As CBS’s long-running sitcom, “How I Met Your Mother” approaches its series finale March 31, speculation about a downer of an ending is rampant online.
This chatter hit a fever pitch after the most recent episode of the sitcom seemed to hint that “The Mother” character was approaching death.
The episode, which aired Monday, showed main character Ted and the titular "mother" character 10 years in the future.
The possible clue occurred near the end of the episode, when Ted told his wife a story about the wedding of friends Barney and Robin, in which Robin’s mother ultimately comes to the couple’s wedding, despite her strained relationship with Robin.
At the conclusion of Ted’s story (in 2024), his wife says, “Of course she showed up. What mother is going to miss her daughter’s wedding?”
Ted is then shown looking like he’s about to burst into tears, leaving his wife to comfort him.
Fans have wondered online whether this exchange is meant to insinuate that the mother character won't be able to attend the future wedding of her and Ted's daughter because she's dying.
Speculation about the long-awaited mother character dying is not new. People have been piecing together possible clues pertaining to this theory for years, especially since the mystery mother appeared for the first time only late last season.
Even last year, conspiracy theorists pointed to a season 8 scene in which Ted imagines himself going to his future wife's apartment and telling her he will meet her in 45 days.
He says to her, "I guess because I want those extra 45 days with you. I want each one of them… I am always going to love you. Until the end of my days and beyond."
In its nine-year run, fans of "How I Met Your Mother" have patiently awaited the arrival of Ted’s eventual wife and mother of his children. Over the years, he’s been shown telling the tale of their meeting to his future son and daughter, a surprisingly attentive pair of teens.
The show has placed Ted in countless doomed romantic situations, leaving the audience guessing whether each new love may be the one. "How I Met Your Mother" has also chronicled Ted's on-again, off-again relationship with the character Robin, who he’s loved then lost again and again.
Even current episodes show Ted pining for the soon-to-be-married Robin. This further fuels the fire of speculation for fans, who think axing the mother character will open the door for Robin and Ted.
With the series finales for shows like “Lost” and “Dexter” leaving many fans outraged by their conclusions in recent years, some "How I Met Your Mother" followers don’t feel they can trust the show.
Show creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas obviously aren’t spilling the beans, but last season Bays did appear to tip his hand about the show's ending a bit to E!. Bays said, “This decision was made years ago, and I don't think we've ever even shaken from how we want to end it.”
But he also said of the finale, “We're very excited about it because I think it's going to be really heartbreaking, and sweet and wonderful."
While a long-set ending seems to support theories that the show will end on a positive note (since it is a comedy after all), the use of the word “heartbreaking” is not encouraging for fans who hope that Ted and the mother of his children will live happily ever after.
Some, however, argue that the recent “clues” are just a red herring meant to fuel interest in the series' upcoming conclusion. If so, it seems to be working.
Here's what the Twitterverse had to say about the speculation: