George Van Smoot
Portrayed by:
First appearance:
Last appearance:
Also Known As:
The Captain
Colonel Mustard (by Marshall)
Zoey Pierson (ex-wife), Becky (fiancé)
Gallery of George Van Smoot images (11)

George Van Smoot, better known as The Captain, is the ex-husband of Zoey Pierson. He's a boating enthusiast and school friend of Arthur Hobbs.

Show Outline

Season 6

The Captain is introduced to Marshall and Barney in Natural History by Arthur Hobbs. Hobbs explains to them that he and The Captain met during a production of the musical Guys and Dolls.

In Blitzgiving, the gang finds out that he has a daughter named Hannah, who is Zoey's step-daughter. In the following episode, he takes Ted out on his boat to talk about Zoey. (The Mermaid Theory)

In Oh Honey, it is revealed that Zoey told The Captain that she is in love with someone else and they are getting a divorce.

In Garbage Island, the Captain mistakes Ted coming to pick up a box of Zoey's belongings for her that he has come to console The Captain over his loss. After much discussion, Ted reveals that he is the one who is dating Zoey.

Season 8

It's revealed that back in August 2011, Lily, Robin and Ted were at an art gallery The Captain was throwing. After Lily was interested in one of the newer paintings on display a year and a half before the artist became famous, The Captain hired Lily to be his new art consultant. By this point he is also shown to be in love with Becky. (The Ashtray)

In Romeward Bound, The Captain tells Lily that he is moving to Rome for a year, and would like her to accompany him as his art consultant. After some deliberation, Lily rejects his offer, as she thinks Marshall loves his job. Even after Marshall tells her that he is ready to move to Rome, Lily got scared of moving so far away, but Marshall convinces her to take the job offer from The Captain.

Season 9

In Daisy​, it's revealed that The Captain is happily engaged to Becky. Lily visited his manor the night before Barney and Robin's wedding and took a pregnancy test in his powder room, where she found out that she is pregnant with her second child. Ted, Marshall, Barney, Ranjit, and William Zabka show up at his manor the day of the wedding, and Marshall punches The Captain in the face, because Barney convinced Marshall that Lily cheated on him. It is at his manor that they learn about Lily's pregnancy. In a deleted scene, it is also revealed he keeps an old maritime tradition of leaving a pineapple by his front porch as a symbol of hospitality, and he also leaves one at the entrance to his town house in New York, solving the mystery of the pineapple from Season 1.


Episode Appearances

  1. Natural History (first appearance)
  2. Blitzgiving​ (mentioned only)
  3. The Mermaid Theory
  4. Oh Honey​ (photograph) 
  5. Garbage Island
  6. Landmarks (mentioned only)
  7. The Ashtray
  8. The Fortress
  9. Romeward Bound
  10. Daisy

Notes and Trivia

  • It's unknown if The Captain is affiliated with the Van Smoot House (where Lily and Marshall were married) or Jefferson Van Smoot (host of "the Van Smoot" party in Robots Versus Wrestlers).
  • The Van Smoot House was referenced in Best Prom Ever.
  • In The Naked Truth, when the magazine with Ted on the cover zooms in to show the headline about Garrison Cootes, one of the other headlines reads, "By George: is Van Smoot Van Smitten?" suggesting that The Captain has found love after Zoey. It was revealed in The Ashtray that it's Becky.
  • It's possible that The Captain is based on Jay Gatsby from The Great Gatsby.
  • It is said that The Captain and Arthur Hobbs both attended Phillips Exeter Academy.
  • The pineapple that Ted found in his bedroom was in The Captain's townhouse, that mystery was solved in a deleted scene in Daisy.

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