‘How I Met Your Father’ creators explain finale’s big ‘HIMYM’ cameo

How I Met Your Mother Endings

Warning: This article contains spoilers for the How I Met Your Father season finale.

How I Met Your Father reached its first season finale today and, in doing so, treated viewers to a major cameo from a How I Met Your Mother favorite. Previous episodes had reintroduced Kyle MacLachlan’s Captain and Laura Bell Bundy’s Becky, but none of the main characters from the beloved CBS sitcom had made it onto the Hulu spinoff. That’s changed now, though, as the finale saw Hilary Duff’s Sophie unite with a very familiar face, much to the delight of fans.

Spoilers incoming!

After running out on Jesse (Chris Lowell) after he tells her he loves her, Sophie goes to MacLaren’s and bumps into Robin Scherbatsky, marking Cobie Smulders’ first time playing the role since HIMYM ended in 2014. The two women bond as Sophie opens up about her relationship woes, which leads her to receive some inspiring advice from Robin. “Do not waste your time being scared, Sophie,” she tells her. “Fear can make you run away from things that could be good — great, even. Things that are supposed to be part of your story.”

Image via CBS / How I Met Your Mother

In an interview with Deadline, showrunners Elizabeth Berger and Isaac Aptaker addressed how this surprise comeback came about. Berger explained that they actually had Robin’s return figured out pretty earlier on as it felt “organic” to the story to have her impart some wisdom to Sophie, especially given everything Robin went through over HIMYM’s nine seasons. As Berger put it:

“It was an idea that we kind of locked into very early on in the season. We just loved the idea of Sophie getting to talk to Robin and Robin getting to impart some wisdom to her about love and about life and about timing. Obviously, in the original, we got to see Robin go through so many chapters of her own and so many ups and downs and it felt really organic to the story we were telling to bring her back and have her speak on those things. It’s also so satisfying to How I Met Your Mother fans to see her in that role. It just felt like the perfect way to utilize her and we were so excited that we actually got to do it.”

With HIMYF having been renewed for a second season, Deadline inquired whether Smulders could return for further appearances. The interviewer even pitched the idea of her sharing the screen with Kim Cattrall, who plays Old Sophie. “Oh, that would be awesome!” Aptaker responded, going on to admit that Cattrall has made clear that she wants to get an opportunity to interact with the other regulars. While that might be hard to engineer, Aptaker said that the writers are “starting to brainstorm if there’s any fantasy that could get Kim together with some of the cast.”

The complete first season of How I Met Your Father is now streaming on Hulu.