|This article does not cite any references or sources. (November 2011)|
|How I Met Your Mother character|
|Created by||Carter Bays
|Portrayed by||Jason Segel|
|Nickname(s)||Marshmallow, Big Fudge, Vanilla Thunder, Beercules, The Kid, Sports Guy, The Human Turnstyle|
|Family||Marvin Eriksen, Sr. (father, deceased)
Judy Eriksen née Gunderson (mother)
Martin Eriksen (brother)
Marcus Eriksen (brother)
Martin Eriksen Jr. (nephew)
|Spouse(s)||Lily Aldrin (2007-present)|
|Children||Marvin Waitforit Eriksen
|Relatives||Olaf (grandfather, deceased)
Mickey Aldrin (father-in-law)
Janice Aldrin (mother-in-law)
Rita Aldrin (grandmother-in-law)
Morris Aldrin (grandfather-in-law)
Marshall Eriksen is a fictional character in the American sitcom How I Met Your Mother, created by Carter Bays and Craig Thomas and portrayed by Jason Segel. He has been Ted Mosby's best friend since 1996, when the two met at Wesleyan University as undergraduates. He is currently married to the love of his life and fellow Wesleyan alum, Lily Aldrin. Brought up in the tightly-knit community of St. Cloud, Minnesota, Marshall's inherent kindness makes him the most compassionate member of the gang. He quit his job in GNB in "The Exploding Meatball Sub" to pursue his dream of saving the world through environmental law. As of "Challenge Accepted", Lily is found to be pregnant, and she gives birth in "The Magician's Code: Part One" to a boy named Marvin W. Eriksen.
Marshall is a tall, easy-going, naive optimist from St. Cloud, Minnesota. At the start of the series, Marshall lives with his best friend Ted Mosby and his girlfriend, Lily Aldrin; he proposes to her in the pilot episode. Marshall is an avid Minnesota Vikings fan.
Born in 1978 and of Scandinavian descent, Marshall met Ted and Lily during their freshman year at Wesleyan University. He attended and later graduated Columbia Law School. Even though he stands at 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m), he is the shortest male member of his family. Marshall became a lawyer because he was interested in environmental protection laws. He interned at AltruCell (the firm where Barney works) and even got a job offer from NRDC. Ultimately, he accepted a job at a corporate law firm (Nicholson, Hewitt & West) where his only client was an amusement park riddled with various safety violations. He later joined the legal team at Goliath National Bank, where Barney Stinson also works. Later, in season 6, he quit his job at Goliath National Bank to work at an environmental law firm. In season 8, after winning a large court case, but receiving a small amount of money in damages, Marshall was convinced by Brad, his former classmate, friend, and prior rival in a case, to become a judge. Marshall is seen in front of the judiciary committee in the episode, "Twelve Horny Women". He was offered judgeship in "Something New".
He and Lily have a happy relationship, but it has been tested at various times throughout the series. In "Come On", Lily, who had cold feet about their approaching wedding, announces that she has been accepted to an art fellowship in San Francisco and leaves to find out who she is outside of a relationship. Marshall is devastated and spends the next few months in a deep depression. When Lily returns to New York and asks him to take her back, he refuses. They eventually reconcile and resume their engagement in "Swarley", and get married, albeit with some complications, in "Something Borrowed".
Marshall is fascinated with the paranormal, specifically Sasquatch and the Loch Ness Monster, both of which he believes are real. He is also fascinated in the existence of aliens. He can play the piano fairly well, as seen in the episode "Slapsgiving". 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 father had a fatal heart attack; his father's death causes him to change perspective on his life, which leads to him quitting his job at GNB and pursuing a career in environmental law, as well as attempting to start a family with Lily.
In the season six finale, Marshall is given a job interview with a local law firm, but runs out on the interview because Lily supposedly has food poisoning and he believes he too will get sick. The next morning, Lily reveals to him that she was sick only because she is pregnant. In the "The Naked Truth", Marshall is given a job offer from Garrison Cootes. Later, in the Mystery vs. History, while decorating the nursery for their new baby, he and Lily are tempted by Barney and Robin to find out the sex. They do, in the end, find out that they are having a boy. With the baby's impending birth, Marshall conditions himself for various parenthood situations by using a watermelon as a practice baby. Lily asks Barney to trick Marshall into taking a vacation in Atlantic City so he could unwind. At a casino, Barney proposes wearing the Ducky Tie again if they can turn off their phones for one hour and drink 100 tequila shots. One hour later, Barney turns his phone back on to find Lily's voice-mails to inform that she had gone into labor. Marshall eventually gets to the hospital in time for his son's birth and decides to name him, Marvin Wait-for-it Eriksen, in memory of his father and the middle name as a promise to Barney.
After the birth of his son, Marshall becomes submersed in his new life as a father, so he and Lily impose an "eight or higher" rule . They later repeal it in "Who Wants to Be a Godparent?" after realizing that it has distanced them from their friends. Marshall remains attached to Marvin however, as he and Lily spend the night with their son instead of going on a planned getaway in "The Final Page." In the episode "Something New," Marshall receives a call offering him a judgeship, which he accepts. However, he does not tell Lily that he has been offered the judgeship, believing it to be "face to face" kind of news.
- The spelling of Marshall's last name is inconsistent. On his Facebook page it can be seen as Erickson, but when he visits his family home in Minnesota it is shown as Eriksen.
- Marshall possesses a prodigious talent for any kind of strategy game. In "Atlantic City," while watching Barney play a bizarrely obscure table game, Marshall grasps the rules of the game so quickly that he is able to coach Barney to win the game and all of the money on the table, despite the fact that the game is conducted entirely in Mandarin Chinese. In "Game Night," the gang excludes Marshall from competing in their board game sessions, since he invariably wins every game in which he is a player. Marshall is also seen to be the reigning skeeball champion at a local college bar in "Jenkins."
- Marshall's favorite flowers are calla lilies.