||This article may require copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone, or spelling. (August 2013)|
|How I Met Your Mother character|
Alyson Hannigan as Lily Aldrin
|Created by||Carter Bays
|Portrayed by||Alyson Hannigan|
|Occupation||Kindergarten teacher, art consultant, and is currently working as an art consultant for The Captain.|
|Family||Mickey Aldrin (father)
Janice Aldrin (mother)
|Spouse(s)||Marshall Eriksen (2007-present)|
|Children||Marvin Waitforit Eriksen|
|Relatives||Lois (maternal grandmother)
Rita (paternal grandmother)
Morris (paternal grandfather)
Marvin Eriksen, Sr. (father-in-law, deceased)
Judy (née Gunderson) Eriksen (mother-in-law)
Marvin Eriksen, Jr. (brother-in-law)
Marcus Eriksen (brother-in-law)
Olaf (grandfather-in-law, deceased)
Martin Eriksen (nephew-in-law)
Lily Aldrin (born March 22, 1978) is a fictional character created by Carter Bays and Craig Thomas for the CBS television series How I Met Your Mother. Lily is portrayed by American actress Alyson Hannigan. She is the wife of Marshall Eriksen and the best friend of Ted Mosby, Robin Scherbatsky and Barney Stinson. Lily is a kindergarten teacher and an amateur painter. She currently works as an art consultant to The Captain. She is also the only member of the original main cast of the series who hasn't appeared in every episode, due to Alyson Hannigan taking time off after giving birth to her first child.
Thomas explained that he based Marshall and Lily on himself and his wife Rebecca. Rebecca was upset at the prospect, but because she is a big fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, she agreed if Alyson Hannigan played her. Hannigan was looking to do more comedy work after having worked on the primary American Pie series and was available for the show.
Lily grew up in Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York. Of Swedish and Irish descent, she is the granddaughter of a woman named Lois and the daughter of Janice Aldrin, whom Lily describes as a feminist. The creators stated in commentary that there is no evidence to the contrary that Lily's grandfather is astronaut Buzz Aldrin - and like Buzz Aldrin, her grandfather is said to have fought in the Korean War. Her father, Mickey, is an unsuccessful board game creator living in his parents' basement. Janice and Mickey divorced when Lily was a child.
During her high school and college years, she was a part of the goth subculture, with her hair dyed black. Lily dated a guy named Scooter, admitting she only dated him because he looked like Kurt Cobain. She met Marshall during her freshman year at Wesleyan University in 1996 and dated him throughout college.
As of the episode, "Say Cheese", aired on March 22, 2010, Lily is 32 years old. According to her Résumé, which is shown in "The Possimpible", she is "Fluent in Italian, Certified in Teaching English as a Second Language, Proficient in Photoshop, Quark, Java".
Lily frequently states her need for regular sex, saying that if she went without for too long she'd be "out there selling it for a nickel". Even though Marshall normally gets very nervous about encounters with women other than Lily and thinks about the consequences, Lily normally shrugs them off, such as getting excited that Marshall spotted a stripper who looked identical to her while secretly attending a strip club with Barney. Also, in "Jenkins", Marshall is nervous about Lily meeting Jenkins, his attractive female co-worker, but after meeting her she casually asks Marshall if he wants to go get something to eat. Later in the episode, however, Lily attacks Jenkins after hearing that she kissed Marshall.
Lily has confessed several times, albeit as an aside or in a joking fashion, that she finds Robin sexually attractive. In fact, when Lily laments that her relationship with Marshall meant that she never had a "college lesbian experience" in Season 1, Robin kisses her in "Best Prom Ever". In "The Scorpion and the Toad" Lily states that Robin has a "great ass". In the season 4 episode "Do I Know You?", Lily confesses to Barney about not being able to pretend she has not noticed Robin's body. In the Season 5 episode "Robin 101", Lily states that Robin has been the subject of some sexually "confusing dreams". In the Season 6 episode "Hopeless" Lily's slip of the tongue suggests that she has a secret crush on actress Mila Kunis. In "The Perfect Cocktail," it is revealed that drinking martinis causes Lily's bisexual tendencies to emerge, and, as we see through a flashback, she drunkenly attempts to coax the guys into daring her and Robin to make out. In the Season 7 episode "The Broath", Lily inadvertently reveals that, at one point, she had even tried to convince Marshall that they should engage in a threesome with Robin. Later in the episode, during Barney's "Broath", he commands for Lily and Robin to kiss, something that Lily is more than willing to do, and attempts to keep kissing Robin for a longer time than required. In the Season 8 episode "Lobster Crawl", Lily helps Robin to seduce Barney by suggesting she "gets freaky" with another girl, but is disappointed when Robin does so with another friend instead of Lily. Well aware of Lily's sexual attraction to her, Robin tends to alternate between ignoring Lily's feelings, and being disturbed by them.
Lily and Marshall became engaged in the fall of 2005, as portrayed in the series pilot. On Thanksgiving Day 2005, Lily is arrested for public urination in St. Cloud, Minnesota, after taking a home pregnancy test in an alley behind a convenience store while visiting Marshall's family. (As depicted in "Belly Full of Turkey".) Towards the end of the first season, she reveals to Robin that she has been having second thoughts about getting married without having experienced much else of life before Marshall. Those doubts intensify, and she acts upon them, applying for a painting fellowship in San Francisco. She originally tells Ted that she had decided not to go through with the application, but Marshall finds out she did and was accepted. After arguing the point on and off, with several pause breaks in between for drinks, dinner at Red Lobster, and sex, Lily cannot promise Marshall that she would return to him after the three-month fellowship, and the engagement ends.
After returning, she confesses that her decision to leave was a mistake, but it takes several episodes until Marshall takes her back. Soon after, they resume their engagement. Episode 10 of season 2 implies that within a year, Marshall and Lily will be married. They finally get married in "Something Borrowed", the penultimate episode of the second season. Lily chose to keep her own last name; Marshall would have preferred otherwise but accepted any name Lily wanted, even jokily suggesting that they call themselves "The Awesomes."
In the third season, it is revealed that Lily is a shopaholic, and goes shopping (particularly for shoes and boots) whenever something bad happens. Her multiple credit cards are kept in a "box of shame". She and Marshall struggle with her credit card bills, especially when they were about to buy an apartment, which leaves Marshall no choice but to take a job at a big corporate firm. They eventually get the house, only to find out that the neighborhood is situated near a water sewage treatment plant and that the floor of their apartment is crooked. In season 4 she and Marshall move into their new home.
Lily, along with Ted and Marshall, occasionally indulge in "sandwiches" (Future Ted's euphemism for marijuana) during college and at their 20th college reunion.
Out of all of the characters, she is the only one Barney chooses to confide in when he realizes that he is in love with Robin in the season 4 premiere, "Do I Know You?". In the fifth season premiere, "Definitions", Lily forces Robin and Barney to confess being a couple. She does this by detaching the doorknob of Robin's room at the apartment and waits for them to have "the talk." Robin and Barney pass a few notes under the door with vague explanations, none of which satisfy her. To convince Lily to let them out, they lie about being boyfriend and girlfriend, but after they leave the apartment hand-in-hand, Lily tells Ted "they didn't realize they weren't lying."  It was discovered that Lily has a doppelgänger named Jasmine, who is a stripper. Lily is especially excited about this, and is so enthralled by her stripper twin that she and Marshall get a private dance. At the end of the night, Lily switches place with Jasmine and dances with much difficulty on stage, eventually falling into the crowd, to Marshall's horror.
Due to their poor past experiences with other couples at double dates, Lily and Marshall are both ecstatic to have another couple to hang out with for another try. They invite Robin and Barney for an evening together, but this fails miserably when the other two tell Ted that it was the most boring night ever. Eventually, Barney and Robin realize they miss Lily and Marshall; they all profess their desire to be a foursome (standing outside in the rain). In "Bagpipes", Lily and Marshall get in a huge fight because of dirty dishes and Barney's insistence to Marshall that he should not be responsible for them. Lily promptly kicked Marshall out after his incoherent arguing escalates into several separate issues. When Barney and Robin break down and admit their own problems as a couple, Lily and Marshall start to appreciate how solid their own relationship is and forgive each other immediately.
When Barney describes his relationship in a depressing manner, Marshall assumes Barney is unhappy. He and Ted ask Lily to help break up Barney and Robin, given Lily's experience in plotting breakups ("The Front Porch"). While Lily insists she's "retired" from that pursuit, Marshall and Ted's breakup method leads to Barney and Robin getting engaged, which Lily responds to by promptly "coming out of retirement". Lily executes her plan to get Barney and Robin into a big argument; this fails, but they finally realize they don't work as a couple.
In "Big Days", Marshall and Lily show up at MacLaren's, arguing about trying to get pregnant. Lily had arranged a romantic evening at home with candles and banjo music, but when she learns Marshall told his father (Marvin) they're trying, Lily freaks out about how invasive Marvin is. Marshall argues that his father is a part of his life and deserves to know, but Lily can't stand Mr. Eriksen's constant calls and domineering personality (and she is appalled with Mr. Eriksen's past treatment of Marshall, such as bullying him to be better at sports which leads to Marshall having a similarly harsh attitude when coaching her Kindergarten basketball team. Also, Marshall's mother hates Lily but Lily goes out of her way to try and mend the relationship for Marshall's sake. Nonetheless, during Marshall and Lily's wedding, after Lily stated she would be with Marshall forever and they were walking back down the aisle, Marshall's mother leaned over to Lily and smugly murmured "Not forever, sweetie. When Marshall dies, HE is going to Heaven"). In response Marshall's conflict with his father, Barney mentions that if he knew his own father's phone number, he'd be calling him all the time, before turning his focus elsewhere. Lily goes after Marshall, and the two reconcile, agreeing that his father is somewhat insane and very enthusiastic, just like Marshall. They both then head upstairs.
In season 6, episode 4, Lily and Marshall discuss their concerns about not conceiving a baby yet. They agree there is really no rush to become parents, and promptly decide to head to Coney Island to have fun.
Later in season 6, Lily and Marshall visit Stuart and Claudia ("Baby Talk"), who are having trouble naming their newborn baby. Lily and Marshall try to come up with baby names on their own - Marshall with boy names that Lily rejects because of her past experiences with trouble-making kindergarten boys, and Lily with a couple of girl names that Marshall rejects because of his experience with a hot girl from his school and a stripper. One of these fantasies of the future includes a Barney lookalike hitting on and subsequently marrying their daughter. Marshall, worried that he might have to raise a daughter, consults his father on how to ensure that his child will be male. What he doesn't realize is that Lily has been searching for ways to make sure their child will be female. When Lily and Marshall find out what the other has been doing, they realize that they have no control over the gender of their baby, and decide to give him/her the gender-neutral name Jamie. However, Lily rejects the name later because of a troublemaker in her class named Jamie.
In "Challenge Accepted", Lily is revealed to be pregnant, after being thought to have gotten food poisoning. In "Mystery vs. History", Lily and Marshall find out they are having a son. Later on, in "The Slutty Pumpkin Returns", they inherit Lily's grandparent's house in Long Island and consider moving. In the episode "Tailgate", Lily calls her estranged father, Mickey (who first appears in the Season 5 episode "Slapsgiving 2: Revenge of the Slap") to tell him about her pregnancy, but gets a nonchalant reaction from him, and he hangs up. At the end, Lily answers the door at the house in Long Island to find Mickey, who drove all the way from Chicago the night before after hearing her news. Lily is deeply moved. Mickey stays on with Lily and Marshall, and helps throw a house-warming party in "The Burning Beekeeper" after they move to the house in "46 Minutes". However, in the episode "Karma", Robin finds out the only reason Marshall and Lily are living in the suburbs is because they think it would be a better environment to raise their baby. Robin tries to explain that they not only need what is best for their child, but also what is best for themselves. When they are unconvinced, she tells Ted about the situation. Ted removes his name from the lease of his New York apartment, leaving only Marshall and Lily's names and making them the owners. When they come to his apartment to find Robin's old room made into the baby's nursery, they are awestruck.
In "Good Crazy," Lily is so annoyed by Marshall's obsession with parenting she convinces Barney to take Marshall to Atlantic City so she can relax, since there were five weeks left before the baby was due. While Lily is alone in the apartment, she goes into early labor and calls Marshall, just after Barney convinced him to turn off his phone for an hour. In "The Magician's Code," Lily contacts Robin, who arrives with Ted; when Lily's contractions start coming four minutes apart, they race to the hospital hoping Marshall will meet them there. Marshall arrives just in time to be with Lily as she gives birth to their son, Marvin Wait-for-It Eriksen, named in honor of Marshall's father (and with a middle name suggested by Barney).
Alyson Hannigan won the People's Choice Award for Favorite TV Comedy Actress in 2010 and 2012 for this role.
- Brian Ford Sullivan (2010-08-01). "LIVE AT THE PALEY CENTER FOR MEDIA: "HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER"".
- Maureen Ryan (April 27, 2006). "A cool new show: 'How I Met Your Buffy'". Chicago Tribune. "“We cast Alyson because we’re such enormous fans of `Buffy,’ ” says Craig Thomas,"
- "Sweet Taste of Liberty"
- Definitions Season 5, Episode 1
- "Double Date" Season 5, Episode 2
- Episode "The Front Porch"