Though How I Met Your Father has done well at avoiding worn-out sitcom tropes, the season 1 finale hints that one could appear in season 2. Sophie’s days in 2022 New York City are filled with modern, self-aware ways of handling conflict. This means that instead of big fights between characters that last entire episodes, central disputes in HIMYF are resolved when Sophie and her friends talk to one another. No drawn-out misunderstandings—it’s now the age of personal confidence and emotional intelligence.


That isn’t to say that How I Met Your Father is devoid of conflict. Things frequently go wrong for the characters, and season 1 still managed to end on a decent cliffhanger. After several episodes of slowly coming together, Sophie and Jesse finally had their big moment. However, their romance hit some speed bumps pretty quickly, and it took a Robin Scherbatsky cameo to convince Sophie to fix things up with Jesse. In a big romantic moment, the HIMYF protagonist did just that, only to find Jesse kissing his ex-girlfriend, Meredith.

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The HIMYF Season 1 Finale Suggests Jesse’s Kiss Is A Big Misunderstanding

Jesse and Meredith eating on the floor in How I Met Your Father

The finale of How I Met Your Father season 1 had all the makings of a big sitcom misunderstanding trope. The episode ended before Sophie ever got Jesse’s side of the Meredith kiss story, and she almost immediately ran into Ian, “the boy that got away.” The fact that Jesse’s side of the story was purposely omitted from the finale suggests that season 2 will zip back in time to show what was happening to him while Sophie was talking to Robin in MacLaren’s Pub. If How I Met Your Father follows the old tropes and formulas, it will all be a big misunderstanding in some way or another.

This could go several different ways. It could be that Meredith came over on her own and took Jesse by surprise by kissing him. Possibly, Jesse tried to take Sophie’s advice and called Meredith back to accept her offer but realized after kissing her that it wasn’t what he wanted. Regardless, the implication here is that Sophie jumped to conclusions and the season 2 trailer suggests that it could lead to both Jesse and Sophie pursuing other relationships before learning the truth—thus starting the will-they-won’t-they relationship of Sophie and Jesse with a near miss.

Why HIMYF Should Continue To Avoid Big Conflict Tropes

Jesse and Sophie in How I Met Your Father

Sitcoms have been using the “big misunderstanding” trope since the days of Lucy and Ethel’s arguments in I Love Lucy, so it has begun to feel worn out. Friends seemed to include a misunderstanding as the center of a conflict for most episodes, and even How I Met Your Mother was known to sow discord between characters by keeping them too prideful to just talk it out. For this reason, the build-up in the How I Met Your Father season 1 finale is a bit of a surprise.

In earlier episodes, Jesse and Sophie had proven their ability to swallow pride or embarrassment to express their feelings. When Jesse mistakenly thought Sophie wanted to date him in How I Met Your Father season 1, episode 2, he was humiliated. Still, he confessed to Sophie that he had misunderstood, and they maturely talked about how neither of them was ready to date yet— something not expected for a sitcom. Diverting these tropes is exactly what HIMYF needed so as to not limit itself, especially since How I Met Your Mother so successfully turned the will-they-won’t-they trope on its head.

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Can How I Met Your Father Still Bring The HIMYM Surprises?

Ted from How I Met Your Mother and Sophie from How I Met Your Father

When How I Met Your Mother started in 2005, it baffled audiences by clearly identifying Robin as Ted’s main love interest while overtly stating that she was not the “mother.” This made the will-they-won’t-they premise of the series all the more confusing until season 9, when it was finally revealed that the mother, Tracy, passed away before Ted ever started telling his kids his lengthy tale. Now, nearly 20 years later, How I Met Your Father has the challenge of following up this kind of surprise with twists of its own.

Of course, if How I Met Your Father depends on trope tricks like the one hinted at in the season 1 finale, it won’t find success. However, in classic HIMYM fashion, it’s possible that the season 1 cliffhanger was a false trail. If How I Met Your Father uses audiences’ expectations from watching decades of sitcoms to mislead them, they are more likely to surprise and win them over in the long run. The “big misunderstanding” trope may be diverted with Sophie turning Ian down, but her apparent relationship with an older guy in the How I Met Your Father season 2 trailer and Jesse becoming invested in a relationship with Meredith seems to suggest that it will hold true.

Why A Relationship With Meredith Will Be Good For Jesse

Jesse smiling and turning to his left in HIMYF

The How I Met Your Father season 2 trailer has already hinted that audiences’ expectations must be thrown out the window. In it, Jesse is seen being openly affectionate with Meredith at the bar and at home but in front of a camera. Of course, without more context, this could mean anything, and the season 2 premiere will still need to fill audiences in on Jesse’s side of the story. But, if Jesse and Meredith are rekindling a relationship, it may be the best thing for the show.

Jesse’s character development has heavily depended on his heartbreak with Meredith, and it is an obvious obstacle to him and Sophie ever getting a real shot at love. While it seems unlikely that Jesse getting back with his ex (especially one who so thoroughly broke his heart) will work out long-term, it will put him in a much healthier spot for future seasons. Only time will tell how this will work out and whether How I Met Your Father will hold tropes or forge its own path.

How I Met Your Father season 2 premieres on Hulu on Jan 24.

MORE: Did How I Met Your Father Just Reveal Who The Dad Is?


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