How I Met Your Mother Casts a Pretty Little Love For [Spoiler]! Plus: Rachel Bilson Returning?

Ashley Benson How I Met Your MotherHas How I Met Your Mother found Barney a pretty little new sweetheart?

Pretty Little Liars starlet Ashley Benson has lined up a Season 8 guest spot on the hit CBS comedy, TVLine has confirmed.

PHOTOS | How I Met Your Mother: Barney’s New Romance Heats Up, Plus a Buffy Reunion!

Benson will play an unconventional love interest for one member of the gang in the Jan. 21 episode. Which member? In announcing the casting news Wednesday night, CBS tweeted that she will be… “Barney’s ????” Hmm… 

Meanwhile, a rep for the show would neither confirm or deny buzz that Rachel Bilson is poised to return as Cindy, the roommate of Ted’s future bride — but consider this: Earlier this week, HIMYM co-creator Carter Bays told that Ted will run into someone from his past who will have a “big influence on his search for the mother.”

The Hart of Dixie star last appeared in a Season 6 installment during which she revealed — after a brief flirtation with Ted — that she’s a lesbian.

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  1. Tina says:

    I was going to say Barney’s sister, they did say unconventional love interest, could this be the mysterious mother, maybe. happy to hear Rachael Bilson is coming back, since she for certain knows the mother. I’m still hoping we see Stella one more time though, even if its just so Ted can get mad at her for The Wedding bride.

  2. Mac19 says:

    She could be the sister we never met,

  3. irishgirl29 says:

    Jeez! She’s obviously Barney’s sister and I bet she’ll be a love interest for Ted.

  4. Leena says:

    This is all kinds of exciting!

  5. katy917 says:

    Deffo his sister!!

  6. S says:

    Kinda funny if she plays Barney’s sister, esp since Lucy Hale played Robin’s sister

  7. Steph says:

    Ashley Benson = Barney’s sister. All lines up with Rachel Bilson (the mother’s roommate) coming back into the picture!

  8. hello says:

    Barney’s sister and Cindy’s girlfriend?

  9. Toby says:

    Sarah Michelle Gellar was on the set of HIMYM today…

  10. Pickles says:

    Definitely Barney’s sister.
    All makes sense. She’ll be a love interest for Ted (possibly the mom???)

  11. dou says:

    I’m so happy that Rachel Bilson is returning.. I aways thought that the mother’s roommate should have had a bigger part…

  12. Sarah says:

    Oh I hope she’s not Barney’s sister! I so wanted his sister to be the mother.

  13. Alan says:

    if she is barney’s sister then she better not meet ted during this episode because she has to be the mother, its the only logical reason for all this barney-robin drama taking over the show

    • madhatter360 says:

      I think it’d be great if she’s Barney’s sister but for some reason or another Ted never ends up meeting her, even though the rest of the group does. Then they meet at the train station and at McLarens he tells his friends about the great cool girl he met, and how he invited her to come meet them. And then the truth comes out.

    • Jo says:

      Amen, brother.

      Seriously, if I had to suffer through all this Barney/Robin horribleness only for Barney’s sister to be a red herring, I’ll be greatly annoyed.

  14. John says:

    I know it’s the founding premise of the show but….. meh. I like Rachel and I’d be interested to see some post-marriage Ted plus One but all the detours have worn me out.

  15. RobMF says:

    I have a hard time seeing her as the mother. I love Ashley Benson but I can’t really see that.

    • dude says:

      Agreed. Love Ashley but would find her as the mother hugely disappointing. It needs to be someone big like Anne Hathaway or something to leave a big impression.

      • Mike says:

        Hell no! I want the mother to be either unknown or relatively less famous star a la Ashley Benson maybe, te mother is not supposed to be important because of what she looks like but for who she is. So I am 100% against them casting an A lister for the mother.

        • Alan says:

          got to agree. i think we’ve had more than enough pointless stunt casting on the show (*cough*britney Spears cant act*cough*), they should just cast who ever they think is best for the role rather than trying to grab headlines

  16. Greg says:

    She could be Rachel Bilson’s roommate and Barney’s sister who is at college.

  17. Brittany says:

    I firmly believe that Barney’s sister ends up being the mother due to all the different story lines and hints coming together, so if Ashley Benson ends up being Barney’s sister, I hope they dye her hair brown. Remember in the almost-wedding to Stella episode, during a scene with future Ted and the kids, their hair color changes to blonde when Ted jokes that Stella was the mother reveal.

  18. justsomegirl says:

    I really hope this is Barney’s half sister Carly, that way, they can put this “Carly’s the mother!” Theory to rest. It was an awesome theory when it first came out, but I think the writers are too tricky to settle for the easiest solution. She can’t be a love interest for Barney either because I think it’s safe to say Robin and Barney will be engaged next week! Can’t wait!

  19. Priya says:

    There’s no way Barney’s sister is the mother. This is clearly the way it’s going down here: Ashley is playing Carly, Barney’s half-sister (his Dad’s daughter). This is completely unconnected to the Mother, who Ted meets at Barney & Robin’s wedding – probably because she’s in the band. And Cindy, who we know was the mother’s roommate at the time Ted met Cindy, probably comes back into the picture and recommends the Mother’s band to Barney and then she and Ted meet for the first time at Farhampton station.

    Ashley’s not playing the mother here, guys.

  20. shaun says:

    If it’s Barney’s sister and the sister ends up being the roommate of Cindy(Rachel Bilson) then it would make even more sense that Ted refers to Barney & Robin as Aunt & Uncle.

  21. Gilda says:

    But…if he meets the mother in January, that just seems anticlimactic. It should be in the season finale. But it seems like she’ll be the sister and I’m attached to the idea of the sister as the mother.

    • Mike says:

      If Ashley benson even ends up being the mother she and Ted won’t necessarily meet in her first episode or until the finale.

    • Kendall says:

      Except having it be Barney’s sister is one of the only ways she could be introduced to the audience long before she meets Ted (I don’t really care about getting to know her, but A LOT of people do). It would be very easy to have her interact with Barney many times and not meet Ted until much later. How they wouldn’t actually meet until they were on the train platform after the wedding reception is over is a bit more tricky.

  22. paula says:

    She can’t be the mother, Ted made it clear when she was dating Stella that the mother is not blonde. So not SMG or Ashley Benson. And also Ted meets the mother after Robin is married so he can move on

  23. Mich says:

    I hope Ashley Benson is JUST Barney’s sister. I want Lizzy Caplan to be The Mother!

  24. Chez says:

    I think Mila Kunis should play the mother. The daughter in the show has some resemblence to her. Also the mother can have blonde hair because whose to say thats her natural colour. I do like the idea of barneys sister being the mother but if they don’t meet till the train platform then it wouldn’t really work I don’t think. Def like the idea that she is in the band at the wedding. That way they wouldn’t interact together and bumping into her at the train station he would recognise her and have a reason to speak to her.

  25. Dw Dunphy says:

    The mother is Cindy’s roommate in college. If the roommate happened to be Barney’s sister, the show has just shot off it’s foot.

  26. Azerty says:

    If she is playing Barney’s sister I hope we will see John Ligthow aka Barney’s father again! Ashley Benson could be great as Barney’s sister but then I hope she won’t be the mother, for me she is way too young for Ted. (but maybe that’s because I picture her as the 17 yo in Pretty Little Liars). The return of Rachel Bilson makes sense if we consider the theory that the mother is in the wedding band. Especially since one episode in February is called “Band or DJ?”. I like the theory that Cindy recommends her roomate’s band during that episode.

  27. Little Scarf Girl says:

    While I would normally say it’s too “neat” for Barney’s sister to end up being the mother, there are certain events that led to Barney meeting his father (which would also lead to him meeting his sister). If he hadn’t been goofing off with Robin in the museum, he never would have found out that his Uncle Jerry was really his father. And they were all only at the museum because all the guys worked at GNB. Ted wouldn’t have accepted the GNB job if he been working somewhere other than the university as a professor, and we know he wouldn’t have gotten the job without knowing Stella, who he only met because of the butterfly tattoo, that he only got because he broke up with Robin, who he met in the first episode. It’s a little bit of a stretch to connect it all, but it works. Also, meeting Robin at the bar in the first episode is important not only because Ted dated her and set off the chain of events, but also because Barney was the one that introduced them that night, and we know he ends up marrying her. Even so, it’s probably better that the mother end up being someone else, to make the love story seem even more epic since they only would have met through a particular series of events.

    • Alan says:

      this is exactly why the mother has to be barney’s sister, it actually seems like they had it all planned when you lay it out like that, otherwise it will just seem like they pulled it out of their ass and most of the shows run will just seem pointless

  28. Jo says:

    Am I missing something??? When did Barney ever say he had a sister? Confused lol… Plus not to burst any bubbles, but in no way is Ashley Benson the mother… huge age difference and I don’t see it !

    • Little Scarf Girl says:

      Barney’s dad offhandedly mentioned his daughter that was away at college when he showed Barney a family photo. We’ve met his son (JJ), but the daughter (Carly) has never been introduced.

  29. Shutupsluts says:

    I hope Ashley Benson isn’t barney’s half sister if the half sister theory is correct. If she was a former love interest for barney, i feel like it would be weird that barney had an “unconventional” (meaning “out of the ordinary”) love for his half sister. If she is Barney’s half sister, maybe the word unconventional could have a different meaning. The word unconventional, meaning “out of the ordinary”, could suggest that barney’s unconventional love for his half sister means that his love for her was “out of the ordinary” because even though barney may/may not have met her yet, he truly loves her without even knowing much about her. That could be the conventional love part that barney has for Ashley Benson. This is one reason why I can see Ashley Benson actually be barney’s half sister who Ted ends up marrying though. Thoughts??