The mysterious mother behind her yellow umbrella in an earlier episode of "How I Met Your Mother."
The mysterious mother behind her yellow umbrella in an earlier episode of "How I Met Your Mother." (Robert Voets / Fox)

It's taken eight seasons, but "How I Met Your Mother" finally delivered on Monday night its essential promise: the identity of "the Mother" was revealed.

For those who don't want to know, turn away here.


On the show's eighth season finale, the identity of the woman who had previously been seen only behind the yellow umbrella was revealed. And contrary to everyone's previous speculation, it was not anyone already part of the comedy's cast.

The actress' name is Cristin Milioti, and though fans of "30 Rock" and "The Sopranos" may remember her from her guest appearances on those shows, she's best known for her Tony-nominated role in the Broadway musical "Once."

The show, told in a series of flashbacks, has long teased the identity of the future wife of narrator Ted (played in the flashbacks by Josh Radnor) who will be the mother of his children. But now that the end of the series is in sight, it's time for the producers to finally lay their cards on the table.

The mysterious woman behind the yellow umbrella was first glimpsed in the third season, and since then we've seen only her ankle and gotten other tantalizing bits of information about her: she's in a band and everybody who dates her falls in love with her. But still no face. Until now.

She was seen in the eighth season finale buying a ticket to Farhampton, the location of Barney and Robin's wedding, and a significant destination for those keeping track of the show's complex narrative.

"How I Met Your Mother" will return for a ninth and final season in the fall, and Milioti will join the cast, which also includes Neil Patrick Harris, Alyson Hannigan, Jason Segel and Cobie Smulders.