Lily Aldrin is a fictional character in the CBS television series How I Met Your Mother. Lily is portrayed by American actressAlyson Hannigan. She is married to Marshall Eriksen and the best friend of Ted Mosby, Robin Scherbatsky and Barney Stinson. Lily is a kindergarten teacher and an amateur painter. In the eighth season, she gets a job as an art consultant. Lily is also the only member of the original main cast of the series who has not appeared in every episode, because Alyson Hannigan took leave after giving birth to her first child.
Series creator Craig Thomas explained that he based Marshall and Lily on himself and his wife Rebecca. Rebecca had been upset after learning this, but (as she is a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer) was consoled when Alyson Hannigan was put in the role. Hannigan was looking to do more comedy work after having worked on the American Pie series and was available for the show.
Lily Aldrin, born March 22, 1978, grew up in Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York. She is the daughter of Janice Aldrin, whom Lily describes as a feminist and who worked two jobs to support the family. The creators stated in commentary that there is no evidence to the contrary that Lily’s grandfather is astronaut Buzz Aldrin – and like Buzz Aldrin, her grandfather is said to have fought in the Korean War. Lily’s father, Mickey (Chris Elliott), is an unsuccessful board game creator living in his parents’ basement. Janice and Mickey divorced when Lily was a child. Lily is estranged from her father – an absentee parent who she claims “broke my heart every day for 20 years” – until he promises to be there for her following the birth of her son.
During her high school and college years, she was a part of the goth subculture, dying her hair and wearing stereotypical “goth” clothes. She dumped her high school boyfriend, Scooter (David Burtka), on prom night, admitting she only dated him because he . He remains obsessed with her for years afterward. She met Marshall during her freshman year at Wesleyan University in 1996 and dated him throughout college.
As of 2010, Lily is 32 years old, meaning she was born circa 1978. According to her résumé, she is fluent in Italian, certified in teaching English as a Second Language, and proficient in Photoshop, Quark, and Java.
Lily frequently states her need for regular sex, saying that if she went without for too long she’d be “out there selling it for a nickel”. She has a more than passing sexual interest in other women, suggesting she may be bisexual. In particular, she has confessed several times, albeit in a seemingly joking fashion, that she finds Robin sexually attractive, and that Robin has been the subject of some “confusing dreams”. Well aware of Lily’s sexual attraction to her, Robin at one point says that she won’t go near Lily after she’s been drinking martinis, as she is prone to flirt quite strongly with her and even try to get the guys to dare them to make out. Robin tends to alternate between ignoring Lily’s advances and being disturbed by them whenever they show themselves.
Lily is adept at manipulating people and situations to get what she wants; she is especially talented at engineering breakups between couples she knows are not right for each other. Barney calls her a “diabolical puppet master” and “pure evil”, while Ted calls her a “psychopath“.