‘How I Met Your Father’ Episode 1’s ‘HIMYM’ Easter Egg, Explained

How I Met Your Father is only two episodes in, but it has already drawn a major connection to How I Met Your Mother. An Easter egg in episode 1 proves that the Hulu show and its CBS predecessor exist in the same universe, even hinting at two How I Met Your Mother characters. Here’s what the Easter egg means and how it came to be, according to How I Met Your Father’s creators.

[Spoiler alert: The following story contains spoilers for How I Met Your Father Season 1 Episode 1, “Pilot.”]

Chris Lowell as Jesse and Hilary Duff as Sophie in How I Met Your Father Episode 1
Chris Lowell as Jesse and Hilary Duff as Sophie in ‘How I Met Your Father’ Episode 1 | Patrick Wymore/Hulu

‘How I Met Your Father’ is a sequel to ‘How I Met Your Mother’ set in the same universe

How I Met Your Father takes a similar storytelling approach to HIMYM in that an older version of the protagonist, Sophie (Hilary Duff and Kim Cattrall), tells her son intertwining stories about how she met his father. Both shows take place in New York and follow a friend group through the trials and tribulations of modern dating. However, How I Met Your Father is not a reboot.

Speaking at the TCA winter press tour (per TVLine), co-creator Isaac Aptaker urged fans to consider How I Met Your Father a sequel rather than a reboot. He confirmed that the shows exist in the same universe but as standalone concepts.

“It’s set in the world of the previous show, but it’s really its own thing,” he explained. “That said, we love How I Met Your Mother. There are going to be lots of little rewards for people who love the original if they stick with us.”

‘How I Met Your Father’ Episode 1 shows the connection to ‘HIMYM’

Those rewards Aptaker mentioned start popping up as early as How I Met Your Father Episode 1. At the end of the pilot episode, newly-engaged Sid (Suraj Sharma) invites Sophie and their friends to his apartment. That apartment holds more history than Sid may ever know — it once belonged to Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor), Lily Aldrin (Alyson Hannigan), and Marshall Eriksen (Jason Segel).

As How I Met Your Mother fans likely recall, the trio’s New York City apartment set the scene for countless beloved memories, such as the famous Pineapple Incident. It changed occupants a few times throughout HIMYM’s nine seasons as Ted, Lily, Marshall, and even Robin Scherbatsky (Cobie Smulders) moved in and out. It wasn’t until the final season when Lily and Marshall finally left the apartment for the last time to find a bigger space for their growing family.

Years later, Sid says he got the apartment “from this old married couple who posted it on the Wesleyan alumni group” — yes, Lily and Marshall. The place received some much-needed updates, but hardcore HIMYM fans could likely spot the connection instantly.

A set of classic props even confirms that it’s the same apartment from HIMYM: two swords over the fireplace. Perhaps Sid and Jesse (Chris Lowell) will have their own sword battles, just as Ted and Marshall did years ago.

The creators wanted to make sure ‘How I Met Your Father’ honored ‘HIMYM’ but stood alone

Aptaker revealed to TVLine that the How I Met Your Father creators considered Easter eggs like this very carefully. They wanted to point back to HIMYM, but they didn’t want to risk giving the same exact show. That’s why they didn’t give the apartment to Sophie and why they opted to give the gang a new hangout bar instead of MacLaren’s. He said:

We like the idea that they have their space and that one of our characters is a new business owner and is trying to turn this classic New York bar into something of his own. The guys living in Ted and Marshall’s apartment felt like just the right level of connection — that it wouldn’t be [Sophie’s] apartment, it would be two friends she meets along this journey.

New episodes of How I Met You Father drop on Hulu every Tuesday.

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