|Gallery of The Mother images (36)|
The Mother refers to the future mother of Ted's children. Since her name is currently unknown, she is simply known as "the mother" amongst fans. She's the bass player for an unnamed wedding band that commonly plays around New York, her friends include Cindy and Louis (who was her boyfriend by April 2013) and is currently studying for her economics degree at Columbia University. She most likely lives with her boyfriend at 317 West 115th Street, apartment 7A.
Character BackgroundIn The Locket, The Mother offers Lily some of the cookies (which she calls "sumbitches") that she brought with her on the train to Farhampton, after seeing Lily distraught about missing Marvin. She later sits beside Lily who rants to her about her previous car ride with Ted and some of the annoying habits he'd displayed during their car drive to the wedding. The Mother mocks Ted with Lily, but she also possesses all of Ted's habits while travelling. She later suggests to Lily if Ted perhaps deliberately got Lily to leave his car which helps her realize Ted wanted to beat Lily to the Farhampton Inn so she couldn't stop him from giving the locket to Robin in hopes to win her back. She then tries to look at her phone to see Marvin but The Mother takes her phone away telling Lily it only makes her upset. They get in a cat-fight on board the train and eventually The Mother gives in and allows Lily to have her phone to see if any new Marvin pictures have been uploaded. Just as she's about to see a photo revealing Marshall accepting his judgeship, Marvin accidentally deletes the photo elsewhere in the Minnesota Airport, and The Mother gives Lily a hug to help her feel better.
A year after Barney and Robin's wedding weekend, seen in a flashforward in Coming Back The Mother and Ted are checking in to the Farhampton Inn where Ted tells her a story of how one year earlier, he sat in the very chair across from them almost to the moment and told himself "I'm coming back, and I'm bringing you". She remarks that Ted hadn't even met her a year ago, but Ted tells her he knew he would. He gets up and leaves to check them in and The Mother looks around the room and eventually her eyes land on the very seat Ted from 2013 had been sitting in.Nearly two years after Barney and Robin's wedding, seen in a flashforward in The Lighthouse Ted stands with The Mother on top of the Farhampton lighthouse, staring out into the sunset, she says it's "Almost like going back in time" which Ted remarks was exactly what he'd said when he visited there with Cassie in 2013. She remarks how she pukes whenever Ted does, and she doesn't want that to ruin "The perfect evening" which Ted tells her he'll try to make even better. He sits on one knee and opens up a box revealing a ring, and begins to propose, but before he can say her name and complete his sentence she automatically says yes without question, multiple times. He stands up, they kiss, and are officially engaged.
6 months before Barney and Robin's wedding, seen in a flashback in Platonish Barney goes to a drug store to hook up with a random woman for his "Challenge accepted" to which he runs into The Mother during the period of time she was still dating Louis. As Barney attempts to get her number, she stops him and begins giving him relationship advice, and tells him he's a nice guy. Barney gets offended at her advice and chases after her asking for clarity on his situation. They head outside and sit on a bench, she tells Barney that she thinks he'd failed falling in love and now he's been trying to keep himself busy to escape it, and asks Barney "Do you want to continue playing the game or do you want to win?" to which Barney begins realizing he's wanted Robin all along. He tells The Mother he could easily win the love of his life in 20 minutes, and she stops him, and tells him it'll be a long process, and it'll take all he has and is willing to give. Barney sits on the bench in thought as The Mother gets up and heads to the nearest subway. It is that night that Barney begins to write "The Robin" which culminates with his proposal later in the year.
While not much is known about the mother, the following has been revealed throughout the series.
- At the end of Lucky Penny, Future Ted says:
"Kids, funny thing about destiny. I thought I was destined to get that job, but I was wrong. My destiny was to stay in New York. Because if I hadn't, I never would've met your mother."This strongly suggests that Ted meets the mother in New York.
- At the end of Something Blue, Future Ted closes the episode talking about his and Robin's futures:
"And as hard as it was at the time, in the end we both got what we wanted. She did eventually go on to live in Argentina, and Morocco, Greece, Russia, even Japan for a little while. And I? Well, I met your mom."
- At the end of How I Met Everyone Else, Ted asks Marshall and Lily where his wife is, at his college reunion. As the reunion was held in 2020, it is revealed that, by 2020, Ted would have already gotten married.
- In Wait For It, it is revealed by Future Ted that the mother's yellow umbrella factors into the story of how she and Ted met.
- In No Tomorrow, Future Ted states that his future wife was at the same St. Patrick's Day party he went to, but that they didn't meet each other. When going back to the party to find his phone, he picked up the yellow umbrella that belonged to her. However, Ted does bump into some seemingly arbitrary woman whom he seems to notice and who seems to notice him, now proven to be a red herring.
- In The Three Days Rule, Future Ted tells his children that when he got their mother's phone number, he called her right away.
- In The Leap, Ted is shown teaching his first class at Columbia University. Future Ted narrates how this was the best job he's ever had, and that if it weren't for that job, he never would have met their mother. However, in Definitions, it's revealed that Ted was in the wrong room for his first class, and all the students there were Economics students, and that the mother was one of them.
- In Double Date, Future Ted tells his kids that when he first told their mother his "shellfish-selfish" joke, she laughed.
- In Last Cigarette Ever, Future Ted reveals that he eventually quit smoking two weeks into dating the mother.
- In Girls Versus Suits, Ted dates a girl named Cindy. Cindy's roommate is the mother, as revealed by Future Ted. Although they never meet, while in Cindy's apartment Ted looks around and discovers things about the roommate/mother that shows they have very similar likes and hobbies, such as making breakfast foods sing show tunes, painting pictures of robots playing sports, and playing bass guitar. Ted also sees what Future Ted states was probably the mother's feet, as she leaves the bathroom to go into her room.
- In Big Days, Future Ted reveals that Ted will meet the mother on the day of a wedding and that "a little ways down the road" he will be the best man at a wedding, later revealed in Challenge Accepted and The Magician's Code - Part Two to be Barney and Robin's wedding.
- In Garbage Island, in a scene that flashes forward to 2021, Ted meets Wendy the Waitress at an airport and tells her that he is now married to "a wonderful woman" and has two kids, revealing that he will have met and married the mother by this time. This fits into the continuity of the series, given that Ted's kids are in their late teens by 2030.
- Later in The Exploding Meatball Sub, a scene set in April 2021 (ten years into the future) shows Ted wearing a wedding ring, further implying he will have met and married the mother by this time.
- In No Pressure, it is stated that the last person he said 'I love you' to before the mother was Robin.
- In Trilogy Time, it is shown that by 2015, Ted is watching the Star Wars trilogy with Barney, Marshall, and his baby daughter - implying Ted has met the mother and has had a child by that time. Ted is also seen to be wearing a wedding ring in the scene as well which means he has already married the mother by 2015.
- In Farhampton, it is shown that while Ted is waiting for the train back to the city at the Farhampton train station, after Barney and Robin's wedding, the mother also comes there, holding up her yellow umbrella in the rain. Craig Thomas confirmed in an interview that this is the place where Ted and the mother finally meet. 
- In Band or DJ?, it is revealed that the mother is the bass guitar player in the band playing at Barney and Robin's wedding
- In Bad Crazy, Future Ted reveals that the last girl he dated before meeting the mother was Jeanette.
- In The Time Travelers, it is revealed that in April of 2013, 45 days before she met Ted, The Mother was dating a Finance guy named Louis, living at 317 West 115th Street in apartment 7A and still getting her Economics degree.
- In Something New The Mother's appearance is finally revealed: She's short, has mid-length brown hair, large brown eyes, and a wide smile. In this episode she is buying her ticket for Farhampton where eventually she'll meet Ted.
Possibilities and Theories
This is a list of possible identities and popular theories regarding the mother.
- At the end of Belly Full of Turkey, Future Ted jokes to his kids that the stripper named Tracy he flirts with was their mother. Their shocked reaction when he tells them "And that, kids, is the true story of how I met your mother." - and subsequent relief when he laughs and says "I'm kidding." - both suggest that they believed him at first, and that their mother's name may also be Tracy. Similarly, in the first episode of the series, Ted tells them the story of how he met Robin, and they believe it is the story of how he met their mother, until he reveals in the end that it was "Aunt Robin." This too would have been a nod to the mother's possible name, however Robin's name is never mentioned until Future Ted's reveal at the end of the episode. Because of this, there is no reason for the kids' reaction to suggest that their mother is also named "Robin."
- During Milk, Ted has a date with Ted's Love Solutions Match, as they share a lot of similar interests and she wants the same things out of life as Ted does. However, Ted realizes that he doesn't want perfect, he wants Robin, and stands her up on their date to pursue Robin instead.
This is a list of people who, in the past, were potential candidates for being the mother. However, due to new information released later during the series, these people have been excluded from being potential candidates. Please note that only those who had a realistic chance of being the mother are included in this list, such as those that have been in serious, long-term relationships with Ted.
In the Pilot, it was shown that Ted wanted to get married and loved Robin, so it was implied that she would be the mother. However, at the end of the episode, Future Ted reveals that that girl turned out to be Aunt Robin, not the mother. This may be a device used by Future Ted to state the intimacy Ted's kids have with his friends, as Marshall, Barney and Lily are named aunt/uncle throughout. In Symphony of Illumination, it is revealed that Robin cannot have children, so she could not be the mother. Lastly, in The Magician's Code - Part Two, it is shown that Robin is the bride at Barney's wedding, eliminating any possibilities of her being The Mother.
Relationship with Robin
So far, every step that has brought Ted closer to meeting The Mother has been indirectly connected to Robin in some way:
- In Season 1, Ted's attraction to Robin prevented him from having a long-term relationship with several women, most notably Victoria. (Nothing Good Happens After 2 A.M.)
- In Season 2, Robin and Ted began dating, taking Ted off the market for awhile.
- In Season 3, Robin and Ted have split up, causing Ted to rebound, get a tattoo and then have it removed by his dermatologist and later girlfriend and fiancée Stella Zinman. (Wait For It, Ten Sessions)
- In Season 4, Robin agrees to come to Ted and Stella's wedding, but only to tell Ted that she thinks he's making a mistake. Later on, Robin sees Stella and Tony running away together. (Shelter Island)
- When Ted is feeling stumped on his latest project, Robin convinces him to go take a walk. It is here that he runs into Stella and Tony, who offers Ted a teaching position at a local college whic he accepts, which leads him to meeting Cindy, the Mother's roommate. (Right Place, Right Time, As Fast As She Can, The Leap, Girls Versus Suits)
- In Season 6, Robin encourages Ted to break up with Zoey, knowing that the Arcadian's fate would kill their relationship regardless of what happened. (Landmarks)
- In Season 7, Ted cancels his deal with Robin to get married at 40, saying that its holding him back. Ted's obsession with Robin also prevents him from seeing other women. Robin is also revealed to be the bride at the wedding where Ted meets the Mother. (No Pressure, The Magician's Code - Part Two)
- When Ted proposes to Victoria a few months after the got back together, she makes him decide between marrying her or keeping his friendship with Robin. Ted chooses his friendship with Robin and, as a result, Ted and Victoria break up.(The Autumn of Break-Ups)
- A chance meeting with Cindy leads Ted to hire the Mother's band for Barney and Robin's Wedding. (Band or DJ?)
- After the wedding reception, Ted is at the Farhampton train station because he plans on moving to Chicago to not be around Robin and Barney after they get married, and meets the mother at the train station. (Farhampton, Something New)
Due to the seriousness of their relationship, it was suspected Victoria would be the mother, but as was said earlier, in Lucky Penny, Future Ted states that he had not yet met the mother. Since Ted met Victoria months prior to this episode, it's clear Victoria is not the mother. She also makes a major appearance in Ducky Tie, where she reveals she maybe getting engaged.. However, it's likely that if How I Met Your Mother had not been renewed for a second season, Victoria would have been a fallback option and become the mother. Although, Victoria left her fiancée at the altar for Ted and they started dated again in Season 8, it has been confirmed that she is not the mother.
Stella was a likely candidate to be the mother, due to the seriousness of her relationship with Ted, culminating with their engagement and subsequent wedding plans. However, Stella left him on their wedding day to be with her ex-boyfriend and father of her daughter Lucy, Tony Grafanello. However, if How I Met Your Mother had ended after Season 3, then Stella would likely have been a fallback option (similar to Victoria) and she would have been the mother, although unless Lucy was the girl child, she does not appear to be present while Ted is talking to his kids.
Zoey was never a real possibility to be the mother, since it had been stated before Ted met her that the day he met his wife was the day of a wedding further down the road. It further confirms that Zoey is not the mother when Ted reveals to Wendy the Waitress when they meet in 2021, in Garbage Island, that his and Zoey's relationship ended badly and that he eventually married the mother, the true love of his life.
Until Ring Up, it was speculated that the mother could be Barney's half-sister, Carly. Not much was known about her, except that she is currently attending college, mentioned by Jerome Whittaker in Legendaddy. Thus, she may have been in the Economics class Ted accidentally went into as his first first day as a Professor. Carly's family also lives ten minutes away from Ted's house, and it is likely that she grew up in that family house.
Ted meets Carly in Season 8 and briefly dates her without knowing she's Barney's sister. Upon discovering this, Barney gets angry and tries to forcefully marry them, but both of them decide not to go with it.
- Wait For It
- No Tomorrow
- Girls Versus Suits
- No Pressure
- Band or DJ?
- The Time Travelers
- Something New (first full appearance - series regular after this episode)
- The Locket
- Coming Back
- The Lighthouse
Notes and Trivia
- The last 20 seconds of the song on tedmosbyisajerk.com sounds like gibberish, but if played backwards, it plays: "Wendy the Waitress is the mother of the goat".
- Carter Bays joked that Nora was the mother.
- Before her appearance in Something New, the mother has been played by a variety of 'stunt actresses', including Jennifer Birmingham and Pamela Fryman. 
- On the Season Six DVD set, there is a special feature called "What we know about your mother". In it, Future Ted lists that:
- She's not Robin.
- She's not Victoria.
- She was almost Stella.
- She was Cindy's roommate.
- She has a yellow umbrella...that I stole.
- She was in what I thought was my architecture class.
- She thought I was a complete idiot.
- She's considered weird by some.
- She was never going to be Zoey. That was just doomed.
- I met her on the day of a wedding.
- And here's something I haven't told you before:
- "...She never would've left that much of her sandwich uneaten. No joke, I've seen that woman get a half a pad of butter wrapped up to go...
- ...Oh, and your mother would've definitely would've befriended the waitress, which inevitably would have lead to a free dessert...Mom's ability to get free pie; supernatural...
- ...Oh, and I wouldn't have had much luck with an orchid. I'd have given her lilacs; her favorite...which just just happened to be the first flower I ever gave her...the very moment we met..."
- Josh Radnor has said that he wants the Mother to be played by an unknown actress: “I don’t think it should be any sort of stunt casting. I think it would be more interesting to have this fresh, exciting face that Ted has never seen before and neither have people who watch the show.” 
- When Future Ted was imagining what his kids would look like if he married Stella, they had blond hair. The Mother has brown hair instead of blond.
- In all episodes involving flash-forwards to Barney and Robin's Wedding, Ted is seen wearing a lilac boutonniere on the suit he wears to the wedding. A lilac is the flower he gives to The Mother the very moment they meet (according to the Season 6 DVD set special feature).
- On October 19, 2012, Lyndsy Fonseca said in an interview with The Huffington Post, in response to the question "Do you have any hunches on who the mother is?", she says "there was a time when we were told who it was and to never give the information out."
- However, Cristin Milioti was only cast in the spring of 2013.
- There is a growing assumption that the Mother has met all the members of the gang prior to Barney and Robin's Wedding. It seems as if they have all been helped by the Mother in some form.
- Barney is presumably the first to meet The Mother in Platonish. She helps Barney realize he wants to win Robin and marry her.
- Lily meets The Mother in The Locket. She helps Lily cope with her separation anxiety from Marvin. Inadvertently this helps Marshall by giving him more time to delete the picture about Marshall's judgeship.
- Marshall has yet to be seen with the Mother.
- Robin has yet to be seen with the Mother.
- Ted has yet to officially meet the mother in his present timeline, he is presumed to be the last to meet the Mother.
- ↑ http://www.seattlepi.com/entertainment/tv/tvguide/article/How-I-Met-Your-Mother-Boss-on-Premiere-s-Big-3891090.php
- ↑ http://www.tvguide.com/News/HIMYM-Finale-Barney-Bride-Craig-Thomas-1047516.aspx
- ↑ http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/how-i-met-your-mother-season-8-premiere-373735
- ↑ http://www.headlineplanet.com/home/2012/09/24/mystery-how-i-met-your-mother-actress-revealed-but-is-she-teds-wife/
- ↑ http://insidetv.ew.com/2012/10/15/how-i-met-your-mother-josh-radnor
- ↑ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/19/nikita-premiere_n_1859199.html