how i met your mother mother
Christin Milioti, the newly revealed mystery mother in "How I Met Your Mother" CBS

After eight years, “How I Met Your Mother” finally gave fans what they've been waiting for: It revealed the infamous mother of Ted Mosby’s children.

The big reveal came Monday night in “Something New,” the season 8 finale of the CBS hit series, which not only treated viewers to Barney and Robin’s wedding but also gave a glimpse of the woman who would one day marry Ted. For years, the show has teased fans with seemingly meaningful clues that went nowhere, but now they at least know what the mother looks like; she hasn’t been named yet, but the mother is played by Christin Milioti.

How exactly did viewers realize that she was the mother? As Buzzfeed explains, she fits every clue the show has laid out. She is seen wearing the same boots and yellow umbrella the show has hinted at her owning, and at the end of the episode, we see her carry her bass guitar to the Far Hampton Long Island Railroad station, the place where Ted told his children he met their mother.

And besides, CBS has already confirmed to multiple outlets that Milioti is the mother.

So why did “How I Met Your Mother” creators and executive producers Carter Bays and Craig Thomas choose to delay the unmasking of the mother until now? As the two explain, it was always their plan to hold off on showing the mother until the very end of the show. Now that “How I Met Your Mother” has only one season left, it seemed the perfect time for audiences to learn who gave birth to Ted’s children.

“One of our hard-and-fast rules [when we thought we were doing eight seasons] was that we didn’t want to meet her until the very end,” Bays told Entertainment Weekly. “We felt like, now that we’re doing another year, let’s find an interesting new twist.”

Thomas says that Milioti’s identity was an extremely closely guarded secret.

“We got very CIA and intense about it: We really didn’t put it on paper; we never emailed the outline or the script. We literally just kept it on hard copies of paper that we messengered back and forth to people and then got the copies back and destroyed [them],” Thomas said.

Apparently, Milioti even auditioned under the fake script title “USC Student Thesis Film,” ensuring that nobody in Hollywood would pay attention. Pretty clever. And it seems their gambit has paid off, as no one had any idea who the mother was until Monday night.