HIMYM Series Finale: The Big Mother Reveal and 15 More Memorable Moments in Photos

Laughter. Tears. Hellos. Goodbyes. Monday’s series finale of How I Met Your Mother had it all, including some of the most highly anticipated moments in the CBS sitcom’s nine-season run.

RELATED | The How I Met Your Mother Series Finale: Share Your Thoughts and Grade It!

And while it wasn’t the easiest hour for the gang — or the audience — it was absolutely unforgettable. From Barney’s first moments with his daughter (we’re still misty!) to the long-awaited reveal of the mother’s name (hi, Tracy!) TVLine assembled 16 of our top moments from the final episode.

Some were big and game-changing, while others were small and sentimental, but they all mattered.

What was your favorite moment from the HIMYM finale? Any missing from our list? Browse our gallery below, then drop a comment with your thoughts.


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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  1. Rebecca Parker says:


    • trainwreck says:

      No it wasn’t Blah (Carol), it was ROBIN! and I am cool with it!

    • Annie says:

      Yeah, to say the least. I’m a little surprised, but probably shouldn’t be, to discover that the craptasticness of the finale has now soured me on all these previously-lovely moments. Why bother getting invested in these characters and their stories if the rug’s going to get yanked out from underneath you in the last 3 minutes, solely for the purpose of pulling a “gotcha”?

      • macy says:

        “the craptasticness of the finale has now soured me on all these previously-lovely moments” — yes, exactly!! I feel like the finale robbed me of the beauty of the series. No matter what was happening in the show, it always felt enveloped by a sense of hope for great future things. But that wasn’t real. I can’t view the series with the same sense of hope again, and I feel robbed of that.

  2. Alex J. says:

    I have never wanted to punch two people in the face as much as I do now. =(

  3. Jay says:

    I couldn’t even cry… I was so mad.

    • Sasha says:

      I cried because i was mad

      • macy says:

        Yes, I cried a lot of very angry tears that they would screw the fans like this, just to say, “see, we’re so clever!”… even if that ending seemed like a good idea when they filmed the kids saying those final lines, back in 2005 or 2006, the producers should have had the sense/decency to allow themselves to veer from that original vision for the ending… but they didn’t.

        Ted and Robin might have made sense in 2005, but by the end the show had grown so much from what the producers might have originally envisioned… with I think most people rooting for and loving the mother. I think viewers wanted it to end knowing that Ted was settled and happy, not that he was still hoping to make something work… especially with a woman who was so mismatched with him (Robin).

  4. Brittany says:

    I think my biggest issue with this list is that Ted and Tracy DIDN’T get to say goodbye. If they would have drawn that out more, I might have been happier. The ending seemed so rushed after what I thought was an otherwise very lovely episode. But those last five minutes…

    • beatlechicksteph says:

      This!! Exactly this!! I totally agree. I feel like Tracy was kind of shoehorned in. If they gave her a little more time, I would have been much happier.

    • brycealexander says:

      Yes! I also wish the scene with Ted and Tracy underneath the umbrella was the final scene!

      • Connie says:

        ME TOO! I totally expected the episode to end there. It was perfect.

        • Tom says:

          I agree I thought that they would have that scene and flash forward to all the important moments in their lives together and end with Ted saying and that’s how I met your mother.

          • Toni says:

            This! I thought that was exactly how it was going to happen…

            Because, showrunners, the show is called HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER.

          • nikkiy says:

            How I Got Over Your Mother and Banged Aunt Robin

  5. kavyn says:

    I don’t understand why they didn’t just span out the developments from the season finale throughout the final season. Why hype up a wedding FOR AN ENTIRE SEASON only to divorce them 20 minutes into the finale?

    I’m fine with the mother’s death and Ted/Robin hooking up theoretically, but they executed it so horribly that it was a disaster.

    • I think i’m upset because the spent the whole season at the wedding, Had it been for that I would’ve been more okay with the ending

      • kavyn says:

        It felt like they were preparing for a sweet farewell where everyone was happy, but instead they basically crammed an entire season’s worth of development into a single one-hour episode. I understand the writers wanted to shock viewers, but they rushed it way too much.

    • B says:

      Agreed. I have ascribed to the “mother is dead” theory for a long time (although I didn’t hope for it). The end is not what bugs me so much as the fact that they wasted so much storytelling in this last episode. I kept looking at the clock the last fifteen minutes or so, knowing that it was impossible to do the ending justice in that amount of time.

    • Boiler says:

      Kavyn that was exactly the first thing I thought of

    • Ann says:

      For me, I’m separate the series finale from the season. The season was awful but the finale was great. It wrapped everything, the entire series, nicely. The execution of the season could have been handled better though. I agree, they didn’t need to spend an entire season on a wedding weekend…

      • kavyn says:

        My point is why couldn’t they have started the season with the wedding, and then put all of these developments (Lily/Marshal’s Italy/Judge resolution, meeting the mother, the mother getting sick, the mother dying, Robin and Barney divorcing, Robin becoming successful/drifting) throughout the season, and end the show with the reasons for Ted telling the story + the Robin/Teddy twist, and spend the full hour making it realistic. Cramming it into a finale when the entire season was filler was so unnecessary.

        • macy says:

          Yes, exactly!!! Give the events from the finale all of season 9, to be told properly and to do justice to the events.

  6. Kesha says:

    The name of the mother was actually revealed in an earlier episode where Ted told the kids thier mother was a stripper. Then said he was just kidding. He called the stripper Tracy.

  7. madjeknotts says:

    Barney meeting his daughter for the first time was so wonderfully done!

  8. canadian17 says:

    It was a HORRIBLE finale. Not worth the years viewers invested – it was a total betrayal.

  9. Mia says:

    Nine wasted years! I get that it was supposed to be a show about Ted, but TED WAS AWFUL!!!! Who would choose TED?!

    • Patrick says:

      The nice guy, who is in touch with his emotions, is supportive, and is willing to drop everything for any of his friends at any time.

      What a monster.

      People like Barney because most people are selfish A-holes who only care about themselves. They like Barney because they want that selfish, high-functioning sociopathic behavior to not seem so bad.

      Barney WOULD have cheated on Robin with her traveling so much. Robin, probably ditto. He didn’t really want to be in a relationship. He was way too damaged. Just like his mom. He has a daughter, and that is his one true relationship. It is telling that it was with the one person who is genetically programmed to love him unconditionally.

      • brycealexander says:

        That is not who Ted is!
        Ted is a person who thinks he deserves Robin solely based on his desire. He fixates on her, wastes other women’s time while he pines for her, and whined through nine whole seasons when he couldn’t get his prize. He’s not in touch with his emotions. He’s manic, essentially a stalker, and completely entitled. Well good for Ted, he got his prized goose. He can go home, cook his meat, eat it, and then cry that his meat is gone. He’s one of the most pathetic characters ever.

  10. Tommy says:

    This really should have been 2 hours. I’m okay with everything that happened… In theory but the execution was sloppy at best.

  11. Ed says:

    was the photo released a few weeks ago of Ted and Robin meeting in a cafe a dupe?

    • e says:

      i thought this too… i wonder if it was an extended scene for the dvd? which, yikes, i can’t imagine DVD sales will be too impressive based on this response to the finale…

    • D says:

      There was also the one with Barney in casual attire too. The one where he’s wearing a pink polo shirt and shorts. I think that was for an after the funeral scene because he doesn’t suit up for funerals. Maybe that will be on the DVD too.

  12. Rook says:

    I loved it. It came full circle to Ted with the blue french horn. Like the kids said the show was never about the mother, that doesn’t mean Ted didn’t love her. Now knowing the ending Ted always being interested in Robin doesn’t seem so annoying. I’m sad most of the viewer don’t feel this way.

    • Lizabeth says:

      I agree, Rook. I had a mixture of emotions during the entire episode, but somehow in the end it all fell together for me.

      • boatsboatsboats says:

        I really loved the finale. Yes, I think they could’ve stretched out Tracy’s death a bit and showed Ted moving on. Sometimes we have two true loves, and that’s just how it is. And Ted loved them both, at different times. Life is long. Great story.

        • Maybe he didn’t want to stretch it out because the kids already knew that part of the story (her mom being sick and how she passed away) and Penny said it: the story wasn’t really about their mother, but about seeing how would they react about Ted dating Robin and getting their approval. There was a lesson there: … wait… wait… ah yes! No, that wasn’t it… Ehhmm… ah right! The heart is a big place and has room to love different people in more than one way :) Loved the finale!

        • Michelle says:

          Well put. Loved the finale too! I’m in the minority of those who preferred Ted and Robin together from day one and have been holding out hope that they would end up together.

          Also, smh @ at the people calling Ted “practically a stalker,” “obsessed,” etc. FYI: Robin loved Ted too. Robin and Ted were best friends. They had a genuine connection. If that’s stalking, well damn, I’d want to be stalked.

    • monkeyboy says:

      I really don’t see what everyone else thinks they seen in robin and Barney it was always about robin since day one and Ted and robin moments are way more genuine and sincere than the Barney tricks… every time robin and Ted were in a scene together we were glued to the screen whether it was a fight our sentimental one.Just because it’s called how I met your mother doesn’t mean he had to end with her and it be all happy the series told us how he got to the point in his life to tell the story every moment led to him getting kids and still loving the woman who couldn’t give him that gift

    • Leah says:

      I totally agree. I loved the episode. I was crying within two minutes and the whole story was Ted and Robin from the beginning, so I don’t understand why everyone is so surprised.

      The hate is astounding.

      I adored Tracy (so weird to give her a name! She’s The Mother!), she’s amazing and I think she and Ted clicked right away and were so cute together, but the story has always been how Ted loves Robin and Robin might not have always been aware, but I think she’s always loved him, too, so why the heck shouldn’t they have ended up together?

      It made perfect sense to me and I loved every minute of the finale. What a shame people are filled with such rage over it, I can’t personally see it, myself.

    • Bob Smith says:

      Since this is where they’ve been heading all along, then CBS should not have bothered with a 5th, 6th, 7th or 8th season. Hell, they could have skipped right from the pilot episode to the finale. Saved everyone a lot of wasted watching.

  13. Helena says:

    Ugh. So much disappointment in an hour. It’s like Dexter all over again!

    Writers, I know you had this planned out, but after everyone stopping giving a crap about TedxRobin THREE YEARS AGO, it’s okay to change the endgame.

  14. Eric7740 says:

    I still don’t know how I feel about the finale??? But I loved the scene with Barney and his daughter!!! I wish there would have been a more emotional good-bye between Ted and Tracy!!!

  15. joe says:

    Awful. All time horrible finale.

  16. J.R. says:

    this was by far the worst series finale that I have ever seen. They spend an entire season building up to Barney/Robin tying the knot only to have them divorce (boo) and the mother dying after spending 9 seasons to see the two of them together (double boo), and there was not a funny moment in the episode (quadruple boo). Don’t get me wrong, there were some very heartfelt moments such as Ted and Tracy arguing over what T.M. stood for (that was cute), but overall the whole finale was a real letdown to the show.

  17. emw says:

    Only thing good about the show barney meeting his daughter… other than that because it was a mute point at the end, Ted meeting the mother although beautiful just fizzled for me.. so robin was a world traveler but all of a sudden she just stopped traveling& ted, the Ted we have known for the last 9 years yearning to have what Marshall & Lily have decided to have 2 kids out of wedlock… really?

    • jc says:

      I agree with your last statement there. Ted’s whole goal this entire series was to find the love of his life, marry her and have kids. I can understand having Penny out of wedlock. With all the sex these characters have had with other people over the last 9 seasons, I’m surprised none of them ever spawned children with other people. But one of my biggest issues is that Ted WANTED TO GET MARRIED and have a family pretty much the whole series. It in no way makes any sense that Ted would wait 6 years… SIX years, to marry Tracy after meeting her, especially after having their first child together. What the hell? Do Carter & Bays even know who these characters are anymore?

      God forbid they construct an ending that was appropriate and meaningful to how the show has evolved over time, not go full steam ahead with their Ted/Robin ending (that few people wanted anymore) and manufacture a plot around that. I wish I could un-see the finale and just end the series with the penultimate episode. That would have been a much better send off, in my opinion. It’s unfortunate the series finale has tainted my view of the show as a whole, because I certainly won’t be watching reruns ever again, and that’s a sad thing. This show was once great, and over time, the creators just ruined it.

  18. d4h8a15r16m23a42 says:

    I think i wouldn’t have been so disappointed if everything they crammed into the finale had been the entire final season. A proper introduction and goodbye to the mother and it would’ve been much easier to accept that she died.

  19. KNR says:

    I am strangely okay with the finale, even though I was sad Barney and Robin broke up and that the mother died. It felt real. Who hasn’t spent a year obsessing and planning a wedding only to have a marriage fall apart? Who hasn’t lost a loved one too soon, only to find a way to keep living and be happy again? It wasn’t the ending I wanted, but it’s an ending I can understand.

  20. Jill says:

    I get it from a storytelling point of view – the kids’ point about the mom not being in much of the story – but I HATE that Ted ends up with Robin. HATE.

    • Ruben says:

      So let me get this straight. They spend about two seasons making beautiful romantic momments for barney and robin just to ruin it in 20 min. Then after that they add insult to injury and pair her up with ted. And if it didnt work for barney and robin how the HELL is it supposed to work for ted and robin. THIS WAS ALL JUST STUPID. Would have been happier if i had just missed the ending

  21. David says:

    Saying that the ending made you you feel like you wasted nine years is an overreaction. If you enjoyed up to the finale, it was still worth watching. I for one am glad Ted and Robin ended up together. Even if the ending wasn’t great, it wouldn’t erase all the fun and happiness the show brought me. Some of you you need to dial your drama meter back

    • taran63 says:

      I don’t feel like I wasted 9 years. But I do feel like I wasted 2 years (ever since it was revealed that Barney and Robin were the bride and groom).

      • KCatty says:

        I’ll never watch this in syndication, dvds, etc. hated it so much the show is dead to me… watching the middle knowing hiw it ends will never be satisfying. worst finale ever.

  22. BTM says:

    Aaaand cue the social media disproportionate rage machine!

    (I liked that the kids gave him the verbal bitchslap to go to Aunt Srobin.)

  23. Maria says:

    Loved it!!!

  24. Kat says:

    Awful finale. They had their ending planned from the start, and while that may have worked back in Season 2, it can’t work now. Characters change, despite what your original ideas may have been 9 years ago. I guess “How I tricked my kids into listening to me tell the story of how much I love Aunt Robin by saying I’ll tell them how I met their dead mother,” wasn’t a good fit. Not only that, it was horribly paced on top of that so everything felt disjointed and rushed.

  25. Sarah says:

    There is a problem in the television industry when creators care more about “shocking” and “memorable” than drawing a series to a satisfying conclusion. I didn’t watch to be shocked. I watched to see Ted meet The Mother, marry her, and live dorkily ever after. None years, and the creators didn’t get it.

  26. Anon says:

    Hated it.

    What happened to the scene of Ted at a restaurant with Robin?…it was in the promo pics releases for the finale. She’s seated and he’s standing up looking a little pissed.

  27. Greg says:

    Renamed: How I met your Aunt Robin and neither of us grew up in 19 years.

  28. NAF says:

    What a letdown. Seriously. We wait all this time for Ted to meet the mother, and they just…oh…glaze over her very sad and emotional death…amongst many other potentially beautiful moments. It was just so rushed. Come on. Barney finally matured in a truly beautiful scene, and he should have gotten a happy ending with Robin. Ted should have gotten a loving fulfilled life with the mother, even if she died tragically–he was always the emotional one anyway. The whole show was about how he was looking for his true love, and she was it. Why waste that? Barney and Robin could have gotten back together, and he and the gang could have begun a new game of “Haaaaave you met [widower] Ted,” beginning a whole new journey for his character after finally getting over the mother. Robin was a great character, but she was not his true love–she was Barney’s.

    • Lara says:

      I am having a hard time with Ted and Robin ending up back together because… they are still going to end up back at that restaurant realizing… they don’t work… and they both want different things.

      • Duke says:

        That’s the thing though… they WANTED different things. Past tense.

        Ted’s already met the mother of his children, and had said children. He’s gotten what he wanted back then. Who’s to say what he wants now, and that it’s different from what Robin wants?

        • Toni says:

          And Robin will just have grown into a woman who is okay with raising someone else’s kids? I don’t think so.

          • Becks says:

            And honestly unless Robin had a complete personality transplant and is okay with Ted’s constant whining of her having to go on various locations for work… it isn’t gonna work out.

  29. Hamza says:

    To make a whole season around the wedding, and to end it like this? Absolutely pathetic stuff! Just before this episode, I used to be a huge Ted/Robin fan but after she agreed to marry Barney, I thought we were FINALLY over with Ted/Robin thing in the last episode. But the idiots just destroyed the whole story.

  30. Olga says:

    I feel like I can never re-watch anything this season. I mean, it’s all about a wedding and two people loving each other who are gonna end in divorce. I don’t want to see that now

  31. Name This Tune says:

    The only thing I can compare this to is the Friends finale. That was satisfying, this was way too predictable. . .

  32. david says:

    guys um did i miss it or did they not explain the pineapple?

  33. leigh says:

    I decided to watch this episode having maybe seen two episodes in 9 years. The flow of the episode was rushed and it seemed weird to me how the entire episode ended. If I was annoyed, I can understand how longtime fans feel frustrated.

    • prish says:

      I watched it for one year and did the same thing. I just checked it out. It was odd that I knew a similar real life thing, and the kids felt God blessed them with both mothers. But I am glad I did not see the other 8 years. I’m satisfied.

  34. Carter says:

    I enjoyed it. Yes, the ending was predictable but it was still enjoyable and I’m happy with the shows run from beginning to end. Thanks for the memories.

  35. Liz says:

    I loved this show. Because of syndication, I can watch it every day.

    But this past hour undoes 9 years of character development and storylines. Giving up Robin showed that Ted was no longer needy and was ready to meet “the love of his life”. That was the whole point of the series. And they kill off The Mother and have Robin and Ted’s back up plan (single at 40?) fall into play? That is not romantic, it’s not Ted Mosby. That’s called settling. Robin hasn’t loved Ted since Season 2 and I’m not sure she really loved him then. Every time she wandered back to Ted since then it was because she was bored or lonely or unsure about Barney. Yeah, true love that ain’t.

    And having an entire season devoted to building up a wedding that ends up in a divorce ten minutes after the reception? What was the whole point of that except to fulfill a contract and make a lot of money? Because the storyline was entirely undone and pointless. Barney, who evolved into a man who could commit to one woman, went back to his pathetic one night stands…all of that character development? Pointless.

    The Mother was just a speedbump to the writers getting Robin and Ted back together which cheapens the entire premise of the show. And getting his kids’ permission to hook up with “Aunt Robin” is just sad and kind of gross. The mother was killed off so soon, she was only around to birth two children and then had a convenient illness (cough! cough!) and go bye-bye.

    But above all, this finale breaks a cardinal rule…a sitcom series finale should not be depressing. It’s a SITCOM, for goodness sake.

  36. Aaron Smith says:

    For Ted it always came back to Robin. Tracey was the mother and he loved her totally. But the reality was that he was always in love with Robin. The writers realized early on that Robin should have been the mother all along. They were just correcting their own mistake.

  37. Cyn Cromarty says:

    To me its not the fact that she died, that was expected for many weeks, its the fact that they brought a beautiful wedding of Barney and Robin , have them divorce 3 years later, JUST so that Robin and Ted can get together..just didn’t sit well. But I do love that they were very respectful about the death of Tracy and it wasn’t until 7 years after her death that they had them get back together.

  38. MsKayBru says:

    Ted and Robin never wanted the same things, that is why it never worked out for them in the first place. Ted wanted kids and true love. Robin didn’t want kids, had no idea whether or not she believed in marriage, and really had no desire to settle down. She found a life partner who understood her in Barney! Barney’s proposal was so thoughtful and so him. He gave up the Bro Code for her! He promised to be honest with her! He came from a broken family where he didn’t know his dad until later in life, he was a doormat hippie at one point and became the “suit up” womanizing Barney, but Robin softened his heart without having to change things about him. They accepted each other at face value. It’s not like they jumped in without knowing what they were getting into. They were scotch drinking, independent, fun-loving, realistic people who were perfect for each other. Ted and Robin never were and never will be perfect for each other. How can someone who cares so little about weddings, whine about Barney not finding her locket. I understand the reality of marriages not working out and not wanting to just go for the happy ending, but Robin and Ted made NO SENSE! He was always her best friend who gave her up so she could be with her true love. Last week’s episode would’ve served as a better finale than this week’s. Ted officially letting Robin go… ::sigh::

  39. Cami says:

    WORST FINALE EVER. I feel completely betrayed as a viewer and a fan of this characters.

  40. Danielle says:

    The Robin/Ted send off didn’t seem well played because I BELIEVED Ted when he told Robin he wasn’t the guy for her before her wedding. I was finally sold that he was seeing that she wasn’t the right one for him and then randomly be told at the end “nope, just kidding” seem forced. On the plus side, Ted/Lily’s ET goodbye was my absolute favorite – you know it’s a “moment” when you’re crying only 5 minutes into the show.

  41. rob says:

    Awful and obvious. Awfully obvious. Good riddance.

  42. Cyn Cromarty says:

    To me its not the fact that she died, that was expected for many weeks, its the fact that they brought a beautiful wedding of Barney and Robin , have them divorce 3 years later, JUST so that Robin and Ted can get together..just didn’t sit well.

  43. brycealexander says:

    Y’all complaining about the fact that this whole season was about the wedding need to remember that this was a total bonus season. It almost wasn’t made but the team decided to do one more. So don’t think about the wedding as a narrative element; it was simply to give us one more year with the gang, hang out with Tracy, and give us some more laughs/make CBS some more money. It was just a bonus, so don’t complain about getting a little extra in life.

  44. Jen says:

    It should have ended on the platform.. End of story

  45. JW says:

    I think we’re in an era where no finale can ever be acceptable, and I completely disagree that this was a horrible episode. I don’t know how I feel about it, though. That final reveal was so quick…mourn the Mother, Tracy, and be happy that Ted and Robin get together again. But it had everything that’s great about the show and it closed out the story, there was an end.

    • Bob Smith says:

      They could have easily made an acceptable ending by simply letting Ted and Tracy be happy, let Barney and Robin be happy, and keep Marshall and Lily going strong. I think everyone would have been satisfied. NO ONE was looking for a Ted-Robin hook-up at the end given the entire 9th Season Barney-Robin wedding.

  46. JW says:

    By the way, you watch the show for the episodes each week….not for the friggen finale. Do you read a full book or do you read the last paragraph? Its the full experience that matters, and that’s what this show was about in spades.

  47. rowan77 says:

    Ugh. Crap finale. Could see Tracy dying ages ago (like everybody else). I had hoped the showrunners would’t be that stupid, especially since everyone’s been talking about how they really think that’s a dumb way to end things for months and months, now. But no. They wrote a crappy ending to a series that deserved better.

    ANd I agree with Jen. They should have ended it last year with Ted and Tracy meeting at the train station. That would have been sweet. Instead they drag it out for another season. Not worth it. Big disappointment.

  48. reaml says:

    We should have known since the beginning that ted and robin were end game, they cast Josh first and then found Cobie next. They were the two main characters. ..from the get go. However, the CT and CB really wrote themselves into a corner with the kids…they had to tape an ending 8 years ago. But who knew they could evolve all these wonderful characters and stories….mature them so well, only to benatuck with the original plan from 8 years prior.
    I was so disappointed to see Barney revert back to his old sleezy ways, and Robin have such disregard for her group, and to see such tiny snippets of Ted and Tracy’s life together….however life isn’t always neat and I guess it’s how it goes. I’m just disappointed or want really about how Ted met the mom.

    • brycealexander says:

      If they wanted to change the ending, they could have. Yes they had the kids taped, but they could have done plenty of tricks to change the outcome had they wanted to.

  49. Fernanda says:

    the only big disappointment in this finale is Barney’s journey in the whole series.

  50. b says:

    Guess I’m in the minority. I thought it was the perfect ending for the show. Ted and Robyn had to end up together and they way they made it happen was great. Ted got to find his perfect mate and have kids and Robyn got to travel the world and have the career she dreamed of., but in the end they were destined to be together. And for all the people bitching about the whole season being about a wedding that only lasted three years. That’s not what the season was about. That was the backdrop but the season was about how each of the characters met Tracy and the series of events that had to fall into place for Ted to meet her.