‘How I Met Your Father’ Fan Theory: Lily and Marshall Eriksen Hosted the Game Night in Episode 5

How I Met Your Father might have slipped a How I Met Your Mother cameo right under our noses. According to a fan of Hulu’s new spinoff series, there’s a chance Lily (Alyson Hannigan) and Marshall Eriksen (Jason Segel) could have appeared just barely off-screen in episode 5. Here’s why the theory makes sense.

Alyson Hannigan, who played Lily Aldrin, and Jason Segel, who played Marshall Eriksen, at the How I Met Your Mother TCA Winter Press Tour in 2014
Alyson Hannigan and Jason Segel | Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images

‘How I Met Your Father’ fan theory suggests Lily and Marshall were present but off-screen in episode 5

In How I Met Your Father Episode 5, Sophie’s (Hilary Duff) boyfriend, Drew (Josh Peck), invites her to a game night with some of his friends. His friends never appear on-screen, but Drew does indicate that their group loves to play charades. And who else do How I Met Your Mother fans know that loves game nights and charades? Lily and Marshall.

As TikTok user @haaaveyoumetjordan pointed out, it would make sense for Lily and Marshall to know Drew personally and host a game night. How I Met Your Mother and How I Met Your Father exist in the same universe and the same timeline, which means Lily and Marshall are in New York at the same time as Sophie and her friends.

After Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris) and Robin Scherbatsky’s (Cobie Smulders) wedding, Lily and Marshall moved to Rome for a year so that Lily could take a job as an art consultant. It’s unclear what kind of work she did upon their return to the U.S. However, we know from HIMYM’s glimpses into the future that in 2022, Marshall is in his second year as a New York State Supreme Court justice. He and Lily live somewhere in New York with their three kids.

According to the fan theory, it’s plausible that Lily returned to teaching after coming back from Rome. She may have ended up at the very same school where Drew is the principal. If that’s the case, Lily and Marshall might have bonded with Drew over a love of games.

Lily and Marshall Eriksen received a subtle callback in the ‘How I Met Your Father’ pilot

Of course, Drew’s penchant for games might have simply been a nod to Lily and Marshall, not a connection between them. However, Lily and Marshall do have a connection to How I Met Your Father characters Jesse (Chris Lowell) and Sid (Suraj Sharma), as seen in episode 1.

At the end of the pilot episode, Jesse and Sid show off their apartment. It happens to be the same one that Lily, Marshall, and Ted (Josh Radnor) once lived in. Jesse reveals that he rented it from an old married couple in a Wesleyan alumni group, which is a definite reference to Lily and Marshall. Jesse and Sid even have Ted and Marshall’s swords hanging above the fireplace.

‘How I Met Your Father’ might feature ‘HIMYM’ cameos in the future

How I Met Your Father will likely continue to reference HIMYM characters. But will fans ever see the old pals on-screen? Series co-creator Isaac Aptaker told The Hollywood Reporter that the door is open for cameos.

“Because we’re living in the same New York, that means that there’s a total open door for locations from the original or characters from the original,” Aptaker said. “Anything that was sort of established from the original series, whether it be deeply obscure or … Neil Patrick Harris could at any moment enter into our world.”

None of the main HIMYM characters have appeared so far in How I Met Your Father Season 1. However, Hulu just renewed the series for season 2 with double the episodes, which means there’s plenty of time for Ted, Robin, Marshall, Lily, or Barney to stop by.

New episodes of How I Met Your Father premiere every Tuesday on Hulu.

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