Every HIMYM Cameo On How I Met Your Father So Far
Haaaaave you met them?
Kids, in early 2022, How I Met Your Father concluded its first season, which immediately left me longing to see more, but with a few specific requests in mind, as well. One major thing I did hope to see in the Hulu exclusive sitcom’s second season was appearances from more How I Met Your Mother cast members reprising their original roles. I guess it is true that when you ask, you shall receive, because they did not waste time bringing another familiar face back in the Season 2 premiere.
One of the things that makes Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger’s spin-off fun — outside of the likable actors in the cast and bursts of clever wit — is when the show provides evidence that it exists in the same universe as its long-running predecessor. So far, the most satisfying hints have been the return of fan-favorite How I Met Your Mother characters and I certainly hope to see more as the show goes on. Here is a look at all the cameos we have seen at this point, starting with the most recent sighting.
Alexis Denisof (Sandy Rivers)
How I Met Your Father has provided fans with life updates for two of Robin Scherbatsky's former coworkers so far — the latest of which is TV news reporter Sandy Rivers. He makes a Season 2 cameo while interviewing Jesse (Christopher Lowell from the Promising Young Woman cast) and his pop star girlfriend, Meredith (former Gossip Girl cast member Leighton Meester), as they promote their concert tour on his morning show.
The former anchorman ends the interview by mentioning his recent demotion to the entertainment beat due to recent, unspecified, allegations against him, reminding us once again how much of a scumbag he is. In real life, however, Sandy is played by HIMYM star Alyson Hannigan's real-life husband, Alexis Denisof.
Neil Patrick Harris (Barney Stinson)
In the Season 2 premiere of How I Met Your Father, we were treated to a flash-forward that sees a frantic Sophie (Hilary Duff) accidentally getting into a minor fender bender with a sharply dressed stranger who expresses his frustration with a somber, “Duuuude.” When her son asks, “Who is that guy?” future Sophie (Kim Cattrall) ensures him that “we’ll get there.” However, HIMYM fans already knew exactly who it was.
This marks five-time Emmy winner Neil Patrick Harris’ first appearance on How I Met Your Father as reformed serial womanizer with a vague professional title, Barney Stinson, who is easily the quintessential example of a “fan-favorite” character based on the enduring popularity of his many catchphrases alone. It is exciting to know that this is only the first we have seen of the Barnacle’s return and I am looking forward to seeing more of his and Sophie’s meeting and, perhaps, a glimpse at how fatherhood has been treating him.
Cobie Smulders (Robin Scherbatsky)
Hopefully, we will not have to wait until How I Met Your Father’s Season 2 finale before we see more of Barney. However, it was in the previous season finale when we were treated with a sighting of Cobie Smulders as Barney’s former spouse, Robin Scherbatsky, whom Sophie reveals she is a “fan” of when she bumps into her at just the right time.
The TV news star helps Sophie realize that she should not allow herself to make decisions based on fear, which is essentially what she did when she ran away from a long-awaited chance at romance with Jesse. I would certainly like to see more of Robin in a future episode, especially for the chance to see more references to her past as a teen pop star in Canada.
Joe Nieves (Carl)
Sophie actually meets Robin at a place that the latter is very familiar with — MacLaren’s Pub — and catches her attention after she spectacularly fails to order a whiskey. The bartender who turns around to let her know that “up, neat, and on the rocks” is “not an order that make sense” is the bar’s owner, Carl — played by Joe Nieves.
Carl is one of the most recognizable recurring characters from How I Met Your Mother, and even played a pivotal role in many of the series’ best episodes, such as when he served Ted (Josh Radnor) five shots of “Red Dragon” in “The Pineapple Incident.” It would be cool to see another sighting of him in a future How I Met Your Father episode that returns to MacLaren’s — perhaps with the entire original cast reunited (including Cristin Milioti as Ted’s wife, Tracy McConell, too).
Kyle MacLachlan (The Captain)
Before Ted met Tracy, one of his former girlfriend was a woman named Zoey Pierson (Jennifer Morrison), who was actually married when the two first met. Her then-husband’s real name is George Van Smoot, but he is better known by his preferred title: “The Captain,” who is one of Kyle MacLachlan’s most famous TV roles, outside of leading the Twin Peaks cast as Special Agent Dale Cooper.
The eccentric aristocrat made a hilarious surprise return in How I Met Your Father’s debut season, which revealed that he actually has a connection to Sophie, being the owner of the boat that her Tinder date, a marine biologist named Ian (Daniel Augustin), worked on while in Australia. However, we learn after said reveal that the boat will no longer belong to The Captain, but to his now ex-wife, who is also a very familiar face.
Laura Bell Bundy (Becky)
I think I just have to say three words to jog the memory of any How I Met Your Mother fan who may not initially recognize Becky: “Boats! Boats! Boats!” Played by Laura Bell Bundy (who originated the role of Elle Woods in the Broadway production of Legally Blonde: The Musical), this fellow former girlfriend of Ted’s initially rose to fame as the energetic and a bit childish spokesperson for a boating expo in Farhampton before becoming Robin’s co-host on Come On, Get Up New York! It seemed like a match made in heaven when, near the end of HIMYM’s run, Becky was revealed to be engaged to someone who love boats, The Captain.
However, we would witness their marriage come to an end in the first season of HIMYF, when our first sighting of The Captain’s return reveals he was having an affair, immediately prompting Becky to demand a divorce. During the proceedings, she negotiates ownership of all of his “boats, boats boats,” including the one Ian was working on in Australia, which allowed him to return to New York. So, I guess we can thank Becky for, at least, giving Sophie the chance to reconnect with him.
Josh Radnor has already teased the idea of coming back as Ted Mosby at some point, having discussed the idea with Duff himself. If that is bound to happen following Robin and Barney’s reprisal, then we better also see current Shrinking cast lead Jason Segel and former Buffy the Vampire Slayer cast member Alyson Hannigan as Marshall and Lily, too. In between then, I’d love to see Marshall Manesh appear as Ranjit, Wayne Brady as Barney’s brother, James, etc. I could go on!
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Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in just about any article related to Batman.