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How I Met Your Father Showrunners On Bringing Back Surprise Characters From How I Met Your Mother

Hilary Duff as Sophie in How I Met Your Father
(Image credit: Hulu)

Spoilers ahead for Season 1, Episode 9 of Hulu’s How I Met Your Father, “Jay Street.” 

Hulu’s How I Met Your Father dropped the penultimate episode of the first season earlier this week. While the episode included a reunion between Jesse and ex Meredith, with Sophie struggling to break things off with Drew and Charlie getting homesick, the show managed to finally connect to How I Met Your Mother with some familiar faces from the original series, and it was pretty great. Now the showrunners and creators are opening up about making it happen.

The episode involves two beloved recurring characters from How I Met Your Mother, Kyle MacLachlan’s The Captain (and Zoey’s ex-husband) and Laura Bell Bundy’s Becky, who is The Captain’s third wife and Robin’s former co-anchor. While the scene in question, with The Captain being unfaithful and Becky barging in, seems a little random, it’s revealed that Sophie is retelling the story to her son in the future. She tells him that the story will tie in to her own story, but we don’t get much after that.

How I Met Your Father creators Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger discussed the surprise returns with TVLine and why Episode 9 was the perfect time to bring back two characters from How I Met Your Mother. While it was only a matter of time before HIMYM characters would show up on HIMYF, Aptaker mentioned wanting to give the new series a chance to stand on its own for a while, including with some changes:

It takes a while, especially on a multi-cam show, to get to know the characters, the friend group and the vibe, and we wanted to make sure to give How I Met Your Father room to stand on its own two feet before we started bringing in bigger pieces from the expansive How I Met Your Mother universe. Towards the end of this season felt like the right time to dip our toes into the water and bring some of those beloved characters back.

It makes sense that they would want to wait until nearly the end of the season to bring someone in from the original series. Up until Episode 9, the only connection the two series had with each other was that Jesse’s apartment is Marshall and Lily’s apartment. So it will be interesting to see how The Captain and Becky play a bigger role in Sophie’s love story.

As for getting Kyle MacLachlan and Laura Bell Bundy to be on the Hulu series, Isaac Aptaker mentioned that while both were on board, it was a little harder to get one of them on the series due to travel and COVID, as MacLachlan was actually in Australia for another project:

Kyle was on board [with the idea] right away. He’s very close with [original series creators] Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, so he was like, 'Oh my God, yes! I’d love to come back… caveat being I’m across the world on another project and there’s a pandemic going on.' So he said, 'As long as my other production will clear me and I can be back in L.A., I’m there,' which became a bit of a nail biter to see if that would come to fruition. Laura was already in L.A., so she just had to hop in a car. There was no international travel.

It’s a good thing that it all worked out for MacLachlan and Bundy to be on HIMYF, since it seems like this storyline can go in any direction. With the series already renewed for Season 2, hopefully more characters from HIMYM will make an appearance! Whether those appearances would connect to Sophie’s storylines or just serve as cameos for nostalgia's sake, fans of the original series would surely love more Easter eggs and OG characters. Neil Patrick Harris supports the reboot, so who knows?

Speaking of Easter eggs, the penultimate episode also included Ellen getting an interview at the Goliath Corporation. Fans of the CBS series will recognize Goliath instantly, as Barney and Marshall’s former employer was Goliath National Bank. It’s nice that these Easter eggs and connections are subtle, but fingers crossed we get something even bigger in the future.

The Season 1 finale of How I Met Your Father drops on Hulu (opens in new tab) on Tuesday, March 15 at 12 a.m. EST! Check out some of Hulu’s best originals to find your next obsession, and swing by our 2022 TV schedule for more viewing options.

Megan Behnke
Megan Behnke

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.