Sitcoms are ripe for fan theories, especially if they’ve been off the air for a while, like How I Met Your Mother. Because it’s a cult favorite, fans constantly pour over the show, again and again, finding new information or plot holes that instigate detailed fan theories. It’s what makes sitcoms like How I Met Your Mother so compelling – with a full cast of developed characters and a constant stream of plots, there’s always lots to sift through. How I Met Your Mother also leaves a lot up to speculation, considering Ted is telling a story to his kids. This leaves lots of room for exaggeration, embellishment and straight-up lies. With Ted telling the story to his kids, it has resulted in many fans questioning his tales over the nine seasons, resulting in a plethora of fan theories.
Arguably one of the saddest theories out there, posted by Martha Sorren, suggests that Ted divorced his wife before she died, which is why he refers to her as the kids’ mom and not as his wife. While How I Met Your Mother gives no concrete information as to whether it’s true or not, there is some evidence that it could be true.
One of the reasons that this sad theory could be plausible is that Ted never once refers to their mother as his wife while he recalls the giant story of their first meeting. It would also make sense for him to refer to her as their mother because, during his kids’ childhood, they would have been split up and they maybe wouldn’t have spent as much time with her. The kids would know and expect him to refer to her as his wife if they had remained married. While this theory cannot be fully proven or disproven, it raises a giant question – why are lots of How I Met Your Mother fan theories so sad?
How I Met Your Mother is a comedy sitcom, yet so many fan theories end up quite sad. Another from Martha suggests that Ted has memory problems, which is why he can only remember one of his previous romantic encounters as Blah Blah until the final season when he finally remembers her actual name. Another theory suggests that the person who dies at the end of the show is Lily, and not Ted’s wife, due to a single line of conversation in the final season. There’s even a theory where they suggest Robin and Barney are dead, which is why they’re not featured in certain scenes in the future. Among all of these devastating theories, the one where Ted divorces his wife before her death pales in comparison.
While it may seem a little morbid for so many fan theories to be so dark, it makes sense. Even though How I Met Your Mother is a comedy show, it focuses on the development of five characters throughout the years, from young adults to becoming parents. While the show is mostly funny, it focuses on really heartfelt things and handles topics like death and loss on multiple occasions. Because of this, it’s very easy for fans to pick up on possible theories that deal with death, aging, and other sad themes. The theory about Ted divorcing his wife before her death is not only sad – it’s realistic. In a world where divorce rates are upwards of 50 percent, it’s definitely possible that this theory could be true. While it absolutely destroys the entire point of the sitcom, it’s not too far-fetched.
Even though How I Met Your Mother maintains its comedic tone all the way through its nine seasons, it is a ripe ground for sad fan theories. As shown, it isn’t very hard to find small plotholes that could be explained away with tragic stories. Though the sitcom is fondly remembered for its hilarious cast and hijinks, it is also capable of telling some very real, raw, emotional stories, whether true or not.
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