So finally this week, after nine seasons and 208 episodes, the world eventually got to see how Ted met that mother we've been hearing so damn much about. Although, we've all known her this good while, as she has featured heavily in flash forwards, and she's pretty much been meeting everybody BUT Ted in the final series.
We knew it would be the train station, we knew the yellow umbrella would be involved, hell, we knew how Ted would eventually propose to his future wife, but this week we got to see the moment Ted first met the mother of his children, and that was everything we could have hoped for. He first claps eyes on her at Barney and Robin's wedding reception where she was playing in the band, and later at the train station, they get chatting under this famous yellow umbrella. Endearing banter is had, looks are exchanged, and as Lily herself said the next day, this one seems different.
We then get to see how all their lives plan out together, Lily and Marshall go on to have three kids, Barney and Robin fail to go the distance and divorce after three years, with Robin then going awol from the gang for some time. Barney gets some young one knocked up and ends up finally finding the love of his life when he meets his baby daughter. We know that Ted and Tracy (the mother's name was finally revealed) have two kids, Penny and Luke, who Ted is of course telling the story to in later years.
And then the final minutes came, and we heard the news we had been coming to expect - his wife Tracy, the mother of his children, had in fact died - and some time ago too. The camera finally turns around in the room we have seen him talking to his children in all these years, and there is older Ted sitting there, and NOT Bob Saget... funnily enough.
We realise that Tracy had died from an unspecified illness six years previous, and that Ted, bless him, is now a widower. I know, heartbreaking. 'So that, Ted says, is how I met your mother', the words we had been waiting to hear for nine seasons, but now had a tragic tinge to them.
The kids aren't buying it though; "Come on dad, that’s not the reason you made us listen to this,” says his daughter Penny. "Let's look at the facts here, you made us sit down and listen to this story about how you met mom, but mom's hardly in the story. No, this is the story about how you’re totally in love with Aunt Robin".
It WAS? Shouldn't it have been called How I Met your STEP mother so? (Many a fan has said that, I very much stole that line.) The final moments then saw old Ted head off to old Robins apartment, and stand outside with, you guessed it, the blue French horn. The moment made all the better with the Walkmen's song 'Heaven' playing in the background with the very much apt lyrics; "Our children will always hear / Romantic tales of distant years".
And then it was done! And fans went BERSERK. Mainly because everyone had long let go of any hopes for Robin and Ted, and had become pretty invested in the Barney and Robin love story. And why did they make us fall so in love with that awesome mother all season, only for her to be dead and gone by the time it caught up?
Although, the very first episode was when Ted met Robin... so maybe we should have saw this coming. And right up to the wedding, the pair seemed to struggle to let go of each other. Robin then later said to Lily after her divorce, that he was the guy "she probably should have ended up with".
As well as that, after all the crap that dude went through to find his 'perfect match', he ended up - similar to his late wife who's first love had died - 'winning the lottery' twice. N'aww.
Watch the final moments below: