Investigating How I Met Your Mother's Latest Conspiracy Theories: Is the Mother Dead? Is Ted Dead? Are We All Reading Too Much Into This Thing?


“I am always going to love you. Until the end of my days... and beyond.”

A few weeks ago, when Ted uttered those 14 words in "The Time Travelers," How I Met Your Mother threw its devoted fanbase into a frenzied round of theorizing. After almost eight seasons, HIMYM diehards have become quite skilled when it comes to crafting and debunking theories about the show. But what Mr. Mosby said to his future wife has resulted in a much darker line of questioning than the usual, making queries like “When will the next slap come?” or “What’s the story behind the pineapple?” seem straight-up silly by comparison.

For example: Is the Mother dead?

It's not a new theory, as I'll explain in more detail below. But seeing a misty eyed Ted tell his future mate how much they would be in love and how they would have two kids—before pleading for an extra 45 days or even an extra 45 seconds with her—has brought it bubbling back up to the surface. 

What's more, I don't think it's the only question to consider. Folks, is it possible that Ted is the one who’s dead? Did that speech contain a hidden promise to continue loving his wife from beyond?

Of course, it's highly possibly that people are simply reading into "The Time Travelers" too much. HIMYM is a sitcom, after all—it couldn't possibly go down a road this dark, would it? 

Regardless, with eight seasons of material on the books, there's evidence to support all three options. So, let's take a closer look at each one and see if we can make some sense of it all.


Theory #1: The Mother is dead

This theory is actually one of the oldest HIMYM theories out there, speculating that Ted is telling his two teenage children the story about how he met their mother after she’s passed away. Even Jason Segel has mentioned it before, in a 2010 interview with GQ. But "The Time Travelers” brought it to light again, with some viewers interpreting Ted's plea for more time as a sign that at some point in the future, the Mother will be taken from him.

So, what breadcrumbs support this idea? For one thing, the Mother has never interrupted Ted's epic tale. Wouldn’t she want to participate in telling a story like this one? Plus, Ted isn’t always the most reliable narrator—the Mother's input would be helpful. And isn't it odd that Ted doesn’t seem worried about catching any flack for telling his kids about a decade’s worth of dating and sexual escapades?

Add to that the fact that, while HIMYM has shown us flashforwards on several occasions, the Mother never appears in them. For example, in the Season 3 episode “How I Met Everyone Else,” we saw Ted, Marshall, and Lily at their college reunion in 2020, and the gang was, um, "eating some sandwiches." As the episode concluded, Ted asked, “Where’s my wife?”—which, sure, could've been a harmless moment in which Ted, high as a kite, lost track of his significant other. It could also have been something darker, though.

The Season 7 episode “Tick Tick Tick” showed us how easily Ted and Marshall become disoriented when they're blitzed. Is it possible that, after spending the whole of "How I Met Everyone Else" catching up with old classmates and repeatedly telling them he was a widower, a few hits of a sandwich might've transported Ted to a dark place? One where "Where’s my wife?” didn't mean “Has anyone seen my wife?” but rather “Why has my wife been taken from me?”?

Theory #2: The Mother's not dead... Ted is

Something that Ted said in “The Time Travelers” made me question whether we’re looking at the "the Mother is dead" theory all wrong:

“Until the end of my days ... and beyond.”

If the Mother is, in fact, deceased, why would Ted have focused on the end of his own days?If Ted is alive, shouldn't he have said that he’d love his future wife even after she’s passed away? Instead, we saw Ted offering the haunting pledge to love the Mother even after he’s gone.

Of course, that brings up the question of how he's telling this story. Well, maybe he’s not. 

Odds are that few people actually pay attention to HIMYM’s credits, but it's worth noting that Bob Saget has never been named as the voice of Future Ted Mosby. We all know that Saget is the one narrating the show, and HIMYM has even winked at the fact, with Saget making a Full House reference in connection with Dave Coulier's recent cameo in “P.S. I Love You.” 

Why wouldn’t HIMYM credit Saget? If he’s Future Ted, as most people have always believed, what’s the secret? How about this: If Ted passed away but left a detailed and lengthy goodbye for his kids, couldn’t Saget—as an entirely different character—be the one reading that story? Saget hasn’t ever appeared on HIMYM, not even in flashforwards that depect Ted at an older age, and fans have long joked about how Josh Radnor’s voice might eventually transform into Saget’s voice. But if the narrator of HIMYM is someone we haven’t met yet, maybe even someone who's related to the Mother and who would eventually grow close to Ted, the difference between Saget and Radnor’s voices never has to be explained.

Last January, TVLine ran a blurb about the eventual HIMYM series finale, revealing that fans would eventually see a physical transition from Saget to Radnor. At the time, executive producer Craig Thomas teased “the most awkward transition in series television,” saying that we'll “see Josh in some makeup” as Radnor assumes narrator duties from Saget. It's easy to interpret what Thomas said as a confirmation that Ted will eventually take over the narration of his own life from Saget’s Future Ted, but what if Saget isn’t actually Ted? What if the makeup Thomas mentioned isn’t used to make Ted look old, but to make him look sick, as a dying Ted writes out the story of how he met his wife for the benefit of his children?

Theory #3. Nobody's dead—HIMYM is a sitcom, and the theorists doth assume too much

HIMYM loves introducing new rules. But when it comes to debating Ted's mindset in “The Time Travelers,” there's an especially important non-canon principle to consider: Occam’s Razor, which dictates that when you're trying to explain something, you shouldn't ever make more assumptions than are necessary. The "the Mother is dead" and "Ted is dead" theories both require lots of assumptions in order to work; they force us to read into minor details of the show that probably mean very little.

For example, let’s go back to Segel's interview with GQ for a second. After Segel told the magazine that he'd suggested the "the Mother is dead" theory, he also floated the idea that Ted and his kids might be in purgatory, and that Ted’s stories are a form of punishment. And then he suggested that “in one of those scenes, they should open the window, and it should be, like, a post-apocalyptic wasteland outside. It should be like I Am Legend. Horrible mutants.” In one fell swoop, he offered two ridiculous theories that kind of devalued any support he might've shown for the first one. And I could go on: Why is the Mother never in the room while Ted is telling stories? Odds are, she’s at work or out running errands. Why is Ted telling his kids about past girlfriends and hook-ups? The guy's done a lot of dumb stuff in his life—couldn’t this just be another blunder?

There's also the fact that Ted's kids have never really all that interested in hearing the story of how Ted met their mom. If either of their parents were dead, wouldn't this be a more emotional experience for them? And while they no longer address Saget's narrator the way they used to, when they did, it was in a way that made it clear they were talking to Ted. 


So what do you think, dear readers? Are we in for a very dark twist? Or are some people just putting too much stake in minor details? Admittedly, I wouldn't consider either of the death theories to be completely out of HIMYM's range. This is a show that suddenly killed off Marshall's dad and featured an episode that was highlighted by Marshall yelling at God. Last season's "Robin can't have kids" reveal was a dark shocker, too. But with that said, this is ALSO a show that revels in jokes about Canada, red cowboy boots, and ducky ties. And it's always been about hope: Even in his loneliest moments, Ted has believed that he’ll find "the one," that he’ll fall in love and finally have the life he’s wanted since we first met him back in Season 1. Personally, I'll be disappointed if—after nine seasons of watching Ted try to find his soulmate—we learn that one of them died soon after. But that doesn't mean it's out of the question...


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i think that Ted's kids don't exist and that he is imagining them so that he can tell his story to somebody and that he just wanted to justify his getting back with Robin so he told "them" the whole story to get his opinion out. i think that the mother is also dead and that he has nobody else to tell his stories to so he imagined the kids.
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The Robin/Barney wedding took place in 2013. The episodes aired between the fall of 2013 and the early spring of 2014. Ted, Marshall and Lily were at their college reunion in 2020, not 2024.
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In 2014 The wedding takes place but it fast fowards 2 years into 2016 when Barney and Robin are divorced but Ted's Wife isnt there and I for one think that they would be married by then with maybe 1 kid but the mother has to stay alive for 3+ Years to have the 2 kids. So she might have been in the hospital at the moment with the son. And in the future it fast fowards to the 2024 When Marshal, Lily and Ted are at the reunion So that is them cut off the chain so that leaves Robin, The Mother and Barney. And to back up that ted is alive the kids react to them. But who knows, as the article says this could be one huge dark twist. You never know. And in somewhere past in the future after Robin holds Marvin for the first time it fast fowards to when Lily and Robin are talking over wine about Marshal and Marvin. And also the Kids make a refrence to Robin saying that Ted should , "Totally go for it!". And That takes Robin off the chain so that leaves the Mother and Barney. Barney appears nowhere in the future only at 2016 so that might mean that Barney could be dead and Ted is telling his kids this story about Barney but they suggest he should go for Robin. Which Barney would maybe disagree but he is nowhere to be found. So this is a real shocker. I personally think that writers of this story wanted to make it so deep that noyone would realize that it could be someone inside of the gang noyone would suspect. So I personally think that Barney is dead and the mother is at work or at the hospital having another kid or at the grocery store ETC. It gets so deep.
I think it is Barney that has died. I am surprised noyone else has brought up this theory.
Thank you for reading all of this. I know it is a deep theory but I think it is true.
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The mum does interrupt, but shes not there just here voice, someone talk and then loads of different women walk in where ted is saying,"is it this woman"
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spoiler alert
the mother is dead and ted end up with robin whoooo i love them together
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what if the whole story was a dream
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You just broke the universe....
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What we know: Ted did eat sandwich at year 2020 with lily and marshall and did ask him self "where is my wife" and laugh. The mother was in hospital and Ted did begg the God's to save her, few days before that the mother did mention "what mother does not come to her daughters weeding", That was about ted's sister, and that was at year 2024.
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Ted is dead. He has filmed himself telling the kids the story of how he met their mother. She watches it after he dies. Oh and the mother's name is robin.
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To add to the theory that it's Robin who dies, when Ted "let go" of her (on the beach) she floated up into the air...
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Robin was alive when they talked in the future about Marvin And Marshal about how they are growing up and when they talk about Marvin going into highschool which is close to when Ted told the kids the story
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After considering the argument of a mother missing a daughter's wedding and Ted holding back tears, I re-watched the episode and one other theory occurred to me, which is Ted has a little sister, what if Mrs. Mosby dies and is unable to attend Heather Mosby's wedding. It would make sense that Ted would be emotional about it.
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Ted can't be dead. In the episode "Monday Night Football" from 2007 Ted says, when talking to the kids, "23 years later, I don't remember who won the game..." so he is definitely alive in 2030! I just saw it yesterday!
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I think Robin is the one who's dead. I think the entirety of the episode 'Vesuvius' is a code, and if you look back on not just that episode, but the whole show itself, it fits. The whole show is not about how Ted met the Mother, it's about Ted letting go of Robin. There are many hints that they are back at Farhampton in 2024 for a funeral (most notably, in the season 8 premiere 'Farhampton' the song that plays at the end is called 'The Funeral', strongly suggesting that at some point in the future a funeral is going to take place there). All through season 9 up to this point, people have been giving things to Robin - Ted gave her a photograph of them all and wanted to give her the locket, Barney gave her a signed photo of Gretzky, Lily gave her a book of memories of her and Barney's relationship - all these things are memories of Robin. Also, Lily keeps going on about how "there's only a few hours before the wedding, don't you want to spend those few hours doing something better than watching a stupid movie" - could take that as being code for last few hours of life (I'm not saying she dies at the wedding, I'm just saying you could translate it to meaning the end of Robin's life at some point) and she also says "Oh, oh is this your wedding day? I couldn't tell" - maybe this is telling us that the 2024 part is not her wedding day, but her funeral. Barney is hung up on what suit to wear - it is not unheard of in the case of a loved ones death to not know what will be appropriate to wear - maybe his dilemma about what to wear to get married mirrors him not knowing what to wear for the funeral. Robin's grandmother arrives and gives her a photo (yet again someone giving her something) and tells her about how her grandfather is buried at the very same church where they got married - clue that Robin will be buried at Farhampton.
Ted and the Mother talk about how when what's going on is too intense to deal with, it's better to just leave it unspoken - they are there for Robin's funeral and it is to intense to deal with, especially for Ted. Ted reacts emotionally when the Mother says "what Mother wouldn't turn up to her daughters wedding" - Robin can't have children, so would never be at a daughter's wedding.
The mother also says 'I'm worried about you. I don't want you to be the guy that lives in his stories. Life only moves forward." She is afraid that he will dwell in the past and never get over the death of Robin - and in a way she's right, because the entire story he's told his kids has been about him and Robin.
Also, Robin is the reason he met the mother. He meets her at the wedding. If Robin and Barney hadn't got married, he might never have met her, therefore Robin is the reason his children exist.
Finally, in episode 2 of season 9, Ted is doing a crossword, and he yells "Vesuvius! Oh, wait that doesn't fit". This is obviously a hint that the episode Vesuvius, and what the episode is so obviously suggesting (that the Mother dies) is NOT going to be how it will actually go, it "doesn't fit".
Maybe I have too much time on my hands and have read way to much into it, but knowing how clever the writers are, I wouldn't be surprised if they had put some coded message in this episode. Plus if you look back over the entire show, the idea that Robin is dead fits more than the theory that Ted or the Mother are. I say again, the WHOLE show is about him letting go of, and getting over Robin.
I will be interested to see what people think of this theory!
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I thought the same at first but then I remembered that future Robin has been shown before. In the episode where Robin picks up Marvin for the first time, it shows that 17 years after that day, Robin and Lily meet up and Robin tells Lily what really happened that day. It would've been around 2013 when it happened so she would still be alive in 2024; she'd be alive until at least 2030
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This theory blew me away. I think you are really onto something here. The episode is a red herring for sure. It does all point to robin when you think about it. Especially robin's ghost sitting in the room when Marshall and Lilly were fighting. At the time I found it odd but didn't think of it again because I was so focused on the mom dying. Great job. I'm checking back after the finale.
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How about the kids are watching a tape with Ted's life instead of Ted telling them, and he is dead? Every house has a TV right in front of the sofa... and the children aren't crying cause they might have found the tape a long time after his death... the conversations between them might not be real.. just Ted asking in the video, kids answer.. i see no conversation, just Ted knows his children very well... when Ted cried when the mother said that "what mother wouldnt appear to her daughter's wedding", first of all what kind of mother would have said such a thing about herself if she was going to die? i believe Ted cried cause HE won't be able to appear in his daughter wedding.. the plot twist is that we all believe that the mother is dead when in fact, ted is.. that's my theory... we will find out soon though :)
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They interacted with Ted, it's not a tape.
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Personally, I think that the mother isn’t going to die. It would just be such a depressing ending to such an amazing show which has taken up almost a decade of our lives. I think maybe the writers have made this whole ‘MOTHER WILL DIE’ thing so that the end really isn’t clear at all for any of us, which i guess represents Ted’s ‘journey’ towards the mother which he will meet in just a few Monday’s time. Given the evidence that she will/ has died; including the ’45 days from now’ speech and the episode last night where Ted started crying, I think it’s just a build up to a partly anticlimactic end (in that the mother will not die). You can’t deny, it’s obviously been a good way to keep viewers happy and excited, if not emotional about the end.
In my favorite episode, ‘Farhampton’- the first episode of series 8, Klaus gives us yet another emotional speech, about the feeling you get when you meet the person you fall in love with, which I think is probably the best and most emotional parts of the whole programme (manly, right?). Anyway, the song in the background of this speech is ‘the funeral’, which may show the foreshadowing death to come in the TV series. I am sceptical about all this, and I doubt it means anything- it is also just a good song- but if she does die I’m going to be so sad!
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What i want to see happen is after robin and barney get married and are driving away (with ranjeet as the driver of course) robin tells barney that she once was in a porno (she doesn't have to be the star) because of money problems. Then barney screams "Ranjeet, stop the car!" then barney gets out onto the street and runs all the way back to the church and slaps marshall so hard that he falls to the ground and then slaps marshal multiple times before saying "Now that was worth waiting for". And that is the last we see of the Legendary Barney Stintson.
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The happy part of the finale is that Ted and Robin will get married. The sad part is that Ted is talking to his imaginary kids. Since the beginning of the show , Bob Saget hasn't been credited as the voice of Future Ted , simply to help the illusion that he is in fact an older version of Ted. But he is not. People tend to forget that but there is a reason behind him narrating the show and not Josh Radnor doing it. It has been there since episode one where Ted meets Robin and the creators did a great job of not making a big deal about it. The biggest mystery of the show isn't how Ted met the Mother. Bob Saget is the X Factor of How I Met Your Mother.
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Actually I meant the narrator is talking to his imaginary kids , not Ted.
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Ok, so i have been reading different opinions and theories from everybody and honestly i do not know which one makes more sense. So here are my theories.

1. The mother dies at some point in time between her having Luke and Ted telling the story to their kids. Which could also lead towards Ted ending up being with Robin.

2. Ted dies at some point in time between Luke being born and the narrator telling the story. Clearly the narrator does not sound like Ted whatsoever, so what i could suggest from that information is that what the mother had to do when Max died, she had to do it all over again with Ted and found somebody else.. "The Narrator". The show is called "How I Met YOUR Mother" which also means that the narrator is telling the story of how their actual father met the mother.

3. Robin dies soon after the whole conversation with Lily 16 years into the future. And at some point in time Robin told Ted about the talk she had with her "kids" and in order to do something nice for her remembrance, Ted has the talk with his kids about how he met the mother. Also, a little foreshadowing happens in the episode "Sunrise" where Marshall is talking to present Lily and past Lily and also Marshall's dad and Robin, but Robin sits right by Marshall's dad, which passed away, and where both Lilys are right next to Marshall.

4. Robin gets pregnant, Barney dies and something happens to the mother where Ted has the choice to go back to Robin. That also could be why the show is called "How i met YOUR Mother."

5. Marshall and Lily break up again right after the wedding and Lily goes to Italy while Marshall stays in New York City to be a Judge.

6. Marshall and Lily move to Italy together.

7. Lily dies soon after the future talk with Robin about Mike Tyson.

8. Marshall dies and Lily moves to Italy to fulfill her dream.
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Also, i forgot one thing about Robin's death. In "Sunrise", Marshall is talking to the front desk guy when The Narrator says "The truth is... there was a ghost in that room."
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"Dad, can't you just skip ahead to the part where you meet Mom? I feel like you've been talking for, like, a year." - the daughter, "Where Were We?" (Season 2 Premiere).

I think this quote and the fact, that they interact with Ted various times in the first two seasons, proofs that Theory #2 is the weakest here. I mean, how or why would they talk to the narrator (Bob)/him and say "Dad", if it wasn't Ted?

The first theory sounds easier to believe, but would be a too tragic ending of the story and I also would support the view, that if it was like that, the kids would be far more interested in the story how their dad met their mother when she would have died.

What I found most interesting about this article, that it put, again, emphasis on the things we don't know about the ending and that the team still manages to make HIMYM exciting till the end.

BEST SHOW EVER!
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I wonder if the clue lies in the episode that Robin's kids disappeared... Ted may end up saying, the truth is, I never met your mother. You don't exist. And then Ted's two kids disappear as well. That may have been a clue they set out way before.
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that would be the worst ending ever. even worse than LOST. :D
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No, they've already shown flash forwards to Ted's daughter, Penny, as a baby and Ted and the mother going to the hospital so that she could have Luke.
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I'm starting to buy into the theory that the Mother is dead. If she was dead though why are the kids so annoyed with the story wouldn't they want to hear about their Mom? Also that How I met Everyone Else episode, I think when he said where's my wife he was laughing so not too sad sounding
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He had eaten a bunch of sandwiches. Also he could've forgotten what happened for a moment. Also some people laugh at funerals as their emotions are too hyper for them to handle.
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and what if the mother dies after ted tells the story and it fast forwards to ted and robins wedding

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If i'm not mistakin i beleive the writer revealed there would be some tragedy at the end i think lily and marshall break up during the closing seconds of the finally,but then it is reveled that there will be a spin off of how Marshall and lily get back together at their college reunion in 2020. Something unexpected is going to happen but ted and the mother will not die.
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Lil and Marshall are dead and ted is preparing the kid to tell her the thrut. I think the boy is lil and marshall boy and the girl is ted and wethever is the mother. Remember the chapter of season 8 when lil and Marshall are signing who is staying with the kid?.....


you will see!!!!!!!! that is the possible sad ending that i can thinking of (sorry my english, spanish is my native language)
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Ok, this may end up being a long post, but I have to put my theory, and my opinions on the Time Travelers Theory. First of all I will state my theory. My theoryis that Robin and Barney will not get married at the end of these last few hours before the wedding.

Reason 1 (The Evidence): In one particular episode that involves a flash forward, Robin and Barney are missing rings. In another episode Robin is hiding her left hand. In season six episode 20 "The Exploding Meatball Sub" there is a flash forward 10 years later where Barney and Robin have no wedding rings. In season eight episode 16 "Bad Crazy" There is a flash forward of 4-17 years where Robin hides her ring hand the whole time under her lap. Meanwhile Lily flaunts her ring everywhere. This shows us that she is married still 4 years later. Whether she is still married to Marshall it is uncertain and is up for speculation (maybe she is married to The Captain).

Reason 2 (The Reasoning): In light of the recent episode where we learn the road to Ted for the Mother we see Barney drinks heavily and disappears hours before the wedding. Also, both have showed great anxiety before the wedding in other flash forwards. Mostly from Robin where she says exactly "I can't go through with this wedding" Both have already showed signs of cold feet, and Barney has just fled the hotel.

Other Thoughts and Notices: Fist off the kids are in the same clothes in every episode, so the story takes place in one sitting (however you do not get a wardrobe in purgatory or a dream). The Time Travelers episode tells us a few things about Ted's love for the mother, but it tells us ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about the mother herself except that she had a boyfriend. He says that he will always love her until the end of his days... and beyond. He could possibly be trying to describe his love for her to his children. Next every time he refers to robin to the kids he calls her "Aunt Robin". So she is considered their aunt. Lastly, it is very foretelling that Teds favorite book is Love in the Time of Cholera. In light of the recent episode where we learn of how the mother met Ted, we find out that she was madly in love with someone before and he died. She accepted that as her peak until she met Ted. This is a notable parallel to Ted's favorite book.

Conclusion: I believe that Robin and Barney will not get married when the time finally comes. I believe that Ted will meet the mother, fall in love, get married, have their kids, and she will die giving birth to Luke (he was born after 2 o'clock). Therefore Penny and Luke would never have known their mother, hence this long story of how he met her. The reason he is telling this story is because he is reminding them that he will always remember and love their mother, but he is going to ask Robin to marry him and he wants their consent.
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I totally agree with this theory. Spot on.
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Barney and Robin get married. Ted sees the mother playing at their wedding
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I really doubt this will happen. Robin and Barney will get married and Ted will end up with the mother and nobody is going to die. The end.
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If your conclusion is right, I'm going to throw up.
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Based on the last ep, having either Ted or the Mother being dead would be kind of sucky. The Mother already lost what she thought was the love of her life and to then do the same to Ted would really rob the viewers of that happy ending.
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I think last night's episode may have calmed my fears a bit.

1) The kids have not aged. We have seen it as 8 1/2 years, but who knows if this is over a weekend for the kids. Plus we all know Ted would have shortened up the stories that he wasn't part of that he just heard about from Lily/Marshall.

2) The Mother has the goal to end world poverty. This doesn't seem too insane after hearing that Marshall saved the planet.. or almost ended global warming.

3) The Mother may be off somewhere trying to end world poverty, thus giving Ted a free pass to tell his children about his own life and the "endless parade of sluts he's banged."

4) Last but not least, didn't they decide to move forward with a "How I Met Your Father"? Obviously the Future Mother would be narrating that one. While I don't want to see it be the last moment of the show, hopefully we see the Mother come into the narration, or Ted eludes that he's off to build a skyscraper somewhere, and his wife will be telling the kids from their point of view.

Just my $.02 after watching last night's episode.
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"How I Met Your Dad" is not a spin-off to "How I Met Your Mother". It's the same concept, but different characters.
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She's not dead at the reunion. One that's terribly far fetched. But two, in the episode Garbage Island, Ted runs into Wendy the Waitress in 2021 at the airprot and says he's married to a wonderful girl. The reunion, happned in 2020. So while it's possible she's dead (I don't think so though) she for sure isn't dead at the time of the reunion.
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There is even more damming evidence.

1The writers have said they've known the ending all along. that they would not for any reason change it. One of the few possibilities the ending could be no matter what plot twist happen is the mom is dead.

2They also very early in the show shot a finale scene with the kids (because they would be too old in the finale otherwise). This means the mother isn't in the finale shot (they hadn't cast her yet) and her being dead in the story is the only way that wouldn't matter unless they CGI her in (wierd) or cast an older version to go with bob saget (weirder)

3Then there is ted's favorite book love in the time of cholera (main characters end up with one another after death of their current spouses)

4 then theres all the speech you already mentioned and the fact that this show does go dark when it matters in telling the story. Being left at the alter, not being able to have kids, father dying, your love of your life moving across the country (or to another one), getting hit by a bus, reconnecting with a dad who abandoned you (and who adopted other kids), your husband takes a career and destroys your dream job are all dark story lines that were some of the most touching moments of HIMYM

5 In the new season no flash forwards contain the mother beyond a year ahead and they never once in the entire show refer to her in the present tense. you mom was awesome, she played bass etc. The mom isn't just non existent in the narration of "how they met" she's past tense.
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They probably just CGI her in, it's not that wierd. And the mother's ex already died. They wouldn't do it again. I mean.. Right? :/
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The Mother was cast at the very beginning of the process, so there could be scenes already filmed with both the kids and the mother
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This is not true.
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Ok so here's my theory.... and this is gonna be a pretty long post.

First disclaimer: I've just recently watched all the seasons (with in 2.5 months) so I think because I've watched them so close together I am more partial to Ted and Robin eventually ending up together (no matter how great the mother is... I'm current so I know who she is and blah blah).

So my theory is that the Mother does die. And that eventually Ted and Robin end up together... here's my reasons. (* if you want the quick answer skip down to the Conclusion: *)

1st: (And for me the most stable reason) in "No Pressure", Marshall and Lily's bet about Ted and Robin ending up together is brought to the surface. And throughout the entire episode it shows instances of Lily asking Marshall to pay up. And each time he refuses and each time he is correct. And the season ends with Lily asking him to pay up, and he says "not yet, not yet". The directors of HIMYM are huge fans of foreshadowing and use it very artfully. I think this alone is a huge indication that one day they will end up together. And the only way that this will happen is something will happen to Barney and or the Mother. Another reason that I think that this point is a very good one, is that throughout all the seasons, Marshall is the voice of reason and typically is the "in control" one and makes the most intelligent decisions, and is very true and trustworthy. So I don't think that it's a coincidence that 1. Marshall takes Ted's side (yes he's his best friend, but so is Lily, and I think there's more to it than just that) 2. Marshall has not been wrong yet about Ted's love life.

2nd:The other strong foreshadowing indication for Ted and Robin ending up together is when Ted is at MacLaren's with Victoria, and she says as she walks out, "I hope you get her someday"... now it could just her last words... or it could mean much more. And we know that it does have some sort of effect down the road when future Ted says that she does eventually find out.

3rd: The Time Travelers. (I was actually curious on the deeper meaning of the episode, so I looked it up and had been formulating my theory for a long time so this is actually how I got here) But we know something isn't right at the end of the episode, and is seemed to be told by a remorseful/mourning future Ted. Everyone has their own takes on it, the speech at the end but from what I take from it is that the Mother has died, and Ted is back at a place that he's comfortable (the old booth) reminiscing. When he said he would love her all his days and beyond... maybe the beyond isn't referencing the end of his days and beyond, but of her's and their time together. Just a thought.

4th: In all honesty I think Ted and Robin are meant for each other. This is why I think so. Every human being needs to be loved, without love it is impossible for a person to properly function. And Ted is an abundant lover. He loves all his friends so much, and with his whole heart despite what they may do to him. He eventually forgives Barney and even gives his consent, in a sense, to marry Robin. He wants to be so involved with Marshall and Lily and baby Marvin. He continuously sacrifices his life benefactors for his friends, especially Robin. Now why I think him and Robin will end up together.
.... Is first Robin came from a very unloving family, her dad wanted her to be a boy, and treated her like one. And her mom, well as of the most recent episode we know a total of about 6-7 things about her. Obviously neither of them were very involved in her life, nor did they seem to really full heartedly love her. That's why she has such a hard time loving, and is in the beginning scared off by Ted's love. Some people say that Ted loves Robin to much and she could never love him the same. Though that maybe true, I don't think it would stop them. I think secretly Robin needs to be that loved. Because of her past lack of love from her family and various relationships. And only Ted can truly fill that love void. And I don't think that Ted needs to be loved as much as he loves, he just needs to be able to love that much.
... Another point to why I think they will end up together is because whenever something goes wrong for Robin, who is either A. there for her, or B. who does she go to... TED, Ted without fail. And I think that something is going to go wrong for Barney and her, obviously at her wedding, but even further down the road. And she will be able to only find comfort in Ted, and something will have happened to the mother, and they will be there for each other as every single time before. And they will realize the true love that they had for each other all along. Another thing is I think it is hard to love someone for that long, and when the "ONE" comes along to totally turn off the emotions like Robin tells him to do in the early part of season one.

5th: Love in the time of Cholera. (thanks to the person who said that below, I never noticed that). "In the book the main characters love each other but sadly end up with other people. It isn't until the end of the book when their spouses have died that they reunite and realize their true feelings" But that is just way to coincidental, not to have any significance to the show at all. What other reasons would that be Ted's favorite book, if there wasn't more or a deeper foreshadowing meaning to it. I think this point is a very solid one as well.

6th: This is just a small thing, but I am 95% sure that on Ted's shelf when it shows the house being built (the wall that the gang beat to hell with the sledge hammers) I believe that Ted's racecar pencil holder is on the shelves, why wouldn't it be by his desk if it didn't have more meaning to it. And we all know the significance that it holds with Locket. this is just a unique observation.

7th: The Kids are surprised when Ted jokingly tell's them that's how he met their mother and it was their Aunt Robin. I think it's because Ted is telling the kids of how he met their mother in retrospect because she has been dead for a few years now, and that's why they aren't super thrilled to hear the whole story. But the surprise comes from the recent knowledge that Robin was almost their mother in the beginning, but turned out not to be. Until much later where she becomes her step mom. There's probably a better argument for this and a better way to put it together but I can't think of it right now.

Conclusion: I think the mother dies for three reason. The first is because of the whole Time Travelers gloomy and mysterious ending,and the extremely unique book that is Ted's favorite. And for the reason that Ted is telling the story in excruciating detail, and the kids never call out to their mother to stop him from telling the story. Or make any reference or interjection to/about her the whole entire 9 seasons. Another contributing factor is that I think Ted and Robin are destined for each other. This extremely long comment, is much more about why I think Ted and Robin will end up together... which will only happen because of the removal of the mother. The strongest reasons I think Ted and Robin will end up together is first because I believe that they are destined for each other and need each other. Robin needs Ted's love, and Ted even says that she would never be alone. In a sense for, his love for her will never die out or be completely gone. The strongest of all the reasons I think they will end up together is Marshall's last words to Lily in "No Pressure" when he says not yet, about paying up, and this is strengthened by what Marshall's role in the show is. The other strong supportive foreshadowing is Vic's last words to Ted in the bar that "I hope you get her", is the second blatant foreshadowing that Ted will end up with her. 2 strong examples... there's gotta be something to it. So thus because of the foreshadowing of something happening to the mother, and the foreshadowing of Ted and Robin ending up together, I think that that is enough evidence to support the mother's death, and the eventual, and long awaited, marriage of Ted and Robin.

*sorry this was so long... I had a lot to say, and had been compiling it for a while.*
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Ted wouldn't keep referring to Robin as Aunt Robin throughout the series if she was Stepmom Robin.
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Thank you so much ! (Just registered to say it). I'm not a "The mother is dead" shipper, but a R&T shipper in general, but you've got some amazing points : For exemple, 5 and 6 ones. I checked for the 6, it's true (season 5 episode 20) and there is NO other reason for Ted to put it in if it wasn't because this item wasn't that much important, and he contain the locket, so i can't, definitively i can't wait for it !
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as for the theory about the kids not being as interested in the story.. Ted does say that he has told the "shorter" story before this time. Could it be that the shorter story was told many times, because at the very start they looked uninterested in the story but when they heard it was how he met robin or jokingly met the mother at a strip club they were shocked.
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I think the mother does die because if you pay attention to the song that is playing in the background on the second episode of the new season when Ted and the mother are talking about last years Ted, it's a song called Souvenir by Billy Joel and it's a really somber song, here are some lyrics -
"And your mementos
Will turn to dust
But that's the price you pay
For every year's a souvenir
That slowly fades away
Every year's a souvenir
That slowly fades away"
You can't tell me that's not some crazy foreshadowing
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I think it is highly likely that Robin is dead. Throughout the series, Ted has never really gotten over Robin, even if he claims he has. Theres always that little bit of something left. So if Robin was dead, it would be able to give Ted some closure I guess? And he would finally be able to get together with the mom instead of constantly thinking about Robin. Also I agree with the theory that Robin is the "how" in how ted meets his wife. Ted will probably fall in love with the mother in Robin and Barney's wedding. Think about how poetic it would be if from Robin's death, a new love is forged. And "Aunt Robin" is always being referred to in the past tense. Plus Robin has had a pretty successful life. Although i think theres a contradiction to this theory? I vaguely remember an episode where Robin and lily are drinking wine and Robin is admitting something. Then theres a flash forward, and another and another and another. So probably she was still alive when Ted has his kids already.
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I think the mother is dead and Ted is telling his story because he's getting remarried to someone maybe not Robin but someone. I think robin belongs with Barney based of the color theory.
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Nobody is dead, Ted said he wanted more days with her because once he knocked on the door he said I will meet you in 45 more days.
He wished he met her earlier instead of waiting which is when the boyfriend showed up and punched him in the face.
Stop reading into everything on the show, Enjoy it and wait for the finale to play out!!
I am in the middle of rewatching the entire series just started season 6!!
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I think the story will follow Ted`s favorite book...Love in the time of Cholera. In the book the main characters love each other but sadly end up with other people. It isn't until the end of the book when their spouses have died that they reunite and realize their true feelings. I think Ted is talking to his kids before his and Robins wedding, after their mother has died.
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i believe the kids are upset with ted because hes moving on with robin after the mothers death and they don't feel enough time has passed so they're giving him the cold shoulder especially since he begins his story with robin the subject of their fight.
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Writers will do whatever they can to get an ending the general public isn't expecting, and in the last couple months since this article was written, the creators of himym told us in an interview that someone does die in the last season, so it is very likely that the mother or one of the main characters dies (though it is possible it's a smaller character like lily's dad or even smaller like Ted's mom). My prediction is the mother dies, Barney and Robin break up (or Barney dies as well) and Ted ends up with Robin. There's just too much foreshadowing that Ted and Robin are meant for each other. The biggest hint, in my opinion, that nobody ever seems to remember is at the end of the episode "No Pressure". Ted and Robin break up and Ted tells his kids how that closure made him finally ready to meet the mother, but just as it looks like the writer's are reassuring us that it's over between Ted and Robin, it cuts to Lily going to collect on her bet with Marshall about whether or not Ted and Robin would end up together, and Marshall says "not yet". That along with Ted talking about how he felt when she got engaged, and that super serious moment they had together in "Something Old", and Victoria telling Ted the reason that none of his relationships have worked was because he's in love with Robin; there's just too many clues that they end up together, and the whole reason they made it obvious from the first episode that she can't be the mother is to throw us off the possibility that she could end up with Ted. However with the creators announcing a death in the final season, it all ties together nicely. That's my theory, but I could also see them killing off (In order from most to least likely) Robin, Barney, Marshall, or Lily. I think it's safe to assume that the narrator is in fact future Ted, and unless he is telling the story because he's terminally ill, he won't be the one dying.
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I had a theory that in the end it turns out teds insane. maybe he wanted a family so badly but was never getting one that he created one in his mind. maybe the last scene in series nine will be ted as an old man, babbling to some imaginary kids.
then again, this does seem a little dark for himym. but it is a pretty deep sitcom, a lot deeper than any other and there are some quite moving episodes.
personally, I think anything could happen. people need to remember that himym isn't always totally accurate- for instance, in one episode when lily and marshall are broken up and lily has that awful apartment, ted, robin and barney are discussing where else she could stay and robin says lily couldn't stay with her because she has five dogs and lilys allergic but in another episode when lily thinks shes pregnant but it turns out to be a false alarm, lily and marshall think about getting a dog! I don't really think the writers will follow the rules so anything is possible.
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Not sure if this has been said before, but I think Barney runs away with the mother. Ted never talks about Barney in the future, and people think he may be dead, but that could also be because of them not talking over it. Maybe Ted wanted the extra time with the mother because Barney took her from him. Whether Ted and Robin eventually end up together I don't know, because he's obviously still madly in love with the mother.
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My theory is Robin is dead. She is the 'how' Ted met the kids' mother. As far as I can tell we do not see Robin in actual or imagined future episodes beyond the year 2030. Her death is the why Ted bothers to tell the story. His kids exist because (in a weird and convoluted way) Robin is instrumental in many of Ted's turning points that led him to the Mother. I've been applying this theory for awhile now and it seems to 'work'. Bittersweet.
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I agree because if you look at the last episode, "Sunrise", it shows the ghosts of present Lily, past Lily, Marshall's Dad and also Robin sitting right by his dad, which could be a foreshadowing to Robin's death.
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I totally agree with you. I thought this after the christmas episode where we learn Robin can't have children. Future Ted refers to her in the past tense. "Your Aunt Robin Was..." I think Robin has past, and Barney is a grieving mess and he's letting his kids know Uncle Barney use to be crazy and your aunt robin was the special person who changed all that.
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Robin may not be the Mother but I believe she ends up with TED. There is no other way!
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Has the kids actually referred to ted as the dad? Has ted referred to them as his son/daughter?
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"am i a bad dad?" They also constantly yell at him saying "DAD!"
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ted said in the first episode when he was on a date with robin, "son never say smurf penis when on a date with a girl......" or something like that
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Although I don't think either parent is dead, it's interesting to note the choice of the song, "Simple Song" by The Shins, used toward the end of the latest episode. For those who don't know the music video is of a father reading his last will and testament through a t.v. to his children in their family home. As the song comes to an end in HIMYM, we see the future mother's face for the first time and hear her speak. Could be some imaginative foreshadowing by the director/producers...
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Ted can't be dead, thanks to the first episode where he says "Today i am going to tell you how i met your mother" and the kids ask "Are we being punished for something?" and Ted says "No!" If he was dead and the kids were watching the video, why would he reply?!

Also, the mother isn't dead because when Ted says the above, the kids looked unenthused! If your mother was dead and you were being told in detail how your dad met your mum, you would be interested too...
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In the episode where Stella leaves Ted at the alter, Ted says to his kids (paraphrasing)...'Of course that didn't happen or the story would go like this' and Stella comes in and says (to two blonde kids), "Isn't your dad done telling this story yet? Blah blah blah...who wants to go get some ice cream?" In my opinion, that proves that no one is dead.
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While I love (and hate) the idea of Ted being dead and it all being his last testament to his life to be read to his children... it's ridiculously unlikely. Not due to the fact that this is a sitcom but because of the way the children react to some of the stories.

Unless we just put it down as bad acting and scripting (which is extremely sloppy if that's the case) then the children's bored faces and occasional resistance at having to listen to the life of their dead father would either mean that they are TERRIBLE children who didn't care at all for their dad or that this is, in fact, him just sitting down and retelling some memories which they clearly didn't consent to but are doing out of love for him; a much likelier thing than him being dead. The same could even go for the mother.
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Alternatively, in reference to my prior comment. I do believe it would be a very brilliant yet chilling ending to HIMYM if:

Each of Ted's children look sideways in to the camera with a look of despair and sadness, as if they are looking at each other, upset upon hearing something from the story about their mother. Ted then joins them on the sofa, hugging them and also crying, whilst the narrator continues to read this part of the story about the mother. The camera then focuses on the narrators hands reading a letter or something, and pans out to show Marshall or Barney reading on Ted's behalf about the death or possibly absence of his wife.

If this could be made to tie in with all the episodes so far, although it would be a sad, gut-wrenching ending to the series, it would be so clever. Not every story has to have the perfect ending.

Maybe, the identification of the Mother of Ted's wives is revealed in a completly different way to all the theories or it is even something totally different. Literally of the top of my head (I'm sure there are reasons to disprove all), details could be revealed about something to do with adoption and Robin not being able to have kids... Marvin being the son on the sofa... or something completly different not even to do with Ted's life...

We will just have to wait and see! I do hope the Mother is revealed at the end of Series 8.
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I am a believer of the 'Ted's wife is the Love Solutions girl' theory. Whilst having read this article the Ted or his Wife being dead suggestions, and only suggestions, really do have some hard hitting seemingly true evidence, there are some details that simply disprove these theories in my eyes. Firstly, as people have said, Ted's kids would be far less disinterested if one of the previously mentioned characters were dead, or gone in any way for that matter. And the point about the narrator being someone else is impossible in my eyes as in the very first episode the narrator says something along the lines of 'and that kids, is how I met your Aunt Robin'. We have just seen at this point how Ted met Robin, and so the narrator surely is Ted.

Anyway, on the Love Solutions theory. When I read someone suggest it, my instinct told me this was right, I couldn't believe it, it just all added up to me. The monologue in the recent episode where Ted talks about the extra time he wishes he could spend with his future wife could definitely be referring to the fact how Ted rejected the chance to meet a seemingly perfect girl found by the dating company Love Solutions, to pursue Robin. If instead he had met her, he could have spent years longer with her. And the way in which he describes the girl they found. This is the important part. He matches up all the perfect qualities he wants in his future wife and the qualities this girl has, surely the writers would want Ted's wife to be perfect? One of the qualities is something to do with playing the drums, and we know now Ted's wife plays the drums and Barney and Robin's wedding. It just seems to all add up.

I would like to add I am an English viewer of HIMYM, but watch the episodes in time with the US release online. I appologise for not being able to remember every specific detail I refer to, but I'm confident I have seen all the episodes up until now.

Thanks for reading!
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She plays bass not drums! But I agree with the theory it's the love solutions chick. Makes too much sense not to be,
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I don't think Ted is dead. Unless he knew he would die, why would he write a note to his children? And why would that note contain almost 10 years worth of seemingly pointless stories? It's a bit more understandable to get sidetracked when telling a story but when writing a story, especially to your children upon your death, I don't think he'd get that off track. I sort of had a hunch that the mother might be dead but this article makes some good points that the children don't really seem interested or emotional enough when hearing a story about their deceased mother. I think both are alive.
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My feeling has always been that the writers had only planned for a couple of seasons with a big series finale payoff with Robin marrying Ted. But the show kept getting renewed. Victoria and then Stella and then Zoey and back to Victoria have all looked like possible candidates but CBS just kept on renewing. As each new season was greenlit, the writers/producers had to come up with a new story arc.

I can't imagine they ever dreamed of lasting 9 seasons.
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Their actual plan was that if the series had failed, they would make Victoria the mother instead but the series was successful and so they kept adding new characters, sketching out plotlines etc. So that if the series was cancelled in between, say seaosn 3 or 4, then they would bring back Victoria from Germany and make her marry Ted! But now that we have lasted for 8 (and now 9), the mother will NOT be Vic.
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That's not true considering the fact that real early on the kids reacted to Ted meeting "Aunt Robin" as disgusting. Robin was to never be the mother.
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