For many of its fans, the CBS comedy series How I Met Your Mother was more than just a sitcom. The show was also an endless list of clues, possibilities, and theories, a bunch of misplaced puzzle pieces that kept getting put back together with every Â season as we learned more about the tumultuous love life of Ted Mosby and who this Mother truly wasÂ The series finished its nine-season run back in March of this year, but before the show concluded (on a somewhat controversial note, we may add), there were countless How I Met Your Mother theories, predicting just how exactly the show would end. Some of them appeared pretty nuts initially but actually proved to be true (The Mother dies? Ted and Robin get together in the end? Yup, both of those happened), while others were just so out there and so crazy that they never had a chance of being a possibility (at least, we hope they didn’t). To see just what we’re talking about, I’ve assembled a list. These are the craziest How I Met Your Mother fan theories out there.
After How I Met Your MotherÂ co-creator Cater Bays called the series finale of the show “really heartbreaking,” fans immediately went to the internet and started predicting which character would die. Because, apparently, someone just had to die in order to make the finale “heartbreaking” enough for the show’s creators. Many people believed that fan-favorite Barney, played by the Emmy-nominated Neil Patrick Harris, would meet a fatal end in the series’ final episode, allowing for Robin and Ted to possibly reconnect at his funeral. While Robin and Ted did end up getting together at the end of How I Met Your Mother, Barney remained still very much alive. He wasn’t dead–he was a dad.
Both Barney and Robin Die
The only evidence given for this theory was that neither Robin nor Barney showed in the “Porch Test” scene on Lily’s porch in the future. Since, as I said above, the ending of How I Met Your Mother had been described as “really heartbreaking” by one of the show’s c0-creators, some fans thought that they would just bump off both Barney and Robin. But nope. Instead, they just got divorced. While expecting one character to die is sort of acceptable (especially since it did actually happen), predicting the death of two main characters makes this one of the craziest How I Met Your Mother fan theories out there.
Ted Has Alzheimer’s
Put this one down as another ending that would have fit the bill for “really heartbreaking.” Some How I Met Your Mother fans believed that it would be revealed that Ted had suffered from Alzheimer’s and that he was telling his children the story of how he met their mother so that both he and they would be able to hold onto his memories. (Personally, I kind of like this idea, because it sounds incredibly romantic, the concept of Ted wanting to keep his and The Mother’s love story alive even when he can no longer remember it himself. It’s definitely more fitting than the ending we got, in my opinion.) This theory stems from the fact that Ted gets emotional at the idea of his daughter’s wedding because he knows that he’ll soon forget everyone in his life, but this idea doesn’t really hold true because that means Ted would have already had to been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s during the scene where he talks with The Mother about Robin and Barney’s wedding. Even though people can discover that they have Alzheimer’s at an early age, it doesn’t happen very frequently.
Ted Is Dead (and Bob Saget may have actually been Danny Tanner this whole time!)
Some How I Met Your Mother fans out there predicted that Ted was actually dead at the end of the series and that Bob Saget’s character, the narrator, was simply a close friend of Ted’s or the new husband of The Mother, or related to Ted or The Mother in someway. The evidence here came in the fact that Saget was never credited on How I Met Your Mother as “Future Ted,” meaning that there was a chance that he and Josh Radnor could have been playing two entirely different characters. Some even went as far as thinking that How I Met Your Mother could actually be a Full HouseÂ prequel, and that Saget was actually playing Danny Tanner (those people are stupid).Â However, major flaws in this theory (besides the obvious) can be found in the simple fact that Saget’s narrator calls Ted’s kids “kids” and they call him “Dad,” meaning that it has to be Ted talking to his own children.
Ted and The Mother’s Kids Are Ghosts
This theory suggests that The Mother and the kids died tragically in some form of car accident, leaving Ted all by himself. Ted talks with the ghosts of his children and recounts the story of how he met the love of his life, their mother, to them. The kids being dead and thus becoming ghosts explains why they are always the same age in their scenes. However, my question is that if the kids and The Mother all died in an accident, why wouldn’t Ted also see The Mother and talk with her as well? Seems odd that he would just ignore her ghostly presence and solely focus on his kids.
Ted and The Mother Couldn’t Attend Their Daughter’s Wedding Because of Vladimir Putin
This may be my favorite of the How I Met Your Mother fan theories out there, and it’s certainly one of the more ridiculous ones. It comes from Reddit and goes like this:
My theory is as follows-
In 2016 Russia invades the US.
-Putin (through cybernetic enhancements) is ruling overlord president of the US till the year 3000
-Under his reign, he creates a War on Gay marriage.
-Teds daughter is gay
-In fear of being round up and shipped to Antarctica, daughter decides never to get married
-No wedding occurs, so neither Ted nor the Mother get to attend.
What I love most is the creativity behind this theory. Now, if it were actually put into the show, it would have been seriously terrible, but just the fact that someone put this whole together is great. (More likely than not, this entire theory is pure sarcasm from a Reddit user, but sarcastic or not, I had to put it on here.)
Some How I Met Your Mother fans theorized that Lilly may end up dying after watching the scene where The Mother and Ted get teary-eyed, when she says, “What kind of mother misses her daughter’s wedding?” While many thought that this meant that The Mother was dying or going to die (which turned out to be the case), others believed that this conversation could actually be about Lily and the fact that she doesn’t live to see Daisy get married. The fans who theorized this also thought that this would explain Ted’s expression, which is somewhat sad, but not the pure devastation that many would have thought to see from him if The Mother was talking about herself.
Most of the Show was a Dream–Ted Has Been in a Coma
The genesis of this theory comes from the fight that Ted gets into with Doug the bartender in season four. During the fight, Ted gets knocked out cold by Doug, making some fans think since the show’s fourth season, Ted has been in a coma and that the remaining five seasons of the series were simply his imagination. Then, when Ted would wake up, he would realize that he still hasn’t found the “love of his life” and is all alone. Yeah, not only is this one of the more unlikable How I Met Your Mother fan theories out there (imagine having wasted five seasons of the show in Ted’s dream world), but it’s just plain sad.
The Mother Is Actually Barney’s Sister
What an interesting turn of events this would have been! We find out in season six of How I Met Your Mother that Barney has a half-sister named Carly that is away at college, and since The Mother was in Ted’s college class when she first sees him, she would have to be a student. This connection made many people wonder: why could Carly not be The Mother? People also thought that this was backed up by the fact that The Mother’s roommate said that The Mother would steal every guy that she brought home, making her behavior sound a little Barney-esque. However, much of the evidence in this theory was refuted in the 200th episode of the series, when we find out that The Mother hasn’t dated many people at all actually.
The Future Scenes Take Place During a Zombie Apocalypse (aka How I Met Your Mother becomes The Walking Dead)
One hilariously outrageous theory from Mandatory.com suggested that all of the future scenes of the series, between Ted and his kids in 2030, could have taken place during a zombie apocalypse. Read below and be amazed:
Personally, we’re hoping that the final scene of the series pulls out to reveal that Ted and his kids are inside of a bunker during the zombie apocalypse of 2030. In an effort to calm his children and keep his sanity, Elder Ted tells them the world’s longest “meet cute” story. Of course, the kids get bored after dad’s 1,000th digression, which explains their look of perpetual annoyance during the framing sequences. But what else are they going to do, go out and get eaten by zombies?
So they sit, listening to their dad tell yet another story about Barney’s playbook and Robin’s chirpy coworker Patrice when suddenly the bunker door bursts open and in comes The Mother except that she’s a zombie because, again, zombie apocalypse. And right behind her is Zombie Robin and Zombie Lily and Zombie Barney and Zombie Marshall who funnily enough shows more life as a zombie than he ever did during nine seasons of the show. And, uh, Zombie Martin Short’s character from a couple seasons ago is also there because Martin Short is always awesome. Then all the zombies devour Elder Ted as his children sigh in relief that the story has finally, finally, come to a satisfying conclusion.
So How I Met Your Mother meetsÂ The Walking Dead? I would have surprisingly been okay with this. (Or you know, I would have been cool with The Mother just not dying like she did. Sorry, folks. Still bitter.)
Ted’s TV is Broken
However, even crazier than the zombie apocalypse theory may be this one, which suggests that the entire series, the whole story of how Ted met The Mother was just one insane, nine season-long, epic way of passing time. For this one to work, many people, including The Mother (who actually did die) could have kicked the bucket and it wouldn’t have mattered. Here’s the theorist’s full explanation, and of course, it comes from Reddit:
Someone on /r/HIMYM pointed out that 2030 is a “trilogy year,” meaning one in which the gang watches the entire original Star Wars trilogy.
Ted will never let anything get in the way of this, and will likely force his kids to participate at all costs.
But I suggest that something comes up, namely the TV is broken, so he simply decides to tell his kids his own giant saga: how he met their mother.
Given that the mother has stated that Ted loves to lives in his stories, he’s bound to embellish every little detail, and he’s been shown to do so. This is why he takes so long to tell the story and goes off on so many tangents, namely the “endless parade of [girlsÂ he’s bedded].” He wants it to be as epic legendary as possible.
He’s also told the kids the story before. They don’t even say they haven’t heard it before, they simply ask “are we being punished?” They’ve heard it before, but as Ted wants it to be his own trilogy to share, he keeps on repeating it.
TL;DR Ted’s TV is broken, so instead of watching Star Wars, he tells his kids about how he met their mother and embellishes it to be “legendary.”
And while numerousÂ How I Met Your Mother fans were frustrated, angered, and annoyed with the ending that they were given, with The Mother dying and Ted ending up with Robin, just imagine if this had been the legitimate ending: a giant sweeping, over-exaggerated tale meant to keep Ted’s occupied because their TV wouldn’t playÂ Star Wars. I never thought I’d say this, but I think that would have been dumber than the ending that we actually got.
Photos via CBS