You won’t see Mad Men and How I Met Your Mother compared that often — although Neil Patrick Harris could probably fit seamlessly on both — but they may have dropped a similar foreshadowing technique in their final couple of seasons. Above, you see a clip from 9.19 of HIMYM where Ted appears to get sad about mothers/fathers missing their own daughter’s weddings (as we now know, the mother does die in the series finale). The theory actually started in Season Eight (penultimate season) where Ted said he wanted “all 45 extra minutes with her” in an eulogy-type fashion.
Then you have Mad Men. On Sunday, in 7.2 (essentially the penultimate season), Don drives Sally back to boarding school after she came to the city for her roommate’s mother’s funeral (mother’s funerals; it’s all coming together…) / shopping and happened to walk into the giant lie he’s telling the world. Things are tense in the car, but by the end (“I love you…”), they’re no longer tense. In the middle, Don asks her about the funeral she went to, and she describes it briefly, causing him to say twice “I don’t like to think of you at funerals” or “I hate to think of you at funerals” or something along those lines. Slate actually reversed their Don Draper Death Clock via that episode — finally, it seems like a woman who can save Don — but in reality, it seems like the same foreshadowing from HIMYM. Before the end of this thing, we’re going to see Sally (and Betty, and Megan, and everyone else) at Don’s funeral. Right?
Matthew Weiner, meet Carter Bays. Actually, they’ve interacted before.