How I Met Your Father premiered this week on Hulu, and for the most part the connections to its predecessor How I Met Your Mother were slim. However, at the end of the pilot episode, there was a heavy-handed nod to the old show confirming that they exist in the same fictional universe. Fair warning: some might take this as a spoiler.
How I Met Your Father is set in 2022 and centers around Sophie (Hilary Duff) looking for the love of her life in the New York City dating scene. Kim Cattrall narrates the show as an older version of Sophie in the year 2050, just as Bob Saget narrated How I Met Your Mother as an older version of Ted. Beyond that, you might think that the pilot episode has very little to do with its namesake – at least until you get to the very end.
After introducing the main characters and establishing their relationships, the sitcom's first episode ends by taking the whole party back to Jesse (Chris Lowell) and Sid's (Suraj Sharma) apartment. It turns out that they live in the same apartment once occupied by Ted (Josh Radnor), Marshall (Jason Segel) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan) on How I Met Your Mother. This suddenly brings the whole series into focus – it's the story of the next lovestruck New Yorker to live above McLaren's Pub.
The new show is not subtle about the connection, either. When they enter the apartment, Sophie says: "Wow I love your place," and Jesse responds: "Thanks, it was a total score. We got it from this old married couple who posted it on the Wesleyan alumni group." For those that don't recall, Ted, Marshall and Lily had all met at Wesleyan together and had occupied that apartment in various combinations of characters right up until the series finale.
"We even got them to leave their swords," Jesse adds, pointing to the crosses cutlasses still hanging on the wall. If these kinds of callbacks continue, we can safely assume that two characters have a duel coming up this season, much like Ted and Marshall had in Season 1, or the one Lily and Robin had in Season 9.
How I Met Your Father features new creators – Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger and many new names behind the scenes, but it clearly still has its fair share of connections to the source material. The next episode premieres on Tuesday, Jan. 25 on Hulu.