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How I Met Your Mother Creators Didn't Decide On Robin And Barney's Marriage Until Season 5

Because of its on-the-nose and deliberate title, "How I Met Your Mother" had no choice but to live up to its titular expectations. With its Season 8 finale, "Something New," long-time viewers of the CBS sitcom were finally introduced to the mother, played by Cristin Milioti. Season 9, the final outing for Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) and his beloved crew of drinking buddies, largely focused on Robin Scherbatsky (Cobie Smulders) and Barney Stinson's (Neil Patrick Harris) wedding, as well as how the mother, named Tracy, entered into their lives.

For a long while, however, fans were under the assumption that Robin would be the mother of Ted's children. While the pilot delivered a bait-and-switch, revealing that the Canadian newscaster was just "Aunt Robin" in the eyes of the kids, the crux of the series largely focused on Ted longing for Robin. With Robin and Barney's deciding to get married, audiences and the in-universe children finally settled on the idea that the Canadian newscaster wasn't the mother. Beyond that, Robin and Barney's marriage resulted in growth for both characters, who firmly swore off monogamy.

And while their marriage didn't last long, and Robin eventually ended up with Ted, the marriage and wedding that preceded it was a definitive turning point for "How I Met Your Mother" and its ending. The cast, including Radnor, Harris, and Smulders, were unaware that the series would end with the marriage imploding (via NY Daily News). While the events surrounding the wedding and marriage received mixed reception, and could easily be labeled as rushed writing, the creatives methodically planned out the creative decision as early as Season 5.

The How I Met Your Mother creatives planned the endgame during Season 6

"How I Met Your Mother" creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas finally decided how the series would wrap up in 2006 (via US Weekly), filming key scenes involving Ted's (Radnor) children (David Henrie, Lyndsy Fonseca) for the show's eventual finale. What the duo didn't know in the mid 2000's was how they would get to the conclusion, which sees Ted telling his children that he would like to pursue Robin (Smulders) with their blessings.

After a healthy amount of "will-they-won't-they," Season 4 of "How I Met Your Mother" wrapped up with Barney (Harris) and Robin finally getting together. The two eventually break up in Season 5, fracturing their relationship, before getting back together in Season 8, deciding to get married. In a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" thread, Bays and Thomas were asked when they decided to make the decision of having Robin and Barney get married. "Between seasons five and six," they wrote. "Season six was when we really locked in on what the endgame would be."

"How I Met Your Mother" fans on social media largely agree that Robin and Barney should have stayed together but it's interesting to see that their eventual separation was planned well in advance. The buildup to their relationship, especially between the events of Season 6 and 8, feels all the more deliberate now, knowing that the writers had the most of the endgame planned years in advance.