Ted is the worst character on the show. Unfortunately, he's also the lead - the person we're supposed to root for, to feel for, and relate to. And really, it's hard to feel anything for this weird jerk.
Ted's pretentiousness was something the show could make light of every now and then, when its self-awareness reared its head - but for the most part, Ted was a snobby, egocentric dickbag to everyone. He thought only about himself 99% of the time - not an ideal trait for someone we're supposed to care about SO MUCH that we'll follow him to his Danny Tanner evolution.
But it goes further back than that - the whole basis of Ted's character is...weird. He's so desperate to find "the one" - someone perfect for him that he can start a family with immediately. He moans about how the universe hasn't provided him the most compatible person for him yet WHEN HE'S FREAKIN' 30. Every woman he dates, he goes in with the wildly unfair expectation that she needs to be a suitable soulmate, wife, and mother to his children. Does anyone really think like that? Maybe him and Jed Moseley.
Katy Perry. Britney Spears. Katie Holmes. This is just a short list of some of the worst offenders in the history of bad sitcom guest stars, and How I Met Your Mother had 'em all.
Okay, we get into spoiler territory with this - but it's okay, because the ending of How I Met Your Mother is beyond your regular nonsense garbage like Lost or Seinfeld. What happens at the end of How I Met Your Mother is so insulting to the series as a whole, the audience, AND the characters, it's truly a mystery for the ages how it got approved to air.
What happens is this: the love of Ted's life, the mother of his children, the one with the yellow umbrella dies. The hints had been getting dropped pretty hard over the previous weeks on the show, and this had long been a popular fan theory (that Ted was explaining to his kids how he met their mother because she had recently passed), and they went with it. Okay, fine. I mean, to build up 9 years to a specific relationship, then give only the slightest glimpses of that relationship is kinda a cop-out, but that's hardly the worst part about the ending. If the big twist was just that Tracy died prior to Ted beginning the story, that'd be okay. Sad, but okay. The thing is, that wasn't the twist.
You see, Older Ted's method of telling the story of how he met his future wife has some...weird beats. He spends A LOT of time talking about how much he loved "Aunt Robin" and how many times he had sex with her and how he longed for her from afar. Like, that took up the vast majority of a story that was supposedly about meeting his kids' mother (who played a relatively minor role in the story). And all this "I wanted to bone your Aunt Robin so baaaaad" talk had a purpose.
Now that Future Ted's a single dude, he wants to get back on the dating scene. And who's he got in mind? Aunt Robin. The whole story was to make his kids okay with him dating again, and a close family friend, no less. He tricked his kids into thinking he would tell them a sweet story of how mom and dad got together, and instead told them how the REAL true love of dad's life was this girl who got away...and who he'd remained close friends with during his marriage to 2nd-placer, mom.
He conned his kids. He wanted to instill a ton of weird guilt into them about how their mom wasn't really the love of his life, and now he finally had a shot at her, now that Tracy was out of the picture. That's beyond fucked up. The whole SERIES was about this moment. The whole series was a trick to soften the blow that dad wants to mack on a family friend.
Sadly, it didn't have to be this way - the producers also let loose an alternate ending on the internet. It's sweet, cute, and doesn't recontextualize the whole series into a dad trying to manipulate his children into being okay with him boning their aunt.
I guess the real mystery is...why wasn't THIS the ending they used?