Because of its lacklustre finale and the myriad of memes it's generated since its conclusion, it can be easy to forget just how revelatory and exciting How I Met Your Mother was throughout its run.
The simple but sweeping story of Ted Mosby's quest for true love, the much-watched sitcom introduced the world to a group of flawed, funny, and painfully human friends fumbling their way through life with both hysterical and tragic results.
A show notable for its finales ushering in a whole new era of the core gang's lives, it ran for nine seasons and in turn offered audiences nine very different season finales, each one leading its characters into new chapters of their tumultuous journeys.
Whether they were designed to break your heart, double you over in laughter, or leave you pondering where the likes of Ted, Robin and Barney would end up next, the show's finales varied wildly in quality, but all had something worthwhile to offer.
With that in mind, here are all 9 How I Met Your Mother season finales ranked worst to best, with major spoilers throughout.
9. Last Forever (Season 9)
This was the big one; over two hundred episodes of flashbacks, foreshadowing and heartbreak had all led to this moment, which promised to explain how Ted and The Mother met for the first time.
So what went wrong? Well, basically, everything. The fast-paced, time-jumping structure rushed the last chapter of Ted's journey more than fans were ready for, major character developments were mentioned and then brushed aside, and to add insult to injury Tracy herself was killed off out the blue.
From the jarringly quick execution to the reveal that Ted had been telling his kids this long and winding story just so he could get their blessing to go after Robin again, the one-hour finale was both frustrating and almost completely disrespected everything the show had once stood for.
Sure, it's not entirely meritless - Barney has a kid and finally settles down, and it does a decent job of exploring the complexities of growing up and losing touch with friends - but all told Last Forever was an aggravating misfire, only really saved by the alternate ending the producers released to clean up their mess.