Lily Aldrin

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Lily Aldrin
How I Met Your Mother character
Lily aldrin.jpg
Alyson Hannigan as Lily Aldrin
First appearance "Pilot"
Last appearance "Last Forever"
Created by Carter Bays
Craig Thomas
Portrayed by Alyson Hannigan
Gender Female
Occupation Kindergarten teacher (2005-2013), art consultant (2013-present).
Family Mickey Aldrin (father)
Janice Aldrin (mother)
Spouse(s) Marshall Eriksen (2007-present)
Children Marvin Eriksen
Daisy Eriksen
Lexi Erikson
Relatives Lois (maternal grandmother)
Rita (paternal grandmother)
Morris (paternal grandfather)
Amy (cousin)
Marvin Eriksen, Sr. (father-in-law, deceased)
Judy (née Gunderson) Eriksen (mother-in-law, possible step-mother)
Martin Eriksen (brother-in-law)
Marcus Eriksen (brother-in-law)
Olaf (grandfather-in-law, deceased)
Martin Eriksen, Jr. (nephew-in-law)

Lily Aldrin is a fictional character in 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. In the eighth season, she gets a job as an art consultant. Lily is also the only member of the original main cast of the series who has not appeared in every episode, due to Alyson Hannigan taking leave after giving birth to her first child.


Series creator Craig Thomas explained that he based Marshall and Lily on himself and his wife Rebecca. Rebecca had been upset after learning this, but (as she is a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer) was consoled when Alyson Hannigan was put in the role.[1][2] Hannigan was looking to do more comedy work after having worked on the primary American Pie series and was available for the show.[3]


Lily Aldrin grew up in Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York.[4] Of Swedish and Irish descent,[citation needed] she is the daughter of Janice Aldrin, whom Lily describes as a feminist. Janice worked two jobs to support the family. 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. Lily's father, Mickey, is an unsuccessful board game creator living in his parents' basement. Janice and Mickey divorced when Lily was a child. Lily is estranged from her father - an absentee parent who she claims "broke my heart every day for 20 years" - until he promises to be there for her following the birth of her son.

During her high school and college years, she was a part of the goth subculture, dying her hair and wearing stereotypical "goth" clothes. At one point, Lily dated a guy named Scooter, admitting she only dated him because he looked like Kurt Cobain. They break up during senior prom, but he is obsessed with her for years afterward. She met Marshall during her freshman year at Wesleyan University in 1996 and dated him throughout college.

As of the episode "Say Cheese", which 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, and proficient in Photoshop, Quark, and 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". She has a more than passing sexual interest in other women, and has confessed several times, albeit in a joking fashion, that she finds Robin sexually attractive. In fact, Lily laments that her relationship with Marshall meant that she never had a "college lesbian experience" in Season 1. In response to this, Robin kisses her in "Best Prom Ever". 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. In the Season 9 episode "The Broken Code", Lily gets jealous and drives away a new friend Robin has made after she visions the two women having a sexual relationship. Well aware of Lily's sexual attraction to her, Robin tends to alternate between ignoring Lily's feelings, and being disturbed by them whenever they show themselves.

Lily is adept at manipulating people and situations to get what she wants; she is especially talented at engineering breakups between couples she knows are not right for each other. Barney calls her a "diabolical puppet master" and "pure evil", while Ted calls her a "psychopath".

Character history[edit]

Lily and Marshall get 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.

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.

Enjoys having sex in inappropriate places like elevators and the kitchen floor.

Occasionally goes all into slang such as in Season 4 when she says "you gots to get got" in reference to Karen looking at Marshall's junk, or " Mama needs her sugar".

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 to 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." [5] It was discovered that Lily has a doppelgänger named Jasmine, a Russian 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.[6]

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. 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 talent for breaking up couples who she knows are not right for each other ("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.[7]

Throughout the sixth season, Marshall and Lily try to get pregnant. Their first attempts are unsuccessful, however, and they worry that they will not be able to conceive. In the season finale, "Challenge Accepted", Lily finally gets pregnant.

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, and lets him move in with her and Marshall. They move into their new house in "46 Minutes". However, in "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 the baby is not due for another five weeks. 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).

In the eighth season, Lily takes a job as an art consultant to a millionaire called "The Captain", who eventually offers to move her to Italy. She turns the promotion down, however, as it conflicts with Marshall's job as an environmental lawyer. Marshall convinces her to take it, however, and the two prepare to move to Rome. In the season finale, Marshall accepts a judgeship without telling her, putting her plans in jeopardy.

During the final season, set during the weekend of Barney and Robin's wedding, Lily learns of Marshall's new job en route to the wedding, and they get into a huge fight when he arrives. She storms out, but returns and reconciles with Marshall upon learning that she is pregnant. Marshall turns the job down, and agrees to go to Italy with her. A flash forward scene reveals that Lily gives birth to a girl, Daisy.

On the day of the wedding, Lily and Marshall renew their vows to each other.

The series finale, "Last Forever", reveals that, a few years later, Lily gives birth to a third child, a baby girl whose name is unknown. Even as the group drifts apart over the years, Lily is there for all the important moments of their lives: Robin and Barney's divorce, the birth of Barney's daughter and that of Ted's two children, and Ted's wedding to The Mother (whose real name is Tracy). She remains happily married to Marshall, who eventually becomes a State Supreme Court judge.


Alyson Hannigan won the People's Choice Award for Favorite TV Comedy Actress in 2010 and 2012 for this role.


  1. ^ Brian Ford Sullivan (2010-08-01). "LIVE AT THE PALEY CENTER FOR MEDIA: "HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER"". 
  2. ^ 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, 
  3. ^ "Alyson Hannigan - "How I Met Your Mother" Sitcom - William S. Paley TV Fest". Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  4. ^ "Sweet Taste of Liberty"
  5. ^ Definitions Season 5, Episode 1
  6. ^ "Double Date" Season 5, Episode 2
  7. ^ Episode "The Front Porch"