and then acceptance.
In season 1, Barney reveals that he reinvented himself after having his heart broken. He then got a job at Altrucell working with Greg Fisher, the same guy that stole his girlfriend. At the same time, Barney’s job remained a mystery his friends couldn’t crack. He only gave subtle hints at his career until the final season. Indeed, drastically changing his appearance and starting a new career were all part of his grand plan. In the last season, Barney’s story comes back around as he admits to working with the F.B.I. to bring down Greg and his company. Barney explains he patiently spent ten years executing his revenge plan in a memorable full-circle moment.
Have You Met Ted
Barney first plays “have you met Ted?” in the pilot to help Ted talk to Robin. Indeed, he even uses the line several times in the series. In the short term, the line always helped Ted start a conversation, but none of the relationships worked out. Regardless, Barney was a great wingman for Ted and refused to give up.
The famous line comes back around in the final season when Ted prevents Barney from playing the game. Of course, Barney wants to use the line on Tracy, but Ted has to leave for Chicago. If Ted agreed to play, it would be the first time the line worked as Ted and Tracy instantly fell in love.
The Sword Fight
It’s not uncommon for Ted and Marshall to settle disputes with a good old-fashioned sword fight, ala The Princess Bride. However, the sword fight comes full circle in the final season with Lily and Robin’s epic dual. It’s a nice little callback and running joke in the series. At the same time, it shows that they’re still the same people. Despite becoming mature adults, Ted and his friends stay true to themselves. Life might be taking them in different directions, but they’re always going to find time for a sword fight.
From Robin Sparkles To World-Famous News Anchor
Robin’s career indeed came full circle as she went from Canadian pop star Robin Sparkles to world-famous news anchor. Early in her career, she was a teen star with the number one hit “Let’s Go To The Mall.” After being a famous star, she went back to being a nobody. At times, it was a relief for her to put Sparkles behind her. Regardless, her entire story arc revolved around regaining fame and putting her love life second. Robin was constantly breaking boundaries and focused on her career more than anything. Her story comes back around after she reinvented herself as a world-renowned news anchor. It was always her destiny to be famous.
The famous running joke slap bet went for several seasons before having two unforgettable moments in the final season. In the season 2 episode, “Slap Bet,” Barney wins the initial bet and taunts Marshall with the prospect of getting slapped in the face. Of course, it turns around, and Marshall gets several slaps to use on Barney. Over the years, Marshall hit Barney with the funniest and most painful-looking slaps. Nonetheless, few compare with the final crushing slaps. The second last slap is so devastating that it leaves Marshall’s handprint on Barney’s face. However, the final slap saves Barney and Robin’s wedding from being a disaster. Indeed, the last slap prevents Barney from leaving Robin at the altar.
Barney Becomes A Dad
In the final season, Barney’s life as a single father mirrors his childhood, except now he’s the parent. Barney’s mother, Loretta, was a single mother that raised two sons. He always adored her, so it makes sense that his life is similar. In addition, he grew up without a father, which had a profound effect on him.
Now, he gets the chance to be a good dad and always be there for his daughter. Having a daughter also changes the way he treats women. In the pilot, he loves the single life and uses the playbook constantly. He still loves being single in the finale but yells at two attractive women to leave Maclaren’s Pub and call their parents.
Lily Can’t Keep A Secret
In How I Met Your Mother, the characters kept secrets from each other constantly. Of course, Lily couldn’t keep a secret if her life depended on it. Indeed, it’s one of her biggest flaws. For instance, in “Slap Bet,” Lily spills the beans to Barney that Robin was not married. However, the series found a way to take a character flaw and bring it full circle. In the final season, Lily keeps two significant secrets to herself. First, she doesn’t tell anyone that Ted’s moving to Chicago. Later, she reveals another big secret that she’s pregnant. Lily surprised everyone with her ability to keep such a big secret for a full day.
The Yellow Umbrella’s Journey
The yellow umbrella became a symbol for Tracy and represented the beginning of Ted and Tracy’s story. The umbrella goes back and forth between them until it finally brings them together. The umbrella’s journey begins in “No Tomorrow” when Tracy leaves it at a club, and Ted takes it home. Ted has the umbrella for several years before he forgets it at Cindy and Tracy’s apartment. There are several heartwarming moments in How I Met Your Mother, but few compare to Tracy and Ted’s meeting. Indeed, they officially meet for the first time at the train station under the umbrella as it pours rain. Future Ted’s story comes full circle, as does the umbrella’s. Ted and Tracy are finally together, and the umbrella is back with both of them.
The French Blue Horn Comes Full Circle
Ted steals a French blue horn from a restaurant for Robin after their first date. He then races over to her apartment and stands outside, holding the gift in his hands. Ted wants to be with Robin from the first episode, but the timing doesn’t work out for them. Technically, Ted’s telling the story about his relationship with Robin and not with Tracy. Indeed, the entire story focuses on Ted’s feelings for Robin. Ted then brings the story back around in the series finale. In the year 2030, he steals the French blue horn again and stands outside Robin’s apartment. The scene is identical to the original from the pilot, except they are older and wiser.