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

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 are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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214 Comments
  1. Why does there have to be a reason? Maybe Ted just got really nostalgic one day and started talking about how he met there mother. It’s not like it’s actually taken him 8 years to tell them. I think they’re together and happy, and we’ll probably get to see the whole gang (the mother included) together in the “future”.

    • John 1138 says:

      Well there doesn’t “have” to be but per the above article the “why” is going to be revealed, so that is the creative choice they’ve made….

      “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.”

    • barbara says:

      I think it has been over the 8 years since the kids have grown up on that couch before our very eyes.

  2. Jake says:

    I don’t think it’s going to be a sad ending. The kids’ reactions, especially in the earlier seasons, would not make sense if, say, the mother is recently deceased or if Ted is dying. The kids were kind of sarcastic, rolling their eyes, making interjections, etc. Also, they weren’t dressed up formally, so it seems it isn’t after a funeral or something. The “dead mother” ending was something I hadn’t considered on my own before – initially it seemed like an interesting twist ending, but at this point it would just be a huge bummer because we’ve gotten to know the titular mother.

  3. day2day says:

    Completely from left field. I wondered if it had something to do with her music. For they are killing time waiting for her to come home after a tour? Or maybe she is graduating from college at a later age?

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  5. SeanR says:

    The mother being dead would be the TV equivalent of the ending of Mass Effect 3, and would probably provoke a similar backlash.

  6. SimonP says:

    I’m hoping its coz ted and the mother are renewing their vows or something. They will have been together for about 15 years, and they are clearly the love of each others lives. Maybe its the night before their due to renew their vows and ted feels its a good time to tell their kids how they met :)

  7. Rich Abey says:

    Over 30% of readers think the Mother is dead? Folks…this is HIMYM, not Breaking Bad or GOT where main characters die every week!

  8. Jane says:

    Honestly, I think it is as simple as one of the kids casually asking, so how did you and Mom meet and Ted, being Ted, went on this convoluted rant. It will end with one of the kids saying, you couldn’t just say you meet her at Aunt Robin and Uncle Barney’s wedding?”

  9. Shayna says:

    In season 2 Ted tells his parents that when he tells his kids the story of how he meets their mother he’s going to tell them everything, the whole story. I don’t think there is necessarily a reason he picked that day to tell them.

    • MaryK says:

      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.

  10. Robert Waltman says:

    what instead of the mother dying Ted is dying he wants kids to know how he How I Met Your Mother

  11. Frozenfingers says:

    Erm, there is a song on the season 5 DVD from Ted’s daughter including the lyric ” I can’t wait till mom get’s home”!!How about that?

  12. Marc says:

    The troll that started the rumor that the mother is dead is having a good laugh.

  13. doug says:

    I do not understand why people think she is dead. In the pilot episode when Ted tells the children he is going to tell them the story of how he met their mother the daughter asks “is this going to take long?” and the son says “yeah, are we being punished for something?”

    Now tell me, what brother and sister would respond like that if they were told they’re going to hear a story about their dead mother? It doesn’t make sense, and if it doesn’t make sense then usually it isn’t true.

  14. RojoCube says:

    She’s not dead, Ted already said she still sings show tunes with her breakfast and I quote “to this day it is still the most hauntingly beautiful thing I ever heard.”

  15. Alex says:

    When he talks about things the mother does, say singing for example, he says, “I’VE heard your mother sing a thousand times.” Seems that if she were dead, he’d say, “I HEARD your mother…” I also don’t think the writers would be so awful to the fans who’ve waited faithfully for 9 years to meet this woman, and who have also been forced to warm up to her for a whole season. It would be MADNESS!!!

  16. Kenneth says:

    I’m thinking that Ted may be requesting the kids to do something embarassing (for them) to surprise their mum on their wedding anniversary.

    The kids don’t want to do so and so Ted tries to convince them by telling them how much he met their mother.

    I really don’t think the mother will be dead since it, even though being a major plot twist, would be kind of a bad ending for a show like this. If this was a thriller or horror movie then perhaps, a twist this big would be appropriate.

  17. Ted is the one dying. It’s a near-death “life flashing before one’s eyes” experience. That’s why it’s taking so long.

  18. NyoraMaria says:

    When Ted’s parents visited, he mentioned one reason. He and his parents, specially his dad, never told him any story nor talk about anything at all (other than sports). At one point he asked them how they met coz he was never told of their story. So he promised himself that when he has his own kids, he’ll tell them everything. Every little detail.

  19. TakeMeToIceland! says:

    I don’t think the mother would be dead, it’s a sitcom!!

    Is it just me or the daughter looks more like robin than “the mother”! Is it possible that robin is their biological mother? Maybe “the mother” had health issues and she couldn’t have her own babies “The yellow umbrella is also a symbol for cervical cancer” (Google it!)

    So that’s why the story is complicated and it involves around robin more than the mother??

    Or maybe they are adopted!!

    Just my theory!

  20. Whitney says:

    I doubt she’s dead. What are the chances her first love died, and then she finds love again with Ted, and then she dies? But I guess you never know..

  21. Nerf says:

    She ran off with Barney. After several years and two children with the staggeringly dull Ted Mopesby she just needed someone Legend(wait for it)ary

    • Teddy Chicago-bound says:

      I know a lot of fans don’t like this theory, but it could be kind of funny if done right. Wouldn’t have to be a permanent thing, just a crazy lapse in judgement, it happens to the best of us type scenario. All is forgiven, onward they go.

  22. Cade says:

    Ted is telling the story because it is a chapter out of The Playbook.

    Okay, so that’s lame and doesn’t make sense. I got nothing. If YM has passed, I just hope it’s as sweet and romantic as possible..

  23. fakename says:

    The mother can’t be dead because they are making that spin-off, How I met your dad, told from her perspective.

  24. bhardwaj says:

    he is jobless..:P

  25. Abigail says:

    The mother is not dead. 20 years from now Ted said that he is married. That’s past 2030.

  26. Teddywestside says:

    Maybe Ted is telling the story because he is sick and the kids don’t know. In the first season when Ted does the dating service his highest match tells him he has a basil cell carcinoma which can be cancerous maybe he got another mole and he has cancer and he’s telling the kids the whole story so they know about his life and he’s telling them the story before he tells them he is sick

  27. I really hope that they can find an other end but I think that would be because the mother is dead. (even if it would be sad)
    First because Codie Smulders (Robin) said that she cried when the directors told her the story of the last episode.
    And because at one moment we see actually Ted bringing the mother to the hospital (for the second baby) if I remember well, but not after this second birth…so I guess she could have died at the hospital for the second birth. Just a guess.

  28. Everton says:

    I don’t think she is dead because in the beginning when Ted was starting to tell his kids about how he met her they complained and looked annoyed by the idea of it and in the seventh episode of the first season they tried to get away from the story. If she was dead they would pay more respect to the story.

  29. waterlillies says:

    To me this show has been about fate and faith. Everything happens for a reason and takes us where we need to go. That said I don’t think that the mother is dead, but she may be I’ll or having surgery and Ted telling his kids how they met could be his way of reminding them (and himself) of that. The show has to have an element of bitter sweetness at the end, as it’s had throughout it’s run. The mother being sick would also be the reason for a reunion if the gang at the end, rallying around Ted and his family.

  30. Jo says:

    Well now we know pretty much for sure that the mother is dying. This most recent episode put the final nail in the coffin (no pun intended) I am so p*#%ed off about this. We have watch this show for 9 years and when we finally get to see Ted’s happy ending they are going to take it away from him? This is just wrong.

    • LB says:

      I want to believe that the creators of this show would not end the show with the mother dying. The theory has been out there for years and I just really hope that they wouldn’t end it in such an obvious way. What I’m hoping, is that this episode (3/3/14) was set up to trick us all. It just seemed like there were way to many obvious “hints” dropped tonight that lead us all to think she’s dead. Again, they just seemed very deliberate and obvious!!! I mean, really??!! Is this really how they are going to end a sitcom?!!

  31. Tammy says:

    I think that the mother is sick and getting surgery but They haven’t told the kids and the kids wanted to know where there mom went and he’s telling this story to distract them. Or maybe Ted is suffering Alzheimer’s and is trying to tell the story to his kids before he forgets and that’s why sometimes forgets what happened and sometimes the stories make no sense.

  32. Chuck says:

    disappointing end? does anyone remember how MASH ended?

  33. Matt says:

    I have a different theory that I expect few will accept.

    Ted is dead.

    That explains why the narrator’s voice has never been his. Someone is reading the story to them. All the other hints that made people think the mom is dead still apply. Maybe the mom won’t make the daughter’s wedding, but maybe she will and it’s TED that misses it because of his whatever it is they are skirting around towards the end of Vesuvius.

    That’s my theory and I’d put serious Vegas money behind it.

  34. Jo says:

    Maybe lily is dead and they are having a weekend together before the funeral and Lilly’s daughter is getting married so she won’t have her mom there? Or maybe Ted’s mom died and didn’t make it to their wedding. I am just grasping at straws here because I cannot believe that the writers would end this 9 year love story with a tragedy for ted. Especially since they are planning a show based on this one. If they kill of ted or the mother I for one will not be tuning it to see how I met your dad.why would I? To spend another 9 years rooting for the main character to find love only to have them end up with a devastating ending anyways? And I think I am not the only one who feels that way. There is enough sad and miserable things in this world for us to be sad and depressed about. A feel good tv show about true love should not be ended on such a horrible sad note that basically says “hey ted your a great sweet romantic guy who spent years looking for the one woman that was your everything and oh sorry you you found her but you don’t get to grow old with her. We are going to kill her off and leave you alone and devastated as a single dad in your late 40’s early 50’s.” No happy ending for the sweetest most deserving man on tv. I get that it’s a show but sitcoms are meant to make you feel good. Not make you feel like love never wins and even if you find your true love it won’t last no matter how much you love each other. This just totally sucks. I will be devastated if they ruin my favorite show by ending it in heartbreak.

  35. RD says:

    I reckon Robin is the one that’s dead/dying. The whole thing started with Ted meeting her, and then it’s been pretty much about him falling in (and out and in again) love with her. Not to mention, her wedding plays a crucial role in Ted finally (moving on) and meeting the Mother.

  36. Jo says:

    hate to say it but I am actually hoping that it is Robin who died and that’s why he is telling the story because without robin he wouldn’t have met the mother. And in the episode that they flash forward to them when they are old playing cards on the deck it is only ted, lily, Marshall and the mother (not in the shot but she’s in the house) there was No robin or Barney in that future story so robin could be dead. He could be telling the story to show the kids how imperative robin was to the story of how he met the mother. I know robin is alive in a bunch of flash forwards but if she died in 2030 then she could have still been around for those flash forwards because she would be close to 50 when she dies in 2030. I have always loved robin but I love ted the most and all I want is for him to get his happy ending. So I would actually be ok with robin dying as long as ted gets his happy ending with the mother

  37. TedMosby says:

    my choice would be the mother is dead. To finally wrap up her story since the concept of death is open in himym since her boyfriend died before she met ted. And also im thinking of the possibility that aunt Robin would be their Step Mom.

  38. fan says:

    It still doesnt jive with the kids reaction season 1 and 2 but what if Ted is dead and someone is reading the memories to them from a diary or letters he left so they could really know him when he was gone.

  39. barbara says:

    Is it possible that the kids are watching a previously recorded tape from Ted and he is the one that is gone (thank you Sixth Sense)?

  40. barbara says:

    Maybe the kids are watching Ted’s (Dad’s) video diary while expecting bad news which turns out fine at the end. There’s never a conversation with the kids despite their questioning of Robin being referred to as “Aunt” in one episode. OR maybe Ted and the mother go to bed but upon waking in the middle of the night Ted turns on the lights and it’s Bob Newhart next to him (pretty old reference)!

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