How did you think the How I Met Your Mother series finale would end? More importantly, did you predict it correctly? There was a lot to take in, did you catch it all? Read our recap to find out!
Dry your tears, we’ve got to recap HIMYM season 9, episodes 23 and 24! Due to the nature of this episode, we have decided to split it up according to year as stated within the episode. Nearly every act was a time jump forward, giving us all too brief glimpses into the lives of the gang.
But first, back to where it all began – 2005
Robin had been living in New York City for two months at the time, meaning it is early in their friendship. This is proven by Robin’s formal induction into the gang right then and there, in their booth at MacLaren’s.
Barney and Robin’s wedding
Flashforward to Barney and Robin dancing at their wedding, looking blissful. Ted is looking forward to moving to Chicago, but then he sees the Mother just innocently playing her bass guitar. When Barney wants to play “Haaaaaaaave you met Ted?” with her, Ted runs out, prompting a tearful goodbye within the gang.
Hugs for Ted all around:
24 hours later
Ted is still in New York. When Marshall and Lily run into him at the bar, expecting him to be unpacking his things in Chicago by now, he explains: he met a girl. But not any girl – she is the bass player from the wedding! Ok, Marshall and Lily forgive him for that. Lily can tell that this one is different.
How will Ted and the Mother get married? Will they leave via hot air balloon? Ted is going all out for this wedding – big French castle and all. He is willing to go broke, but luckily, the Mother runs in just in time to save his life savings. She’s pregnant, and wants to be able to fit in her dress, so the wedding is postponed.
One question we have is: Why couldn’t they have just gotten married sooner, rather than later?
Marshall hates his job in corporate law. After turning down the first call to judgeship, he is just waiting for someone to call him again.
Meanwhile, with Robin’s skyrocketing fame dragging and sending her everywhere around the world, there’s a significant strain on her marriage.
Recently in Argentina, Barney can’t get on wifi to post his daily boner joke to his blog. Robin: “If I gave you an out right now… at the three year mark… would you take it?” Barney’s answer? Get super drunk. But they run into the same relationship problems they had since the start: Can they overcome the bumps in the road? Their lack of communication – or in this case, lack of physical closeness most of the time – may be their downfall.
He takes that out. Surrounded by their friends in Ted and the Mother’s house, they announce they’re divorced. It was a successful marriage that only lasted three years. We think Gwyneth and Chris would call this “conscious uncoupling.” The rest of the universe calls it BS.
After the revelation that Lily is pregnant for a third time, she makes everyone promise they will be together for the big moments. But whether or not that actually happens remains to be seen.
Marshall and Lily are still living in the city, but with Lily pregnant for the third time, the choice was obvious: they have to move. We’re glad to know they still dress up for Halloween, though. When Robin shows up in business mode, and she sees Barney is there too, picking up slutty women, and Ted wearing his hanging chad costume with the Mother, she attempts to make an Irish exit.
Lily catches her sneaking out of the apartment. To Robin, “the gang” is “a married couple who I never see anymore about to have a third kid. It’s my ex-husband… and the guy I probably should’ve ended up with” happily with the mother of his child.
The five of them, hanging out at MacLaren’s, being young and stupid? Robin tearfully admits, “That part’s over.”
The ridiculousness and emotionality of the show is summed up with that one shot of Lily: standing in a white spandex whale suit, crying about the potential end of her friendship with her best friend for a decade, standing alone in the empty apartment.
Ted, Marshall, Lily and Barney are once again in their booth. Barney is way too happy to have them all hanging out again – he is either trying to mask his pain, or he has once again become a dehumanized shell of a character.
Tonight is one of those big moments Lily alluded to in 2016: Marshall will finally become a judge, in Queens. His first ruling? That Ted must stay out later than he should with young kids who will be screaming to wake him up in a few hours.
They have gathered for the annual ‘Robots vs. Wrestlers’ battle, and we learn the Mother and Ted never got married.
We also learn Barney has put together a new playbook in an attempt to achieve a perfect month: 31 girls in 31 days. New plays – The Mannequin, The Jim Nacho – same results.
Ironically, Barney came so far in his years of womanizing that it finally caught up with him. Number 31 is pregnant.
Ted is on the streets of New York, describing the GNB building to his adorable daughter. They run into Robin, and we realize how successful she’s become. Constantly jet-setting around the globe, her face is plastered on buses.
But Marshall likens Robin to the yeti – cold and aloof. They discuss her absence while they await the birth of Barney’s daughter, Ellie. Barney resists his new reality until he has her in his arms, and then he declares her the love of his life.
Barney: “Everything I have, and everything I am, is yours, forever.” But what about her mother – Number 31?
Ted reproposes to the Mother- “Will you marry me on Thursday?”
It only took them seven years and two kids to tie the knot. And finally, the rest of the gang can give Barney retribution for all the late nights. He has finally switched into Dad mode, scolding the young women he would’ve hit on months ago. And then Robin walks in and Marshall announces he’s running for State Supreme Court. Big moments.
Marshall, cramped into the booth with his best friends, leans over to a couple of guys: “Do you have any idea what happened right here, in this very bar? All kinds of stuff.”
With one more emotional toast, Ted marries the woman of his dreams. Ted’s inner monologue, of course, is jabbering on: “If I hadn’t gone through hell to get there, the lesson might not have been so clear.”
Back to that train station the night of Robin and Barney’s wedding
Ted does run up to her to introduce himself, and they instantly realize all the happenstance chances they had over the years to meet each other. Ted points out his initials, carved into the yellow umbrella, but that’s when she digresses.
“This umbrella has always belonged to me,” she says, “Tracy McConnal.” And in that moment, we see them fall for each other.
Ted finally finishes his story
But his kids don’t buy it.
It’s important to remember they filmed these scenes with the kids years ago – so the writers knew, seasons ago, this was how they were going to end the show.
Penny and Luke are outraged – Tracy’s been dead for six years, and they urge their father to move on.
“That’s it?” Penny demands. “This is a story about how you met Aunt Robin,” and she, rightfully so, points out he still “totally, totally, totally has the hots for Aunt Robin.” They love her and want them to get together.
Ted could call Robin, but would that be in-character? No. Ted can do better than that. He shows up at her apartment in New York City, blue french horn in hand.