By EW Staff
Updated May 10, 2013 at 08:15 PM EDT
Sandra HIMYM Blend
Credit: Getty Images

Who do those ankles belong to? How I Met Your Mother is heading into its season finale next week and a promo released Thursday hints at a possible big reveal. Even if the promo is just a big tease, we think it’s high time to get down to business and take some guesses about who will play the mother of Ted’s children. Everyone has their opinions about when and how she’ll show up, but we can all agree that since HIMYM has cast nearly every hot actress under 35 on the show at some point in its eight years, the pickings are getting slimmer. We can’t believe it’s taken us this long to get around to thinking about making some guesses.

But as we make our casting picks, we need to consider what we know so far: she’s got ankles!; she plays the bass at Barney and Robin’s wedding; she was Rachel Bilson’s roommate; she loves that yellow umbrella; and she was once Ted’s student at Columbia.

After extensive debate amongst the resident EW HIMYM experts, we’ve narrowed it down to our top picks.

  • Michelle Trachtenberg (indie street cred)
  • Keri Russell (she needs some comedy to balance out The Americans)
  • Alexis Bledel (no lack of wordplay for Ted here)
  • Rachel McAdams (awww, can’t ya just see it?)
  • Bryce Dallas Howard (she’s Robin as a redhead – creepy or brilliant?)

But how did we get there? Read the conversation between Sandra Gonzalez and Laura Hertzfeld below, keeping in mind that we each had veto power over one pick.

Sandra Gonzalez: We both know that everyone in the HIMYM-verse thinks that The Mother should be an unknown actress, and I have to say I agree to an extent. But let’s pretend for a moment that the show decides to go with someone we know and love…like Sarah Michelle Gellar <3 <3!

Laura Hertzfeld: My money’s on a different Buffy star — Michelle Trachtenberg.

SG: Weird comment: those totally looked like MT’s ankles. Who else were you thinking?

LH: Michelle Trachtenberg, Jena Malone. I feel indie about this. Ted needs a manic pixie dreamgirl.

SG: Are you sure those aren’t picks for the Mother of JOSH RADNOR’s children?

LH: Ha! I am sad Mandy Moore has already been on because she would be great.

SG: Me too!!

LH: But Ted can’t go super hot. His girlfriends other than Robin are never that hot.

SG: Rude!

LH: Oh, I’m sorry, but he is a hipster magnet, not a model magnet.

SG: OK. I laughed because that’s mean — but also kind of correct.

LH: I think ultimately Ted goes age appropriate.

SG: That makes it trickier. Also, I’m not sure if I see someone like Mandy Moore as a mother. Like, in my head, The Mother has been built up so much she almost has to seep sweetness and kindness and wit. Someone like Keri Russell or Alexis Bledel.

LH: That’s a really good point.

SG: She has to be able to battle Ted intellectually and hang with everyone at the bar.

LH: What about Bryce Dallas Howard? Can we have two redhead moms on the show?

SG: OH! In a weird way, she’s a Lily-Robin hybrid do you see that?

LH: Totally.

LH: Also — and this is kind of out there — Christina Ricci she needs a comeback

SG: Veto.

SG: OMG! We each get vetoes — like Ross and Rachel. No explanation. Just: Veto.

LH: Ok, you mentioned Sarah Michelle Gellar earlier. I don’t think Buffy is the mother. Buffy and Willow together again in one show will make it explode. Dawn, sure, Buffy… it’s a lot. Veto.

SG: That whole “Two Buffy alums = world implosion” thing has gotta be written in the Bible somewhere, I’m sure. So let’s replace her with Rachel McAdams, who I love.

LH: I’ve seen her name batted around the Internet, so sure.

LH: Should we diversify this list a little?

SG: What if Ted’s kids are adopted? Last line of the series: “Oh, and you’re adopted… but we’ll get to that.” FADE OUT.

Who do you think will play The Mother? Vote in our poll, comment on our suggestions and make your own below!


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