In September 2005, “How I Met Your Mother” premiered on CBS. The show went on to last for nine seasons before ending in 2014. Not all fans were pleased with the way the series concluded – but one thing that can be agreed on is that there were plenty of notable guest stars.
Pop singers like Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, and Katy Perry all made appearances on the show, while well-known TV actors such as Bryan Cranston to Laura Prepon also paid Ted and his friends a visit in New York City.
Here are 50 celebrities you may have forgotten once guest-starred on “HIMYM.”
Joe Manganiello had a recurring role as Brad, one of Marshall’s friends from law school.
Brad and Marshall became closer after their girlfriends broke up with them. In season two, they went to brunch together and Marshall was teased by Ted and Robin for his newfound bromance.
In 2007, model Heidi Klum made an appearance as herself.
Enrique Iglesias serenaded Robin as Gael, a man that she met in Argentina.
All the women at MacLaren’s were drooling over him.
“Pretty Little Liars” star Lucy Hale played Robin’s younger sister, Katie.
She first appeared on season two and returned for Robin’s wedding during season nine.
Fellow “PLL” star Ashley Benson also had a role on “HIMYM.”
She played 20-year-old Carly, who briefly dated Ted – and turned out to be Barney’s half-sister.
Wayne Brady appeared throughout the series as Barney’s half-brother, James.
James identified as gay, and went on to get married – a milestone that initially disappointed Barney.
Lin-Manuel Miranda rapped his way through his role on season nine.
His character, Gus, encountered Marshall and baby Marvin while on a bus to Farhampton.
Jennifer Morrison had a recurring role as Zoey, Ted’s enemy-turned-girlfriend.
She was an activist who often protested around New York City.
Kyle MacLachlan played George Van Smoot — aka The Captain.
The Captain was married to Zoe before she left him for Ted.
In 2011, Katy Perry played Zoey’s friendly, yet “gullible” cousin.
Ted and his friends couldn’t remember the name of Perry‘s character, so they referred to her as “Honey” when they later told the story of how they met.
On season three, John Cho’s character successfully convinced Marshall to join his company.
Shortly after joining, Marshall resigned because he didn’t agree with the company’s environmental policies.
Unlike his “Harold and Kumar” co-star, Kal Penn played good guy Kevin.
Kevin was Robin’s therapist turned boyfriend. The two broke up over Robin’s desire to not have kids.
Ted got drunk with a girl named Amy — played by Mandy Moore — and woke up the next morning with a butterfly tattoo on his back.
Throughout the episode, Moore‘s character mocked and made fun of Barney.
Carrie Underwood guest-starred as Tiffany, who strung Ted along.
Tiffany was in a complicated relationship with another guy, but asked Ted to “be patient” because she didn’t want to lose him.
“Dawson’s Creek” star James Van Der Beek played Robin’s first boyfriend Simon, from her days as a teen pop sensation in Canada.
Simon and Robin met on the set of her music video for “Sandcastles in the Sand.”
Jennifer Lopez guest-starred as an author named Anita on season five.
She made an appearance on “Come On, Get Up New York!” and helped Robin work through her relationship issues with Barney.
David Burtka, Neil Patrick Harris’ real-life husband, had a recurring role as Scooter.
He was Lily’s old high school boyfriend and repeatedly tried to win her back on several episodes.
“Gotham” actress Morena Baccarin played Chloe, a barista who had a crush on Marshall.
Barney and Ted warned Marshall that Chloe had “crazy eyes” and said he should be cautious.
Smulders’ real-life husband Taran Killam also appeared on a few episodes.
His character, Blauman, was part of the legal department at Goliath National Bank, where Barney and Marshall also worked.
Britney Spears guest-starred as Abby, a receptionist at the dermatologist office where Ted’s future fiancée worked.
She ditched her glasses and dressed up in an attempt for Ted to notice her.
John Lithgow played Barney’s father Jerome Whittaker.
They were estranged for 30 years, but reconnected.
Katie Holmes guest-starred as Naomi, a girl who Ted met at a Halloween party.
When Ted finally reconnected with her years later, he was disappointed to find out that they didn’t have chemistry.
“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” star Rachel Bloom had a cameo as a drunk passenger on a train on season seven.
She threw a drink in Ted’s face when he approached her.
“Growing Pains” actor Alan Thicke guest-starred as another character from Robin’s pop star past.
He played her father in a music video, and they worked together on a show called “Space Teens.”
Nicole Scherzinger played Jessica Glitter, Robin’s former BFF.
Glitter and Robin grew apart after she had a baby, but the two reunited years later thanks to Marshall and Lily.
“Orange Is the New Black’s” Laura Prepon played Ted’s snobby college girlfriend named Karen.
Lily and Marshall hated Karen’s pretentious attitude.
Bob Barker appeared as himself, and was the first of many game show hosts to appear on the show.
Barney believed Barker to be his father, and went on “The Price Is Right” to confront him.
“Jeopardy’s” Alex Trebek guest-starred as a game show host, naturally.
He appeared on a show called “Million Dollar Heads or Tails,” which Robin auditioned to be the “currency rotation specialist” for.
Regis Philbin joined the gang on the hunt for the perfect burger.
He left his hosting gig on “Million Dollar Heads or Tails,” to test the product.
Rachel Bilson had a recurring role as Cindy, the roommate of Ted’s future wife Tracy.
Cindy and Ted also dated, but it didn’t last long.
“Lost’s” Jorge Garcia played Steve “The Blitz” Henry on a Thanksgiving-themed episode.
He met Ted and Marshall at Wesleyan University.
Abigail Spencer’s character was simply referred to as “Blahblah” — because Ted couldn’t remember her name.
She and Ted briefly dated after meeting online.
Maury Povich played himself in the episode “Subway Wars.”
One of Marshall’s co-workers confused Povich for Woody Allen.
Tim Gunn had a fitting role as Barney’s personal tailor.
He showed up on short notice to help Barney with suit-related emergencies.
Jane Seymour played Professor Lewis, one of Marshall’s teachers at law school.
She went through a divorce, and Marshall was convinced that was the reason why she was a harsh grader.
Bryan Cranston guest-starred as Ted’s demeaning boss, Hammond Druthers.
Lily tried to teach Hammond a lesson by stealing one of his prized possessions.
Cranston isn’t the only “Breaking Bad” cast member who showed up on “HIMYM.” Bob Odenkirk also appeared on a few episodes.
His rough disposition and the way he treated his co-workers (including Marshall) earned him the nickname “Artillery Arthur.”
“Glee” actress Jayma Mays guest-starred as a coat closet attendant at a club.
Ted bonded with her, but forgot to exchange phone numbers.
In 2013, “Full House’s” Dave Coulier guest-starred as himself.
He appeared on a documentary about Robin’s former singing career.
Danica McKellar played Trudy on one of the series most puzzling episodes — “The Pineapple Incident.”
Ted spent the entire episode trying to piece together details from a night when he got drunk and couldn’t remember anything.
Busy Philipps later appeared as Trudy’s friend, Rachel.
They were sorority sisters who Ted may or may not have had a threesome with.
Billy Zabka made several appearances as himself throughout the series.
While people who watch “The Karate Kid” love Ralph Macchio’s character, Barney has a special place in his heart for Zabka.
Ralph Macchio showed up at Barney’s bachelor party as himself.
This was part of an elaborate prank executed by Robin.
Judy Greer played Royce, one of the many women Ted dated.
Royce was a fan of “The Wedding Bride,” which Ted did not care for.
Kendra Wilkinson starred as herself on the cover of a tabloid magazine.
Wilkinson, and several other reality stars, tried to talk Marshall through his struggles to go “number two.”
Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag — aka Speidi — taunted Marshall for his bathroom insecurities.
Luckily for Marshall, the problem didn’t last too long.
Kim Kardashian managed to help Marshall get over his fear of using a public restroom.
Marshall admitted to not knowing why Kardashian was famous – a question many asked at the time.
Sarah Chalke starred as Stella, the woman who would break Ted’s heart and leave him at the altar.
She left Ted to be with her ex-husband and the father of her daughter, Lucy.
Ted claimed that he gave Weird Al the idea for “Like a Surgeon.”
It was later confirmed in a flashback staring the singer.
Will Forte made several appearances as Randy Wharmpess, a colleague of Barney and Marshall’s.
Randy eventually quit his job to pursue his passion for brewing beers.
Keegan-Michael Key and Casey Wilson guest-starred as Calvin and Krirsten, a couple that Robin and Barney encountered while on a dinner date.
The two pairs became arch enemies, and Robin and Barney hatched a plan to try and break them up. It backfired and the couple ended up getting engaged.
Ted asked a student named Penelope, played by “The Gifted” star Amy Acker, to help him do a rain dance.
Penelope was studying Native American culture. Ted hoped that if they made it rain, it would prevent Robin from going on a trip with her co-anchor, Sandy Rivers.
Actor Martin Short played a senior partner named Garrison Cootes at an environmental law firm called Honeywell and Cootes.
Cootes offered Marshall a position at the firm, but the latter was worried that he wouldn’t pass the company’s background check because of an old video of himself streaking.
Robbie Amell played Robin’s dog-like boyfriend Nate Scooberman, who preferred the nickname Scooby.
Robin met him at a park, shortly after Ted denied her request to get a dog. Their relationship didn’t last too long.
Tracey Ullman appeared as Robin’s mother, Genevieve Scherbatsky, on the final season.
Robin was surprised that her mum made it to her wedding to Barney, considering that she’s scared of flying.
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