Is the "How I Met Your Mother" mother dead?
Not in a creepy "Sixth Sense" kind of way, but is the reason Ted has been telling his kids about how he met their mother because she's passed on? It's not a new idea — and in this final season, it's actually the most popular theory — but this week's "HIMYM" episode made for a strong case of foreshadowing. Here are four strong indicators that, by the time the next generation of Mosbys hear this story, the Mother's already gone.
1. Moving on.
In 2024, Ted and the Mother are back in Farhampton when they realize that they know all of each other's stories, which officially makes them an old married couple (the revelation results in a high-five).
But as the story about Barney choosing a suit and Robin smashing a lamp progresses, the future Mosbys are somber. "I just worry about you. I don't want you to be the guy who lives in his stories. Life only moves forward," says the Mother. Is that her telling Ted that he needs to move on? It's something a spouse would say if she didn't have much longer.
2. Leave it unspoken.
Later, as the wedding-day tempers boil, everyone realizes that it's not about the wedding — with Barney and Robin getting married and Ted moving to Chicago, this might be the last time in a while that they'll all be together. Ted says, "It's funny; in a moment like that — when it's all too intense to deal with — sometimes it's best to leave it unspoken and just enjoy each other's company instead." The look that's exchanged in 2024 suggests that that's what the couple has returned to Farhampton to do: enjoy each other's company because they won't see each other again.
3. Missing the wedding.
At the end of the episode, Robin's mother (Tracey Ullman) appears in the present, which prompts future Mother to say, "A mother isn't going to miss her daughter's wedding." Ted is near tears hearing that. Is it because his wife is going to miss their daughter's wedding someday?
4. She still lives inside me.
The song playing as the episode fades is "If You See Her, Say Hello," by Bob Dylan, about a man who still misses a woman who is no longer around: "And though our separation / It pierced me to the heart / She still lives inside of me / We've never been apart" go the lyrics. If the episode were just about trying on suits and watching "The Wedding Bride Too," then why this song of loss and heartache?
The show has never been afraid of confronting sadness or even death, like when Marshall's father died. So, is she sick? Are they enjoying each other's company before she passes? Creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas may be planning to end the series with a dead Mother, or, since they know a lot of people think that, this may just be a red herring. Maybe the return to Farhampton is just for an anniversary. Maybe it's Ted's mother who dies in 10 years. With only five episodes to go, we'll soon know either way.
Obviously, most people are against the idea:
Oh no no no...guys, please don't do the How I Met Your Now-Dead Mother thing, please...#HIMYM— Tiffany Jiang (@tiff_jiang) March 4, 2014
Ugh the mother in how I met your mother is definitely dead and I am pissed it better not be true 😿— Brooke Elizabeth (@brookegirard) March 4, 2014
Though some are a little more extreme in their dislike:
If How I Met Your Mother is actually How I Met Your Mother Because Your Mother's Now Dead… I'm going to kill someone.— Merlyn Pateiro (@DaniiStormborn) March 4, 2014
Some are even going so far as to use the "L" word:
If the Mother from "How I Met Your Mother" is dead at the end of this, I'm going to be mad. Like "Lost" mad.— Frank Pallotta (@frankpallotta) March 4, 2014
Some knew all along:
While others appear to be taken by surprise:
NO WAIT. THE MOTHER ON HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER IS REALLY DEAD??!?!?!?!— Rebecca Ee (@abcdeerebecca) March 4, 2014
There's a small minority that likes the idea:
HIMYM - http://t.co/IpkjlmXUOV (spoilers alert). But IMHO i think to kill off the mother is the most beautiful way to end the whole series..— Royston K (@roykwok22) March 4, 2014
Then there are the weird ideas. Although, this would explain why the narrator is actually an uncredited Bob Saget, not Josh Radnor. Saget is the voice of his ghoooooost!
I have a feeling either Ted or the mother is dead at the end of "How I Met Your Mother" ! :/— Safat Chowdhury (@Safatchowdhury) March 4, 2014
And then there's this:
So is Barney. Future Ted is marrying Future Robin. MT @Slate: Really starting to buy theory that the mother in How I Met Your Mother is dead— Brian Guy (@ItsThatBriGuy) March 4, 2014
Why do you think Ted's telling the story to his kids? Are you prepared if the show ends on a somber note?
"How I Met Your Mother" airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBS.