How I Met Your Father is what dreams are made of! The Hulu series dropped a major Easter egg in the latest episode — a tongue-and-cheek reference to one of Hilary Duff‘s most memorable TV roles, Lizzie McGuire.
In the episode, titled “A Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Valentine’s Day,” which saw the gang revisiting their worst Valentine’s Day experiences, Sophie (Duff) reflects on a memory from when she was 13 years old (nudge, nudge).
The scene then cuts to a very familiar-looking one from Lizzie McGuire, which happens to be the season 2 episode, “First Kiss,” where a teenage Lizzie (a younger Duff) goes through all the stages of a relationship in mere days. In the Lizzie McGuire callback, Lizzie is too busy doing the whole “No, you hang up first” exchange over the phone with a boy to notice her friend, Miranda (Lalaine), getting increasingly annoyed by the second.
While the scene then cuts back to present-day How I Met Your Father as Sophie’s friends lose interest in her bad Valentine’s Day experience, Lizzie McGuire fans will know that that romance didn’t end well as the boy on the other end of the phone call later admits to Lizzie he’s interested in someone else at his own high school. Teenage heartbreak hurts.
“I’m really excited for that!” Duff exclaimed to ET’s Denny Directo in February on the How I Met Your Father set when asked about the Lizzie McGuire throwback.
The 35-year-old actress revealed that it was the producers’ idea to include the nod to her past role.
“Isaac [Aptaker] and Elizabeth [Berger] reached out to me and they’re like, ‘What do you think for the Valentine’s episode to throw in a clip from Lizzie since we have footage of that?'” Duff recalled, adding she was “110 percent” down with the cheeky reference. “And I was like, ‘Of course. Yes.'”
However, when it came time to do the table read for the episode, Duff admitted it completely slipped her mind that the flashback would be included. She accidentally skipped over the line about the flashback, prompting people to believe she didn’t want to do it.
“On the table read day, I had just grabbed an old script. And my line was missing. And so when I had to do the Lizzie voice…,” she shared.
“What happened was she’s like, ‘It’s the Lizzie McGuire flashback,’ and she just turns the page,” co-star Chris Lowell, who was part of the interview, chimed in.
“But then I was like, ‘Wait, the next page isn’t making sense.’ And then I’m looking around and everyone’s looking so weird to me. And I’m like, ‘I think I have the wrong script.’ And everyone was like, [sighs],” Duff remembered.
Though plans for a planned Lizzie McGuire revival was scrapped at Disney in 2020 due to creative differences, Duff continues to leave the door open to revisit that world.
“I never say never is all I will say,” she said.
Duff acknowledged her life changed drastically once the original show launched on Disney Channel in 2001.
“Obviously there was a moment where I couldn’t go anywhere,” she reflected. “I was like, ‘I guess I made it.’ And then my music career, being onstage in arenas, selling them out. I was like, ‘I made it.’ There was a time I couldn’t get a job and I was back to Earth, here we go, and so it’s been a really big roller-coaster ride. It’s hard to get jobs and it’s hard to constantly stay at a certain level. So I actually just am really appreciative of having to always fight [for every job], you know?”
New episodes of How I Met Your Father drop Tuesdays on Hulu.
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