‘How I Met Your Father’: Why Cobie Smulders’ Cameo Was a Perfect Choice

How I Met Your Father has finally given fans the How I Met Your Mother cameo they’ve been waiting for. In the season 1 finale, Cobie Smulders reprises her role as Robin Scherbatsky, sitting down with one How I Met Your Father character for a heart-to-heart. Here’s why her cameo was a perfect fit for the episode.

[Spoiler alert: The following story contains spoilers for How I Met Your Father Season 1’s finale.]

Cobie Smulders as Robin Scherbatsky, sitting at a poker table in How I Met Your Mother
‘How I Met Your Mother’ star Cobie Smulders as Robin Scherbatsky | Richard Cartwright/CBS via Getty Images

Cobie Smulders returns as Robin Scherbatsky in ‘How I Met Your Father’ Season 1’s finale

How I Met Your Father Episode 10 showcases the start (and very quick end) of Sophie (Hilary Duff) and Jesse’s (Chris Lowell) relationship. After meeting up with Meredith (Leighton Meester) and rejecting her offer to go on tour together, Jesse goes on his date with Sophie. The night goes well, and the two end up in bed together. However, it doesn’t take long at all for things to go wrong.

Jesse tells Sophie that he loves her in his sleep, which freaks Sophie out. They fight about the incident later. Sophie ends up at MacLaren’s Pub, where she runs into none other than famous newscaster Robin Scherbatsky.

Robin and Sophie head over to the booth where the HIMYM gang once spent their nights. Then, Robin offers advice to Sophie.

“Do not waste your time being scared, Sophie. Fear can make you run away from things that could be good — great even,” Robin says. “Things that are supposed to be a part of your story. … I have been married, I have been single, I have been everything in between, and the only decisions I regret making are the ones I made out of fear.”

Later, when Sophie tries talking to Jesse, she catches him kissing Meredith. Sophie returns to MacLaren’s, where Robin talks to her about timing.

“If I’ve learned anything at all about love, it’s that timing is everything,” she adds. “Sometimes, timing’s a b****.”

Robin was the perfect choice from the ‘HIMYM’ gang for a heart-to-heart with Sophie

How I Met Your Father could have chosen any one of the five main HIMYM characters to sit in MacLaren’s with Sophie, but Robin felt like a perfect fit. Like Sophie, Robin often had a tendency to self-sabotage relationships based on fear. Fans saw this often between Robin and Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor), as she fought against settling down with Ted for many years.

Robin’s own love story also isn’t over by the time she speaks to Sophie. In 2022, she’s six years into her divorce from Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris) and eight years away from finally getting back together with Ted. Her advice about timing is likely a reflection of her missed opportunities with Ted.

Plus, the situation between Sophie and Jesse has some obvious parallels to the early days of Robin and Ted. Like Jesse, Ted also told Robin he loved her on their first date. And though Jesse and Sophie have known each other longer at this point than Ted and Robin did when he professed his love, this can’t help but feel like history repeating itself. If anyone can guide Sophie through this situation, it’s Robin.

The ‘How I Met Your Father’ creators explained why they chose to bring back Cobie Smulders

According to How I Met Your Father co-creator Elizabeth Berger, they did consider Neil Patrick Harris, Josh Radnor, Alyson Hannigan (Lily Aldrin), and Jason Segel (Marshall Eriksen) for possible cameos. However, in this particular scenario, it had to be Cobie Smulders.

“We loved the idea of them having this talk woman-to-woman and commiserating about their love lives and about timing,” Berger told Deadline. “Once we started circling that idea, that became the winner early on.”

For executive producer Pamela Fryman, the cameo seemed like a great opportunity for Robin to reflect on her past. She told TVLine:

“More than anything, I think when she walks into that bar, there are ghosts of her past. She’s sitting at the bar, and she takes that glance over to that booth… and she talks about how somebody said that he loved her on their first date. It’s all of that. We all walk into places where we’ve been in different times of our lives and say ‘What if I went this way? What if I went that way? Should I call that person?’ That’s life, and that’s what is so special about this to me.”

How I Met Your Father Season 1 and How I Met Your Mother are now streaming on Hulu.

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