Kids, there's more than one story of how I met your mother. You know the short version, the thing with your mom's yellow umbrella, but there's a bigger story..."The Mother, which comes into the possession of Ted after she leaves it at a party. It is often used to represent her since she remains faceless. Its significance was first mentioned during Wait For It.
The story of the Yellow Umbrella begins in the episode No Tomorrow. It was St. Patrick's Day and Barney and Ted went to a party, the mother was also at that party carrying the yellow umbrella with her at the entrance. After a wild night at the party, Ted got punched in the face for charging drinks to someone else's account. After that Ted tells Marshall what happened that night, and tells him that he forgot his phone, so Ted went back to the party to look for his phone but couldn't find it. He was just about to leave, but it was raining, so he went back in and found the yellow umbrella. He took the umbrella and left.Later on in the episode Right Place, Right Time, Ted got a job to design a restaurant shaped like a cowboy hat. He told the guys from Rib Town that they picked the right guy and that he could do it easily, but he couldn't do it at all and thought that it was a ridiculous design. Robin then tells him that he needs to get out of the house and get a bagel, and that he should take an umbrella with him because it was going to rain. He took the yellow umbrella with him and has it when he meets Stella on the street. The meeting would eventually result in Ted getting a teaching job at Columbia University, where the Mother sees him for the first time. In the episode Girls Versus Suits, Ted brings the yellow umbrella to Cindy's apartment and leaves it by the door when he comes inside. When he leaves, he forgets to take it with him, and abandons it where its original owner, Cindy's roommate and The Mother, will find it.
In Big Days, Ted is seen attending a wedding, which turns out to be Barney's, in 2013, after which he will meet the mother. As it rains, he tells Marshall that he didn't bring an umbrella, a reference to the mother's yellow umbrella he obtained years beforehand.
In No Pressure, after Ted gains closure with Robin, he walks outside to everyone outside with a yellow umbrella. This symbolises his opportunities after he gets over Robin.In Farhampton, in a flashforward, while Ted is waiting at the Farhampton train station for a train after Barney and Robin's wedding, The Mother comes out of a taxi, holding up the yellow umbrella in the rain and stands a few feet from Ted.
In Something New, The Mother is seen carrying her bass guitar and yellow umbrella in a train station. She walks up to the counter and asks for a ticket to Farhampton where she will be playing in the band on Barney and Robin's wedding.
In How Your Mother Met Me, almost every near chance encounter between The Mother and Ted, including every event involving the The Mother's umbrella, are finally tied together and explained from her perspective.
In Last Forever - Part Two, it is revealed that the umbrella bears the initials T.M. on its handle. Ted notices this when he meets the mother, leading the two to recall the story of how the umbrella had been lost and regained. The exchange inadvertently causes them to introduce each other by their first and last names, since they both have the same initials.
|Friends & Family||Ted Mosby • Ted's kids • Louis • Cindy • Kelly • Darren • Max • Mitch|
|Places||The Mother's apartment|
|Others||Yellow Umbrella • Superfreakonomics|
|Friends & Family||Robin Scherbatsky • Marshall Eriksen • Lily Aldrin • Barney Stinson • Alfred Mosby • Virginia Mosby • Heather Mosby • Stacy • Ted's kids • Tracy McConnell|
|Places||MacLaren's Pub • The Apartment • Wesleyan University • Gazzola's • Ted's house • Goliath National Bank • New GNB Headquarters • Ted's Architecture Class • Ted's Second apartment • Puzzles|
|Others||Yellow Umbrella • The Threeway Belt • Blue French Horn • Sensory Deprivator 5000 • Naked Lady Noise • Tuxedo Night • Tantrum • TurTurkeyKey • Intervention banner • Doctor X • Red Cowboy Boots • The Swords • Five Words • Mock Salutes • Classic Shmosby|