How I Met Your Mother is loaded with moments that steal your breath or make you feel unexplainable empathy for the story's fictional characters. With nine seasons under its belt, the cast of this show earned their spot as one of America's most beloved television characters. Ted, Barney, Marshal, Lily, and Robin all felt like a part of a family that, for some reason, we all wanted to be a part of.
Maybe it's because of the impetuous and chaotic situations they got themselves in, or their relatable woes, but audiences fell in love with these characters. With a plethora of twists and dives, it became hard not to form some kind of bond.
The show earned its fair share of criticism when it came to these plotlines. Most notoriously when it's series finale became one of the most despised stories in television history. If you're willing to relive through these moments, here are the biggest twists from How I Met Your Mother ranked from worst to best.
10 The Mother's Ending
Nine years. Nine years of wondering who Ted Mosby would finally settle on. Tracy McConnell is revealed as the mother at the end of season eight. Ted finally becomes the happiest man alive after marrying Tracy (a.k.a the "mother") and having two children. However, in the show's speedy haste to the finish line, producers thought the best route to take to end the show is the inexplicable decision to give Tracy some form of a terminal illness.
This leaves Ted alone and his children without a mother, completely undermining the premise of the sitcom. All just so Ted could end up with Robin? Needless to say, fans will never be happy with this twist.
9 Barney Becoming a Father
The full eighth season (and even some of the seventh) revolves around Barney and Robin's marriage. After an extravagant proposal and a match that fans were pleasantly happy with, the two get married. The only time this matrimony seems slightly in jeopardy is when Ted thinks that maybe he does still have feelings for his best friend's fiance (again). Of course, in order to make that pan out, Robin and Barney have an unexplained divorce in the final season.
Robin goes on to travel the world alone and Barney just returns to being a playboy. It all doesn't add up, but the cherry on top is when Barney has a daughter as the result of a one-night stand. This is apparently the only thing that makes Barney finally change his ways.
8 Ted Cheating With Robin
Ted's obsession with Robin is disturbing, and it's on and off throughout the entire series. The moment these two should have realized they were not meant to be together is when Ted decides to cheat on his girlfriend, Victoria, with Robin.
It's a shocking moment early on in the show. At this point, Ted is painted as a lovesick puppy who could do no wrong when it comes to love and relationships. Granted this action does result in Ted receiving a much-deserved cold shoulder from Robin. Obviously, that doesn't last.
7 Barney & Robin
While unexpected, Barney and Robin's relationship was welcome nonetheless. Their relationship is defined in the second season and the two seem to hit it off. Unfortunately, it only lasts for about seven episodes before the two decide they aren't happy together.
Barney gains weight and Robin becomes uncaring and annoyed by everything that Barney does. Despite the breakup, the two characters manage to stay on friendly terms and eventually end up getting married. And then divorced. Talk about a roller coaster.
6 Robin Sparkles
In season two's episode "Slap Bet" the gang is trying to find out where Robin's hatred for malls stems from. After questioning Robin about their theory that she was previously married in a mall, Robin becomes irritated and asks Ted to drop the subject. Barney then shows up with a tape which reveals Robin's deep and dark secret.
The video starts to play and a 1990's Canadian pop star version of Robin Scherbatsky appears. The cigar smoking, gun swindling no-nonsense Robin is remarkably transfixed as Robin Sparkles, her bubbly, teenage alter ego. The contrasting versions of this one character had been welcoming surprise by audiences who still recite her "Let's Go To The Mall" tune to this day.
5 Barney's Father
Right from the start, Barney believes the fairytale that The Price Is Right host, Bob Barker, is his father. His friends obviously recognize that this is a shield to protect him from the fact that he doesn't know his real father. However, after Barney's brother discovers his own dad, Barney starts to feel as if he might want to reconnect with his own.
Barney even finds out who his father is after a fun night in a museum when Barney tells the story about visiting there as a kid with his "Uncle Jerry." He secretly contacts his father but, sadly, doesn't ever hear back from him. That is until Barney's father literally shows up on his doorstep.
4 Left At The Alter
Ted and Stella's relationship seems strained at times. First, she can't even find time to date him, then she doesn't like Star Wars, and then she tells Ted to move to New Jersey. Despite all of this, Ted proposes, Stella says yes, and the wedding is booked. Stella's former husband pops in and out of the picture, but it isn't until their wedding day that Ted realizes that Stella's husband is still in love with her.
Ted invites Tony to the wedding anyway, only to have this action to come back and bite him. Stella, who had been trying to dismiss her feelings for her ex, ends up running off with him, essentially leaving Ted at the altar.
3 Lily's Departure
The whole first season thrives on Lily and Marshall's fairytale-like relationship. The two love each other unconditionally and have been together since the beginning of their college days. That's why Lily's decision to leave Marshal and move to San Francisco for art school is so shocking.
It happens right at the beginning of their engagement and there are few words spoken that would predict this jarring of a decision. It leaves Marshall inconsolable and heartbroken.
2 Marshall's Dad
One of the best things about this show's handling of twists is the way they are administered so realistically. In the sixth season, after a fun night out in the bar, Lily shows up with the "Bad News" that Marshal's father has unexpectedly passed. It's a gut-wrenching scene, especially since it is produced in such a way that reflects how the situation would happen in real-life.
The audience is just as stunned by the news as Marshal, making it one of the hardest scene to watch in the show's entire run.
1 Barney's Proposal
The aforementioned ups and downs of Barney and Robin's relationship is nothing compared to Barney's engagement scheme. Instead of taking the normal route by just telling Robin how he feels, Barney plans an elaborate hoax. It involves making Robin believe that he is dating her infuriating coworker that even extends to the illusion that he wants to marry this girl.
Instead, Robin finds her way to the rooftop to find "The Robin" playbook page, Barney's last play ever. All of this just to ask Robin to marry him. Despite Barney's manipulative and crazy proposal, Robin says yes.