The episode will feature her perspective on a times she and Ted almost crossed paths, so it’s a good time to review them. Here are some of the moments you may see (again) in Monday’s (Jan. 27) episode.
‘Pilot’ (Season 1, episode 1)
In 2030, a middle-aged Ted Mosby (voiced by Bob Saget) sits down to tell his two kids the story of how he met their mom. The episode ends with a swerve, as the opening story is all about how Ted met Robin (Cobie Smulders). The on-screen kids and the audience both blurt out, “What?!,” and we begin the very long and very winding road toward Ted’s future.
‘Milk’ (Season 1, episode 21)
Earlier in the season (in “Matchmaker”), Ted went to a matchmaking service in hopes of finding his soulmate — and came away disappointed. In “Milk,” the service calls him back and says it has someone for him. He doesn’t meet her, deciding to go all-in with Robin instead.
Future Ted, however, tells his kids this:
“I read the file, and by God this woman was perfect. She liked dogs, she spent her summers in North Carolina, she played bass guitar, she did the Times crossword, she played tennis, she liked old movies, her favorite food was lasagna, and her favorite book was ‘Love in the Time of Cholera.’ Her favorite singer was Otis Redding and she wanted two kids, a boy and a girl.”
Darned if that doesn’t sound like the Mother.
‘Wait for It’ (Season 3, episode 1)
The first reference to the Mother’s Yellow umbrella comes in an aside from Future Ted: “Kids, there’s more than one story of how I met your mother. You know the short version, the thing with your mom’s yellow umbrella, but there’s a bigger story …”
‘No Tomorrow’ (Season 3, episode 12)
A wild St. Patrick’s Day features Ted getting punched in the face at a bar, where he leaves his phone. He goes back the next to find it and is unsuccessful, but grabs a yellow umbrella on his way out to shield him from the rain. It’s the Mother’s umbrella — she was at the bar the night before as well but didn’t run into Ted.
‘Definitions’ (Season 5, episode 1)
On his first day teaching at Columbia, a nervous Ted enters the classroom and starts lecturing, only to discover he’s in the wrong place and talking to an economics class. The Mother is one of the students in the classroom.
‘Girls vs. Suits’ (Season 5, episode 12)
Ted dates Cindy (Rachel Bilson), a doctoral student at Columbia, though it’s against university policy. Ted, however, wants to make it work and is super-excited to see items in her apartment that seem to indicate they’re meant for each other. All of them, however, turn out to belong to Cindy’s roommate — the Mother. We glimpse the Mother’s foot and ankle as she’s walking into her bedroom. He leaves the yellow umbrella behind at her apartment.
‘Farhampton’ (Season 8, episode 1)
We finally glimpse the moment Ted and the Mother meet in a flash-forward: A woman with a yellow umbrella steps onto the train platform in Farhampton after Robin and Barney’s (Neil Patrick Harris) wedding.
‘Band or DJ?’ (Season 8, episode 13)
Ted runs into Cindy and her partner on the subway and tells her the band he hired for the wedding canceled at the last minute. Cindy says her ex-roommate’s band is available, thereby getting the Mother to Farhampton.
‘The Time Travelers’ (Season 8, episode 20)
Future Ted fills in a few details about the Mother’s life shortly before she and Ted meet. She lives a little farther uptown than Ted, is still working toward her economics degree and is dating a guy named Louis. As Ted fantasizes about telling the Mother they’ll meet and fall in love 45 days from then, Louis arrives and punches him in the face.
‘Something New’ (Season 8, episode 24)
In the season’s final scene, we see the Mother’s face for the first time, prior to Milioti joining the cast full-time for Season 9. She walks into the train station, carrying her guitar case and a yellow umbrella, and asks for a ticket to Farhampton.