This ‘How I Met Your Mother’ Fan Favorite Will Make a Surprise Cameo in the Hulu Spinoff

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When the season one finale of Hulu’s How I Met Your Father premiered on the platform in March 2022, the last thing fans expected to see was actress Cobie Smulders, 40, suddenly appear and make a surprise cameo in the spinoff series. In case you didn’t know, the star played Robin Scherbatsky in the original sitcom, How I Met Your Mother. And now, viewers are in for another big surprise.

On Instagram, HIMYF star Hilary Duff shared a sneak peek photo from the mid-season two finale, which shows her character, Sophie, having the ultimate starring contest with the one and only Barney Stinson! If you don't already know, Neil Patrick Harris portrayed the character for a total of nine seasons in the first comedy series.

The Younger alum wrote in the caption, “He's baaaack! @nph returns as Barney Stinson next week for the mid-season finale of #HIMYF.”

In the first look snap, Harris (49) is sitting next to Duff (35) sporting his classic Barney attire, consisting of a dapper black suit, white collared shirt and tie. As for where they are? It’s hard to tell just by looking at the photo, but based on their facial expressions, we can see that they were having a *pretty* serious convo. 

Fans practically ran to the comments section to share their excitement over Barney’s return. One person quoted the beloved song “This Is What Dreams Are Made Of” from The Lizzie McGuire Movie to express their elation about the news, writing, “Been waiting for this for too long! Two legends in one picture is what dreams are made of.”

However, some fans weren’t thrilled about the post, with one arguing that the surprise cameo shouldn’t have been teased so early, saying, “I mean of [course] I’m excited. But why would you tell us now and spoil the surprise?”

Neil Patrick Harris from 'How I Met Your Mother.'
Monty Brinton/CBS via Getty Images

The second season of How I Met Your Father has been filled with so many unexpected cameos. Earlier in the season, Mark Consuelos made a surprise guest appearance on the show. Before his debut, the Riverdale actor teased his character in a post on Instagram. Alongside a teaser video from the latest season, he wrote in the caption, “@himyfonhulu returns Jan. 24...Spoiler Alert: I may play someone's father.”

Glad to have you back, Neil! Even if it’s only for a little while. 

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Assistant Editor, News And Entertainment

Karelle McKay is the Assistant Editor of News and Entertainment at PureWow. Before she started writing about all things pop culture, she was a literal couch potato who loved...