A classic ballad, familiar faces, near-misses and an unexpected tragedy filled How I Met Your Mother‘s 200th episode on Monday night as the titular Mother’s story was revealed.
In a surprisingly emotional episode showcasing the wonderful Cristin Milioti as Ted’s future wife, HIMYM journeyed over the past eight years to…
SEPTEMBER 2005 | As The Mother and her friends mark her 21st birthday at the other MacLaren’s Pub and talk about what a great giftgiver her boyfriend Max is, she gets a call. Cut to her in mourning as Max’s present lies unopened – she was right, he did nail the gift: a ukelele so her breakfast doesn’t have to sing acapella. And so, The Mother’s journey begins with the heartbreaking death of her boyfriend.
APRIL 2008 | The Mother’s friend is determined to get her back out there and drags her to that St. Patty’s Day party where Ted ends up snagging her yellow umbrella. The gal pal urges The Mother to put herself out there because the love of her life could be right around the corner. And if she doesn’t, he may bump into somebody else. Cue Ted bumping into that random brunette, who is just that: Random. Meanwhile, the gal pal bumps into Barney, but rejects his pick-up line about shamrocking her world.
At the party, The Mother runs into her old orchestra instructor, aka The Naked Man. After his big move fails on her, she confesses that she feels so lost. He asks her what’s the one thing she wants to do and her surprisingly beauty pageant-like answer is to end poverty. Every decision she makes must be in pursuit of that, he tells her.
FALL 2009 | To accomplish her goal, The Mother realizes she needs an economics degree and meets Cindy ( a returning Rachel Bilson) in class. They hit it off so quickly, she invites Cindy to move in with her. She also pours out her heart, calling herself oldfashioned. She believes you only get one love, and she already had hers, so she’s on permanent hiatus. Cindy’s response: You know what comes after The One? The Next One! And here comes Ted into the wrong classroom, telling a corny shellfish/selfish joke that totally makes The Mother laugh.
JANUARY 2010 | The Mother gets her yellow umbrella back after Ted and Cindy break up. Then she tries to console her roomie, who says Ted has a thing for The Mother. Yes, it sounds crazy, but he fell in love with all her stuff – and how could he not? Then Cindy plants a kiss on The Mother! She truly is irresistible, isn’t she? The Mother is totally cool with the smooch, even calling it nice since she hasn’t been kissed in a while. But eventually, Cindy finds her One and The Mother meets super groupie Darren while searching for a new roommate.
APRIL 2012 | The Mother hits it off with Louis, a perfectly nice guy who remembers MacLaren’s as Puzzles. (As she leaves the bar, Ted enters in that infamous green dress.) They start dating, but it just isn’t love. His enthusiasm for her breakfast show tune is seriously lacking, for one.
AND NOW | That brings us to the wedding weekend, during which The Mother is staying as Louis’ Farhampton home. She gets quite the surprise when he shows up to pop the question. She asks for a moment to ponder the proposal and goes outside to “talk” to Max.
“Would it be OK if I moved on?” she tearfully asks. She takes a gust of wind as his yes, but still says no to Louis. (Don’t you want to see the poor guy’s search for his soulmate now? There’s a web series idea!)
The Mother checks into what was supposed to be the mother of the bride’s room at the Inn. As she plays her ukelele and sings “La Vie en Rose,” a mesmerized Ted listens in from the porch next door.