Since its premiere in 2005, “How I Met Your Mother” has brought on a huge fan base, ranging from young teens to middle-aged parents. We’ve developed close bonds with the most eccentric group of friends—Ted Mosby, Barney Stinson, Marshall and Lilly Erikson, and Robin Scherbatsky—and can now probably create a detailed mental map of McLaren’s Pub. As a die-hard HIMYM fan, I will truly miss tuning in every week to see the shenanigans that unfold leading up to how Ted finally meets the woman of his dreams. Now that the nine season long series has finally come to a close, we can reflect on the great lessons “How I Met Your Mother” has taught us.
WARNING: Major spoilers ahead.
1) The single life is great, but one day we’ll all have to grow up
One of the shows most reliable gimmicks was Barney’s stint as the “Player King of New York City.” Aiming to hook up with at least one gullible woman every episode, Neil Patrick Harris’ character had the most d-bag qualities by far. We relied on Barney to teach us about the Bro-Code, awe us with the various schemes in the coveted Playbook, and impress us with how many toys he had in his bachelor pad (like the totally nerdy, yet awesome, Storm Trooper costume in his living room). As the series progressed though, I personally wondered if we’d ever see Barney settle down and finally act like a grown up. He had a promising chance with Robin, despite their divorce. But it was ultimately the birth of his love child Ellie that proved that any bro can turn into a man, teaching audience members that one day the single life will get old and we’re gonna have to act responsibly.
2) Sometimes the things we think to be insignificant, will turn out to be the most important
Before the final reveal of the mother (aka Tracy McConnell) in the final episode of season 8, the audience only had minute details that Ted would occasionally reveal regarding the event that finally lead up to how he met his soul mate. Namely, the yellow umbrella that Ted found on St. Patrick’s day belonging to Tracy, or the fact that the mother was in the Economics class that Ted had accidentally mistaken for Architecture 101. I also can’t help but remember the episode where Ted began to fall in love with the mother as a result of coming upon the little knick-knacks she had in her apartment, like “The Unicorns: Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone” album, or her bass guitar for her band Freakonomics. All these things show us that tiny quirks and chance encounters can have a significant role in our happiness.
3) There are no boundaries with your best friends
Throughout the nine seasons, the friendship between the five characters that we’ve come to know and love blossomed before our eyes to the point where it seemed like they were all getting a tad too close for comfort. The intermingling amongst these guys got intense. How is it that Barney and Ted remained best friends even after Robin dated both of them back to back? Why did Ted let Lilly busy herself with all the details of his failed relationships? And why was there never a grudge between Barney and Marshall whenever Barney would mention Lilly’s boobs, or during the horrendous Slap Bet? I suppose this just goes to show that when you’re surrounded by the group of people you care most about, you’ll let them do and say nearly anything.
4) Never give up on love
With nine years of searching for his soul mate, Ted could at times seem a little desperate as he went in and out of relationships both serious and fleeting. Despite his apparent neediness, we rooted for Ted to never settle when it came to love, which was absolutely worth it when we got to see the love between him and Tracy unfold in the last season. And while it was heartbreaking to learn that the mother died, even before Ted even began to tell his kids the story of how he met her, HIMYM again showed us that love is always possible during the final moments of the finale when Ted shows up at Robin’s window holding the symbolic blue French horn.
5) True love is eternal
Despite the fact that Ted actually ended up with Robin after nine seasons, we can rely on the fact that the love between him and Tracy is eternal. Why else would he spend nine years telling us this story?? In the 20th episode of season eight, when Ted fantasized about showing up at Tracy’s door 45 days before they actually meet he says, “I love you, I’m always gonna love you, ‘til the end of my days and beyond.” Now that’s love. And it you didn’t shed at least one tear during that scene then you’re not human.