How Your Mother Met Me

HIMYM episode 9x16 (200)

First aired:
January 27, 2014
Pamela Fryman
Carter Bays
Craig Thomas
Barney's Blog

Images (13)

On the 200th episode, it is revealed how The Mother met Ted and what she’s been up to for the past eight years.


This episode explains what the Mother was up to in the years before she met Ted and is recounted in a series of flashbacks that intertwine with what was going on in the gang's lives at the time. Since only one episode is devoted to her life story, it is fitting to portray the circumstances surrounding her life with sufficient detail:

The scene is 2005 and the events of the Pilot are transpiring as Barney has convinced Ted to come out to MacLaren's. Just as Barney is about to play "Have You Met Ted?", the camera shifts to a woman, Kelly, who receives a phone call in the bar and departs right away confessing to a clumsy mistake.

She takes a cab to another MacLaren's in NYC north of the one in the Upper West Side to arrive in time for The Mother's 21st birthday celebration, which Future Ted reveals was the night Marshall and Lily got engaged and Ted met Robin. Kelly asks where the Mother's boyfriend Max is, to which she replies he said he couldn't to find a cab, but she really thinks he is still finding her a present. The Mother's comments about Max's gift giving suggest she is very happy with him. The Mother's phone begins to ring and she leaves her friends to take the call, presumably from Max, outside. She receives word from an unidentified caller, possibly a police officer or Max's family, informing her Max has passed away. The scene flashes forward to right after Max's funeral, where the grieving Mother returns to her apartment. The apartment is the same one the Mother lived in with Cindy during Ted's previous stories to his kids. She musters up the courage to open Max's birthday present to her. It is a ukulele, with a note saying it can replace the Mother's habit of singing a capella with her breakfast. 

As the audience is taken to April 2008, Kelly, revealed to be the Mother's roommate, is persuading her to end her 2 year grieving period and at least head out with her to Low Point, a club, for a St. Patrick's Day party. The Mother refutes with the fact she has been busy with her paintings of robots playing sports, currently at the bowling stage. As the Mother fears it will rain, Kelly hands her the yellow umbrella to bring along. The Mother and Kelly are in the bathroom line at the club mentioned in No Tomorrow​. As Kelly pleads the Mother to come and dance since "the one" might bump into someone else on the dance floor, Ted bumps into a woman in the club. The Mother runs into Mitch, who is revealed to have been her instructor at orchestra camp. He explains he teaches music at an underfunded public school in the Bronx. The Mother offers to give him her cello to help out the kids and they leave for her apartment to pick it up, leaving Kelly behind. Kelly bumps into an inebriated Barney, whose pickup attempt turns her off. The Mother leaves Mitch in the living room to go get the cello out of the closet and when she returns he pulls the Naked Man for the third time in his life. The Mother is clearly shocked and turned off but since she and Mitch were well acquainted, she allows him to stay (covered up) and they chat on the couch where he explains his move (and its success rate, now 2 out of 3). The Mother feels lost at this point in her life, and Mitch advises her to find what she wants to do with her life and follow that dream. The Mother wishes to end poverty, and is told by Mitch to let every decision and action in her life be influenced by that goal; this leads her to end up in an economics class in pursuit of an economics degree. After chatting Mitch offers the Mother a hug, but she takes a "rain-check", this prompts her to get her forgotten umbrella at Low Point as Kelly returns. She never found the umbrella since Ted took it home, and Mitch successfully pulls the Naked Man on Kelly.

In Fall 2009, the Mother meets Cindy in the economics lecture Ted mistakenly thinks is for Architecture 101. Cindy is new to NYC and The Mother befriends her and they become roommates since Kelly has moved out. As they get to know each other better, the Mother explains she isn't looking for love anytime soon since she believes it only comes once and for her it came and ended with Max. As Ted begins to teach the economics class, the Mother laughs at one of his lame jokes. She wrongly runs off when Ted says he is teaching architecture and as she realizes outside she was in the right class all along, Ted speeds past her realizing he was in the wrong class and now is late for his first lecture. 

In January 2010, Ted breaks up with Cindy in her apartment and leaves forgetting the yellow umbrella and unknowingly returning it to its original owner. The Mother is surprised when Cindy explains Ted had fallen for the Mother and all the things in the apartment that were associated with her. The Mother is revealed to be a calligraphist, a coin collector, and fan of renaissance fairs (all things Ted loves throughout the series). Cindy kisses the Mother in the process, signaling the beginning of how she ultimately ended up with Casey

The Mother is later seen explaining her story to Darren at a bar. He responded to her advertisement for a roommate but with the intention of expressing his love for Superfreakonomics, the Mother's band. The Mother invites him to sing on stage at their next show. Darren accepts the offer with devilish eyes, indicating his real desire to take over the band. When flash forwarding to April 2012, as a Save the Arcadian poster is seen in the background, an annoyed Mother is loading her band equipment as Darren brags about leading the band. She meets Louis as he helps her load her amplifier and guitar into the van and they hit it off. Later at MacLaren's, Louis explains how he thought MacLaren's was previously called Puzzles, and in response the Mother realizes Barney's intentions behind the naming of the bar. When Louis offers to go out for dinner sometime the Mother explains how she lost her one true love and has been hesitant to give in to anybody since; Louis leaves his number in case she changes her mind. In the background, the events of The Mermaid Theory and Now We're Even​ are concluding. 

The Mother meets up with Kelly and explains how she took Louis up on his offer for dinner and finds him sweet. Kelly encourages her to go for Louis. Future Ted explains the Mother started dating Louis for a couple of years afterwards, but soon they began to grow apart, evidenced by Louis not fully enjoying the Mother's singing with breakfast foods. He explains 'fate' intervened and cites Ted running into Cindy and Casey looking for a wedding band. This led to the Mother departing for Farhampton, running into Lily, then arriving at Louis' beach-house where she was to stay during Barney and Robin's wedding weekend. She saw Darren's advertisement for a new bass player during this time and sought Lily for advice at the Farhampton Inn. Through this encounter, the Mother steals Darren's van and is driving back to the beach-house when she meets and picks up Marshall and Marvin. She later meets Darren and he resigns from the band, upon which she buys Ted 35 year old Glen McKenna from Linus. The Mother makes her way back to the beach-house where Louis proposes to her. She requests some time to think about her decision and heads outside where she exchanges a heartfelt conversation with the departed Max, asking for his advice and guidance on the situation. She feels she has been holding herself back and now wonders if the time has come to move on; a timely gust of wind is interpreted as a sign for her to go back to Louis and move past Max for good. She turns down Louis' proposal and the two break up. Distraught, she leaves the beach-house and after revealing her breakup to Curtis, gets the only room left in the Farhampton Inn. It had been vacated with Robin's mother's cancellation and is revealed to be the room right next to Ted's. 

The Mother takes her ukulele out to the porch of her room overlooking the water and sings an English rendition of La Vie en rose to herself. Ted is revealed to have heard the entire performance having been on his adjacent porch the entire time and is visibly moved. Future Ted explains while he has since heard the Mother sing the song many times over, nothing will ever replace how he felt when he heard her for the first time that night. The episode concludes with Ted returning to his room and mentioning the experience to Barney at which point he realizes Barney is nowhere to be found.


  • The Mother almost meets Ted in Now We're Even, as shown in the flashback while Ted is wearing the green dress. As shown in that episode, he successfully got a girl's number in the green dress. Had he failed, he still would have been outside and might have met The Mother at that point.
  • It is revealed that the Mother knew Mitch, the Naked Man, from music lessons prior to the series. He also attempts the Naked Man on her unsuccessfully, establishing his "two out of three" rule.
  • In Girls Versus Suits, Cindy says that her roommate makes breakfast foods sing show tunes and Future Ted interrupts, claiming that "Your mother's rendition of "Memories" as performed by an English muffin is, to this day, the most hauntingly beautiful thing I've ever heard." In this episode, The Mother parodies the song "One" with an English muffin.
  • Ted's shellfish joke was made back in Double Date. As noted in that episode, The Mother laughs at the joke.
  • The Mother says "What the damn hell?!" just like how Marshall and Daphne said in previous episodes.
  • Kelly mentions that she once met a guy who tried to pick up girls by saying that his penis granted wishes. This is one of Barney's plays first shown in The Playbook.
  • When drinking at MacLaren's Pub, Louis seems to believe that it's called Puzzles. This means that he was at the bar during the events of Three Days of Snow​. Also, The Mother got the idea to call the bar "Puzzle" because that is the puzzle. That idea has shown several times through the series.
  • The Mother shows many of her quirks that Future Ted revealed throughout the span of the series, as well as many quirks she shares with Ted:
    • Her paintings of robots playing sports.
    • Her breakfast singing show.
    • A love for calligraphy.
    • The New York Times's crossword puzzles.
    • A love for coins.
    • Quirky pronunciation of certain words such as renaissance.
    • Her sense of humor
  • Clips from many previous episodes were seen including:
    • The bar scene in Pilot, where Ted and Barney play Have You Met Ted?
    • The club scene in No Tomorrow​.
    • The scene(s) from The Leap​/Definitions​ in the Econ 305 class that Ted mistakenly teaches.
    • The breakup scene in Girls Versus Suits and the aftermath that followed.
    • The scene in The Mermaid Theory and Now We're Even​ where Ted wears a dress.
    • The scene in Band or DJ? when Ted bumps into Cindy and Casey on the train.
    • The scenes in Bass Player Wanted where The Mother picks up Marshall and Marvin off the side of the street, where The Mother receives Aldrin Justice advice from Lily and where The Mother buys a drink for Ted because he made Darren  quit.
  • Louis and The Mother meet in an alleyway with "Save the Arcadian" posters. When they meet for a drink, Lily and Barney are seen making up following their fight in The Mermaid Theory, which is followed by Ted entering the bar wearing a dress, which occur in Now We're Even.
  • Louis was seen as The Mother's boyfriend in The Time Travelers.
  • Cindy first realized that she was attracted to women right after she broke up with Ted in Girls Versus Suits.
  • The song, John Swihart "You're All Alone" plays during The Mother's talk to Max and Louis' proposal to her, and it also played in The Time Travelers during Ted's 45 days speech.
  • In 2008 it's shown that The Mother is reading "World's End" a book that she lent Cindy in 2009 when Ted pointed it out when visiting her house in Girls Versus Suits.
  • Robin can be seen in the background of a photo where The Mother and Louis are sitting at MacLaren's Pub.
  • In a deleted scene (available on the Season 9 DVD), The Mother turned on the TV to watch live coverage of Robin landing a helicopter safely originally featured in Now We're Even.

Future References (Contains Spoilers)

  • The Mother mentions wanting to end poverty; we learn in Rally that she will eventually write a book which will relate to ending poverty.
  • The Mother and Louis break up the day before the wedding. This will play a role in Ted and The Mother's first date in Gary Blauman.
  • Where Barney went will be the focal point of Sunrise.


  • Ted and the Mother nearly meet
  • The Mother and the Naked Man
  • The Naked Man
  • Ted listens to the Mother sing
  • Ted and the Mother
  • Louis proposes
  • How I Met Your Mother celebrates 200 episodes.
For a listing of all images on the wiki tagged as being from this episode, see Category:How Your Mother Met Me images.

Memorable Quotes

Kelly: It's Saint Patrick's Day, the holiday of my people.
The Mother: You're not Irish.
Kelly: Binge Drinkers.
Kelly convincing the mother to come to the club where she loses the yellow umbrella to Ted

The Mother: One tasty English muffin Baby, that is what I am Ba-da-da-da-da-da-da!
One tasty English muffin with some raspberry jam.
The Mother's English Muffin song (sung to the tune of "One" from A Chorus Line)

The Mother: It's like the first lottery ticket I ever bought was: kaboom, jackpot! And I'm pretty sure I'm not going to win again. Not like that anyway. So I don't generally buy lottery tickets anymore.
The Mother about Max, her deceased love

The Mother: What are you doing?!
Mitch: I don't know. What am I doing?
The Mother: I don't know! What are you doing?!
Mitch: This is my thing...
The Mother: It most certainly is your thing! Now, please cover your thing up.
The Mother's reaction for Mitch's move - The Naked Man

The Mother: By the next day, some super inconsiderate person had taken my umbrella.
The Mother about Ted taking her yellow umbrella from the club

The Mother: Hi, Max. It's me. Sorry to interrupt. I know you're probably up there playing baseball with your dad. Um, look, I-I've got a situation here. I think that I have been holding myself back from falling in love again. And I think it's because I can't let you go. But you're not here anymore so I have to ask this: Would it be okay if I moved on? I realize that you have no way of answering that, but, um... (wind blows into her face) Oh, okay. I will take that as yes. Um, in that case, I should get back in there. (Walks to the door, stops and turns back) I guess this is it. For real this time. Bye, Max.
The Mother's monologue to Max, her deceased love

The Mother: Okay, here it is. I haven't played this since the popular girls locked me inside the case. Although it was roomier than when I played the violin.

The Mother: When I got to the club, it had already closed. By the next day, some super inconsiderate person had taken my umbrella. But by that point, I didn't care. I knew that if I really wanted to end poverty, I had to get a degree in economics. So to answer your question, that's how I got here.
Cindy: I meant, how did you get here from the subway station?
Mother: Oh.
Cindy: But I'm only asking 'cause I just moved to town. I don't even have a place to live yet.
Mother: Yeah, you do. Come live with me. My roommate just moved out.
Cindy: Are you sure? You just met me. I could be a serial killer.
Mother: I like to believe in people. Plus, what are the chances that we're both serial killers?

The Mother: What's wrong? Are you okay?
Cindy: We broke up.
Mother: Oh well, I never liked him, and I never thought he deserved you, and I am sorry, I didn't know you were dating someone. Who was this?
Cindy: He was the architecture professor. The one who taught Econ 305 by accident.
Mother: Oh. That guy? Why did you break up?
Cindy: He's got a thing for you.
Mother: What? Yeah, what? He's what? How um, how could he have a thing for me? He's never even met me.
Cindy: He didn't have to. Everything he saw of yours, he went crazy for.
Mother: You should've brought him to my room. Okay? He would've run screaming once he saw my calligraphy set, my coin collection, my chain-mail corset from the Renaissance Faire. No, that's pretty cool.

Darren: I saw your ad for the roommate, and I just I-I really wanted to meet you. I-I'm a huge fan of your band SuperFreakonomics.
Mother: Oh, my gosh, really?
Darren: Really, come I to all your shows, and I'm not just saying this-- I think you guys are the best economic-themed band in the entire city.
Mother: Even better than Radiohedge Fund?
Darren: Oh, absolutely. I wish I had the guts to do what you do. I love to sing but
Mother: You know what? Next time we do a show, you have got to come up onstage with us and sing a song.
Darren: Oh, no, I couldn't. Mm-hmm. No, I'm, I'm, I'm too shy. But maybe just one song! Yeah!!

Louis: MacLaren's. The last time I was here, I thought this place was called Puzzles.
Mother: That's an odd name. Why would you call a bar Puzzles? Unless, that's the puzzle.

Future Ted: Kids, I must have heard your mom's rendition of "La Vie en Rose" a million times over the years. Every night when she tucked you in, for instance. But that performance, that first night I ever heard her sing, that one will always be my favorite.
Ted Telling his kids about the first time he listens to their mother sing.

Notes and Trivia

Goofs and Errors

  • One scene begins with an overview of the New York City skyline and the caption "April 2008." Later, it is revealed to be St. Patrick's Day, a holiday in March.
    • This was fixed in reruns.
  • When Kelly gets in the yellow cab, it can be clearly identified as a Ford Crown Victoria. In the next scene, the camera is following an older Chevrolet Caprice, before reverting to a Ford for the next shot.
  • The scene where The Mother and Cindy meet, you can see in the background of the class that a student switches laptops from an Apple computer to a different one.
  • Future Ted said after their meeting at MacLaren's that The Mother and Louis dated for a couple of years. However, The Mother breaks up with Louis on the wedding weekend (May 2013) so they only dated a year if their meeting was in 2012.
    • Reruns do not specify how long they dated.
  • In the St. Patrick's Day scene, The Mother is wearing a skirt. However, in the episode No Tomorrow when they show her walking into the club, she is wearing pants.
  • Between the time Ted leaves The Mother's apartment and the time The Mother comes out of the bathroom, the Yellow Umbrella changes place slightly.
    • This may be an intentional error, as a joke on a previous error. In the episode Girls Versus Suits the umbrella changes place slightly as well.[1]
  • When Ted was on the porch he was wearing a black jacket, when he returns to his room he was wearing a gray T-shirt.

Errors involving events colliding with previously seen events could be explained by the premise of the show: it's a narrated story. Scenes from Ted's perspective take account of Ted's knowledge. As Ted never noticed or explicitly saw The Mother or her friends, all scenes are shown in function of that. For example: he never saw or knew what The Mother was wearing on St. Patrick's Day, so the scene enacting this doesn't necessarily have to take account of this.

Allusions and Outside References

  • The episode name is a pun of the series' name.
    • This is the second time that the title parodies other people.
  • The song The Mother sings as an English muffin, is a parody of the song "One" from the Broadway musical A Chorus Line.
  • The scene where The Mother plays La Vie en rose on the balcony is an allusion to the scene from Breakfast at Tiffany's where Audrey Hepburn played the ukulele in the window, singing Moon River. Hepburn also sang La Vie en rose in the movie Sabrina.
  • When The Mother speaks to Max, she apologizes for interrupting Max and his father playing baseball. This is a reference to the movie Field of Dreams, which has previously been established (along with the original Star Wars Trilogy) as one of Ted's favorite movies.
  • When The Mother meets Louis for the first time, where he helps her load her music instruments into the back of the minivan (precisely at 12:42),  one can see several posters on the background with the image of the famous "lion head stonework" and the caption - "SAVE THE ARCADIAN".

    One can easily see the "SAVE THE ARCADIAN" posters in the background.



Other Notes

  • This is the 200th episode of the series.
  • This is the fifth episode to have an alternative title sequence after, Pilot, Hopeless46 Minutes​ and Bedtime Stories. This one shows the Mother and her gang, which includes Louis, Cindy, Darren and Kelly, who may be another member of the Mother's band.
  • Despite the episode's title, the Mother and Ted have not actually met one-on-one during the episode (although Ted accidentally taught in the Mother's class).  
  • This episode establishes the Mother's age: she turned 21 in September 2005, during the events of the Pilot, Future Ted states he's 27 by then, making them 6 years apart.
  • Ted's 'Now We're Even' scene had been reenacted three distinct times by this point given the new revelations in each version.
  • Commentary for the episode is provided by Carter Bays and Craig Thomas.  It is available on the Season 9 DVD.  
  • Other deleted scenes (available on the Season 9 DVD):
    • The Mother and Kelly arguing about whether the former should ask Louis out.
    • The Mother telling Louis about the gig her band was booked for (Robin and Barney's wedding) and asking if she and Lois could go for a weekend holiday in Farhampton.  
    • The moment when the Mother formally breaks up with Louis.  
  • This is not the first occasion where cast members employed their musical talents. Unlike other sitcoms that bring in singing voice-overs for main cast members, much of the HIMYM cast have lent their own vocal talents on occasion.
    • Prior to Cristin Milioti's fame with HIMYM, she was best known for her performances on Broadway, where her singing and acting garnered high praise.  
    • Jason Segel wrote and sang the lyrics to "Marshall vs. the Machines", following the encouraging words of his first director Judd Apatow, who told him only original content would make him a success in the future. (Segel has since also written for The Muppets, the Five-Year Engagement, and Forgetting Sarah Marshall.) Segel also provided the voice who sang the lyrics of the photo montages that Marshall emailed to friends and colleagues featured in The Sexless Innkeeper.
    • Cobie Smulders' own voice is used for the singing voice of Robin Sparkles.
    • Neil Patrick Harris and Josh Radnor lent their musical talents in The Time Travelers  For the Longest Time. In addition, Neil Patrick Harris has appeared on Broadway on multiple occasions, even winning a Tony Award for his performance in Hedwing and the Angry Inch, and was the lead in Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.   Harris also provided the voice to the song Barney Stinson He's So Awesome (featured in Unpause).
  • Interestingly, when the "Have you met ted" moment from the Pilot is shown at the start of this episode, we see the bartender from the first time it is described in the background, as opposed to Doug who Ted later says was there at the start of The Fight.



  • The episode was viewed by 10.81 million people, becoming the most viewed episode of the season, so far.[2]
  • Donna Bowman of the  A.V. Club gave this episode an A-. [3]
  • Max Nicholson of IGN gave the episode an 8.5 out of 10. He said that he enjoyed the callbacks, but found the sheer number similarities between The Mother and Ted irritating. He also added that although no meeting between the two was expecting, the title of the episode came off a little misleading, and the title should have been saved for the episode in which they do meet[4]
  • Angel Cohn Television Without Pity gave the episode an A-, stating that in the brief 22 minutes that the writers were given, they did a great job with the Mother's back story. [5]
  • The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 9.5 out of 10 stars. "...Hail the Naked Man as he appears again!"



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Start a Discussion Discussions about How Your Mother Met Me

  • "How Your Mother Met Me" Discussion Thread

    47 messages
    • I personally believe it was the best episodes every. i cried, i cried my heart out. And la vi en rose is beautiful. tthe mothers voice...
    • wrote:Guys, How I Met Your Mother is a sitcom. Sitcoms don't end up in a tragic way. Carter and Craig ran an amazing and fu...
  • Anyone Notice the hangup that the mother has?

    35 messages
    • Really simple. The whole point is that with Louis it just wasn't true love.
    • wrote:Everyone says that they think the mother dies, and several comments on here say FT might not be exist...