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Marshall Eriksen is a fictional character created by Carter Bays and Craig Thomas for the CBS television series How I Met Your Mother, portrayed by Jason Segel. He is Ted Mosby's best friend and Lily Aldrin's husband. Marshall is a lawyer with a dream of practicing environmental law to save the environment, but is currently working in the corporate sector to earn some money for himself and Lily.

Character history Edit

Marshall met Ted Mosby and Lily Aldrin on the first day of their freshman year at Wesleyan University. He is a Columbia Law School graduate originally from St. Cloud, Minnesota. In Season Four, he reveals that he is the slam dunk champion of Nicollet County, Minnesota, with his trademark dunk the "White Windmill". He can no longer dunk because he has dancer's hip. Even though he's six-foot-four, he is the shortest male member of his family. 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.

Marshall often uses the word "lawyered" whenever he makes a point in an argument using facts and numbers. The term has become somewhat of a catchphrase for him.

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 mid-season 2, get re-engaged, and are actually married for 12 seconds in the episode "Atlantic City." Their wedding takes place during the last two episodes of season 2.

Marshall accidentally shot Lily in the eye with a champagne cork the night he proposed. Another time, he (also accidentally) stabbed her with a sword during an impromptu duel with Ted over who had the rights to the apartment after Marshall and Lily got married.

Marshall is very good at games, as shown in the episode "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". It is revealed in Season 1 that he, his brothers and his dad also play a made-up game every Thanksgiving: BaskIceBall, although Marshall states it's just an excuse for the men in his family to hit each other. When the gang was gambling in Atlantic City in the episode "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, as shown in "Arrivederci, Fiero". Marshall won even while he was sleeping. Also, Marshall is an extremely good dancer, as seen in the episode "Okay Awesome", he spent a few minutes in the bathroom looking for painkillers, and came out in an euphoric state.

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 has an interest in and fear of the supernatural in general, specifically cryptozoology. He gives great credibility to ghost stories, to the point of being openly fearful when others describe encounters. Marshall and Lily took their honeymoon in Scotland in order for him to search for the Loch Ness Monster. In fact, it is implied that Marshall eventually accomplishes one of his major life dreams by capturing the Loch Ness Monster, as a flashforward to the future reveals a framed newspaper clipping behind Marshall with the headline reading "NYC Lawyer captures Nessie." He refuses to visit the Pacific Northwest of the United States because of his fear of Sasquatch, although he claims that he is not really afraid, but merely thinks that everyone should "be on alert."

Marshall is coerced into interviewing for a job at the corporation Barney works for after Lily ruins a very expensive wedding dress. This effectively derails his plan to intern at the Natural Resources Defense Council (or "hippie lawyers from granola mountain earth pals", according to Barney Stinson). When he was sixteen, he got his Fiero from his older brothers after several "tests." A cassette tape of The Proclaimers' "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" got stuck in the tape deck of the Fiero and played on repeat for years. Ironically, the cassette upon which the song is recorded is finally ejected as Marshall pays the car his last respects after it stopped dead just before reaching 200,000 miles. It is revealed at the end of this episode that as a teenager, Marshall inserted the tape claiming it was the best song ever, and that he would never get sick of it.

Marshall uses the Yiddish phrases "oy" and "oy gevalt" in season 1 episode 21.

Marshall gets erections whenever he flosses, due to Lily's conditioning him to have good oral hygiene with sex.

Marshall may be a Chumbawamba fan since Ted made an exaggeration about Barney being "stuck in [his] head like a Chumbawamba song", Marshall asks which song to Ted and Barney's surprise. Also, when the group are sitting at the chinese restaurant that was formerly Lily´s apartment, eating dinner in season 1 episode 8, one of Lily´s old mixtapes that she got from Marshall in college is playing in the background. Marshall says: "I love this song, I haven't heard this since forever." Lily tells him that it´s probably a song from a mixtape he gave her, and he responds by just saying: "Yeah, right". Later in the song a message from Marshall to Lily is played: "I love you Lily, Happy Valentines Day in 1998". The song played is Tubthumping by Chumbawamba.

Early YearsEdit

Marshall is the youngest of three boys. He grew up in St. Cloud, Minnesota. It is strongly suggested that Marshall had somewhat of a violent childhood. Along with two older brothers and his father, Marshall played a violent game that his family had invented, called Bask-Ice-Ball. This game had no rules and was merely an excuse for the men to all "wail on each other" using instruments such as ice skates, lacrosse sticks, basketballs, and mallets as weapons. Marshall was put through a series of painful challenges by his brothers in order to inherit their Fiero.

Marshall and his brothers frequently engaged in extreme fighting matches. Despite the fact that Marshall had acquired some powerful combat skills as a result of these fights with his brothers, he does not enjoy using those skills. This was displayed when Marshall encountered another man dabbing Lily's backside in order to remove a grape stain. Marshall threatened to attack the man, but after realizing the man was gay, he was overcome with relief and claimed to have "never been in a fight before". The only situation in which Marshall uses his fighting skills is to protect his best friend, Ted. While stuffing wedding invitations, Marshall promises Ted that he would have his back in a fight. This proved to be true when Marshall assisted Ted in a fight against Doug, a bartender at McClaren's Pub, in the episode 'The Fight'.

Romantic interests Edit

Lily Aldrin : Marshall and Lily met at Wesleyan University. They dated, fell in love and -- as one flashback shows -- lost their virginity to each other. They stayed together for 10 years. They planned to get married earlier but Lily got cold feet and backed out, deciding instead to go to San Francisco for an internship. She later returns, though at first Marshall refuses to take her back. When Ted's parents come to town, she and Marshall have sex with each other.

Marshall and Lily recently married in two wedding ceremonies. The first ceremony was their ideal wedding, a small outdoor wedding, which was only witnessed by Robin and Ted whilst Barney performed the ceremony. The pressure of getting married gone, Marshall and Lily went inside to have the larger wedding merely for the benefit of everyone who had come to the wedding. Lily plans to keep her maiden name.

Future Ted has shown Marshall and Lily as an old couple, still happily married in 2029. As a married couple they share everything with each other. A running gag of the show (that starts in the second episode of the first season) consists of Lily and Marshall planning with each other to have sexual relations, only for the camera to back up and reveal Ted is listening, saying "Please don't", which they often ignore (this happened even at their wedding, and the first time this happened was revealed to be when Marshall and Lily lost their virginity to each other).

The Slap Bet Edit

Barney lost a Slap Bet to Marshall over whether or not Robin was a porn star in Canada. His punishment was a choice of having to receive 5 slaps from Marshall that may be doled out at any time from then to eternity, or 10 slaps at that moment in time. Barney chose the former, meaning Marshall would be able to slap him 5 times at any time. After each slap, Marshall has held up a corresponding number of digits on his hand and said how many slaps Barney has received thus far.

  1. Barney was first slapped in "Slap Bet" after witnessing a tender moment between Robin & Ted.
  2. Barney was slapped in "Stuff" after writing a play entitled Suck It, Lily in order to force Lily to admit that it was a terrible play. The play ended when Marshall slapped Barney.
  3. The third slap occurred on the "Slapsgiving" episode. Barney thought that he had escaped Marshall's third slap because Lily (the slap bet commissioner) said that no slaps could occur on a holiday. After Barney began taunting Marshall about the fact that he wasn't allowed to slap him, Lily changed her mind and permitted the slap to occur. Marshall slapped Barney and then sang a song about it with piano accompaniment.

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