Have you been wondering about the mother is on How I Met Your Mother? If so, you’re in exactly the right place (at the right time)!
ORIGINALLY POSTED 1/4/13
UPDATED THROUGH SEASON 9, EPISODE 22 “THE END OF THE AISLE”
The season 8 finale “Something New” episode of HIMYM revealed that actress Cristin Milioti plays The Mother! Ted hasn’t met her yet, but he’s getting close!
Season 9 has revealed a whole lot about The Mother so far, but there are some big mysteries that remain. The most obvious one is that she doesn’t have a name yet! There’s also some confusion about the timeline, which so far deviates from the traditional love story some fans were expecting.
What’s cool is that some of the fan theories are still very much in play! Her name could be Tracy, or Hannah. She isn’t the same actress as we’ve seen in some other scenarios, but her character could still be the bump girl or the missed date. Ted as a slightly unreliable narrator can explain (via memories that are decades old) inconsistencies in how he thought or imagined she looked back then.
With that in mind, here’s the mother lode index – click to jump ahead to any section:
Who She Isn’t
Before They Meet
The First Meeting
The First Date
The Early Days
Who She Isn’t – Extra Details
Basic Info – Extra Details
Before They Meet – Extra Details
The First Meeting – Extra Details
The First Date – Extra Details
Season 6 DVD Extras Info
The Early Days – Extra Details
The Future – Extra Details
Color Theory in HIMYM
The Tracy Theory – CONFIRMED
The Bump Girl Theory – DISPROVED
The “Milk” Theory – DISPROVED
The Carly Theory – DISPROVED
The Wedding Band Theory – CONFIRMED
The Marissa Heller Theory – DISPROVED
The Sister Theory – DISPROVED
The Michelle Tanner Theory – DISPROVED
The Jennifer Birmingham Theory – DISPROVED
The Cast Connection Theory – DISPROVED
The Joss Whedon Theory – DISPROVED
The Lyndsy Fonseca Theory – DISPROVED
The Hannah Theory – DISPROVED
The Slutty Pumpkin Theory – DISPROVED
The Dead People Theory – POSSIBLE
Here is everything that we currently know about The Mother. Just consider me an honorary member of The Mosby Boys Detective Agency!
CLUES ABOUT THE MOTHER & HOW TED MEETS HER
Who She Isn’t
- She’s not Robin (S6 DVD extra “What We Know About Your Mother”)
- No really, I promise, she’s NOT ROBIN. Let it go guys :)
- She’s not Victoria (S6 DVD extra “What We Know About Your Mother”)
- She’s not Stella – but she almost was (S6 DVD extra “What We Know About Your Mother”)
- She was never going to be Zoey (S6 DVD extra “What We Know About Your Mother”)
- She’s not Naomi, The Slutty Pumpkin (S7E8 “The Slutty Pumpkin Returns”)
- She’s not Carly, Barney’s half-sister (upcoming S8E14 “Ring Up!” to air on 1/21/13) (I know, this theory has gone strong for a long time but it is officially DISPROVED – more details below)
- She’s not the coat check girl (aka coat check wench aka Jayma Mays) We already knew this per S1E5 “Okay Awesome” but she was brought back for S8E20 “The Time Travelers”. She’s still not the mother.
- She’s not ANYONE that we have seen before on the show, including everyone’s relatives, all of Ted’s exes, and any random woman we may have spotted.
- BUT – given the nature of this show – it is still possible (though not as probable) that she could still be an extra or bit character formerly portrayed by a different actress.
- She is played by actress Cristin Milioti (S8E24 “Something New”)
- She was born on September 9th, 1994. This is based on her 21st birthday occuring the same night as S1E1 “Pilot” air date of 9/19/05). As such she is 28 years old when she meets Ted in May of 2013. (S9E16 “How Your Mother Met Me”)
- She has a yellow umbrella (S3E1 “Wait For It”) (S3E12 “No Tomorrow”) (S5E12 “Girls Versus Suits”) (S6 DVD extra “What We Know About Your Mother”) (plus many other episodes)
- She was dating a man named Max, who was the love of her life, for at least 2 years. Unfortunately he died on her 21st birthday. (S9E16 “How Your Mother Met Me”)
- She owns a replica of Pee Wee Herman’s bike from Pee Wee’s Great Adventure. It was a birthday gift from Max (S9E16 “How Your Mother Met Me”)
- She owns a one man band suit, complete with cymbals. It was also a birthday gift from Max. (S9E16 “How Your Mother Met Me”)
- She shared her apartment with her best friend until the fall of 2009 (S9E16 “How Your Mother Met Me”)
- She lived with Cindy, who is a PhD candidate attending Columbia University (S5E12 “Girls Versus Suits”)
- The Mother and Cindy were both in Economics 305 (S5E12 “Girls Versus Suits”)
- The Mother is “getting a degree in economics”. This was true as of April 2013, 45 days before her and Ted meet for the first time. (S8E20 “The Time Travelers”)
- She makes paintings of robots playing sports (S5E12 “Girls Versus Suits”)
- She enjoys making breakfast foods sing show tunes: “Your mother’s rendition of ‘Memory’, as performed by an English muffin is, to this day, the most hauntingly beautiful thing I have ever heard.” (S5E12 “Girls Versus Suits”)
- Cindy said her crushes are “always falling in love with” The Mother (S5E12 “Girls Versus Suits”)
- She owns a little yellow bus – first mentioned when seen in Cindy’s apartment, but also shown in the background of many scenes with Future Ted’s kids (S5E12 “Girls Versus Suits”)
- She plays bass guitar (S5E12 “Girls Versus Suits”) (S6 DVD extra “What We Know About Your Mother”)
- She never leaves uneaten food on her plate (S6 DVD extra “What We Know About Your Mother”)
- She befriends waitresses and often scores free desserts (S6 DVD extra “What We Know About Your Mother”)
- She likes Pablo Neruda’s poems, particularly one entitled “Desnuda Eres.” (S5E12 “The Naked Man”)
- Lilacs are her favorite flower (S6 DVD extra “What We Know About Your Mother”)
- She owns and wears a pair of leather driving gloves (S9E1 “The Locket”)
- She knows about Florian Van Otterloop, a buckle maker that Ted says “revolutionized the belt industry” (S9E1 “The Locket”)
- She makes delicious cookies called Sumbitches, which include chocolate, peanut butter, and caramel (S9E1 “The Locket”)
- She went to business school (S9E13 “Bass Player Wanted”)
- She started a band called Super Freakonomics with some dorks from business school. She originally played bass and did lead vocals until the arrival of the evil Darren, who tried to take over her band. (S9E13 “Bass Player Wanted”) (S9E16 “How Your Mother Met Me”)
- She knits (S9E13 “Bass Player Wanted”)
- She went to orchestra camp (and Mitch The Naked Man was her instructor there, although he was presumably not naked at that point) (S9E16 “How Your Mother Met Me”)
- She knows how to play the cello but hasn’t “since the popular girls locked me inside the case” (S9E16 “How Your Mother Met Me”)
- She is the 1 out of 3 girls that The Naked Man move does not work on (S9E16 “How Your Mother Met Me”)
- She has a calligraphy set (S9E16 “How Your Mother Met Me”)
- She has a coin collection (S9E16 “How Your Mother Met Me”)
- She has a chainmail corset from the Renaissance faire (S9E16 “How Your Mother Met Me”)
- She pronounces “Renaissance” in the same douchey way that Ted does, but it doesn’t seem douchey coming from her (S9E16 “How Your Mother Met Me”)
- She does the crossword (S9E16 “How Your Mother Met Me”)
- She plays the eukele
- She has a friend from college named Dong Nose, who at one point was hit in the nose with an actual dong, but that is not how she got the name Dong Nose (S9E19 “Vesuvius”)
- In September of 2005, Ted meets Robin at the MacLaren’s on the West Side, and The Mother celebrates her 21st birthday at the MacLaren’s on the East Side. The Mother’s boyfriend and first love of her life, Max, passes away. He leaves her a ukelele as a birthday gift.
- On approximately September 24th, 2007, (air date) The Mother (umbrella in hand) walks by MacLaren’s
- She and Ted were both at the same club, Low Point, in New York on St. Patrick’s Day, 2008: “I found out years later that your mom was at that party. I just didn’t meet her.” (S3E12 “No Tomorrow”)
- The Mother leaves with Mitch, aka The Naked Man, and forgets her umbrella at the club. She asks him over so she can donate her cello to his school. He tries TNM move on her but she is the 1 out 3 that it didn’t work on. Meanwhile, Ted makes out with a married lady, commits credit card fraud, and gets punched in the face.
- She forgets her yellow umbrella at that club, and Ted takes it home the next day (S3E12 “No Tomorrow”)
- Ted takes the umbrella out one day when it is raining (air date May 4th, 2009), and ends up running into Stella while holding it. Future Ted explains that this encounter was an essential step in the story of how he meets The Mother. We now understand that seeing Stella again led to Ted’s job at the university, which in turn led him to Cindy and The Mother. (S4E22 “Right Place, Right Time”)
- The Mother and Cindy both saw Ted when he tried to teach the wrong class on his first day of work as a professor at Columbia University (S5E12 “Girls Versus Suits”)
- Ted thought he was teaching Architecture 101, he was actually in Econ 305: “Kids, you remember the wrong classroom story. I thought it was Architecture 101, but it was Econ 305.” (S5E12 “Girls Versus Suits”)
- The Mother laughed at Ted’s shellfish joke (S9E16 “How Your Mother Met Me”)
- The Mother loaned Cindy the album “Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone” by The Unicorns. Ted had never met anyone else that had it. (S5E12 “Girls Versus Suits”)
- The Mother gave Cindy the book At World’s End, by T. Coraghessan Boyle (S5E12 “Girls Versus Suits”)
- Ted sees The Mother’s foot and ankle as she enters her bedroom. (S5E12 “Girls Versus Suits”)
- Ted forgets the yellow umbrella at Cindy and The Mother’s apartment, thus inadvertently returning it to her (S5E12 “Girls Versus Suits”)
- “A few years ago” (as of season 9, set in May 2013) The Mother started a band with “a couple of dorks from business school”. She originally sang lead vocals and played bass for the band, Super Freakonomics. (S9E13 “Bass Player Wanted”)
- At an undetermined point between the band starting and the present, she invited Darren into the band to do backup vocals. By April of 2012 he has assumed control. He took over lead vocals and relegated her to bass player in her own band. (S9E13 “Bass Player Wanted”)
- The Mother meets Louis when he helps her carry band equipment to Darren’s van. He asks if he can buy her a drink, and they head to the West Side MacLaren’s. Louis mentions that the last time he was there, he thought the place was called Puzzles. The Mother gets the brilliance of a bar named Puzzles! Louis and The Mother start dating. (S9E16 “How Your Mother Met Me”)
- Once Ted and Robin are officially no longer a possibility (at least in his mind and her mind – Marshall seems to still be holding out hope), Ted is finally emotionally free and open to meeting someone new. This new phase is demonstrated by him walking outside and seeing a veritable sea of yellow umbrellas passing by MacLaren’s. This is presumably symbolic and didn’t actually happen – it is unlikely that a yellow umbrella convention happened to appear right when Ted walked outside. As such we cannot assume that The Mother was among the crowd. (S7E17 “No Pressure”)
- The Mother meets Barney in the fall of 2012 (“six months earlier” than the wedding date) when he tries to hit on her in the drugstore. She shuts him down, expresses concern for his clearly damaged soul, and they have a heart to heart chat. She convinces Barney to go back to Robin, and to do so with a grand gesture that will take everything he has. Without this encounter, Barney and Robin may not have ever gotten back together. The Mother says she has a boyfriend, but then says “I think maybe I still haven’t met the right guy”. (S9E9 “Platonish”)
- Ted runs into Cindy and her wife on the train. He mentions that Barney and Robin need a wedding band, and Cindy suggests The Mother’s band! This is how The Mother ends up at the wedding and therefore meets Ted (S8E13 “Band or DJ?”)
- She is confirmed to be the bass player in Barney and Robin’s wedding band! (S8E13 “Band or DJ?”)
- As of April 2013 – exactly 45 days before her and Ted meet – “she was dating some finance guy named Louis”. Based on the image of the Wall Street sign show when this fact is announced, Louis works on Wall St. Also Louis (at least as Ted imagined him) was played by Lou Ferrigno Jr. (S8E20 “The Time Travelers”)
- As of April 2013 – exactly 45 days before her and Ted meet – her address was 7A on West 115th St.
- We see her at the Long Island train station, buying a ticket to Farhampton, right before Barney and Robin’s wedding. (SE24 “Something New”)
- She meets Lily while they are both on the train, heading to Farhampton on the Friday before Barney and Robin’s wedding. (S9E1 “The Locket”)
- She shares her homemade Sumbitches cookies with Lily & they become friends (S9E1 “The Locket”)
- On the Saturday before the wedding, The Mother sees that Darren has posted a “Bass Player Wanted” ad. She realizes he is trying to kick her out of her own band. (S9E13 “Bass Player Wanted”)
- The Mother runs into Lily at the hotel bar, and they discusses their troubles. Lily advises The Mother to steal Darren’s van (Aldrin Justice in effect), and then confides in her about Marshall taking the judge job. (S9E13 “Bass Player Wanted”)
- The Mother is in the process of returning the stolen van (which she plans to gas up and get washed) when she sees Marshall and baby Marvin on the road. She picks up the adorable hitchhikers and freaks out Marshall with her uncanny knowledge of his life.
- After talking to Marshall, and realizing that she is (like him) too nice, she decides to address her fear of confrontation and take back control of the band. (S9E13 “Bass Player Wanted”)
- Ted ends up punching out Darren, and The Mother buys him a double shot of 35 year Glenn McKenna as a thank you. Neither has seen or met the other yet. (S9E13 “Bass Player Wanted”)
- Louis proposes to The Mother, and she talks to Max (in heaven) about the situation. She feel sthat she receives his blessing to move, but she says no to Louis. She is ready to move on but knows he is not the right one for her.
- The Mother checks into the Farhampton Inn. She takes room 6, which was originally intended for Robin’s mother. Ted is in the room right next door. The Mother plays La Vie En Rose on the ukulele and Ted listens, intrigued, from the other side of the balcony.
- Robin panics with less than 30 minutes to go before her wedding, and tries to pull a runaway bride move. She runs into The Mother (literally) and gets some last minute advice that changes her whole perspective. The Mother saves the wedding! (S9E22 “The End of the Aisle”)
The First Meeting
- Barney and Robin are set to be married on May 26, 2013
- Ted and The Mother officially meet for the first time at the Farhampton Train Station, after Barney and Robin’s wedding (S8E1 “Farhampton”)
- She carries a bass guitar, a yellow umbrella, and a purple purse (S8E1 “Farhampton”)
- Her dress and shoes are also purple (S8E1 “Farhampton”)
- She has her bass guitar, which she used a member of the wedding band (S8E1 “Farhampton”) (S8E13 “Band or DJ?”)
- Ted gives her a lilac the first moment that they meet (S6 DVD extra “What We Know About Your Mother”)
- The wedding colors are lilac and cream, which can explain both her purple attire/accessories and the flower that Ted gives her (S8E13 “Band or DJ?”)
- Ted’s right hand is bandaged, perhaps from being in a fight (S8E1 “Farhampton”)
- Ted got her number and called her “right away” afterwards (S5E2 “Double Date”)
- Ted and The Mother’s first date occurred at 8 pm on the Wednesday after Robin and Barney got married (3 days later) (S9E21 “Gary Blauman”)
- They originally planned on having dinner at a Scottish/Mexican fusion restaurant but decided against it when they realized there was live bagpipe/mariachi music playing. (S9E21 “Gary Blauman”)
- Ted and The Mother walked around her neighborhood and Ted told her the tale of Gary Blauman. (S9E21 “Gary Blauman”)
- They almost ran into The Mother’s ex, Louis, but hid behind a truck at the last minute (S9E21 “Gary Blauman”)
- They share their first kiss at the end of the night. (S9E21 “Gary Blauman”)
- She laughed at his first date shellfish joke (“Do you want to share the oysters? Good, because if you didn’t, that would be shellfish” (S5E2 “Double Date”) (Probably their second date as the first one didn’t seem to involve dinner)
- She presumably did “the check dance”* (S5E2 “Double Date”) (S7E2 “The Naked Truth”) (Probably their second date as the first one didn’t seem to involve dinner)
- Ted quits smoking within two weeks of their first date (S5E11 “Last Cigarette Ever”)
- Robin is the last person that Ted says “I love you” to, so The Mother is the next person (S7E17 “No Pressure”)
- Ted says “I love you” to The Mother when they go to see the movie The Wedding Bride III. She is holding the yellow umbrella in this scene. (S7E17 “No Pressure”)
- She nicknames Ted “Lady Tedwina Slowsby” as a way to make him stop driving slow like a little girl. It works. (S9E1 “The Locket”)
- She and Ted return to the Farhampton Inn in May of 2014, exactly a year after Ted sits alone and vows to bring her back (at this point, “her” is just him thinking of his soulmate, not The Mother specifically) (S9E2 “Coming Back”)
- Ted is shown holding his infant daughter in 2015 (S7E20 “Trilogy Time”)
- Ted and The Mother’s daughter is named Penny! (S9E15 “Unpause”)
- “Trilogy Time” occurs once every 3 years, beginning in 2000. The first time (2000), Ted and Marshall watch the Star Wars trilogy instead of studying for their Economics final. (This is also interesting because of The Mother’s connection to Economics classes). In 2003, it seems to be the summer before Marshall begins law school. In 2006, Marshall is sad about Lily breaking off their engagement and going to a summer art internship in San Francisco. In 2009, Barney and Robin are carrying on their secret summer romance. The 2012 episode aired on April 9, 2012. It seems that Trilogy Time officially occurs in late spring/early summer each year. (S7E20 “Trilogy Time”)
- Given this information, we can assume that Ted’s daughter Penny (appears to be approximately 1-3 months old) must have been born in early 2015. This matches with the original time frame that shows her as a teenager in 2030. (S7E20 “Trilogy Time”)
- In May of 2013, Ted has a disasterous trip to the Farhampton lighthouse with a girl named Cassie. In a flash forward scene set “Not 2 Years Later”, we see Ted at the lighthouse with The Mother. Ted says to her, “Why couldn’t it have been you here with me two years ago”? (S9E8 “The Lighthouse”)
- Ted proposes to The Mother at the top of the lighthouse! (S9E8 “The Lighthouse”)
- Some fans are confused because this indicates that baby Penny was conceived and born prior to Ted and The Mother getting engaged/married. The Mother does not appear pregnant in the scene, so it would either have to be set when she was not at all pregnant, when she was in the early stages (first trimester perhaps), or after the baby is born. Since the baby is alive for Trilogy Time in spring/summer of 2015, it seems that she was already born as of the proposal scene. Trilogy Time 2015 must have occurred around the same time, either shortly before or after this scene. Ted is wearing a wedding ring in the Trilogy Time 2015 scene, so that furthers confuses the matter. But, the show’s writers have tweeted to confirm the timeline IS correct and is not an error. (S7E20 “Trilogy Time”) (S9E8 “The Lighthouse”)
- Ted and The Mother let Lily and Marshall babysit Penny in December of 2015. They take Penny to meet Santa for the first time as a long awaited revenge for Ted doing the same with baby Marvin in December of 2012. (S8E9 “Lobster Crawl”)
- Ted, The Mother, and Penny return to visit Farhampton in 2017. The Mother is very pregnant and goes into labor after 2 AM. We see her, Ted, and Penny getting in the car and preparing to deliver their second baby. (S9E15 “Unpause”)
- Ted and The Mother’s son is named Luke! (S9E15 “Unpause”)
- As of the night of Luke’s birth, Penny looks to be the wrong age. The timeline strongly indicates she is born in late 2014/early 2015, which would make her around two years old as of 2017. The actual baby that played Penny is the second child of writer Carter Bays and wife Denise Cox Bays. Little Georgina was born in (approximately) August of 2012. This scene was shot in November, making the tiny actress just about 1 year and 3 months (15 months) old as of filming. Even if the night of Luke’s birth was January 1st, 2017, that still gives us a baby that was born in late 2015. We know that Trilogy Time 2015 should occur in spring/summer, and that Penny meets Santa for the first time when is an infant in December of 2015. We also know that The Mother must have delivered Penny and lost the baby weight as of the lighthouse proposal scene set in May 2015. At first the age discrepancy seemed like a mistake or a change in the timeline. But upon realizing it is the writer’s own child, it makes sense that would sacrific a bit of age accuracy for such a special guest star cameo. (S7E20 “Trilogy Time”) (S9E15 “Unpause”)
- At some point when the kids are growing up, she insists on the whole family taking a seven hour detour while en route to Disney World, so she can see a goat in South Carolina that blows smoke rings. (S9E1 “The Locket”)
- Ted and The Mother are married as of the Wesleyan Reunion that they attend with Lily and Marshall in 2020 (S3E5 “How I Met Everyone Else”)
- Ted reports being happily married and with two kids when he runs into Wendy the Waitress in 2021 (S6E20 “The Exploding Meatball Sub”)
- Approximately 2022 she ends up as a writer; Ted says that her book will “end poverty in our time” (S9E18 “Rally”)
- At different points in the series, there were plans for existing characters (Victoria and Stella) to be The Mother in case the show was cancelled:
1) The writers, knowing that they only had as good a chance in their first season as any other new sitcom, wanted to make sure if they got cancelled after their initial 13 episodes that they still gave the fans a satisfying ending. You’ll notice that episode 13 of season 1 is “Drumroll, Please”: Ted (Josh Radnor) meets a wonderful girl named Victoria (Ashley Williams) at his friend’s wedding, but they part ways without exchanging information.
Robin (Cobie Smulders), who’s just realized she has feelings for Ted, tracks down Victoria because she wants Ted to be happy. Had the show gotten cancelled, the writers could have easily ended the series there, with a quick voiceover from Future Ted (Bob Saget) saying, “And that, kids, is how I met your mother.”
2) HIMYM hit another snag at the end of season 2; the finale, “Something Blue,” aired before the writers knew if the show had actually been renewed. In this case, we wouldn’t have had a specific woman to pinpoint as The Mother, but you can’t deny that it would’ve made a great series finale: Marshall (Jason Segel) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan) finally got married; Ted and Robin took their relationship as far as they could and parted as friends; and Barney ends on “Legen…”
3) The show’s fourth-season renewal didn’t come until late in season 3, long before Stella (Sarah Chalke) could leave Ted at the altar. Before then, the first episode “Ten Sessions” could’ve been an ideal finale: We would’ve watched Ted’s ten-week attempt to win over his dermatologist Stella, their two-minute date — which is still ranked as one of the series’ best moments — and the ending, where she says she’ll call him if she has time. Again, all it would’ve taken was a last-minute addendum from Future Ted.
–Did You Know That How I Met Your Mother Has Had Three “Contingency Mothers”? 9/19/11
- Victoria returned later in the show, but she’s still officially ruled out:
TV Guide: Ted’s driving off with Victoria, but we know that she’s not the mother.
Thomas: That’s why it’s really fun with storytelling time! [Laughs] But it felt very relatable to us. I think everybody in their love life has had someone they felt they screwed it up with or that person could’ve been the one or if circumstances had been different, maybe that was the one. That’s how Ted feels about Victoria. He screwed that up in Season 1… Ted doesn’t know this in 2012 — he still thinks Victoria could be the mother of his children — but we, the audience, and astute HIMYM fans know more than him thanks to Bob Saget. We love Victoria representing the door that’s still open a crack in Ted’s mind. He has to see what’s behind that door and eventually close it to be able to meet the mother. As we head toward the end of the series, it’s one of the last things Ted has to do.
-How I Met Your Mother Boss on Barney’s Bride: “It Had to Be Her” 5/15/12
- She was indeed “almost Stella” – look at this clever set design element that could have tied current Stella to Future Ted and the Mosby family:
- We can rule out Naomi, aka The Slutty Pumpkin, played by Katie Holmes. Naomi and Ted were super awkward together when they finally reunited, and they both agreed it wasn’t a love match. (S7E8 “The Slutty Pumpkin Returns”)
- The Carly Theory is DEAD, guys. In S8E14 “Ring Up!” we have Ashley Benson playing Carly. Ted clearly meets her before the day of the wedding, and that is enough right there to prove it’s not the winning theory.
- Cindy is currently “writing a dissertation titled Foreign Direct Investment and Inter-generational Linkages in Consumption Behavior.” This sounds pretty Economics-y to me, but I can’t say for sure :) (S5E12 “Girls Versus Suits”)
- Ted is trying to teach an introductory course, Architecture 101. Therefore 101 equals the first, introductory course in a given subject.
- The course numbering system likely means that 100-level courses are for undergraduates, 200-level classes are for those majoring/minoring in the subject OR are only for graduate students, and 300-level classes are for PhD candidates/graduate students only. Alternately, 100-level courses may be for freshmen, 200-level courses may be for sophomores, 300-level for juniors, and 400-level for seniors. I believe the former makes more sense.
- Thus, The Mother is likely either a PhD candidate working on her own dissertation, or a graduate/upper level student taking a required Economics course for a different degree. She could be a junior taking an undergraduate class but that doesn’t seem to make as much sense.
- Some fans assume The Mother must be in the 17-22 age range, because she is a college student. Given the type of class and caliber of classmates (Cindy), I think that The Mother must be in her mid to late twenties when that show aired in 2010.
- The Mother is probably close to Cindy’s age. We don’t know Cindy’s exact age but we do know Rachel Bilson, the actress, was 28 years old when the episode aired in January of 2010 (IMDB). This age makes sense for Cindy, given that a PhD candidate should already have a high school diploma, a four-year college degree, and some years of post-graduate work completed.
- In “Shelter Island”, we see a flash forward of how the future may have looked if Ted and Stella had gotten married. Both children are blonde in this image, indicating that a blonde mother plus brunette Ted equals blonde kids. Since we know that the children actually have dark hair, it is very likely that The Mother has dark hair as well. This is further demonstrated in the pictures seen in the background behind the children, which feature what looks like Ted, two children, and a dark-haired woman. This picture is also present in the image with the imaginary Stella-kids, though, so it may be a childhood picture of Ted, his sister, and their parents. (S4E5 “Shelter Island”)
The First Meeting – Extra Details
- The show’s creators have confirmed that Ted and The Mother officially meet at the Farhampton train station:
She was still obscured by her yellow umbrella, of course, but the couple’s future together officially kicks off on a train station platform — the episode’s namesake, Farhampton. And while you ponder the likely fake-out of her hopping on a different train, showrunners Carter Bays and Craig Thomas insist that’s not the case.
“There won’t be a swerve,” Thomas told The Hollywood Reporter and other press at a screening. “That’s the moment. We can very honestly say it. He’s moments away from meeting her.”
– ‘How I Met Your Mother’ Showrunners Promise No More Fake-Outs After Season 8 Premier 9/24/12
This scene is presented to us as the immediate moment before Ted actually meets the mother. Here’s the question we need to focus on now – are we thinking of when Ted officially or unofficially meets the mother?
Here’s what is awesome about the end of S8E13 “Band or DJ?”…
I absolutely LOVE this scene because it proves something I’ve suspected for quite a while – Ted does meet The Mother at the Farhampton station, but he sees her at least once before (shown above). If he’s seen her once before he meets here, that opens up waaaay more possibilities for tie-ins to prior characters and encounters. The writers nicely tied up the issue, for example, of him already meeting the St. Patrick’s Day party girl. She could still be The Mother now, because he saw/ran into her but did not technically meet her. Similarly, he saw the bass player at the reception, but did not technically meet her until the train station scene. So much more fun this way!
The First Date – Extra Details
- Ted uses “the check dance” as a measure of compatibility on first dates. He plans to pay for dinner, but he appreciates when the woman reaches for the check as though she will pay. This demonstrates general good manners and consideration, and it also gives Ted the chance to feel like a big man when he goes ahead and takes care of it. This is noted as an important diagnostic tool for him in two episodes: “The Double Date” (S5E2) and “The Naked Truth” (S7E2).
*Season 6 DVD Extra: “What We Know About Your Mother”
Future Ted recaps clues that we already know:
- She’s not Robin
- She was almost Stella
- She was Cindy’s roommate
- She plays bass
- She has a yellow umbrella
- She was in what Ted thought was his architecture class
- She paints robots doing sports
- She makes breakfast foods sing show tunes
- She was never going to be Zoey
- Ted met her on the day of a wedding
And some brand new information:
- She never leaves uneaten food on her plate: “She never would’ve left that much of her sandwich uneaten. No joke, I’ve seen that woman get a half a pad of butter wrapped up to go…”
- She befriends waitresses and often scores free desserts: “Oh, and your mother definitely would’ve befriended the waitress, which inevitably would have led to a free desert…Mom’s ability to get free pie; supernatural”
- Lilacs are her favorite flower, and they are also the first flower that Ted ever gives her: “Oh, and I wouldn’t have had much luck with an orchid. I’d have given her lilacs; her favorite…which just just happened to be the first flower I ever gave her…the very moment we met…”
POSSIBILITIES & THEORIES
COLOR THEORY IN HIMYM
I’ve been giving this quite a bit of thought (as it is clearly VERY IMPORTANT lol) and I have some newish conclusions. Most of them are fueled by the fact that EVERYONE IS WEARING PURPLE ALL SEASON LONG. Seriously, idk if the Gap had a sale on all things eggplant and lilac or what, but these guys are rocking more purple than Barney. Yes, THAT Barney:
We all know that yellow is the main color for this show – the yellow umbrella, little yellow school bus, Robin’s yellow raincoat, all of the pivotal moments that occur in yellow cabs, etc. There are two schools of thought regarding purple. One theory is that, since purple is the complementary/opposite color for yellow, it indicates a lack of romance. By this theory, anyone with yellow symbolism is a viable candidate to be someone’s happily ever after, and anyone wearing purple is disqualified.
But that doesn’t really mesh with how this season in particular has progressed, so I think I’m going with the alternate theory. This theory holds that Ted’s happily ever after color is yellow, whereas Barney’s happily ever after color is purple. This just means that purple people – like Robin with the purple giraffe – are not suited for Ted. But – since Barney is a foil character for Ted – this means that Robin and all her purple giraffe glory could be Barney’s true soul mate. Quinn is in purple because she is a contender, and everyone else is in purple because it signifies Barney’s upcoming nuptials.
UPDATE – I’ve been reading some other blogs, and they pointed out a couple additional facts. We could assume that Ted is purple, and looking for his yellow, whereas Barney is yellow, and looking for his purple. Or we could assume that both are purples, looking for their yellows. When we see both members of a couple in the same color – Robin and Kevin both wearing purple, for example, or Barney and Nora both wearing yellow, or Barney and Quinn both wearing purple – that means that they’re NOT meant to be together. Ex:
It has also been noted that Robin seems to only wear yellow when she’s involved with Barney. I’m not sure if this is accurate but I’ve documented all of the Robin in yellow episodes I’ve found so far:
Season 4, episode 24 “The Leap”, where Barney and Robin finally kiss and get together for reals.
Season 6, episode 9 “Glitter” – Barney is the one that tracked down the glorious Space Teens video starring Robin Sparkles and Jessica Glitter…
Season 7, episode 8 “The Slutty Pumpkin Returns” – this is the one where we find out that Barney is (gasp!) part Canadian…like Robin…
Season 7, episode 9 “Disaster Averted”, where Barney and Robin reminisce about what might have been had they hooked up in the (yellow) cab.
Season 7, episode 15 “The Drunk Train”. This one is a Robin with Kevin episode, which ends with them breaking up. Maybe stripes indicate ambivalence? If so that could apply to the earlier image of Robin and Ted in purple/blue stripes and plaids. I will have to investigate further…
UPDATE: As of the season 9, episode 4, the gang is still doing the purple wardrobe thing every week. There have also been some interesting new color theories to arise. For example, some theorize that the show is going through the entire progression of the colors of the rainbow. This doesn’t make as much sense to me, because why would they skip over the other colors so much and emphasize this hue for three plus seasons? In terms of the order of colors in the rainbow, the acronym ROY G. BIV does remind us that violet is at the very end.
That being said, The Mother is shown to be wearing purple when we finally see her at the Long Island train station, AND when Ted meets her at the Farhampton train station. Both times she is carrying the yellow umbrella, which might balance out her purple? This would work better if Ted was somehow wearing tons of yellow with a purple accent, but I don’t see that happening. :)
Basically, we can see the plethora of purple as all indicative of Barney and Robin getting married, or as Ted finally meeting The Mother. Barney and Robin’s relationship is essential to Ted meeting The Mother, though, so it can of course be indicative of both.
It might make more sense to focus on traditional color theory, and the well known meanings and symbolism associated with purple. Here are some interesting traditional associations to consider:
- Purple indicates royalty. I doubt that The Mother happens to be an actual princess or queen, but we could widen the parameters a bit. If we look at purple as indicating wealth and/or power, it is the appropriate color for a member of the extremely rich Van Smoot family. That option could lend credence to the Hannah Theory (see below).
- Purple can also indicate uniqueness – or artifice. It is the color that appears most rarely in nature, and it is said to be the first hue that was artificially created. We can certainly gleen from this that The Mother is unique, but the “fake” implications don’t fit what we know of her.
- Purple can mean uncertainity. This can be said of any color that is comprised of two primary colors. We can see it as a mix between the symbolism of blue (loyalty, nature, truth, sincerity, and faith) and red (passion, love, strength, and excitement). These would suit what we know of The Mother.
- Purple in American pop culture is associated with the band Deep Purple (of “Smoke on the Water” fame), “Purple Rain” (the song, album, and movie) by Prince, and “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix. I have no idea if any of this relates to The Mother but I always like to consider the pop culture connections.
- One of my favorite ideas for the symbolism of purple in How I Met Your Mother actually comes from the world of science. Violet is one of the colors on the visible spectrum. It can be seen in rainbows and it was identified by Isaac Newton. Purple, however, is totally different. It is a non-spectral color. Here’s the part that I love the most, as quoted from Wikipedia:”It exists in culture and art, but not, in the same way that violet does, in optics.” This totally reminds me of how The Mother has existed in this show since day one, but she has not been a visible element until very recently.
Here are thumbnails with examples of purple throughout season 7. I’m compiling additional examples from seasons 8 and 9 to post here as well.
The Amber/Stripper/Tracy Theory
Way back in the early days of HIMYM, an intriguing fan theory came about. To understand it best, we should revisit the specific scene, which is set at a familiar location – The Lusty Leopard Strip Club.
Stripper: I’m Amber
Ted: I’m Ted
Stripper: Actually, it’s Tracy
Ted: Still Ted
– cut to Future Ted speaking to the Mosby kids –
Future Ted: And that, kids, is the true story of how I met your mother
Future Ted: (laughs) Just kidding
-S1E9 “Belly Full of Turkey”
Some fans felt that the shocked reactions meant the kids believed Future Ted’s story. And instead of saying, “wait, but mom’s name is _____”, the kids just gasped in astonishment. These fans believe that the kids accepted the statement so readily because Ted used The Mother’s actual name – Tracy. Other fans agree with this reasoning but think it indicates that The Mother’s name is Amber. This idea also holds credence to some because amber is a shade of yellow, the main symbolic hue of the show and The Mother.
As of the season 8 finale, we do not know The Mother’s name. As such, it could still be Tracy. Or Amber.
IF IT’S TRUE: The mother’s name is Tracy. Or Amber.
WHY IT MIGHT NOT BE: The shock expressed by the kids could also be simple confusion because none of the information – names or occupation – match what they know about their mother. Alternately, the name may be irrelevant, because strippers (particularly those at The Lusty Leopard) often have stage names. So the kids may have just assumed that Amber and/or Tracy were the mother’s stripper names, and thus not her real name. Finally, we have to remember that Ted is not a reliable narrator.
The Bump Girl/St. Patrick’s Day/”No Tomorrow” Girl Theory: DISPROVED
In the aforementioned “No Tomorrow” (S3E12), there is an interesting scene set inside the bar. Ted bumps into an attractive dark-haired girl, and they both part ways after a brief moment of acknowledgement. Ted says “oh, I’m sorry”, and she responds “it’s okay”. Many fans suspect that this woman is The Mother. We do know that both Ted and The Mother were at same bar at the same time, but Ted notes that he did not meet her that night. “I found out years later that your mom was at that party. I just didn’t meet her.” (S3E12 “No Tomorrow”) Since bumping into someone doesn’t technically constitute a real meeting, this character may in fact be The Mother.
Let’s compare this actress to the woman holding the yellow umbrella – my thanks to Jack Cola for the pictures:
The actress – Nicole Muirbrook Wagner, played “Woman” on this episode per IMDB – may be called back to play the role, or she may just represent Ted’s hazy memory of her.
If the former is true, we may see a flashback that shows the same scene but with the “official” actress playing this character. This theory has big appeal, because there is no obvious reason to include the scene otherwise.
IF IT’S TRUE: We know that The Mother is slim, beautiful, and has long dark hair. That’s really all we can discern from these without knowing if this specific actress ends up playing The Mother. I guess we can assume that she has a penchant for clutch purses and print tank tops but that’s a stretch. I think she’s adorable and I would love to see her play The Mother! That being said, she looks a little bit too much like actress Lindsay Price, who played Cathy in S3E8 “Spoiler Alert”.
WHY IT MIGHT NOT BE: The scene seems relevant, but we have to remember that the writers may be throwing in red herrings to distract/deter us from discovering The Mother’s identity. These twists and turns are part of what we love about How I Met Your Mother!
UPDATE: We saw in the season 8 finale that The Mother is played by Cristin Milioti. That is obviously not the same actress as Nicole Wuirbrook Wagner, shown above. In S9E16 “How Your Mother Met Me” we see The Mother in a different part of the club as Ted is bumping into the bump girl. Therefore The Mother is NOT the bump girl as many previously tought!
The Matchmaker/Missed Date Girl Theory/”Milk” Theory: DISPROVED
I wrote about this theory extensively already (HIMYM: I’m 99% Sure These Are Pics Of “The Mother) so most of this content is pulled straight from there:
In “Matchmaker” (S1E7), Ted signs up for a matchmaking service. He is not matched up with anyone suitable. There is one match – a 9.6 out of 10 – but she (Sarah O’Brian) is already matched up. Undeterred, Ted sneaks into the office to print the info sheets for Sarah. He reads them and learns her occupation, guilty pleasure song, likes and dislikes, etc. He is able to locate her and meet her in person, but she is engaged to her match and not interested.
Ok, now let’s skip ahead to “Milk” (S1E21). Ted receives a phone call from the new owner of the matchmaking agency, informing him that his match has been found. Ted ponies up the $500 needed for her information, and receives her file in return. We see 10 photos (shown above) which indicate that the woman is Ted’s perfect match.
So I read the file, and by God this woman was perfect. She liked dogs, she spent her summers in North Carolina, she played bass guitar, she did the Times crossword, she played tennis, she liked old movies, her favorite food was lasagna, and her favorite book was Love in the Time of Cholera. Her favorite singer was Otis Redding and she wanted two kids, a boy and a girl.
Later, when speaking to Robin, Ted also mentions that “she’s 28, just like me” and “college-educated”. When Robin asks if the mystery woman is looking to get married, Ted says yes.
The photos are either in the file, or what Ted is imagining based on her profile information. If the photos are in the file, why are they shown with the faces blurred out? Is it perhaps because she is indeed The Mother, and the show creators are keeping her face a secret? If Ted is imagining the images based on the information given, why is he imagining them with the face blurred out? Is it because she was intangible at that point, and Ted simply couldn’t put a face to her profile? Or is it because Future Ted is reflecting on this past experience and purposely obscuring information so he doesn’t spoil the surprise for his kids?
The last picture, at least, has to be imagined, because it shows two young children that the woman presumably wished to have someday. The only issue with this is how the picture shows a little girl and her older brother, while the siblings on the show seem to be an older sister and her little brother. In real life, the actress who plays the daughter (Lyndsy Fonseca) is two years older than David Henrie, who plays the son. So I’m not sure, but I’m still intrigued.
It could also be an image of that woman’s childhood, with her beside her older brother. Who knows!
Notice anything else interesting about this pictures? Half of them show the woman wearing a silver ring on her right ring finger. I suspect it might be a little clue for the discerning fans and not just an oversight. Now look at these two photos of the children – one from the pilot episode, and one from season six:
A silver ring! Could be coincidence, sure, but I like the idea of it being the mother’s ring, gifted to her daughter. The daughter wears her ring on her left middle finger though – maybe it’s still too big for her ring finger? I don’t know!
A final thought…we never find out the name of Ted’s match. They schedule a blind date, and Ted is able to contact her to delay their meeting when Lily needs him ASAP. It seems likely that he would know her name, don’t you think? Especially since he paid for the full file and didn’t just print and steal a summary sheet. If he knew Sarah O’Brian’s name, I think he should have known the match’s name as well. So why do we never hear it?
Later, in “Rabbit or Duck” (S5E15), Ted asks Lily and Marshall to set him up. They consider women from his past, including Trudy (married), Blah Blah (committed – relationship? no, Bellevue), and Natalie (Ted is her least favorite person in the world). But they never think of the “Milk” maiden. Based on prior episodes, neither Natalie nor Blah Blah are viable options, but this woman is still a real possibility. And yet we never hear of her again…
IF IT’S TRUE: We know that The Mother likes dogs, spent summers in North Carolina, plays bass guitar, does the NY Times crossword, plays tennis, likes old movies, her favorite food is lasagna, her favorite book is Love in the Time of Cholera, her favorite singer is Otis Redding, and she ended up with two kids just like she wanted, a boy and a girl. We can also see that she has/had a golden retriever (I think that’s the dog breed shown above?), is right-handed, and rocks a silver ring on her right hand. We also know that she is the same age as Ted (28 as of this episode’s May 28th, 2006 air date), college educated, and looking to get married.
Actress Lisa Claire is credited as “Beautiful Woman #2” in S1E21 “Milk”. The first “Beautiful Woman” was the girl that Barney hits at the bar. Anyway this woman’s hair feels like it could match the pictures, but there are no guarantees:
WHY IT MIGHT NOT BE TRUE: There is a brief conversation that may rule out this possibility:
Future Ted: I didn’t know it, but I was about to hear the very first description of the woman I’d one day marry.
Cindy: She’s a whore.
-S5E12 “Girls Versus Suits”
If we get really technical, we can go with the idea that Ted read/saw the information from the matchmaker profile, and thus did not hear a description of The Mother until meeting Cindy. That’s a bit of a jump, so it could completely eliminate the Matchmaker Girl Theory, depending on how you look at it. There is also the continuing possibility of this being a red herring, planted by the writers to add even more mystery. BUT loose ends are generally resolved on this show, so I expect to see some reference to this particular character again.
UPDATE: We saw in the season 8 finale that The Mother is played by Cristin Milioti. That is obviously not the same actress as Lisa Claire, shown above. Beyond that, the body shape, height, and hair don’t seem to match how Cristin looks as The Mother at all.
In S9E16 “How Your Mother Met Me” we learn that The Mother is six years younger than Ted. The Milk girl is said to be the same age as Ted. Therefore, The Mother cannot be the milk girl.
The Carly Theory/The Barney’s Sister Theory: DISPROVED
People visit my blog for a variety of writing, but there’s one specific concept that draws in more readers than anything else: articles on the possibility of Barney’s sister, Carly Whittaker, being THE mother on How I Met Your Mother. It was fun while it lasted, but it’s been officially squashed. Check this info out:
BARNEY BEGS TED TO CONTINUE SEEING HIS YOUNGER, WILDER GIRLFRIEND, EVEN THOUGH TED HAS NOTHING IN COMMON WITH HER, ON “HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER,” MONDAY, JAN. 21
Ashley Benson (“Pretty Little Liars”) Guest Stars as Carly, Ted’s New Girlfriend
CHEAT TWEET: Barney begs Ted to continue dating a much younger girl @AshBenzo until he learns who she is! #HIMYM 1/21 @8PM ET/PT http://bit.ly/SmKGNn“Ring Up” — Barney begs Ted to continue seeing his much younger, much wilder girlfriend, even though Ted has nothing in common with her. Meanwhile, Robin must adjust to the power of the bling, on HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, Monday, Jan. 21 (8:00-8:30 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Ashley Benson (“Pretty Little Liars”) guest stars as Carly, Ted’s new girlfriend.
Carly (Ashley Benson)
Those who want all the details can still review all the facts; just keep reading…
Since I’ve already written about this topic extensively, I will once again be pulling some content straight from my previous posts NEW Pic of the Mom – HIMYM – Does Ted Marry Barney’s Sister? I’m 99.99% Sure Yes and The Latest How I Met Your Mother Theories (HIMYM – Including Season 8).
Here’s what we know about Carly Whittaker, per “Legendaddy” (S6E19):
- She’s the daughter of Jerome Whittaker and Cheryl Whittaker.
- She’s the sister of Jerome Jr. (J.J.)
- She’s the half-sister of Barney Stinson
- We haven’t seen or met her character yet
- When Barney visits his father’s home, he meets his younger half-brother, JJ, and hears about his younger half-sister, Carly
- Jerome says that Carly is away at college and doesn’t live at home
Those are pretty much the only facts that we have so far. But, we can see if Carly Whittaker meets the requirements that are already established for the mother.
- Carly could be going to school at Columbia University (the same school that Cindy goes to and Ted teaches at)
- Carly could be Cindy’s roommate
- The Whittaker’s home and Cindy/The Mother’s home are both decorated in a similar manner (animal figurines, pillows, pictures, etc.)
- Cindy says that guys are always falling in love with The Mother. We know that women are always falling in love (or at least lust) with Barney. Perhaps him and baby sister share the same set of sex appeal genes?
- As Barney’s sister, Carly will likely be at the Barney and Robin wedding
- If she happens to be musical, Barney may have asked her to be a part of the wedding band
- Ted meets The Mother on the day of the wedding
- Future Ted refers to Barney and Robin as “Uncle Barney” and “Aunt Robin”
- Ted’s bandaged hand in “Farhampton” may be due to a fight with Barney over his violation of The Bro Code (hooking up with Barney’s sister at the wedding?)
- Note – Ted could hook up with Barney’s sister Carly at the wedding, fight with Barney, and then go on to meet the actual mother at the train station
If Ted married Barney’s sister, Barney and Robin would in fact be uncle and aunt to the kids. But Ted also refers to “Uncle Marshall” and “Aunt Lily”, and we know that they aren’t technically related to Ted. So this clue doesn’t hold much weight.
Ted hooking up with Barney’s sister is a clear violation of The Bro Code. BUT, Barney has already violated his own code of ethics twice where Ted is concerned – he made out with Ted’s mom, and he slept with Ted’s ex-girlfriend Robin. I’m not sure if marriage negates that violation or what, but Ted hooking up with Barney’s sister would certainly balance things out a bit.
This concept is particularly amusing because of the following exchange:
Ted: Check it out. I just got that girl’s number. See? Holly.
Barney: Nice! Girls with “ly” at the end of their names are dirty. Carly, Shirly, Lily.
Marshall: Hey!… all right, it’s true.
Barney: Don’t even get me started on girls whose name should end in “ly”, but instead end in I. Those girls are like roller-coasters. You’ve got to wait in a long line, but once you get up there, you just hold on for dear life and hope you don’t lose your keys.
-S4E21 “The Three Days Rule”
Lord help the men of New York if Barney’s sister spells her name Carli… :)
There’s been a persistent rumor running around the interwebs about how Cindy’s apartment has a picture frame (I think?) that says C + C. This could refer to Cindy + Carly (= Best Friends 4Eva?) but it could also refer to the show’s creators, Craig Thomas and Carter Bays. From what I can tell, though, nobody has been able to find a screenshot or anything actually showing this elusive symbolic object. As such I don’t think it’s all that relevant.
So at this point, Carly Whittaker is a loose end. She has been mentioned but not truly incorporated into the show. Proponents of this theory are encouraged by the lack of discussion of Carly before or after on the show. I feel the same way about her that I do about the missed date from the “Milk” episode – she might not be The Mother, but her character will be revisited. If we had to spend all this time with effing Victoria and The Slutty Pumpkin and Robin again and again, they can certainly find time to delve into this mini mystery.
IF IT’S TRUE: Carly Whittaker, Barney’s half-sister, is The Mother. The Bro Code slate would be wiped clean. Mystery solved!
WHY IT MIGHT NOT BE: It’s established, it’s for sure not her.
Other Assorted Mother Theories
The Wedding Band Theory – CONFIRMED!!:
Many fans suspect The Mother is a member of the wedding band (or DJ) :) We know that she does play bass guitar, and we see her at the Farhampton train station on the night of Barney and Robin’s wedding. She’s dressed in formal wear, and she has her guitar case with her. I can’t think of any reason why this may not be true, so for now it’s a strong possibility.
UPDATE: We just discovered that the original wedding band falls through, and Ted fortuitously runs into Cindy (Rachel Bilson) and her wife on the subway. Cindy asks if Ted believes in destiny, and then explains that her former roommate – the one that was a perfect match for Ted – happens to be the bass player for the BEST wedding band in NYC. Then we see Ted, at the reception, eyes fixed upon the bass player. At the same time, we hear Future Ted talking about how everything worked out as it should…
In “Robots versus Wrestlers” (S5E22), we learn that mail for a prior resident (Marissa Heller) has consistently been delivered to the apartment ever since Ted and Marshall first moved in. When Ted spots Marissa Heller’s invitation to an exclusive party at the Alberta Building, he convinces the others to accompany him. They attempt to use her invitation, but the real Marissa Heller shows up.
Or does she?! Marissa invites Ted, Barney, Lily, and Marshall to join her. In the elevator, Lily tries to chat with Marissa about mail-related interests. Lily saw that Marissa received Soap Opera Digest, for example, so she asks Marissa about her favorite soaps. Marissa isn’t into that, though, and everyone thinks she’s pretty douchey. Except Ted, of course, because he was a little douchey himself in that episode.
One Redditor posited that elevator-Marissa’s lack of interest means that she wasn’t the real Marissa at all. The real Marissa could have been busy that night – busy being The Mother! We actually only know of one other event occurring that event – a little thing called Robots VS Wrestlers. Who might be interested in such a thing? Maybe a woman who paints ROBOTS DOING SPORTS. Is your mind blown just a little? :)
The Mother may not be Marissa, but she certainly could have attended Robots Versus Wrestlers. It is a yearly event, after all. Ted notes that this becomes an annual tradition for the whole group, so it’s likely that The Mother ends up going once they meet and get together. I like this theory because it’s a unique take that isn’t discussed much. It’s a long shot, but such an intriguing possibility. Marissa Mosby does have a certain ring to it, no?
UPDATE: We still don’t know the name of The Mother, so it could very well be Marissa Heller.
The Sister Theories: DISPROVED
The whole Aunt Robin and Uncle Barney thing has really thrown off some fans. As I noted in a prior article, many are holding strong to The Carly Theory because of this:
Future Ted refers to Barney as “Uncle Barney”.
Conflict: Ted also calls his other friends “Uncle Marshall”, “Aunt Lily”, and “Aunt Robin”
Conclusion: If Barney is Ted’s brother-in-law by marriage, and that’s why Ted refers to him as “Uncle Barney”, then we can presume that Robin is “Aunt Robin” because she is married to Barney.
Alternate Conclusion: Like many of us, Ted refers to close family friends as “aunt” and “uncle”.
–NEW Pic of the Mom – HIMYM – Does Ted Marry Barney’s Sister? I’m 99.99% Sure Yes. 2/7/12
If we really want to stretch our imaginations, these other marriages would fulfil the technical requirements: Ted marries Robin’s younger sister Katie Scherbatsky, or Barney marries Ted’s younger (already married) sister Heather Mosby. Other fans have speculated that Ted ends up with Stella’s sister Nora Zinman. All three of these possibilities are ruled out – Ted has already met both Katie and Nora prior to the wedding, and Barney is definitely marrying Robin.
UPDATE: Now that we’ve seen actress Cristin Milioti, we know without a doubt that she isn’t any of these characters that Ted has met before.
The Michelle Tanner Theory/The Full House Theory:
Update – it looks like Dave McKain (the Facebooker that created the image below) was the first to post this theory online. I don’t know if he and Justin came up with the ideas separately, or were influenced by one another, but I wanted to make sure to give proper credit where it’s due. Here is Dave’s take, as published on Have-You-Met-Ted.com in early 2012:
HIMYM can cross over with Full House by making Michelle Tanner the mother. Bear with me…there are lots of things that can make this work. As unlikely as this probably is, it might make sense on a lot of levels. My thought is that we have not met the mother character as of yet. They have said as much throughout the first 6 seasons, but we like to twist words and give double meanings to make it possible to mean other things. I think a lot of the ‘clues’ that we have are purposeful misleadings to get different theories circulating. But also, I don’t think they would just spring a random character that the audience is not attached to as well. I think the creators want the ending and the reveal to be iconic in the “nobody saw that coming” Newhart fashion.
REASONS THAT SUPPORT MICHELLE TANNER
They casted Bob Saget as the ‘voice’ of future Ted. Now we have seen future Ted with his grey hair many a time over the years and he always had Josh Radnor’s voice. I believe the voice of Bob Saget is more a metaphorical representation in the kid’s minds as a combination of a paternal and maternal story telling…with the Grandfather being thrown in…kind of a hint to the mother’s lineage. And as we know, Bob Saget (aka Danny Tanner) would be the Grandfather to these kids.
The Age. If we can assume that Michelle Tanner and the Olsen’s are the same age, then as of today the Olsen’s are 25. Which as of the first day of Ted’s teaching career (Sept 2009), Michelle Tanner would have been 23 years old…the perfect age for a grad student taking Economics 305. The St Patty’s day party was Mar 17, 2008…making Michelle Tanner 21 and old enough to go bar hopping (not that under 21 would stop people).
Rachel Bilson as the roommate. This tie in is more of a funny real-life one. Rachel Bilson has listed Ashley Olsen as one of her major fashion influence, and it is common knowledge that they are good friends and they run in the same circles.
Lily. When Lily and Marshall broke up, Lily went off to San Francisco. The Tanners were from San Francisco. The creators could make an easy tie in as to why Michelle Tanner is at a wedding that Lily is at…maybe Lily invited them after befriending during her time in San Fran.
Robin. Robin is in TV journalism…as was Danny Tanner. They have had the exact same job, but Danny Tanner was just a little more accomplished. Robin’s career path could be a tie in to how they all meet each other.
Bass guitar. Ted’s future wife plays bass guitar. What 23 year old, good looking chic would have a better opportunity to have played a rock’n’roll instrument than the niece of Uncle Jesse. For all we know, Michelle Tanner could have been playing since she was a kid. Easy tie in.
Admittedly (and proudly) I never watched Full House. But from what my wife has told me, Michelle’s best friend growing up was a boy named…you guessed it…Ted. I’m not saying that this Ted is Ted Mosby (cause we know its not), but what a great hint and an even better Ice-Breaker for when the two meet.
Doppelganger…what an easy and perfect twin…you know that whoever Ted gets with eventually will have to have a doppelganger to be a permanent fixture in the group.
Josh Radnor is directing and starring in a movie in 2012 called Liberal Arts. The lead actress…Elizabeth Olsen…yes the younger sister of the Twins. I think he’d have some pull in that family for casting purposes.
I know this is likely not the ending…but I just wanted to float ‘out-of-the-box’ thoughts out there and get people’s opinions.
One blog commenter, Justin Banker, has a very unique take on who The Mother may be. He has put together evidence supporting the idea of Michelle Tanner from Full House being The Mother! Wait, what? Click here to check out the information on his blog. I’ve put together the relevant details in bullet point here:
- Lily spent a summer in San Francisco doing her art program. Full House is set in SF, so perhaps Michelle Tanner/The Mother became friends with Lily at that point.
- Uncle Jesse played bass, and he was always very close to Michelle, so he could have taught her how to play.
- Future Ted is voiced by Bob Saget, aka Danny Tanner (Michelle’s father) on Full House.
- Josh Radnor (Ted) was in a movie (Liberal Arts) with Elizabeth Olsen; she is the real life younger sister of actresses Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who both played Michelle Tanner on Full House.
- Josh Radnor and Elizabeth Olsen share the same agent (I haven’t confirmed this info, btw)
- Michelle Tanner – if played by one of the original actresses – would have the perfect doppelganger…her twin sister!
- Michelle’s childhood BFF was named Teddy.
- Both Danny Tanner and Robin Scherbatsky are broadcast journalists. Their paths could potentially cross this way, although I suspect Danny is up near retirement age by now. Then again, Bob Saget hasn’t retired yet, so what do I know.
Regarding her age – Justin says:
First off everyone will say how is he going to marry some kid, shes like 6 years old! In the TV Show yeah but Full House ended in 1995 with the character of Michelle being the same age as her actresses, 9 years old. She would be 19 by the time HIMYM started in 2005 and would be 22 on Mar. 17th 2008 when she was at the St Patrick’s Day party that Ted was also at. In 2009 when Ted began teaching she would be nearly 23 years old, perfect college age to be taking an upper level economics class.
Justin thinks that the character could be Michelle Tanner, but he doesn’t think she would actually be played with Mary-Kate or Ashley Olsen. He suggests that perhaps Elizabeth Olsen could play the role, and notes that Elizabeth Olsen has mentioned Rachel Bilson as one of her inspirations.
Here’s an image that Facebooker and HIMYM fan Dave McKain put together – click the image to go see the post and comments:
What I think – the age doesn’t match up quite right, for one thing. I would guess Stephanie Tanner before Michelle, but she lacks many of the connections that Justin found between the Olsens and the HIMYM cast. Also all the Tanner girls and Olsen girls are more blonde than not, and I still don’t think The Mother will have light hair. Beyond that, Full House aired on ABC and HIMYM is on CBS. If The Mother was going to come from another show, I would guess it would be from a “sibling” show that shares the same parent network.
Although…here’s an interesting quote from Carter Bays…it’s just a joke, but it certainly adds some validity to this theory:
Which show would you like to do a crossover event with and why?
Full House. I want it to slowly become clear that our show is the prequel to that show, Prometheus-style.
UPDATE: I consider this theory disproved, because the actress is Cristin Milioti and not an Olsen. Beyond that, she looks nothing like how Michelle Tanner would have looked as an adult. Finally, the timing was always off, so I was never really on board with this one.
The Jennifer Birmingham Theory: DISPROVED
Actress Jennifer Birmingham was originally credited as “Woman” for S8E1 “Farhampton”, but later her name was removed:
(Update: The IMDB listing for the “Farhampton” episode of “How I Met Your Mother” appears to list several other actors who were neither listed in the post-show credits nor obviously involved in the on-screen action. It is therefore possible Birmingham was listed in error.)
Now she is credited as “Woman” for S8E13 “Band or DJ”. But, this doesn’t necessarily mean she THE mother. We’ve only seen bits and pieces of The Mother – her ankle, her legs and torso, her hands – so it could still be virtually any woman playing her.
We also know that Thomas and Bays have used a stand-in as The Mother at least once before:
As for that mother, Thomas and Bays wouldn’t say whether it was a body double or the actual actress viewers will eventually meet. (Previous stunt mothers include series director Pamela Fryman.)
“It was definitely closed doors,” Bays said of the shoot. “That moment was something we’ve been building to for a long time, and we’ll see more of that moment as the series goes on — or ends, whenever happens.”
Is she the real deal? No idea, but she could be! The only objection that I have is that she is blonde, and I think The Mother should have dark hair. I know it can be dyed, but some people just look right as blondes and can’t pull off darker hair colors (ahem Barney talking to you).
UPDATE: Nope, not played by Jennifer Birmingham. The Mother is played by Cristin Milioti.
The Cast Connection Theory: DISPROVED
How I Met Your Mother loves to cast people with connections to the stars of the show! Here’s a list to reference, but I will update later with a link to the full article that I’m working on. That post will have pictures so you can get a better mental image of all the cast connections…but here’s what I have so far:
- Sandy Rivers (Robin’s former co-anchor/nemesis) = Alexis Denisof, real life husband of Alyson Hannigan (Lily)
- Scooter (Lily’s high school boyfriend) = David Burtka, real life fiance of Neil Patrick Harris (Barney)
- Blauman (Barney & Marshall’s coworker) = Taran Killam, real life husband of Colbie Smulders
- Jeanette (Ted’s crazy girlfriend from “PS I Love You” and “Bad Crazy”) = Abby Elliott, real life daughter to Chris Elliott, who plays Lily’s dad Mickey
- Katie Scherbatsky (Robin’s little sister) = Lucy Hale, who co-stars on Pretty Little Liars with Ashley Benson, who plays Carly Whittaker (Barney’s half-sister)
- Ted’s daughter = Lyndsy Fonseca, who in real life is said to have dated David Henrie, who plays Ted’s son
- David Henrie is also the real life ex-boyfriend of Lucy Hale (Katie Sherbatsky)
- Cathy (chatty girl from “Spoiler Alert”) = Lindsay Price, real life former girlfriend of Josh Radnor (Ted)(but I believe they met on set, so that doesn’t really count)
- Robin’s dad = Ray Wise, who was in Twin Peaks with Kyle MacLachlan (The Captain)
Given all of that, it stands to reason that The Mother could be played by someone with a real life connection to the cast. Here are some people that I would not be surprised to see on HIMYM:
- Michelle Williams, real life (ex)fiance of Jason Segel (Marshall)
- Sarah Michelle Gellar, real life former co-star of Alyson Hannigan (and Alexis Denisof) (see below)
- Mila Kunis, real life former co-star of Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall)
There’s also a fair chance of seeing other stars from Pretty Little Liars, or anyone that has done anything with Joss Whedon. Read on for the details!
UPDATE: As far as I know, actress Cristin Milioti (who plays The Mother) has no connection to any of the cast members. If anyone knows otherwise please tell me!
The Joss Whedon Theory/The Sarah Michelle Gellar Theory: DISPROVED
This ties into the aforementioned Cast Connection Theory, because there are many connections between Joss Whedon and HIMYM. Let’s break them down point by point, beginning with main cast members and then proceeding down to cameos and one time roles:
- Alyson Hannigan – Lily – played Willow on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel
- Colbie Smulders – Robin – played Agent Maria Hill in The Avengers
- Neil Patrick Harris – Barney – starred as Billy in Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
- Alexis Denisof – Sandy Rivers – played Wesley on Buffy and Angel, and Senator Daniel Perrin on Dollhouse
- Harry Groener – Clint (Ted’s stepfather) – played Mayor Richard Wilkins on Buffy
- Morena Baccarin – Chloe (barista girl that Marshall dated – “Swarley” S2E7) played Inara Serra on Firefly and Serenity
- Amy Acker – Penelope (a girl Barney slept with – “Come On” S1E22) – played Winifred “Fred” on Angel and Dr. Claire Saunders/Whiskey on Dollhouse
- Danny Strong – Trey (he held the funeral service for Marshall’s dad; he was the son of the preacher and also a short guy that used to bully Marshall in high school – “Last Words” S6E14) played Johnathan Levinson on Buffy
- Tom Lenk – Scott (no idea who he is, I need to rewatch “Swarley” S2E7) played Andrew Wells/Cyrus on Buffy and Angel
- Craig Thomas, Carter Bays, and Joss Whedon all graduated from Wesleyan University
- Ted, Marshall, and Lily also graduated from Wesleyan
- Willow (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) was early accepted into Wesleyan, among other schools
- Willow wrote Doogie Howser, M.D. fan fiction when she was younger
- Doogie Howser was played by Neil Patrick Harris
- Doppelgangers factor prominently into both HIMYM and Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Based on all of this, and the interconnected nature of the Joss Whedonverse, there is an excellent chance that The Mother will also have worked with Whedon in the past. The obvious selection is Sarah Michelle Gellar, who starred as the titular character on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She’s the right age, but I’m pretty sure I’ve read that her and Alyson Hannigan do not get along at all. If that is the case, the writers might not want to bring on an actress that will clash with one of the leads on the show. What do you guys think?
Here’s a pic of her with dark hair; it is usually blonde but I think she can pull off the brunette thing:
Other potential actresses from the Whedonverse that could play The Mother:
- Felicia Day (played Vi on Buffy, Penny on Dr. Horrible, and Mag on Dollhouse)
- Eliza Dushku (played Faith on Buffy and Angel and starred as Echo on Dollhouse)
- Summer Glau (played Prima Ballerina on Angel, River Tam on Firefly and Serenity, and Bennett Halverson on Dollhouse)
UPDATE: The Mother is played by actress Cristin Milioti, and she does not have a solid connection to Joss Whedon. The closest we can come is this:
Critin Milioti was in Mike Birbiglia’s 2012 movie Sleepwalk With Me. This came out around the same time as Joss Whedon’s The Avengers. Whedon made and posted a video where he jokingly told people to boycott Birbiglia’s film because it was taking money away from Whedon’s own movie.
The Lyndsy Fonseca Theory: DISPROVED
The show has been going on for so long now that some people think Ted’s daughter could end up playing his wife! Here’s a pic of actress Lyndsy Fonseca looking especially grown up (from January 2013):
I would be a little weirded out by this, and I’ve heard other fans say the same. Then again, what better way is there to ensure that The Mother looks like she could be related to the kids? Still, she was born in 1987, and that’s a little young for Ted. But there’s still a bit of an ick factor.
UPDATE: Nope, The Mother isn’t played by Fonseca. The Mother is played by actress Cristin Milioti.
The Hannah/Captain’s Daughter Theory:
This is an interesting one that I was slow to pick up on. You can read in the comments for more details, but here’s the gist: Ted’s ex-girlfriend Zoey Pierson (Jennifer Morrison) was the current, and then former, wife of The Captain. The Captain is actually George Van Smoot, so named The Captain because “a real man chooses his own name!” (This leads to Ted calling himself – and The Captain referring to Ted as – “Galactic President Superstar McAwesomeville”!) The Captain is also, as of season 8, Lily’s new employer.
Anyway, George Van Smoot has a daughter, Hannah Van Smoot. We have never met her. We only know that her relationship with Zoey was always strained, and at one point Zoey purchased a stuffed animal to give her as a gift.
The Van Smoots have been connected in the HIMYM storyline since season one. Their first reference is when Lily and Marshall race to beat another engaged couple for an unexpected opening to have their wedding at the infamous Van Smoot House. Later, Ted ends up falling for Zoey, and basically helps break up her marriage to The Captain. When Ted is featured on the front of New York magazine, there is a cover blurb about Van Smoot. Finally, The Captain eventually becomes Lily’s new boss, and asks her to move to Italy with him for a year.
The Van Smoot name having prior importance throughout the show indicates that it could be important to The Mother’s identity. So, maybe Hannah is older than we would think, and she’s The Mother!?
UPDATE: We have seen that The Mother is played by actress Cristin Milioti, but we don’t know her character’s name yet. It could be Hannah Von Smoot.
The internet can be a morbid place, and HIMYM fan theories are no exception. Rumors abound about various characters being dead when Future Ted tells his story in 2030. Let’s review the evidence for and against each, shall we?
Many fans have legitimately wondered why Ted is so painstakingly relaying every detail – and then some – about how he met the mother. Why would someone subject their kids to this if not for a purpose? And could that purpose be to tell the children every little thing he remembers about their dead mother?
We have to keep in mind that Ted has already been proven to be a dorky, somewhat boring dad. He bores Barney and Robin as their surrogate dad figure, he tells lame dad jokes to waitresses, and he often talks at length about stuff that frankly no one else cares about. I love Ted, but he’s not the most exciting character in terms of storytelling. You’re more likely to hear a lengthy diatribe on proper prounciation than you are to hear a legendary “true story” a la Barney.
We also have to remember that Ted provides an explanation in S2E3 “Brunch”. Ted asks his mom and dad how they met, and receives a brief “we met at a bar” in return. He then vows that when he has kids, he’s going to tell them everything about how he met their mother. So, we have a solid reason for Ted’s long-winded story, and it fits with his general character.
Flash foward scenes have indicated that the Mother is alive in the future, but her absence in the 2030 scenes still worries some fans. It is also worth noting that the kids are kinda being jerks about the story if their mom really is dead. You could at least feign interest in the story of how your dad met your now dead mom, you know? Hopefully their impatience with the story means that all is well in the Mosby household.
I have never given this theory much credence, but the end of “The Time Travelers” (S8E20) did worry me a bit. Future Ted talks about what he would do if he could actually time travel. If he went to that day, he tells the kids, “you know the thing I’d do first”. We then see what Future Ted is imagining – himself visiting the mother’s apartment 45 days before they were set to meet. He delivers an impassioned speech about how they will meet, fall in love, get married, and have kids. He explains that this is all just 45 days away, but he wants those 45 days. And if he can’t have them, he will take the 45 seconds before her boyfriend (Louis) shows up and punches him in the face. He tells the mother (who remains unseen, of course) “I love you, I’m always going to love you, until the end of my days and beyond.”
Could this be the desperate plea of a man wanting just a sliver more time with his one true love? And why does he need that 45 seconds so badly? This episode was pretty masterfully done, because it really could go several ways.
2013 Ted is so horribly alone and depressed and without hope that Future Ted would end his suffering in a second if he could. Future Ted wishes that 2013 Ted didn’t have to go through those last – presumably painful – 45 days where his friends are happily settling in to the life that he always wanted. 2013 Ted has no girlfriend, no wife, no children, and his very best friends have all that and more.
As someone who is currently single and amidst close friends that have found their destiny, I can relate. It’s pretty much a soul-crushing feeling to look around and see everyone in love, while you’re not even close to the happily ever after you’ve wanted your whole life. If there was a Future Corina that could save me from 45 more lonely days, I would appreciate her making an appearance.
That being said…Ted was really emotional. And crying. Perhaps more than is appropriate for just seeing the 2013 version of your soulmate. It is entirely possible that he is so emotional because he can’t have even 45 more seconds with The Mother in 2030. Perhaps because she is dead? I really hope not.
I actually think that Ted’s speech made it seem more like HE was the dying one. Imagine a scenario where there is a couple, and one of them is dying. Does it seem like the dying person or the healthy person would say “I love you, I’m always going to love you, until the end of my days and beyond”? To me it seems like something a dying person would say to the one that would survive them. If it were me, and my spouse were dead in the future, I would say something like, “I will always love you, until the end of time and beyond” or “until the end of our days and beyond”.
So could Future Ted actually be dying/dead? He’s clearly interacting with the kids and at times having small conversations with them, so I think he is still alive as of 2030. I don’t think the kids are just watching a video he made or anything like that. But he might be sick/dying, and sharing his greatest story before his time is up. That could also explain why the kids have attitude. When someone is dying, you don’t usually want to spend all of your time crying and being sad. People often try to act normal for the benefit of the sick person, and for their own sake. So the kids might be giving Ted a hard time because they’re trying to act like nothing is wrong…
I don’t really believe that either of them are dead or dying as of 2030. I think the writers created a poignant episode with the end of the series in mind. Future Ted also imagines going back to his old apartment, holding baby Marv, and visiting with his close friends. These scenes made me cry because they spoke to the series ending. It felt like the beginning of an arc that takes us to the very end.
There have also been theories about Barney being dead in the future. We haven’t seen him in any flash forward scenes, except for the odd Exploding Meatball Sub scenario. That seems like it could be a false memory, from unreliable narrator Ted. The thing is, Barney actually does have the time, energy, resources, and twisted motivation to pull off an elaborate prank like that. So I take that as proof of Barney being alive in the future.
WHAT I BELIEVE
As of today, 1/3/13, I think that The Mother is the missed date from the “Milk” episode. I don’t think she is named Tracy or Amber, and the arrival of Ashley Benson makes me suspect that Barney’s sister Carly is not The Mother either. I would enjoy a multitude of connecting threads, so I would personally like it if The Mother was the missed date, and the bass player in the wedding band, and the girl from the St. Patrick’s Day party. I would LOVE feedback on all of this, so please feel free to lawyer me with your questions and comments.
Update as of 1/15/13: I was correct about the Carly Theory (Carly is NOT The Mother), but I didn’t for sure let it go until the episode descriptions and official name of Ashley Benson’s character was confirmed. So I can’t say that I always knew it was wrong :) I was correct about the wedding band theory (The Mother IS the bass player in the wedding band), and I still believe The Mother is also the missed date from “Milk” and/or the bump girl from “No Tomorrows”.
Update as of 5/16/13: I’m still really hoping that The Mother connects to Ted in one of aforementioned ways. I feel like it would add more excitement and importance to the story if she is not just the bass player, and his ex’s old roommate, and the owner of the yellow umbrella, but ALSO is the missed date, or the bump girl, or Hannah or even Tracy. We have months to go before season 9, but it’s pretty fun that these theories can still be in the running for now.
Update as of 1/27/14: Welp, we have some more theories disproved. She isn’t the milk girl or the bump girl! But the show delivered exactly what I hoped for: meaningful near misses and encounters between Ted and The Mother. Now we’re left wondering what her name is, when they get married, and what the entire timeline of the relationship results in as of the “present” (2030). Things are looking up for the rest of season 9!
Showing us that Ted has seen The Mother before meeting her really breathes new life into some of these theories. I think it almost has to be at least one of these women, because otherwise I don’t know if I believe it’s truly the greatest love story ever. All of the umbrella moments and the connection via Cindy aren’t quite enough for me to feel satisfied that this entire saga is the most romantic story ever. But, we have to stay tuned to find out.
Finally, here are some articles that aren’t specifically about The Mother, but they do offer observations about HIMYM that you may not be able to find elsewhere. If anything they may spark your interest to do some sleuthing of your own! I’ve had so much fun writing them, and I hope you enjoy reading them.
- Ted always seems to encounter old ladies during pivotal moments in his relationships
- Color Theory in How I Met Your Mother, with an emphasis on yellow and purple
- All of the How I Met Your Mother Halloween costumes throughout the years
- Mrs. Erikson’s secret 7-layer salad recipe – make it today!
- 5 HIMYM theories that need to be put to rest
- Do bad weddings equal good marriages in the HIMYM world?
- 7 HIMYM mysteries solved in season 7
- 10 signs you’re a HIMYM super-fan
- A compilation of HIMYM music, including the infamous Get Psyched! Mix
- Fat jokes in HIMYM – how they add to and how they degrade the show
- Adding insult to injury with Patrice as Barney’s fake girlfriend
I came up with all of this from my own set of notes, compiled by my obsessive watching and rewatching of episodes, but I have to give credit to the HIMYM wiki page for “The Mother” and the Reddit Semi-Definitive “Mother” Checklist. I confirmed quite a bit of information by double checking these sites, and they continue to inspire me to seek out and analyze new theories. There is a ton of information at both sites and they are great refreshers for those that need it!
238 thoughts on “HIMYM: The Mother Revealed, Theories Disproved & Clues To Still Possible Connections!”
I think they put a bunch of people who could be the mother depending on when the show was going to end. Whatever story lines they don’t choose to close up, I’m sure they will loop into the mother arch.
I agree the bump girl from St. Patrick’s day party is likely the mother (otherwise, why put the scene in the episode?)…and I always did feel the blind date girl from the “Milk” episode was the mother…until you pointed out the line from a later episode where Cindy’s description was the “first” description of the mother Ted heard…now I’m not sure. The “Milk” story might resurface to close some chapter in Ted’s life before meeting the real mother…who knows? I don’t subscribe to the Carly theory b/c she’s too young to be the Mother. There are too many clues that the Mother is near the same age as Ted.
I think Ted will bump into Cindy while Ted is trying to help plan Robin/Barney’s wedding. In chit chat she’ll mention her former roommate’s band, and Ted will get the contact information to book that band. The wedding does not go smoothly, so maybe Ted doesn’t get the opportunity to meet the band members… until later.
That is all exactly what I am thinking!
I think you can pretty much confirm that ted dates carly and it is barney’s half sister.
Check out the new descriptions of ‘Ring Up’
Ashley Benson (“Pretty Little Liars”)guest stars as Carly, Ted’s new girlfriend
and this tweet
CHEAT TWEET: Barney begs Ted to continue dating a much younger girl @AshBenzo untilhe learns who she is! #HIMYM 1/21 @8PM ET/PT
ted’s girlfriend, carly, much younger girl, until barney learns she’s his half sister……
You’ve cracked the case for me! I hadn’t seen this info yet but it certainly points to Carly being in upcoming episodes, but NOT being The Mother. I’m still holding on to the missed matchmaker date – that has always been my number one theory and I’m really hoping it works out. Thank you so much for posting this info and inspiring my next post :)
Hi. My name is Uwi. I come from Indonesia and just found out your blog since I get addictive with the series. I think it’s awesome that you diggin’ old episodes and searching clues about The Mother. I can’t wait to see what’s she looks like.
I just finished watching season 8 episode 12 where Robin and Barney got engaged. The whole scene just take my breath away. And now I come up with few thoughts, although I didn’t know if this could help to develop a theory about who The Mother is.
At the Farhampton episode, we see Ted sitting on the bench with his hand bandaged. I think it’s not because he punched someone. It’s very unlikely that you need your hand to get bandage after punching someone. I think it’s from bleeding caused by glass or knife. Why and how, well I think we just have to wait a little longer :)
Second thought, I dont recall in which episode, but I do remember Stella tells Ted when they were dating, that she come to St. Patrick party (where Ted bump into the girl everyone thinks might be The Mother). So maybe, The Mother is friends with Stella and they came to the party together at the time. We just have to diggin’ which friends Stella mentioned before who have the same similarity to The Mother character.
It still possibly Carly Whittaker. But, looking from JJ’s age, it’s more possible to assume that Carly is a junior student at college and not as same age as Cindy. Because JJ is like… I don’t know… 12 something? While we assume that The Mother is 28 or older. But still it’s possible given a consideration to the “MIND THE GAP” sentence at The Farhampton Train Station, if this is one of the clues?
In Starwars Trilogy episode, we are shown that in 2015, Ted holds an infant baby in his arms. So, we can assume that Ted is meeting The Mother in 2012, dating at 2013, got married in 2014, and having a baby in 2015. The Mother will be revealed very time soon.
Anyway, I like to think that HIMYM creators must have set the whole The Mother character from the very beginning of the series, including the actress who would actually played her. And it is possibly that The Mother has been in several scene this whole time. We just dont see it. Or we just dont have any idea that she is the one. I also think that this would go like The Sixth Sense movie when everything just make sense in the end. We’re all gonna be like: “Oooh, now I get it!” and we’re gonna watch the whole series one more time. Hahaha.
And I think, the cast must have know about The Mother too, from the very beginning. Maybe, the contract with all actress and production team includes secrecy which said that they can never mentioned or revealed who The Mother to the media. I don’t think Bays and Carter would make a series about finding a true love in NY without setting the whole characters before. It’s impossible if they just decides who is The Mother at the end of the series. Or well, I don’t like to think that way :)
It’s a very good serial, though. And even people keep compares HIMYM with Friends, I dont think it’s apple to apple. It’s the puzzle and twist that make this series interesting because somehow it makes us, the audience, interact. It really fun to talked about it with fans like you. So, keep on searching and keep on posted. I really enjoyed reading them. Thank you, and greetings from Jakarta :)
Hello Uwi, and thank you for your comment! I will respond point by point :)
I agree that Ted’s hand is probably not damaged from a punch. BUT, Ted is not exactly a strong guy, and we saw that him and Barney did not fair well in terms of fighting when they went up against bouncer Doug. So, since it’s Ted, his hand could be excessively bandaged just because he punched someone or something.
I don’t recall Stella mentioning many friends but it is certainly possible that she has known The Mother this whole time. Wouldn’t that be an intriguing twist?!
I don’t think it is Carly anymore, based on recent information about upcomiong episodes (see post to follow shortly). But I did notice “MIND THE GAP” and was curious as to whether it was a clue as well.
I have to find the quote, but I’m pretty sure Carter and Bays confirmed that they haven’t cast the actress yet. Josh Radnor (Ted) tweeted at one point that no one had any idea except for the show creators. Plus that’s quite a few actors to keep such a big secret, and it seems like they wouldn’t risk that. Other shows often film several end scenes for big surprises, so even the actors don’t know for sure what happened until it airs. Maybe that will be the case here, I don’t know.
There are for sure similarities to Friends, but I don’t think it’s fair to consider them as equivalent. I agree it is not apples to apples. I do think that HIMYM was inspired in part by Friends, and both shows coordinate well in terms of the viewing experience.
Anyway, more later, and thank you again for your insights :)
Alright, here goes. I don’t usually post stuff, so I don’t really know where or even how to post something without just replying to someone else’s post. That being said, I really like your post, so I’ll use it. I’ve been perusing the forums for theories, and I’ve noticed that my theory doesn’t seem to exist yet, so I guess I’ll have to make it.
I call this the “Yin Yang Theory”. It also ties in with the “Color Theory”. I’ll start with the flaw to my theory. If my theory is correct than Ted has already met the mother, though “meeting” and “properly meeting” are not necessarily the same thing.
That being said, this is it. I think the mother might be Nora. Hear me out. When Nora is first introduced, she is wearing the exact same shade of “yellow” as the umbrella. On that same day everyone at the table is wearing “purple”. These two colors both appear on the mom at the train station, thus tying into the color theory.
Also keep in mind that Nora wants everything that Ted wants in a relationship. We know this because she tells Barney all of this on their first date, which I might add, is a very “Ted” thing to do. Adding to the similarities, she speaks four language which Ted also does, at least to some extent. He speaks English, obviously. He and Stella spoke only French during one of his tattoo removal sessions. He often quotes Italian, and he knows sign language.
She is the right age to have attended Ted’s first ‘accidental’ class; a fact that she would probably not share with a stranger or her boyfriend considering the fact that, in future Ted’s narration, the mom thought he was cute. Also keep in mind that Ted and Nora only see each other twice, on camera at least. They never actually carry on a full conversation. What’s suspicious to me, is that there is no lead up. Barney meets her. Barney loves her. Barney tries to date her.
This is where my “Yin Yang Theory” comes in. Ted and Barney have been near opposites since the start of the show. Que phrases like, “I feel like we collectively learn the opposite lesson each year”, or “Old stuff’s great!” vs. ” Newer is always better. Barney’s a man whore, and Ted’s a hopeless romantic, but there is one key point on which they agree, “Robin”. Ted falls in love with her on sight, but Barney marries her. Barney falls in love with Nora on sight, so maybe…You get the idea.
Now I know that Nora probably hates Barney, and rightfully so, but if history tells us anything, nothing lasts forever. Plus, Barney can get out of anything. The way I see it, Ted loved Robin who was totally wrong for him. Barney loved Nora who was totally wrong for him. Ted falls apart just as Barney starts getting his life together. I feel like the two character’s love lives are interconnected in some “equal but opposite” way.
Nora’s the right age for the class, the right hair color for the pictures in “Milk” and the ones behind the couch, she’s also the right skin tone, and body build. She loved laser tag which means she’ll probably love “Robots vs Wrestlers”. She’s “a gooey romantic too.” She hates ewoks, but not necessarily Star Wars. Most importantly, we know almost NOTHING about her life, and I think her sudden appearance is unmistakable. Sorry for how long this was. Hope you enjoyed my theory.
Oh! One last thing, in the “Trilogy Time” episode, Ted’s imaginary dream girl casual adds in, “Oh, and I’m British.” which further leads me to believe that it might be the case.
I remember that! Good point.
You did an excellent job of posting, no worries :)
I totally agree that the writers will employ the difference between meeting and properly meeting someone. I don’t know that I believe it is Nora, although your facts do add up. My main disagreements with this theory are:
-Nora was likely a working woman and perhaps would not have wanted to share a home with a college student, albeit a PhD candidate (not the strongest objection but the first to come to mind for me)
-I think if Nora was in a band, and she found out that it was Barney’s wedding, she might not have agreed to play.
-I don’t know that most fans would like this outcome – they might feel cheated.
All of that being said, it’s a solid theory. I think most people will dismiss it on the technicality of them meeting before, but the few Ted and Nora scenes have been incredibly brief. And with Barney marrying Robin (clearly his perfect match and clearly wrong for Ted) it would make sense for Ted to marry Nora in a reverse of the scenario. I used to really dislike Nora because I wanted Barney with Robin. I’m not sure yet if I like her with Ted.
Then again, whenever I think of her I remember her with a missing front tooth and it stresses me out :)
And the yellow/purple stuff is dead on. I’m sure Ted would prefer to marry someone that hasn’t slept with Barney, but that does drastically limit his options among the women of New York. And it would explain a potential altercation between Barney and Ted at the wedding.
I’m going to think about this, gather some additional facts if I can, and add it to the list! Thank you so much for sharing!
Great write-up! Thanks!
I’d like to add my own personal “mother theory” (one I’ve never seen anyone else ever mention), if you want to add it to your list of assorted theories:
The Sarah Michelle Gellar Theory:
As noted on the HIMYM Wikipedia page, and by anyone who’s a fan of Joss Whedon, the show creators have a particular infatuation with hiring actors from Joss Whedon productions – particularly Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The most obvious example of this is of course Allyson Hannicgan, who plays a main character on Buffy. This fact is even noted by Carter Bays (source wikipedia), citing the “great cast pool” as a reason.
All of this leads me to believe that if Carter Bays and Craig Thomas were to try and choose the ideal actress to play the mother, it would have to be someone from a Joss Whedon production, and who better than Sarah Michelle Gellar, who plays Buffy herself, right alongside Allyson Hannigan (for 7 seasons no less). Sarah, who is both attractive and a skilled actress, would be a pretty good match for Ted, and I think could play the mother role pretty well.
Of course this is less of a theory as to who is the mother, and more just about what actress will likely play her, but as there is not too much evidence yet regarding what character (if any) she may be already within the show, this is as good a mother theory as any, and (in my opinion) a particularly viable one.
Just remember – if it is Sarah Michelle Gellar: FIRST!!! ;)
Oh that for sure needs to be added! The only conflict there could be is that I’ve heard Sarah Michelle Gellar and Alyson Hannigan don’t get along well in real life. No idea if it’s true but it is surprising she hasn’t been on there already. I should do a post about all the guest star connections for people that don’t already know! Before I forget…
Sandy Rivers = Robin’s former co-anchor/nemesis = Alyson Hannigan’s (Lily) real life husband Alexis Denisof
Scooter = Lily’s high school boyfriend = Neil Patrick Harris’ (Barney) real life partner & fiance David Burtka
Blauman = Barney & Marshall’s coworker = Colbie Smulders’ (Robin) real life husband Taran Killam
Jeanette (from the most recent episode PS I Love You) = Ted’s crazy girlfriend = actress Abby Elliott = actor Chris Elliott’s (Lily’s dad, Mickey) real life daughter
Katie Scherbatsky = Robin’s little sister = actress Lucy Hale = co-star on Pretty Little Liars with Ashley Benson = Carly Whittaker = Barney’s half-sister
Ted’s daughter = actress Lyndsy Fonseca = rumored to have dated actor David Henrie = Ted’s son = also the ex-boyfriend of Lucy Hale = Katie Sherbatsky
Did I miss any? Please fill me in folks!
There are also some Full House connections to delve into, and all this from imdb that is too long to paraphrase :)
Alyson Hannigan’s character on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Willow Rosenberg, once mentioned that she wrote Doogie Howser, M.D. fan-fiction as a girl. Hannigan went on to star in “How I Met Your Mother” with Neil Patrick Harris, who as a boy played Doogie Howser. Alyson Hannigan’ who plays Lily, is perhaps best known prior to starring in ‘How I Met Your Mother’ for her role on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”. The creators of both of these shows – Joss Whedon of the Buffy series and Carter Bays and Craig Thomas of HIMYM – all graduated from Wesleyan University, as well as did the characters Lily, Ted, and Marshall on HIMYM. Additionally, Hannigan’s character from the Buffy series, Willow, got early acceptance to Wesleyan, along with many other schools. Several cast members have also worked with Joss Whedon, notably stars Alyson Hannigan’ (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Neil Patrick Harris (Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog) and Cobie Smulders (The Avengers). Also appearing have been guest stars Morena Baccarin (Firefly/Serenity), Alexis Denisof (Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel/Dollhouse), Amy Acker (Angel/Dollhouse), Tom Lenk (Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel), Harry Groener (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Danny Strong (Buffy the Vampire Slayer). The search for all the main characters’ so-called “doppelgangers” is a running joke throughout this series. In ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ doppelgangers were also a frequent theme of many episodes, and most of the major characters (including Buffy, Xander, and Willow) encountered doubles of themselves through plot contrivances of magic or alternate universes.
one bit of info i think wasn’t mentioned here is that when Ted gets the mom’s number, he calls her immediately. (episode 4.21 – the three days rule: “When I got your mother’s number. I called right away.”)
because older Ted says that when we see present Ted leaving the bar with Holly (Holli?), we think he means the usual way of “getting her number” – but i think the writers again are getting clever with us: actually he *gets her number* from Cindy regarding booking her band for the wedding, so OF COURSE he calls right away – it’s not about disregarding the 3 days rule, it’s on business – in order to save the wedding!
I thought the bit about Ted calling her “right away” was specifically “after the first date.” I could be remembering wrong, but that was the context in which that comment was made. So whether he talks to the Mother previously to book the band- I don’t think that relates to Future Ted’s comment.
i thought it was two separate things – there’s getting the girl’s number at first, like when he met Holly at the bar (when the guy presumably has to wait 3 days – but Ted doesn’t), and there’s calling her *after* they already had a first date..
well, i guess we’ll wait and see how all the details come together .. soon!
Hopefully as soon as the end of season 8!
I believe that episode laid it out as meeting a girl, being interested in her as a romantic possibility, getting her number, and then waiting three days to call. Like in Swingers! So I’m taking it as he called right away after they met at the train station.
I thought I mentioned the first part, I will double check! I guess it depends on if she is the contact person for the band or not? But my interpretation is in reference to after the first meeting.
my BF & i want to re-watch the main episodes that provide clues about the mother’s identity. from all the info in your posts, plus a review of the HIMYM wikia, i’ve decided on these. please let me know if you think i’m missing any that will fill in more info. i don’t really need the ones that are disproved theories or red herrings, just the ones that give us clues that have been established.
01-07 – “Matchmaker”
01-21 – “Milk”
03-12 – “No Tomorrow”
04-09 – “The Naked Man”
05-12 – “Girls vs Suits”
06-01 – “Big Days”
08-01 – “Farhampton”
I think you hit all the big ones, aside from the recent season 8 “Band or DJ”? You’ve probably watched them all by now – let me know what you think!
What about the Jennifer Birmingham theory?
The theory is about the credits given to Jennifer playing “The Woman” in two episodes of season 8 (Farhampton and Band or Dj?).
That is a theory that needs to be added as well, good point! I didn’t include it originally because the writers have mentioned using various women as stand in, including one of the directors for the show, Pamela Fryman. Basically I feel like Bays & Thomas wouldn’t cast the same woman as the actual mother, simply because the mystery already would have been revealed via imdb. But I will be adding her to my list of theories at once!
Thanks for the reply. Actually I truly believe on this theory, but, personally, i am more fan of the Lyndsy Fonseca theory. I dont know. It appears right to me. Greetings from Brazil.
Lyndsy Fonseca as the mother would totally creep me out. please don’t let that be the answer! i’m all for stunt casting, if they can find the right actress to make sense with the entire series.
I agree, and it would be a letdown for the fans that have been waiting so long for the big reveal. It can’t be that hard to find a dark haired actress that could look related to them! I do feel that it will be a bit anticlimatic if they choose an unknown actress and don’t find some way to show all their prior connections. I hope they do the reveal at the end of 8 vs the beginning of 9…
i’m betting there’s a 98% chance that S8 finale will be a cliffhanger and we won’t see the true, actual, real reveal of the mother until S9 premiere.
I know you’re right. But how much more of a cliffhanger can we have? We already had the experience (as viewers) of seeing Ted at the moment right before he meets her. So there isn’t much more that we can see immediately before he actually meets her. I guess maybe we could see him walking over to meet her, saying excuse me, and then she turns towards him and just as we see her face – cut. Kinda like how they did that one time when he saw the yellow umbrella but it was Stella, you know?
you know how they block the shows when an actress is pregnant? there are pillows and sofas and purses and everything else in front of her stomach so you can’t tell she’s pregnant? they could do that with the Mother. you see her from Ted’s point of view, or everyone else’s point of view, but something’s in the way, like a street sign, or a post, or someone else’s umbrella. since this is supposed to be at Robin & Barney’s wedding, i could see possibilities where the whole gang joins them on the train platform for one reason or another. either way, i’m just enjoying each episode and trying not to jump to the reveal, because i see the end of the series coming and i want to enjoy all of the new ones before it’s over.
If they do that they will basically have to make her a well-known actress, don’t you think? I hope so at least.
i meant they could do that on the S8 finale, to make it a cliffhanger for a S9 premiere reveal. there’s no way they would or could do that for the rest of the series and not ever show her to us. the villagers would burn their houses down.
haha yes the natives are getting quite restless at this point
I was juts thinking how Bays and Thomas would need round the clock body guards if they pull a trick like that at the finale! >:(
Right?! I was thinking how it would be cool if they picked a fan to be the mother. Then I realized it would be cool for exactly one person and everyone else would be incredibly pissed so I changed my opinion on that real quick :)
Sent from my iPhone
I am still on the fence…too bad she doesn’t have a real life older sister!
First of all, congratulations on this post! You did an amazing job putting all this informating together. I laugh so hard about The Michelle Tanner Theory, lol. Peaple are really creative.
About The Matchmaker/Missed Date Girl Theory/”Milk” Theory: I’ve always though that it could be right, but reading about the age of this woman I started to have my doubts; If she really Ted’s age, doesn’t she to old to be on that college class? She’d be older than Cindy. I don’t know… It will be a really great love story, if that theory is correct, but it’ll also have some flaws about it…
The Marissa Heller Theory realy blew my mind, I hope is her, and that she definetly was in Robots vs Restlers that night.
I did’nt know about the information on the S6 extras, here in Brazil we didn’t have the DVDs… It’s a shame!
Anyways, It was great read all of this. Congratulations again, It couldn’t be easy to do all this. Thank you!
Thank you for the kind words! The Michelle Tanner Theory feels like a stretch to me, but the appearance of Dave Coulier and references to his “cut. it. out.” catchphrase on Full House does give it some more credence. I will have to update that :)
As for The Mother’s age…we know that Rachel Bilson was 28, so Cindy should be approximately 28, but we don’t know the character’s age for sure. I don’t think? I will have to watch again, I know Ted mentions that she’s legal but I don’t think he specifies an age. Anyway, if The Mother was 28 as of “Milk”, she would be in her early thirties as of that day in class, which is plausible enough. I mean, it’s a graduate level course that Cindy is taking for her PhD, so I imagine she’s spent a fair amount of time doing undergraduate and then maybe post-graduate studies.
I wonder what The Mother’s major was? Or what her degree might be? It could, of course, be in Economics, like Cindy. But perhaps it is something more artistic, given her paintings of robots and her beautiful singing voice (when performing via breakfast foods, at least). Or maybe it’s more along the lines of LIBERAL ARTS. ZOMG the connections are too much for me :P
so check it, ted says “dont EVER invite an ex to a wedding” in shelter island. And we know why, and how that went. So my theory of how Barney and Robin’s wedding goes is this:
Remember in “Farhampton” how ted’s hand was bandaged, suggesting that he may have gotten in a fight? Well, I think that Barney and Ted will get into one last fight over Robin. Because we know that Ted isn’t 100% over Robin because there is no REAL closure in “Band or DJ”. So its possible that Ted isnt completely over Robin. Ted makes ONE last push for Robin, they fight, Ted tries to get a train back to New York, by himself because Marshall and Lily already left because they are old and married (Barney). And Robin and Barney left for their honeymoon.
That is the most logical explanation for sure. I will be soooo annoyed if Ted pulls that crap on their wedding day, but maybe Barney and Robin’s nervousness makes Ted think he has a shot. Classic Schmosby, sigh.
I’d like to add to the Milk theory:
When Ted describes her profile from the dating agency he mentions that her favourite book is Love in the Time of Cholera. Ted is reading that book on the platform at Farhampton where he meets the mother. Maybe the trigger for them meeting?
Also, having just rewatched Milk, I think it’s really significant that the whole episode is about the necessity of making mistakes and it is in this episode that he ditches the blind date for Robin. I reckon he needed to do all of this stuff before he would be ready to meet the mother.
Also, it’s possible that Cindy and the Mother did the Sunday Crossword together (Ted mentions that Cindy does the Sunday crossword every week (S5E12) and doing the Times crossword is another one of the specs of the date he never met in Milk.
In Cindy’s apartment, there is a framed photo of a dog – and guess what? Loving dogs is yet another detail revealed about the date in Milk.
I don’t recall Ted mentioning Cindy doing the crossword but I will take your word for it. And of course they could do them together (although personally I don’t like help with my crosswords :) )
In a prior post I showed the two dog pics side by side. I really, REALLY wanted them to be the same dog but alas, they are not. Still, it’s a good connection regardless!
The Milk Theory is still my number one top favorite and I love finding other people that are on board!
I’ve re-watched “girls vs suits”, focusing on Cindy’s and the mother’s apartment.
Corina, if you’re still working on that “background items” post, are you also looking into the objects around Cindy’s apartment?
I didn’t see any “C+C” pictures, but there are plenty of other things BESIDES the little yellow bus!
first, the abundance of flowery patterns, though that might be a way to create interest and confuse the viewer’s eyes :) and i think Cindy has those too in her room.
There’s lots of yellow there, obviously, but also reds and greens. i tend to think that the objects with the warm tones belong to the mother, and the cooler tones belong to Cindy.
BTW, Cindy wears blues and has lots of greens in her room, but i think she only wears purple when we first see her, before we realize she is NOT the mother; and in the picture shown on season 6 opener, “Big Days”, of her future family: she with a striped lilac top and her wife in an argyle sweater with yellow accents :D
* flower side note – sorry for jumping around – in “Big Days” we see Barney’s fantasy of stealing Ted’s future bride (actually Cindy’s future bride..) at their wedding, where all the flowers are purple and yellow. The flowers at the van Smoot party in “Robots vs Wrestlers” also has lots of purple and yellow flowers.
ok, back to Cindy’s apartment – I don’t have “Girls vs Suits” in HD, so it’s not all clear, but still i could spot some very interesting items:
On the shelf unit where the little bus is, there are more yellow objects, sure, but also lots of red – including a little RED RACE CAR – very similar to the one Ted has! i think it’s metallic and not wood, but it’s really uncanny how similar they are.
behind the photo of the dog which you’ve mentioned, is some red object i cannot figure out.
On the shelves are displayed also lots of metallic, mostly red figurines – they really look like robots to me. all kinds of robots, in different positions.
behind them – a partially-hidden painting of what seems like a group of humanoid robots playing tennis!
there is another painting on the top of the unit of a pink flower/dancer, and a painting in the kitchen of what seems to me (again, it’s not the sharpest image) like a girl with a red umbrella and another figure (a nun?)
on the middle shelf a framed photo of a beach is in front of some yellow box. on top there are books, mostly with dark covers and titles i couldn’t make out, but the bottom one is YELLOW and you can see it’s title starts with “ROB” and maybe the beginning of another O.. it has to be ROBOTS!
there are plenty of animal figurines and ethnic masks and decor which i don’t know what to make of exactly.
I don’t know much about botany, but on the coffee table is that an aloe vera plant or a rare Bolivian house plant??
on the table next to the door where Ted leaves the umbrella you see a yellow lamp, a naked bowling/disc-throwing man (?!) and a MODEL of the Empire State Building, a building which has made several appearances on the show, including in model form (“Zoo or False”, “First time in New York”, “Mosbius Designs” and “Last Time in New York” come to mind).
On the wall behind is a art-deco poster of New York City skyscrapers with a TRAIN below them with yellow accents.
maybe i’m reading way too much into this, but maybe some of these items will come into play or at least be explained during this final season!
phew. i hope this is helpful in some way… now back to work :)
This was very helpful and interesting. I have basically given up on color theory in this show because it started to make me so angry. I can’t identify a solid pattern as to who is wearing purple when and what it all means. I’m still very frustrated with it :) But I love that the apartment has so much that matches with the description of the mother so far. Hopefully tonight we will see so much more!!!
haha i feel that the mother might be Quinn. For reasons such as ted once joked about a stripper named tracey that he met who was the mother..this could potentially be foreshadowing the future. Quinn could also fir the description of the whore that cindy mentions. Perhaps she is stripping to pay for school. Ted currently lives in her old apartment and she is apparently coming back in an episode in april. Also it would equalize the bro code..barney marries robin whose ted’s ex and ted marries quinn who is barneys ex..just a thought but i really like quinn.
Another solid possibility, although Quinn has always been a purple girl and we know that purple isn’t Ted’s love color. Also they have for sure already met, formally and informally, so I don’t know if the writers could pull that off. But she is coming back, so who knows! Maybe romance will begin to blossom at the bachelor party idk :)
also remember ted is a kicker not a puncher, his hand couldnt have gotten hurt from punching someone..maybe he broke the window in robins room to get her to run away.
lol that’s right Ted doesn’t exactly have fists of fury. I can see him getting upset and punching a wall, and then immediately bursting into tears because it hurt way more than he expected. Classic Schmosby!
ok, i just watched episode 8×20 … damn!
first, a small thing that bothers me – i thought Robots vs Wrestlers is an annual tradition for the whole gang! so in 2013 they don’t go?? or only Ted goes? no fair.
and now, for the mother’s address!
naturally (or crazily) i looked it up on google maps. 317 west 115th street in NYC does exist (at first i thought maybe it’s fake like Sherlock Holmes’ address).
(wouldn’t it be cool to live in that building and watch the episode??)
(also, does anyone know if that’s the same apt. from “girls versus suits”?)
then i zoomed in to get the Google street view. i thought, how could it be a real apartment? someone in our world lives there!
her apt. number is 7A, and OF COURSE those cheeky bastards chose a building with 6 stories!!! ha!
Google street view – allowing us crazies to stalk fictional characters since 2007.
I’ve heard some people say that since this was Robots vs. Wrestlers LEGENDS, it was a different event than the one that they all attend annually. That’s the only option that fits with the continuity, from what I can tell.
I must have missed the address number of 317 – I need to update my mother info article with this detail! Very clever of them to select a 6 story building…classic HIMYM trickiness.
And don’t worry, you’re far from the only one stalking fictional characters online :) Google maps is a godsend and a curse!
I have a theory that I haven’t seen anywhere before… I’m not particularly sure of the accuracy, but I feel like tossing it out there.
In the episode “Challenge Accepted” we see Ted trying to get back together with Zoey. Barney and Robin ultimately stop him, just as he is buying a flower to give to her. Eventually, Ted decides not to get back together with her, and gives the flower to her.
The flower goes to the wrong girl, who Ted jokes about being the mother.
I believe that she actually IS the mother!
-Ted never actually meets her, he just sees her
-He asks the old lady for help. The whole “Old Lady Luck” thing comes into play, where he was lucky that she gave the flower to the incorrect girl
-Is a pink lady slipper a lilac? I don’t know, maybe..? In the S6 DVD Special features, he talks about how an orchid would have been bad. When he is picking out a flower, he is trying to decide between the pink lady slipper and the orchid.
-She is wearing yellow(ish clothing) and has a cupcake with yellow frosting
I do understand that Ted says “Psych! She was just some chick” but up to that point, she was just some chick. He was trying to save the surprise of her being the “mother” until they meet. Also, she is blonde, and that was kind of improbable. Anyway, like I said I have never seen this theory before, wanna know what you think!
Nice theory, if she was brunet it will be more easy to me accept
I agree on the hair color
I haven’t ever heard this theory! I don’t think it’s quite right though. I believe the whole DVD extra about giuving her a lilac was in direct response to this scene, confirming that it couldn’t have been her because he gives her a different flower. I’m not a floral expert but Lady’s Slippers are orchids, not lilacs. And that would have been bad, per Ted.
I love that you tied in the old lady thing! And it would have been a unique way to get Ted to meet her. Who knows, maybe she will pop up again somewhere? I’m still really hoping the mother is NOT blonde, though. My whole HIMYM Mother concept is based on her having dark hair :)
I like the old lady tie in as well. It fits right into your old lady theory… she shows up just as his relationship with Zoey ends.
The stuff with old ladies really interests me! Why do they keeping showing up? Is it just a coincidence or indicative of something important? I just don’t know. Maybe we will see more of Ted’s interaction with the old woman at Farhampton and that will help explain, idk.
I think the mother is robin’s friend Tori, the one she mentioned in her lets go to the mall video, “Come on Jessica, come on Tori” , and she appears dancing, we already know Jessica is the keyboard player , so tori must be a musician too… (bass guitarist) , that makes sense ,maybe robin and her stoped being friends but she did moved to new york too, maybe to study another career, which also explains why she was at ted’s classroom, and i think he might be the one she was talking to in the first episode , the pilot, the blonde girl that we never get to see her face , as far as i know robin doesn’t have many other friends and remember what ted said when he first saw them, “And there she was.” , we immediately saw robin but maybe ted’s talking about the other one.. , it will be funny if she is the one because we have met her since the very first episode.. plus this allows Carter & Bays to explain why the story starts at this moment
here’s the link to the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IY_bhVSGKEg
I don’t think any of Robin’s Canadian pop star friends were in New York when the series began, because she talked about having no friends. I don’t think she was particularly close to any of those women – maybe they lived in her building or worked with her?
I’ve always insisted that the show starts with Marshall planning to propose to Lily (because it DOES, for what it’s worth), but the writers have noted that it started with Robin because Ted meets The Mother at Robin and Barney’s wedding. Either way makes sense but doesn’t mean that Robin or anyone in that first episode is The Mother.
I do love the idea of Tori being a character that shows up, though! And your point about her playing music is totally valid. Ultimately I don’t agree with this theory, but it’s unique and I’ve never heard it before, so kudos for that. :)
Well i just observed one thing ..!!
In S03E12 (No Tomorrow) the girl with ted rushes into is having the same purple purse which is shown of the lady with yellow umbrella at the station in S08E1 ..
I m not sure .. if she’s the one or not ..??
Guys you also check it once
The first purse seemed to be a clutch (one that you would hold in your hand) while the second seems to be a traditional strapped option. BUT they do both seem to be purple, and that could be a really good link! I’m excited that you spotted this, thank you for sharing!!
I have a theory I havent heard of anywhere else!
its the Magazine Bang Girl!
in season 7 episode 1 “The Best Man” Ted and the gang are
invited to Punchys wedding.Punchy is Teds friend from high school
that being the reason why they were invited,ted is even punchys
best man.At this point ted has made it on the cover of New York Magazine for
his design of the new GNB building,so Barney suggests that he take
the magazine to the wedding and brag about his accomplishments to
the women there instead.Ted does take the magazine but refuses too use it
to get laid.At some point Barney points to this girl saying
something like “look you could bang her” i really dont remember what he says
but we never see the girls face just the back part of her.Maybe ted did not meet
his wife at Punchys wedding but that same girl could have been invited
to the other wedding Barney/Robins wedding where he did meet her.
I know that the wedding was in cleveland and for the girl to had been
at the wedding she would of had to know someone close to Punchy or his
recent bride but they can always make some crazy connection.
What do you think!
Really there’s a chance that any female character (aside from those specifically eliminated) could be her! It seems like a stretch that she was in Cleveland and now is back in New York, but I suppose stranger things have happened. You are at the very least the only person I’ve encountered with that particular theory, so you can totally claim 100% credit if it happens to be her :)
I completely agree that this is the mystery woman from MILK. I also agree that there will be a link between the actress and one of the cast members from a previous show. My guess that no one has mentioned is Linda Cardellini from “Freaks and Geeks” as was Segal. She is recently on Mad Men and is quoted about hiding the role from the public to make a surprise on the show.
That is really intriguing and I will be looking into this actress ASAP! I forgot about looking into Freaks & Geeks cast connections even though that was only one of the best shows ever.
Did she say that about her role on Mad Men or another role?
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She specifically stated this for her role as Sylvia on Mad Men. In fact she also stated that she did not tell her friends or family about this role. The only other option that I can assume, based on the “British” comment above is the actress in Joss Whedon’s new show Agent’s of Shield, Elizabeth Henstridge.
I would really like it if the mother came from somewhere in the Whedonverse. Hopefully we will get more clues in tonight’s new episode
Respect. This is the best and most thorough HIMYM analysis on the entire Internet! I can only imagine how long it took you to get all the little bits of information together. I gave up on speculating who the mother might be a while ago, but this post got me all fired up again.
At this point, I believe the mother’s going to be a new face we haven’t seen before. It would be awesomely mind-blowing, however, if the writers managed to sneak her in without any of us noticing. Fat chance.
An actress from the whedonverse… Amy Acker? Eliza Dushku? Who would fit the profile? Ooooh, how about Jewel Staite? Or Felicia Day? Please God, let it be Felicia Day…
Thank you so much! I had always wanted to put all the clues together so one day I had a bunch of coffee and just went for it. I love that other people are enjoying my research and rambling :) I’m down with Dushku or SMG as the mother but I don’t know if they would go that obvious of a route, you know? They may even do some kind of reference with her name, giving her the same initials or character name as someone else in the Whedon universe. I can’t wait to see who!
Ooops! Nevermind about Amy Acker. I just remembered she was already on the show. And on one of my favorite episodes no less – “Come on!”
I just have one more thing to add about “The Bump Girl/St. Patrick’s Day/”No Tomorrow” Girl Theory”: You remember that, by the time Stella was supposed to be the mother, (I don’t remember in which episode exactely, but…) she said that she had been to one party the year before, a St. Patrick’s party, and it was awefull, she left early. So, considering that, the writers are opened to the possibility of the girl in that party to be someone other than the bump actress.
About the Tracy theory, I think it’s highly unlikely that the mother’s name is Tracy. I mean, it’s been proven more than once thoughout the show that what we see in camera is not necessarily what Ted tells the kids. For example, in 1×16 (Cupcake), Ted says “That’s exactly what we did with our last day… the museum, the bridge, the restaurant….” while old Ted says that, in camera we see Ted and Victoria doing it. Besides, although Ted is telling the story in detail, there’s no way in hell he remembers exactly what everyone says in every scene. I think it’s just a false clue.
Given that Carter and Bays have already said they would prefer an unknown actress, I think it’s fair if we keep on guessing, but it’s probably pointless… She’s probably gonna be someone we’ve never seen before.
Can I share my theory? Great! (Barney style – no matter what you say, I’m sharing it anyway)… For me, there has to be a ‘surprise’ anyway, for the audience to be happy. So, the way I see it, it would be a surprise in 2 ways:
1 – Someone that has already ‘showed up’, but Ted didn’t get into much details on purpose, so he could suprise us later.
2 – Ted meets TWO great girls in the wedding. Both of them could be in the band (one is the bass player, the other is like, the guitarrist, but she also can play the bass), one of them he saw across the room, and the other he talked for a while in a funny or awkward situation…Something in a way that both fit the clues we have so far, so both are possibilties, and we don’t know who she is untill the end. We would spent the whole season wondering who Ted is gonna end up with.
About 1: I think, as I mentioned before, it’s very unlikely. Afterall, all of the girls along the years who seemed to be a potencial mom, the writers have been bringing them back, and I think they’re doing it on purpose – to show us that it’s none of them (The Slutty Pumpkin, the coat-check girl, Carly, Trudy from the pineapple day, etc). And, considering this strategy, I don’t think it’s the one what we can expect to happen.
About 2: This one, I think would be really nice to see. Because in this case, we have some kind of triangle… And, as television history tells us, at the end of the day, it’s the audience that ends up choosing, right? (Joey x Ross in Friends, Dawson x Pacey in Dawson’s Creek, etc). I imagined this theory based on that movie, “Definitely, Maybe”: The story there is very similar (a man telling his daughter how he met her mother, and we don’t know who the mother is. But, when we do figure who the mother is, we kind of wish it wasn’t her). This possibility gives us more things to talk about, more speculation, and it doesn’t take the surprise away, which is what all of us are waiting for!
Anyway, that’s the Season 9 I hope to watch! What do you think, Corina!?
That really sealed the Stella deal for a while there, didn’t it? It was just too perfect, but in the end I’m glad Stella wasn’t the mother. Knowing that she was a default pick, though, makes the whole exchange make sense.
Anyway, about your two surprise options!
1. I still really, really want her to be someone who has shown up before. Each episode that passes without reference to the missed date/milk girl gives that theory more credence in my book. The ends of that little storyline were left too undone to not tie up, in my opinion. But I would be happy seeing flashbacks where she was in the background, or instances where her and Ted almost met but didn’t quite. I need something to make her relevant to the ENTIRE story, and not just the last portion of it, you know? I may be expecting too much with that though. :)
2. I had not considered a love triangle like that for the end! It would have to be carefully executed, but they could potentially introduce even 3-5 women and keep us guessing til the end.
OOOOOH WHAT IF THEY BRING BACK MILK GIRL AND BUMP GIRL AND IDK ONE OF ROBIN’S FRIENDS FROM THE PILOT AND THEN WE HAVE TO FIGURE OUT WHICH ONE IS THE MOTHER?! Although to be clear ideally I want milk and bump to be the same girl.
Anyway, I love the idea of a late season 8 love triangle, and my only concern is if they have enough time to pull that off. Also any comment that references Dawson’s Creek automatically gets VIP status on my blog. There are no perks or anything it’s just me thinking that you are extra awesome.
i 100% believe that it’s bump girl, although i don’t recall the missed date/milk girl episode enough to comment on that one. i do feel that it’s highly likely that they’re the same girl, because i think Ted has had missed connections several times with the same woman (the Mother) throughout the years (like in the apartment when he sees only her ankle).
instead of them just revealing the mother in some “love at first sight” shot, it would be nice if future Barney stepped into the scene with the kids (even if it’s just VO and he’s offscreen) and did a “flashback summary” for us, like “So kids, you’ll recall from your Dad’s longwinded story, your Mom was roommates with … blah, blah, blah” and he recaps all the pertinent highlights, while we see each of those clips to show us how the missed connections ultimately led to the final reveal.
at least that’s how i would write it!
I love that idea! Barney’s speed-talking recap to Quinn could be employed here as well. That would also neatly tie up the whole Barney is dead in the future idea.
My best guess for season 9 is that it will go back over the entire show and touch on every moment when they almost met but didn’t quite. This would be the easiest (and in my opinion best) way to make the mother a meaningful part of Ted’s life, even before he officially met her.
Yeah, well… The reason why I’m so emphatic with the whole ‘not being a previous girl’ theory is because…. It really gets to me! I soooooo wish she were someone we’d seen plenty of times, but never taken into consideration (Someone like Wendy the Waitress, for example, you know? Nobody ever considered her for the mother, but at the end bum! Suprise!!! – I mean, I know it’s not her, she’s married to that loser guy who worked with Marshall… But you get the example, right?!).
But the writers are trying so hard to bring old girls this season… they are closing old deals, and… I’m taking it as a sign, yunno? I guess I’m trying to feel better about it, because that’s what I really want, but it is, the way I see it, very unlikely…. Anyway, if it is a girl we’ve seen before, many times, I’d love it! But…. I’m trying to go with conformity….. =(
And about the 2nd (Triangle suggestion), I’d never seen anyone talking about this, or any other fan discussing it in the forums…. So I don’t think it’s what will happen! I still hope that Carter and Bays read this, and like my idea…. lol
It seems more likely that she will be a character that has been in the same places as Ted, at about the same time, but we never actually saw her. I don’t like that idea best, but it seems like the easiest way for them to play this out. And I do feel like they are going for easy sometimes here, instead of the same effort that went into earlier seasons. But maybe I’m just jaded. :) But your 2nd triangle idea at least gives Ted something to do/reflect on beyond him just being weird about Barney and Robin’s wedding. I’ve seen enough of Ted panicking about life changes, I’m ready for him to actually do something.
I just found something very interesting Im pretty sure I saw a comment somewhere
here regarding the purse the Bump Girl has being similar to the one the girl aka “The Mother” has when she gets out of the cab in season 8 episode 1 Farhampton..
But get this looking closer at the pic from the purse from season 8 episode 1 Farhampton the one the girl has getting out of the cab is exactly the same as the one from season 7 episode 10 “Tick Tick Tick”
if you pause the episode Tick Tick Tick from season 7 episode 10 at the 2 minute with 08 seconds mark you can see a purse that is exactly the same as the one from Farhampton idk maybe its nothing but you never know..
Now keep in mind that the episode I watched is 21minutes 35seconds long so if you watch a longer o shorter version of the same episode you might need to pause at a different point its right after Ted says Groova Palooza!
I have both of the pics if youre interested!
I would love to see pictures, please send them over! You can email them to me if that’s easier – Corina@CorinaWrites.com.
Taxis are important in this show so you just may have something there!
I have sent you the pics, both of them are screenshots i took from the episodes..the purse in the episode TickTickTick from season 7 belongs to Lily as she carries it with her when she goes to the concert with Ted and Marshall. Maybe its nothing maybe it is, what do you think?
The fact that it is Lily’s purse throws me off, unless they somehow traded purses like they traded umbrellas. And there was a scene in season 1 when Robin thinks Ted is cheating on her (but it ends up being Barney as Ted Mosby, Architect) when she mentions stealing that girl’s purse. I’m going to think about this further for sure!
What did you think about the purses, exactly the same huh? I remember that episode..now it could just be another accessory thats available for the show or maybe lily and her cross paths while shopping for purses..are we going crazy over this purse thing or is there really something there? regarding the “something old” episode its obviously clear robin is not the mother of the kids but what if the show is trying to show us how good ted and robin fit together and maybe they end up together because the mom the actual mom of the kids dies or something like that..i personally don’t like the idea of ted and robin together it is just too boring..
They do seem to be the exact same purse but I don’t know if that’s just because they both came from the show’s prop department? Like maybe they just have purses that they randomly pair with character’s outfits.
I don’t like Ted and Robin together either – it is boring :)
The episode you were talking about is actually from season 2..Robin gives the bouncer her purse in order to find out where that girl that Ted is with lives.Robin mad at loosing her purse tells lily shes gonna kick that girls ass and steal her purse.
haha yes I love that episode and especially that moment. The way Robin says…and steal her purse! is just so early Robin badass, you know?
haha yeaa…regarding the last episode “Something new” lily tells Ted that the one is out there somewhere in new York walking in “some boots that she (lily) could ask to wear sometime, and what happens we see Cristin Milioti walking in some boots, idk maybe theres a lily-mother connection thing there, and now the whole purse thing takes an important meaning..
Now it doesn’t really matter too me im just too excited we got to see her and shes really cute..I just want for season 9 to begin :)))) HIMYM Rocks!!! :)))
sorry I cant stop smiling :)))) OMG!!! the mother reveal was awesome :))
Ted’s dream woman is basically a combination of Lily (his idea of the perfect wife, from what he has observed between her and Marshall), Robin (the independence and confidence that he is really attracted to), and his own mother (obligatory because we’re all trying to find or avoid our own parents in who we seek out as a partner). So far Cristin looks just like a combo of these women, and the character clues we have as of now fit the idea as well. To me she looks exactly how she should, you know?
Have you by chance ever heard the Hannah theory ? This is the theory that the Captain’s daughter, Hannah Van Smoot, is another candidate for being the mother. Hannah was the daughter who apparently didn’t like Zoey ( which is understandable considering how underhanded and manipulative she can be) and asked that her father come alone on Thanksgiving. Zoey ( who might have been trying to make amends ) was planning on giving her a stuffed turkey doll, but as we all know, was not invited. She was briefly mentioned on the Blitzgiving episode.
There are a few clues to the Van Smoot family in the show. For instance, Lily and Marshall were originally supposed to be married at the Van Smoot mansion. In addition, in the Robots vs Wrestlers episode, the snooty party they went to was for the “Van Smoot” party.
I have also heard theories that Lily introduces the Captain to Marshall’s mom and they get married. So, if Ted marries Marshall’s stepsister, then they could truly be “bros” and calling them Aunt and Uncle would be more than simple pet names for good friends.
Who knows, again the Hannah theory is just another silly theory out there. Might happen and it might not, but what a fun show to investigate such theories.
I have heard of this theory, but I don’t think anyone has mentioned it recently. I guess it was disregarded when Ted and Zoey broke up, but now that Lily works for the captain there is new relevance. And you’re right, Van Smoot has been prominent throughout the entire series, so that could be a really interesting connection.
I can’t, though, imagine Marshall’s mom with the Captain! I think she needs more of a man’s man, someone that can put away an entire Minnesota meal and then watch the Vikings game with her. Whereas the Captain is more into fancy art, his fancy boat, etc. I just can’t picture those two together, but hey, sometimes opposites do attract. It would be a surprise for sure, and I’m always interested in surprises!
The Hannah Theory should be added on the list, though, so I will get to work on that. Thank you for bringing it up!
The Hannah theory makes a lot of sense since the episode of Blitzgiving focused on acted and then Barney being the Blitz. Ted missed out on an opportunity to meet Hannah when he was the Blitz as when he was the Blitz is when Zoey realized Hannah was not coming for Thanksgiving. Hannah with a rich eccentric father may have the similar qualities as Robin that Ted has become familiar with. It also explains the strange reinstroductiom of the Captain this season as it did seem somewhat out of context, and ties in The snooty Van Smoot party and the previous tenant of the apartment.
Also take a look at Robots vs Wrestlers and there is an actress named Brea Cola credited for the role “Hannah” at the party. Not to say this is the mother but another hint that the mother’s name and the connections relate to the mother being Hannah Van Smoot. George Van Smoot was introduced via Arthur Hobbs, Marhsall’s boss. We are then introduced to Zoey who crosses paths with Ted as we all know and mentions Hannah in the first place. There are references to the Van Smoot house, Jefferson Van Smoot and his party, the reintroduction of the captain and again interchanging with career paths of Lily and Marshall.
Veeeeery interesting. There are so many connections to the Van Smoots that it has to tie together somehow. I was going to say that perhaps The Captain was invited to the wedding, and he brought his daughter as his date, but then I remembered the mother is (duh) the bass player. So it would have to be some overlapping connections there…but if any show could/would do that, it’s HIMYM, am I right?
I’m becoming more and more intrigued by this idea! Thanks to all the commenters who have mentioned it. Must do more research and update ASAP…
Yeah I agree that Marshall’s mom and the Captain might me a stretch. However a few episodes ago, I think it was the episode where they reintroduced the Captain, something caught my attention. It was the insistence of Marshall to drive theCaptain’s boat. He just couldn’t stop talking about it. So who knows, maybe Marshall’s mom also has a love for boating and she and the Captain bond over that shared interest and hobby. In addition, being with the Captain could finally give his mom the confidence she has been needing. I say this based on her interactions with Lily and the insecurity she seems to have because she feels she isn’t cosmopolitan and cultured.
I don’t know. Maybe she even tags along with them to Italy to help Marshall out with Marvin.
Again, this is just a theory. Who knows that will actually happen.
Take a look at the picture of the kids above. On the shelves behind them to the right there is a boat. Maybe someone can check of this boat was in the Captain’s office. Also there are two wedding photos. Distinctively different. One I am guessing is the mother and Ted. The other has a groom wearing the same flower as Barney, meaning a picture from their wedding of where they met. There is also another picture that we assume is a family photo but it looks like potentially the mother on the right and robin on the left.
I always thought the family photo was Ted, the mother, and the two kids. That’s what it looks like to me anyway. The wedding pictures are likely both from Ted’s wedding – it’s not uncommon to frame and display multiple shots from the most important day of your life, you know? But it also makes sense that Ted would display wedding pics of his best friends. It would be most true to his character (in my opinion) for him to have framed pictures of both M & L and B & R.
The boat thing is interesting though! I’m really intrigued to see if/how boats and the captain play into things.
Take a look again at the wedding photos. The veils and the positioning of them are different. Also the liquor decanters are the same ones that were in Zooey and the Captains apartment and in the Captains office. Also (not including the pilot episide) there are multiple pictures of the kids online captured from the show but there are subtleties and differences with the items on the shelves, how they are positioned and items added). The boat as I can tell and the two wedding photos have always been there.
I am still trying to find more items.
I have a post with a shot of the kids from every episode they appear in. The changes in background decor are really interesting, but someone on Reddit explained to me that they aren’t changed in a consistent way. They filmed all of those scenes in advance, so now I guess the one they use just has the kids reacting in the right way, regardless of what items are behind them. It’s all really interesting but also a little overwhelming (thus why I haven’t published it yet lol)
Actually on your site you posted two good pictures as samples of what I was mentioning. One caption underneath the children in the pilot episode does not show the framed letter from Stella and the second wedding photo is obscured. The next photo comparing the letter behind the kids to the one in Stella’s home shows the letter behind the kids this time and a more of a reveal of the second wedding photo.
I think this is strategically done for each season. As you know the mother has already been filmed with the children for the season finale and this was done in season two. The filming of the kids for expressions was done that season and also to capture the clues.
I think the various objects in the background were designed to be both clues and red herrings, depending on how the show went. So that makes it hard to determine their significance. Maybe tonight will clarify? I hope so!
Loved last night’s episode! She will inevitably be a mix between Lily and Robin, Lily being his confidante and edgy like Robin. Great choice!
Also my thoughts on the background items on the shelf may be proving to unfold. Part of last night’s episode focused on the home and the empty shelves. We find out that the little red car on the shelf behind the kids in the future held Robin’s locket. Symbolic for Ted to keep this on the shelf. If he gives Robin the locket she will believe that is meant to marry Barney and Ted can let go, but for Ted it is a sign that is he is to facilitate and make this marriage happen.
As for the Friday and 56 hours to the wedding, looks like we have a clue that something will happen to the pastor at the wedding. Barney can’t step in (as we know he is ordained) so they will go through with a symbolic ceremony and probably marry later in city hall.
Wait what clues are there to something happening to the pastor? Not sure if I missed something there.
The locket symbolizes Robin’s heart so well. She buried it when she was younger, and without it she lost her soft and sensitive side. She didn’t want to get hurt and being treated like a girl was too weird for her for a long time. Then Ted ends up with it, accidentially, and he can’t get over her for years and years. Now it’s time for him to pass the locket on to a man that she wants to give her heart to – Barney.
That’s a good point about her feeling insecure and small town compared to Lily. They’ve always done such a good job balancing Lily’s insecurities at not being tall/conservative/Minnesotan enough for Marshall, and his mom’s insecurities at not being cultured, thinking she’s being replaced by Lily, etc.
Anyway, now that she’s had her fling with Lily’s dad, I suppose anything is possible. And The Captain is certainly a step up from Mickey! I don’t think they’re actually going to Italy but if they do that’s a plausable scenario.
The next episode I know Marshall is taking the baby to Minnesota for a family visit. Perhaps he talks her into coming with them ?
Oh and when you are doing your boat research remember…Boats Boats Boats, BOOOOOAAAAATTTTSSSS :)
That’s gonna be stuck in my head all day, and I don’t even mind!
Boats! Now it is stuck in my head.
One more thought. There is the comment above of a piece on the shelf that was located at Stella’s home. We know that Ted has not seen Stella in the series so far since she left with Tony to LA. How would Ted attain this? Here is another theory and the importance of Stella and the fate of the Universe. Ted was not meant to marry Stellla in his role in the Universe but reunite her with Tony Grafanello.
Tony being indebted to Ted as we recall said his family was well connected and rich, landing Ted the job at the University. I suspect that family is the Van Smoot family. Tony’s mother is related into the family such as a sister to the Captain. We have already been introduced to a Jeffrrson Van Smoot why not another? The mother is either the sister or cousin of Tony.
This may also tie in to the pictures from the Milk episode of the mystery date woman. One of the pictures depicts an older boy and younger girl whose faces are blocked out. Why block out the boy unless there is a connection through the boy on the show.
Tony and Stella will be back in the picture and that is how Ted gets the artifact on his shelf.
I’m not sure if the item seen in both Stella’s house and Future Ted’s house have to be the exact same thing. Meaning, perhaps Ted saw it at Stella’s, liked it, and bought his own. But that’s hard to say considering that it’s hard to read and could in fact be a personal memento. So it could go either way. I know originally it was placed as a clue to Stella being a potential mom but they could easily disregard it later on.
Tony being related to the Van Smoots makes sense! I like that idea quite a bit.
In terms of the missed date from Milk, all of the faces were blurred out, so it isn’t just the kids. I always thought they were maybe just what she or Ted imagined, but now I wonder if it is actually a picture of the mother and her own brother when they were younger. Or perhaps just friends of hers, idk.
I have a theory given the latest episode.
Maybe just maybe the mysterious woman ted meets is the mother of his kids but he isn’t with her. He could have a one night stand and the kids are twins.
Or more realistically she is a surrogate mother for Ted and robins. Heres why:
– Robin cant have kids
– Would explain why a long story and unusual meeting would be explained to the kids, also the amazing story of how he finally gets with robin.
– The Show hints at robin n barney not going through with it or could be unhappy if they do (maybe barney cheats on her?)
I’m unsure wether i would want this to happen or not, Do you think it would make a great ending or a bit disappointing?
Carter Bays would love us to hope it is Robin, but based on what future Ted calls Robin as Aunt Robin it is not. Next episode we will see that Robin gets her locket back either from her dad or Barney. The big change that they are alluding to is Ted officially moving out of the city into the completed house fortifying the separation of all the friends that each season hints at.
This year we saw a return of Robots vs Wrestlers in the Time Traveller episode. It was strong that we were meeting the mother. But this is also a string indication and reminder by the writers to go back to the Robots vs Wrestlers episode from season 5. Watch it again. Opening shows Lily wearing yellow and then later purple when attending the party. The majority of the flowers at the party are yellow and purple and they are mainly lilies. We are reintroduced to a Van Smoot connection as well and the coincidence of the former occupant of the apartment leading them to the party. The building was the Alberta building (again noting a connection and similarity of the mother to Robin) and Ted again like in the St. Patrick episode not acting like himself.
There is a dark haired girl in the episode, but I do not think this is the mother. The mother probably did attend this party after Ted left to see his doppelgänger. It is also this episode that he mentions the gang to go their separate ways but do attend every year for Robits vs Wrestlers. No one else attended this year because they were busy with their lives except Ted and the important part being the mother is still yet to come to attend with them. It will be the realization once Ted meets the mother who I am guessing is a Van Smoot relative that the wrestling match and this party will be the annual event every year for them.
The most recent episode where Ted tells Robin to stop listening to the Universe and signs is the way that Ted can finally let go and the mother can be introduced. In all these seasons we see Ted relying on signs and the Universe, but he when he does this , he is trying to control the outcome instead of letting it unfold. Now that he can let it go, the mother can be introduced and his faith in the Universe and signs restored when we see next seasons how all these incidents play out and the near misses of meeting the mother as Ted kept reading signs but all the wrong ones. This will be confirmed as happening to have faith for the audience when Ribin gets her locket.
As for Barney and Robin marrying, they will remain together, but there is a chance that they feel like staying as a couple without the overhang of the word marriage and will stil celebrate being together.
I’ve long been a fan of the theory that the mother was attending Robots vs Wrestlers. It just makes sense, given her paintings of robots playing sports. And that could explain all the color symbolism in that particular episode. But a Van Smoot connection also makes sense given what we’ve seen. I just don’t know!
I don’t see them going back to this party each year. Maybe Ted and the mother would go annually, but not the rest of the gang. I don’t think they would even be allowed back in after their hijinks!
Everything you said about Ted and controlling the outcome instead of letting things unfold is so on point. I’ve been seeing this in my own life, actually, so I felt a connection to Ted in that moment. I love the idea of the universe bringing us what we need, but I’m always trying to control the who and how and what and where of it. I need to either let go of the idea of destiny playing a role, or accept that it’s largely out of my hands.
I think – hope – that Barney will present the locket to Robin. If not, it should come from her dad. Either way, she’s decided this locket has symbolism, and I think she needs that final stamp of approval from the universe to calm her own insecurities. I wouldn’t be surprised if her and Barney do get divorced at some point, but still stay together. They aren’t the traditional type but they are so right for one another, you know?
Maybe its worth comparing ted (Time travellers) and robins (bad crazy) rings to see if they are the same?
Tricky part is that future Ted in Time Travelers was just current Ted’s imagination. So we can’t take anything of substance from him wearing a wedding ring in that scene, or Barney wearing a ring, because it’s just how Ted is thinking of it at the moment. NPH is so good at keeping his ring finger hidden in flash forward scenes that it is hard to tell!
I would love it if Robin was the one Ted ended up with. I don’t think it’s likely, however, since there is so much evidence to the contrary.
Honestly, it’s hardly our fault for thinking Robin and Ted will be together. The writers keep showing us over and over again that Ted understands Robin better than Barney does. And it just shouldn’t be like that if Barney and Robin are getting married. Plus, we’ve seen how everyone ends in up in the future EXCEPT Robin and Barney. I’ve always found that suspicious….
I’ve reluctantly come to accept the idea of Barney and Robin getting married, but I really don’t think they’ll go through with it. If all these heavy-handed hints being thrown at us mean anything, that is.
I think the writers have leaned too heavily on the “mystery” of Robin and Barney getting married. This show was originally focused on one central mystery, but it’s been heavily diverted to the R & B mystery in the past couple seasons. I’m kinda bored of it.
I would be much less bored if we didn’t play this Ted and Robin are into eachother again game every few episodes. I know that makes it somewhat true to life, but it also makes it repetative and effing boring as a sitcom after a while. Sometimes I wonder if they are just trying to mess with fans that still ship Ted and Robin together.
They’ve told us since literally the very beginning that Robin isn’t the mother. So why would I care about the back and forth between her and Ted if I already know the final outcome? Yes, his initial pursuit of Robin and their subsequent relationship was important. But it feels like lazy writing to bring back the SAME scenario over and over again.
I will say, though, that Ted rejecting Robin may be necessary at this point. If the mom is the “Milk” episode missed date, we have to remember that Ted initially rejected her in favor of pursuing Robin. Robin wasn’t a sure thing at all at that point, but Ted had faith and he went for it.
So now I guess we need to see Ted rejecting Robin, but this time going on faith that the right woman is out there and he will find her. It would be perfectly coordinated if that character is the Mother, because it demonstrates how it took all of this time (I suppose all this time with and without Robin) for him to realize that he wants his Mrs. Right, and not just the woman that seems right but really isn’t.
IDK, I could drive myself crazy with all this but at this point I better see some Ted shutting down Robin soon, so we all can move on!
Yeah, totally! When I saw the ending of “Something Old”, I was like “No! No, no no, no, no! Ted, you cannot do this to me! No! No, no, no!”
SOMETHING OLD SPOILERS ALERT!
Buuuut, after the heat of the crap-one-more-episode-to-the-finale-still-no-answers shock, I started thinking about the ending of the episode… I do think it’s necessary for Ted and Robin to have a REAL closing. Because, you see… Robin was shaken by Ted, early in season 7, in “Symphony of Illumination”, but then, she closed the deal in “No Pressure”, and then she was shaken again this week in “Something Old”. The same for Ted, who was shaken in “No Pressure”, then closed the deal in “The Final Page”, then was shaken again in “Band or DJ”, I mean, I know it seems lazy writting, and I get why it may look that way (I’m sick of it as well!).
But I think they’re trying to emphasize something they’ve already mentioned: Timing. As much as Barney and Robin’s timing to get together was never right (until it was), Ted and Robin’s timing to let each other go hasn’t been very good. They were never (for real), both, over each other at the same time, know what I mean?
I think the wedding crisis is gonna seal the timing problems that this triangle still has.
Besides, I think the “getting over Robin to be ready to meet somebody new” was always the story Carter and Bays were set up to tell… And, as the show was postponed, this story also had to be stretched, you know?
Have you read this text in Reedit?
It says everything I think about the show! =)
Anyway… The point of this episode was to seal the “Something Old” hanging between Ted and Robin. They love each other, but they’re not IN love with each other. And I think it’s the moment both of them will start seeing it, brighter than ever. And if one really thinks that Ted doesn’t believe in the universe anymore, they’re probably one of the fans who still root for Robin to be the Mother: they obviously don’t know this show. The rain was a symbolism for them, taking us back to “Come On”, where “the universe” helped Ted get Robin for the first time. And I think it means something, specially considering the rain that is to come, at Barney and Robin’s wedding. =)
BTW, I thought it was awesome that L & M’s wedding episode names were “Something Borrowed” and “Something Blue”, and now B & R’s wedding episodes are “Something Old” and “Something New” I mean, it sucks that there are no related names left to Ted and Mother’s wedding, but anyway, awesome!!
I also enjoyed the rain symbolism for the beginning and ending of Robin and Ted’s romantic relationship. Sometimes when I watch that ending I feel like Robin is hoping for a kiss, but Ted seems hesitant. Other times it seems like she is just gripping on to his hand the way you do when your world is shaken and you need a friend to be your rock. Ted has always been there for Robin as a friend – just like he’s always been there for all his friends – and I imagine he would be enormously comforting. So I agree that the last episode sealed that T & R are something old, and both will secure their something new in tonight’s episode. I can’t wait!
do you think we’ll actually get to see who the mother is tonight, or will they just cliffhanger her info to next season’s premiere?
In my opinion, we will get a glimpse of her face. She won’t say anything, we won’t know her name, I don’t know if we will even see Ted introduce himself to her, but I have a feeling we will at least see what she looks like.
I’m thinking along those lines as well. Like perhaps it will seem really anticlimactic, but then next season we will discover all the ways that she connects with Ted. This could work for an unknown actress or someone really famous.
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For me, it was both ‘i wanna kiss you’ and ‘you’re my best friend’. That’s the big deal breaker for Ted and Robin. They’ve never been able to quite see the line between these two feelings. Specially Robin.
Hey Tamiris, sorry for the late response! I completely agree that Ted and Robin seem incapable of acknowledging – or at least respecting – the line between those two concepts. Or maybe it makes more sense to say that they tend to disregard the third part that is important, which is the factor of wanting to share a life together. You can love someone as a friend, and want to kiss them all the time, but if you’re not looking for the same things then your future together is not too promising.
AARGH that would make me so mad! Mainly because the writers have been so emphatic about Robin NOT being the mother, and it would really bother me if they made that into a technicality. I think Barney and Robin do get married – but that’s based on comments from the writers, and some of what they said has gone back and forth. I guess I will feel kinda betrayed if they do that to the fans…get us all involved in the mystery and then, whoops, it’s just Robin, haha. No. I will not be amused. It would make for a shocking ending though.
Sorry, but I don’t think this is the case. In one episode, Ted says that Robin is many things but she was never a mother. To me that means that she is never a biological mother, adoptive mother or stepmother.
There has been some debate on this…some people think that when Robin said “pole vaulter” she meant biological mother able to get pregnant and carry a child. Other people think this covers all versions of motherhood, including having adopted kids, using a surrogate, etc.
I personally don’t think Robin is ever a mother in any form. I think her and Barney have an awesome life together, and they get their kid fix via Marvin (and any of his siblings, if any show up), and “Luke and Leia”. They seem like they would be happy with this limited degree of interaction. It’s still family, and they still get to babysit and play with the kids all the time, but they can also go home and drink Scotch and have crazy sex without worrying about waking up their own babies. Know what I mean?
See I have to watch the episode again. I thought I remembered Ted talking to his kids and listing all of Robin’s accomplishments and all that she has become but he said that Robin was never a mother. Hmmmm, maybe I remembered it wrong.
I also could be remembering it wrong so please let me know!
Ok you are right. In Ted’s narration, Ted told his kids that Robin never becomes a ” pole vaulter ” but a famous journalist, a successful businesswoman, a world traveler and a bullfighter. I interpret this as Robin never being a mother, but it could mean she never has biological children.
I interpret it as her never having been a mother in any sense as well. Plus that coordinates with how the kids drew pics of them spending time with Aunt Robin, so it works out.
I’m so glad you mentioned this!
not the point, i know – but ever since “symphony of illumination” i’m waiting for Robin’s trip to Spain.
Old Ted even says “that’s a funny story, I’ll get to that one later”
just like how at the end of season 2, Ted mentions all the places Robin traveled to, “even Japan for a little while”, and in early season 4, she does :)
season 9 should have at least one story set in Europe.. i’m crossing my fingers!
At this point I don’t have much faith that all the loose ends will be tied up. I think the writers are fine with leaving stuff like that up in the air. I, on the other hand, want to see every single thread resolved. It’s how I am, and I think the fans deserve to see everything they’ve been anticipating.
Did you see the last episode? OMG
While not the same actress as the girl he bumps into at the bar, she does have a strong resemblence. I personally think that it was the mother he bumped in to.
I agree that it could be her! I’ve always wondered if they would use a different actress but still have her be the bump girl, the missed date, etc. The change in appearance could just be credited to Ted’s hazy memory. I’m going to do a whole post on that this week!
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OMG I KNOW! I’m hoping next season we get to know her and how her and Ted have almost crossed paths in the past…
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Oh my goodness. How awesome. She is adorable and how cute is it that she and Lily are the same size and can share boots.
I know! Adorable, seriously. She seemed pretty short but I can’t quite tell if she actually is?
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she probably is on the shorter side, but oh well. I just thought she looked cute and already a good match for Ted looks wise.
Oh yes, I think she’s a great match for Ted in terms of looks. It’s not a bad thing that she’s on the shorter side, it just surprised me. I guess I was assuming she would be taller, not that I have a real reason for doing so lol.
I can’t wait to see your updates over the summer!
Thanks, I will be busy protesting against the season 9 format and still proposing outrageous theories that might just be true! :)
Her name is Robin, Barney and her get married, leading to Ted getting married to the original Robin. What a twist!
Oh Jerome…no. It would be quite a twist, but no :)
Sorry for being a stickler for dates and numbers, but i just gotta say – according to the finale, the wedding takes place on a Sunday – May 26th, 2013 – the 25th is Saturday.
That’s the day Ted meets the love of his life.
May 26th: The “International Mother’s Day” for the die-hard fans! :)
also, i noticed the finale starts a week before the wedding, which is about the time when the original wedding band cancels and Ted runs into Cindy and her wife on the subway (“band or DJ?”). Barney says that all the wedding plans are done, so maybe the cancellation and Ted’s subsequent subway meeting occure just before!
Five days later, the future Mrs. Mosby makes her way to Farhampton :D
So that would mean their nuptials are at 8;00 pm Sunday May 26th. More than enough time for things to go awry at the wedding.
according to my calculations the wedding starts at 6 pm that Sunday
(Fri 10 AM = 56 hours –> Fri 6 PM = 48 hours)
so yeah, plenty of time :) but enough time for a whole season??
will those 56 hours make the better part of season 9 ?
Unfortunately yes, they will. What do you guys think about that?
first, it might be a short season.. ?
also, we might get the mother’s perspective too at the end! or maybe that could be a TV special! guess i’m just fantasizing…
I know season 9 is going to be the first that isn’t chronological with its airing time, but i’m not protesting (yet!) – i’m putting my faith in the writers right now. this is probably the most important season for them, and even though things didn’t go 100% smoothly, i know they’re going to want to do this right – tying up 8 long years, telling the story they had set out to tell – i think and hope they’ll put everything they got into this one. fingers crossed!!
and just think, this time next year it will be over, no more. a sad thought, to me anyway.
I believe it has been confirmed that it will be a full season? I need to double check but that was part of my initial objection. A short season of maybe 5-10 episodes would possibly make sense all over one wedding weekend. A full season of 20-30 episodes on one wedding weekend feels like too much to me.
I worry that the writers aren’t actually all that into season 9. They seemed to have a good stopping point planned for season 8 as the series finale, and it seems like being forced to stretch it out into another season may have been detrminental to their vision.
But I don’t actually know them or what they’re thinking so I could be way off :) It is possible that they will do a bang up job of tying everything together across this weekend, but it will take tons of flash backs and forwards to satisfy me. It is important to me that I see Ted bond with the mother and see how they fall in love. Even if it’s love at first sight, there’s that wonderful honeymoon period where you’re so in synch with a new love and the world is so amazing. I’d like for Ted to experience that in a way that lets me see it!
You’re right, though, this time next year I will be wishing for more episodes even if they are crappy. :)
Apparently a crapload of things must go wrong at this wedding, to fill up an entire season! I’m hoping for flash forwards and flash backs but at this point I’m very distressed about how the wedding “weekend” is going to be handled.
I was a little confused about how that scene with Ted on the subway fit in the timeline. I also don’t really understand how Robin was in NY the night before Ted’s wedding to Stella. How did she manage to get there from Japan when on the wedding day we see her debating catching a flight.
I suppose the wedding weekend, if stretched over an entire season, could include a couple weekdays before and after. Like it starts on, idk, Friday night, and ends on Monday or Tuesday.
i don’t think the night Robin got drunk was the night before Ted and Stella’s wedding, at least i don’t remember it being mentioned in the episode.
Their wedding announcement was spontaneous – less than a week from the date itself, when Robin was already in Japan.
but Ted and Stella got engaged months before that and spent the summer being engaged, so i think Robin’s freak-out was sometimes after, when she saw how serious they were, a little before she left for Japan.
as for season 9 unfolding.. we’ll just have to wait for this Fall. the writers LOOOVE messing with timelines, so who knows what tricks they have up their sleeves?
I think you must be right about the timing of Robin’s drunken pity party. Nothing else really makes sense. I’m sure however season 9 unfolds I will have a whole lot to say about it, so stay tuned everyone!
After reading all the theories, im surprised how much effort went to try and identify the mother.
the mother is Cristin Milioti
This article was posted almost a year and a half ago. I haven’t been able to update it this week because I’m dealing with some personal stuff. Thanks for being that guy, though.
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Thanks :) It’s been a rough couple weeks but focusing on all this HIMYM drama is a great distraction!
a fun distraction indeed!
Corina, I enjoy your blog so much, and so many others as well – and hope you’re doing well!
Thanks! It’s mostly just money worries that I’m dealing with. Obviously not having money is a huge problem, but I prefer these types of struggles over health issues, trouble with family, etc. So I’m just trying to be grateful for what I have :)
I think a good explanation for the blurred-out face of the Milk-Girl in the 10 pictures is that Ted isn’t allowed to the face until he pays the 500$ to LoveSolutions (otherway he could perhabs identify the girl without paying). Or LoveSoultions doesn’t want to ruin the “First Moment” with showing both date-attentands pictures.
Corina, you seem to know everything about HIMYM, what do you think about following:
If we want to know which connection the mother and Ted have, we just have to figure out how Carter Bays met his wife Denise Cox and which connection the both had.
We know that the character Ted is based on writer/producer Carter Bays*. The other Producer Craig Thomas (=Marshall) is together with his wife (=Lilly) since freshman year, just like Marshall and Lilly**! And we know that Ted’s Wife loves lilacs (S6DVD); if we check Coxs Twitter-Account***: there are tons of lilcas! So we just have to figure out, which relation Bays and Cox had before their meeting and how they met. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a lot about her until now in the internet. :-(
That’s what I thought about the Milk pictures, but it still doesn’t explain a random picture of children that would be in her file. When he originally went to the matchmaker and tried to track down his almost match, I know he was able to see her name on the report that he stole. I don’t know if it included a picture?
But in “Milk”, he must have paid for the info, because he is able to contact her, ask her out, arrange a date, and then cancel it. So he’s gotta know at the very least her first name and phone number.
I don’t think Cristin Milioti resembles those pictures at all, but that still leaves room for the pics to be Ted’s mental pictures of her. It’s hard to think up a brand new face for someone that you’ve never seen before, you know? Like even right now I was thinking, hmm, can I imagine a hot guy that could be my soulmate? (Only for the purposes of getting in Ted’s head, of course…or not) Anyway, it’s super difficult to imagine a face out of the blue. It always ends up kinda blurry or just a composite of other faces of people you know, celebrities, etc.
I read on Tumblr that your brain can’t dream of faces you’ve never seen before. I don’t know if it’s true but it would make sense for this scenario.
As for Denise Cox, I have wondered the same thing myself! I’ve done some minor snooping online and couldn’t find much to work with either. It would be fascinating to find out how much of the love story was based in truth, and how much developed in the show.
I watched an obscure HIMYM panel interview video on Amazon Prime this weekend. The panel was C&C and the cast and director. In real life season one had recently finished airing.
One of the first things C&C disclose is the VERY importance of rain-then they stop themselves and say they probably shouldn’t say any more about it.
Also, for any lingering Robin-Ted fans, they said from the inception (and they were close to the inception of the show at that point!) Robin and Ted were not going to wind up together-that part of the tension of show was us loving both of these characters but never seeing them get together.
I need to go back and see each rain scene-esp. the most recent of Ted and Robin in the park looking for the locket …
it would be nice to make a compilation of all the rain scenes!
BTW, i’m re-watching the early season these days and looking back it’s very clear that Ted and Robin don’t work (aside from the obvious – revelation at the end of the pilot and the fact they want different things for theri futures).
They love each other, and adore different traits about each other, but they’re not compatible.
Not to sound overly simplistic, but for example Ted has this big nerdy part of him that Robin doesn’t really appreciate, not to mention the romantic side she’d say is “cheesy” – and Robin has these more independent, “masculine” traits and hobbies that Ted doesn’t really appreciate. She is also quite vain, similar to Barney in a lot of ways, and has a lot of quirks that only Barney “gets” or thinks are attractive – there are hints of that throughout all the seasons so you know these two are meant to be.
I don’t know why i opened this up right now, but anyway – i feel almost like T&R have a very strong foundation to the relationship but are not compatible, whereas B&R are very compatible but have a shakier foundation, which is feeding Robin’s doubts about their future.
I like the way you describe the relationships in terms of foundation. Sometimes a good foundation seems and feels like it should be enough, but it just isn’t. And sometimes a relationship with a shaky foundation somehow works better than one on solid ground. I think the show has done a great job of demonstrating Robin and Barney’s compatability all the way back to season one, and slowly building it up more as episodes passed. I guess that’s a foundation of sorts, right?
Compilation of rainy episodes, coming right up:
01×22 – Come On
03×12 – No Tomorrow
04×22 – Right Place, Right Time
05×12 – Girls vs. Suits
07×09 – Disaster Averted
08×01 – Farhampton
08×23 – Something Old
Feel free to add stuff, I may have forgotten sth! =)
I wonder if snow scenes are similarly important? Then we could add in Three Days of Snow and…actually I don’t recall if there are other snow episodes. I know there must be but none are coming to mind. Also I believe it rained in “Swarley” but that may have just been a scene where Chloe the coffee shop girl was holding an umbrella.
I don’t think there was ever a strong link to snow in the show. it would be worth to take a look, though…
But, see… practicly all the episodes we have strong clues about the mother include rain…in “Come On” and “Right Place, Right Time”, the clues are not clear, but I think the connection is clear – On he first one, Ted finally gets Robin, showing the link Robin and Ted still have on the day he meets the Mother; and on the second one, he gets the job that leads him to Cindy….
It might be worth to check snow episodes, I’ll tell you if I find anything! ;)
You’re spot on with the rain scenes connecting to the mother. I don’t think my snow theory has legs :)
Very interesting, especially since it was from so long ago! I wish more people would believe them about Ted and Robin though :)
Corina, I was watching the Last scenes of Episode 24 and is Marshall waiting for Ted and Lily to pick him up at the airport or is he at a train station?
Marshall could be the first one to meet the mother during the wedding weekend if they are both at the train station together.
Not sure if New York airport is a train station hop away from Farhamton? Just a thought.
Those who are hung up on Ted and Robin need to understand the relationship.
Up until Ted starts Dating the Mother Robin is still Ted’s Closest female best friend. This bond has been outside the couple intimacy that they once shared.
If I had an old girlfriend that was still involved in my life 1) My wife and I must be very secure in our relationship. I think Ted will be. 2) Robin must be a very close friend of the Mother as well. I think she will be because the Mother is very likable. 3)Something must change in Ted’s life to help him completely let go of the romantic notions he has towards Robin. I think that has happened for the most part. We are missing one thing. 4) Someone Ted can focus all his romantic interest into… Now we as the audience have seen her. In Band or DJ Ted will see her. We know the ending.
That story is over. Ted will Love no one else the same way he will Love the Mother. I hope we get to that this season.
I got the impression that Marshall is at the Minneapolis airport with his brother, but you are right, Marshall could be the first one to meet her.
I think that Brenda is right, and Marshall is at the airport. But him traveling does indicate that he is likely to meet her first. I know nothing about New York geography, so I don’t know if it is logical that Marshall would use the train to get from the airport to Farhampton. BUT since Farhampton isn’t actually a real place, it could easily be made to work out.
And I agree with everything you said about Robin. :) I also agree about hoping we get to see the relationship develop next season – it’s what I’ve been waiting for!
I know. Everytime people mention Ted and Robin I feel like Regina George and want to say ” Ted and Robin isn’t going to happen. Stop trying to make Ted and Robin happen.”
Ted and Robin are so not fetch!
PS please link us to the video if you are able to?
Not sure if anyone else mentioned this, sorry if it has. Just wanted to see what others felt about this observation. This has to do with the “Ted or The Mother is dead” theory. Let me just start of by saying that I would hate for one of them to be dead, and there are also many good reasons for neither of them to be. That being said, on to my observation.
So. This was the song played in Season 8 Episode 1, when The Mother is shown under her yellow umbrella (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMFWFhTFohk). As the name implies, it is a pretty deep song about a funeral. Something else that I found worth noting was how the “Farhampton” sign was shown, then a thunderstorm suddenly started and we fast forward to moments before Ted meets The Mother. The song choice, combined with the storm effect, really struck (see what I did there) me. Now this could mean nothing of course, but it is worth noting.
Now. This was the song played in the Season 8 Finale, when we finally meet The Mother (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoLTPcD1S4Q). In the music video, the Father is reading his last will to his children. Two songs about death during 2 important points where we meet The Mother? Again, this could just be coincidence, but woah.
Of course, there are many reasons that point to Ted and The Mother being alive in the future, which I hope is true, but I just wanted to put this out there and see what others felt.
tl;dr: 2 songs were played when we met the mother, both were about death.
The guys over at http://ted-mosby.com/ were talking about this recently as well. I’m not sure if they came to a consensus, though, because some were saying the songs weren’t really all that much about death, but the videos were. I think it’s really interesting symbolism regardless. It imparts a sense of finality and intrigue to the mother discovery, and that’s what the show is all about, right?
promo season 9!
It’s almost time…
the tracy theory probably isnt possible. barney hit on a blond dancer named tracey at the end of season 4 i believe in “the leap”. i doubt they would reuse the name. Barney told the girl he was the producer of the rockettes or something.
I believe Barney also had a secretary named Tracy in season 1 or 2. So I agree that they’ve overused the name already and it isn’t likely to be The Mother’s name. Also when I look at her I do not see a Tracy. I see her as maybe: Erin, Laney, Caitlin, Becca, Mary, or Sara. I have no real logical basis for these though :)
If it’s purple, someone’s gonna die.
I have something about the Carly theory and the C+C that is (supposedly) in Cindy’s room. (I say supposedly because I haven’t seen it, but I’m not very observant :) )Think to S6E1. The girl that Cindy is with and eventually marries is named Casey. That would be C+C. I don’t know if this holds any weight, but it’s a possibility.
I am very observant and I’ve never spotted it, so I have my doubts as to whether it actually exists. That being said, though, it makes much more sense for it to be Casey. Good looking out!
Epic article! I think her name will be Daisy by the way due to season 9 episode 20’s title ;)
I thought that too, but then I thought it was too easy. So now I’m not sure. Someone on Reddit said that a daisy looks kinda like a yellow umbrella, so perhaps that will come into play?
Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve visited this site before but after looking at a few of
the articles I realized it’s new to me. Anyhow, I’m certainly
happy I stumbled upon it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back regularly!
I believe she’s captain’s daugther. I can’t believe she’s milk girl because she can’t be in college in 2013 and also it’s likely impossilbe she and ted are the same age
Corina, go ahead and take Bump Girl off the list. Per Video just watched she is not The Mother. http://www.ign.com/videos/2014/01/24/how-i-met-your-mother-love-of-your-life
I think Daisy is the name of the umbrella. The mother has a strong connection to it, which is why she was so panicked when she lost it. And it’s yellow.
I just don’t see them revealing the secret in an episode title ahead of time. Also I think it was just established that the name isn’t revealed until the last episode? Which occurs well after the Daisy episode. I really don’t know though! I have seen it suggested that Daisy is Robin’s mother and she shows up for the wedding. That would be an interesting development.
you are probably right…i may be reading too much into it, this show is starting to make me crazy..i usually like to figure out the end before it happens… however on a side note, i have found out that the actress Mariangela Pagan is credited as “Mother” in the Rally episode. I know at this point it could mean anything from Ted’s wife in the future, just a mother that happens to be there or maybe even robins mother. thoughts?
I rewatched the entire episode looking for this actress/character and couldn’t find anything. Did I miss something? Did anyone see her? I can only assume it’s someone from the Weekend at Barney’s wedding pictures. There were some randoms in there that I couldn’t quite identify. I will find some good size screen caps and do some analysis if possible!
UGHHH! This show is killing me. I figured out that she is the mother in the flash forward to 2016 and barney and robin wake up in Buenos Aires in 2016.
Thank you for figuring that out – I don’t know why that didn’t occur to me!
I wanted to post this as soon as possible and I hope I get a response from you soon before the show ends..
I can go ahead and confirm that the mother is indeed dead by 2030,,
Here is why i believe/know this is true..
In the episode how your mother meet me,,we see things from the mothers perspective,,as the mother is the telling the story of all the close calls she had with Ted,,we see her tell those stories to who later would become her room-ate Cindy instead of her telling her kids like Ted does,,This happens twice first with her room-ate and then with Lois her last bf before Ted..HIMYM begins with Ted telling his kids,,”kids I’m going to tell you a story,,the story of how i met your mother” I would like to believe the mother would have started her story the same way ted does but she doesn’t,,why didn’t she?
We could have easily seen a flash-forward in the how your mother met me episode but we didn’t,,crazy huh!! now in the last episode “Rally” we saw a flash-forward with the mother,,ted and the kids,,but the kids were very small meaning that probably the mother was only with them for a few years before she passed..
What do you think?
A.Too far off,not buying it
B.Wow!! Spot On
C.Stop! you are making me cry
D.Interesting its a thinker
E.Now i don’t know the meaning of life,,is red really red?
I don’t think that your theory CONFIRMS that the mother is dead, but it does offer some good reasons why we could guess that. It seems like they are really playing up this angle, so avoiding having her narrate the episode – and avoiding scenes from 2030 where she is clearly alive – draw out the mystery. I can’t really emotionally process the concept of someone being dead so for this week I’m assuming it’s just a ruse. If she is dead I will absolutely own up to being wrong :)
She can’t be 28 in 2013 and born in 1994. Math doesn’t add up.
You are correct about the math but I don’t know what this is in reference to. This post is so long and has so many comments it gets confusing! If there is a typo will you clarify so I can fix it please? Thank you!
Thank you for all your work on this website. I’m on overdrive trying to make sense of what is known so far and predict what might happen.
On Amazon Prime video there is this offering. It was filmed right after the wrap of the first season. Early on either C or C talks briefly about the importance of rain.
I wonder if you compared the color theory and looked at the times it rained, if that would be even more telling? Think of all the major HIMYM relationship moments that happened in the rain.
I haven’t been able to find a solid connection between the color scheme and the rain, but it’s something I will absolutely look further into. That may just be my next project!
Remember the episode where Ted was suppose to fly to Chicago with Robin but didn’t because