Fans were dismayed to find out in the show’s series finale that the mother of the title, Tracy, would go on to a premature death. Viewers learned of her passing in a montage of her and Ted raising a family together and a conversation between the main character Ted and his kids. But the tragedy could have been even more prolonged.
According to series star Alyson Hannigan, the finale was about 18 minutes shorter than the original script the actors were given at the table read. Among the cut scenes was a montage of Tracy’s funeral. “Honestly, if you saw [that] cut, it would be even more heart-wrenching than what the finale was. They were like, ‘No. It’s just too gut-wrenching.’ And I was like, ‘That’s what I want. I want my heart ripped out and slammed on the floor and, like, stomped on!’” she told TVLine.
Though some fans might have found Ted’s decision to pursue his old flame Robin after his wife’s death even more tasteless after seeing Tracy’s funeral, Hannigan argued that it would have given the audience more closure: “[The scene] would have been better for the audience, so that then they can process, ‘Oh, [Ted] mourned. He got closure’ — and then they’d be happy that [he and Robin] got together. Rather than be like, ‘Oh, wait. She died? What? They’re together, huh?’ And credits. That’s what I think was too fast.”
The series creators promised a recut, happier ending to the show in the DVD boxset after fans expressed disappointment at the finale.