How I Met Your Mother came to an end after nine legendary seasons this week, and we're left completely shocked. While we got answers to many questions in the series finale — including the mother's name and her fate — there are also a handful of unexpected bombshells from the whole gang. Keep reading to see the moments that surprised us the most from Ted, Robin, Barney, Marshall, and Lily, and then get nostalgic with some old HIMYM photos and a compilation of running gags.
The Mother's Name
Let's get this out of the way, even though it happens at the end of the episode: we finally learn the mother's name! And adorably, conveniently, she has the same initials as Ted Mosby: Tracy McConnell! This helps explain the whole yellow umbrella snafu.
How Ted Meets the Mother
This is the moment we've been waiting nine seasons for. We watch the scene of how Ted meets the mother, approaching her in Farhampton about the aforementioned umbrella. It's a simple moment, and it's poignant that it comes at the end of the episode, though that's not even the final bombshell of the series. But before we get to that, let's get back on track.
Robin and Barney's Divorce
Heartbreaking moment number one of the finale is the shocker that Barney and Robin's marriage — for which we just witnessed the vows one week ago — doesn't go the distance, and they divorce after three years. They cite distance and Robin's career, and even though this shouldn't be surprising, it is. It's a bummer but a necessity for the plot (more on that later).
Barney Has a Baby
Despite Barney's relationship with Robin failing, he does meet the girl of his dreams: Ellie. The divorced Barney goes back to his old ways, and after the "perfect month," he gets a girl pregnant and produces Ellie (and the sweetest, most heartfelt man-to-baby speech). Who would have thought that Barney would also end up with a kid?
Ted and the Mother Don't Get Married . . . For a While
Speaking of kids, a huge thing we learn about Ted and Tracy is that they don't get engaged and then have their storybook wedding about a year or so later. Or even a couple of years. As it turns out, Tracy's first pregnancy derails their blowout wedding (of course Ted would be a groomzilla and need a huge castle wedding), and they wait until they have their first child. Then their second child. Ted and Tracy finally get married five years after the original proposal at the lighthouse and seven years after they meet. And he first sees her in her dress at MacLaren's, which is stunningly appropriate.
The Mother Is Dead
So, the theories were true. Tracy does get sick and ultimately die, leaving Ted a widower. We have barely seconds to process this before we find out why he's actually telling his kids this story, and they're right: this isn't the story of how Ted met their mother.
This Is the Story . . . of Ted Asking Out Robin
Yes, ultimately, when Ted's kids hear the story, it's six years after the death of their mom, and they're the ones who sniff out the real purpose of why he's telling it. They think this is the story of how he's really in love with Robin, and in telling it, he'll get the kids' permission to ask her out. The permission is granted — they obviously love her — and the series ends with Ted at Robin's home, presenting her with the blue French horn. The end.
What did you think of the ending?
— Additional reporting by Alyse Whitney