How I Met Your Father episode 7 secretly calls back to the hilarious plot of one of How I Met Your Mother's best episodes - season 2's "Stuff."
In repeating many of the original show’s best gags, How I Met Your Father secretly referenced one of the greatest episodes from How I Met Your Mother: Season 2’s “Stuff.” How I Met Your Father’s 10-episode first season has featured numerous Easter eggs and callbacks to the beloved original sitcom. From direct references to Lily and Marshall to repeated dynamics and storylines, How I Met Your Father continues to cement itself within HIMYM’s universe while working to stand on its own.
With seasons as a hit sitcom, How I Met Your Mother has numerous iconic episodes that span from its earliest seasons to its last installments. One of HIMYM’s greatest episodes is season 2, episode 16, “Stuff,” which primarily follows two storylines: Ted and Robin arguing over whether they should keep stuff from past relationships, and the gang going to see Lily’s bad play and, later, Barney’s even more torturous one-man play. While “Stuff” is also memorable for featuring the second slap from Marshall and Barney’s famous slap bet, the two horrible plays from Lily and Barney make it a classic episode.
Bringing back memories of the iconic installment of HIMYM, How I Met Your Father episode 7 then sees Sophie and Valentina working a photography gig for a 13-year-old influencer’s bat mitzvah. When Sophie gets anxious about the job, Valentina asks her if she wants a Xanax from the tin of drugs in her purse. Explaining why she has the Xanax, How I Met Your Father’s Valentina states that she got them before the gang went to go see Sid’s improv show, which the series sadly (or thankfully, by the sound of her tone) didn’t depict on-screen.
Valentina’s comment about needing a Xanax to see Sid’s excruciating improv show is a clever callback to How I Met Your Mother’s season 2 episode. In "Stuff," Barney, Marshall, Ted, and Robin agree to go see Lily’s play, though Barney routinely protests attending the event. HIMYM then shows the long, excruciating play that Lily was acting in, with Barney’s first comment being “Wow, Lily, it sucked!” How I Met Your Father having Valentina mention needing Xanax to attend Sid’s improv show connects back to HIMYM’s premise with Lily and Barney, especially through Lily’s assertion that real friends go see each other’s bad plays.
Rather than very directly repeating HIMYM’s episode by actually showing the new gang watch Sid’s improv, which is hinted to be pretty bad, How I Met Your Father simply references it retroactively as a fun connection. How I Met Your Father's Valentina quickly referencing Sid’s improv show still accomplishes the same anecdote about the hard parts of friendships that HIMYM’s season 2 episode was aiming to portray. While Lily only acted in the one bad play during How I Met Your Mother, it’s possible How I Met Your Father will give viewers a glimpse at Sid’s talents (or lack thereof) in improv.