Through all nine seasons of How I met your mother, Future Ted told the story of how he met the mother of his children, with each new love interest being a potential candidate. For eight years, viewers were on the edge of their seats, longing to learn the true identity of Ted’s wife.
Fans were finally introduced to Tracy in the eighth season finale. Although Tracy is a sympathetic character, many fans were not happy with how Ted’s story ended or that Tracy was quickly killed, so future Ted would be able to start dating Robin again. He dated so many women over the years that viewers were sure that one of these characters would be revealed as The Mother – who else would have been a good candidate?
Updated October 8, 2021 by Rose Graceling-Moore: How I Met Your Mother fans have a new series to look forward to as the spin-off How I Met Your Father is underway – and this time fans can hope the title father is not a malleable character! Within the original series, however, it is still possible to explore all the possibilities for a ‘mother’ who would have been much more satisfying than Tracy’s short-lived appearance.
It was unlikely that Robin was the mother of Ted’s children, as she could not have children and would not adopt either – as shown in her bow with Kevin. When he wanted to marry Robin, she made it clear that she had no interest in being a mother … which makes her last engagement to Ted somewhat ironic, as she would become a stepmother to Luke and Penny.
So in some ways, after her divorce, Robin is also ‘the mother’ – or ‘a mother’ – at the end of the series. However, it may have been much more satisfying to see their story connect at the end of the main program timeline rather than waiting for the future timeline to bring them back together. Either that, or let them not connect at all because fans would have been disappointed if Robin’s feelings about having children changed at the last minute, after so much character development around her decision to be childless.
Stella may have left Ted at the altar, but that does not distance herself from the quality of their relationship. These two were undeniably good together and had lots of chemistry. There is no doubt that Ted would have loved Stella as his wife.
Stella was everything Ted was looking for, she even had Lucy, her daughter, whom Ted adored. It would have been great to learn that Penny and Luke were Lucy’s half – siblings, and to see an older Lucy come into the room and join Penny and Luke on the couch eventually. While this would have worked, however, it would also have meant the end of the series – as Ted was planning to move to New Jersey to be with Stella after they got married.
It is true that Zoey and Ted clashed in many ways, and their constant disagreements were what caused them to eventually break up. Her choice to put her own causes ahead of the relationship, and his similar choice to put his career ahead of the relationship, meant the two simply never got to work.
However, it would have been interesting to see these two actually figure it out – and would have been a real opportunity to present character growth to both of them. Exploring how they could prioritize themselves and the relationship, or learn to communicate better, would have been a great story, and of course, Zoey also fit in perfectly with the rest of the gang.
There’s no doubt that Ted’s love for Robin is what came between Ted and Victoria. If only Ted had put his feelings aside, Ted and Victoria might have lived happily ever after, and Ted would have spared himself a lot of pain.
Fans knew how deeply Ted loved Victoria (and how romantic they were), and finding out she was the mother of his children would have been a surprising and welcome revelation. It would also have been a great arc to see Ted finally let go of his hangups on Robin. Although the two eventually reunite, fans were saddened by this decision and would rather have seen Robin stay with Barney – making Victoria a good choice.
This would certainly have been a huge twist ending, but also had great potential. Lily and Ted were incredibly close and had been since college – and it would be easy to see the two as a couple and as parents. It would also have been a better decision to have the mother included from the start as it was frustrating to have such an important character only show up in a few last paragraphs.
Another great twist, and one that could have seen Lily as the mother without her leaving Marshall and breaking the best couple in the show, would be that Ted became part of that relationship as a polyamorous triad. In many ways, these three already feel like a triad, as they lived together for a long time, wore Halloween costumes in three parts, and did it all. It would definitely have worked and been a big twist for them to make their connection official in the end.
5 Fur Check Girls
The fur check girl from the episode “Okay Awesome” would have been a flawless choice for The Mother. Not only would this have been unexpected, but it would have made good sense – and she’s one of the few great potential partners for Ted who was never really explored in the show.
Ted had an instant connection to her and wanted to get her number – but stopped himself because he imagined the possible results and assumed that the only end would be a bad one. However, they may have crossed paths more than once, and seeing Ted take a chance and finding a relationship that does not end badly would have been a good choice. She also appeared for the first time in season one, so that would be a different character from the start.
It would have been great to see a romantic connection between this beloved supporting role and Ted. Fans got to know Patrice a little better in season eight when she and Barney pretended to be a couple.
It’s impossible not to love Patrice as she’s sweet, kind, generous and always happy to help and she could have been a perfect match for Ted. This, of course, would have caused some trouble when it comes to Robin because Robin hated Patrice (for no real reason). However, this may also have been an interesting story to investigate – see how Robin learns to get past whatever it is about Patrice she hates, and see her really become part of the gang.
Ted and Quinn never got along romantically, but they should have. Barney had no problem going after Ted’s girlfriends, so why could not Ted date one of Barney’s old flames? Quinn was intelligent, funny and independent, all that Ted was looking for in his wife. Yet he never seemed to think about her for a moment.
Of course, Ted may struggle with some of the aspects of Quinn’s personality that Barney loved – and while Ted pretended to want an independent woman like Robin, he more often showed that he would be ‘necessary’. And even though Barney and Ted were with some of the same women, it regularly caused problems for them, and Ted showed that he struggled to deal with the idea of becoming intimate with a woman that Barney had previously been with.
Ted pined after Naomi (also known as The Slutty Pumpkin) for years. Ted met Naomi in 2001, but unfortunately lost touch with her shortly after. Clearly, these two had an instant connection as they both remembered each other when they finally crossed paths in season eight – making her a character that has technically existed since HIMYM season one.
Although the couple did not stay together due to lack of chemistry, it would have made good sense for Naomi to be The Mother. How I met your mother fans know how much Ted loves to go back to what’s comfortable. Instead of getting them to break up due to lack of chemistry, it would have been a good twist to get them to connect – or even get them to reconnect years later and find chemistry next time.
Ted and Barney may never have been a couple, but they actually suggested having kids together as they struggled to find the romantic relationship they wanted. Although their idea was quickly rejected by their friends, and they also abandoned it quickly, it could have been a surprisingly good idea. They are incredibly close, they agree on a lot (although Ted is not surprisingly more realistic about what it takes to raise a child), and they had quite a lot of free time and money between them, which would definitely help!
Of course, this would mean that the ‘Mother’ title would be something of a joke – and this could also be a good twist. The band loved teasing Barney about being ‘Swarley’, so it would make sense for Ted to refer to his co-parent as a mother, despite his gender. The main problem with this, however, is that How I met your mother is intended as a love story and this would not be romantic love.
NEXT: 10 continuity errors in how I met your morphans who did not notice it
Octopus game: 9 most selfless things the characters did, ranked
About the author