It has been nearly a month since the How I Met Your Mother series finale, and some fans still cannot get over the surprising ending to the comedy series. But according to one of the show’s stars, one scene that ended up on the cutting room floor might have provided viewers with some closure.
Alyson Hannigan told TVLine on Saturday that HIMYM producers originally shot a quick video of (spoiler alert!) the Mother’s (Cristin Milioti) funeral. But it the scene was left on the cutting room floor because it was too emotional. Instead, Ted (Josh Radnor) just mentioned that his wife became sick, and it was later revealed that she passed away.
“Honestly, if you saw [that original] cut, it would be even more heart-wrenching than what the finale was,” Hannigan said of the original How I Met Your Mother series finale. “They were like, ‘No. It’s just too gut-wrenching.’ And I was like, ‘That’s what I want. I want my heart ripped out and slammed on the floor and, like, stomped on!’”
The Mother’s death was probably the most controversial moment of the How I Met Your Mother series finale. In the span of just a few minutes, viewers learned that the love of Ted’s life had passed away, leaving him a single father of two kids (Lyndsy Fonseca and David Henrie.) Those kids then encouraged him to go after his first love, Robin (Cobie Smulders). In another polarizing scene, the HIMYM finale revealed that Robin and Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) got divorced, despite producers spending all of Season 9 focusing on their wedding.
Watch Ted decide to go after Robin in the How I Met Your Mother series finale.
Many How I Met Your Mother fans thus felt cheated after the series finale. Viewers spent nine seasons getting used to the idea that Robin was not Ted’s soulmate, only for the two to end up together in the end. But Hannigan believes the funeral scene might have eliminated some of this HIMYM backlash.
“[The funeral scene] would have been better for the audience, so that then they can process, ‘Oh, [Ted] mourned. He got closure’ — and then they’d be happy that [he and Robin] got together,” Hannigan concluded of the HIMYM series finale. “Rather than be like, ‘Oh, wait. She died? What? They’re together, huh?’ And credits. That’s what I think was too fast.”
Hannigan’s comments came just days after the aforementioned Harris also defended the How I Met Your Mother series finale. The current Hedwig and the Angry Inch star argued that his playboy character Barney was not the type to settle down and get married. The HIMYM finale ended with Barney single once again but raising a child who resulted from a one-night stand.
“It wasn’t necessarily the happy ending people were expecting,” Harris told David Letterman last week. “But [HIMYM producers] Carter [Bays] and Craig [Thomas], who were once writers on your show and the executive producers and the creators, knew this ending years ago and had played towards that. I was a big proponent of it and a big fan of it. Sometimes people’s growth doesn’t really mean that they grow up. There are certain people who you want to get in a solid relationship and really settle down and learn from things. You want Barney to be the guy you can bring your mom home to, but Barney’s the guy who wants to bang your mom. At the end of the day, it’s not always meant to be that way.”
Watch Neil Patrick Harris defend the How I Met Your Mother finale below.