How I Met Your Mother has been rumored to have a spin-off series since its finale in 2014 and, thanks to Hulu, it’s finally getting one. While How I Met Your Father won’t be a proper revival with the beloved McLaren’s gang, the showrunners have confirmed a new character will have a direct connection to an original one. The new series starring Hillary Duff in Ted’s former role will have the same premise as How I Met Your Mother, though with the woman’s point of view and a modern context. Craig Thomas and Carter Bays, unfortunately, won’t be returning as showrunners and will be serving as executive producers instead.
In an interview with EW, co-creators Craig Thomas and Carter Bays gave their two favorite episodes, which happen to represent similar themes from How I Met Your Mother while also choosing very different points in the series’ timeline. Considering the show is loosely based on Thomas and Bays’ friendship in New York City, it’s no surprise they chose the real moments from the series that reflect who the characters are rather than just the most fun episodes. That said, here are the HIMYM creators’ choices.
Craig Thomas’s Favorite Episode
Thomas revealed his all-time favorite to be the season 1 finale, “Come On.” He explained that he loves how Ted is at his all-time high from finally getting together with Robin, while coming back to Marshall who is at an all-time low from losing Lily. Thomas elaborated that the final scene represents life: it’s sad and it’s happy all at once while allowing both characters to be vulnerable. He expressed how the darkness of the season 1 finale allowed them the courage to explore the deeply unpleasant sides of life, such as the heart-breaking season 7 episode where Robin Scherbatsky imagines having kids with Barney after discovering she can’t have children.
Carter Bays’ Favorite Episode
Carter Bays claimed his favorite episode was all the way in season 9, which almost serves as a stand-alone origin story for Tracy, Ted’s future wife, and his kids’ titular mother. Season 9, episode 16, “How Your Mother Met Me,” tells the story of Tracy over the past eight years and her heartbreak that led to where she was when she finally met Ted at Barney and Robin’s wedding. Cristin Milioti, who plays the mother, gave an outstanding performance in How I Met Your Mother’s 200th episode, explaining why the audience should fall in love with Tracy like Ted does. After Bays gave his pick, Thomas jokingly backtracked and said Bays’ was the better pick, because his suggests the series peaked during the first season.
Thomas and Bays ended up creating one of the most beloved sitcoms of all time, and their choices reflect the vulnerability that underscores the characters’ complicated lives. While How I Met Your Mother focuses on comedy, friendship, and the nuances of dating in one’s 20s and 30s, it’s the episodes where the characters reach their deepest lows or open up about their heartbreak that make the show so beloved, and both of their choices contain these themes. It’s easy to choose the most theatrical or rewatchable episodes, but the gritty, hard-to-sit-through episodes are what make How I Met Your Mother’s characters real and more relatable to the audience.