The How I Met Your Mother “Framed Letter Theory” Was Just The Prop Guy’s Mistake

It’s hard, but I think it’s time for How I Met Your Mother fans to accept that it’s not Lost. While the show’s creators do slip in clues to (or teases for) the identity of the Mother, they’re usually in the form of really obvious deviations from sitcom format like “strange woman runs into Ted, who pauses to excuse himself before continuing the scene” or “what was that weird goat thing?“. Last week, a sharp-eyed blogger at Seat 42F noticed that the same framed letter appeared in scenes from both 2030 and 2008, in Ted’s future house and Stella’s now-apartment, leading to speculation that Stella was the mother. It was a good catch, but in an interview with TV Squad today, HIMYM co-creator Carter Bays explained that it was nothing but a good old fashioned goof:

You know, I feel like I shouldn’t respond one way or the other but it definitely – we were surprised to see it as well. It was a bit of a props snafu, I think. I’ll just kinda say that.

Bays also talks about comparisons to Lost, the “medium cliffhanger” of Monday’s season finale, and trying to avoid being “The Britney Show,” which combined with common sense would lead us to believe that despite rumors, Alyson Hannigan calling Britney Spears “just a really really sweet girl” does not in any way mean that Britney is going to be a permanent star of the show.