How I Met Your Mother is noted for the large number of actors featured in it who have also worked with renowned fantasy/sci-fi writer/director/producer Joss Whedon.

Co-creator Craig Thomas' wife, on whom Lily is based was a "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" fan and suggested Alyson Hannigan to play the character. This started a trend with actors who had previously appeared in Whedon productions guesting on the show or in Neil Patrick Harris and Cobie Smulders cases would star in Whedon productions after appearing on HIMYM. In the case of Cobie Smulders, she was recommended to Whedon by HIMYM co-stars Alyson Hannigan and Neil Patrick Harris.

For essentially all of the minor characters it's a coincidence that the same actors appeared in both HIMYM and Whedon productions, just like picking any two random long duration television shows and finding common characters.

Main characters

Actors In HIMYM Other shows Chracters in these other shows
Alyson Hannigan Lily Aldrin

"Buffy the Vampire Slayer"


Willow Rosenberg
Neil Patrick Harris Barney Stinson "Dr Horrible's Sing-a-long-blog" Dr. Horrible
Cobie Smulders Robin


"The Avengers" [2012]/ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Agent Maria Hill

Recurring characters 

Actors In HIMYM Whedon works (episode title) Character in these works
Alexis Denisof (Alyson Hannigan's husband) Sandy Rivers
  1. "Buffy"/"Angel"
  2. "Dollhouse"
  3. The Avengers (2012)
  4. Much Ado About Nothing
  1. Wesley Wyndam-Pryce
  2. Senator Perrin
  3. 'The Other'
  4. Benedick
Harry Groener Clint "Buffy" Mayor Wilkins
Rachel Bilson Cindy "Buffy" Colleen, a Potential Slayer
Kal Penn Kevin
  1. "Buffy" ("Beer Bad")
  2. "Angel" ("That Vision Thing")
  1. One of the cave men beer drinkers
  2. Shamen
Ray Wise Robin Scherbatsky Sr. "Dollhouse" ("The Left Hand") Howard Lipman
Nancy Lenehan Cheryl Whittaker "Buffy" ("Dead Man's Party") Pat

One episode characters

Actors In HIMYM (episode) Whedon works Characters in these works
Ian Abercrombie Ben Franklin ("The Goat") "Buffy" ("Homecoming") Techno-Hunter
Amy Acker

Penelope ("Come On")

  1. "Angel"
  2. "Dollhouse"
  3. Much Ado About Nothing
  4. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D
  1. Fred/Illyria
  2. Whisky/Dr. Saunders
  3. Beatrice
  4. Audrey Nathan
Morena Baccarin "Crazy Eyes" Chloe ("Swarley") "Firefly" Inara
Tom Lenk Scott the barista ("Swarley")
  1. "Buffy"/"Angel"
  2. "The Cabin in the Woods"
  3. "Much Ado About Nothing"
  1. Andrew
  2. Ronald The Intern
  3. Verges
Danny Strong Trey ("Last Words") "Buffy" Jonathan Levinson
Seth Green Daryl LaCoutre ("The Final Page Pt1")



Daniel 'Oz' Osbourne
JP Manoux Eric ("The Limo") "Angel" ("Are You Now or Have You Ever Been") Bellman
Caroline Lagerfelt Bridal shop lady ("Cupcake") "Buffy" ("Lies My Parents Told Me") Spike's mother, Anne
Pat Crawford Brown Thelma, the old lady on the plane with Lily ("Three Days of Snow") "Buffy" ("Doublemeat Palace") Creepy old lady
Phil Lewis Loan officer 'Dowisetrepla'. "Buffy" ("Beauty and the Beasts") Mr. Platt
Eric Bruskotter George ("Little Minnesota") "Angel" ("Provider") Brian
Adam Paul Mitch 'The Naked Man'. "Buffy" ("As You Were") Skanky Vampire

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