‘How I Met Your Mother’ Alternate Ending Could Make It Up to Fans
When the beloved sitcom How I Met Your Mother wrapped its ninth and final season in March, fans were left with one of the most controversial and dissatisfying sitcom endings in recent memory. [Caution: This post contains spoilers if you haven’t seen How I Met Your Mother through the season finale.] Creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas seemingly undid everything that the show’s nine years had been building toward in one fell swoop when they killed off the titular mother in barely a sentence and made Ted end up with Robin, the girl they spent the entire show telling the audience Ted wouldn’t end up with.
Now, an alternative ending has been leaked online, and it appears to be the real alternate ending and not one of the many fan-made ones created in despair after the series wrapped. The alternate ending was posted to YouTube, and while the network didn’t comment on the authenticity of it, most news outlets seem to agree that it was the real thing, though now it has been taken down for copyright violation.
That different ending is predictable but much more in keeping with the tone of the series. The mother doesn’t die. Barney and Robin keep their marriage together. Everything that the ninth season built up isn’t torn down and hastily patched over at the end of the final episode. Fans of the series’ unwavering optimism will much prefer the alternative ending to the confusing and emotional one that actually aired.
Instead of sticking with the show’s tone of sweetly sentimental comedy, Carter and Thomas went high drama with the hourlong series finale. After spending all of Season 9 helping us fall in love with the mother, along with Ted, they reveal that she dies not much later of an unknown ailment. After spending all of Season 9 trying to convince us that something about Barney and Robin’s relationship will work, it’s revealed that they end up getting divorced. Ted raises his kids as a single dad, Robin focuses on her career, Barney gets some girl pregnant and ends up discovering that his daughter is his one true love.
When Ted’s kids encourage him to go and talk to “Aunt Robin” again, it felt like the entire premise of the show was being undone. Aside from the mother being anonymous for the majority of the show, the major point was that Ted and Robin weren’t going to end up together; that Robin would always be “Aunt Robin” to Ted’s kids, not “stepmom Robin.” It was hard to feel happy for Ted finding happiness with a former love when it seemed like the writers were breaking their own carefully constructed rules.
Fans of the show were so angry that Carter Bays tweeted: “If you didn’t like the finale, I guess that happens. We tried something and it didn’t connect with you. I hope we’re still friends,” in response to the fervor after the finale aired. He also revealed that the How I Met Your Mother: The Whole Story, Seasons 1-9 DVD boxed set would include an alternate ending. The clip that popped up online seems to be it.
Fans who caught the alternate ending before it was taken down said it was a vast improvement and the one that should’ve aired. A show like How I Met Your Mother wasn’t something that viewers flocked to for crazy plot twists or realistic drama about the difficulties of romantic relationships. It was escapism about a man looking for love in New York City with the added pleasure of knowing he was going to find his true love — the central conflict was just not knowing who she was or how he would meet her. Now fans of the show can buy the DVD set and imagine that the original ending never happened and Ted and the mother live happily ever after.
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