The "Mother" of all TV secrets has finally been revealed!
After eight seasons of hints, clues and teases galore, "How I Met Your Mother" fans finally got their first glimpse of the woman who will ultimately win Ted Mosby's heart - we speak, of course, of the "Mother."
In the closing scene of Monday's Season 8 finale, the face of the titular character is finally revealed as actress Cristin Milioti.
Cristin - identified on the show only as "The Girl With The Yellow Umbrella" -- is shown at a train station, first with a shot of her boots... then the yellow umbrella... then a shot from the back... and finally, a full reveal as she steps up to the ticket counter with a smile and utters the line - "One ticket to "Farhampton, please."
And while viewers have now met Cristin - Ted (Josh Radnor) and the rest of the show's main characters have not - at least, not officially.
Previous scenes have suggested potential past random encounters - albeit unknowingly. It appears everyone will finally officially meet when Cristin's character shows up as the bass player at the wedding of Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) and Robin (Cobie Smulders).
So how did Cristin - best known for her Tony Award nominated role in the Broadway play "Once" - land the part?
"It was a pretty big umbrella to fill, casting the title role in a series that's been on the air for eight years. And yet Cristin Milioti is, against all odds, exactly what we were looking for," series executive producer/co-creator Carter Bays said in a statement released by CBS on Tuesday. "We're thrilled to welcome her to the 'How I Met Your Mother' family, and look forward to getting to know her - and the character she plays - much better in the coming final season."
Cristin shot her big scene on March 27 at the Twentieth Century Fox lot in Los Angeles, under "strict secrecy" to make sure the surprise remained intact for the audience, CBS explained.
The actress will soon be sharing the big screen with Leonardo DiCaprio in the upcoming Martin Scorsese feature film, "The Wolf of Wall Street," due out later this year. Her previous TV credits include appearances on "30 Rock," "The Sopranos," "The Good Wife" and "Nurse Jackie."
"How I Met Your Mother" will return for its ninth - and final - season, when everyone will get to know Cristin's character a lot more.
"To all the fans, on behalf of all of us writers, cast and crew: Thank you for sticking with us on this wild journey," Carter Bays' statement continued. "Our ninth season will tell the epic story of the longest wedding weekend ever. We hope you like it. Next stop, Farhampton..."
Copyright 2013 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.