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“How I Met Your Mother”: Is The Mother Dead?

A popular theory for “How I Met Your Mother” is that the mother has died or is dying, and the more I see in the glimpses of Ted and the mother together, the more I believe that’s true – and there is compelling evidence in two episodes.

Season 8’s “The Time Travelers”

Future Ted explains to his children that if he could have relived a night, he would have chosen to run to his wife’s previous apartment and tell her, “Exactly 45 days from now, you and I are going to meet, and we’re going to fall in love, and we’re going to get married, and we’re going to have two kids. We’re going to love them and each other so much. All that is 45 days away, but I’m here now, I guess, because I want those extra 45 days with you. I want each one of them. If I can’t have them, I’ll take the 45 seconds before your boyfriend shows up and punches me in the face, because I love you. I’m always going to love you, ’til the end of my days and beyond.”

Season 9’s “Vesuvius”

The mother expresses concern for her husband: “You’re the love of my life, pooh bear. I just worry about you. I don’t want you to be the guy who lives in his stories. Life only moves forward.”

Then later, as Ted talks about Robin’s mother showing up, the mother isn’t surprised and asks, “What mother is going to miss her daughter’s wedding?” and Ted’s face seems to say it all, and she seems to be a bit teary too when she changes the subject to Barney and a scuba suit.

Is the mother dead?

In both scenes, Ted looks to be moments from breaking down, and as I said above, even the mother seems emotional after her comment. Why would Ted want that extra time – he’d even take 45 seconds with her – unless he didn’t have it in the future? Sure, you could argue that he’s so in love with her and so happy he finally found the one after all those years of searching that he wishes he had found her sooner, but it doesn’t seem to fit the emotion of the speech.

Then in “Vesuvius,” Ted and the mother comment that they know all of each other’s stories, and if she is dead, that could explain why she’s never interrupted him telling their kids these stories, especially once his friends began meeting her this season.

Also in “Vesuvius,” it seems to be heavily implied that the mother may not be able to make her daughter’s wedding. She knows why he’s getting all teary as soon as she looks at him, but could there be another explanation for that? Sure, but this one fits the best.

Maybe the mother isn’t dead/dying.

Perhaps that theory is too obvious. There are still a few episodes left, after all, and maybe there’s going to be some surprise about her in the future in the series finale. This is a comedy, so wouldn’t it be just a bit too sad if it turns out that the mother is dead after waiting all these years to see how Ted met her?

If the mother is dead at the time Ted is telling their children how he met her, wouldn’t you expect them to be a bit more into it? Maybe they know that it’s going to take him a while to get to her and don’t want to listen to him go on and on about Robin.

Do you think the mother is dead when future Ted is telling their kids all these stories all these years on “How I Met Your Mother”?

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About the Author

Meredith, a freelance writer, watches more TV shows than should be legal (and knows everything about them). Her favorites include "Supernatural" and "Orphan Black.”

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