Bringing back fan-favorite Ranjit sounds smart for the How I Met Your Mother spinoff, How I Met Your Father, but there are two reasons to avoid this.
It will be tempting for How I Met Your Father to bring back more How I Met Your Mother characters in season 2, but there is one recurring guest star who should not show up on the sitcom spinoff. After its debut on Hulu in January 2022, the How I Met Your Mother follow-up achieved the seemingly impossible task of emerging from the shadow of its predecessor during its first season, establishing itself as a solid show in its own right. However, How I Met Your Father’s season 2 renewal does not guarantee the sitcom’s continued success.
The How I Met Your Father season 1 finale, titled "Timing is Everything," saw the show finally feature a cameo from one of the main How I Met Your Mother characters: Cobie Smulders's Robin Scherbatsky. While Robin’s brief appearance worked in the finale, the surprise cameo still proved that How I Met Your Father runs the risk of letting too many glimpses of the earlier show's characters overshadow its new cast.
There are a handful of How I Met Your Mother characters who could appear on the new series, but there are also some supporting stars that How I Met Your Father should put to rest. The taxi/limo driver Ranjit Singh (played by actor Marshall Manesh), whom the cast of How I Met Your Mother relied on to get them from place to place, is one such figure. While bringing back Quinn, Barney’s How I Met Your Mother ex, would prove her character was still happy and thriving despite their break up, bringing back Ranjit would do the opposite. The character should be enjoying retirement by now, and showing that he isn’t could be unintentionally depressing.
Despite the character being a perennially funny fan favorite, Ranjit shouldn’t show up in How I Met Your Father for two reasons. For one thing, he fulfilled a specific function on How I Met Your Mother, being a sympathetic ear, an emotional support, and a shoulder to cry on for the entire cast. Bringing him back in the same function would be too close to directly copying the original show. Already, How I Met Your Father acknowledged how unlikely Robin caring about Sophie’s love life was, so having Ranjit form an unexpected bond with another generation of friends would be too over-the-top even for the sitcom’s cartoony world.
The more pressing problem with bringing back Ranjit for a cameo on How I Met Your Father is the nature of his work. Ranjit was getting on in years when How I Met Your Mother began — his being older than the rest of the cast was part of the character’s charm — so he deserves a happy ending like the rest of the show’s ensemble. Revealing that Ranjit is now working as an Uber driver in his seventies may not be the fun nostalgic cameo that the How I Met Your Father creators would be hoping for, and could instead be unintentionally bleak. How I Met Your Father’s cameos have so far managed to nail the tricky balance between nostalgic fan service and in-universe justification, something that the unwarranted return of How I Met Your Mother’s Ranjit could jeopardize as How I Met Your Father enters season 2.