'How I Met Your Mother' Finale: 5 Loose Ends That Still Need Tying

The CBS comedy signs off for good with the one-hour finale, but several questions — ahem, what about the pineapple? — demand answers.
Ron P. Jaffe/Fox
"How I Met Your Mother"

The final slap of the slap bet has been delivered, dozens of random asides from the previous eight seasons have been addressed and the long-awaited introduction between Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) and the Mother (Cristin Milioti) is mere hours away -- but How I Met Your Mother still has so many questions left unanswered.

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CBS' cult sitcom comes to an end this Monday with its 208th and final episode. The show, which built its following thanks in large part to an elaborate mythology, is going to dole out resolution over the course of an hour. Many fans will leave feeling fulfilled byith their decade-long investment, while others may show up at the 20th Century Fox lot with pitchforks and flaming torches.

Of the several dozen loose ends that linger as we get ready to say goodbye to HIMYM (and its unfortunate acronym) forever, The Hollywood Reporter has taken a look back at the series and prioritized a few biggies that will -- or at least should -- come up during the swan song. Here they are, in no particular order:

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1. Who makes the yellow umbrella?
The average lifespan of a standard umbrella in New York City is roughly 2.5 rainy days -- depending on wind. The Mother's distinctive wet-weather accessory has been appearing in the HIMYM timeline since 2007, switching ownership, and finding itself in all manner of bar, street corner and train platform. Its inclusion in the finale is a given -- we've already seen her hiding beneath it on the night of Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) and Robin's (Cobie Smulders) wedding -- but what really needs explaining is where this durable rain deflector came from and how many colors does it come in? 

2. Where did the pineapple come from?
Don't hold your breath on this one. Co-creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas have more or less gone on record saying that the pineapple was never meant to have a resolution, but its lingering mystery could provide some left-field resolution. How did Ted wind up sleeping next to a pineapple in episode 10 of the first season? Why has it been referenced so many times since? And why do we care so much?

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3. Will we never see Robin Sparkles again?
One of the most beloved recurring gags in HIMYM history is Robin's alter ego: a Canadian pop princess who released a brief string of '80s-friendly hits -- "Let's Go to the Mall," "Sandcastles in the Sand," "P.S. I Love You" -- before falling back into obscurity. Even though Sparkles made a subtle cameo in the penultimate episode -- did you hear the orchestral "Sandcastles in the Sand" as Robin walked down the aisle? -- there is still hope for some small revival. Thomas, Bays and Smulders have been coy throughout the season when many have happily doled out a definitive "no" to speculation.

4. How long has the ending really been set?
For better or worse, a big part of the HIMYM finale has been set since almost the very beginning. How will we know which part? It's been in a time capsule since 2006. Ted's future kids, played by the now-adult Lyndsy Fonseca and David Henrie, filmed a finale scene during the second season to get the pivotal moment in the can before the castmembers aged too much. Only a handful of people knew what it involved, and it's been in some vault ever since -- waiting for its finale reveal. What's actually said in the little time capsule will offer some insight into how long Bays and Thomas have had their plan.

5. What happens to the Mother?
This is the biggest one of all. Ted meets the Mother, that's for sure, but what happens after they have their two children is a big question mark. A February episode was very cryptic about the Mother's long-term prospects, mortality-wise. And though it hasn't been teased since, cast and crew have refuted theories that the Mother has been dead the whole time with varying degrees of "no comment." Is the Mother dead? And, if she is, does it really matter?