Movie Reviews

What Happens Next In How I Met Your Father (Based On HIMYM's Formula)

How I Met Your Father season 1 has followed the basic premise of How I Met Your Mother, making it possible to attempt to predict the show’s outcome. How I Met Your Father starts by introducing a grown-up Sophie Tompkins in 2050, and much like the older Ted Mosby, she begins the story of how she meets her son’s other parent. From there, the series uses flashbacks to 2022 as Sophie recounts her days as a young, single person in New York City. The rest of the plot in How I Met Your Father differs from that of HIMYM (so far), but the bones of the parent series’ formula are certainly there.

Future Ted in How I Met Your Mother spends years telling his children his grand tale. However, by the end, it becomes clear his story is never about how he finds his wife. Instead, it’s a way of getting his kids’ blessing to begin a relationship with Robin. It’s then revealed that the “mother” passes away five years before Ted starts spinning his yarn. While How I Met Your Father can be expected to take its own twists and turns, it has already established the foundation for the same formula as HIMYM. It’s possible to ponder what the future holds if the series sticks to its old tricks.

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Even though Sophie starts How I Met Your Father season 1, episode 1, by declaring her excitement for her date with Ian, the pilot’s real star is Jesse. The two have an obvious connection which grows through subsequent episodes. Finally, they have their big romantic moment, but it all falls apart. The “will they won’t they” relationship obviously parallels Ted and Robin in How I Met Your Mother, indicating that Sophie and Jesse could go the same way.

Since Robin ends up being Ted’s endgame while not being the mother, it seems that How I Met Your Father wants audiences to believe this will be the case for Jesse and Sophie. Still, HIMYM makes it clear in episode 1 that Robin isn’t the mother of Ted’s kids, but HIMYF has no such definitive revelations. This keeps the newest duo’s relationship securely under a veil of secrecy. Perhaps the series will turn this formula on its head and make Jesse the father of Sophie’s son, but not the person she ends up with.

How I Met Your Father episode 1 informs the audience that the person who will one day become the father of Sophie’s son is at Sid and Hannah’s engagement party. While the end of episode 1 cycles through images of the men Sophie meets that night, it’s later revealed that Drew, her first boyfriend of the series, is at the party but not shown on screen. This qualifies Drew as a candidate for “father” and proves the field isn’t limited only to characters introduced in episode 1.

How I Met Your Mother does something similar in season 4 by revealing that Ted’s future wife is a student in the first class he ever taught. That started a trend of poring through the class to determine who Ted Mosby’s wife is, but of course, Tracy is nowhere to be found. She isn’t shown on screen until her official reveal. If How I Met Your Father is to follow this precedent, then the “father” is not a character seen on screen in the first episode, which disqualifies all the current suspects.

Related: HIMYF Timeline Tease Means Season 2 Can Repeat HIMYM’s Best Episodes

Ted has a lot of close calls throughout How I Met Your Mother. Each of his significant girlfriends is thought to be “the one” for a time, but things never work out. Ted even gets to his wedding day with Stella in season 4. However, even that turns out to be a no-go (though audiences get to see what their kids would have looked like). Then, when the time finally comes for the mother’s name to be revealed in HIMYM, audiences don’t even get to see the two seriously date.

In How I Met Your Father, Sophie has already told her son she dates many men before she finally gets with the father. Still, her wording of this comment leaves the door open for the likes of Ian and Jesse since even in the season 1 finale, Sophie hasn’t “gotten with” either of them. If HIMYF follows its predecessor’s formula, Sophie will come extremely close to her happily ever after several times, so close that audiences genuinely think it’s going to happen. It will mean a lot of heartbreak seen on screen, but that is a genre staple after all.

It is a big enough surprise that Barney and Robin hook up in HIMYM, but their marriage in season 9 makes it seem like the romance between Robin and Ted is officially over. This misdirection makes the series’ final reveal more shocking and even leads many, especially Barney and Robin fans, to forsake the show. This might make this dynamic a gamble for How I Met Your Father to repeat, but if it does, it would have to involve Robin’s parallel in Jesse.

As the obvious flip-side to Sophie’s “will they won’t they” coin, it appears that per the HIMYM formula, Jesse will have to date another group member. Since there are only three girls (two of which are Sophie and his sister), this only leaves Valentina as an option. Of course, it’s hard to imagine a less likely match. How I Met Your Father‘s Jesse and Valentina have hardly begun to develop a friendship, let alone a romance. Still, there is plenty of time for this to change, and once upon a time, Barney and Robin would have seemed just as unlikely.

Related: How I Met Your Father Could Fix How I Met Your Mother’s Oldest Problem

Naturally, just because the foundation of How I Met Your Father season 1 is similar to that of How I Met Your Mother, it doesn’t mean that things have to play out the same way, and the show might well spring a storytelling surprise. No law decrees that Jesse and Sophie have to be the endgame or that the mysterious “father” can’t be anyone who has already been set up in How I Met Your Father season 1. Sticking precisely to the HIMYM formula could significantly hinder the success of the spinoff series since audiences will be left with no fun new ideas, revelations, and surprises to reel over.

Ultimately, the foundation of HIMYM and its resulting formula can be used in HIMYF for nostalgia’s sake or even be placed here and there to mislead audiences about where the plot is headed. However, the series must be able to stand on its own. It may be tempting to use How I Met Your Mother as an outline to develop theories, but if the same plots are reused, that will surely result in disappointment. Assuming How I Met Your Father continues to use its quirky style for several more seasons, audiences will likely be left with a unique story.

More: The Big Questions That How I Met Your Father Season 2 Needs To Answer

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