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Tracy Mosby
Motherfinale
Portrayed by:
First appearance:
Last appearance:
Full name:
Tracy Mosby, née McConnell
Also Known As:
T.M, The Mother
Born:
September 14, 1984
Occupation:
Bass Player and lead singer for Superfreakonomics
Writer
Romances:
Ted Mosby (husband)
Max (ex-boyfriend - deceased)
Louis (ex-boyfriend)
Gallery of Tracy Mosby images (0)

Tracy Mosby (née McConnell) is the titular character of the series. She is the wife of Ted Mosby and the mother of his children. She was a bass player and vocalist for an economics themed band called Superfreakonomics, which commonly played around New York in the 2010s. Her social circled included Cindy, Kelly, and Louis (who she dated from April 2012 to May 2013). She studied economics at Columbia University. She most likely lived at 317 West 115th Street, apartment 7A, until she moved in with Ted. In Last Forever - Part Two, it is revealed she dies of an undisclosed illness in 2024, about six years prior to Ted Mosby telling his children how he met her.

Prior to her full revelation, Tracy's name, physical appearance, and how she would meet Ted were only partially revealed over the course of several years. This slow reveal created much fan speculation as to who she was. As such, she was commonly referred to as "The Mother" by fans. Her first full appearance was in Something New, her name was revealed in Last Forever - Part Two, and where she would meet Ted was confirmed in Farhampton. Her name was possibly revealed in season one's Belly Full of Turkey, when Ted tells his children he met a stripper named Tracy, to which they respond "WHAT?".

Family

Character Background

In 2005, while celebrating her 21st birthday with her friends at a MacLaren's Pub on the west side of New York, Tracy finds out her long term boyfriend Max has been killed. A few weeks later, she returns home after the funeral to find a packaged ukulele he had gifted to her, which she keeps as a reminder of his spirit and presence. The sudden death deeply traumatizes Tracy and puts her off dating ever again.

In 2008, she reluctantly attends the St. Patrick's Day party seen in season three's No Tomorrow after being talked into it by her roommate and best friend Kelly. At the party, she runs into Mitch (The Naked Man) who is revealed as her music instructor from some years back, before either had moved to New York. Tracy offers Mitch a cello she no longer uses and invites him back to her place. They prematurely leave the party and she forgets her Yellow Umbrella at the club. At the apartment, Tracy brings out the cello only to find Mitch standing nude before her. Mitch explains the purpose of The Naked Man move and Tracy expresses more disillusionment with dating. Mitch asks Tracy what she wants to do with her life from now on. She decides she wants to end world poverty. Mitch tells her everything she does from now on should be in service of that goal. This inspires Tracy to go to university. Tracy then realizes she forgot her umbrella and rushes to retrieve it, just as Kelly arrives home (The Naked Man works on her). The club had closed before Tracy arrives, and when she returns the next morning, Ted had already taken the umbrella while looking for his lost phone.

In 2009, Tracy meets Cindy in her Econ 305 class. As Kelly has moved out, she invites Cindy - who is without a place to live - to become her new roommate. Cindy agrees, and Tracy tells her that she no longer dates after losing Max. She describes herself as "old fashioned," stating she believes that everybody has only one soulmate that they can truly connect with and that she'd already met him. Ted then walks into the wrong classroom and begins giving his lecture to the class, as seen in season 5's Definitions. It is here that Tracy first absentmindedly hears and laughs at Ted's infamous "shellfish" joke. Once Ted begins teaching architecture, Tracy believes she's in the wrong room and runs out. However, it is Ted who is in the wrong room. The two briefly cross paths again as Ted is running to the correct classroom and Tracy realizes she needs to go back.

9x16-4

Cindy tells Tracy about Ted's visit.

Later that year, Ted briefly dates Cindy but they break up when he, like her other dates, becomes fixated on what he knows about Tracy. As seen in Girls Versus Suits, he leaves their apartment, forgetting the yellow umbrella and briefly glimpsing Tracey's foot as she walks into her bedroom. A short time later, Tracy notices the yellow umbrella. She bursts into Cindy's room excited and confused, but finds Cindy in tears. Cindy reveals to her that she had been dating "the architecture professor that walked into the wrong room first term," and that they had parted ways because Ted was unwittingly "already in love" with Tracy. Tracy is skeptical as he hasn't even met her, and Cindy begins lovingly describing Tracy's favorable traits. Cindy then kisses Tracy. When Tracy does not reciprocate, Cindy apologises and says she has to figure out her sexuality.

In 2010, Tracy meets Darren, who tells her he's a longtime fan of her band, "Superfreakonomics". She offers to let him sing vocals at their next show, which leads to Darren progressively taking over and corrupting the band, then later trying to kick her out.

In 2011, as Tracy, and an unhelpful Darren, are packing up equipment from a show, a man named Louis (Seen in The Time Travelers) appears and offers to load the rest of her equipment into the car. Louis asks her out. She objects, but when Louis hands her his number she accepts and meets him later at MacLaren's. Tracy once again explains that no longer dates after losing Max. Louis understands but leaves the possibility open. Eventually, Tracy gives Louis a chance, and they begin dating. They are happy together, but Tracy feels there is no true love evident.

Themotherandbarney

Tracy gets Barney on the right track.

Six months before Barney and Robin's wedding, seen in a flashback in Platonish, Barney accepts a series of complicated pick up challenges set by Robin and Lily. He succeeds at every one. In his final challenge, he goes to a drug store to hook up with a random woman while holding embarrassing objects. The woman he targets happens to be Tracy. As Barney attempts to woo her, she stops him immediately and tells him she can see this is a cry fro help. Barney initially dismisses her claim, but when he tries to pick up another woman, he realises Tracy is right. He pursues her for more advice. They sit on a bench outside the store and Barney opens up to her. Tracy tells Barney that she thinks he failed falling in love and now he's been trying to keep himself busy to escape it. She asks Barney: "Do you want to continue playing the game or do you want to win?". Barney begins realizing he's wanted to win Robin all along. He tells Tracy he could easily win the love of his life in 20 minutes but she stops him, telling him it'll be a long process, and it'll take all he has and is willing to give. Barney sits on the bench deep in thought as Tracy gets up and heads to the nearest subway. Later that night, Barney begins to write "The Robin" which culminates with his proposal later in the year. Simultaneously, Ted is choosing not to chase Robin again, a decision which inadvertently leads to Barney and Robin getting married, and Tracy meeting Ted at the wedding.

One ticket to Farhampton, please

"One ticket to Farhampton, please." The first time the audience gets to see the face of Tracy.

Before Barney and Robin's wedding, Tracy arranges to stay at Louis's beachside house. She remains there until Sunday night of the wedding weekend.

HIMYM Locket 1b

Lily and The Mother talk during their train ride to Farhampton.

In The Locket, Tracy 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 drive to the wedding. Tracy mocks Ted with Lily, but realises she also possesses all of Ted's travel habits. She later suggests to Lily that perhaps Ted deliberately got Lily to leave his car, which helps her realize that Ted wanted to beat Lily to the Farhampton Inn so she couldn't stop him from giving the locket to Robin in hopes of winning her back. She then tries to look at her phone to see Marvin, but Tracy takes her phone away, telling Lily it only makes her upset. They get into a fight and eventually Tracy 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 in the Minnesota airport, and Tracy gives Lily a hug to help her feel better.

Skärmavbild 2013-12-17 kl. 19.31.11

The Mother with Marshall.

The night before Barney and Robin's wedding, during Bass Player Wanted, Tracy finds Marshall and Marvin on the side of the road on their way to the Farhampton Inn and offers them a ride. In the car, she reveals that Lily told her all about his plans to move to Rome with her. Marshall asks if Lily said anything to her about his accepting of a judgeship, and Tracy guarantees he'll be having quite the talk with his wife once he arrives. She tells Marshall that she's heading back into the city because she recently quit being the bass player for the band she created in college, "The Superfreakonomics," before her lead singer, Darren, could fire her.

Darren is revealed to be the man who's been causing trouble between Lily and Robin, and between Barney and Ted by revealing some large secrets, such as Ted's moving to Chicago. Tracy has a talk with Lily in the Farhampton Inn Bar prior to meeting Marshall, where Lily recommends she steal Darren's van and head back to New York. Tracy does so, but Marshall convinces her to stand up for herself and kick Darren out of the band she created instead of just giving in. Once they arrive at the Inn together, she immediately heads back to the bar and orders the "Kennedy Package", just as Lily had in Coming Back and even says "Thank you, Linus" after every drink. Linus is shown to have fallen for Darren's same charm, and Tracy sits, feeling down on her luck.

Meanwhile, Ted has stolen a 30-year-old bottle of Glen McKenna from a nearby liquor store to prove his friendship to Barney. After Marshall reunites with the gang, Darren rounds the corner and bumps into Ted after he begins pouring his friends glasses of the Glen McKenna. Ted turns around and punches Darren in the face, knocking him out. After hearing this news, Tracy tells the bartender she wants to buy "whoever the best man was" a glass of 35-year-old Scotch and leaves the bar just before Ted and the gang arrive cheering, Ted on. After Tracy leaves, future Ted remarks, "Kids, that was the first drink your mother ever bought me".

HYMMM

Ted hears The Mother sing for the first time.

The same night, a few hours after Bass Player Wanted, she returns to Louis' house, where he proposes to her. In a panic, she walks onto his front porch and looks into the sky, asking Max if it's finally okay to let go of him, and if she should. She accepts that perhaps it's best to move on and find love, but when she returns to Louis she turns down his proposal in tears, grabs her umbrella and belongings, and goes to the Farhampton Inn. That night, she gets a key from Curtis, the desk clerk, who gives her the room right beside Ted's. She puts her stuff down, gets out Max's ukulele, walks onto the balcony of her room, and starts to sing a personal rendition of "La Vie en Rose". Ted, sitting just a few feet away on the balcony of his room, listens to the song, and Future Ted states that he has heard her sing "La Vie En Rose" many times since meeting her, but that time on the balcony would always be his favorite.

Robinandthemother

The Mother with Robin

A few minutes before Barney and Robin's wedding ceremony, Robin runs away from the church in her dress and accidentally knocks Tracy down while she is setting up for the wedding reception. Tracy is hesitant to give advice to a bride she doesn't know, running from her wedding. She instead advises Robin to take three deep breaths, because doing so can sometimes change everything. (The End of the Aisle)

At the reception, Ted sees Tracy for the first time, playing the bass with the band. Barney sees and recognizes her and tells Tracy that he "got the girl" she once advised him to go after, referring to Robin. When he finds out that Tracy is now single, he tries to introduce Ted to her but is side-tracked when Ted announces that he is leaving. Later that night, Ted is waiting at the train station when Tracy arrives. Ted gathers up the courage and talks to her. Tracy tells him that he knows him through the Econ 305 class, and Ted knows that she was Cindy's old roommate. They then realize that they both owned her yellow umbrella at different points and realize that they found each other. They hit it off, and the following day, Ted cancels his plans for Chicago. He calls her and invites her to dinner.

Three days after Barney and Robin's wedding, she and Ted go on their first date. Ted tells her the story of Gary Blauman, and she sees Louis, which makes her uncertain she is ready to date again. Ted walks her home and finishes the story. Tracy and Ted share their first kiss then continue to walk around.

Motherandtedfirstkiss

The Mother and Ted share their first kiss

In 2014, a year after Barney and Robin's wedding weekend, seen in a flash-forward in Coming Back: Tracy 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 Tracy looks around the room and eventually her eyes land on the very seat Ted from 2013 had been sitting in.

Soon after, as seen in The Lighthouse, Ted stands with Tracy 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"; Ted tells her he'll try to make it even better. He gets down on one knee 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.

In 2015, Ted and Tracy are planning to get married in a grand ceremony in France in September that year. However, they postpone their wedding indefinitely when Tracy announces that she is pregnant. The couple continued living together in their house, unwed.

Themothertedpenny

The Mother with Ted and their daughter Penny

In 2017, at 2:17 in the morning, seen during a flash-forward in Unpause, Ted & Tracy are once again staying in the Farhampton Inn. Tracy is pregnant and begins having contractions. They quickly get into a car that's waiting outside, placing their two-year-old daughter in a carseat, and Ted tells Tracy that he's proud of her, as is their daughter, Penny. As Ted hurriedly drives toward the hospital, Future Ted tells his kids that the one exception to the "nothing good happens after 2 a.m." rule was the birth of his son, Luke.

In 2020, Ted re-proposes to Tracy and they are wed in a simple ceremony attended by Marshall, Lily, Barney, and Robin, who initially RSVP'd with "no", but was convinced by Tracy herself.

On New Years Eve 2022, Tracy and Ted attend a party celebrating Tracey's book being published. In the limousine outside the event, Ted recalls the vow he made (Rally) of not drinking as much as Barney drank in the night before his wedding (Unpause) so he wouldn't get such a terrible hangover. Tracy is skeptical he'll keep his word. However, the next morning, Tracy is the one with a terrible hangover, so Ted makes her the Stinson Hangover Fixer Elixir.

Vesn3

Ted and The Mother in the winter of 2024.

In 2024, Tracy and Ted are staying at the Farhampton Inn. Ted attempts to tell her stories like he told his children, but they both discover that they have told each other every story they have, finally considering themselves, "an old married couple." She then says that he should not live in his past stories, but instead live life moving forward (Vesuvius). When Ted recalls how Robin's mother nearly didn't attend her wedding, Tracy makes an offhand comment about mothers always attending their daughter's weddings. Ted is overcome with sudden emotion and Tracy quickly changes the subject back to their life stories.

In Last Forever - Part Two, Tracy dies of an illness sometime in 2024. Ted recalls the time he met her and he says from the moment that he met her, he had to love her for as long as her could. His daughter reveals that she has been gone for six years as of 2030. She also theorises that the reason he went into such detail about Robin throughout the retelling is because he still has feelings for her. The kids are enthusiastic about him dating Robin again, saying they have seen how they interact together. With his children's blessing, Ted decides to steal the blue french horn again and goes to Robin's apartment.

TM

Ted and The Mother in the hospital in 2024

Known Facts

Before Tracy's official introduction, the following was 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 suggested that Ted meets The Mother in New York. During Future Ted's narration, the scene flashes forward to Ted at the altar with the Mother, whose head is obscured by a bridal veil. Barney and Marshall are also present.
  • 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. Many speculated this was a clue that The Mother would be dead in the future and, even though that was the case, the timeline suggests his comment was simply made due to intoxication.
  • 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 bumps into a seemingly arbitrary woman and they share a moment, now proven to be a red herring.
  • In The Three Days Rule, Future Ted told his children that when he got their mother's phone number, he called her right away. This is then shown in Last Forever - Part Two.
  • 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. In Definitions, it's revealed that Ted was in the wrong room for his first class, and all the students there were Economics students, Tracy being one of them. His taking the wrong class also leads him to meet Cindy, who was Tracy's roommate at the time.
  • In Double Date, Future Ted told his kids that when he first told their mother his "shellfish-selfish" joke, she laughed. This appears to be slightly inaccurate as the first time he told the joke, he was actually telling it to the Economics class he mistakenly taught, and she was the only one in the room who laughed.
  • In Last Cigarette Ever, Future Ted reveals that he quit smoking two weeks into dating Tracy. This may be in part because, as an economist who wanted to end world poverty, she taught him to prioritise how he spends money.
Themothersfeet

Ted briefly glimpses The Mother in Girls Versus Suits

  • In Girls Versus Suits, Ted dates 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 that fascinate him, such as making breakfast foods sing show tunes, painting pictures of robots playing sports, and playing bass guitar. Ted also briefly glimpses her feet as she walks from the bathroom to her bedroom.
  • 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. Ted actually meets Tracy after the wedding is over, as they wait for the train home.
  • In Garbage Island, in a scene that flashes forward to 2021, Ted meets Wendy the Waitress at an airport and tells her 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 teens by 2030.
Ted+TheMother
  • 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. Robin is not wearing a wedding ring, as she and Barney would have divorced five years earlier.
  • In No Pressure, it is stated that the last person he said 'I love you' to before The Mother was Robin.
Farhampton9

The Mother and Ted at the Farhampton train station

  • In Trilogy Time, Ted is watching the Star Wars trilogy with Barney and Marshall in 2015. Barney complains about Ted bringing his baby daughter along, but relents because she is too cute. Ted is also wearing a wedding ring. However, in season nine, it is revealed Ted and the Mother did not actually wed until 2020, after seven years together.
BassPlayer

The Mother playing bass at the wedding

  • In Farhampton, Ted is waiting for the train back to the city at the Farhampton train station, after Barney and Robin's wedding. The Mother also arrives there, holding up her yellow umbrella and bass guitar in the rain. Show creator Craig Thomas confirmed this was the place where Ted and The Mother would finally meet[1].
  • 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 2013, 45 days before she met Ted, The Mother was dating a man named Louis while living at 317 West 115th Street in apartment 7A and still obtaining her Economics degree. He imagines what he would say to her if he knew they were about to meet, and if he knew that he would eventually lose her to illness after eleven years together.
  • In Something New, The Mother's appearance was revealed for the first time. She is seen buying her train ticket for Farhampton, where eventually she'll meet Ted after Robin and Barney's wedding.
  • In How Your Mother Met Me, it is revealed The Mother's 21st birthday was in September 2005, this makes her birth date 1984, which makes her 28 by the events of Barney and Robin's wedding. Her birthday falls on the same date Ted and Barney met Robin, and when Marshall and Lily got engaged.
  • In Vesuvius, she and Ted are addressed as "The Mosbys," implying she took Ted's surname after their marriage in 2020.
  • It is revealed in the final episode of the series that the Mother had died six years prior to when Ted began telling his children their story. Tracy died in 2024, shortly after Vesuvius.

Possibilities and Theories

This is a list of identities and popular theories regarding The Mother, before she was revealed:

  • 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." - suggest that their mother's name may be Tracy. The mother's name was confirmed as "Tracy McConnell" when she spoke it near the end of "Last Forever - Part Two", thus giving credence for the kids' shock mentioned above.
  • Many fans theorised the woman Ted bumped into during the Saint Patricks Day party in No Tomorrow would turn out to be the mother.
  • Despite continual denials, theories of Robin being the Mother persisted until she was revealed to be infertile in season seven's Symphony of Illumination.
  • The mother being dead by the time Ted tells their life story was an extremely popular theory when the series aired, especially due to Future Ted's increasingly serious tone as the seasons continue.

Past Candidates

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.

Ted's Love Solutions Match

During Matchmaker, 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. Ted says she's 28, but Tracy turned 21 during the events of the Pilot, so it is very unlikely they are the same person. Coincidentally, Tracy was 28 years old when she met Ted.

Robin Scherbatsky

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. 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 (reminding him not to forget his yellow umbrella). It is on this walk that he runs into Stella and Tony, who offers Ted a teaching position at a local college which 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 it is holding him back. Ted's obsession with Robin also prevents him from seeing other women.
  • Robin is revealed to be the bride at the wedding where Ted meets The Mother. (No Pressure, The Magician's Code - Part Two)
  • In Season 8, when Ted proposes to Victoria a few months after they 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 Barney and Robin's 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)
  • In Season 9, Barney reveals that Robin dared him to pick up a woman who was later revealed to be the Mother. The Mother figured out he was in love with Robin and encouraged him to propose to her. If Robin didn't dare Barney in the first place, they would never have gotten married and Ted may still be alone. (Platonish)
  • In Last Forever - Part Two, Robin lists Ted's relationship with Tracy as one of the reasons she doesn't hang out with the gang anymore. Robin reunites with the gang for Ted and Tracy's wedding, at Tracy's encouragement. Ted's kids comment on how the story about how he met Tracy focused more on his feelings for Robin. They conclude that after all these years, their father subconsciously still has feelings for Robin, and they reveal they have noticed romantic tension still existing between them. With his children's blessing, he decides to pursue Robin again.

Victoria

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. Victoria leaves her fiancée at the altar for Ted and they started dating again in Season 8[2]. However, due to his continued friendship with Robin, they break up again. 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.

Stella Zinman

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. In Ten Sessions, Stella tells Ted that the last party she'd been to was on St. Patrick's Day, whereas in the previous episode, No Tomorrow, he reveals to his kids that their mother was at a same party that he was on St. Patrick's Day. However, Stella left him on their wedding day to be with her ex-boyfriend, and father of her daughter, Tony Grafanello. Once again, if How I Met Your Mother had ended after Season 3, Stella would likely have been a fallback option (similar to Victoria) and she would have been The Mother, although Stella's daughter Lucy not being present while Ted is talking to his kids was an early indication Stella was not the mother. In a hypothetical flash forward, Ted pictures his kids with Stella as being blonde haired.

Zoey Pierson

Zoey was never a 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. Zoey is further confirmed as not The Mother when Ted reveals to Wendy the Waitress, when they cross paths in 2021, that his and Zoey's relationship ended badly, and that he's since married and had children.

Carly Whittaker

Until Ring Up, it was speculated that The Mother could be Barney's half-sister, Carly, as this would have literally made Robin and Barney aunt and uncle to Ted's future children. Not much was known about her, except that she was currently attending college, mentioned by Barney's father 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 lived ten minutes away from Ted's house. Ted meets Carly in Season 8 and briefly dates her without knowing she's Barney's sister.

Episode Appearances

Note: Any episode prior to "Something New", The Mother was played by stunt actresses, her first official appearance is in the aforementioned episode.

  1. Lucky Penny
  2. Wait For It
  3. No Tomorrow
  4. Girls Versus Suits
  5. No Pressure
  6. Farhampton
  7. Band or DJ?
  8. The Time Travelers
  9. Something New (first full appearance - series regular after this episode)
  10. The Locket
  11. Coming Back
  12. The Lighthouse
  13. Platonish
  14. Bass Player Wanted
  15. Unpause
  16. How Your Mother Met Me
  17. Rally
  18. Vesuvius
  19. Gary Blauman
  20. The End of the Aisle
  21. Last Forever - Part One
  22. Last Forever - Part Two

Notes and Trivia

  • The name Tracy literally means "domain belonging to Thrace." Tracy's name came from an English surname, derived from the name of a Norman French baron, and this through a place name meaning "domain belonging to Thracius". Thracius is Latin, and means "from Thrace," where Thrace was a region located in southwestern Europe, currently divided between Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria.
  • Like Barney and Robin, she doesn't age in any of her future appearances. This may be due to her death leading Ted to have an idealised view of her in his mind, and his distance from Robin and Barney after they marry.
  • She graduated with an economics degree from Columbia University in 2012.
  • In all of her future appearances, except for Rally, Gary Blauman, and Last Forever, she is at the Farhampton Inn. In Rally, she is first seen in the back of a limo with Ted, and again with him at their house on New Year's Day. In Gary Blauman, she is on her first date with Ted in New York.
  • The flashforward of Rally reveals the Mother ends up writing and publishing a book.
  • In all the Mother's future appearances, she is only seen with Ted, Luke or Penny. She does not interact with Robin, Lily, Marshall, or Barney in the future until the two part finale, where Barney and Robin reveal their divorce at Ted's house (and Lily's third pregnancy is announced), and when she stops by MacLaren's Pub before her and Ted's wedding in 2020, to take a photo of Ted with all his friends (including Robin, who she personally encouraged to attend, despite Robin initially declining).
  • 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. [3][4]
  • On the Season Six DVD set, there is a special feature called "What we know about your mother". In it, Future Ted lists that:
  1. She's not Robin.
    How I Met Your Mother - What We Know About Your Mother05:03

    How I Met Your Mother - What We Know About Your Mother

    Season 6 DVD Special Feature: What We Know About Your Mother

  1. She's not Victoria.
  2. She was almost Stella.
  3. She was Cindy's roommate.
  4. She has a yellow umbrella...that I stole.
  5. She was in what I thought was my architecture class.
  6. She thought I was a complete idiot.
  7. She's considered weird by some.
  8. She was never going to be Zoey. That was just doomed.
  9. I met her on the day of a wedding.
  10. And here's something I haven't told you before:
    1. "...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...
    2. ...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...
    3. ...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..." (This did not actually occur, Ted and The Mother met at the train station after Barney and Robin's wedding, and bonded over their shared experience with the yellow umbrella).
  • Josh Radnor stated he wanted 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.” [5]
  • When Future Ted was imagining what his kids would look like if he married Stella, they had blond hair. The Mother has brown hair.
  • 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). However, this ultimately did not end up happening, indicating possible rewrites between season 6 and season 9.
  • 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."[6]
    • However, Cristin Milioti was cast in the spring of 2013.
      • It is possible Lyndsy meant the person Ted ends up with was Robin, due to the fact she and David had already filmed their part in the series finale 6 years prior.
  • Tracy met all of Ted's friends prior to Barney and Robin's wedding, and met Robin mere minutes before the ceremony. All his friends were helped by Tracy in some form:
    1. Barney is the first to meet Tracy in Platonish. She sees through Barney's womanising ways, and offers advice to help Barney realize he wants to marry Robin.
    2. Lily meets Tracy 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 his judgeship.
    3. Marshall meets Tracy in Bass Player Wanted. She picks he and Marvin up from the side of the road on their way to the Farhampton Inn. She helps Marshall prepare for his coming argument with Lily, while Marshall helps her build up the courage to stand up to Darren, one of her fellow band members who was kicking her out of the band she created. 
    4. Robin meets Tracy in The End of the Aisle. Robin runs into her while trying to escape from her wedding. Hesitant to give advice to a total stranger, Tracy offers Robin a chance to calm down by taking three deep breaths. In this time, Tracy leaves the room and Barney enters, where he exchanges his one vow of total honesty to Robin, who no longer wants to run from him.
    5. Ted is the last to meet Tracy in Last Forever - Part Two at the Farhampton station after the wedding. The train was 45 minutes late, leading them to strike up their first ever conversation.
  • In Vesuvius, it is revealed her pet name for Ted is "Pooh Bear" from the books by English author A.A Milne.
  • "The Mother", which can be abbreviated as T.M., shares the same initials as the character's name after she changes her name from Tracy McConnell to Tracy Mosby, as a result of marrying Ted.
  • Tracy is a key factor in Barney and Robin getting married. Similarly, without their wedding, Tracy and Ted might never have met.
  • Tracy dies in 2024.

References

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