Fans of How I Met Your Mother will no doubt be tuning into Hulu’s new spin-off How I Met Your Father. And after watching the first episode, we can report that it delivers. But does it reference the original? Sure, the framing device and basic premise are the same, but HIMYM was full of callbacks, recurring gags, and props that take on different meanings over time (ahem, Ducky Tie). So naturally, our eyes were peeled during the HIMYF pilot for any and all similarities to the previous series’ pilot.
Here are all the references, similarities, and, okay, a few stretches of the imagination:
The opening title sequence. HIMYF has the same theme music as How I Met Your Mother, but sung by a female vocalist, because this series is from a female POV, namely Sophie, played in 2022 by Hilary Duff and narrated from 2050 by Kim Cattrall. While the original show’s title featured photos of the cast taken on a disposable camera, this time the pictures are on a film strip.
Taking a taxi service. In the HIMYM pilot, the core characters pop in and out of a taxi driven by Ranjit, who became a recurring character. In the new series, Sophie meets Sid (Suraj Sharma) and Jesse (Christopher Lowell) in an Uber.
A proposal. Just as Lily accepted Marshall’s proposal, Sid and Hannah (Ashley Reyes) get engaged in this pilot.
Falling in love with a stranger. After locking eyes across a crowded room, Ted starts to fall for Robin and professes his love on their very first date. That (kinda) happens with Sophie and Ian (Daniel Augustin), who start to fall for each other over text after matching on Tinder, and then have an amazing first date at a bar. (Yes, both pilots have bars and take place in New York, but that’s a little too obvious to be an Easter egg, right?)
Traveling for work. Robin’s travel for work delays her first date with Ted (and becomes a recurring reason for why they can’t be together), and Ian’s being out of town when they match delays his first date with Sophie (and seems like it will become a reason for why they can’t be together).
“YOU SHOULD HAVE KISSED HER!” In the HIMYM pilot, Robin sends Ted clear signals that she wants him to kiss her, but it’s only in retrospect that he realizes it…and feels like a fool for missing his chance. In HIMYF, the characters are slightly more mature, actually vocalizing their desire to kiss, though they decide not to. But they should have!
Umbrella photograph. Sophie’s passion is street photography, and in the apartment she shares with Valentina (Francia Raisa), I spotted a black-and-white snap of what looks like a couple in New York behind a large, light-colored umbrella. I NEED THE SET DESIGNERS TO TELL ME IF THAT UMBRELLA IS YELLOW RIGHT NOW.