Also Known As:
Marshmallow, The Kid, Funny Butt, Vanilla Thunder, Big Fudge, Papa, Beercules, Marsh Madness, Ghost in the Post, Sports Guy, Mr. Awesome
St. Cloud, Minnesota
|Gallery of Marshall Eriksen images (649)|
Marshall Eriksen (born 1978) is one of the five main characters of How I Met Your Mother, portrayed by Jason Segel. In 1996, he and Ted Mosby met at Wesleyan University as undergraduates and have been best friends ever since. Currently, he is married to Lily Aldrin, fellow Wesleyan alum. Brought up in the tightly-knit community of St. Cloud, Minnesota, Marshall's inherent kindness makes him the most compassionate member of the gang. He quit his job as a corporate lawyer at Goliath National Bank to pursue his dream of saving the world through environmental law. In Challenge Accepted, Lily became pregnant, and she gave birth to their son, Marvin W. Eriksen, in The Magician's Code - Part One. In Daisy, Lily became pregnant again and gives birth to their daughter, Daisy Eriksen, in February 2014.
Marshall was born in 1978, and raised in St. Cloud, Minnesota. He was close to his parents, who taught him the politeness he displays during the show. He is also close to his two older brothers. Together with his father and brothers, they enjoyed basketball, Baskiceball (a family-invented game that combines basketball and ice skating), and intense wrestling.
When Marshall was 13, he smoked his first cigarette. He is the slam dunk champion of Nicollet County, Minnesota, gaining the nickname "Vanilla Thunder" and having a trademark dunk called "The White Windmill." Marshall was attracted to a girl in his class who was later revealed to have had him on "The Hook." Marshall realized this after hanging outside her house all night in the snow and waking up to find out that she had literally walked over him to get inside. On his 16th birthday, Marshall received his brother's old Fiero but had to go through several initiation tests to earn it, including swallowing $5 worth of quarters and buying 12 cups of coffee from a driveway completely naked.
After having his growth spurt, Marshall's appearance went through several changes, all of which were extremely awkward-looking.
During college, Marshall met Ted and Lily, and the three became best friends.
Marshall met Ted Mosby and Lily Aldrin on the first day of their freshman year at Wesleyan University. Marshall graduated with Ted from Wesleyan in 2000, as implied in How I Met Everyone Else. He began law school at Columbia in 2004, he managed a structure in between leaving Wesleyan and starting at Columbia. (Trilogy Time). He is a Columbia Law School graduate originally from St. Cloud, Minnesota. He can no longer dunk because he has dancer's hip (The Possimpible). Even though Marshall is at a height of 6'4", he is the shortest male member of his family and considered the "runt" of the family. Apparently, cough syrup 'stunted' his growth, hitting 6"4 in fifth grade, then stopping (The Stinsons). A donkey supposedly had eaten Marshall's pants the last time he was in Trenton, and at Bill's bachelor party in Memphis, they had to pump out several nickels from his stomach. (Slap Bet)
Marshall is extremely loyal to his friends and in particular Ted, his best friend. In the first season finale, his wedding plans are derailed when Lily pursues a painting fellowship in San Francisco, triggering a fight that ends their engagement. He and Lily rekindle their romantic relationship in Swarley, get re-engaged, and are actually married for 12 seconds in Atlantic City. Their actual wedding takes place during the last two episodes of Season 2. (Something Borrowed, Something Blue)
In early 2011, Marshall and Lily are worried about their fertility status. Lily learns that she is fertile, and after some stressful days, Marshall learns that he too is fertile. During this time, Lily informs Marshall that his father, Marvin Eriksen Sr., had died as a result of a sudden heart attack. (Bad News)
FutureIn the future, he and Lily are still married during the time Future Ted relays the tale of how he met the mother. In Last Forever - Part Two, it is revealed they have one more kid hinted to be a girl. It is unknown if they have any kids other than Marvin and Daisy and one unnamed child. It is revealed in Field Trip that Marshall and his boss do in fact save the world.
Further in the future, a much older Marshall travels back in time to tuesday, December 8th, 2009 at around 20:29 to order and return wings at MacLaren's Pub, claiming that they were too hot, so that present Marshall and Lily would share free wings. Wendy the Waitress later gave him a compensation drink while he watched his past self. (The Window)
Marshall is very polite since he has grown up in Minnesota. He is loving and caring and confident and extremely emotional, which he often gets teased for by the gang. He is very passionate about what he does, and cares deeply for his family and friends. He loves Gouda, with one of his catchphrases being "Don't sleep on the Gouda."
Marshall is very superstitious, for example, he licks the plane, before a flight he is on takes off, so the plane does not crash, as mentioned by Lily in The Best Man.
Marshall also believes in myths such as the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, and ghosts. One of the many reasons he loves Lily is because she, too, believes in these things. Marshall often uses the word "Lawyered" whenever he makes a point in an argument often using facts and numbers. The term has become somewhat of a catchphrase for him. He also has been shown have a bad habit of singing what he does (or sometimes "nonsense stuff like a stroke victim" as Robin said) as shown in Spoiler Alert.
Hobbies and Interests
Marshall has a great love of, and often preoccupation with, food. In episodes such as The Pineapple Incident and Drumroll, Please while other characters are curious about the details of Ted's love life, Marshall is more concerned about the origin of foods associated with these details. He eats very often, consuming food such as popcorn or ice cream as a result of emotional situations.
Marshall is a very capable fighter as shown in The Fight when he leveled Doug (the bouncer at MacLaren's known for his violent streak) while Ted was unconscious and Barney had run away (it was stated earlier in Sweet Taste of Liberty that he had never been in a fight before, also in Cupcake he says, "I'm not much of a fighter"). He learned how to fight while growing up as he and his brothers often engaged in hardcore fights with weapons (as seen when Marshall attacks one of his brothers with a hot cup of cocoa and a vase) and playing the extremely violent sport "Baskiceball". Marshall is an extremely good dancer, as seen in Okay Awesome, he spent a few minutes in the bathroom looking for painkillers, and came out in a euphoric state.
Marshall is very good at games, as shown in Game Night. He always wins, which prompts his friends to put him in charge of game night with the exception that he can't play. Marshall took this to mean he must make up a game, and so he does: Marshgammon, which "incorporates the best parts of all other games" with the notable exception of backgammon. When the gang was gambling in Atlantic City in Atlantic City, Marshall was the only person to figure out the crazy Chinese game Barney was playing. In college, Marshall and Ted play a game called "Zitch Dog" on their road trip, a game that Ted introduced to Marshall; Marshall won even while he was sleeping. (Arrivederci, Fiero)
Marshall has been shown to have the ability to telepathically communicate with both his wife, Lily, and his friends.
Marshall is capable of designing basic websites, Examples of this include Slapcountdown.com and LilyandMarshallselltheirstuff.com.
Marshall always wanted to be an Environmental Lawyer, but had to work at other places when he couldn't get a job at an Environmental Law Firm. He worked shortly at Nicholson, Hewitt & West. He later took a job at Goliath National Bank. He worked at GNB for a few years but quit in The Exploding Meatball Sub. He tried to find work at various environmental law firms and finally got a job at Honeywell & Cootes in The Naked Truth. In Twelve Horny Women, Marshall goes against his friend Brad in a lawsuit against Gruber Pharmaceuticals for polluting Frog Lake. Although he wins the case for his firm, the judge orders Gruber to only pay twenty-five thousand dollars instead of the twenty-five million dollar claim, which disappoints Marshall. Brad apologizes to Marshall and says that people like him should be behind the judge's desk. Marshall takes this to heart and applies for a judgeship infront of the New York State Judiciary sometime in the future. In Romeward Bound, Lily finds out that Marshall's career has taken a setback and his firm has lost a lot of business after the Gruber case, and most of the employees have been laid off. In Something New, Marshall gets a call back for his application for a judgeship, telling him that there is an opening for him to be a judge next Tuesday, a week before he and Lily are supposed to move to Rome for a year so she can be The Captain's art consultant. Marshall takes the offer but in Daisy, it is revealed he also did move to Italy. After coming back from Rome Marshall went back to corporate and it's possible it is Goliath National Bank in the fall of 2014. He finally has a dream job become a Judge in Queens District court in 2018. Marvin would be 5, Daisy would be 3 and his third child would be 1. In 2020 Marshall ran for New York State Supreme Court Judge and won. That's how he lost his hair around 2020 to present. Marvin would be 8, Daisy would be 6 and his third child would 4.
- Main article: Marshall and Lily.
Marshall first met Lily in their freshman year at Wesleyan University. They almost immediately began dating, getting engaged in the Pilot. At the end of Season 1, Lily breaks off the engagement to go to San Francisco for an art fellowship. Then in the beginning of Season 2, Lily begs Marshall to take her back but he says no and datesanother girl. However after one date Lily and Marshall get back together and get married in Something Borrowed. In Challenge Accepted they find out that Lily is pregnant and in The Magician's Code - Part One Marvin Wait-for-it Eriksen is born.
Marshall first met Ted in their freshman year at Wesleyan University. When he first saw Ted in his room, Marshall thought that he was the Dean, and was sad, but realized he was wrong when he caught Ted "eating a sandwich." While they were roommates, they initially argued and fought amongst each other. However, after a life threatening trip together, became best friends, and have remained best friends ever since. Every year, they go to Gazzola's to eat terrible pizza, but love spending time together. Ted was Marshall's best man at his wedding, alongside Barney.
- Main article: Marshall and Ted.
When they first met, Barney considered Marshall to be the same "loser" as Ted, and decided to be his decision-maker (How I Met Everyone Else). When he tried to make him cheat on his girlfriend with the red-headed hottie at the bar, Marshall plays along and surprises Barney by making out with her a few seconds after approaching her (the girl is actually Lily, whom Barney doesn't know at the time).
Since then, Marshall and Barney are in a constant "fight" for the post of "Ted's Best Friend", such as in Bachelor Party and Woooo!. When Barney is in a relationship with Robin, he tries to convince Marshall that he has become the best at relationships, and even teaches Marshall how to stand his ground against Lily (Bagpipes), with disastrous consequences.
Marshall and Barney seem to share a common sense of humor, laughing at most jokes together and picking up funny phrases from casual phrases. Their sense of humor sometimes borders on the inappropriate (such as laughing about Barney's hypothetical naked sending-off after his death in Monday Night Football).
In Slap Bet Marshall and Barney make a "slap bet" about whether or not Robin was a pornstar when she was younger and living in Canada. Marshall wins the bet, and is awarded five slaps any time any place. After the events of Disaster Averted Marshall earns a further three more slaps in exchange for Barney being allowed to take off the Ducky Tie, leading to Marshall promptly dishing out two more slaps moments later. Marshall delivers the final two slaps in Slapsgiving 3: Slappointment in Slapmarra and The End of the Aisle.
- Main article: Marshall and Barney.
Although Marshall and Robin have moderate direct interaction with each other, the two get along pretty well most of the time, and even seem to share some common characteristics. Some issues, however, have sprouted between the two in the course of the series.
Robin hangs around with Lily often, as the two are best friends. Since Marshall is Lily's long-time boyfriend and eventual husband, this leads to Marshall and Robin hanging out often as well.
In Three Days of Snow, Robin offers to take Marshall to the airport to wait for Lily's arrival. While driving to the airport, Marshall lets slip out that he thinks Robin is a cold-blooded robot in relationships and the fact that she hates the small niceties in a couple makes her incapable of love. Robin takes this badly and pulls over until he apologizes. Just as Robin was about to pull out and drive away, a snow plow drives past engulfing the car in snow, leaving them immobile. Robin tells Marshall to close his eyes (so that she can open the car roof and get rid of the snow), which Marshall mistakes for Robin hitting on him.
At other times, Robin and Marshall try to mock each other about each others level of attractiveness, with each trying to pass off the other as aesthetically "passable". (In Girls Versus Suits, it turns out that Marshall thinks of most women as passable, treating the new hot bartender at MacLaren's Pub in the same way as Robin, but this seems to be because he doesn't want Lily to think he might be attracted to other women).
However, both Robin and Marshall seem to have some things in common. Being both from the north (Marshall from Saint Cloud, Minnesota; and Robin from Canada), the two are impervious to New York's "mild" winter conditions. Marshall even bonds with Robin during Little Minnesota. After she confesses how homesick she is for Canada, Marshall tries to cheer her up by bringing her to his favorite bar, the Walleye Saloon. However, when Robin steals Marshall's story of the 1998 NFC Championship game, Marshall outs Robin as a Canadian, getting her kicked out of the bar. Sorry for his actions, Marshall then introduces Robin to the Hoser Hut, a Canadian-themed bar. And while Marshall and Lily were broken up (at the start of Season 2), they share a fondness for guns, albeit very temporary, as Marshall hates violence. He even refers to Robin as a gun-nut later in Little Boys, although he doesn't express it out loud.
It is later brought to light in The Mermaid Theory that Robin and Marshall actually do not spend that much time together, just the two of them. They decide to have dinner together and quickly run out of things to talk about, and the dinner becomes fairly awkward. Marshall later reveals that part of the reason they don't hang out is because of Barney's "Mermaid Theory". The theory states that no matter how much a man is repelled by a "manatee", a woman he finds unattractive, as soon as they meet a clock starts ticking until the time when he will eventually see her as a lovely "mermaid". Marshall fears that he will one day see Robin, his wife's best friend, as a mermaid. However, they continue their dinner and eventually get very drunk. As Marshall escorts Robin back to her apartment she vomits, thus rendering her a "manatee" for the rest of their relationship, and from then on the two are much closer.
- Main article: Marshall and Robin.
- Spouse: Lily Aldrin (2007-present)
- Mother: Judy Eriksen
- Father: Marvin Eriksen Sr.
- Brother(s): Marvin Eriksen Jr., Marcus Eriksen
- Children: Marvin W. Eriksen, Daisy Eriksen, unnamed third child
- Grandfather(s): Olaf Eriksen (paternal)
- Grandmother(s): Grandma who apparently has a foul mouth, Grandma Gunderson (Symphony of Illumination)
- Uncle(s): He is mentioned by Marshall in Slapsgiving 2: Revenge of the Slap. Marshall says the turkey he bought looks like his bald Uncle Heinrek's head. Lily also knows him. In The Goat, explaining to Lily why they can't keep the goat, Marshall argues: "Why don't we just call the the Duluth Mental Hospital and say my Uncle Linus can live with us?"
- Niece(s): Penny Mosby (honorary), Ellie Stinson (honorary)
- Nephew(s): Martin Eriksen Luke Mosby ( honorary )
- In-law(s): see Lily's family, Ashley Eriksen, Sarah Eriksen
Notes and Trivia
- The name Marshall is an occupation name whose origin is from the Frankish mare ("horse") + skalkoz ("servant"), that is "horse servant". It is most commonly found as a surname, but may also be used as a given name. It is also an old Scottish surname meaning 'Love of Horses'.
- Marshall's name was the first introduced name in the entire series, said by Future Ted in Pilot. The next introduced names were in the following order Ted's (from Marshall), Lily's (from Ted), Barney's (from Future Ted), and Robin's (also from Future Ted), all in the same episode.
- Marshall cannot grow a mustache (Robin 101).
- Lily's pet name for Marshall is "Marshmallow." He calls her "Lily Pad."
- It's revealed in Duel Citizenship, having gone through a whole case of Tantrum with Ted during a trip to Gazzola's, he passes out whenever he hears church bells.
- Ten year old Marshall was portrayed by Tyler Peterson in Life Among the Gorillas and thirteen in Last Cigarette Ever, and with eight by Koby Rouviere in Sorry, Bro.
- Marshall is loosely based on series writer Craig Thomas.
- Marshall is the only member of the gang whose parents didn't break up. However, his parents, like everyone else's in the gang, are no longer together by the end of the show. Unlike Lily, Ted, Barney and Robin, the end of Marshall's parents' relationship is due to his father passing away in Bad News, not a divorce or separation.
- Marshall Eriksen is a diehard Minnesota Vikings Fan.
- Marshall was the lead singer of the funk band he formed with some law school friends called "The Funk, The Whole Funk, and Nothing but the Funk", revealed in Unfinished. While Marshall wore a suit and his prized Dr. Seuss hat first seen in Intervention, the musicians all wore court dresses and powdered wigs.
- While Marshall is the youngest Eriksen son, in real life Jason Segel is the same age as Robert Michael Ryan who plays his oldest brother Marvin Jr., and is a year older than Ned Rolsma who plays Marcus the middle son. However, it's true that Segel is the shortest (as noted by Marshall in The Stinsons) at 6'4, while Marvin Jr (Ryan) is 6'7 and Marcus (Rolsma) is 7'0.
- While Marshall is an avid Minnesota Vikings football fan, it's suggested in Do I Know You? that he might be a New York Mets baseball fan, as he shares with Ted that's one of the things he also knows about Stella that Ted didn't know. However, in The Final Page - Part One, Marshall recalls when Barney cruelly jinxed him while he waited on the line to speak with his childhood hero, Frank Viola, who played for the Minnesota Twins from 1982-1989, and was part of the 1987 World Series team. It's possible that he's a fan of both teams since the Mets play in the National League and the Twins play in the American League. Therefore, they wouldn't be rivals unless they competed against each other in a World Series. The Twins would indeed be division rivals of the Cleveland Indians, who are Ted's favorite team.
|Ted Mosby • Marshall Eriksen • Lily Aldrin • Barney Stinson • Robin Scherbatsky|
|Friends & Family||Lily Aldrin • Ted Mosby • Robin Scherbatsky • Barney Stinson • Marvin Eriksen Sr. • Judy Eriksen • Marvin Eriksen Jr. • Marcus Eriksen • Ashley Eriksen • Martin Eriksen • Marvin W. Eriksen • Daisy Eriksen • Unnamed Eriksen Child|
|Places||MacLaren's Pub • The Apartment • Wesleyan University • Goliath National Bank • Marshall and Lily's apartment • Marshall and Lily's house • AltruCell Corporation • Gazzola's • Honeywell & Cootes|
|Others||Ducky Tie (object) • The Eight Slaps • You Just Got Slapped • Mabel • Tantrum • Marshall versus the Machines • Best Night Ever • Intervention banner • Marshgammon • The Fish List • The Swords • Five Words • Big Fudge|
|Friends & Family||Robin Scherbatsky • Marshall Eriksen • Lily Aldrin • Barney Stinson • Alfred Mosby • Virginia Mosby • Heather Mosby • Stacy • Ted's kids • Tracy McConnell|
|Places||MacLaren's Pub • The Apartment • Wesleyan University • Gazzola's • Ted's house • Goliath National Bank • New GNB Headquarters • Ted's Architecture Class • Ted's Second apartment • Puzzles|
|Others||Yellow Umbrella • The Threeway Belt • Blue French Horn • Sensory Deprivator 5000 • Naked Lady Noise • Tuxedo Night • Tantrum • TurTurkeyKey • Intervention banner • Doctor X • Red Cowboy Boots • The Swords • Five Words • Mock Salutes • Classic Shmosby|
|Future Ted||Future Ted's euphemisms|
|Friends & Family||Barney Stinson • Ted Mosby • Lily Aldrin • Marshall Eriksen • • Robin Scherbatsky Sr. • Katie Scherbatsky • Genevieve Scherbatsky|
|Places||MacLaren's Pub • The Apartment • Robin's apartment • Hoser Hut • Metro News 1 • Come On, Get Up New York! • World Wide News|
|Others||Blue French Horn • Robin Sparkles • Let's Go to the Mall • Sandcastles in the Sand (song) • Space Teens • The Beaver Song • P.S. I Love You (song) • Intervention banner • Truth Voice • Sir Scratchewan • Mock Salutes • The Locket (object)|
|Friends & Family||Marshall Eriksen • Ted Mosby • Robin Scherbatsky • Barney Stinson • Scooter • Mickey Aldrin • Janice Aldrin • Rita Aldrin • Morris Aldrin • Grandma Lois • Marvin W. Eriksen • Daisy Eriksen • Unnamed Eriksen Child|
|Places||MacLaren's Pub • Lily's Kindergarten • Wesleyan University • Marshall and Lily's apartment • Marshall and Lily's house • The Apartment • Lily's first apartment • Lily's second apartment|
|Phrases||Where's the poop? • You sonuvabitch|
|Others||You're dead to me look • Marshpillow • Intervention banner • Lily's bisexuality • Aldrin Justice (punishment)|
|Students||Ted Mosby • Lily Aldrin • Marshall Eriksen • Maggie Wilks • Steve Henry • Pete Durkenson • Matt Blitz • Daryl LaCoutre|
|Current Employees||Barney Stinson • Arthur Hobbs • Bilson • Jenkins • Toy Guy • Marcus Danesco • Frank • YouTube Clip Guy • Douglas • PJ• Gary Blauman|
|Former Employees||Ted Mosby • Marshall Eriksen • Randy Wharmpess • Meeker • Louisa Mendoza|
|Others||New GNB Headquarters • AltruCell Corporation|