How I Met Your Mother Series Finale First Look: What the Heck Is Ted Doing With [Spoiler]?!

Brace yourselves, How I Met Your Mother fans. TVLine has obtained a handful of photos from the first half of the CBS comedy’s one-hour series finale (airing March 31 at 8/7c), and some of ‘em scream, “Major freakin’ spoiler alert!”

PHOTOS | How I Met Your Mother Sneak Peek: The Wedding Has Arrived — and So Have the Nerves!

Among the big takeaways from the following first look at “Last Forever Part 1″: Robin and Ted engage in one of their favorite traditions — and then meet up years down the line!; Barney breaks out The Playbook; Ted and The Mother partake in some serious cuddling; and the gang share a group hug that already has us misty-eyed.

Check out the photo gallery and then head to the comments with your thoughts/theories on Robin and Ted’s mysterious meeting and her conveniently hidden hands.

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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109 Comments
  1. Mallory says:

    My Heart Can’t Handle This. (Why Must You Auto Capitalize Every Word, Phone???)

  2. trainwreck says:

    The last picture … i am not gonna say ANYTHING! i just dont want to jinx it! #BeenKindaWaitingForTHISSinceLastNineYears :P

  3. sasha says:

    I love TR when they were a couple and as best friends, my fave friendship but we see Ted’s hand and he has his ring but Robin(?) plus Barney has a new Playbook

  4. Joey Padron says:

    Photos for the finale looks good. Can’t wait to see it at end of this month.

  5. Meg says:

    Is that Leighton Meester? (On the left in the 4th photo)

  6. jed17 says:

    Also…notice Barney’s left hand in those pics in the bar….hmmmm?!?!

  7. Jim Sullivan says:

    The whole Barney/Robin thing was a new “play” by Barney to bring Ted and Robin together, but it got out of hand. Then the Mother dies and T/R is reborn at the very end.

  8. Nina says:

    I don’t think the mother is dying… I think it’s actually Robin.

    • Patrick says:

      I said that after the next to last ep when Ted was crying.

    • Gigikebo says:

      Yes! I think if the creators are going to go the sad, death route than it will be Robin Robin/Barney that dies. I think that if hints are being dropped then that is what they are pointing to. In the teaser photo Robin has not appeared to have aged much while Ted has, the finale trailer on the cliff? Possible final goodbye? To the best of my knowledge no future information about Robin has been revealed past 2016 and it would go away in explaining Ted’s near mythical retelling of her life to his kids when he is supposed to be telling them about their mother.

      • Lori G. says:

        In “Bad Crazy” (the episode where Robin takes Baby Marvin to a strip club with Mike Tyson), they do show several flash forwards with Robin and Lily which go as far as the year 2029. In each flash forward, however, Robin is hiding her left hand, so we can’t see if she has a wedding ring on. Ted’s story to his kids takes place in 2030, so either of these scenarios could be true. However, I think it’s more likely that it would be Barney who dies (although I personally still think the Mother dies based on “Vesuvius” and “The Time Travelers”…but I hope I’m wrong!).

  9. jenferner8 says:

    Her hands may be hidden but Ted is clearly still wearing his wedding band. I’m wondering if Barney’s passed on. That would be interesting since Barney’s not wearing a wedding band in the other picture.

  10. Andrew Hass says:

    I don’t know what the scenes in the photos mean.As for Barney and the new playbook that could be a different kind of playbook then what he had before.As for Ted and Robin they may get back together and before the wife died or if she’s dying she’s trying to make sure Ted is taken care of.However in the last picture it doesn’t look to me that Ted is happy to see Robin sitting there.Plus these are just from scenes from the first half of the final episode.

    • Tookie Clothespin says:

      Look again. They are eating a meal together. I never really bought into the mother is dead theory until looking at that last picture. I have a feeling one of two things is going to happen. One, the mother is dead, Ted is still in mourning and when he is having lunch with Robin she tells him that she is in love with him and always has been prompting him to stand up and look irritated at her, which is what the last picture is. Or two, the writers have some verbal or visual trick up their sleeve, like how a sandwich isn’t really a sandwich or the episode where Ted is always shown hanging out with the gang but it turns out in the end that he alone the entire episode becuase everybody was off doing couple things, that makes it so Robin can be the mother. Like, they were looking at old episoeds and found some loophole that would allow them to shoehorn Robin in at the very end. As long as the ending feels organic to the story and fits with the theme and tone of the show I don’t care how it ends but, I could see them trying one last twist of phrase or camera trick to get Ted the ending with Robin that he was never supposed to have.

      • Goodbye Universe Guy says:

        I may be looking at that last photo too closely, but not only are future Robin and Ted (in 2021?) eating a meal together, but it doesn’t look like they have eaten very much of it. Now, perhaps they are not yet done with their meal, but their beers are finished, and Ted looks like he may have gotten up to leave. Yikes!

        When two people don’t eat much of their meal (I’ve been there), that is usually because they both have upset stomachs, stress/anticipation, butterflies in stomach, something a bit more than that, (or all of the above). Hmmm.

        Additional thought – I just checked the episode ‘Bad Crazy’ [S8.16], that had the flash-forwards of Lily and Robin from 2017 to 2030. Sure enough, in the ’2025′ flash, Robin’s hair cut was very similar to what I think is approx. 2021 of this final picture of Ted and Robin at the café. Very good HIMYM staff – very good attention to details. I guess after all these years, we would expect nothing less from the HIMYM team than pinpoint precision and attention to detail. HIMYM delivers.

        • Goodbye Universe Guy says:

          Correction – I keep thinking the Vesuvius flash-forward of Ted-Mother is from 2021- just rechecked, and I believe it is indeed 2024. (correction duly noted)

  11. Ryan says:

    What has happened in the show’s history that would leads people to think that the show would end on something as serious as a death?

    • Tom Charles says:

      People, for some reason, are incredibly morbid.

    • Name This Tune says:

      Something The Mother said: What kind of mother misses her daughter’s wedding?
      You could say we mean The Mother. Or you could say it’s another mother. Like Lily. And maybe it’s Ted and The Mother who step in.

    • Ann says:

      Because the writers have dealt with death before. Because this show…among it being the story of how Ted met the mother of his kids and show about friends, it’s a show about life’s journeys, among it being death. Because the writers like making poignant episodes. SO, if the mother is dead, it would have a reason, it would be poignant, and it would bring the storyline of love (and loss) full circle because living and dying is a part of life.

    • Marc says:

      It’s a hoax. Someone started a hoax that the mother dies and is laughing at all of you who bought it.

  12. Goodbye Universe Guy says:

    Here’s my take on the photos –

    a] I noticed the two pics where Robin and Ted are saying (I assume) goodbye after the reception – one using their ‘signal’ (also used in season 9′s ‘Platoonish’.) The key here – look at Barney, Marshall and Lily in those two photos – they look a bit worried – they know about the ‘Robin-Ted-Chicago thing.’ They know the history here – Ted is leaving, and they know why.

    b] As noted above by prior post (Tookie) regarding that last photo, Robin and Ted at that point have already finished their meal, so as Ted is leaving; he indeed does not look too pleased or happy – apparently due to Robin’s dilemma (?) and why she called him (and he didn’t call her, she called him).

    c] Barney does have the *new* ‘Play Book II’. Why would he need that? Wounded pride[?]

    Okay, so here’s my theory – no one is dying (thank goodness), but this set of photos **ties into the Ted-Mother conversation at the end of ‘Vesuvius’**. ‘What mother would miss her daughter’s wedding?’ Answer – Robin’s mother.

    I think Robin’s mother walks out on the wedding because she puts two and two together, and realizes her daughter loves one man [Barney], and may ‘need’ the other [Ted]. My hunch is that Barney over the years finally put two and two together as well [perhaps he found out about the 'Sunrise' episode], and finally get’s upset and leaves Robin. Maybe one too many ‘Why can’t you be more like Ted sometimes…’ arguments. So Barney leaves, perhaps over wounded pride, but also probably out of ‘guilt’ – he kept Robin from the man she may well have ‘needed’.

    So, Robin *needs* help now – I assume in 2021, right about the same time Ted and Mother have their talk in ‘Vesuvius’. Ted looks very similar in that final photo as he did in the final scene in Vesuvius with his wife/The Mother. Why does Robin call Ted now in 2021? We know why – she turns to the guy she can depend upon when she’s in trouble and/or has an important decision to make. So Ted’s phone rings, and he has to go back to try to convince Robin [and Barney] to patch things up. Like Barney, he feels guilty as well.

    I think Ted feels partially responsible for the B&R breakup, and partially responsible for Robin’s mother walking out on the wedding. That’s why he almost breaks down and cries when his wife mentions mother-daughter wedding. The key to all this is the episode ‘Sunrise’ – Ted made the mistake of telling Robin he loved her five hours before her wedding – that was a big, big mistake. He didn’t want to, but he did, and there are consequences for that mistake, and those consequences are hard to escape, even over time. Remember, nothing good ever happens after 2am.

    Question I guess is, why are CB/CT putting us all through this Ted-Robin-Barney triangle that may well end up [as I believe it will] lasting a lifetime for the three? I think CB/CT are digging a little deeper here, and exploring the age-old question – ‘what does someone do when the one they love and the one they need are two different people? And what are the consequences for those types of life-altering decisions? That’s where Robin [really, through no fault of her own] finds herself in May 2013 at the wedding, and it appears to find herself in 2021, and in 20xx, and in ….

    The Mother tells Ted in Vesuvius that he should go try to help Robin and Barney – he can’t escape it. The Mother/Ted’s wife knows the history of B-R-T – Ted’s got to go try to fix it, out of friendship and concern, and also out of guilt.

    • Goodbye Universe Guy says:

      I wanted to add one more point – one of the things I liked so much about Lost, was the dynamic between Jack, Kate and Sawyer. It was (I think?) in season 4 that Jack and Kate get off the island, but have to leave Sawyer behind. This portion of the series was always my favorite – Jack and Kate try to make a go of it back home in the states, but in the end, their relationship collapses, partly (maybe more than that) out of overwhelming guilt [survivors' guilt] of leaving Sawyer [and the others] behind on the island. It makes it virtually impossible for Jack and Kate to go on. Jack can see Kate is haunted by Sawyer. I’ve always felt this was the core reason Jack pushed so hard to get back to the island – he wanted to reunite Kate and Sawyer- the guilt was killing him.

      Maybe (to a much lesser degree of course) this dynamic is working against Robin and Barney – make no mistake, there will be guilt over how they got together [survivors' guilt], and left Ted ‘behind.’ Yes, he found another wonderful woman and got married, but the guilt never goes away. And as I think we’ll find out, Ted also feels that guilt – it is a hard thing to shake.

    • Goodbye Universe Guy says:

      Correction on dates – for some reason, I keep thinking the flash-forward from ‘Vesuvius’ with Ted and Mother was from 2021 – I just rechecked, it is from 2024. (correction duly noted). Hence, I believe this final photo from ‘Last Forever/pt2) w/Ted-Robin at café is also from 2024.

  13. L says:

    I keep coming back to the Mother’s comment in the “Vesuvius” episode about Ted not “living in the past,” and how emotional they both are. I feel like there has to be something seriously wrong with her at the very least, even if she’s not dead.

  14. Anon says:

    Maybe the reason why Barney doesn’t where a ring has something to do with the “Ring Bear”…I dunno.

    I hope the mother just doesn’t serve as a Baby Mama for RobinxTed.

  15. Mcharmkn says:

    Okay the Ted and Robin story ended when he let her go they did the whole thing which was so touching… Robin and Barney belong together please no more ted and robin… I love the mother I think she’s amazing even if we only met her last season and we only have this season to watch her…

    • N tTVf says:

      I completely agree – I’m fine with the ‘Sunrise’ episode being the end of the Ted-Robin dynamic- he let her go, he let go of the red balloon. ‘Sunrise’ is already one of my favorite HIMYM episodes. I like Barney and Robin together – they’re good together. The Mother is wonderful; I’m happy for Ted. I’m happy to just wrap up this wedding and they (and we) all ride off into the sunset.

      But there is one catch – Carter Bays and Craig Thomas may have other plans on where this story goes, and we’ve come this far with these guys – they have really never let us down, and I don’t think they will this time either. But we have to trust these guys and go the entire distance with them, regardless of what path they may take the characters, and we, the viewers. They have a story to tell – the story has been very intricate and compelling, and we need to hang on here and go the final distance to the end of this story. From the looks of these new photos from ‘Last Forever/Pt1, there is clearly a whole lot more of the story to tell with flash-forwards. A lot of it includes Robin, and by association, Barney… and Ted.

      These last ten episodes of HIMYM have been (IMHO) some of the very best of the entire series. Flash backs, real-time wedding, flash-forwards – very good episodes. My only regret is that I wish more of these types of episodes had been included earlier in this season 9. Believe me, we’ll all look back one day at the work the HIMYM team did during these last ten episodes (from ‘Unpause’ through ‘Last Forever’) and will remember them with wonder as to how good and how complex and intricate they were. Very, very good work taking place.

  16. Who is to say Ted is having dinner in the future with Robin? Maybe she’s having dinner with someone else and Ted walks up to her while that person is in the bathroom? Maybe she’s out with Barney. We know that Robin & Barney at least hook up while in Argentina in the future. I think they may decide not to get married, but still hook up every now and again.

    • N tTVf says:

      Good point – I considered that too. However, would Barney and Robin choose to eat at a place like that cafe’, or would they go a bit ‘higher-end’? That cafe’ just looks/feels like the type of place you go to meet with someone in an environment that says “platonic’, or is that ‘platonish’? ;)

      Maybe Ted just wandered in and happen to run into her and Barney. But the look on R & T’s faces – there’s trouble, and it has been brewing for a while, not just a chance encounter. I think Robin called Ted [in 2024?]- we’ll find out why on March 31st.

  17. Marty says:

    Don’t these pictures make anyone else feel more likely that everything turns out fine? I was one who never really excepted mother is dead theory, but can’t say i ever totally dismissed it. These last two episodes and these pictures totally make me feel more confident that Swarkles and Ted/mother are fine.
    1) The creators have known for years of this mother is dead theory. No reason in Vesuvius to expose that that early if they truly wanted to go that route.
    2) in last episode they wanted to explore doubt to robin on who is more dependable person, ted or barney. Barney this entire season has never wavered from his loyalty to Barney, plus they have let Ted let Robin go about 60 times in this series lol.
    3) Picture #4 clearly shows Barney with no ring. if they truly wanted to go that route, why show a clear picture of this when every fan is looking for reasons to speculate about finale?
    4) final picture showing ted and robin in future. I don’t believe this picture is shown without trying to setup small fanbase rooting for them to end up together.
    obviously i can be wrong. i just feel like this and previous two weeks have actually made me feel better about things because they deliberately show things. Also, I hope i”m right lol

  18. CandyCurses says:

    I really wanted more time with the Mother.
    I thought this last season she would just join the gang and we would have a lot of – better – flashbacks.

  19. Mark says:

    they should have hooked Ted and Robin up that was where they went wrong in this…..

  20. Rachel says:

    I think Ted dies. The story isn’t about how Ted met his kids mother. Its a story about him that he tells his kids because he is dying.

  21. Brendan says:

    My moneys on lily. Teds upset because he saw how Marshall had a hard time once already, and this will be much harder. Plus they dealt with the death packages, and lily and Marshall have always had that too good to be true air about them. Maybe the ted Robin meeting is as guardians of the kids, finally forcing then to act like parents but disagreeing, ted wanting to preserve something and Robin being detached. Who knows. My moneys on either lily or notebook style Marshall AND lily

  22. N tTVf says:

    Perhaps this will help us on this topic – a quick review of that scene in ‘Vesuvius’ between Ted and the Mother in 2024 as reference to this discussion here on the upcoming ‘Last Forever/Pt1′ photos -

    Mother to Ted – ” I love your yarns, I hope you never stop spinning them… but, you are the love of my life Pooh bear; I am just worried about you. I don’t want you to be the guy that lives in his stories. Life only moves forward.”

    Future Ted regarding goodbyes via voice-over – ” And it’s fine. In a moment like that when what’s really happening is too intense to deal with, sometimes it’s best… to leave it unspoken; and just enjoy each other’s company instead.”

    Mother to Ted – ” what kind of mother misses her daughters wedding?” – Ted begins to break down.. The Mother doesn’t realize the impact of what she just said until she sees his reaction… and she holds his hand. ”

    Okay – could this set of dialog be associated with the Mother dying? Sure, I think that is a reasonable conclusion. However, could this set of dialog also be associated with Robin’s mother leaving her daughter’s wedding early and missing it, and Ted’s guilt over that and eventual need for him to go back and try to help patch up Barney and Robin’s marriage?

    “Sometimes it’s best…. to leave it unspoken.” A reference to the mother’s death? Saying goodbye to the gang? Or is it a reference to the ‘Sunrise’ episode, and the walk on the beach? Remember, Ted is saying this, not the Mother.

  23. Josh Emerson says:

    I shipped Ted and Robin up until we met the mother. But they did such a perfect job with her that I don’t want to see any ending where she and Ted aren’t together or one of them would be dead. Since that scene in the episode before last was done so well in advance of the finale, I have a feeling it’s just to worry fans. I can’t imagine they’d give away how the show ends so far ahead of the final episode.

  24. alex says:

    The writers are leaving hints for us the whole ted loves love in the time of cholera the entire story of the book is of two lovers breaking up, marrying other people and finally getting together in their old age when the womans husband dies.Its really morbid but i think thats what carter and craig intended from the start otherwise the story would never begin with robin and the majority of the show dedicated to T&R ,I love the mother but hell the ending would be very realistic something himym has been very good at dealing with.

    • Goodbye Universe Guy says:

      This ^ [more on the Farhamption station 'book' below] Alex- you rock! :) You may be very, very close here [your info may be the missing piece!!] – I think CB/CT are working a story that is a bit deeper than just ‘how i met your mother’. In the end, this is the story CB/CT wanted to tell, and that story is based upon the relationship between two people, core to the story, and how they affected one another’s lives over the years, ‘decades.’ And as we reach the end of this story/series in just a couple of weeks, we know where the story is now headed, and judging from the various photos and spoilers coming forward, the two core characters central to this HIMYM story are Ted … and Robin. I don’t believe they’ll end up together [ever, although now I'm not so sure], but they’ll be tortured along the way, as lovers so often are.

      I don’t know if you know the name of the book that Ted is reading at the Farhampton station when he meets the mother after the B-R wedding. However, you may be close on your note regarding ‘ted loves love in the time of cholera the entire story of the book is of two lovers breaking up, marrying other people and finally getting together in their old age when the womans husband dies.

      I have the 2014 HIMYM calendar, and on the ‘January’ photo, there is a nice ‘blow-up’ photo of Ted at the Farhampton station, [I just rechecked it after reading your note] and I can make out just a small portion of the lettering/title of the book he is reading – “Love in the time of c….” I can’t make out the rest, but now I realize what the title of the book is – **you nailed it** – “Love in the Time of Cholera.”

      You got it!!! WOW! And that may answer my other question – that scene in Vesuvius, when Ted and the Mother have their talk. It is not about her dying, but I originally believed that that 2024 scene took place **before** Ted met Robin for their 2024 lunch. No more. Now, I believe that scene took place **after** Ted met Robin for lunch. Robin called Ted, Ted and her talked (Barney has left Robin because of info about Sunrise that Robin spilled when she and Barney got drunk -see the other promo photo of B&R with Robin in red dress, both drinking from bottle.)

      So, Ted goes back home and tells ‘The Mother’ what has happened to B&R and the lunch with Robin, and that scene between Ted and the Mother is not an ‘I’m dying scene’ – it is a scene where the Mother is giving Ted the ultimatum (similar to what Barney has just given to Robin) – figure this out Ted (Robin), or this marriage is over. Ted and Robin are both getting a speech from their spouses in 2024 to figure this out one way or the other, or these marriages are either done, or in big, big trouble.

      Wow. Gotta hand it to CB/CT – they are really going to push this story right to the edge – very impressive. No easy way out for T-R-B. Ted is going to have to try to fix this – get B&R back together, and get past all this to keep his own marriage going. Very impressive story.

      Carter and Craig – YOU GUYS ROCK!!! Well done. :) You are rock stars!!

      • Goodbye Universe Guy says:

        All that said, I want to make the additional point (if we are correct here, I don’t want to spoil the ending for HIMYM for anyone) – Ted loves the Mother – remember, the ‘inverse’ of “Love in the Time of Cholera” would mean that she found the love of her life once her husband died – so Ted reading that book at Farhampton is perfect – he’s the guy she’s been waiting for based upon the book he is reading.

        So all is well – they are happily married, Ted will fix this problem – that’s why he is so dependable – he’ll come through (as he always does), and Barney and Robin will be back together. So the B&R fans will be happy, the Ted-Mother fans will be happy. And then (in very ‘Lost’-like fashion,) somewhere down the line, decades from now when the gang is all old and grey, that book – “Love in the Time of Cholera”, may prove to provide the answer of ‘a second love’ for Ted, and he’ll finally get together with ….wait for it….

        If the story goes in this direction, it is a win-win-win for all fans. Carter Bays and Craig Thomas and PFry and company – you guys are awesome, just amazing – legendary! Tremendous work! You folks have created a series that fans will be talking about decades from now. Well done. :)

        • Vicki says:

          I think the LITTOC parallels make sense, but I really think there is no need for the show to much such literal parallels down the line, re: Ted and Robin as the end game once The Mother passes away.

          The theme is finding love anew, and this focuses on The Mother and her letting go of Max after his death. Wasn’t she reading the book too when Ted told Cindy that that was his favourite book? She was probably reading it to help her through her grief, and to maybe get through her “there is only one person for everyone” belief.

          I think the book, the reason Ted is reading it, is simply that he will be The Mother’s second (and final) one true love.

          • Goodbye Universe Guy says:

            Yep, I agree. The symmetry of their both knowing [Ted and Mother] of the book (LITTOC) is really cool. I have to be honest, until yesterday, I had no idea this book (LITTOC) even existed – I’m not very good with literature; I must have missed (or it just went over my head) the prior HIMYM references to the book.

            But I think we’re getting to the point of solving this mystery of how the show will wrap on March 31st, and this is a really nice way to end things. Maybe the final shot at Farhampton is Ted walking over to ‘The Mother’ to speak with her after they recognize each other, and Ted temporarily leaves the book on the bench (next to granny), and camera pans away from Ted/Mother and closes with a close up of the book on the bench … then fade to black. Can you imagine the amount of Google searches on LITTOC the following day? If few know of the book today, I can imagine millions more will know of the book on March 31st.

            They [CT/CB] have a lot of nice ways to wrap this up, but if we are correct now on these linkages, the finale is going to be quite extraordinary [and yes, legendary].

          • Robertkrasser says:

            I forgot to mention another thing: “The Lucky Penny”
            - In the Lucky Penny episode. Ted found the old penny, and invited Robin for dinner with the value of ithe Lucky Penny.
            This episode also say his destiny was to stay in NY
            Ted has a coin collection
            Mother has a coin collection (how your Mother met me)
            Their Daughters name is Penny

            There might be something with the penny at the train platform?

            Another thing:

            Robin and Barney went to a nice Restaurant, they want to breake up a couple by placing the ring in the champain. But they did not break up they getting married! So I am quite sure this event will make Robin think! What would have happened if she not reacted like “no no no no no…” to Ted in episode 2

          • Lori says:

            I agree…I don’t know much about the book (although now I need to look into it!) but I do believe the end of “Vesuvius” confirmed that the Mother was dying. And if this is true, the following is very plausible (whether fans like this outcome or not): if we know anything about HIMYM, it’s that it’s all about the surprise at the end. Since the writers already confirmed the Mother will die five episodes before the finale, there has to be another final twist, and I think that twist will be Ted and Robin ending up together. This idea is set up beautifully in the episode “How Your Mother Met Me”: just as the Mother loved and lost the person she thought was the love of her life (Max) and then got a second chance at true love (Ted), I believe Ted will lose the person he believes is the love of his life (the Mother) and have a second chance at love with Robin. As much I hate to see an end to BRObin, something will most likely end Barney and Robin’s marriage along the way (and would this be really that surprising?). This scenario would help explain why Ted goes into such detail about his never-ending love for “Aunt Robin”…if Robin was simply “Aunt Robin” to the kids, Ted’s story would be, well, kind of creepy. But if she ends up as their stepmother, it would make more sense. I don’t believe the writers are setting up the Mother as Ted’s consolation prize (as has been mentioned by other commenters); I believe they’re setting up the idea that we all might have more than one love in a lifetime, and that in end, destiny always persists (a common theme throughout all seasons of HIMYM). And remember: Ted and Robin didn’t break up because they stopped loving each other; they broke up because they both wanted different things in life: Robin, a successful career, and Ted, marriage and kids. In this scenario, both will have had the chance to pursue their respective dreams and yet find each other again after they’d achieved those dreams (plus Robin really was torn when she found out she could never have kids…this scenario would give her the best of both worlds: a career first and kids later). Finally, how can we forget Lily and Marshall’s ongoing bet? Every time Ted and Robin don’t work out as a couple, Lily tells Marshall to “pay up.” His response each time, “not yet,” leaves the door open for Ted and Robin’s possible reunion. Marshall is Ted’s best friend and knows him best, and it seems that there is something telling Marshall that somewhere down the line, Ted and Robin will end up together. I don’t think it makes the Mother Ted’s consolation prize or simply his “Baby Mama” as some others have stated. We already know how much he treasures the Mother and wishes he had more time with her (think back to the end of “The Time Travelers”…which provides another hint that the Mother might die); he will clearly be heartbroken by her passing. But after all these years we’ve watched Ted long desperately for his true love, if the Mother dies, would the writers really leave things on such a sad and disappointing note? Ted and Robin’s reunion would be about two best friends ultimately finding comfort in each other, bringing their relationship, and the show, full circle…and leaving us with the notion that, even in the aftermath of personal tragedy, if destiny allows it, there just might be a happy ending.

      • alex says:

        Thank you that love of cholera thing has been bugging me for a really long time since last season although do you think that ending is really possible i guess ya because robin ted will be too predictable
        Oh man i will be waiting for march 31st with bated breath carter and craig are just too good with the suspense one of the only reasons for me to check out HIMYD

  25. Malikb says:

    We can’t really predict what will happen with all these hints and misdirection but one thin seem to be sure is that Barney and Robin will fall apart and break up sometime in the future, maybe just for a fw years and then back together, but they will, we saw a few flashforwards strongly suggesting this. And while many people are fan of them, it never made sense to me that those 2 would spend the rest of their lives together. As for where that leaves ted/robin and ted/the mother……who knows.

  26. Vicki says:

    My theory on the Playbook 2: as someone stated above, CBS wouldn’t outwardly leak a photo of Barney without a wedding band. So it must be a pre-wedding flashback or perhaps the following: the first Playbook was all about helping Barney get laid. The second Playbook is to keep things hot in his marriage. So methinks he may just be reading his play for the night as he waits for Robin at the bar. The play? He takes off his wedding ring (as does she), and he and Robin do the cliché two-strangers-meet-at-a-bar thing, for an “illicit tryst”.

  27. Andrea says:

    Guys, the ring ted is wearing is not the married one, it is on the 4 finger ! The married ring goes on the third! So if as I think the authors care so much about the details, that can only mean that Ted is not married anymore! And robin probably too!

    • izzybella says:

      No, it is the married one. Wedding ring (in the US anyway) goes on left hand, fourth finger, so yes, he’s wearing a wedding ring.

  28. Andrea says:

    Ok correction I’m sorry what I just said is wrong. Ted is wearing the band.

  29. Robert says:

    “Goodbye Universe Guy” and all the others, you are doing a good and interesting job. I really enjoy reading this 59 comments so far. We are now almost on the right track. But I am sure we still missing an important “twist” “turn” plus an ingredient.

    I was never a Ted-Robin shipper but since the beginning of HIMYM T&R is the only logical ending for me at all. It was always the topic of “The Love in the Times of the Cholera” where a guy (Ted) loves a girl (Robin) and do everything for her luck. Barney always said he will teach Ted how to live but in the end it will be opposite and Ted will show Barney how to live. So he will re-write the playbook for playbook II

    Also Lilly-Marshal bet about Robin and Ted is a indicator that this will simply happen. Marshall is a gambler and he is Teds best friend he knows him better than everybody else.

    On indication for a T/R merriage is also from the first episode that Ted requested Marshal to tell the story with the blue french horn at his wedding.

    And I am convinced that Robin always loved Ted. (Indication started in seoson one where she comes to the wedding, and when she got drunken with Lilly and searched for the locket) she cryed and and ask herself why Ted is not marrying her?
    In “No Pressure” Robin said that she does not love Ted – because she loves Ted so much and she knew that Ted want children and she cant have them. So far everybody knows that she cant have babies – But Ted does not know.

    So there are some unsolved things:
    -The locket
    - The Lilly Marshal bet about Robin end s up with Ted
    - one very wired thing for me is “why dont Ted speakes to the mother on the wedding”? why waiting on the train platform? It absolutely makes no sense to me?
    - Also from a dramaturgical point of view the “plattform” scene with the yellow umbrella does not make sense at all. Why hide the Mothers face if we already know it? We dont know her name by now. this might be a indicate and a reference to the first episode. THE NAME “ROBIN” WAS NOT SPOKEN until the end of the first episode! The first time the name “Robin was spoken” was from the narrator “And thats how I met your…. AOUNT ROBIN” Why? It seemes thet the narrator what to “trick” the kids. He wantet to make the story longer….maybe by swiching two carracters (eg. Mother and Robin) Why CBCT hold back the Mothers name?

    So I am still convinced Ted and Robin belonging together and this was the ending CBCT always wanted. Based loose on the novel “The Love in the Times of the Cholera”

    • Goodbye Universe Guy says:

      Thank you for the kind words. One point you mentioned has kind of bugged me as well – Ted does see the Mother at the wedding reception, yet, he doesn’t act upon it. He still has a bit of a ‘far away’ look in his eyes [I think that scene is a flash forward from Farhamption, episode 8.1?], so he’s just not in the ‘right place’ at that moment – still with the ‘wedding hangover effect’ (which is understandable.)

      But – here’s the key… when he gets to the Farhampton train station, he’s does look a bit down (‘Farhampton’, episode 8.1), tells ‘granny’ that the wedding was a disaster (Ted’s way of always exaggerating things too much), and he’s reading that book. That’s the key. Why read that book at that moment?…. because he’s still hung up on Robin, even at that point – right at the end of the HIMYM series, he’s still headed to Chicago, and he’s still hung up on Robin. After all this time, all these years, that’s really quite remarkable.

      Hence, something happens at that train station, and I think what might happen is that the Mother is the one who realizes it is Ted who fulfills her dreams of ‘LITTOC’ – perhaps she’s the one who approaches Ted on the bench? Maybe he is her ‘love at first sight’ – finally, someone loves Ted at first sight!! It is ‘The Mother’ who is getting her second chance to find love via LITTOC, and Ted is the one for her. Perhaps Ted’s LITTOC dream is also met at that moment, or perhaps not.

      Perhaps somewhere down the road, when the gang is old and grey, Ted may get [like the Mother] his ‘second chance’ with someone that he fell in love with at first sight – that rare occurrence. That ending allows some interpretation for fans of B&R, T&tM and T&R to draw what conclusions they choose – a win, win, win. I’ve always loved endings like that – very ‘Lost-like’ – forces the viewing to think… that’s always a good thing.

      • AnnikaC says:

        Your posts are excellent! Thank you! What’s got me thinking, is there a connection to La Vie en Rose/life through rose colored glasses? I think the Mother wears rose/pink in most of the episodes? The story of the writer/singer of La Vie en Rose, Edith Piaf, is very sad. She loses a child, her first love dies in an accident, she dies in her 40′s of cancer, and her nickname is “little sparrow” which makes me think there is a connection with Robin (both bird names). Carter Bays has stated this song is special to him so it might be brought up again. I also noticed in one of the finale photos the Mother is wearing a shirt with a heart and 2 birds on it. Its exciting to see what is going to unfold thats for sure.

        • Goodbye Universe Guy says:

          Thank you – you bring up a very interesting point regarding the possible name of ‘the Mother’, and the shirt [w/heart and two birds] that ‘the Mother’ is wearing in one of the finale photos [I hadn't noticed the shirt]. I just did a quick check of possible female names based upon bird names – Robin is the obvious name, but there is also ‘Raven’, and ‘Jena’ (meaning ‘endurance’, ‘little bird’, Arabic origin, meaning ‘small bird’).

          But here’s something more – when I was looking at the various bird names for babies, another name popped up – ‘Evelyn’ (Latin origin, derived from Avis and Avila, meaning bird). I thought, that would be an interesting name for the Mother, but then I remembered Ted’s full name – Theodore Evelyn ‘Ted’ Mosby. I’ve always wondered why CT/CB gave Ted that middle name.

          I know fans want the Mother’s name to be Leia (a tip of the cap to Star Wars, which is understandable, given Ted’s love of Star Wars), but the bird-name idea is pretty cool – Robin, Evelyn, Jena. I wonder if Carter Bays saw ‘The Thorn Birds’ when he was a kid when it first aired on ABC in the mid ’80s:

          “For the best is only bought at the cost of great pain.”

  30. megan says:

    I have two theory’s,
    One: ted has made a video of him explaining how he met the kids mother and he made it before he died. The kids are simply sitting on the couch watching a video of ted telling the story.
    Two: neither ted or robin stay married, they realize how much they have always been in love and they finally finally get married. I need them.to be together. Please.

  31. megan says:

    In picture 8 of 12 notice that ted and robin are doing the private/major blah blah thing thats their little insider.

  32. Twisted Stars says:

    the mother doesnt die, because why would he be crying about the mother missing her daughter’s wedding to the mother, he would probably be crying about one of his friends’ mother or even his own mother. Unless the mother has some awful condition, which i doubt

  33. @Afflixi82 says:

    I have a question: does Barney ever appear in the flash forwards? I don’t embrace the theory that he might have died (I really hope he doesn’t), perhaps they’ve just lost touch with him, but I couldn’t actually remember an incident when you see him aged.
    I would personally feel incredibly frustrated should Ted and Robyn end up together – they’ve done the whole “I love you”, “I must let you go”, “now I love you again!” far too many times. Unfortunately Ted’s story to his kids has focused much too long on Aunt Robyn and how much he lurved her. It sounds very much like him asking their permission to go after her after their mother’s passing.

  34. izzybella says:

    I really hope Robin and Ted don’t wind up together in the end. I’m with the poster above who shipped Robin and Ted until she “met” the mother. I think the mother is PERFECT casting and I completely buy them together. I also genuinely like Robin and Barney together. That’s not to say I think they’ll never have problems. To be honest, I think neither of them are that likable at times (he’s…well, he’s Barney, and she’s so damn mean to poor Patrice), but as a couple, they work for me. I hope no one dies, but I have faith in the writers.

  35. Delena forever says:

    Tonight my prayer is as follows: dear god, plz plz plz let non of the most beloved(yet fake) people in my life(from himym) die in the series finale.
    Plz let barney and robin get married and plz god give us a billion flash forwards to see how they all end up

  36. ScooterP says:

    ok here’s my attempt. When the mother dies, Ted meets up with Robin, who agrees to step in and become a mother figure to the kids. This is Ted telling is kids that even know he truly loved their mom, he also had a stronng connection to “Aunt Robin.” Therefore the kids should be accepting of her. Kudos to the others for the Love in the Time of Cholera catch.

  37. lili says:

    Its always been about Robin. I think Ted is happy and in love with the Mother and no she doesnt die. But something is wrong with Robin in the future. She calls to meet with him in person and tell him the news. He is upset gets up from table as in I cant believe it. Robin might be the one dying and Ted is having a hard time with it hence the scene with the Mother in Farhampton

    • Goodbye Universe Guy says:

      ^This. I do hope nothing bad happens to any of the six main characters as we look into 2030, but my gut tells me that if something happens to one of the six, it will be Robin. I do like and agree with your comment – HIMYM is a show about Ted really, and how he met ‘the Mother’, and his friends who helped him get to that point and beyond. But the bottom line of HIMYM – looking at life from Ted’s vantage point through nine season (and perhaps beyond), it has always been about Robin.

  38. BrownEyedDevil says:

    What if Ted isn’t the other person at Robin’s table? What if Barney is in the bathroom, and Ted comes into the place where Robin is eating, and sees her? Not likely, but an alternate viewpoint.

  39. Cindy says:

    Barney decides he is not the married guy type and he and Robin divorce. Mother dies and Ted is telling the story to the kids so they understand why he is now marrying Robin. Every picture even the one right after the wedding when Robin thinks he is moving to Chicago, Ted still loves Robin and always will!

  40. Veronika says:

    When I first saw the Playbook part II I thought it was something about him and Robin having a baby – and this also might explain the cigar he is trying to have at the bar. This is a very vague idea, yet still it might be true.
    Also, I just recalled that in the most referred episode in terms of “the first hint about the Mother being dead” – The Time Travellers. There is Ted from 20 years (meaning 2034 – as the episode takes place in 2014) and he is married, which made me think that Mother is not dead and Ted is simply thinking how he wished he met the Mother earlier.
    Yet, his wedding ring might be from T&R marriage, however, I really doubt it.

    I’m sooooo confused right now! Can’t wait till the next Monday!

  41. Veronika says:

    btw, what does the subtitle of the playbook vol II mean? It says “electric bang-a-loo” and i’m not sure it has any other reference, that “a sequel”.

    • Matt says:

      If Barney were to pass away I envision his ‘heaven’ would be running through the Playbook at McLaren’s. It just seems like that would be his ultimate reward. I think that could possibly explain the lack of a wedding ring.

    • Goodbye Universe Guy says:

      Very good catch – I missed the lettering on Barney’s ‘Book 2′ – “electric bang-a-loo”. Good stuff. CT/CB have very good childhood memories and/or are doing their homework! There was a kid’s TV show with a similar name years ago. Very good guys! :) 21st century technology meets Barney Stinson – awesome!!!

      I tend to be an optimist about all this – I just can’t believe Barney will be dead, and I actually don’t think B&R are going to get divorced. Honestly, even if CT/CB had some wild thoughts around something really BIG to end this series (like a death), I’m starting to think CBS, or certainly 20th Century, would drop the hammer and so ‘no way guys – sorry.’ This series in syndication is a money-machine, no one (No One) can be allowed to mess with this story now. So, I think the core-5 will be okay.

      So, I have hope all will be fine, although there could be some jolts along the way [Robin?]. The Mother? You know, I think it is possible she might not make it to 2030. If anyone would die, it would be her I think ; that may be why CT/CB didn’t feature her too much this season – they may not want us all to get too attached to her. Anyway, that’s just a guess on my part – I hope all big-6 are alive and well in 2030.

      But if the Mother does pass away,I think Barney may let Robin ‘go’ – not through a divorce, but to give her the option of going with Ted if she chooses (assuming Mother passes away).

      The great thing about the Ted-Barney relationship is that they always have each other’s back, and they always give of themselves (and their potential happiness) to help the other guy/bro. They do share one very important bond and one thing in common – they both love the same woman [they both know that, as does she], and they both want what is best for her – they want her to be happy.

      I think somewhere down the line, if the Mother does pass away, Barney might give Robin that option of leaving him so that they can go their separate ways. That may be why Barney is working on the Play Book II. I don’t think Robin will take that option, and she will stay with Barney, but I think Barney will give Robin that option if the Mother passes. Under this scenario, Ted would end up alone – again… with his book (Love in the Time of Cholera).

  42. TRM says:

    I can’t recall right now, but did we ever see flash forwards with Ted and Robin? I know we’ve seen the guys, but I can’t remember one with Ted and Robin. Someone, please correct me if I’m wrong.

    • N tTVf says:

      None – you are correct.

      We did see flash forwards of the entire gang once (I think in 2021? when Barney wanted to hit Marshall with a meatball?), flash forwards of Ted/Lily/Marshall at their college reunion (How I Met Everyone Else – w/Blah Blah Girl, which I think was 2020), of Robin and Lily over the years and all the way up to 2027 (Bad Crazy), of Lily and Marshall in a recent episode when he was running for higher office (2021?), Robin and Barney around 2016 (R in red dress in hotel room) and of Ted and the Mother in 2024 (and prior).

      None of Ted and Robin – yet. That’s coming in next weeks’ finale ‘Last Forever’. I’m guessing (just a guess), the timeframe is around 2024 for this T&R summit.

  43. Eileen P says:

    Has anyone else noticed that in the last few episodes, the narrator (Ted of the future) has referred to Robin as just plain Robin… not Aunt Robin? I am obviously not very good at predicting, since I honestly thought B&R’s wedding would not go through… that they would both agree that although they care for each other very much, marriage is not part of their DNA. And who knows… maybe the entire wedding was a fake. But, I’ll go out on a limb and say that I do think that ultimately Ted & Robin wind up together. I really did not like the first half of this last season, especially the stupid slapping episode, but I think the writers are doing an awesome job in settling things up, paying close attention to details from the first 8 years, so that all loyal fans can feel satisfied in the end. The details everyone is sharing on this message board are incredible! A testimony to the cast, writers, and all associated to the show! Will miss HIMYM but know it will live on in reruns for most of forever and we will all look back on past episodes with an “ah ha! I never noticed that before”. See ya in syndication all!

  44. san26 says:

    SPOILERS
    Ted’s got Alzheimer (don’t know if the disease is called the same in the US than in France, but that’s an illiness which makes you loose all your memories as time goes by).
    /SPOILERS

    Actually, I’m VERY SAD to even admit It, but although I just LOVE R/B couple, I think they’re gonna plit up eventually. It is just IM PO SSIBLE that all of the 3 marriages work out… L/M are intouchable, so are T w/ the Mother… so the sad couple had to be Barney & Robin…

    • Jbomb says:

      I’ve started to think it could be alzheimers because some stories he gets muddled up. the goat fight, forgetting blah blah’s name, barney and lily having a fight but he couldn’t remember what it was about and then he realised it was the following year when she was pregnant. Things like that make me wonder…given that he would be about 52/53 in 2030 it’s not really old enough to forget stories

  45. I’ve never liked B&R together. EVER. I think that Barney is a more enjoyable character as a mysterious, womanizing bachelor. And even though I’m a huge fan of the show, I think Robin has always been a teensy bit overrated. (She’s a bit mean, selfish, and not as hot as everyone believes.)
    With that being said, some commenters did make some interesting speculation.
    The idea of the mother being dead–perfect. I actually haven’t grown too attached to her, so it makes sense to lose her. When she was first introduced, I didn’t like the concept of her having lost Max–it made Ted seem like a second choice, and he deserves better. But now that the book LITTOC has been introduced, it seems fitting.
    As far as TR goes, I have always thought it a little strange the way T constantly goes on and on about her in stories about him meeting his kids’ mother. I’d doubt my father’s love for my mother if he constantly talked about “the one that got away” even though she still remains in his life. This goes back to the mother being dead. Now that she is gone TR can have a chance again, and T tells the story to his kids as an explanation–he truly loved their mother, but he’s always loved Robin, too.
    Also, what is the mother’s name? There was talk about it being “Robin”, but that doesn’t sit well with me.
    I think that when tM asked what kind of mother misses her daughter’s wedding, it refers to Penny (their daughter). That’s why Ted is so broken up: she can’t come to the wedding if she’s dead. It can’t be Robin’s mother because Ted (even as over emotional as he sometimes gets) becomes too upset.
    Think about the bet! Marshall always says, “Not yet” because he knows that TR end up together.
    Someone else had a good idea: Ted is dead. And his kids are watching a video. In my honest opinion, that’s brilliant.

  46. SL says:

    Maybe, just maybe Robin ends up getting pregnant with a girl and she miscarries or gets to the end of her pregnancy and there are complications and the baby dies. Or…the mother gets pregnant again with a girl and the same thing happens to her. Discuss…

  47. SAT says:

    That photo of the mother on the couch…that is the same couch where Ted’s kids are sitting…maybe she comes and sits there after he’s done telling his story ?

    • SAT says:

      On the other hand…Barney is not wearing a suit in the Barney-Robin drinking photo…he only does that while attending a funeral or some really sad moment.