How I Met Your Mother Recap: The Mother Is Revealed (and Watch the Fateful Scene Again)

How I Met Your Mother Mother RevealedWarning: The following recap contains major spoilers from Monday’s season finale of How I Met Your Mother. Read on at your own risk!

A day after Mother’s Day — and not a day too soon — How I Met Your Mother gave viewers the best present ever: a real glimpse of the titular mom (who appears to be played by Cristin Milioti from the Broadway musical Once)!

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The big reveal comes on the heels of Ted announcing to Lily that he’s finished renovating his house “just like Ryan Gosling in The Notebook” – and he promptly plans to sell it and move to Chicago! After failing to find love in New York, the eternal bachelor has decided that maybe The One is in Chi-Town. So the day after Robin and Barney’s wedding, he plans to catch a train back to the city and leave his old life and friends behind.

Lily tries to convince him he will have a family in that house – until she realizes the real reason he’s leaving: It’s because the love of his life is in NYC, and she will soon be married to his best friend.

Ted insists that he wants Robin and Barney to have an amazing life together, but it might be better if he weren’t around for it. Lily asks if something happened between him and his ex recently, and he insists nothing did.

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How I Met Your Mother Mother Revealed Cristin Milioti“Where’s the poop, Ted?” she continues, bringing back one of my favorite catchphrases. So Ted tells her about the rainy moment in the park, which leads Lil to reveal that Robin’s “something old” locket has been in a pencil box on Ted’s desk all this time. Right before he was supposed to marry Stella, a heartbroken and Japan-bound Robin got drunk and dug it up since she wasn’t ever going to marry Ted, and that’s where Lily hid it. Now, Ted has the perfect wedding gift for Robin, but Lily still warns him to be careful. Meanwhile, just as the bachelor is getting ready to give up on sex love and the city, the bass guitar-carrying mom is buying a train ticket to Farhampton!

Elsewhere in the episode, Barney and Robin’s night out is ruined by an annoying couple (Happy Endings‘ Casey Wilson and Mad TV‘s Keegan-Michael Key). They decide to “make those smug obnoxious sons of bitches pay” and try to break them up. In the end, they actually end up helping the strangers get engaged and, oddly enough, prove to themselves why they’re so twistedly perfect for each other.

RELATED | HIMYM: 6 Potential Mom Theories Debunked

Lily spends much of the episode dealing with Ted’s relationship drama, but it looks like she may have some of her own soon. On the cusp of their move to Rome, Marshall gets offered his dream job, a judgeship, and doesn’t tell Lily about it.

HIMYM fans, what did you think of the long-awaited moment? Was your heart pounding during those final seconds? Do you like that the show didn’t go for a super recognizable face (but still one that could pass for David Henrie and Lyndsy Fonseca’s mom)? And what are your theories for next season’s premiere? Will Ted meet the mom then?

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345 Comments
  1. lariet50 says:

    I’m not saying they shouldn’t give the girl a cheeseburger, though…

  2. RyanC says:

    I remember her from 30 Rock, and thinking how brilliant she was. I hope she has a main role next season!

    • Melck713 says:

      Agreed! There was just something I really liked about her. I think that the plan is for her to be The Mother, but on the off chance she is a red herring, I do hope that they reconsider. I am so pleasantly surprised, I figured that we would only see Ted seeing her or get a non-face shot that would allow them to have the reveal to the audience at a later date.

  3. Bill Nye the Science Guy says:

    On one hand, I’m very happy to meet the mother. However, on the other hand, there doesn’t seem to be another way around it at this point. As soon as Robin gets married, Ted settles for the first woman he meets.

  4. Mo says:

    Come on with a recap, I was sitting here in the house,autotuned it but the tv was on mute and completely missed all but the last 4 minutes. . .I have no idea wth is going on with Ted and Robin and Ted just by himself or marshall. . .ugh

  5. jody smith says:

    still think that he meets the mother, marries her has 2 kids, and she dies(the reason for telling the story) Barney being Barney can’t be married, him and Robin seperate and Ted ends up with Robin

    • Amber says:

      If this is the case, it makes Ted a HUGE jerk.
      What kind of story is this for your kids, “Kids, I’m going to tell you the story to honor your mother… but really I’m going to tell you about your step mother who is the true love of my life who I was obsessed with until she got married. But then I met your mother and settled for her since I was nursing a broken heart. But the story has a happy ending because she died so I got to marry the true love of my life after all!”
      The only way this show will work is if there is a true, clean break from Robin. Ted has to love the mother completely. If he ends up marrying Robin one day it means he was never truly over Robin, which will put a huge damper on the relationship with the kids’ actual mother.

      Ted will never end up with Robin.

      • Sarah says:

        Exactly! “Hey kids, your mom just died, but everything’s actually great, cause guess who’s moving in with us?!” That’s not a good path to choose, Carter and Craig.

        • jody smith says:

          how is that mean if she died giving childbirth or a few years later

          • Sarah says:

            Because it would be invalidating Ted and the mother’s relationship if she was only ever #2 to Robin.

          • Amber says:

            Even if she did die, the kids need to believe that Ted totally loved their mother. That’s the only way for the story to be happy. If one day he ends up with the gal he was with before their mother, who he’s stressed his deep feelings for over and over, it would put this shadow over his relationship with the mother in the kids’ hearts. “Did Dad really love Mom the way he loved Robin? He loved her before and he loved her after… did he love her during??”

            You don’t tell your kids a story about their dead mother, but completely interweave it with how crazy you are about their stepmother who you were in love with less than 56 hours upon meeting their mother… without being a HUGE jerk.

            The story only works if the mother was so amazing that it made him get over Robin and stay over Robin.

            Robin and Ted will not be together when the show ends.
            Ted will be with The Mother, who he will love completely.
            Otherwise Narrator Ted is a huge jerk to his kids, pooping all over his kids’ mother’s memory with OMGITotallyAlwaysLovedRobin droppings.

            The premise of the show is Ted telling the kids about their mother. The mother must become the main focus, ahead of Robin… or this whole thing was just a farce.

      • Sarah A says:

        She doesn’t die in childbirth, the episode where Ted goes to his college reunion he mentions his wife being there

        • Amber says:

          However does he say it’s the mother? Or just his wife. In this crazy notion that he’ll somehow be married to Robin when the show is over, he could conceivably mean Robin at the reunion. But that’s hypothetical. Since he’ll be married to The Mother at the end of the show.

  6. Jennifer says:

    What a nice finale (that’s not sarcasm, I really liked it). Well done. I liked that there was no over the top drama. I especially liked that they showed the mother without all the fanfare/bells and whistles, etc. Very simple.

  7. FeedMeMore says:

    Just looked her up and realized I loved her already from Year of the Carnivore. I watched it last year on Showtime and its a bit weird but quirky and funny and I think that offbeat humor will fit well into the Mosbyverse.

  8. Heather says:

    Yay for finally revealing the mother and yay for including The Shins as the closing song!

  9. David says:

    Michael Ausiello, your brother and sister-in-law thought it was pretty awful. Not much imagination…

  10. Emily Kane says:

    she was a scene-stealer in 30 Rock – I haven’t seen Once on Broadway but if you can hold your own against Tina Fey & Alec Baldwin, I have high hopes for the final season of HIMYM.

    also, she seems like she could be a character who could intellectually & emotionally match Ted. none of his other dames (except Robin) could.

  11. Geo says:

    I was the biggest fan but the show started to lose me. I am looking forward to next season though. I still think there’ll be a twist

  12. brandy says:

    I think that somewhere in there next season the mom should tell her version of how she met their father (Ted)….kinda like when Robin told her story to her non existing future kids.

  13. Meg says:

    I really thought the season finale was supposed to be an hour. And according to TVLine’s how May Sweeps scorecard, Barney & Robin were definitely supposed to get married. I feel like we missed half the episode.

  14. flutiefan says:

    she looks 12 years old.

  15. imetyomother says:

    What if the girls name with the yellow umbrella is also Robin? And we’ve heard Ted talk to his kids saying “Aunt Robin”, but he could be referring to the girl with the yellow umbrella, so there is a chance that the locket can bring the Robin we know and Ted together. As I recall, Ted has not mentioned that the mother was the one with the yellow umbrella. Things to think about… Not everything is the way it appears to be..

    • Matt says:

      That’s not the worst idea ever, but it’s close. Ted and Robin suck together. I hope the writers go their own way and leave the Friends cliche behind. I’m all for Barney and Robin. They work as a couple.

    • someone says:

      you’re putting too much hope for Ted and Robin, you have to face the fact that it’s the mother, and besides, that yellow umbrella belongs to the mother… it was taken by Ted at the St. Patrick’s party in season 2 and then it got returned to the mother’s apartment when Ted dated the mother’s roommate (season 5) watch the series again pal…

    • Himymfan says:

      When Ted was dating the Rachel bilson character there was something in the apartment that said c +c. I can’t remember it exactly but she explained it as her and her roommates names…they both begin with the letter c. I’m hazy on specifics but I distinctly remember that for some reason.

  16. I’m so excited to see the mother but I’m also majorly sad that its ending!! 😥 I will miss this show so much!!! 😰😭😫😩😫😭😰

  17. Sam says:

    Am i the only one who thinks Ted and Robin belong together?… :'(

    • mike says:

      nope its what i keep saying is gonna happen, that the writers are just trying to convince its not gonna happen but its all to throw us off track lol they belong together

      • Matt says:

        The writers should have ended the series after the first episode then. There is no reason for the writers to do a Ross and Rachel. Ted and Robin don’t work. It would ruin a good series for me.

        • mike says:

          I didn’t watch friends, but that lady they showed isn’t anything special at first glance and the fact he has been chasing Robin for 8 seasons and gonna change all that history in one doesn’t make any sense, the mother has to be someone that blows all the others away and especially Robin

          • Mike R. says:

            Looks aren’t everything, is the mother as beautiful as Robin, no, but she is fine, and it was more than her looks that made Tes fall for her.

          • Matt says:

            I didn’t watch Friends either because it’s a weak show, but I’ve heard about the dynamic (On again off again relationships). Scrubs did the same thing with JD and Elliot. There have been way too many shows that use this cliche. It ruined Scrubs and Friends was never worth the time. I hope HIMYM does not follow in their footsteps.

          • holly says:

            I completely agree, that is the only way Ted will ever get over Robin, if he meets someone BETTER than her, this girl is not it.

    • someone says:

      if you truly watch this show, you would’ve understood that it was emphasized at the Pilot episode that Robin and Ted won’t end up together… what’s the point of “how I MET your mother” then? Ted already met Robin 8 years ago…

    • Calla Lilly says:

      No. I don’t give a damn HOW much the writers try to force Robin and Barney together I will NEVER like it. I stopped watching the show when she was revealed as the bride. I absolutely HATE them together. I started watching HIMYM during reruns of s1/2 so I never saw the pilot part where Ted said she WASN’T the mother. I genuinely sat through alll those eps thinking she WAS the mother. So, sorry writers, but I will NEVER be ok with anything other than a Ted/Robin ending.

      • Claudia says:

        Come on!! Robin and Barney are just perfect for each other! It was obvious (at least for me) since “zip, zip, zip” (season 1) that they will be together eventually. Even the writers said so. Ted and Robin on the contrary are just awful. Ted is such a sweet, almost naive and a hopeless romantic character. Robin is a cosmopolitan, sceptical and funny girl. She needed to meet Ted to grow up, so as Ted. But Barney is sooooo the one.
        And i’m pretty sure that “The Mother” will be Ted’s perfect match. She likes to perform musicals with breakfast food for god’s sake! always gets free pie! enjoys painting about robots doing sports! She is weird and sweet!!!

      • Ryan says:

        Seriously you need to watch the pilot….heck you need to watch every episode instead of making assumptions. And it wasn’t just the pilot where it was mentioned that Robin wasn’t the mother.

  18. lariet50 says:

    Can we get a post-mortem with the producers?

  19. someone says:

    I thought they’re gonna meet “in exactly 45 days” ?!!! kinda bummed about this season’s finale…

  20. Mike says:

    Not going to lie, I’m happy they chose a, relatively, unknown actress, I for one think she is adorable, maybe not as beautiful a Teds past girlfriends, but I love the choice.

  21. Wasn’t Barney and Robin’s wedding one of the May Sweeps wedding in TV Line scorecard, what happened to that?

  22. justanotherfan says:

    I’m one of the few Robin and Ted fans out there, I guess. Robin should be with Ted, Barney should be with Quinn. Becki Newton would have made a great addition to the cast, even if it would have been for one season.

  23. chiflygurl says:

    Are we reaaally sure she’s the Mom? They pulled the clothes and guitar clues to throw us off before Could still be another connection.

  24. Drake says:

    Well, you kind of totally spoiled that in the article title. That’s kind of super messed up. I could maybe understand if this was a few days later. It’s barely a few hours later.

  25. Dex P says:

    Great episode. Great Season!!!

  26. Lena says:

    Truth be told worst season finale ever of HIMYM. Total letdown the entire episode was leading up to nothing. We didn’t get to see Barney and Robin get married, the reveal of the mother was beyond boring and it felt like just another episode. I’m very disappointed. I am glad we finally got to see who the mother is but after all the build up and suspense I feel totally let down. Way to blow it guys.

  27. Michael says:

    Is she supposed to be Robin’s sister?
    And how did Robin not know her sister was living with Rachel Bilson??

    • Amber says:

      Robin doesn’t have a sister. She isn’t supposed to be Robin’s sister; she’s supposed to be the gal that plays bass in the wedding band.

  28. screwted says:

    So we were told the season would end with a wedding….it didn’t. We were shown the room Ted is talking to his kids in was in his house in New York….. he sold it. We were told the apartment Lily and Marshall had with the slanted floors was an apartment Ted’s kids visited at Christmas…..they moved. This whole show tries to be too smart, and drops the ball. I stuck with this show because I used to watch it with a friend who died. These past two seasons have been a chore to watch.

    • Mike R. says:

      Ted was selling his house, he had not sold it, Marshall may not even leave New York now, and they are only going to be gone a year anyway, maybe the show actually is smart( relatively) and you just weren’t paying attention.

      • someone says:

        I think he/she meant they moved to Ted’s 1st apartment…not to Rome when in fact older Ted told his kids that they visited Lily and Marshall’s apartment with slanted floors

  29. pharris says:

    The last 60 seconds were perfect. We saw the boots, previewing what we were all hoping for. And then we saw 3 clips that summarized the main characters current situations. Then, the yellow umbrella, verifying her identity, followed by individual close-ups of the 5 cast members. And finally the big reveal, but only after showing her from behind for just long enough to make us think that was all we were going to see.
    Well Done!!

  30. JJ says:

    Marshall took the job. In case u didn’t catch Marvin jr. Calling him “Your Honor” after he asked if Marshall had told Lily

  31. Sarah says:

    Not familiar with the actress, but she’s cute as a freakin’ button. I’m glad we’ll get to know her next season!

  32. Bennett says:

    What if there was a how I met your father all about her life before Ted?????!!

  33. (TL;DR summary: “Huh. That’s it then.”)

    I’m sure a lot of people really liked the season finale and, most importantly, the Mother reveal. That’s great for them, because they’re no longer cynical to liking the show. And I wish I could join their ranks.

    But… meh. The way the episode was progressing (and all the “hype” on Twitter from the actors, even Carter Bays and Craig Thomas), it was building up to a last-scene glimpse of something (could be the Mother, could be yet-another-tease). And that’s how it played out. And I won’t say the predictability of it made it underwhelming – it was the entire build-up.

    A random focus on Barney and Robin terrorizing/reuniting an annoying couple in a ridiculous restaurant? Yes, meant to show how perfect they are, but it didn’t quite fit. The subplot of Judy not letting Marshall go to Rome, then thinking about joining them? Overdone. Marshall getting his judgeship RIGHT then, after that plot point was IGNORED ever since we saw Marshall sitting in front of a council? Lame.

    And the Mother reveal after all that? I’m sorry, I’ve been watching this show from the pilot and I’ve watched so many ups and downs, red herrings and actual clues, I’ve been left dangling at the same wedding for seasons now and… I felt underwhelmed. I felt something was lacking. The great music in the back, the montage-y shots were doing nothing for me. What should have caused me to sit at the edge of my seat, suppressing a squeal of delight, ended up being me sitting back and thinking “Huh. That’s it then.” And I didn’t want to feel that way, at all, not about this show.

  34. Booger says:

    Ted has to finally let go of Robin at the wedding to move on with The Mother. I think her name will be Tracy based on the Stripper Lily episode.

  35. Pam says:

    god, this show is so stupid now…how many times are they going to go back to the ted/robin thing?

  36. Meg says:

    I like how so many of you have decided that the mother sucks based on her one line, “One ticket to Farhampton.” Maybe try giving a new character a chance?

    • Mike R. says:

      It pisses me off that most people I judging based on looks, not everyone is as beautiful as Robin.

      • Meg says:

        She’s not unattractive and all that matters is her chemistry with Josh Radnor. Kind of disappointed we didn’t get to see them meet in the finale.

      • Amber says:

        On a related note… I’m a heterosexual woman so maybe I’m not a good judge here… but am I the only one that doesn’t even think Robin is particularly beautiful? I think the mother is super cute.

        • Sarah says:

          No, same here. Robin is lovely, but not supernaturally burn your eyes beautiful. I think the mom is adorable and if her appearance on 30 Rock means anything, she’ll be a perfect fit with the group.

        • valeen says:

          No, you’re not the only one. I don’t think Robin is as beautiful as apparently a lot of people on here do. Yes, she’s pretty, but not anymore pretty than I think the actress revealed to be the mother is.

  37. Amazing episode excellent moments and the great reveal, finally “The Mother”

  38. Bethani says:

    I think she is adorable and how perfect is it that she and Lily are the same size and can share boots.

    She just…she just look like she and Ted would fit together.

  39. Nero theTVFiddler says:

    Just about ready to watch out here on the west coast, but I just couldn’t wait – I wanted to know. Christin Milioti. Okay, well, not first my choice, but that’s okay. In a sense, that’s what makes HIMYM so good – life doesn’t always give you ‘the first choice'; sometimes you get ‘choice #2′, and you need to take it and run or you may end up empty handed. A hard life lesson – that’s what makes HIMYM work.

    I’ve always felt that if Robin couldn’t end up with Ted, I wanted her to end up with Barney. If Ted wasn’t able to find ‘another Robin’, maybe ‘another Lily’ is a very good ‘second choice.’ Life can be like that. You don’t always get you want, but somehow, you end up with just enough of what you’ll need.

    I agree with KelliP – prior post: Ms Milioti looks a lot like a cross between the lovely Alyson H. & the equally lovely Jennifer L Hewitt! She’s not Robin/Cobie, but she’ll do fine with this cast and I bet the gang in season 9 – Ted, Marshall, Lily, Barney… and Robin will love her. Heck, I bet even Patrice will love her as well.

    {NOBODY ASKED YOU PATRICE ! } :O

  40. jesse rambo says:

    The mother that was revealed tonight is in season 5 episode 1 when ted is teaching the wrong classroom on architecture. Right after he says “every single person in this room is already an architect” you see a blonde woman say “architect” and the girl next to her is the mom revealed tonight

    • Alex says:

      Going back over the episode, I think she’s seated right behind the African American student who helps with the spelling of “professor.”

      • Amber says:

        She’s definitely not behind the spelling girl; that girl has a cleft in her chin which Cristin does not have.
        The gal that responded to the blonde girl’s “architect?” is closer… but the girl in the class has slightly fuller lips, her cheek bones seem different and the tip of her nose is more “classic.” Cristin Milioti’s nose isn’t as straight, and the tip has this kind of dimple thing in it.

        I’m guessing they didn’t have her cast back in season 5.

  41. jesse rambo says:

    I think

  42. Jessie M says:

    I think she’s super cute and looks like she could definitely be ‘Mother’ material. I’ve never seen her act,so I guess we’ll see.

    I realize that the mother reveal was the biggest part of the episode, but is anyone else super glad that they FINALLY did something with the whole Judge Marshall thing? They seemed to brush that under the rug early on. I thought when they were talking about leaving for Rome that the whole thing was just going to be ignored entirely.

  43. kaitie says:

    Great episode himym doesn’t usually leave so many questions though…

  44. Quinn Mallory says:

    Finally! The show has taken long enough that Lyndsy Fonseca could have played her own mother.

    • AL says:

      I honestly thought she would.

      But I like this casting better. She looks like she could be Lyndsey Fonseca and David Henrie’s mother, and she can really sing.

  45. cjeffery7 says:

    a more important question: will we see David Henrie and Lyndsy Fonseca all grown up in a flash forward?? will those stock scenes of the kids listening to dad be updated somehow? i’d like to see that.

    • Alex says:

      The actors have stated, in several interviews, that the “kids” reaction to the finale was shot after the first few seasons, so they could still (plausibly) be the same age throughout the storytelling.

  46. Em J says:

    Honestly I so hope I am not the only one that is thinking that she could REALLY pass (if a bit older that is) as the daughters mother because she LOOKS so much like her! I am glad they cast a brunette considering both the kids are! It’s kinda weird how the son (David H) looks really like Ted! It’s like the cast was meant to be this way! The family is so bloody like each other it’s bonkers!

  47. monkeyboy says:

    If robin is not the mother I am going to freaking combust!!!! I just wasted a third of my life waiting to be told some random new chick stole his heart… horse manure!!!

    • Amber says:

      They said in the very first episode that Robin was Aunt Robin and not “Mom.” You could have saved a third of your life.

  48. Jooshua says:

    When they were showing her walking for some reason I thought it was going to be Lizzy Caplan.. oh well.. I like the person they cast. I am excited to see her and Ted fall in love next season..

    But if they do that 24 thing.. IDK if I would like that.. maybe if they did like 4 or 6 episodes for the Barney and Robins wedding day.. then 4 or 6 episodes of Ted and the mother on the train.. their wedding day.. or other days the writers think are important.. But 24 continuous episodes of the same day? sounds really boring without Jack Bauer..

  49. Spencer says:

    I’m a little scared for Barney and Robin. Why no wedding? Why did their faces look so… Unhappy(?) in the final scene… I hope they actually stick together through the end…

  50. Chris says:

    So now we know who the Mother is maybe lets hope is not a trick, so excited.

    I guess the name of the show should be “The Wedding” and not HIMYM :)

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