Love Week: My Theory about the Mother in HIMYM

This week, I have strayed from my usual format–I’ve been late in posting, and I’m only on my measly third post for the week *shakes head in shame*. Regardless, I feel like there’s a post I need to write about, so in the spirit of love (with it being Love Week here), I am writing about my favorite TV show How I Met Your Mother.

A lot of people blog about this show. As often as they post, I make it habit to check out TVLine or EW’s reaction to the latest episode, and I always have the blogsite “Have You Met Ted” on my online reading list.

Now I just read this post, featured today on Freshly Pressed. And while I can definitely see where the writer is coming from, it still saddens me to read about the unfortunate backlash HIMYM is receiving with its recycled ideas popping up in recent episodes. There’s been this massive amount of disappointment looming over this season, and for some reason, I can’t seem to jump on this disappointment bus. I enjoy the show too much, and perhaps I don’t find myself involved enough to be as frustrated as the last HIMYM fan.

Which leads me to theorize on who the mother is. One of the most popular theories is that Ted meets Barney’s half-sister at Barney’s wedding, marries her, and hence Uncle Barney . . . and wait for it . . . Aunt Robin, because of course, fans want Robin and Barney to get together. And I would love to see Barney and Robin together too. But here’s the thing . . . why? I remember watching season 5, and everyone claimed it was the worst season of the show yet. Everyone hated watching Barney throw away his womanizing ways to get serious with a character. There was less to laugh about in the show, and the show lacked that extra “thing” that made it so funny when Barney was in a committed relationship. Now with seasons 5, 6, and parts of 7 behind us, everyone is rooting for the two to get back together.

And then last episode, Ted proclaims his love for Robin . . .

Talk about serious backlash. People are ticked at this, and I am not one of those people. I’ve been rooting for Ted and Robin for a long time, and for me, this is a good thing. The main reason Barney and Robin didn’t work is because they canceled one another out. They both are so similar, that they almost seem to not complement one another as well.

Here is my theory on the mother–why does she have to be the same person as Ted’s wife? I can easily see myself analyzing the situation a little much, but I can’t help but think that there’s even a slight possibility that Ted’s wife and the mother of his children are not the same person. HIMYM set Barney and Robin up to fail (at least in season 5, and partly in season 7 as well)–with so much shared in common, they’re almost too much for each other. For all of the great things future Ted has foreshadowed about “the mother,” I sometimes wonder if HIMYM writers believe in the same formula for Ted and the mother that they did in season 5 for Robin and Barney–so much the same, that they drive each other nuts.

Could it be possible that Ted and Robin end up together, yet Ted and “the mother” still have two children? I will definitely admit the idea seems to stray from the usual character of Ted, but Ted is a different guy since the early seasons. And would it not be the craziest way to surprise viewers? I certainly have to wonder.

All that to say that I’m beginning to believe that the question of How I Met Your Mother has shifted from “Who will Ted marry?” to “Who will Robin marry?”

Perhaps in the next few episodes, things will shift enough that this theory will be completely improbable for the show, similar to how the show functions–one day in, the next day out. But for now, I’m putting the thought out there that maybe there’s another possibility most people haven’t considered. We all know Robin isn’t the mother. But could she be Ted’s wife?

Now that I’ve offended all of the diehard RoBarn fans, removed myself from the popular point of view that HIMYM is not what it used to be (OK, I agree, it’s not, but I still don’t think it’s as bad as everyone’s making it out to be . . . ), and even blogged about a TV show instead of something pertaining to film, I have to ask those of you out there who watch the show . . .

What’s your theory? Do you think it’s possible that Ted and Robin could end up together? Do you think the mother and Ted’s wife could be different people? Weigh in and share your thoughts.

21 thoughts on “Love Week: My Theory about the Mother in HIMYM

  1. I read that post earlier this morning and found myself agreeing with pretty much everything she said. I quit HIMYM last week. So that was my last ever ep. I did really love it. At one point. It was funny and different. But I can’t remember the last time I really laughed when watching it.

    As for the mother? Well, I like your theory. You’re right. Why does the mother have to be the wife too? Though, sadly, I’m at the point of not caring anymore. HIMYM… you were great. Three years ago.


    • I know it’s the common consensus among a lot of fans right now. I think there’s something to the thought that most shows lose steam when they continue to go on longer than they should. I think 5 or 6 seasons would have worked better for the show’s format than 7, 8, or even more. It’s certainly a lot easier to recycle old material and lose viewers’ interest when a show goes on too long. Of course, I’m not as dissatisfied and most are right now, although I will agree that the show isn’t what it used to be

      Thanks! I wonder if it’s a plausible theory, but I guess I’ll have to wait and see.


      • Those kids he’s telling the story to must be really quite bored by now. I don’t know how they’re still sitting there listening!

        I think a lot of sitcoms stop being about their title pretty quickly these days. Point In case here. Also, New Girl too. How long is she going to be the new girl?

        I can’t even begin to imagine what they’re going to do for the next 2 seasons. How far can they stretch it? It’d be great if Ted met the mother at the end of this season (if it’s not Robin) and the next 2 seasons are spent on their relationship. Surely the kids would want to know about that?


        • Yeah, I think the idea of having the kids sitting there listening worked for the first couple seasons, but now its not working so much.

          It kind of forces a lot of shows to come up with more general titles like “Glee” or “Modern Family” or “Psych” because it can still sum up the show without having a deadline or expiration date.

          [SPOILERS AHEAD FYI] I think there’s a really good possibility that season 8 could be the final season, and I partly hope that they choose to go the route of only more season as opposed to two. I know you said you swore off watching, but if you watched the most recent episode, you might be able to see how they have some ideas swirling for the next several episodes. My thought is that there’s a whole lot of possibility if Ted meets the mother, marries her, has kids with her, and then something else entirely crazy happens and he ends up marrying Robin.


  2. Good theory although I think it’s a long shot with what Ted (“the dad”) is to the show. Season 1 I think Ted explained to his kids about Robin and the kids were shocked, then he said “And that’s how I met your Aunt Robin..” and the kids were still surprised. I don’t know maybe I’m reading into it.

    What about this girl though?


    • Thanks for commenting, Tim! No, I don’t think you’re reading into it – there are so many possibilities, that it could be a number of things. I think that surprise from the kids’ reaction might even support my theory, especially if they know Robin as Ted’s wife. My big thought is that Robin will still end up with Ted, but not bear his children. I’m not sure how exactly, but I could see it happening.

      Ever since the most recent episode (last night), people are believing more and more that there’s a possibility for the two of them, or that the real mother somehow dies after having kids with Ted and that he later winds up marrying Robin. I’d like to hope that Ted and Robin somehow end up together, although I’m not exactly sure how it would work.

      Interesting – I saw that idea before. I always thought of it as a possibility. Who knows, right? Thanks for sharing it.


  3. Over the past 2 weeks and reading all these comments got me to thinking…and your last point kinda referenced what i was thinking…I think that Ted will meet the wife…possibly Barney’s half sister…They will get married…then during childbirth, she will die…then Ted and Robin will get together and they will both raise the kids…BOOM….thats why he is taking all this time to tell them the story of how he met them…because they are finally old enough to learn about her


    • Wow, I really like your theory, Xtian. I think it’s plausible in HIMYM land. I know Ted’s going to fall in love and marry and have kids with someone else, but there’s something that keeps bringing me back to Robin playing a role in Ted’s future life. Looking forward to finding out. Thanks for your thoughts!


      • yea i can’t get Marshall’s foreboding “Not Yet…” out of my head….time will tell…They have delved way too much into this Ted/Robin will they/won’t they shananigans throughout the entire series, starting from episode 1. Somehow they are gonna be together. Just a gut feeling.


        • And i can picture the mother about to die and telling Ted “Make sure the kid’s know about me and the story of how we met”…etc. and Ted being like “Don’t worry, I will tell them our story.”…(goosebumps)


        • Same here! I’m really glad they added that in the end. And although Lily’s wigs in the flashback to Ted and Stella’s wedding were pretty awful, I’m so glad they included that part. It shows Marshall’s dedication to being Ted’s best friend still. Somehow, I feel like Barney and Robin being together is just a stepping stone in Ted’s future relationship with the mother and his wife (whether separate, the same, or otherwise). It feels like Ted and Robin are on the verge of happening, but I bet we’ll have to wait until the very end to find out about them. The show is going to start letting loose all the secrets, from what Barney REALLY does for a living, to who Ted marries and has children with, to whether or not Ted and Robin end up together (or Barney and Robin), to who Barney marries, and the name of LIly and Marshall’s kid. It’s all going to come together somehow, and I look forward to it all.


  4. I’ve only seen a couple episodes of this but can’t seem to really get into it for some reason. I do think the cast have great chemistry but I think I like the supporting actors more than the lead. Btw, Cobie Smulders is sooo gorgeous isn’t she? I’m sure tons of guys are excited to see her in The Avengers 🙂


    • Haha, understandable – HIMYM isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. I would agree that the cast works great together, kind of interacting like a modern-day Friends episode. I know! Glad you brought that up – I have been on cloud 9 since I found out that she would be in The Avengers! I’m so excited about that. Love her.


  5. i have the same theory!!! i hope we’re right. but the way things are going now in S8… idk. 😦 ugh! but i like your post. thank you for this! 🙂


  6. They’re making this way too obvious now. Barney and Robin fans are happy right now because they got their couple together, but after a few months, they’re gonna get tired of how boring Barney and Robin will get.
    Having a ninth season made me think that Ted and Robin will get together even more. If I knew this eighth season was the last season, I would’ve finally accepted that Ted and Robin can’t get together. But in the ninth season, they would HAVE to explore Ted and the mother’s relationship, and that is just…. No.
    I mean, we know she’s the mother, and we just see them go on dates. Not interesting. At all.

    Also, I always thought what the children would think about this. I remember I saw an episode where Robin had a lot of drawings with her and Ted’s kids, like being there at school with his kids and a lot of other stuff. Where is the mother in all of this? It seems that Robin spends more time with the kids than the mother does, if the kids draw about Robin instead of their own mother.

    And lastly, HIMYM put so many Ted and Robin moments together. “I don’t want perfect, I want Robin.” Him going after Robin countless times. Him saying that no matter what he does, it always goes back to Robin. Him saying I love you to “aunt” Robin so many times. Making it rain. Robin giving her speech to Ted on his wedding day to Stella. The 40 year old pact. And everything I listed isn’t even 1/10 of Ted and Robin moments. With this in mind, how would you feel if you were the kids, listening to Ted saying how much he loved their “aunt” Robin. Would you feel comfortable if Ted and Robin were in the same room alone without the mother. Actually, if you were THE MOTHER, and you heard all of Ted’s story, how would she feel about that.

    I can talk alot more about this topic but I’m tired. Maybe later.


  7. Hey, this is written like a year ago but i came by and wanted to comment. I’ve just watched the latest episode of HIMYM. The 9th season is pretty much different. We seem to know who the mother is. Robin is with Barney, it looks like everything is settled down except for some little questions such as what’s gonna happen between Lily and Marshall about the judge offer in NY and Italy conflict. The other question of this season and which seems to be the only one I can’t help but wonder is about Ted and Robin. I’m not asking this question because I love Ted and Robin together and root for them to end up together but because they brought it up. Robin has always been a huge influence on Ted’s life, Victoria’s last words when leaving him was “I hope you can get her someday” and Marshall and Lily’s bet on if Ted will end up with Robin, his insisting refusal for the pay up, and most importantly his feelings. Ted never did get rid of his feelings for Robin. They were always there and he kept going back to where he started in the very first pilot episode. Their tension and the question of if she is Aunt Robin and not the mother, why we get the story of how Ted never loved one like he loved her for 9 seasons is the question to which i still couldn’t find an answer up until now. I don’t know how it is gonna end up but all I can think of is a theory like yours.
    I just want Ted to be happy at last. And he has loved Robin for so long, I want him to end up with her too.


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