How I Met Your Mother Mystery: Exactly Why Is Ted Telling the Kids His (Long) Love Story…?

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How I Met Your MotherIs The Mother gone for good or just temporarily MIA?

As How I Met Your Mother nears the end of its run, the future of Ted’s wife has come under speculation with theories ranging from sad (RIP, Mrs. Mosby) to celebratory (Happy Anniversary!).

RELATED | How I Met Your Mother Recap — The Mother’s Story

Earlier this month, HIMYM creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas confirmed that by the March 31 series finale, viewers will learn the reason why Ted chose the time he did to tell his children the story of how he met their mama.

So why do you think Ted is spilling his guts now? We’ve compiled some of the most popular scenarios (born of our own collective bean as well as reader speculation) in the poll below. Cast your vote, then tell us why you’re a glass half full or glass half empty fan in the comments.



Comments (214)

  • I really hope its not that she is dead.

    Comment by Michael – January 30, 2014 07:09 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Me too! That will kinda ruin the ending for me.

      Comment by Mary – January 30, 2014 07:20 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • That would be a crummy way to end a sitcom. The ending should be funny and feel-good because the fans will already be bummed that it’s the end.

      Comment by rowan77 – January 30, 2014 08:28 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • It’d be a cheat of the highest order, I feel, given the entire tenor and run of the show.

      Comment by vioricabritton – January 30, 2014 08:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I actually use to be okay with The Mother being dead, as I thought it would be a bittersweet ending but now that I “Met the Mother”, that’s the last thing I want. Screw bittersweet, give me happily ever after.

      Comment by Josh – January 30, 2014 09:02 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • My thoughts exactly, dude. She is a lot better than I imagined.

        Comment by Eggbert – January 30, 2014 07:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • i’m leaning towards an anniversary/vow renewal/the mother is getting an award. Although the mother is ted’s endgame she as a character was never the real focus of the series, killing her off wouldn’t make sense to the tone of the series (which would ultimately make it a 9 year eulogy). Then again maybe the gang is getting back together and this was all just Ted’s way of killing time until they arrived

      Comment by jenna – January 30, 2014 09:13 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I like the idea of Ted hiding out in the basement while his mother in law is visiting. It fits with the narrative of Ted wanting to tell his kids everything after learning about his own parents divorce and is an unexpected but simple way to end the series. I would be just as happy if this was all just a way to waste time until the rest of the group showed up! I’m hoping for a finale where there is no actual reason as to why Ted decided to start telling his story. While I think we would all love to see a wedding between Ted and the mother I like the idea of a simple ending

        Comment by B – January 30, 2014 10:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • completely agree with this! Killing her off makes the entire series about the mother’s death rather than about Ted’s life and all these moments that lead him to where he is. I agree with the simple ending, Ted’s rambling stories seem to be commonplace (based on the kids reactions) and I like the idea that there isn’t any particularly significant event as to why he decided to tell them at that specific time.

        Comment by jp – January 30, 2014 12:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Good idea, I love the idea of the entire gang getting back together in the finale, and ending it on a festive note.

        Comment by tara17 – January 31, 2014 06:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • The fact that so many of the fans share this sentiment (and that that fact is rather predictable), combined with the tone of the storytelling are the reasons that I’ve never regarded her being dead as a realistic possibility. They’ve hinted at it as a misdirect, but I don’t believe they’d actually make her dead/dying.

      Comment by Brendan – January 30, 2014 09:43 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • It would be BITTERLY disappointing, to the point of viewer anger, if the reason why Ted has been telling his kids for almost a decade now….is because their mother is dead or facing death. That is just unacceptable.

      It HAS TO BE because of something POSITIVE: a major anniversary, an unexpected pregnancy, a major award for mom, etc.

      If it is negative…it will be among the worst endings and last shows of any long running series and ruin every enjoyable moment from the series’ run and particularly this last season.

      Comment by Oliver Queen – January 30, 2014 04:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I thought a new series was ordered by CBS from the mother’s point of view.

      Comment by guest – January 30, 2014 05:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • A mother, but unfortunately not that mother.

        Comment by Tee – January 30, 2014 06:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Her being dead would be a slap in the face to the viewers who have been with the show from the start. This show has handled tragedy and done it amazingly well but to end the shows run with “she’s dead” would be insulting to the fans of the show. They need a high note not a downer. That said the producers will probably think it’s “bold and daring” to do that so I have the same sinking feeling about the ending that I had about the final season.

      Comment by partisan – January 31, 2014 04:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Well, she is.

      Comment by Sansa Stark – April 5, 2014 01:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Sometimes I wonder if maybe the mother died a while ago, and Ted is about to propose to Robin (or someone else) in the future, but wanted his kids to know how special their mother was to him, and maybe the story will end with how I met you’re step mother or something.

    Comment by Drewer – January 30, 2014 07:09 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • That’s a pretty decent assessment. I’ve always found it strange that everyone seems to be finding the one and through this whole engagement between Robin and Barney, he is STILL hung up on Barney.

      Comment by Ange – January 30, 2014 08:08 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I mean Robin

        Comment by Ange – January 30, 2014 08:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Barney and Robin never made sense to me. I felt like the writers sort of caved to a vocal portion of the fanbase that wanted these two together.

        Robin was the love of Ted’s life. And he was the one who was always there for her, and is a good counter balance for the person Robin is. And Barney isn’t a “settle down” kind of guy. Plus, the interactions with the Mother’s friend, played by a fairly big name in Ahna O’Reilly, sort of pinged my spidey sense. Maybe it was just for laughs, but they would be a good match. I can see this wedding not happening, with both Barney and Robin deciding they shouldn’t get married. Ted would never break the bro code. I think Ted will meet and love the mother before the wedding implodes. Robin will realize she loves Ted, but he will already be in love with the mother. She will die, and Ted and Robin will be getting married.

        Comment by Patrick – January 30, 2014 08:23 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I wondered that too – I don’t know if it’s just me (and my terrible memory), but do we know for a fact that Barney & Robin DO actually get married?

          Comment by Dina Heller (@DinaMarie1027) – January 30, 2014 09:09 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • yes we do, in the scene where Barney finally gets revenge on his boss (I believe this was 2 months after the wedding) he is wearing a wedding ring

            Comment by j – January 30, 2014 09:15 AM PDT  
          • But we don’t know if they stay married, the episode will all the flash forwards with like little marvin growing up where Lily like keeps confessing new things to Robin about how something happened (I don’t remember all the details) and also the watching Star Wars with Penny flash forward last season do not show Robin and Barney’s like ring hands, which could have just been a way to throw off that they would get married, but also maybe they get divorced.

            Comment by Drewer – January 30, 2014 09:23 AM PDT  
        • Wrong, he is a settle down kind of guy now, new phase in his life.

          And please they not going to cater to the fans.

          Comment by Larry – January 30, 2014 10:12 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I’m not sure about Ted ending up with Robin even if it is 20 years later. Ted not breaking the bro code – Barney broke it when he hooked up with Robin in the first place.

          Comment by Ange – January 30, 2014 11:20 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I totally agree that Ted and Robin {should} get married, I was really hoping it would have been Jennifer Morrison if it weren’t Robin. Barney should have just stayed, well Barney. Totally inappropriate and a hound-dog til the end.

          Comment by Asta – January 30, 2014 11:25 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • haha I think you’re one of the only people in the entire world who wanted jennifer morrison/zoey to be the mom!

            Comment by jp – January 30, 2014 11:46 AM PDT  
          • I can’t wait for the show to wrap up so this ridiculous theory of the Mother dying will be officially laid to rest. RIP to that right now as far as I’m concerned.

            Comment by S. – January 30, 2014 11:58 AM PDT  
        • The cast, specifically Cobie Smulders, has already revealed in the beginning of Season 9 that the wedding will happen. Thomas and Bays also confirmed that in the interviews prior to the start of Season 9. Barney and Robin will be husband and wife. Ted and the mother will finally get to start their love story. Move into the light, Patrick. It’s warmer there :)

          Comment by Stephanie – January 31, 2014 05:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • The way the show has been written this last season, I think it’s quite clear that the writers are setting in stone the idea of Barney and Robin, even if it didn’t make sense originally. Ted getting back together with Robin wouldn’t make sense anymore, and it would be a terrible ending as it would only piss off most viewers. The writers won’t end the show in that fashion, it’s just poor writing.

          Comment by Jay Lyndhurst – March 3, 2014 10:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • This has been my theory for a while now.

      Comment by Ashleah Youn – January 30, 2014 08:09 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • This has been my theory for a while now as well. The mother has died and Ted is marrying Aunt Robin.

      Comment by SJ – January 30, 2014 09:23 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Mine too. Especially with the latest episode about the Mother’s first great love Max dying too. The takeaway is you can have more than one great love in your lifetime.

        Comment by Patrice – January 30, 2014 11:43 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Exactly.

          Comment by SJ – January 30, 2014 01:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Yeah the fact that you can have more than one great love in your life has been one of the main points of this series from the beginning. The MOTHER is that second love, not Robin. Ted loved Robin for years, loved her more than he’d ever loved anything else, but the point is that he still falls for the mother.

            Comment by tjlane94 – March 4, 2014 08:40 AM PDT  
      • After this week’s episode, I would not be at all surprised by that. It certainly seems to be within the realm of possibility.

        Comment by CJ – January 30, 2014 12:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • yes lets show the kids what the mother meant to him by telling them about getting it on with every other woman with a pulse in new york before tacking on a little bit about her in a story that started with “let me tell you the story of how i met your mother”. if thats the case then ted is a horrible parent and the writers have screwed up their show.

      Comment by Alan – January 30, 2014 12:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • If that’s the case i’m going to be maaaaad… really hope that’s not the case!!!

      Comment by Robertrinaz – January 31, 2014 04:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If you do the math anniversary makes sense. We know he’s telling the story to the kids in 2030. He met mother in 2013, they got engaged in 2014, and they got married in 2015. So 2030 would be their 15th Anniversary.

    Comment by J. Chris Hendricks (@jchrishendricks) – January 30, 2014 07:15 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • um guys! remember the episode where they flash forward to Teds sons college graduation? Marshall and Lilly ask him where the Mother is and Ted says he doesn’t know….

    They’re high but still….

    Comment by drewm987 – January 30, 2014 07:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Actually, it was Ted/Marshall/Lily’s reunion, it had zero to do with the son, so it could take place anywhere in the timeline.

      Comment by Kat – January 30, 2014 07:17 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • even if it was the sons – Ted looks exactly the same as he did in the flashfoward where he’s with Wendy the waitress at tha airport coming back from Japan in 2030…

        Comment by drewm987 – January 30, 2014 07:19 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • That takes place in 2021.

          Comment by Teag – January 30, 2014 08:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Besides, Ted only asks “Where is my wife?”, his wife in that moment in the future may well be Robin.

            Comment by Eduardo W – January 30, 2014 02:43 PM PDT  
        • I wouldn’t say thats a good indicator, present day Ted and future Ted looked the same in the time travelers

          Comment by jenna – January 30, 2014 08:46 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • well in the Time Travelers it’s all imagined…that’s why Ted looks the same…

            Every other time Ted has looked older (greyish hair etc)

            High school reunion, Airport scene….some more I can’t remember right now.

            Comment by drewm987 – January 30, 2014 08:55 AM PDT  
        • except its not the sons….

          Comment by mike – January 30, 2014 09:20 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I know they were high at the college reunion, but I wouldn’t think Ted would be giggling and saying “Where’s my wife?” if she were dead.

      Comment by Mikael – January 30, 2014 09:24 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Agreed, that would be in bad taste. Don’t think they’d go there.

        Comment by Faster – January 30, 2014 01:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • That took place in 2020. Last night’s episode was 2024.

      Comment by tjlane94 – March 4, 2014 08:42 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If it is that she died or is sick, the flippancy throughout the story by the kids (early on) and Ted are very inappropriate. I’m guessing one of the kids is headed to college.

    Comment by Mr. John – January 30, 2014 07:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’ve been saying that ever since the “mother is dead” theory began.

      And since almost no fan-theory has come to pass (although half-credit for a son named Luke), the number of people believing she’s dead convinces me all the more that she’s still alive.

      Comment by NJMark – January 30, 2014 10:06 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Exactly, go back and watch the pilot and Luke says “Are we being punished?”, if the mom is dead, why would hearing about her be punishment?

        Comment by Mary – January 30, 2014 12:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I think its simple…. one of the kids is going through something or something is happening in their lives that Ted feels that the message the story he’s telling about meeting their mother will teach the kids a lesson….

          They said ” are we being punished ” in the pilot and that can be interpreted multiple ways….

          1. “you talk to much when you’re telling stories”
          2. “ugh, I don’t want to hear you preaching about How you met mom relates to my situation ” (which is an attitude teenagers would have )

          Comment by drewm987 – January 30, 2014 12:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • MAYBE they are acting that way because they are mad at Dad (Ted) and don’t want to listen to him, as if he ran off with Robin or something, he and the mom are divorced and he’s telling him that story to show how strong that bond was between he and Robin- so much that he couldn’t stay with his perfect woman (the mom). So they’re pissed at dad bc he was a schmuck….

            Comment by Cheryl Doby Stauffer – February 10, 2014 09:33 AM PDT  
  • The mother is fine. The kids are *clearly* not sad/in mourning/melancholy in even the slightest degree. They’re sitting, casually listening to dad tell another one of his rambling stories.

    Comment by JMill – January 30, 2014 07:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • If she died during Luke’s birth, they would not be sad because of the time that has passed.

      Comment by Ange – January 30, 2014 08:13 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • In 2021 when Ted sees Wendy the Waitress, he talks about being currently married. Luke was born in 2017.

        Comment by Teag – January 30, 2014 08:19 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • What episode was that in? I don’t recall seeing Wendy the waitress in the future.

          Comment by Kristen Maio – January 31, 2014 06:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • It’s a Season 6 episode. Garbage Island.

            Comment by tjlane94 – March 4, 2014 08:44 AM PDT  
      • Nobody’s gonna be all ‘ugh, Dad, this story is going on sooo long’ about their dead mother how ever long ago she died and nobody’s gonna be flippant about it, Ted or the kids. The HIMYM writers are probably laughing at all the ridiculous theories.

        Comment by S. – January 30, 2014 11:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Agreed. I can almost get on board with the other points people have used to support the dead theory, but this is the major sticking point that disproves that theory for me.

          Comment by Faster – January 30, 2014 01:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Absolutely this.

      Comment by Teag – January 30, 2014 08:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It seriously better not be because she’s dead.

    They used too many present tenses in the future flashes for her to be dead and gone.

    Comment by Sasha – January 30, 2014 07:19 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • She better not be dead/dying. I refuse to accept that they cast someone as adorable as Cristin Milioti only to kill her off by the end of the series. That’s just cruel.

    Comment by Kat – January 30, 2014 07:19 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think this site is pushing the “mother” is dead theory or not debunking it because its a source of website traffic for them which eventually leads to revenue..They know its a hot button issue….. Not cool!

    Comment by drewm987 – January 30, 2014 07:22 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • That is how websites make money, stay open and give you the read breaking news and exclusives. Because they can show high traffic levels.

      Comment by Some chick – January 30, 2014 07:39 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I’ve seen at least a half dozen sites talk about this theory, not sure why OP is acting like its some TVline thing. All they did was post a poll with like a lots of other options too.

        Comment by Lauren – January 30, 2014 07:49 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • You realize you’re viewing this site for free, right? Yet the people creating this content still have to be paid somehow, and they likely do that through clicks and advertising. Posting an article about an admitted “hot button issue” to drive traffic is smart business sense.

      Comment by Katherine215 – January 30, 2014 07:45 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I feel that it might be that “The Mother is dead” but I really, really hope that it isn’t. I have thought that for a long time, though, that they might do some reveal that Robin and Barney aren’t together, that the Mother has passed, and that Ted is telling the kids this story not only to tell the story of how he met their mother, but how he met his new girlfriend, Robin. (But ugh, please no.)

    Comment by Adam – January 30, 2014 07:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The kids’ attitude gives me hope for the mother. On the down side, this is Ted we are talking about. He could certainly make grief seem boring.

    Comment by Snot Myname – January 30, 2014 07:35 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Maybe Ted’s kids have threatened to kill him when he finishes the story.

    Comment by RockGolf (@rock_golf) – January 30, 2014 07:36 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I still like the theory: Robin just died, and he’s telling them that she was the reason they got together. That’s why the story starts when he met Robin

    Comment by Dina – January 30, 2014 07:39 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • The reason the narrative begins with when Ted and Robin met is because when they met was the same time that Barney and Robin met. Since Ted met the mother at Barney and Robin’s wedding, it makes sense to start the tale there. It doesn’t mean that Robin is dead.

      Comment by Michael Sacal – January 30, 2014 08:12 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Also isn’t when Ted meets Robin also the Mother’s 21st birthday and the day Max dies? We’d need to hear things from the time Ted and Robin meet not just because it sets up the ultimate Barney/Robin wedding but to point out how important things in Ted’s life and the mother’s life sync up time wise. It’s because of Barney/Robin that he meets the Mother so how he met Robin and how Robin met Barney are significant, as is when the Mother lost Max. You’d start with when he met Robin.

        Comment by S. – January 30, 2014 12:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Indeed. She’s the lynchpin. Without her, nothing happens. She is important because she drives many of the decisions Ted has made over the last eight years.

          Comment by Michael Sacal – January 30, 2014 02:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Also, Robin is (more or less) the first girl he laid eyes on when he decided to start searching for “the one,” a search prompted by Marshall and Lily’s engagement.

          Comment by A – January 31, 2014 06:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • In the first episode, the kids say, “Aunt Robin?! I thought this was about how you met MOM” or something like that. I don’t think they’d be so flippant and confused if Robin was dead…especially since it was established in the fourth season that Robin was/is extremely close to his kids.

      Comment by anonanon – January 30, 2014 09:48 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’m with Dina — maybe something happened to Robin or Barney, and Ted is telling the story not just because he swore he would someday tell his kids everything, but to pay homage to a great friend who was essentially the reason he met The Mother.

      Comment by A – January 30, 2014 01:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’ve been thinking that, too. That Aunt Robin died or is sick. Cobie Smulders said she knew of the ending and said it was heartbreaking and she needed a moment.

      Comment by Colleen Verbus – February 1, 2014 02:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I feel like the mother being dead or dying would be waaayyy too obvious. I think that the kids are about to start dating or something.

    Comment by Raquel – January 30, 2014 07:41 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Robin cant be dying, her and Lily get together every couple of years to talk about the “Mike Tyson” incident

      Comment by Desiree Nicole – January 30, 2014 07:55 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • One of the kids is starting to date, and Ted is telling them about all of the women Barney and the dad have had sex with,

    Comment by MM – January 30, 2014 07:48 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Mother’s dead, Barney’s dead/out of the picture, and Ted and Robin are about to get married since they’re really the one true pairing of HIMYM (not counting Lily/Marshall).

    Comment by Guest – January 30, 2014 07:56 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • One True Pairing is Barney/Robin

      Comment by Larry – January 30, 2014 10:13 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I agree. They’ve been perfect together since the very beginning. I don’t understand how some people still want Ted and Robin to end up together. Robin is very important in his life, but not who he is meant to end up with, Robin and Barney are perfect.

        Comment by tjlane94 – March 4, 2014 08:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • she ran off with Barney

    Comment by Robert Waltman – January 30, 2014 08:13 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Well… when his parents got divorced – he said that he would want one day to tell the story to his kids of how he had met their mother… There’s a reason…

    Comment by Lubomir Raykov – January 30, 2014 08:15 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes, he promised to tell them the whole story, but people are questioning why he chose now. I voted for he’s hiding from his mother-in-law, because I thought that would be funny to see. I don’t want the mother to be dead, and I don’t think the writers would go through so much trouble to flesh out her character if she was just going to die.

      Comment by Mary – January 30, 2014 08:49 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If the Mother is dead, then this whole story is completely inappropriate (well, even more inappropriate than if she’s not). Why would he tell the kids about the Slap Bet, or Barney’s Perfect Week, or all those stories about the other women he slept with/proposed to if their mom is dead and buried? Don’t even think about it, Carter Bays, don’t even think about it.

    Comment by Babybop – January 30, 2014 08:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Absolutely this.

      Plus kiss off ANY syndication viewership if the show is turned into a 9 year funeral eulogy.

      Comment by John NYC – January 30, 2014 09:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It was mentioned a week or two ago that the last scene with the kids was filmed way back in 2006 right? So I think there are three scenarios because of that: 1) The Mother is not around during the story (for whatever reason); 2) They insert the Mother like they just did on this past episode; 3) They just have the Mother’s voice.

    Comment by Jerry – January 30, 2014 08:27 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • She sits the kids down and tells them “that’s not how it happened at all! Your dad always gets it wrong” or words to that effect, lol

      Comment by Michael Sacal – January 30, 2014 08:31 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Okay, here’s a theory – the three couples (M-L, B-R & T-the Mother) got together for their semi-annual ‘couples night’ out in 2030, and things got a bit out of control at the party, too much booze and such, and the next morning, they all wake up in various states of hang-over and undress, and can’t find Barney and ‘the Mother.’

    Where’s Mom? Where’s Uncle Barney? The ever cool Ted says – “Well kids, let me tell you about the time ….”

    That’s how I would end the last episode and series. It ends at Farmhampton station, Ted meets the mother, and then after the commercial break, we see the cast saying goodbye to the studio audience, and then at the last second, a quick cut to the post party ‘morning after’ scene when the gang (now much older in 2030+/-), is looking for ‘Mom’ and Uncle Barney.

    No one is dying, everyone is fine, but the gang has once again tested the boundaries of ‘appropriate behavior.’ No wonder the kids looks so disgusted at their elders. A happy ending, with a quick curve to end the story on a ‘to be continued’ note. Kind of a ‘Newhart-like’ finish… the best kind.

    Comment by Goodbye Universe Guy – January 30, 2014 08:29 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Implying that the Mother and Barney slept together? I don’t think I would like that. All this time setting up how perfect she is for Ted and how happy they are together, all for her to have a drunken one-night fling with one of Ted’s best friends? No thank you.

      Also, they can’t show the gang saying goodbye to the studio audience because the show isn’t shot in front of a live studio audience.

      Comment by Eric – January 30, 2014 08:37 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • No, no, we’re still good. It is only ‘implied’. We don’t see Barney or the Mother in that ‘morning after scene’ – that’s all. Then the very last scene, maybe 30 seconds worth, we see a darken bedroom, a couple in the bed, and it’s Barney who pops up from the bed and says: “Wow, what a dream I had last night after our couples night out.” And it is indeed Robin who is in the bed next to Barney, she turns on the nightstand light, illuminating the room and she say’s – “That’s great, Barney, now go back to sleep.”

        She’s turns off the light, then he turns on the light on his nightstand and says: ” No, wait, this could be the start of the something – this could be truly LEGEND… wait for it.”

        Fade to black.

        A cool, happy ending, and a nod to the ‘Newhart’ show and their ending. I think CB/CT want something memorable to end the series – this could be that ending.

        Comment by Goodbye Universe Guy – January 30, 2014 10:24 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • lol, i think this is why you’re not a sitcom writer.

          Comment by emil – January 30, 2014 09:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • As a Swarkles fan I do not like this theory at all.

      Comment by Mary – January 30, 2014 08:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • That is so stupid. One, they don’t have a live studio audience and why would they say goodbye to it in the middle of the episode proper? That would be stupid. And yeah, the mother and Barney ain’t havin’ no one night stand. How I Met Your Mother is soooo not the kind of show that would ever have a stupid, dumbass, badly written ending like that.

      Comment by tjlane94 – March 4, 2014 08:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What if one of the children is about to leave for New-York? Think about it, Ted is always talking about how amazing New-York is and almost every story is happening in NY or has something to do with being a New-yorker. Since the house he bought is located in the suburbs, maybe he’s sharing his stories to his childrens so they can learn about his experience in the city.

    Comment by Inès – January 30, 2014 08:31 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • in 2030 I believe the kids are ‘supposed’ to be 15 and 13 so thats a bit young for them to be moving out

      Comment by jenna – January 30, 2014 08:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think either the mother or Ted is sick.If it is Ted he may want his kids to know how their parents got together before he dies and that way his dying won’t be so sad.I don’t think the mother is dead

    Comment by Andrew Hass – January 30, 2014 09:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I have no idea how the show will end, but I highly doubt the reveal will concern anyone’s death. After all, we are talking about a sitcom. Why would the show end on such a sad note?

    Comment by Dan – January 30, 2014 09:09 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Well, look how Roseanne ended.

      Comment by Gavin – February 15, 2014 05:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What I want to know is when does Ted turn into Bob Saget?

    Comment by Brendan – January 30, 2014 09:21 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • The same time the mother turns into Lori Loughlin ;)

      Comment by Mary – January 30, 2014 09:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Hey 2005 called. Even they don’t want that joke back because they now realize how poorly crafted, and overall unimportant, it is.

      Comment by tjlane94 – March 4, 2014 09:02 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I really think that we all of speculated on what might have happened to the Mother. The Producer’s of this show must be laughing at all of our crazy comments. I will add another speculation and that is maybe that had a huge argument and she left to clear her head, the kids were upset so Dad decided to tell them the story of how he met her. If you notice sometimes the look on the kids faces show boredom. Which makes me think that Ted is making his story telling to long and the kids are sitting there patiently waiting for the end, The end might happen when the Mom walks in and Ted jumps up and goes to her and they both apologize to each other, hug and kiss, and Ted turns to the kids and says “AND, THIS IS WHY I MARRIED YOUR MOTHER ” ! I can only hope for something like this scenario.

    Comment by Pat – January 30, 2014 09:27 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If the Mother is dead, that’s just too morbid for a sitcom. It took 9 years to see her and then the point of the story is that she died?? She’s either about to win an award or she’s going to have another baby (named Leia!)

    Comment by Mikael – January 30, 2014 09:28 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The show has already answered the question of why Ted is telling his kids the story of how he met their mother, with every little detail included. In the ep where Robin meets his parents he finds out that there is so much stuff that they haven’t told him, even the fact that they have been divorced for months and his grandmother died. They even reveal that Ted’s mother was a lot like Robin in not wanting to get married or have kids but that Ted’s dad wore her down till she agreed, and while she loves her kids she does regret not following her dreams. Ted swore at the end of the ep that when he had kids he was going to tell them everything (well almost we do know that he didn’t actually tell them the 3-some story that was for us). Now why he had chosen this moment to tell them is another story.

    Comment by ejdax37 – January 30, 2014 09:28 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • It’s not about why he’s telling the story. It’s about why he chose the time he did. What is going on in 2030 that makes him want to tell his kids this story? Carter Bays and Craig Thomas have already stated that there is a reason for the time he chose.

      Comment by tjlane94 – March 4, 2014 09:04 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • another theory Marshall failed to save the planet and they’re all gonna die soon

    Comment by Robert Waltman – January 30, 2014 09:30 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • This is Jason Segel’s preferred ending – that the camera will pull back to reveal the apocalypse.

      Comment by anonanon – January 30, 2014 09:50 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I have a feeling they will reveal that the mother was there the whole time listening tot he story, right next to Ted.

    Comment by FranksLovesYou – January 30, 2014 09:36 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • when they had the bit where the kids were all grown up and were harping on Ted to get on with it, though i realize it was meant to be tongue in cheek and a wink to the audience, it makes me think it’ll be a glass half full scenario. they’d be sad if the mother was dead. and if Ted started telling the story and did so for 10 years (again, i know it was meant to be tongue in cheek), then he’d probably not sick or dying. frankly, i don’t really care to speculate, but i’ll trust HIMYM to give me a generally uplifting answer/finale. in fact, maybe the reason why he’s telling his kids has nothing to do with either of them, maybe it has to do with robin or barney or lily marshall.

    Comment by cjeffery7 – January 30, 2014 09:36 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Trying to give them an inspirational talk that there’s more to life than international assassination and wizardry? Having discovered some REALLY disturbing things in their respective closets….

    Comment by John NYC – January 30, 2014 09:49 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • At first I tought the mother was dead but now I am not so sure. Over the last few seasons, the writers enjoyed destroying every theory the fans came up with, for example Wendy the waitress is the mother, Victoria is the mother, Barney’s sister is the mother and a few others i don’t remember right now. The death of the mother is a very popular theory since Time Travelers and I have the feeling the writers will make a twist just to prove we were wrong. So to conclude I vo-ted (see what I’m doing? :p) for Ted hiding from his mother in law ^^

    Comment by Azerty – January 30, 2014 09:50 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • From a cbsnews.com article:

    “…in 2006, with the series in its second season and the possibility existing that it could be on for several more years, Bays and Thomas realized they’d better film that final scene right away. After all, the actors were growing up, would soon look different and wouldn’t even be able to fit in the clothes they wear while sitting on the couch.

    One day Bays and Thomas brought the young actors in, closed the set to all but one camera operator, and filmed the two-minute scene that will bring the series to a close. Henrie and Fonseca signed non-disclosure agreements. So intent on keeping the secret, Fonseca put it out of her mind and doesn’t even remember what they filmed, Thomas said on Wednesday.

    Through all the seasons that have come since, there hasn’t been any reason to change it, he said.

    ‘It’s been the plan all along,’ he said.”

    So, if they were able to film the final scene eight years ago, it CANNOT include the Mother. Where’s Mom, then? Sick, dead, fighting world poverty?

    Comment by Bob – January 30, 2014 10:02 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Offscreen to the side?

      And these days with digital manipulation, as with the recent episode where they say they played around, it would be cheap and easy to insert her in that old footage, either walking in or revealed in an expanding wide shot…

      Comment by John NYC – January 30, 2014 12:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Look, I understand the theory that the Mother is dead and I’m not totally opposed to it. But I feel like any chance of her being dead in order to get back together with Robin was effectively killed (no pun intended) by having the Mother have a dead boyfriend. The message clearly seems to be a subversion of the idea of The One – both The Mother and Ted thought they found The One with other people, but in actuality it was an important part of their journey to each other. It doesn’t invalidate the love they had for the others and both of those relationships are incredibly important to who they both are as people, but at the end of the day, it made them ready for each other at the right place, right time. There seems to be three different kinds of love stories presented on HIMYM:

    1) True love found right off the bat, nearly at first sight (M/L)
    2) True love found slowly, over time, through a friendship that creeps up on you and surprises you (B/R)
    3) True love found after years of growth and years of hopelessly loving someone else, only for it all to make sense in the end (T/M)

    So to kill off the Mother only to have Ted get back together with Robin makes the entire point of the series and the relationship, well, pointless. Kind of like, “HAHA PSYCH! You really DO only get one chance at true love and that first person you met really WAS the right one. If you lose someone like that, don’t bother trying to move on.”

    And if that’s actually the message of HIMYM? Well, frankly, that’s way more morbid than just the simple fact of the Mother being dead or Ted dying.

    Comment by anonanon – January 30, 2014 10:02 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Good points – I agree. However, we don’t really know (yet) what the message of HIMYM is. That’s what makes this series so interesting [IMHO], and different from other ‘situation’ comedies. They’ve never taken the ‘easy way out.’ Every bit of ‘found love’ comes at a price, every friendship gets tested – particularly the one between Ted and Barney, which IMHO this season (9) has been the best relationship of the group – always on edge, always being ‘tested.’ If CT/CB had wanted to make things simple, we never would have seen that Central Park scene last year (Something Old). Once I saw that episode, I knew CT/CB were not going to take the easy way out. I admire that a great deal.

      I believe the series is ‘loosely’ autobiographical? The story of CB/CT and their story of growing up as young adults, finding love, getting married, etc. I’m not 100% certain that ‘the message’ of HIMYM is all about happy endings and true love – that’s for other series. This one may be trying to dig a bit deeper, although I think your analysis of the various types of ‘love’ depicted in HIMYM (1, 2 & 3) is spot on.

      The question in my mind is, what ‘message’ is CT/CB trying to convey with the series – I think the ‘true love’, everything happy, happy is too easy a way out for them and HIMYM. I still think they have to try for ‘something more’ in the way of an ending. I think that’s what they are looking for. I read where they are watching the endings of other iconic series – ‘Cheers’, etc. Those types of series had ‘happy endings’, but with a bit of a melancholy approach. A hybrid of happiness and melancholy. That may be what CT/CB are thinking for ‘the end’.

      Comment by Goodbye Universe Guy – January 30, 2014 10:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • i love that analysis of the different types of love stories being presented in the show. it does make himym stand apart from other sitcoms. it has always been about relationships- between friends, lovers, spouses- and the challenges those relationships face and the way conflicts are resolved or not. it is the most interesting aspect of the series and for the “point” of the show to simply be an exploration of the way that 6 people find love and friendship in unique but ultimately all successful ways then i think that would be fitting to the show as a whole over its nine year run. i, for one, would be extremely satisfied.

      Comment by murley – January 30, 2014 02:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The mother ran off with Barney

    Comment by JB – January 30, 2014 10:07 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • did Barney call Dibs?

      Comment by ArchieLeach – January 30, 2014 10:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • :)

        Comment by Goodbye Universe Guy – January 30, 2014 10:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think they’d have a fear that killing the mother might harm the show’s future syndication value.

    The show then becomes about “a guy talking about meeting his dead wife.”

    Comment by NJMark – January 30, 2014 10:15 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • You are so right.

      Comment by Asta – January 30, 2014 11:31 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Oh totally. I think they’d never have written the scenes with the kids this way if the Mother was dead, but if it’s about concern over syndication value, that alone should sink this. The Mother lives, folks.

      Comment by S. – January 30, 2014 12:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • A nine years long funeral eulogy?

        How would that not sell itself, especially as a comedy…..

        Comment by John NYC – January 30, 2014 12:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m kind of o.k. with it ending sad. The entire run of the show is about how no one really gets what they want but they’re still happy. Marshal didn’t ge to be a great environmental lawyer, Lilly was never an artist, Barney wasn’t single and awesome his entire life, and Robin never got to be a great tv reporter (maybe?) I’d be o.k. if it turned out Ted never really got the happily ever after romance he wanted but he got two kids that he loves.

    Comment by ArchieLeach – January 30, 2014 10:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • But Barney doesn’t want to be single the rest of his life, he moved on from that.

      Comment by Sam – January 30, 2014 10:42 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • This ^ This show, HIMYM, is different than other ‘situation’ comedies. No one ever really gets exactly what they want in life, but you find a way to try to be happy and grateful for what you have. None of the five main characters are getting exactly what they envisioned – they have to make compromises and accept the life that they get.

      Lily is the role-model for this compromise acceptance, and Ted is moving in that direction as well. Eventually, all five will. That’s life. ‘Found love’ that comes at a price, long simmering worry, heartbreaking realization, quiet acceptance. That rooftop scene between Lily and Ted in ‘Band or DJ?’ is at the core of this series – ‘happily ever after’ is very, very hard to find in life. But you need to try anyway, and maybe you’ll find some good life long friends in the process. Maybe that will be ‘the message’ of HIMYM and what CT/CB are trying to leave us with.

      Comment by Goodbye Universe Guy – January 30, 2014 11:20 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Seems pretty clear the intent has long been the Mother is dead. The yellow umbrella which the series uses to symbolize her character is also used as a symbol for cervical cancer.

    http://www.theyellowumbrella.org/

    Comment by CoryB – January 30, 2014 10:49 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Or maybe they picked it because it stands out, and is easily recognizable.

      Comment by NJMark – January 31, 2014 01:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • In a recent HIMYM podcast they were asked that and the answer given was after the blue horn and something green it was the primary color that was available. …

        Comment by John 1138 – January 31, 2014 02:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • um…red?
          (green isn’t a primary color)

          Comment by Cheryl Doby Stauffer – February 10, 2014 09:31 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • red cowboy boots. (but, yeah, green isn’t a primary color)

            Comment by jenthigpenn – March 17, 2014 06:01 PM PDT  
  • The pilot starts with the kids asking if they are being punished when Ted starts the story. If the mother is dead they are not reacting that way. Plain and simple. She’s not dead.

    Comment by sd – January 30, 2014 11:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • To clarify, I don’t think she is recently dead. I think she has been dead for a while.

      Comment by SJ – January 30, 2014 11:21 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I guess i don’t see how even if she was not recently dead that the kids would feel like it was a punishment. I mean even if their mother had died years earlier I don’t think they would react as if its a punishment to hear how their Father met their Mother.

        Comment by sd – January 30, 2014 11:47 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Exactly. If anything they’d want to hear it. It’s not clear she’s dead to anybody but people who want to believe she is and if you do, that’s just messed up.

          Comment by S. – January 30, 2014 12:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Agreed, especially when they’ve never heard the story in its entirety before, which is the implication.

          Comment by Faster – January 30, 2014 01:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I hope it’s something silly like one of the kids has to write a report on how their parents met and regret ever asking in the first place :P

    Comment by Anita – January 30, 2014 01:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m starting to lean toward the idea that Barney died, and this whole long drawn-out story is how much Ted owes to his friend.

    Either that, or they’re moving to Chicago, and this whole story has been leading up to how Ted almost moved there, but then he met The Mother and stayed in New York, but recently got another job offer.

    Comment by A – January 30, 2014 02:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If the mother is dead, it would totally ruin and taint the entire series for me. Much like Dexter’s S8 and end.

    Can’t believe I even have to worry about this. Series shouldn’t have this kinda of cloud or potential twist. Be a regular show with a normal end…for once.

    Comment by Joe – January 30, 2014 02:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • To be clear, it is the viewers who are giving the ending this “cloud.”

      Comment by Rachel – January 30, 2014 09:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It’s a plot device being used to do a TV show #meta.

    Comment by Michael Sacal – January 30, 2014 03:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Kids were punished for “Eating a Sandwhich” and Ted has decided to tell them the longest story in the history of the universe as punishment.

    Comment by RobMF – January 30, 2014 03:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The kids always looks so “teenage” (aka…irritated by dad) and since that was filmed in season one I would hate them to look that way if mom has died!

    Comment by Rosalyn – January 30, 2014 03:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Dont think the mother is dead/is dying. Simply based on the manner the story is being said and the body language of the kids listening to the story especially considering the season 9 promo/first episode of the series. Another point to consider is the potential HIMYD series that may happen, really doubt that would take off KNOWING the mother dies in the end regardless of how funny and what not the journey is in between. The most probable reasons are anniversary, whole gang meets up etc something not too complicated. THAT BEING SAID, the mother dying to be with her ‘soulmate’ max and Ted ending up with Robin, his ‘soulmate’ makes sense in a way. However, very unlikely so dont worry.

    Comment by AB – January 30, 2014 03:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • the spin off has nothing to do with the mother, its based around an entirely new set of characters.

      Comment by Alan – January 30, 2014 03:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m going with Maclaren’s is closing it’s doors for good and the gang is going to see it one last time and the kids don’t gey why. So, he tells them how he met their mother becuase most of what is important to him including how he got to the point where he was emotionally ready to be with the mother happened at Maclaren’s.

    Comment by Tookie Clothespin – January 30, 2014 04:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • First of all – your screenname is awesome because it is a Gilmore Girls reference and that is one of my all time favorite shows.
      Second of all – never considered the McClaren’s thing, but you could totally be right. That’s where the story started, and that could be where it ends!

      Comment by Babybop – January 30, 2014 06:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Clever idea, particularly since Bays mentioned he has been watching the Cheers finale as inspiration. Of course we all know what’s going in MacLarens’ space. Ahhhhhh……Goliath National Bank………..member FDIC

      Comment by Tommy Westphall – January 31, 2014 09:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • No, it’ll be a grand-reopening of Puzzles.

        Comment by amg503 – February 1, 2014 01:20 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Personally, I feel that all of this speculation is starting to ruin what should be a momentous season (though the whole “wedding weekend’ season hasn’t helped). Is it too much trouble for everyone to just enjoy the season and stop speculating about the end.
    That being said, since we’re offering theories, here’s mine. What if the mother’s dead, but Ted’s also dead (let’s say that Ranjit killed them in a car crash). Future Ted has been narrating a DVD Blu-Ray the entire time.
    Right or (probably)wrong, I really feel that HIMYM needs to end with someone dead/dying because if no one dies, then everyone gets their “happily ever after” and in my opinion, HIMYM has never been a series that promotes the “happily ever after” narrative.
    Just my 2 cents.

    Comment by CJ – January 30, 2014 04:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Guess I haven’t gotten that sense from them.

      Comment by Sam – January 30, 2014 05:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I feel it would ridiculously cruel for the Mother to be dead. Ted spends the entire series looking for the perfect woman and then after finding her, she dies young? That would just mean he didn’t get much time with her at all and after everything he’s been through, he just deserves better. I think fans would get angry which in turn will make them not want to watch How I Met Your Father so I hope they plan better.

    Comment by Callie – January 30, 2014 05:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Or it could be that Robin has been the one for Ted all along, but it just took other women (Victoria, Stella, the mother, etc.) for him to realize this.

      Comment by Anon – January 30, 2014 05:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • That would be horrible too, Robin has a purpose to get Ted interested in finding the one. No need to beat a dead horse.

        Comment by Ted – January 30, 2014 06:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • we have had 8 seasons explaining why robin is wrong for ted and that his obsession with her is holding him back from happiness, why cant people see that?

        Comment by Alan – January 31, 2014 03:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • omg get over the whole ted/robin getting together idea… not happening. Its been made clear from the start, and even clearer as the season progressed over the past 9 years.

        Comment by SimonP – January 31, 2014 04:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

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