List of How I Met Your Mother characters
The following are a list of characters from the American sitcom series How I Met Your Mother.
- 1 Main characters
- 2 Secondary characters
- 2.1 Ted's daughter and son
- 2.2 Carl MacLaren
- 2.3 Ranjit Singh
- 2.4 Victoria
- 2.5 Stella Zinman
- 2.6 Nora
- 2.7 Kevin Venkataraghavan
- 2.8 Quinn Garvey
- 2.9 James Stinson
- 2.10 Brad Morris
- 2.11 Claudia and Stuart Bowers
- 2.12 Wendy the Waitress
- 2.13 Zoey Pierson
- 2.14 The Captain
- 2.15 Don Frank
- 2.16 Loretta Stinson
- 2.17 Jerome Whittaker
- 2.18 Mickey Aldrin
- 2.19 Marvin Eriksen Sr.
- 2.20 Judy Eriksen
- 2.21 Punchy
- 2.22 Virginia Mosby
- 2.23 Alfred Mosby
- 3 Occasional and guest characters
- 4 Cast
- 5 References
Theodore Evelyn "Ted" Mosby (born April 25, 1978) is the main character of How I Met Your Mother, portrayed by Josh Radnor. A graduate of Wesleyan University, Ted grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio with parents Virginia Mosby (portrayed by Cristine Rose) and Alfred Mosby (portrayed by Michael Gross). He is an architect and can be described as a hopeless romantic. Like Marshall and Lily, he is a graduate of Wesleyan University, where the three of them met. Ted also serves as the show's narrator from the future, voiced by Bob Saget, as he tells his children the long version of how he met their mother. In a Season 2 episode, when Ted finds out his parents have gotten divorced, he realizes that he doesn't really know anything about how his parents met. Ted vows then and there that when he has kids that he is going to tell them every single detail of how he met their mother — thus birthing the entire concept for the series.
Barnabus "Barney" Stinson (born 1975), played by Neil Patrick Harris, is a former womanizer, favors suits, enjoys playing laser tag and performing magic tricks often involving fire, and frequently uses the words "awesome" and "legendary," which Ted believes he uses too liberally. Barney is very eager to prove his "awesomeness" by doing things his friends inadvertently suggest (normally something they find ridiculous), prompting him to say his other coined phrase "challenge accepted". Barney is the writer of the Bro Code (though he claims it was written by Barnabus Stinson in the Colonial Era) and the Playbook, from which he documents his favorite moves to use on women. Barney was raised by a single mother, along with his older brother James. He spent very little time with his father when he was a child. In season 6, Barney's father Jerome, returns to his life hoping to make amends for abandoning him as a child. Barney was engaged to a woman in college, a woman who rejected him because of his lack of success and her lack of desire for commitment. Barney still fears committing to another woman. When she broke up with him (leaving him still a virgin), his black, gay brother James Stinson arranged for him to lose his virginity with "the Man-Maker". She claimed he was awesome (as a favor to Barney's brother) which ignited Barney's unlimited confidence. Prior to losing his virginity, Barney was a long-haired hippie with plans to join the Peace Corps. Soon after his rejection, he saw a flier for a sale on suits, thus beginning his suit addiction. Shortly after he met Ted Mosby in the Men's room and announced to that he would "teach Ted how to live," beginning his life with Ted's group of friends where he remains. Barney believes himself to be Ted's best friend. In season 4, Barney realizes he has fallen in love with Robin and spends the next season hiding it from her. The two get together in season 5, but the relationship only lasts for 7 episodes. After their breakup, Barney returned to his womanizing ways, but sometimes shows regret in ending his relationship with Robin. In season 6, Robin introduces him to her friend Nora. Barney first denies that he is attracted to her, but later admits to Robin that he is. Barney and Nora's relationship is short lived, however, because Barney is unwilling to let himself be honest with her about his feelings. In the sixth season finale, it is revealed that Barney may be getting married a little ways in the future, a scene which includes Barney, Ted, Lily and Marshall and does not reveal who the bride is. He decides to give his relationship with Nora a second chance, but it ends when he cheats on her with Robin. The two agree to leave their respective partners, and reevaluate their relationship, but at the last minute, Robin decides to stay with her boyfriend, leaving Barney alone once again. Barney has slept with over 283 women. Its revealed in the season 7 finale that Barney marries Robin.
Marshall Eriksen is played by Jason Segel. Born in 1978 and of Scandinavian descent, Marshall met Ted and Lily during their freshman year at Wesleyan University. He is a Columbia Law School graduate originally from Minnesota. Even though he stands at 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m), he is the shortest male member of his family, which has invented the sport of "baskiceball". Marshall became a lawyer because he was interested in environmental protection laws. Ultimately, he accepted a job at a corporate law firm where his only client is an amusement park riddled with various safety violations. He later joins the legal team at Goliath National Bank, where Barney also works. Marshall is also very good at various games and highly interested in food and paranormal happenings, specifically Sasquatch and Nessie. He can play the piano fairly well, as seen in the episode "Slapsgiving" where he performs a song after slapping Barney. Marshall is an enigma in the episode "Sweet Taste of Liberty" he is relieved when he escapes a fight claiming he has never fought anyone before but proves he is formidable and experienced fighter in the episode "The Fight". It is revealed in "Last Cigarette Ever" that in the future, he and Lily have a son. In early 2011, after being told Marshall and Lily are capable of having a baby, Lily tells Marshall that his dad had a fatal heart attack and died. Marshall and his friends agree his dad's last words towards him were, 'I love you' but they were actually about a foot cream. But during his father's funeral, Marshall says in his eulogy that the last words his father ever said to him were "...rent Crocodile Dundee 3...", which are in fact the last words his father ever spoke to him in person (the last words about foot cream were in a voicemail).
Played by Alyson Hannigan and born in March 1979, Lily is a kindergarten teacher. She is married to Marshall Eriksen and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. Like Ted, and Marshall, she is also a graduate of Wesleyan University. Lily dreams of being an artist and at one point painted a portrait of Marshall in the nude. She also painted Barney nude for $10000, although she made him look like a Ken doll, drawing his crotch but not his genitals. Lily sometimes shows an interest in the same sex, fantazising and dreaming about women. She seems to be attracted to her friend Robin and it is hinted at several times that she might be a little bisexual. In Season 6, Episode 22, it is shown that she becomes keen to kiss Robin when drinking Martinis. She also has a huge debt problem because of her impulsive shopping. She is able to hide this from Marshall until they apply for a mortgage. She cannot keep a secret, and is often shown to be the most spoiled of the group, but despite those traits she is a very caring person and will much of the time do thankless acts for the good of her friends. In the episode "Mosbius Designs," Barney describes her as "A diabolical puppet master, manipulating every single situation to get exactly what she wants, she is pure evil," and tells Marshall that he has "a good one there, hang on to her." In the episode "The Possimpible," Lily lists her special skills and interests on her resume as:
"Competitive Speed Eater (can eat 33 hot dogs in 8 minutes; New York City Speed Eating Champion, Junior Division, 1995), Painting, (Oils, Acrylics), fluent in Italian, certified in Teaching English as a Second Language, Proficient in Photoshop, Quark, Java."
Prior to college, Lily dated Scooter; although she confesses they didn't have full sex, it appeared some slight penetration was involved. She met Marshall and Ted in college and almost immediately started dating Marshall. They were together for about 9 years and engaged for almost a year when Lily broke up with Marshall to move to San Francisco to concentrate on her art. She was there for a summer and came back to NYC but Marshall was too hurt that they stayed separated for a few more months. They eventually patched things up and got married. They moved into an apartment in Dowisetrepla, which they did not know at the time stands for Down Wind of the Sewage Treatment Plant. They want children, but for a while were scared so they didn't try. Later Lily and Marshall make an agreement that once they have seen the doppelganger of every member of their gang they will start trying for a child. By the summer of 2010, they have seen all but Barney's doppelganger, when Lily sees what she thinks is his doppelganger (it wasn't). The rest of the gang knew this meant she was ready for a child and let her believe it. In the season six episode, "The Mermaid Theory", future Ted was telling a story (out of place in the present time-line) of a fight that Lily and Barney have while she's pregnant. Future Ted stated that the pregnancy was a "way down the road" from when he told the story. Lily announces in the season 6 finale that she is pregnant, and in "Last Cigarette Ever", future Ted reveals that they have at least one son. The gender of the child they are expecting was revealed to be male in "Mystery vs. History".
Played by Cobie Smulders, Robin was born on July 23, 1980, and works as a Television news reporter/researcher on World Wide News. She was originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, and named after her father, who treated her more like a boy than a girl. In many episodes it is implied she is a fan of the Vancouver Canucks. For most of the second season, she dated Ted after Ted spent much of the first season pursuing her romantically. Early in the first season, it was established that she does not become Ted's wife, instead becoming "Aunt Robin" to Ted's children. Despite their break-up, there continued to be some sexual tension between them throughout most of the third season, most obviously when Robin brought home her new Argentine boyfriend from the trip she and Ted had planned together. As a teenager, she was a teen pop singer named Robin Sparkles who toured malls across Canada following her minor hit "Let's Go to the Mall" and debacle "Sandcastles in the Sand." Her first boyfriend was Simon, who starred in her second music video. In season 4, Robin moves in with Ted after leaving her short-lived job in Japan. During the fourth season finale, she and Barney pursue a relationship, but they end it in season 5. Some of her idiosyncrasies include having predilections towards fights and pronouncing the word picture as pitcher. She also is frequently made fun of for her tendency to laugh while lying, and well as her references to places and history exclusive to Canada, including Mount Waddington and Danby's which is a restaurant in Munster Ontario. Though she stated explicitly throughout the seasons that she does not like children, future Ted mentioned that she eventually grew to like them and even became close to Ted's children (appearing in their drawings). After being unemployed for a while after being in America, Robin found out that she would be deported if she did not get a job. Barney helped her land a job for an early morning show. Soon after she started she got a co-host named Don whom she could not stand. However, she started to have feelings for him and they were a couple for a while. While she was with Don, she had a job opportunity for an anchor job in Chicago, but she turned it down to continue her relationship with Don. However, she was upset when she found out that Don actually accepted the position. In season 6 episode "False Positive", Robin worked as a Researcher for World Wide News but she eventually moved up to co-anchor after subbing for Sandy Rivers during a New Year's Eve show. Its revealed in the season 7 finale that Robin is the Bride at Barney's wedding.
Present Ted has met the eponymous mother, while Future Ted has alluded to a number of details about her, but has not revealed her identity. In "Belly Full of Turkey", a stripper approaches Ted and commends him for what he did for the homeless man. She then introduces herself as 'Amber'. After Ted introduces himself, she replies 'Actually my name is Tracy' and future Ted narrates 'And that, kids, is the true story of how I met your mother... kidding!' In "Milk", Ted gets a call from a match-maker service saying they have found him his perfect match, showing a montage of blurred photos, with Future Ted explaining how she has all the qualities of his ideal woman.
In "Wait for It", it is revealed that the short story of how they met involved her yellow umbrella. In "No Tomorrow", Ted finds the umbrella at a club and takes it home after attending a St. Patrick's Day party which she also attended but at which they did not meet. Future Ted strongly implies that his wife is not blonde, telling his children in "Shelter Island" that had he married the blonde Stella, they would have turned out to be blond (his children are both, like Ted, brunettes).
On his first day of teaching as Professor Mosby, as seen in the season 4 finale "The Leap", he is seen in front of the classroom of students, one of which Future Ted says is the titular mother. But in the first episode of season 5, "Definitions", it is revealed that he was actually in the wrong classroom, Economics instead of Architecture. Then in "Girls Versus Suits", Ted dates a graduate student named Cindy (played by Rachel Bilson), whose roommate is his future wife—when in Cindy and the mother's apartment he picks up many of her belongings and comments on how compatible he and Cindy are (thinking they are Cindy's) and glimpses the mother's foot as she disappears into her room after taking a shower. Ted finds out at this time that she plays bass guitar in a band. Ted forgets to take the yellow umbrella with him when he goes out and Future Ted mentions, "this is how your mother got her yellow umbrella back."
In the season 6 opener "Big Days" it is revealed Ted meets his future wife "the day of" the wedding at which he is the best man. In the episode "False Positive" Robin asks Ted to be her future best man, should she ever get married. In the episode "Challenge Accepted", it is revealed that Ted meets the mother of his children the day of Barney's wedding. In the last episode of season 7, "The Magician's Code" it is shown that Barney will marry Robin, and Ted will meet the mother "the day of" their wedding. On the premiere of season 8, Ted's wife appears after Barney and Robin's wedding, outside at the "Farhampton" station while holding a yellow umbrella and her bass guitar, as Ted sits on a bench and reads his book. In the season 8 episode "Band or DJ?," Ted runs into Cindy on the subway and tells her that the band Barney and Robin hired to play at their wedding cancelled at the last minute. The end result of the encounter is that Cindy's (now ex-) roommate's band plays at Barney and Robin's wedding, and Ted tells his children that, if Barney and Robin had followed his "stupid advice" to hire a DJ instead of a band, he would have never met their mother. The day of Robin and Barney's wedding, and thus the day Ted meets his future wife (unless the date is changed), was revealed in "Band or DJ?" to be May 25, 2013. In the episode "The Time Travelers", Future Ted reimagines one particular lonely night where he rushes to see the mother, telling her they will meet in 45 days. Future Ted also reveals that at the time, the mother was dating a man in finance named Louis.
She is responsible for convincing Barney to pursue Robin, as revealed through a flashback in Platonish.
Ted's daughter and son
- First Appearance : Pilot
- Not much is known about them, except that they still do not know all the events that led to Ted meeting their mother and that they are in their teens in the year 2030. Ted apparently wanted to name the children Luke and Leia, because in "Milk" Ted was told to "swear on his unborn son and daughter," to which he replied, "I swear on Luke and Leia." The daughter is played by Lyndsy Fonseca, and the son is played by David Henrie. Ted's daughter appears in the episode "Trilogy Time" as an infant in 2015. Ted's daughter appears again in the episode "Lobster Crawl" as an infant in a scene where Ted is dropping her off to stay with Marshall and Lily. As soon as Ted leaves, Marshall and Lily ask Ted's daughter if she is ready to see Santa because earlier in the episode Marshall and Lily are upset at Ted for taking their son Marvin to see Santa for the first time without them.
- Scenes revealing their reactions to the end of the story were filmed during the second season since the actors would be young adults by the time the last season airs - this will mark the first time they appear in the show in new footage since the second season premiere, "Where Were We?". All other appearances since have been via recycled footage from the first season.
- A season nine promo video was filmed with the same actors, now adults, as a joke on the fact that they have been listening to Ted tell the story for eight years.
- First Appearance : Pilot
- Played by Joe Nieves. Bartender at MacLaren's Bar, which is frequented by the main characters. In the pilot, he is dating a Lebanese girl. In "The Pineapple Incident" he writes his phone number on a very drunk Ted's arm to call if he gets lost. Although never stated in the show, creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas mention on the Season 1 DVD that Carl’s last name is MacLaren and he owns the bar (thus the name). During Carter Bays and Craig Thomas's commentary track for The Pineapple Incident, it was stated that Joe Nieves, who plays Carl, received the part after the scene he was supposed to be in was cut from the pilot but no one had told him, and he turned up on set in full costume (he was meant to be a police officer). As no one wanted to tell him that they had cut his scene, they gave him the role of Carl.
- First Appearance : Pilot
- Played by Marshall Manesh. Ranjit is the cab and limo driver from Bangladesh who drives the main characters around on a few occasions and, on one occasion, drinks champagne with them in MacLaren's bar. Usually appears one episode per season, as a running gag, or rarely more than one. He also drives the limo right after Marshall and Lily are married. Ranjit helps Ted with his two-minute date with his dermatologist Stella in the episode "Ten Sessions" as well as driving Barney and Ted to Ted's 30th birthday party in the episode "The Goat". In episode 15 of season 5, Ranjit is heard speaking Farsi instead of Bengali in an argument in favor of ducks (Manesh is Iranian). In the episode "Three Days of Snow" he was at the airport to pick someone up when he saw Lily and when he learned she needed a ride he left the person he was supposed to pick to help Lily. Ranjit appears in over 14 episodes; and remains part of season 9's cast.
- First Appearance : The Wedding
- Played by Ashley Williams. She was a baker at The Buttercup Bakery before she received a scholarship, and later opened a new bakery. She and Ted met at a wedding reception for which she had made the cake, where they spend the night hanging around by themselves under the promise that they will never see each other again so as not to ruin their memory of that night. This promise is soon broken and they start up a relationship with each other. This is complicated when she is offered a cooking fellowship in Germany. They eventually decide that a long distance relationship cannot work and break up. A vision of her appears to Ted shortly before the break-up, when he lies to Robin about having already ended the relationship before the fact. Appears in 8 episodes. At the very end of The Naked Truth she reappears at the architects ball that Ted is attending. In Ducky Tie, Ted talks to her and goes to her bakery to wash dishes to make amends for cheating on her. She later tells Ted that she is getting married to a German guy, and Ted realizes that it was a guy who was in her class. When Ted asks if she cheated on him, she tells him that she started dating him a day and a half after they broke up. Ted gets mad at this, but Victoria reminds him of their memories together. They kiss and she tells Ted that maybe it was fate and she had to meet him so she could decide if she wants to marry that guy. When they depart, she tells Ted that all of his relationships fail because Robin is a huge part of his life, and that he, Barney, and Robin cannot continue to hang out, because it doesn't work, a statement which Future Ted verifies. After Robin and Ted definitively break up, in "The Magician's Code" she encourages him to call Victoria, who agrees to see him although she is getting married later that day. She offers to run away with him; although Ted initially refuses because of Stella leaving him at the wedding on Shelter Island, he changes his mind and they drive off into the sunset. In Season 8, Ted and Victoria try to carry on where they left off, but the relationship is short-lived when in The Autumn of Break-ups, Victoria tells Ted to give up being friends with Robin for her, which Ted refuses. Victoria leaves after wishing him the best with Robin.
- First Appearance : Ten Sessions
- Played by Sarah Chalke. Ted's dermatologist, who removes his ill-advised butterfly tramp stamp tattoo. Ted attempts to convince her to go out with him over the course of the episode Ten Sessions. Stella initially refuses, telling Ted that she has to focus on being a mother to her daughter, but eventually agrees to go on a two minute lunch date. She and Ted begin dating soon after. Her future with Ted is intentionally left up in the air and there is some speculation that she may be Ted's eventual wife. In the last episode of season three, Ted proposed to Stella, and in the season four premiere she accepted. On Shelter Island, after her sister's wedding falls apart, she and Ted agreed to take over the wedding. She ends up leaving Ted at the altar and getting back together with Tony, her ex-boyfriend and the father of her daughter. Appears in nine episodes among seasons three and four. She later appears in Right Place Right Time as the mystery woman who all the tiny events of Ted's day cause him to meet; she is still with Tony and it is he, feeling guilty for stealing Ted's fiance, who gets Ted his teaching position. Shortly after Ted bumps into her on the street she moves with Tony to California where Tony made a movie about the love triangle called The Wedding Bride. The gang go to see it and are stunned about how much liberty Tony took with the story.
- First Appearance : Desperation Day
- Played by Nazanin Boniadi. Robin's co-worker who meets Barney before Valentine's Day. Though he is interested in her, Barney is reluctant to accept it, despite Robin encouraging him by inviting Nora to take her place as Barney's laser tag partner the next day. During his first formal date with Nora, she reveals her wishes to eventually marry and settle down and invites him to meet her parents, both of which Barney accepts as things he wants. At the end of their date, however, he tells her that his words were a lie and critizes Nora's dreams, which seemingly ends the relationship. Though Barney is convinced that he is lying to her when he tells her he wants the same things, he later learns that he sincerely does want to marry and settle down. He obtains a second chance with Nora, when he convinces her that he will be honest in their relationship. They start dating but break up in "Tick Tick Tick" after Barney confesses to cheating on her with Robin.
- First Appearance : The Stinson Missile Crisis
- Played by Kal Penn. Robin's therapist, then boyfriend. She cheats on him with Barney, but as of 46 Minutes, he isn't aware of this fact. He proposed to Robin before she told him of her inability to have natural children. When he found out, he still wanted to marry her, suggesting they could adopt or use a surrogate. When she made it clear to him that she did not ever want to have any children, he took back his proposal and they broke up.
- First Appearance: The Drunk Train
- Played by Becki Newton. Romantic interest for Barney in Season 7, who has a scheming personality similar to Barney. Barney becomes interested in her without realizing she has been a stripper at the Lusty Leopard despite being a frequent patron. Quinn initially scams a great deal of Barney's money and personal belongings, but eventually decides to give Barney a chance when he persists in pursuing her. Due to Barney's insecurity that she is a stripper, she quits her job for him and accommodates most of his demands regarding his apartment when she moves in with him. Barney proposes to her in The Magician's Code. However, due to their inability to trust one another completely, they break up in "The Pre-Nup" Quinn makes a brief return in "The Bro Mitzvah", where she willingly participates in Robin's plan to give Barney the worst bachelor party ever.
- First Appearance : Single Stamina
- Played by Wayne Brady. Barney's gay African-American half-brother who also enjoys wearing suits and acts nearly the same as his brother - they used to go out on the pull together ('no crossover of targets'). He is married to Tom, and he and his husband have two adopted children: a son and a daughter. In the sixth season episode "Cleaning House," James found his father, a man named Sam Gibbs. In the season 9 episode Coming Back he announces that he is getting a divorce.
- First Appearance : Ted Mosby: Architect
- Played by Joe Manganiello. A friend of Marshall's from law school. Brad and Marshall begin to hang out after they both discover they are single after getting dumped by their respective girlfriends, Kara and Lily. They go to brunch and to a musical together. Meanwhile, the bromance between Brad and Marshall becomes increasingly awkward. Eventually, Brad gets back together with his girlfriend. He also attends Marshall's bachelor party and wedding, where he chases away Lily's high school boyfriend, Scooter. He gets punched in the face by Barney when he tries to kiss Robin at a hockey game but bears no hard feelings towards him for that. Also appears again in episode 'The Stamp Tramp' when he appears once again as Marshall's friend, at first in need of help but soon after leaves Marshall confused when Brad is actually the opposition lawyer leaving Marshall's job at risk. Appears in 6 episodes.
Claudia and Stuart Bowers
- First Appearance : The Wedding
- Played by Virginia Williams (Claudia) and Matt Boren (Stuart). Stuart and Claudia are good friends of Ted and the gang and about to get married when they are introduced. Stuart also makes an early appearance, accompanying Ted and Marshall to Marshall's bachelor party. While Stuart is an easy-going, sensitive, and plain-looking man, Claudia is an attractive, blunt and somewhat high-strung woman; despite their differences, they love each other sincerely. As their wedding approaches, Claudia becomes increasingly stressed and refuses to allow Ted to bring Robin as a last-minute date to the wedding, mostly because Claudia believes it will disrupt the logistics of the wedding. When Ted argues he had chosen "plus one" on his wedding invitation, Claudia insists he had not and Ted persuades Stuart, behind Claudia's back, to allow him to bring Robin. When Stuart agrees, Claudia and Stuart wind up arguing and breaking up before the wedding. Marshall manages to convince them to get back together and when Ted attends the wedding without Robin, Claudia shows Ted his wedding invitation, which reveals that Ted had not checked "plus one" after all.
- The couple make minor recurring appearances afterward. Stuart briefly appears in Intervention, where in the gang and other concerned friends and family intervene out of their concerns for him about his alcoholism. In Baby Talk, he and Claudia have a daughter named Esther. Stuart makes another brief appearance in The Over-Correction, where Ted blames Stuart for failing to return Ted's red cowboy boots and awkwardly congratulates Stuart, as their meeting was occurring at Esther's christening. It is later revealed that Stuart had returned them via Barney, only for Barney to keep the boots after thinking up a new challenge for himself when Stuart inadvertently made a disparaging comment about the boots.
Wendy the Waitress
- First Appearance : Return of the Shirt
- Played by Charlene Amoia. A waitress from MacLaren's bar. Characterized as sweet and somewhat naive, she appears well liked by The Gang who always refer to her as "Wendy The Waitress". Barney has had a brief relationship with her which ended up with her getting over the breakup easily, while he was convinced that she was trying to kill him and all the drinks she served him were poisoned. In that episode, Robin jokingly refers to her as "Wendy the Waitress-hyphen-Stinson." It is also revealed in season 6 that Wendy the Waitress falls in love and is later married to Marshall's ex-co worker Meeker (Daniel G. O'Brien) who found out they both hate Marshall after his "Go Green" fiasco. She and Meeker have three kids in the future.
- First Appearance : Architect Of Destruction
- Played by Jennifer Morrison. Ted first meets Zoey, an activist who is protesting the destruction of an historic New York building, in the 6th season episode "Architect of Destruction". At first Ted is attracted to her even though he is the architect responsible for the building's inevitable demolition. When she finds out that Ted is the architect, she turns on him and spends the next few weeks stalking out his house and office to torment him. In the episode "Natural History", Ted meets her rich husband, who calls himself the Captain, at a black-tie event at a museum that the whole gang is invited to because of Ted's building project with Goliath National Bank. Though Zoey and Ted's interactions that night are somewhat amicable, they leave the museum still hating each other. In the episode "Blitzgiving", she spends the night before Thanksgiving hanging out with the gang, minus Ted, which causes her to invite them to her place for Thanksgiving. In the end, Ted realizes that Zoey is disappointed because her stepdaughter hates her and won't spend Thanksgiving with her. Because of this understanding, Ted and Zoey become friends. Zoey is (by marriage) a van Smoot, whose family is shown to have owned the mansion in which Marshall and Lily were married, and an apartment in the Alberta building. In "Oh Honey", Zoey divorces the Captain, and Zoey and Ted realize they have fallen in love. In "Garbage Island", Future Ted reveals that Zoey is not the mother of his children, and that things did not end well between them. She and Ted broke up in "Landmarks". She later appears one last time in "Challenge Accepted", where she unsuccessfully tries to get back together with Ted.
- First Appearance: Natural History
- Played by Kyle MacLachlan. George van Smoot, known by his personally chosen nickname "The Captain", is introduced as Zoey Pierson's husband at a gala at the Natural History Museum. He is considerably older than Zoey and is notably obsessed with boats, an interest that Zoey does not share. Despite the Captain's frightening demeanor (so much that Ted constantly believes the Captain is trying to kill him), he proves to be generous and rather eccentric, though somewhat shy because of the apparent age gap between him and most of Zoey's peers. While he comes to like Ted and Ted respects him as a "real man" for giving himself his own made-up name, Ted's fear of the Captain is exascerbated by the fact that Ted and Zoey are attracted to one another. Zoey eventually divorces the Captain and leaves him for Ted. A year after Ted breaks up with Zoey, the Captain unexpectedly runs into Ted at a gallery show Ted is attending with Lily and Robin. At this point, the Captain reveals that he holds no hard feelings for Ted regarding his divorce with Zoey. During the gallery show, Lily's advice about artwork, while initially dismissed by the Captain, proves to be invaluable and the Captain winds up hiring Lily as his new art consultant in "The Ashtray". He later announces his intention to move to Rome for a year and asks for Lily and her family to accompany him to Italy.
- First Appearance : The Playbook
- Played by Benjamin Koldyke, Don is Robin's boyfriend and co-anchor in season 5. Robin gets very serious with him and decides to move in. Robin is offered a job in Chicago, but decides to stay for him. When offered the same job however, Don takes it and leaves. In season 6, Robin is shown calling him but he never appears on screen. Appears in 6 episodes
- First Appearance: The Stinsons
- Played by Frances Conroy, Loretta is Barney's mother. Prior to her first formal appearance, she appeared from the neck down voiced by Megan Mullally. It is heavily implied that Loretta had a very promiscuous lifestyle and neither Barney nor James knew who their real fathers were. She also tended to tell outrageous lies to her sons to cover up bad news, including telling Barney that his father was Bob Barker. So that his mother would not worry about him, Barney previously hired actors to pretend to be his family; when he is forced to reveal the truth, Loretta admits that she never liked Barney's "wife" and "son" and tells him that she only wanted him to be happy. She returns in "Cleaning House" when the group goes to her house when she wants to vacate. Though she had hidden the identities of James and Barney's fathers so that she could be both mother and father to them, she eventually discloses who their fathers are.
- First Appearance: Legendaddy
- Played by John Lithgow, Jerome is Barney's biological father. Though Barney previously believed that his father was Bob Barker, he begins to wonder who his real father is after James meets his own biological father in "Cleaning House". Though Barney refuses Loretta's initial offer to reveal his father, he discovers in "Architect of Destruction" the man he thought was his uncle in childhood was actually his father. After Marshall's father dies, Barney decides to contact his father but is disappointed by how normal Jerry's life is. He gradually comes to reconcile with his father after learning how Jerry gave up his wild irresponsible ways and settled down with a family. The gang remain in regular contact with him afterward, notably when Jerry reveals to Robin that his mother is from Manitoba and Robin uses the knowledge that Barney is one-quarter Canadian as payback for all his years of mockery toward her heritage. By "Ring Up!", Barney appears to have connected with Jerry's family, which includes Jerry's wife Cheryl, his son J.J., and daughter Carly.
- Played by Chris Elliott, Mickey Aldrin is Lily's father. Obsessed with attempting to launch Aldrin Games, his unsuccessful board game creator business, he was frequently absent, distant, and unreliable throughout her later childhood he and Lily did not have a close relationship earlier in the series. However as the series progresses he gradually redeems himself as he is given various chances to prove himself. He eventually moves in with Marshall and Lily when Lily becomes pregnant and accepts her grandparents offer of their home in Long Island. Initially Mickey rushes to see Lily upon hearing she's pregnant, bringing her a gift completely shattering her expectations that he would be indifferent to the news as he was never there for her. However once there he refuses to leave his childhood home, despite at first being unwelcome as a resident, however he does eventually agree to leave at Lily and Marshall's insistence, making pancakes as a peace offering and leading to a change of heart on their parts. From then on his eccentric hobbies make him an occasional nuisance in the household, eventually accidentally burning the house down after Marshall and Lily had returned to the apartment. this leads to him joining them in Manhattan, and though originally not even considered as an option by Lily, he proves very helpful in looking after his grandson Marvin W. Eriksen, revealing that he had taken much better care of Lily prior to her going to her first day of school and leaving a void in his day that led to him developing an addiction to gambling and other bad habits.
Marvin Eriksen Sr.
- Played by Bill Fagerbakke, Marvin Eriksen is the father of Marshall, father in law of Lily, and grandfather of Marvin Eriksen Jr. He and his wife Judy Eriksen, Marshall's mother, have four sons, Marvin Jr., Marcus, Martin, and Marshall. Close with his family, he was very close to Marshall, frequently advising and speaking with him over the phone, sometimes to the ire of Lily, prior to his passing in early 2011.
- Played by Suzie Plakson, Judy Eriksen is the mother of Marshall. Married to the late Marvin Eriksen Sr she has four children Marvin Jr., Marcus, Martin, and Marshall. She lives in St. Cloud, Minnesota where she raised her family.
She is known to have a tense, sometimes adversarial relationship with Marshall's wife Lily, leaving Marshall torn as he loves Lily, but has trouble understanding how she could dislike his mother who he sees as an extremely sweet woman.
- First Appearance: Sandcastles in the Sand
- Played by Chris Romano. Adam "Punchy" Punciarello is Ted's high school buddy. Ted experiences associative regression (a.k.a revert-igo) when he's around Punchy, and the two end up hitting each other with fists during their brief conversations.
- Punchy first makes an appearance in Sandcastles in the Sand. In this episode, Lily experiences associative regression because her high-school best friend Michelle is in town, and Lily develops a sassy attitude when the two hang out. When Marshall points out that Lily is experiencing revert-igo, Lily affirms that it's how Ted and Punchy behave when they see each other.
Ted and his current gang of friends notably attend Punchy's wedding in Season 7.
- First Appearance: Brunch
- Played by Cristine Rose. Virginia is Ted's mother who is married to Alfred for 30 years before getting divorced. She later gets married to Clint in Home Wreckers. While is single, she shares a kiss with Barney. She appears in 6 episodes.
- First Appearance: Brunch
- Played by Michael Gross. Alfred is Ted's father who is married to Virginia for 30 years before they are divorced. He and Ted mainly talk about baseball rather than serious issues. He appears in 3 episodes.
Occasional and guest characters
- Scooter (Bill)
- Lily's old high-school boyfriend, Scooter has been shown to be terribly obsessed with her. In the first season episode "Best Prom Ever", Lily reveals that they broke up during their high-school prom after being in a relationship for a long time. Scooter appears a number of times over the next few seasons, during which he fails to win back Lily at her wedding, and works as a waiter in a fine-dining restaurant and later as a cafeteria server at her school. A flashback in the eighth season shows that Lily intimidated Scooter into hanging out with her during her days as a bully in 1994.Played by David Burtka (6 Episodes)
- First mentioned in the seventh season as an unseen character, Klaus is Victoria's German fiance. They are classmates at Victoria's culinary fellowship but enter a relationship roughly a day after Ted and Victoria break up in the season 1 episode "Nothing Good Happens After 2 A.M.". He appears on-screen in the eighth season premiere Farhampton as Victoria's groom, but both of them get cold feet at their wedding. Klaus admits to Ted that although Victoria is wonderful, she was not quite the one for him. The failure of the wedding sends him into a spiral and he briefly stays at Ted's apartment. Played by Thomas Lennon (2 Episodes)
- Coat-Check Girl
- An eponymous character working at the Okay dance club, she has a rapport with Ted in the season 1 episode "Okay Awesome", but he never got in touch. She appears one more time in the eighth season episode The Time Travelers" as she drops by MacLaren's but does not see Ted. Played by Jayma Mays. 2 Episodes
- Sandy Rivers
- A narcissistic lecherous anchorman, Sandy debuted in the first season as Robin's colleague at Metro News One and spares no opportunity to ask her out. Ted and Marshall make fun of him during his segments. He resigns from the network to take up a job at CNN but recommends Robin to succeed him as lead anchor. He and Robin cross paths again starting in the sixth season as colleagues at World Wide News, but still fails to get closer to her and even tries to hit on young female interns. Played by Alexis Denisof (8 episodes).
- Katie Scherbatsky
- Robin's younger sister, Katie only appears the season 2 episode "First Time in New York" on vacation. Played By Lucy Hale (1 Episode)
- First appearing in the season 7 episode "The Stinson Missile Crisis," Patrice is an obese World Wide News employee who is often shouted down by Robin, who is visibly annoyed by her efforts to be best friends. In the eighth season, she joins Barney's "The Robin" play by pretending to date him and further stoke Robin's jealousy. Played by Ellen D. Williams (9 episodes)
- Heather Mosby
- Ted's younger sister, she is depicted in the show as an irresponsible woman who even pawns her brother's belongings to attend a Nine Inch Nails concert in Spain. She tries to convince Ted that she has changed with her efforts to work in New York. Played by Erin Cahill (1 episode, but mentioned in "Home Wreckers")
- Hammond Druthers
- First appearing in the second season, Druthers is a reputable architect who is Ted's boss at their unnamed architecture firm. His condescending behavior towards Ted and the other employees prompts Lily's actions in the episode "Aldrin Justice." Druthers does not believe that his proposal for a bank building in Spokane, Washington, looks like an erect penis but when their client accepts Ted's design instead, he is forced to work under Ted with his behavior still the same. In the ninth season, Druthers offers Ted a new job despite his own designs attracting much controversy, such as a giant concave glass building that refracted light melting other buildings and destroying the city aquarium. Played by Bryan Cranston (4 episodes).
- 'Crazy' Meg
- A girl who appears obsessed with commitment, Meg initially hooks up with Barney in an apartment that Marshall and Lily will later buy, but was arrested for trespassing when Barney leaves her there. She reappears in "The Bracket" as the Upper West Side champion to whom Barney must apologize. In the fifth season episode "The Rough Patch", she is part of Lily's plan to break up Robin and Barney, with whom she is still obsessed with, along with Alan Thicke. Played by April Bowlby (3 episodes)
- Ted's college girlfriend, Karen is depicted as highly sarcastic and snooty, which results in Marshall and Lily loathing her. The feeling is mutual, as Karen also has a low opinion of Ted's friends. Despite being in love with her during college, Ted argues with Karen over her frequent dalliances with other men. In the fourth and fifth seasons, it is revealed that Lily hates Karen because she continuously looked at Marshall as he posed for Lily's nude painting assignment and even ruined their spring break vacation in Paris. Played by Laura Prepon (3 episodes)
- Marshall's friend from law school and Brad's old girlfriend. She is seen drunk at a party in the episode Ted Mosby: Architect.
- Played by Danica McKellar. The girl who ends up in Ted's bed after Barney convinces Ted to do instead of think. Appears in 2 episodes. Later mentioned by Lily to be married.
- Played by Amy Acker. A girl who hooked up with Barney twice and helps teach Ted how to do a rain dance. Appears in 1 episode.
- Played by Morena Baccarin. A girl who works at a coffee shop who dates Marshall for a bit, and also starts the trend of people calling Barney "Swarley."
- Played by Lindsay Price. A girl that Ted dated for one episode that wouldn't stop talking, they eventually break up, and she finds herself a fiance, who is deaf.
- Only appearing in the sixth season, Becky is Robin's replacement co-anchor for Don Frank at the morning talk show Come On, Get Up New York!. However, her hyperactivity and cheerfulness wins over the production staff, but at Robin's expense because he fails to remain professional on camera. Played by Laura Bell Bundy (3 episodes)
- Played by Mandy Moore. A girl who Ted meets at McLaren's and uses to get over Robin. She steals a bottle of tequila from the bar. She takes an intoxicated Ted to get his first tattoo, which the gang call a tramp stamp because it is a butterfly on his lower back.
- Played by Britney Spears. Stella's receptionist. Very energetic and scatterbrained, she developed an obsessive crush on Ted while he was pursuing Stella. Barney ended up sleeping with her, and then they worked together to torment Ted with their faux relationship since they both disliked him at that time. However, Abby was simultaneously still in love with Ted and seemingly unable to comprehend that the relationship with Barney was a charade. Appears in 2 episodes.
- Professor Lewis
- Played by Jane Seymour. Marshall's recently divorced law professor who is considered a "cougar" by Barney, who attempts to "tame her."
- Korean Elvis
- Played by George Cheung Korean Man who dresses up as Elvis and hangs out with the group after meeting when Barney, Marshall, and Lily went to go sing Karaoke after Marshall and Barney got off of work. He whispered something to Lily, and she kicked him in the "nards". It's a joke that reoccurred every once in a while.
- Played by Enrique Iglesias. He appears in Season 3 for the first two episodes. He was Robin's boyfriend who she starts dating during her vacation on Argentina just after breaking up with Ted in the last season's finale. He is a good masseur and more laid back and relaxed than Robin who eventually broke up with him.
- Played by Carrie Underwood in the season 5 episode, "Hooked". She is a pharmaceutical sales representative, who the friends of Ted believe is stringing him along.
- Anita Appleby
- Played by Jennifer Lopez in the season 5 episode "Of Course". Anita is a dating guru and man eater. She is hired by Robin to seduce Barney Stinson.
- Rhonda French
- Played by Stephanie Faracy Known as the "man-maker," she appears in the season 3 episode, "The Yips". Rhonda is a friend of Loretta Stinson. She is the woman who takes Barney's virginity.
- Played by Bryan Callen, Barney and Marshall's co-worker, friends with Blauman. Notably fires Ted when Ted is hired to create an Employee Termination Room and is inspired to deviate from the design and try to create a room that creates a more positive experience for GNB's dismissed enployees.
- Arthur Hobbs
- Played by Bob Odenkirk, A boss at GNB who was also Marshall's boss at his earlier job in a law firm.
- Played by Taran Killam (Cobie Smulders' real life husband) Barney and Marshall's coworker, friends with Bilson.
- Jessica Glitter
- Played by Nicole Scherzinger. In the episode "Glitter", she plays an old friend of Robin's from Canada. Glitter was her character's name on a Canadian TV show called "Space Teens" where she and Robin Sparkles used math to complete missions in space. Appears in 1 episode.
- Steve 'Blitz' Henry
- Played by Jorge Garcia In the episode "Blitzgiving" he plays a college friend of Ted and Marshall's. He gets his name from the curse he has which makes awesome things happen whenever he leaves a building. During the episode, he makes numerous allusions to his Lost character including using "the numbers" 4,8,15,16,23,42 as a random phone number, and mentioning feeling like he's been on that "island" for eternity, as well as the fact that he is 'cursed'. The episode features the curse passing from a few characters starting with Ted, transferring to Barney and finally ending up with the original Blitz again.
- Randy Wharmpess
- Played by Will Forte, appears in two episodes: Rebound Bro (3.18) and Canning Randy (6.07). He plays an employee of GNB in the Legal Department. He goes out with Barney in Rebound Bro and Barney helps him get laid. Robin tells Barney that Randy is his "rebound bro" after losing Ted. In Canning Randy, Marshall has to fire Randy because he is a bad employee. Marshall later feels bad about it and rehires him. Randy wants to use the severance to start his own brewery, so he intentionally destroys Marshall's office in order to get fired again. At the end of the episode, the voice-over says that you can buy a Wharmpess beer at any bar in America.
- Played by Katy Perry appears in one episode: Oh Honey (6.15). She plays Zoey van Smoot's cousin, who Barney eventually sleeps with.
- Played by Amanda Peet in the season 5 episode "Jenkins". A female lawyer who gets a job working with Marshall at GNB, and inadvertently causing Marshall to become obsessed with not being labeled "the reacher" of the relationship in his marriage to Lily.
- Naomi the Slutty Pumpkin
- Played by Katie Holmes in the season 7 episode 8 "The Slutty Pumpkin Returns". After meeting her at a Halloween party ten years earlier, Ted believed that they were very compatible but lost the candy bar where she had written her phone number. For years, Ted wore the same costume and attended the same party in hopes of running into her again. By chance, he finally finds her costume and tracks her down, but finds that they are not as well-matched as they believed.
- Played by Seth Green in the season 8 episode 11 "The Final Page Part 1". A friend from their college days, he became obsessed with Lily and Marshal (after playing one game of hacky sack with them two years prior), causing them to feel very uncomfortable. To their horror they run into Daryl at Wesleyan, who is still obsessed with them, having formed a company selling hacky sacks named in honor of the three of them. He offers them money for their part of the company but they already declined before the offer because they were troubled by Daryl's strange demeanor.
|Season||Season 1||Season 2||Season 3||Season 4||Season 5||Season 6||Season 7||Season 8||Season 9|
|Ted Mosby||Josh Radnor|
|Marshall Eriksen||Jason Segel|
|Lily Aldrin||Alyson Hannigan|
|Robin Scherbatsky||Cobie Smulders|
|Barney Stinson||Neil Patrick Harris|
|Future Ted||Bob Saget (voice, uncredited)|
|The Mother1||Cristin Milioti2|
|Season||Season 1||Season 2||Season 3||Season 4||Season 5||Season 6||Season 7||Season 8||Season 93|
|Character||Recurring Secondary Characters|
|Ted's Son||David Henrie4|
|Ted's Daughter||Lyndsy Fonseca4|
|Arthur Hobbs||Bob Odenkirk||Bob Odenkirk||Bob Odenkirk|
|Bilson||Bryan Callen||Bryan Callen|
|Brad Morris||Joe Manganiello||Joe Manganiello||Joe Manganiello|
|Carl MacLaren||Joe Nieves||Joe Nieves|
|Cindy||Rachel Bilson||Rachel Bilson|
|Gary Blauman||Taran Killam||Taran Killam|
|James Stinson||Wayne Brady||Wayne Brady||Wayne Brady|
|Jerry Whitaker||John Lithgow||John Lithgow|
|Judy Eriksen||Suzie Plakson||Suzie Plakson||Suzie Plakson|
|Kevin Venkataraghavan||Kal Penn|
|Loretta Stinson||Megan Mullally||Frances Conroy||Frances Conroy|
|Marcus Eriksen||Ned Rolsma||Ned Rolsma||Ned Rolsma
|Marvin Eriksen Jr.||Robert Michael Ryan||Robert Michael Ryan||Blake Bertrand5|
|Marvin Eriksen Sr.||Bill Fagerbakke||Bill Fagerbakke|
|Mickey Aldrin||Chris Elliott||Chris Elliott||Chris Elliott|
|Patrice||Ellen D. Williams|
|Punchy||Chris Romano||Chris Romano|
|Quinn Garvey||Becki Newton|
|Robin Scherbatsky Sr.||Eric Braeden||Ray Wise|
|Ranjit Singh||Marshall Manesh|
|Nick Podarutti||Michael Trucco||Michael Trucco|
|Sandy Rivers||Alexis Denisof||Alexis Denisof|
|Scooter||David Burtka||David Burtka||David Burtka|
|Stella Zinman||Sarah Chalke|
|Victoria||Ashley Williams||Ashley Williams|
|Wendy the Waitress||Charlene Amoia|
|Virginia Mosby||Cristine Rose||Cristine Rose||Cristine Rose|
- 1"The Mother" was played by various stunt actresses (including Jennifer Birmingham and the show's director, Pamela Fryman) throughout the series until Cristin Milioti joined the cast as a series regular.
- 2Cristin Milioti was promoted to series regular in Season 9 after a brief appearance in Season 8.
- 3Because casting information for season 9 has not been fully released yet, only confirmed cast members for the season appear in this list.
- 4Scenes featuring David Henrie and Lyndsy Fonseca are recycled footage beginning with Season 3.
- 5Gibson Sjobek and Blake Bertrand portrayed young Marcus Erikson and young Marvin Erikson Jr., respectively.
- "Something Borrowed". How I Met Your Mother. Season 2. Episode 21. 2007-05-07. CBS.
- "Robots Versus Wrestlers". How I Met Your Mother. Season 5. Episode 22. 2010-05-10. CBS.