‘How I Met Your Father’: Who Plays Sophie’s Mom, Lori? Why Paget Brewster Looks so Familiar

Haaaaave you met Sophie’s mom? Hulu‘s How I Met Your Father Episode 5 features a visit from the protagonist’s mother, Lori, played by Paget Brewster. Although Brewster’s appearance only lasts one episode, that’s enough time for many viewers to get a sense of familiarity from the actor. Here’s where you might have seen her before.

[Spoiler alert: The following story contains minor spoilers for How I Met Your Father Episode 5, “The Good Mom.”]

Paget Brewster as Sophie's mom, Lori, in How I Met Your Father
Paget Brewster as Lori in ‘How I Met Your Father’ | Patrick Wymore/Hulu

Paget Brewster joins ‘How I Met Your Father’ as Sophie’s mom in episode 5

In How I Met Your Father Season 1 Episode 5, “The Good Mom,” Sophie (Hilary Duff) receives an unexpected visit from her mother, who wants to celebrate Sophie’s birthday a week late. Additionally, Lori wants Sophie to meet her new boyfriend, and Sophie’s determined to figure out what’s wrong with him. Sophie’s determination worries Valentina (Francia Raisa), who would rather drop the situation.

As fans may recall, in the premiere episode, Valentina told Jesse (Chris Lowell) that Lori had a “party girl” attitude, forcing Sophie to grow up very quickly. The relationship between Sophie and her mother has been strained ever since.

Later, in episode 3, Sophie confided in Jesse about her childhood. She revealed that her mother moved between boyfriends quite often.

“It was just my mom and I, bouncing around from one boyfriend’s house to the next,” Sophie explained. “We were more like sisters than mother and daughter — and I was the big sister, always picking up the pieces after every breakup, and I got really good at fixing her.”

Paget Brewster’s most-known roles include ‘Friends’ and ‘Criminal Minds’

Many crime drama fans will likely instantly recognize Paget Brewster for one of the most prominent roles in her career: Emily Prentiss on Criminal Minds. However, she also has nearly 100 other credits to her name, according to IMDb.

Her breakout moment arrived in 1997 when Brewster played Kathy on Friends. From there, the actor took on various guest roles in TV series and dabbled in voice acting for shows like Godzilla: The Series and American Dad!

Brewster joined the cast of Criminal Minds as a regular between 2006 and 2012 before temporarily leaving the series. She later returned in 2016 and remained in her role until the crime drama ended in 2020. Now, Brewster is reportedly in talks to reprise her role as Emily in an upcoming Criminal Minds reboot, according to Deadline.

Since Criminal Minds ended, Brewster has starred in series like Birdgirl and DuckTales. She’s also known for her roles as Frankie Dart/Debra Chambers in Community (2015) and Sara in Grandfathered (2016).

Sophie’s childhood will play a ‘huge role’ in ‘How I Met Your Father’ going forward

For now, it looks like fans will only see Sophie’s mother this one time. However, Lori’s impact on Sophie’s childhood will play a big role for the rest of the season, according to How I Met Your Father co-creator Elizabeth Berger.

“There’s a certain coming to terms with her identity and where she came from … before she is ultimately ready to find her person,” Berger revealed to TVLine.

Duff added that Sophie’s childhood is a big reason why she has a hard time finding the right person.

“She’s never had a serious relationship — she blows it up before it ever gets there — and I think that’s because she has to sort out some childhood stuff, and boy is that relatable,” the Lizzie McGuire star said.

New episodes of How I Met Your Father premiere every Tuesday on Hulu. Stay tuned to Showbiz Cheat Sheet for more updates on the How I Met Your Mother spinoff.

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