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Marshall was born and raised in St. Cloud, Minnesota. He became very close to his parents and was taught manners by them. He is also close to his brothers. His father was very tough on him as shown in Murtaugh when he wouldn't let Marshall go to sleep until he scored a hoop in basketball. His brothers also played basketball and baskiceball (a game that he and his family invented combining basketball and ice skating), along with intense wrestling.
Marshall smoked his first cigarette when he was 13. He is the slam dunk champion of Nicollet Country, Minnesota, with his trademark dunk the "White Windmill" and catchy name 'Vanilla Thunder'. Marshall was attracted to a girl in his class who was later revealed to have had him on "The Hook". Marshall only realised 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. Marshall got his brother's old Fierro for his 16th birthday, 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 them were extremely awkward-looking.
Marshall met Ted and Lily at college and the three became close 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 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 )
Marshall in 2020
In 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 2, 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.
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 of 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 skimp 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 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; 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's interest in film primarily consist of the original Star Wars films, but is also shown to become defensive when people criticize Field of Dreams . ( Little Boys )
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 jr would be 5, Daisy would be 3 and Eriksen 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. Marshall's kids would be Marvin jr would be 8, Daisy would be 6 and Eriksen third child would 4.
Marshall and Ted
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.
Marshall and Barney
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 on 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 border on inappropriateness (such as laughing about Barney's hypothetical naked sending-off after his death in Monday Night Football ).
Marshall still has two slaps that can be given at any time after the events of Slap Bet (he had 5, but the number was extended to 8 at Disaster Averted .
Marshall and Robin
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.
Notes and Trivia
- 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's 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.