'How I Met Your Mother' scoop: Barney, Robin, Ted storyline will 'take a few episodes to explode,' says boss

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Image Credit: Ron P. Jaffe/CBS

Don’t call it a love triangle just yet.

The final moments of Monday’s How I Met Your Mother could have been interpreted many ways. As Victoria boarded a bus out of Ted’s life, she left him with parting words, “There is a reason it didn’t work out between you and me. It’s Robin. She’s so much bigger in your world than you realize.”

Your post-episode confusion is exactly what creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas intended. 

“We chose our words carefully as we always do, and it’s all right there,” Bays tells EW exclusively. “Obviously we’re not telling the whole story right away because there’s still a lot of story left, but I think Robin had always been an integral part in Ted’s life. If you look at all the moments that he’s kind of come close with girls, Robin has always kind of been there at the moment where it fell apart. If you look at him and Zoe, if you look at him and Stella, it’s definitely a monkey on his back that he needs to figure out how to move past, or, not move past.”

But that’s not something fans will see right away. Bays says just like the audience, it will take Ted some time to figure out the truth behind Victoria’s words. “As we left it, the narrator is very much aware that Robin will become an issue for him, specifically for him and Barney, and that triangle will not work out. But Ted has not internalized this yet. He laughed it off, if you remember, when Victoria told him that. So it’s not like next episode is going to be Ted asking Robin out. It’s a little more complicated than that.”

How complicated? For one, Bays says those worried the show will be revisiting the Barney-Robin-Ted love triangle should prepare for twists. “It’s not as clear cut as that, and there will be some other elements,” he says. “The way we’ve been talking about it, there is this central triangle between Ted, Barney, and Robin that’s always been there…and it will start rising to the surface.” But, he warns, “it will end up not being a triangle so much as some other geometrical shape. A square or a pentagon. Or it could be a pentagram — a love pentagram between Ted and Robin and Barney and their dark lord Satan.”

But this is not something fans will see in the next episode, which Bays says is more about Robin and Barney. “This is where I don’t want people to get frustrated. Where we left of is Ted, Robin, and Barney just goofing around having fun at the bar. I feel like is setting a fuse that may take a few episodes to explode, we’ll put it that way.”

(Benjamin Wood contributed to this report)

How I Met Your Mother fans, follow Sandra on Twitter for a weekly take on the show: @EWSandraG

Comments (49 total) Add your comment
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  • Len Stiller

    I wish this was the season and it wasn’t renewed for another two years. The storylines are going in circles now! It’s become so repetitious and monotonous.
    It has some positive qualities but they are really dragging it on now and are treating audiences like idiots if they expect viewers to wait a few more years before they finally reveal who the mother is while they make it up as they go along with no idea of how it should end.
    They should have made it shorter but better written and they could have ended it by now.

    • Len Stiller

      Correction:
      I wish this was the final season and it wasn’t renewed for another two years. The storylines are going in circles now! It’s become so repetitious and monotonous.
      It has some positive qualities but they are really dragging it on now and are treating audiences like idiots if they expect viewers to wait a few more years before they finally reveal who the mother is while they make it up as they go along with no idea of how it should end.
      They should have made it shorter but better written and they could have ended it by now.

      • Melissa in CA

        I tend to agree. As much as I love HIMYM, I think this is one of those shows that could benefit from having a specific end date.

      • Dum Dum Didday

        This show is, was, and always will be garbage made for yuppies – “I love in New York, therefore my life must be interesting” said the bland white yuppies and their boring problems

      • The Truth

        Agree with Dum Dum Didday. They seem soooo envious of Friends and trying to prove they are the coolest. people. on the planet. eva. They aren’t.

      • satirex

        correction of correction:
        repetitive

        This show is growing increasingly tedious. I’ve always thought Barney was annoying, and Ted is boring. They made a mistake with Ted and Robin. They’re right, in that Ted and Robin shouldn’t be over. And when they made the show about Ted meeting the great love of his life, and then said it wasn’t Robin, they painted themselves into a corner.

      • Hannah

        You guys all suck and are sooooo wrong.

  • Liz

    I love this show, I always get a good laugh. It can go on for 5 more years as far as I’m concerned and there can be triangles, squares or pentagrams.

    • lee

      HOLLAAAA

    • buttercup

      i agree with you 100% there is so much more to this story now i can hang on for a couple mor year but with that they show the mother and we get 1 or 2years with her :)

    • dp

      my thoughts exactly

  • JOE

    Yeah its not like this is a mystery series, it is a sitcom with a clever plot device at its center. The pleasure of this show is in the journey not the destination (sorry I get philisophical when I have a lot of iced coffee in me)

  • Rob

    I thought it was pretty clear from that episode. Barney and Robin get married thus ending the triangle.

    • Asha

      I thought so too. I don’t see Barney marrying anybody else but Robin. Every woman he’s ever been with has tried to change him except for Robin. Only Robin appreciates his true self and vice versa.

  • Dan

    Robin becomes the surrogate for Ted and Barneys children.

  • Boobs

    I think Ted is going to be the one to bring Barney and Robin together, that is how the triangle will be twisted or whatever. The bride is so obvoiusly going to be Robin.

  • India

    Oh geez, I hadn’t yet seen the episode yet, but if this is where it’s headed, it sounds like they’re forcing this into a “Ross & Rachel”, will they/won’t they, let’s drag this on for 10 years storyline.

  • Al

    Just show the mother already and have the relationship develop over the next few seasons. They have run out of ideas.

  • endo

    Ted, Barney and Robin form a polyamorous relationship.

  • Matthew

    You could see this coming ever since the Goat episode quite a few years back. Lets look at the facts

    A) Ted was annoyed about the Barney/Robin hookup
    B) Ted has said point blank in season 1 that Robin is not the mother
    C) Barney was very edgy around Ted about Robin. He knew about their past.

    Its point B more than anything that tells me that once Barney and Robin again hookup that intertia will pull them away from Ted. Of course the show being what it is, this will happen very gradually over the next 2 years. I think the effects have been shown. We have yet to see Barney and Robin in advanced age Ted flashforwards.

    • Viv

      I like the theory that the mother is Barney’s half sister and Ted meets her at Barney’s wedding to Robin. I mean the first episode introduced Robin so of course she is integral to how Ted met the mother.

      • Katie

        I would like to see that theory become a reality.

  • Michael

    How I MEET YOUR MOTHER has already said next season is their last

    • Anonymous

      I think they are proceeding as if it is their last, its not confirmed

  • Brand x

    Here’s the thing- I don’t think that this is a Ross and Rachel thing because of the way it’s being presented. That is, this show isn’t about how Ted physically meets the woman he marries, it’s about how he becomes the Ted that can meet the woman he marries and be the Ted that she would want to marry. The show is about how he’s growing and changing and how certain parts of his life are lining up and others are falling apart and I think Victoria is right- Robin is a Thing in His Life that he needs to get squared away before he can become the Ted that his future wife will want to be with.

    Of course, I think that storylines like this work as long as the conflict is fairly realistic and the idea that exes who attempt to maintain close relationships with each other will waver in and out of periods where the lines between friends/lovers will blur is a very realistic one and, in the real world, something that should be addressed and I’d rather he get things sorted out with Robin to avoid some horrible scenario where he eventually just cuts her off for being a complication.

  • The Truth

    This show takes itself waaaaaaaaaay too seriously. Not even LOST was this serious. Ted + Robin are NOT gonna happen. The creators stated. Ted told his kids. Etc, etc. It needs to end ASAP.

  • The Truth

    They even brought a British woman as a “serious” love interest for Barney. Emily (with Ross), anyone?

  • mol

    Isn`t the whole show kinda dumb? If it is Ted telling his kids stories about he met their mom then why so many episodes not about the mom or how they got together. and there is episodes about stuff most people would not tell their kids about. jumped the shark from the start with the dumb idea that ted was narrating the stories 2 his kids.

    • Mel

      Why do you people read articles about stuff you don’t care about? If you think a show jumped the shark then don’t read about it. You won’t waste your time and you won’t annoy people who actually get joy out of watching whatever they like.

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