For a moment, How I Met Your Father’s season 1 finale seemed doomed to recreate the ending of How I Met Your Mother season 1 — only for the show to then reverse the twist ending of its predecessor. Fortunately, How I Met Your Father is not a carbon copy of How I Met Your Mother. However, the sitcom spinoff has worked out which parts of How I Met Your Mother’s formula How I Met Your Father needs to keep.
While How I Met Your Father’s Sophie is no Ted, the show’s focus on her close-knit group of friends and their dramatic romantic lives is very reminiscent of How I Met Your Mother. One specific element of How I Met Your Mother’s formula that How I Met Your Father has successfully replicated is its penchant for cliffhanger season finales. How I Met Your Mother featured some truly shocking twists at the end of each season. In particular, the show’s earlier season packed particularly effective surprises — something its spinoff proved it too can pull off with How I Met Your Father’s season 1 finale.
How I Met Your Mother season 1 ended with its most stable couple, Marshall and Lily, calling off their engagement and breaking up as Lily left a heartbroken Marshall behind. Sid and Hannah seemed doomed to repeat this devastating break-up during How I Met Your Father’s season 1 finale. However, instead, the couple got married on a whim as How I Met Your Father avoided recreating How I Met Your Mother’s finale twist. When Sid and Hannah were first faced with the news that their long-distance relationship was going to last another year and then hit with the massive bill for their proposed wedding plans, it looked like the future of their relationship was in question, but How I Met Your Father subverted the expectations of viewers expecting history to repeat itself.
Upon arriving at Sophie’s exhibition, the pair revealed that they were no longer planning a wedding not because they had broken up, but because they were already married via city hall. It was a clever way for the How I Met Your Father season 1 finale to avoid retreading a famous plotline from its predecessor and once again underlined the fact that How I Met Your Father diverges from How I Met Your Mother where it matters. From its laugh track to its mixture of broad comedy and heavier relationship drama, the show’s tone is undeniably borrowed from How I Met Your Mother.
However, much like How I Met Your Father’s focus on money struggles was not like anything seen in How I Met Your Mother, the spinoff’s decision to keep its most stable couple together proved that How I Met Your Father has a different take on relationships, too. The fact that another spell of long-distance didn’t spell doom for Sid and Hannah proved that the duo was different from Marshall and Lily, allowing How I Met Your Father to play on audience expectations without copying the earlier show. Setting up the duo to break up in the season 1 finale could have led How I Met Your Mother fans to think that the spinoff was destined to repeat How I Met Your Mother’s season 1 storyline verbatim, and this misdirect made it all the more effective when the How I Met Your Father season 1 finale ended up taking the exact opposite approach in the surprise reveal of Sid and Hannah’s off-screen nuptials.