OK, yes it's a mistake, I know it's a mistake but there are certain things in life where you know it's a mistake but you don't really know it's a mistake because the only way to really know it's a mistake is to make the mistake and look back and say "yep, that was a mistake". So really the bigger mistake would be to not make that mistake, because then you'd go your whole life not knowing if something is a mistake or not. And dammit, I've made no mistakes! I've done all of this; my life, my relationship, my career, mistake-free
~ Lily has a breakdown

Lily Aldrin is a tritagonist in the TV series How I Met Your Mother. She is played by Alysson Hannigan


Lily and Marshall have been dating for 8 straight years before the series began. A running gag is how they love to brag about their sex lives to their perpetually single friends in a deadpan tone before high-fiving. Lily's sexual appetite is noticeably more aggressive than Marshall's, particularly whenever Marshall spends long nights working. Lily also has a bi-curious fixation on Robin.

Lily is obsessed with other people's love lives. She frequently sabotagued Ted's relationships because she hated his girlfriends. Ted and Marshall have nicknamed her The Kraken because of this.

Lily is a painter and a kindergarten teacher. Her artistic skills aren't very good though, presumably because she gains her inspiration from 5-year-olds instead of actual works of art.


Season 1

Shortly after Marshall proposes to Lily, she meets Robin and the two become best friends. When the guys go out, Lily and Robin have a girl's night out. Lily is initially jealous of Robin's ability to snag any man she wants, but Robin reassures her that Lily and Marshall already have what most guys are trying to get with Robin.

Lily and Marshall encounter the Cockamouse, half-mouse half-cockroach thing living in their apartment. Lily meets Marshall's family on Thanksgiving and is startled by the idea of having a baby when it is suggested. Lily develops an increasing sense of dread at the thought of settling down as she still hasn't done everything she had hoped to do. Lily then resolves to move to San Francisco to join an art fellowship. This breaks Marshall's heart.

Season 2

Lily's dream of being an artist is shattered when her art teacher heavily criticises her art. She then discreetly moves back to New York and lies low until she's ready to see Marshall again. After seeing Marshall, they agree to stay friends until Marshall is ready to get back together. After Lily begins stalking a woman Marshall was dating, he decides that they're ready for a relationship.

On Christmas, Lily finds out that Ted called her a bad word when she was away. Lily and Ted fight before Marshall restores the peace by showing Lily the present Ted got her: an easybake oven. Lily always wanted one and she had only told Ted one time. The fact that Ted remembered that showed that he really did care about them so the three friends finally patch things up for good.

The gang find a nude picture of Marshall that Lily painted. Barney pays Lily to paint him nude, which she reluctantly agrees to do, albeit without any genitalia. Since Barney had paid upfront, Lily gets away scott free.

On the day of Lily's wedding, everything manages to go wrong. She breaks down and runs out, only to find Marshall having a similar crisis. Ted suggests that the two get married right then and there, since Barney is an ordained minister. After that, Marshall and Lily have a more relaxed attitude to their disaster wedding.

Season 3

Lily winds up in debt after spending so much on her wedding and various dresses she bought over the years. This makes it hard to get a loan and move out. When they do, all sorts of things are wrong with it, such as the stench of sewage and the slanted floorboards. Lily tries selling some of her art, only to be met with disappointment. Eventually, a vet offers to buy her paintings as they have a calming effect on the dogs he examines. Lily runs into one of Barney's one-night stands who is sabotaguing his conquests. Lily agrees to help Barney track her down, only to take photos of Barney being humiliated. Ultimately, they don't find her.

Season 4

Lily finds out about Barney's growing attraction to Robin. She offers to guide him into persuing a relationship, only to watch Barney run off with a busty waitress. Lily and Marshall begin to think about babies, although Marshall isn't ready for one just yet. Ted finds out that Lily has been behind all of his breakups, as she doesn't want Ted dragging a woman she doesn't like into their group, Robin being the exception.

Barney tells a joke so offensive that Lily winds up leaving the gang for awhile, though Marshall and Robin still see her offscreen. Eventually, Lily realises that Barney's joke was actually pretty funny and rejoins the gang. Lily winds up adopting a goat after her class beg her not to let a farmer kill it. The goat beats Ted up on his birthday.

Season 5

Lily forces Barney and Robin to become a steady couple. When they try to fake it, Lily knows but plays along because she detects a hint of truth in the charade. Marshall and Barney find a stripper who looks just like Lily. Lily lets Marshall have a private lapdance with her as it technically doesn't count as cheating. Later, Lily swaps places with her doppelganger and tries stripping, much to Marshall's horror.

Lily and Marshall begin double-dating the now-steady Barney and Robin. The latter couple find them extremely annoying and avoids them at all costs. This nearly shatters the gang, so Barney and Robin decide to make amends. Lily joins Ted and Marshall on a road trip and manages to suck the manliness out of it before stopping at a bed and breakfast hotel. A fight happens while she's getting pampered before ultimately patching up.

Barney gives Marshall some relationship advice that goes horribly wrong, nearly jeopardising their marriage. When they confront each other, they realise how petty their argument really was and make up. Lily upholds her title of The Kraken by breaking up the now-dysfunctional Barney and Robin before failing to thwart (and even assist)Barney's plan to seduce a girl straight after breaking up.

Lily is reunited with her estranged father on Thanksgiving. After much tension, the two develop a shaky relationship. On Lily's 32nd birthday, Ted finds out why Lily is against him bringing dates along to various events: they spoil otherwise timeless moments and he can't even be bothered remebering their names. Marshall and Lily try sleeping in separate beds for a time, but ultimately decide to sleep together when they realise they don't have the discipline for it. After seeing Ted's doppelganger, Lily and Marshall reslove to have a baby as soon as they see all 5 doppelgangers.

Season 6

Lily has trouble getting pregnant, though this is mainly due to stress. After seeing a doctor who looks like Barney, they find out that they're both fit for parenting but are just not trying as long as most couples would. Lily worries that Marshall's becoming someone else after his job begins to take over his life. This is only made worse by his father's death. Lily agrees to put their plans on hold until Marshall feels ready.

Lily gets sick after eating from a notorioulsy filthy restaurant. Marshall ate some of their food too and is worried about getting sick at his job interview. Its later revealed that what Lily was feeling was in fact morning sickness and she is pregnant.

Season 7

Barney makes a bet with Marshall and Lily that would earn Barney a chance at feeling Lily's breasts. He loses and is forced to wear an embarrassing tie after Lily flashed him for a distraction. Marshall and Lily move to the suburbs. Lily has a sex dream about someone she knows but refuses to tell Marshall. Lily then gives birth to a baby boy named Marvin Wait-for-it Eriksen.

Season 8

Lily has lost touch with reality due to the strain of being a mother to a new-born. When she finds out that her father actually took great care of her before developing a gambling addiction, Lily decides to give him a chance at being a nanny. Lily's dad doesn't disappoint, until she catches him sleeping with Marshall's mother. When Marvin develops a case of constipation, Lily admits to Ted that sometimes she wishes he had never been born.

Lily runs into the Captain, the ex-husband of Ted's former girlfriend Zoey. The Captain offers Lily a chance to be his art consultant. The job entails spending the next year in Italy helping him pick out artworks. This decision puts some strain on Lily's relationship with Marshall as a result. As Lily sees Ted's newly-restored house, he reveals his lingering feelings for Robin and his plans to move to Chicago after the wedding so he can get away from her and Barney. Lily then travels with Ted to Farhampton, where the wedding will take place.

Season 9

Lily splits from Ted after seeing how annoying he can be as a road-buddy. She boards a train and meets a young woman who listens to all of her problems. The two quickly become friends. Lily spends the weekend at the Farhampton Inn alone, due to the fact that Marshall was in Minnesota earlier and his journey there has experienced complications. Lily spends every moment with a drink, yet manages to stay sober for the majority of the weekend. When Marshall guiltily calls Lily and confesses to taking a judge position - which would conflict with her plns to move to Italy - Lily is furious and promises to chew Marshall out as soon as he gets to the inn.

When Marshall arrives at the Inn, Lily alternates between hostile and tolerant of Marshall, depending on whatever's happening at that moment. The fight reachs fever pitch when Marshall comments on how unfair it is that Lily's decision outweighs his own and that the real reason Lily married Marshall was because she had nothing better to do until this opportunity came up. Horrified that Marshall was still bitter about the time she broke off their engagement, Lily runs away in tears.


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Lily doesn't have any partucularly interesting acheivements in the future, but is still with Marshall and stays firm friends with Ted. She introduces Ted's baby daughter to the idea of Santa Claus when he wasn't there as revenge for hogging all the first moments in Marvin's life. Lily dreams of becoming an artist came true for her. She became an art consultant for the Captain. She was offered a job as an art consultant in Rome for a year. She was pregnant with her second child with Marshall. She was about to stay in New York City with Marshall after long wedding weekend. Marshall found out the truth, decided to let her live out her dream. She was their for Marshall's dream. Not it was her turn. She was about to have a daughter, she wants her daughter Daisy to be proud of her. That is what Lily did, Daisy was a proud of her.

After getting pregnant with their third child, Marshall and Lily decide to say goodbye to the gang's old apartment and move back into the suburbs. Around this time, Robin and Lily lose touch as she's too broken by recent events to be with the gang.

A few years later, Lily would reconnect with Robin and they'd regularly chat, but the gang didn't reunite until Ted's wedding.


Ted Mosby | Barney Stinson | Robin Scherbatsky | Marshall Eriksen | Lily Aldrin

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