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Barney Stinson

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Barney Stinson
Portrayed by:
Neil Patrick Harris
Tanner Maguire (Child)
Riley Thomas Stewart (Child)
First appearance:
Last appearance:
Full name:
Barney Stinson, Barney Whittaker
Also Known As:
Jack Package, The Commodore, Ted Mosby - Architect, Barry, Lorenzo Von Matterhorn, Barack Obama Jr., Neil Armstrong, Kristof Doppelganger, Mrs. Stinsfire, Jack Fantastic, Arnie Linson, Barn, The Barn Door, The Barnacle, Barnito Supreme, Broda, Jennifer, Swarley, Swarles, Swarhili, Bob Swarley-man, Swar-lay, Swarles Barkley, Swarlos, Swarlitos, Swarshmallow, Keyser Soze, The President of the United States of America, B-Dawg, Stinson-Natti, Bro-hio, Diaper Man, Swarleze Theron, Barnabus Stinson, Jim Nacho, Barney Westside
Home town:
Staten Island, New York
Between 1974-1976[1]
see List of Barney's romances
Robin Scherbatsky (ex-wife)
Shannon (ex-girlfriend)
Nora (ex-girlfriend)
Quinn Garvey (ex-fiancée)
Gallery of Barney Stinson images (1,090)

Barnabus "Barney" Stinson (born 1974-76[1]), is a one of the five main characters of How I Met Your Mother, portrayed by Neil Patrick Harris. He first met Ted Mosby in MacLaren's Pub in 2001, and since meeting him, he has been a big part of the gang and believes he's Ted's best friend. Before slowly wanting to settle down, he was a serial womanizer who could not stand the idea of commitment and would do extremely elaborate acts and lies purely to sleep with other women. His unique personality and elaborate techniques for seducing women are a constant source of humor (typically for Marshall), amazement (typically for Ted), and disgust (typically for Lily) to the rest of the group. Though he can be really mean to some of the women he has one night stands with, he has shown he can be very kind and loving to his friends as seen in Sandcastles in the Sand with Robin and in Sweet Taste of Liberty with Ted, and traveling to San Francisco to convince Lily to get back together with Marshall. He can also go very far to help a friend in trouble such as with Robin in The Possimpible. As of Last Forever - Part One, he is divorced to Robin.

Character Background


Barney was born sometime between 1974 and 1976 and grew up in Staten Island.[2] Barney was raised by his single mother, Loretta Stinson, with his older brother, James. James and Barney asked their mother why they had different skin colors, but she would either lie to them with impossible and illogical reasons or attempt to change the subject. Barney would also ask his mother who his father was. Eventually, she would tell Barney that Bob Barker was his father. On July 23, 1981, Barney's actual father, Jerome Whittaker, took Barney to the National History Museum under the belief he was his "Uncle Jerry". The six year old Barney knocked down the blue whale that was hung from the museum's ceiling by throwing a triceratops' rib at it. When he was returned back to his mother, she was furious and Barney never saw his father again and was told that he moved away. The last words that his uncle told him before he left were "Never stop partying". Throughout his childhood, Barney was constantly lied to by his mother to protect his feelings; for example Barney was told by his mother that he couldn't play basketball because he was too good and it wasn't fair for the other kids, but in reality his coach didn't want him on the team. Barney was also not a popular child and was always picked on. In the seventh grade, Barney was being picked on by Matthew Panning, who was bragging about how he had sex with 100 girls. In response, Barney told Matthew Panning that he would one day sleep with 200 girls, a promise he fulfills. Because Barney grew up in the city, he never learned how to drive.

Early Adulthood

Hippie barney

Barney in 1998

In 1998, Barney had graduated college and was working with his college girlfriend, Shannon, in a coffee shop. Barney had grown up to be somewhat of a hippie. He had planned to join the Peace Corps with Shannon and go to Nicaragua and lose their virginity to one another after they got married. After Shannon did not show up for their departure to Nicaragua, Barney went looking for her. When he found her, she told him that her father, who was still financially supporting her, wouldn't allow her to leave and told him to go on without her. As Barney was leaving, he decided to go back to the coffee shop to try convince her one more time. When he arrived, he discovered she had in fact been cheating on him with a man named Greg, who had earlier told Barney that the key to picking up women was money and suits. Barney then made a video where he sings a song trying to convince her to get back together with him, but it didn't work and when he sees her, both she and Greg laugh at him.
The yips - Barney and James

Barney gets advice from James

After being made a fool of, Barney goes to James for advice. James tells Barney that he needs to lose his virginity and suggests that he loses it to their mother's 45-year-old friend Rhonda French, who would constantly talk about the guys she slept with in front of them and had the nickname, "The Man Maker". Barney slept with Rhonda, losing his virginity at the age of 23. Barney's dress style and personality would then radically change and be similar to Greg, the man that took Shannon away from him, and make him the man he is currently. At an unknown time between 1998 and 2001, Barney quit his job at the coffee shop and became an employee of the AltruCell Corporation. He would then get Greg arrested.

Joining the Gang

How i met everyone else - ted and barney

Ted and Barney's first meeting

In 2001, Barney met Ted Mosby in the men's bathroom at MacLaren's. At the urinal, Barney told Ted a fake story about this being the first time he took his deaf brother out since their mother died and how he puts his dreams on hold to take care of him. Ted believed the story, which surprised Barney and admitted that he made up the story while peeing. Barney asked Ted for his name and before leaving the bathroom he told Ted that he likes him.

Past ted and barney

Barney tells Ted that he's going to teach him how to live

Fifteen minutes later, Barney sat down next to Ted and told him that he's going to teach him how to live. After which he introduced himself and reminded Ted that they met at the urinal. Barney then told Ted to lose his goatee, get a suit, and to not even think about getting married until he's 30 years old. Barney then told Ted to be silent for the next five minutes as a blonde woman, named Audrey, arrived. Barney then told Audrey that Ted is his deaf brother, Edward. He then became frightened when Audrey started talking to Ted in sign language. Ted surprised Barney when he replied back in sign language. Barney believed that Ted went along with Barney's lie and got Audrey to give Barney her number. Even though the number was fake, Barney considered it a sign that he and Ted were meant to be each other's wingmen forever. After this Ted and Barney started their friendship. What really happened was that Ted told Audrey that Barney was lying and told her to give Barney a fake phone number. Soon after, Barney met Marshall Eriksen and Lily Aldrin.

Show Outline

Season 1

Barney's actions affect the future of the entire gang in Pilot. Using his "Have you met Ted?" line, he introduces Ted Mosby to Robin Scherbatsky. Ted's infatuation along with his failed attempt to make Robin his girlfriend, would lead to her becoming a permanent member of the gang. Although Ted decides to continue pursuing Robin, Barney tries to convince Ted to do otherwise and allow him to teach him "how to live" so he'll sleep with other girls.

In Sweet Taste of Liberty, Barney gets Ted to stop their usual routine of going to MacLaren's Pub and instead go to an airport to meet women at baggage claim. Thinking they could get with two women going to Philadelphia, the two of them get on the plane, only to figure out in mid-flight that the women they followed already had boyfriends that played for the Eagles. When they land, they are detained by airport security because they left their suitcase at the baggage claim of the airport they left. Airport security thought they might be terrorists and that the suitcase had a bomb in it. Eventually, they were released and they met a security guard that guarded the Liberty Bell, which gave Barney the idea that he and Ted should lick it and be the only two people to have ever had licked the Liberty Bell. A frustrated Ted refuses and tells Barney that he can go by himself. Barney explains that Ted has to go with him because he's his best friend and that without him he's the "dynamic uno". Ted finally agrees and the two of them lick the Liberty Bell. Barney would continue to try have more adventures with Ted to make him forget about Robin. Later on, he would try to get Ted to go with him to the Victoria Secret Halloween Party in Slutty Pumpkin and have him take five shots so he'll stop thinking about Robin and act on impulse, which ending up getting him to sleep with Trudy in The Pineapple Incident.

Barney's attempts to get Ted to enjoy single life ultimately fail when Ted gets into a relationship with Victoria. In Zip, Zip, Zip, Barney chooses to have Robin to replace Ted and act as his temporary bro/wingman. Both he and Robin bond after Barney learns more about her, such as her knowledge of cigars and how they both cheated in Battleship as kids, and they play laser tag. Seeing how compatible their personalities are, Barney asks Ted if he would mind if he slept with Robin. After Ted gives his "blessing", Barney turns down a girl that Robin hooks him up with so he can be with her instead. Robin takes him back to her apartment to play Battleship, but Barney interprets "play Battleship" as sex. Robin gets disturbed by how much it would make sense for them to have a sexual relationship, but gets more upset after Barney explains that Ted didn't mind that Barney was making a move on her. Barney notices this and realizes that Robin has developed romantic feelings for Ted. After realizing this, Barney stops his pursuit and plays Battleship with Robin, promising to not tell Ted about her secret.

Barney's video

Barney's video being watched in The apartment

In Game Night, the rest of gang and Victoria learn more about Barney's past after Lily runs into his ex-girlfriend, Shannon, and she is given the tape that Barney made Shannon to win her back. In exchange for hearing everyone's most embarrassing stories, Barney tells them about his past. He explains that in 1998, he and Shannon had plans to join the Peace Corps and lose their virginity to each other after they got married. He then tells them that Shannon didn't join the Peace Corps with him and he discovered that she had been cheating on him for weeks with a man named Greg. Being dumped, changed him into the man he is today. After telling his story, he told the gang that after he ran out on them when they were watching his video, he found Shannon. When he and Shannon met, Shannon told him that her relationship with Greg didn't last and that she got pregnant and had a son. After Barney tells the others how happy he is that he's not with Shannon and a father, he tells them that he slept with her. Lily doesn't believe him at first and believes that his meeting with Shannon had him question his life style, until Barney shows her the video of them having sex that he took with his cellphone.

In Cupcake, Barney tricks Marshall into buying an extremely expensive suit that he can't afford so he'll come work with him at his company. Although Marshall initially refuses, he has no choice but to take the internship position in the legal department at Barney's company when Lily ruins an expensive wedding dress. In Life Among the Gorillas, when Marshall starts his internship, Barney helps him fit in when he learns that Marshall gets made fun of by his coworkers.

Ted finnaly gets some rain

Barney with Ted after he made it rain

In Come On, when Ted decides to ruin Robin's camping trip with Sandy Rivers so he can finally win her over, he asks Barney to contact an ex-lover of his, Penelope, so she can teach him how to do a rain dance. After Ted does a rain dance for hours, Barney tries to get him to stop and tells him that it won't. When Ted starts yelling at the "universe" and finally rains, Barney is surprised and yells, "Oh, come on!". He is later seen hooking up with Penelope at MacLaren's.

Season 2

Barney is initially upset for Marshall after Lily leaves him to attend an art fellowship in San Francisco, but gets excited when he realizes that this might me the only time that he, Ted, and Marshall are single at the same time. His happiness is short-lived though when he realizes that Ted and Robin are now a couple.

In The Scorpion and the Toad, Barney takes a single Marshall out to meet women at bars. Unfortunately, every time Marshall starts to get comfortable and is doing well with the woman, Barney impresses them with magic and sleeps with them instead. Marshall does get his revenge on Barney, but having Lily pose as pair twins that he gave chlamydia to while he tries to take home a pair of twins at MacLaren's.

In Brunch, Barney meets Ted's parents, Virginia and Alfred, for the first time. Barney seems to have impressed the two of them more than Robin, which irritates her greatly. He then reveals to Ted that his dad made out with Wendy from MacLaren's. This caused Ted to confront his father and learn that his parents are divorced and that his mother is currently dating someone else. When Ted, Robin, and his parents went outside to talk, Barney mentioned to Lily and Marshall that he had forgotten that Alfred had told him that he was divorced.

Barney's bedroom

Barney giving Lily a tour of his place

In World's Greatest Couple, due to Lily's awful apartment, she asks Barney to stay at his place. Barney is hesitant, but seeing how desperate she is; he allowed her to stay one night in his apartment. The next day, a unemployed "hippie chick" that Barney had a one-night stand with was resistant to all his woman-repellents that he had in his apartment (his professionally-lit porn collection, having no food or drinks in his refrigerator, his toilet seat that automatically goes back up, and having only one towel, blanket, and pillow). Barney didn't know what to do, but she left on her own when Lily walked through his front door and Lily thought she was his wife. After realizing that Lily is ultimate woman-repellent, he offered Lily the chance to stay in his apartment indefinitely as long as she posed as his wife to get rid of his one-night stands after he's done with them. Lily accepted and eventually was able to get Barney to change his apartment to make it more comfortable for her, but told him it was to make their fake marriage more believable.

Barney watching Letterman with Lily, his fake wife

Two weeks passed, after buying his bed brand new Italian sheets and pillows for his bed, he, instead of going out, joins Lily on his bed and watches Letterman with her. They fall asleep, but scream when they wake up in the morning. Barney initially thinks they slept together, but Lily looks under the covers and tells him that they just fell asleep. But Barney becomes even more disturbed because he slept in the same bed as a woman and didn't make a move and accuses her of "spooning" him against his will. He goes on saying that because they redecorated his place, stayed in on a Friday night to watch Letterman, and slept together but didn't have sex that can only mean that they're in a relationship. Lily is amazed at what Barney thinks is a relationship then explains she thinks that he's terrified by the idea that he let down his guard around her and let her in. Barney quickly agrees and tells her to leave. She says that he can't kick her out, but she did leave after he agreed to give her all new things he bought to redecorate his apartment.
First slap

The first slap of the Slap Bet

In Slap Bet after the rest of the gang learn that Robin doesn't like malls, Barney and Marshall argue over the reason why. Barney believes it's because Robin did porn in Canada, while Marshall believes it's because she got married in a Canadian mall. They decide to do a slap bet based on whose right and make Lily the Slap Bet Commissioner. Marshall slaps Barney when Robin told Ted that she was married, but Barney slaps him back three times after it's revealed that she lied and that Marshall tried to hide that fact from him. After Barney gets a hold of the Robin Sparkles video and plays it for the gang, Barney slaps Marshall because it starts out like porno. Robin continues the video showing that it's a music video and Robin was a teenage, Canadian pop star. Because Barney prematurely slapped Marshall, Lily gives him the choice of receiving ten slaps immediately or five slaps that are open to Marshall for all eternity. Barney chooses the five slaps option. Later, while watching the music video again, Marshall surprisingly slaps Barney using up the first slap.

Second slap

Marshall uses the second slap of the Slap Bet

In Stuff, Barney hurts Lily's feelings after telling Lily his honest opinion that her play was awful. When Lily tells him that she would've said something nice if it was his play, which Barney takes on as a challenge. Later, Barney has the rest of the gang come and see his one-man show called, Suck it Lily. Eventually, Lily cracks and admits that it's awful. Even though he proved Lily wrong, Barney obviously shows that he wants to perform the second act to his play. Lily convinces the rest of the gang to stay for Barney's second act. Later, while Barney is performing the second act, Marshall walks up to Barney and uses the second slap of Slap Bet.

In Moving Day, when Ted is about to move into Robin's apartment, Barney attempts to convince Ted not to do it. Ted tells Barney that this going to happen so he might as well help move out his things. Barney agrees, but he then leaves and steals the rental moving truck, which was filled with most Ted's possessions. Later, Barney calls up Ted and forces him to hand out and bros' night out. Although hesitant to admit it, Ted enjoyed hanging out with Barney. Barney also made him realize that Ted and Robin aren't ready to live together.

In Bachelor Party, ignoring Marshall's pleas for a normal bachelor party, Barney interferes with Ted's bachelor party plans and ruins the party. A furious Marshall questions why the two of them are even friends. After hearing this, Lily reveals that Barney secretly came to San Francisco and bought Lily a plane ticket back to New York and told her to come back since Marshall is the best man he knew and it wouldn't be long till another woman would see that. Marshall, touched for what Barney did for him and Lily, made Barney and Ted co-best men for his wedding.

In Showdown, Barney is chosen to be on the Price is Right. Noticing how obsessed he is with being perfect for the show, the gang asks him why he needs to be perfect. Barney reveals to the gang that his mother told him when he was a boy that Bob Barker is his father. Later on, the entire gang is watching the Price is Right episode that Barney is in. Barney wins every single prize, all of which he gives to Marshall and Lily as wedding gifts. At the end of the episode, Barney is about to tell Bob Barker that he is son, but instead congratulates him on 35 years of hosting the show. The gang asks Barney why he didn't tell Bob Barker the "truth", which he answers that it would upset him.

Something borrowed

Barney marrying Marshall and Lily

In Something Borrowed, after several disasters occur right before Lily and Marshall's wedding, they decide to get married outside and before their actual wedding ceremony. Barney, who is licensed to legally marry couples, marries Marshall and Lily with Ted and Robin being the only witnesses.

In Something Blue, Barney learns that Robin and Ted have been withholding a secret from the rest of the gang. Barney, determined to find out the secret, eventually comes to the conclusion that Robin is pregnant. Barney becomes upset at the idea of Ted being a father and missing out on great adventures to take care of the child. Ted and Robin then reveal the truth that the two of them broke up. Barney is at first upset for Ted, but quickly excited after Ted tells him that he'll need a wingman.

Season 3


Marshall delivers the third slap on the first Slapsgiving

With Ted single again, Barney resumes his position as Ted's wingman and tries to get him over his breakup with Robin. On Thanksgiving, Barney receives the third slap of the slap bet that he lost to Marshall, who renamed the day as Slapsgiving. Barney would then get into a slump of his own when he reunites with Rhonda French, the woman who took his virginity. His confidence is destroyed and gets "the yips" when he learns that his sexual encounter with Rhonda wasn't memorable and that his brother James had to have sex with her first before she slept with him. He would later regain his confidence after he sleeps Rhonda again and she tells him that he really did "rock her world".

Ted hits barney

Ted hits Barney before ending their friendship

Barney would run into more trouble after an unknown woman keeps foiling his attempts to sleep with new women. Even after tracking down and "apologizing" to the four women he treated the worst to, he still couldn't figure out who the unknown woman was. Later, he would comfort Robin after being dumped by her ex-boyfriend, Simon, again. This would lead to him betraying Ted after he and Robin sleep together. Filled with guilt, Robin would tell Ted, which leads him to end his friendship with Barney completely. While trying to get over his destroyed friendship, Barney learns that the unknown woman is Abby and the two bond over their "hatred" towards Ted. They pretend to be in a relationship to anger Ted, but the plan fails.


Ted and Barney make up

In the season finale , Lily informs Barney that Ted was involved in a car crash. As soon as he hears this, Barney left his business meeting and ran all the way to the hospital. When he makes it to the hospital, Barney is hit by a bus and put in a full body cast. The rest of the gang find him in the hospital and Barney begs Ted if they can be friends again. Ted, touched by Barney's actions, tells him that they're more than friends, they're brothers and the two hug. After Ted left to find Stella, Marshall asked Barney what his last thoughts were in his near-death experience. Although Marshall and Lily believed his last thoughts would be about about boobs, money, and suits, it's shown that his last thoughts were about Robin.

Season 4

Barney realizes that he has "caught" feelings for Robin and comes to Lily for advice. Lily tries to help Barney to get Robin to see him in a new way. Although Robin seemed to like the "new" Barney, she showed her appreciation by setting him up with a different girl. The next day Lily gets angry at him for sleeping with the girl even though he states that he has feelings for Robin. She then gave him a ultimatum, Robin or bimbos, but is disappointed when Barney decided to bury his feelings and chose bimbos. Despite Barney being there to comfort Ted after he's left at the altar, Ted showed distrust in him when his sister, who Barney has always been attracted to, came to visit during Christmas time. Angry at Ted's distrust in them, Heather and Barney pretend to sleep together to teach Ted a lesson.

Later, Barney's feelings for Robin drive him crazy when Ted and Robin decide to be friends with benefits as a way to stop them from arguing over problems at home. Eventually, this would lead Barney to fix all the problems the two were arguing about in an attempt to stop them from sleeping with each other. Ted realizes after this that Barney has developed romantic feelings for Robin so he stops his purely sexual relationship with Robin. The rest of the gang would later meet Barney's mother and learn that he has hired an actress and child actor to pose as his wife and son. Due to his friend's interference, Barney reveals the truth to his mother, but is relieved when she tells him that she isn't disappointed with him. His mother does tell Barney though that if he finds a special girl that he should go for it.

In the spring of 2009, Marshall and Barney come up with a complicated ruse to trick Ted after the two of them learn that his project of creating a new GNB headquarters has been canceled. Barney does get Ted the opportunity to create a new firing room, but Ted doesn't want to build a place where people get fired so Bilson fires him. Barney would also fulfill his childhood promise of sleeping with 200 women. After telling Matthew Panning, the person he made this promise to, about his conquest, Barney wonders what he'll do now and sees Robin.

In the season finale , Barney gets Ted's blessing to confess his romantic feelings to Robin. Unknown to both of them, Robin overhears their conversation and decides to "Mosby" him by telling Barney that she loves him as soon as she sees him again. Barney is turned off by this, but later confronts her after Marshall and Lily tell him what Robin did. The two of them argue over their feelings for each other and eventually kiss.

Season 5

When the rest of gang figure out that Barney and Robin have been sleeping together the entire summer, Lily forces them to talk about defining their relationship. Although they agree to pretend to be a couple, they do eventually become legitimate relationship. Barney struggles giving up his old habits, such as going to the Lusty Leopard with Marshall that led to them finding Lily's doppelganger, which leads him to accepting Ted's offer on how to be a good boyfriend
Screen Shot 2013-01-15 at 16.06.56

Relationship gut

to Robin. Barney appears to be happy with his relationship to the point where he gives Ted his porn collection, but the video Ted watches is recorded over by Barney
Barney Fat

Barney's weight gain

telling him that if he's in a relationship to get him out. Noticing Barney's weight gain and how irritable Robin always is, Ted, Marshall, and Lily attempt to break them up. Their plan fails, but Barney and Robin realize themselves that their relationship isn't healthy and mutually break up.

Later, Marshall declares the Thanksgiving of 2009 as Slapsgiving 2 and delivers the fourth slap of the slap bet to Barney. Barney would soon meet his match when he attempts to woo a successful, feminist author named Anita. In a last ditch effort to sleep with Anita, Barney and Ted plan a super-date. Before the date, Lily, Marshall, and Ted inform Barney that Anita was sent by Robin because she was upset over how easy it was for Barney to get over her, such as having a perfect week (seven hook ups in seven days), going to the Superbowl and asking women to call him on live television, and him bragging in front of her about the women he's slept with. Realizing how upset Robin is, Barney cancels on Anita and sends Robin and Don Frank on the super-date. Barney would later get jealous of Don when she and Don move in together. In a drunken state, he and Ted confront Robin, but this causes her to end her friendship with both of them so her relationship with Don is not jeopardized.

In the season finale, Marshall and Lily decide to try to have a baby after they find Barney's doppelganger, a brunette cab driver. Marshall would later learn that Barney and cab driver are one and the same and Barney reveals this fact to Lily when he learns that the two of them of having a baby is dependent on the discovery of his doppelganger. Barney also struggles with the idea that Robin may move to Chicago to pursue a great job opportunity. Even though Robin decided to stay, the thought of losing her made Barney think that the addition of Marshall and Lily's baby to the gang wouldn't be a bad thing so he posed as a Estonian street performer to trick them. Lily and Marshall saw through his ploy and assured him that he would be a great uncle to their child.

Season 6


Barney and James meet James' father, Sam Gibbs

In 2010, Barney, James, and the rest of the gang go and help his mother pack since she is moving out of his childhood home. While packing, he and James find an un-mailed letter to Sam Gibbs with a childhood photo of them and "your son" written on the back. The brothers and the rest of gang go to the address and discover that Sam is James' biological father. Afterwards, Loretta offers to tell Barney who his father really is, but realizing how hard his mother worked to be the perfect parent for him and James; he told her that she was his dad. Later, when GNB revives the new headquarter project Barney gets Ted to resume his old project after a little seducing on Barney's part.

When the gang is invited to gala party at the National History Museum, Barney reveals to his friends that when he was six years old he knocked down the blue whale exhibit. Not believing the blue whale incident to be true, Robin challenges Barney to contest to see how many exhibits they could touch in the museum. Eventually, a security guard catches the two and while detaining them reveals that Barney's story is true. The guard reads over the file and reveals that Barney's uncle, who took him, signed the release form as Barney's father. Later, Barney would meet his doppelganger, who happens to be Marshall and Lily's reproduction specialist.


Barney's heart rate, just before it skips a beat, at the beginning of his second date with Nora

After Marshall's father dies of a heart attack, Barney calls his mother and tells her that he's ready to meet his father. She gives him Jerome's address and he writes him a letter. On February 13, 2011, what Barney calls Desperation Day, Barney meets Robin's co-worker, Nora. He tries to seduce her with a cheesy lie, but Nora sees right through it. The two of them start talking about laser tag and Barney begins to truly like her. Seeing this, Robin, the next day, has Nora substitute for her in a laser tag tournament so she can be Barney's partner and first Valentine's Day date. Later, Barney would go out with Nora again, but she mentions that she wants to get married and start a family. Barney claims that he wishes for the same things and is even invited to meet Nora's parents. After she invites him into her home, he tells her that he lied so Nora slaps him and leaves. When he tells this story to Lily and his cardiologist, Lily tells him that he does want those things and the cardiologist confirms from the heart monitor that he was wearing that at time of the date his heart literally skipped a beat. Barney goes to the restaurant where Nora is meeting her parents, but stops at the door. He considers going in, but at the last second leaves.

Barney's father later comes to reconnect with him. Barney has no intention of getting to know him after seeing how boring he is. The rest of the gang have an intervention and get Barney to have dinner with him and his family. He has an emotional breakdown after he meets his younger half-brother, J.J., which stands for Jerome Junior. Barney takes his basketball hoop claiming it's the least he deserved since Jerome wasn't in his life. His abandonment issues would worsen when Marshall decides to leave GNB. Later, Jerome would try to connect with Barney again by inviting him to a fishing trip,
6.24 (5)

Barney accepts the ultimate challenge after seeing Nora again

but Barney brings him out drinking. Realizing what Barney wants to see, Jerome pretends to drink and acts crazy to impress Barney, but this leads to them getting arrested. Both being magicians, they get out of their handcuffs and head back to Jerome's house to make sure J.J. gets his fishing trip. During the trip, Barney asks his father how he stopped his party lifestyle and how even though he loves partying, he doesn't want to love it and believes that he's "broken". Jerome claims that he was much more "broken" than Barney and that settling down is the ultimate challenge, but being with the right girl helps.

In the season finale, Barney runs into Nora and apologizes to her and asks if she would like to grab a cup of coffee.

Season 7

In the season premiere, it's revealed that the future wedding where Ted meets his wife is in fact Barney's

Barney and Robin dance at Punchy's wedding

wedding, and Barney is having cold feet about getting married. While he worries that the wedding will be the worst ever, they reminisce about Ted's friend Punchy's wedding, being the worst one ever. During that wedding, Barney is hoping Nora will call him back. During this, he and Robin share an intimate dance, and Robin wants to tell him that she still has feelings for him. However Nora calls back and agrees to meet with him. He fails to impress her again after trying to wear a neck brace, and ends up confessing to her all the terrible things he's done to women. In a moment of desperation, he proves to Nora that he is ready to change and be with her for real, by staying at the 24-hour diner until she agrees to a 2nd date with him. He stays for 9 hours straight, and Nora, touched by his persistence, agrees to go out with him again.

In Ducky Tie, Barney makes a bet with Marshall that he can do all the Shinjitsu techniques, in exchange for touching Lily's boobs. If he fails, he has to wear Marshall's ducky tie for a full year. In a classic Barney fashion, it's revealed that he had secretly set up the entire thing and trained in the arts of Shinjitsu just so he could win the bet, if ever given the opportunity. However, Lily foils him by flashing him at the last moment, causing him to lose his focus and mess up, resulting in his loss of the bet.


In The Stinson Missile Crisis, Barney and Nora have continued their relationship, and he is showering her with attention and gifts constantly, making Robin very jealous. In an effort to win him back, Robin bonds with Barney, helping him get rid of all of his stuff from his past that he used to lie to women. One of Barney's previous 'methods' accidentally gets activated, and a girl is ready to hook up with Barney, which could ruin his relationship with Nora. Robin decides to support Barney, and attacks the woman to stop her from ruining his date with Nora, and ends up getting arrested and assigned court-mandated therapy sessions.

In The Slutty Pumpkin Returns, it was revealed that Barney is one quarter Canadian. Barney was horrified and Robin went out of her way to emphasize Barney's Canadian heritage to compensate for all the mockery she has endured from Barney over the years.

In Tick Tick Tick, Barney sleeps with Robin while he was still dating Nora. he breaks up with Nora and hopes to get back together with Robin, but Robin stays with her current boyfriend Kevin. Robin later tells him that she is pregnant. After he responds happily to the news, Robin faints. He convinces Robin of how cute babies are, but when they both see how hugely their lives will change, they are overjoyed to find out that she is not pregnant after all.

In The Drunk Train, Barney and Ted revisit their previous night at a club in which Ted's date with Randi went badly but Barney landed up secretly connecting with Quinn. Barney reveals to Ted that he and Quinn slept together at his apartment, but denies that he has feelings for her, and takes one of the drunk girls home, but he tells her he can't do this and when she asks if he has a girlfriend, he tells her that maybe sometime he will.

In No Pressure, Ted tells Barney that Kevin and Robin broke up. He says that he doesn't care that Robin is single, and wouldn't even care if she started dated someone else.

In Karma, Barney tries to convince Quinn to go out with him, even after discovering she works as a stripper named Karma. He tries to ask her out on a date, and although she appears interested, she continually avoids answering and only wishes to hang out at the strip club. When Ted hears about this, he realizes she is just playing Barney. When Barney sees Quinn behaving much the same towards another client, he realizes Ted was right. Later, Barney runs into Quinn in a coffee house, she then offers to buy Barney’s coffee and asks him to sit with her, indicating she really may
be interested.

In The Broath, Barney and Quinn announce that they are moving in together. Also, Quinn thanks Barney for being cool and not being jealous about what she does. However, he seems a little uncomfortable about it and asks her what would make her stop stripping. She says that she would stop stripping if she ever got married.

In Trilogy Time, Ted, Marshall and Barney embark on another "trilogy time," where they get together every three years to watch the "Star Wars" trilogy and envision what their lives will be like in another three years. Also Barney and Quinn move in together.

In Good Crazy, Barney gets concerned over his relationship with Quinn and overreacts in situations regarding her job. After bystanders greet Quinn on the sidewalk, Barney fires a top GNB official and offers Quinn a job at the bank as an "executive strategy coordinator" - which turns out to be just something to help Quinn earn legitimate income. Seeing that Barney's trying to dictate her career, Quinn asks for some time to think and leaves Barney, who reinstates the official.

Barney and Quinn

In The Magician's Code - Part Two, Quinn and Barney plan a romantic getaway to Hawaii. However, in Barney's suitcase is a box which he refuses to open, due to "The Magician's Code." "The Magician's Code" is a code taught to Barney by his former magic teacher who said "A Magician should never reveal his greatest tricks." Barney and Quinn get held up by security. Afterward, Quinn is told she can leave but Barney must stay, but Barney tells her to wait and that he will finally reveal the magic trick. After an elaborate magic ploy, it is revealed that in the box was an engagement ring, which he uses to propose to Quinn. She accepts. Then there is a flash forward to Barney's wedding day, and when Ted walks into the bride's room, who is finally revealed to be Robin.

Season 8

In the fall of 2012, Barney and Quinn break up because they don't trust each other. In December of 2012, Barney proposes to Robin, which she accepts. They get married in May of 2013. However after 3 years of marriage they get divorced.

Season 9

In 2017, Barney stops smoking after his divorce to Robin. In 2019, Barney gets a girl pregnant, and in the spring of 2020, Barney holds his daughter Ellie for the first time and realizes he has to settle down now.

Barney finally finds the one to get him to settle down



Barney in his suit pajamas.

Before the start of the series and before he met the rest of the gang, Barney was somewhat of a hippie. He wanted to join the Peace Corps, was disgusted when men treated women like objects, and wished to wait to lose his virginity to his college girlfriend, Shannon, until after the two married. His personality radically changed when he caught Shannon cheating on him with a man named Greg. His current mannerisms and dress sense are based on the man who took Shannon away from him. Barney is now an extreme womanizer, not content unless he is pursuing his latest conquest. He has no problem lying or using extremely ridiculous methods to charm women. Along with being proud and very open about his collection of pornography, he doesn't see anything wrong about secretly video taping and taking pictures of the women he sleeps with. He did mention to Robin that he watches the videos to study himself more, like how athletes study game tapes. He also seems to dislike the idea of owning a "little, black book" and instead has a scrapbook filled with the pictures of women he has slept with. Barney does not care at all what happens to his one-night stands as long as he doesn't have to see or talk to them again.

In The Drunk Train, it is mentioned that Barney may have attended MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and displays a working knowledge of advanced mathematics.

Barney is very driven to achieve what he wants and will go to great lengths to make it happen. He takes comments such as "No one can do this" as a challenge, announcing "Challenge Accepted!". He will even take an entire year to fulfill a challenge even if the person who "challenged" him doesn't even remember, as seen when Barney took a year to get Ted to grow a mustache in Ten Sessions. Barney even has a gambling problem that he cultivated after Marshall made a bet with him one Super Bowl Sunday revealed in Monday Night Football. He frequently makes bets and tries to make them for exorbitant sums of money until the others remind him that it's ridiculous. In Atlantic City, it's shown that he once blew his life savings on gambling.

Barney is also shown to be very persuasive at times. In Cleaning House, he managed to talk the rest of the group into helping him pack up the stuff at his childhood house as a two-day job despite the others claiming there is no way he could talk them into it. This is also shown by his history of seducing women with fake, even ridiculous, aliases including Barack Obama Jr. or Neil Armstrong, and according to him, getting a stripper to pay him for a lap dance. However, he does not always succeed, as he fails in getting out of a speeding ticket despite numerous deliberate attempts whereas the other members of the gang have done so.

Regardless of this change, Barney has shown to have a somewhat childish personality as well. He is an avid blogger and laser tag fan. He's extremely aggressive while playing laser tag, to the point where he's been seen pinning a child down to the ground while shooting him, which got him banned from his usual laser tag spot. To add to his childish personality, he sought revenge by TP'ing the place for banning him. He loves to do magic tricks, a trait he shares with his father, but he usually uses them to pick up women. Barney seems to have a preference with magic that involves fire, which caused his friends to have an intervention to get him to stop to using magic. Barney is known to be a huge momma's boy. James, Barney's older brother, told the rest of the gang that Barney always believed in every lie their mother told them as children, no matter how ridiculous. Barney's love for his mother goes so far that when he thought she was dying he hired a child actor and actress to pose as his son and wife and continued this lie for years to make her happy.

Barney is often shown to be ignorant of popular culture. In Woooo!, Barney and Marshall compare themselves to Mad Men, but when Marshall makes a comment that Barney smacking a secretary would be exactly what they would do in the show, Barney replies "What show?" Similarly, in Now We're Even, Barney claims to have attempted to "Inception" Lily for the preceding five years, but is completely unaware of the fact that there is a movie describing what Barney claims to have attempted to do, let alone the fact that it was released two years prior to the events of the episode.

Barney's more tender, former personality has not entirely disappeared, however. He is very loyal to his family and friends. This is shown as he acted as Ted's wingman for the entire series and helped Marshall get a job when he had financial troubles. Also, Barney comforts Robin at the end of Sandcastles in the Sand when her former boyfriend, Simon breaks up with her again. Though, he does sometimes get embarrassed when others see his kindness and will often make a rude comment to throw them off or try to keep his actions secret, as seen when he tried to stop Lily from revealing to Marshall that he went to San Francisco to convince her to return to New York and get back together with Marshall after she left him for an art fellowship.

Everyone else in the gang has noted that Barney has some very unusual and annoying habits. In Spoiler Alert, they told Barney that he'll sometimes talk in a weird, high pitched voice, use lame catchphrases, and space out and not pay attention to anyone else. Some of the catchphrases Barney uses are "Suit Up!", "It's going to be legen- wait for it... .dary!", and "Awesome". Ted has told Barney that he's too liberal with the word "legendary". In Robin 101, after Ted asked Barney whether or not he was the worst student ever when he was in school, Barney said he was told that he "had A.D... something" before asking again if they could have class outside, meaning that he probably suffers from Attention Deficit Disorder. Another odd habit that only Ted has pointed out is that when ever making up statistics, Barney tends to use the number 83, or some variation thereof (8.3 seconds in Ten Sessions). Barney also has an interesting way of watching movies. When watching, he decides who the protagonist of the movie is based on the title of the movie, for example he roots for the Terminator in The Terminator and was sad when watching the ending where it was destroyed. Similarly, he considers William Zabka the "real Karate Kid".



Barney, with Marshall and Ted, in his office

Prior to Unpause, not much was known about Barney's career. Whenever asked what it is he does for a living, he always shakes off the question by laughing and saying "Please...".

However, it is known that he works for Goliath National Bank, and before that he worked for AltruCell Corporation but GNB acquires Altrucell in a hostile takeover.

It is assumed that he is a high ranking member in the company. He has said that he knows so much about the company's dirty secrets, he won't ever be fired, (Mosbius Designs), although he was almost fired in the start of 2010 because he was blamed for the failure of a big merging. (Perfect Week)

He was head of GNB's search committee in 2008, hiring Sven and then Ted to design the new GNB headquarters, he also has the power to change ATM charges to Freedom charges (Woooo!). When the project was scrapped (Old King Clancy) and then brought back in 2010, Barney was still in charge of hiring the architect. (Unfinished)

His job also entails firing potentially hostile employees. (Old King Clancy)

It's hinted that his job may include illegal activities, especially considering he's never told any of the gang exactly what his job is. Marshall, after reading some of Barney's documents, is afraid of what they did to the drinking water in Lisbon, and notes that if the contracts aren't carried out precisely, they will be at war with Portugal. When Barney is afraid he might die, he tells Lily to take the briefcase under his bed and dispose of it in the East river. (The Bracket)

He works alongside many GNB employees, such as Marshall, Ted, Arthur Hobbs, Blauman and Bilson.

Although his salary is unknown, it's assumed that he makes a fairly large amount, given that he owns many expensive suits, a luxurious apartment, flat screen TVs (which he breaks to release his frustrations) and always has spare money available for all of his schemes (such as the professional old man costuming (Intervention) and complete scuba diving gear. (The Playbook)

In Unpause, his job is revealed to literally be P.L.E.A.S.E., an acronym for Provide Legal Exculpation and Sign Everything, a job which gives AltruCell (and later GNB) a scapegoat. This job was given to him by Greg Fisher, the man who stole Shannon away from him in 1998, and pays an immense amount of money (16 craploads according to Future Ted). Two months after his wedding, Barney enacts his revenge on Greg by selling him out to the feds, having him arrested for fraud and other crimes he had committed in the past, thereby securing his position at GNB.


Romantic Interests



Shannon was Barney's college sweetheart. They had plans to go into Peace Corps together and lose their virginity to one another. Shannon cheated on Barney, which sparked Barney's transformation into the man he is today. He wouldn't see Shannon again until 2006. After she told him that her relationship with Greg, the man she cheated on Barney with, didn't last and that she gave birth to a son, Barney realized how awesome his life was and slept with her recording them on his cellphone.

Robin Scherbatsky


Barney and Robin

Barney was the one who introduced Robin to Ted, which would lead to her joining the gang. They have a strong friendship due to their similar personalities. In Season 3, Robin's begins dating her ex-boyfriend again after he visits her. When he dumped her (again), Barney comforted her and they slept together. Barney realized that he had begun falling in love with Robin, but she was hesitant to have a relationship with him. In Season 5, the two of them began having a sexual relationship, and eventually became a couple. Barney and Robin did not work out as a couple for several reasons, and eventually broke up, claiming that the two of them in a relationship was 'an overload of awesome'. They remain close friends, and it is often shown they still care for one another as seen in Subway Wars when Barney tackles Ted so Robin will win. During Challenge Accepted it is hinted that they loved each other during their relationship and that their connection was more than just a physical one: they discuss Ted and Zoey's relationship, possibly using that relationship to covertly discuss their own.

In The Magician's Code - Part Two, Barney's Wife is revealed to be Robin. In The Final Page - Part Two, Barney proposes to Robin and she accepts. In The End of the Aisle they are married. It is revealed in first part of the series finale, Last Forever - Part One, that Barney and Robin divorce after three years of marriage.

Main article: Barney and Robin.



Nora was Barney's first Valentine's Day date. Unlike other women, she didn't believe in any of Barney's initial lies when he tried to sleep with her. She was, however, fascinated by Barney's love of laser tag. After she joins him in a laser tag tournament, Barney realizes he has feelings for her and agrees to see her again after a first proper date. Unfortunately, he gets sick and the date is "cancelled" even though Nora takes care of him. She later dumps him when she learns he lied to her about wanting to get married and have kids. She reappears at the end of Challenge Accepted. The episode, A Change of Heart, reveals that Nora actually made Barney's heart skip a beat. Nora returns in The Naked Truth when Barney lies to her about breaking his neck to get sympathy, but Nora sees right through it. Barney then apologizes, and vows not to leave the 24 hour diner until he gets a second date. When Nora returns, Barney is still there, and she is humbled by his persistence. Barney was proving that he could be a good boyfriend to Nora in The Stinson Missile Crisis by sending chocolates, flowers, and singing at her workplace, causing Robin to become jealous. In Tick Tick Tick, Barney cheats on Nora with Robin. He breaks up with her, hoping to get back together with Robin.

Quinn Garvey


Quinn is Barney's new love interest after his breakup with Nora and his heartbreak with Robin. In The Drunk Train, Barney tries several plays on her, but she doesn't fall for them, and tells him that he has no chance with her. Later, Barney discovers she works as a stripper at the Lusty Leopard named Karma. He tries to ask her out on date, but she continually avoids answering and only wishes to hang out at the strip club, Ted hears about this and realizes she is just playing Barney. When Barney sees Quinn behaving much the same towards another client, he realizes Ted was right. Later, Barney runs into Quinn in a coffee house, she then offers to buy Barney’s coffee and asks him to sit with her, indicating she really may be interested. In The Broath, the gang notice that Quinn is controlling towards Barney. But actually, Barney and Quinn were only messing with them. Later, they announce that they are moving in together.

In The Magician's Code - Part Two, Quinn and Barney plan a romantic getaway to Hawaii. However, in Barney's suitcase is a box which he refuses to open, due to "The Magician's Code." "The Magician's Code" is a code taught to Barney by his former magic teacher who said "A Magician should never reveal his greatest tricks." Barney and Quinn get held up by security. Afterward, Quinn is told she can leave but Barney must stay, but Barney tells her to wait and that he will finally reveal the magic trick. After an elaborate magic ploy, it is revealed that in the box was an engagement ring, which he uses to propose to Quinn. She accepts.

In Farhampton, Quinn finds out that Barney and Robin used to date, and is angry Barney he didn't tell her this before. She thinks that Robin still might have feelings for him, but after meeting Robin's new boyfriend Nick, she is okay with it. In The Pre-Nup, when Barney makes a pre-nup with preposterous terms for Quinn to follow, Quinn makes a similar one too for Barney to sign. They later decide to throw their pre-nups away, but realize that they can't, as they don't trust each other, and break up.

This break-up leaves him, in Robin’s words, ‘broken’ for a long time afterwards, displayed through the creation of ‘Bangtober’ and his short term wingman, Brover, a dog. He takes time to get over her.

Quinn returns in The Bro Mitzvah, when Ted and Marshall accidentally hire her as the stripper for Barney's bachelor party. She tells Barney that her life is terrible after their break-up. In revenge, she strips for everyone except Barney. When Robin sees Barney with Quinn, she becomes upset and breaks off their engagement. This whole scenario turns out to be a hoax orchestrated by Robin to give Barney the most memorable bachelor party ever. In reality, Quinn's life is great and she seems to be on good terms with Robin and the rest of the gang.


Ted Mosby

Three days of snow - ted and barney tend bar

Barney and Ted

Barney met Ted in the men's room of MacLaren's and not long afterward joined Ted at his booth to inform him that Barney was going to teach him how to live and thus their friendship began. Barney often attempts to employ Ted as his wingman, and constantly demands that Ted "suit up". While Ted is not always receptive to Barney's ideas, the two remain very close friends.

Main article: Barney and Ted.

Marshall Eriksen


Barney and Marshall

Barney and Marshall are close friends, to the point of brotherhood as well as being former coworkers. Despite the fact that Ted has said on more than one occasion that Marshall is his best friend, Marshall and Barney still sometimes argue over who holds the coveted title.

Main article: Barney and Marshall.

Lily Aldrin


Barney and Lily

Barney and Lily have a unique friendship. Although she finds many habits and comments of his disgusting, she always helps him better himself. He goes to her when she is in San Fransisco and tells her to come back before she loses Marshall, and is shown emotionally upset when he thinks she and Marshall are getting divorced.

He goes to her when he falls in love with Robin, and lets her stay in his apartment when she needs a place, later using her to kick his one night stands out. He kicks her out after he stays in one night and falls asleep in bed with Lily with nothing happening. They have a brother sister relationship, as shown when he stages a one man play just to torment Lily. It is sometimes implied that Barney is attracted to Lily in a sort of 'forbidden fruit' way. Before he first meets her, shortly after meeting Marshall, he states that she is a "red-headed hottie".

Main article: Barney and Lily.


Notes and Trivia

  • Barney is the only member of the gang to have slept with all other members of the opposite gender in the gang (not counting Tracy as a member of the gang.) He slept with Robin while they were dating/engaged/married and Lily in World's Greatest Couple although they did not have sex.
  • He calls his penis in one show Barnacle Jr, Barnana, Barnito supreme and Little Barney.
  • Foreign languages he knows include Ukrainian, French, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and German.
  • Barney did not learn to drive until at least 2005.[3]
  • It is almost impossible for Barney to take a bad photo, as he always appears standing in the exact same pose, independent of the pose he was photographed in (Robin took one in Say Cheese).
  • In Robin 101, Barney implies he has ADD or ADHD even though as a child he got straight A's.
  • Barney has been unable to use chopsticks properly in several episodes.
  • When he is nervous, he will imagine that he is being interviewed by CBS sportscaster Jim Nantz.
  • Barney is one quarter Canadian.
  • The production staff have stated they prefer a single Barney to a relationship Barney.
  • Barney's twitter account, first mentioned in Robin 101, is @broslife and is maintained by CBS. Actor Neil Patrick Harris' twitter feed is @ActuallyNPH.
  • While in Challenge Accepted Barney appears to be getting married, Barney is not wearing a wedding ring in the flashforward at the end of The Exploding Meatball Sub. Also, the only people at his bedside are Robin, Lily, Marshall, and Ted, so unless Barney married Robin, his potential wife is not at his bedside. However, he may have told his wife of the prank he had planned, and wasn't needed by his bed side. Some others like to think that his wife might be Robin. It was later revealed that Robin is his future wife, but they get divorced in 2016 which is why neither are wearing wedding rings
  • Barney has an oft-mentioned blog in the show, which is run and updated in real life by CBS. The blog references events from the show from Barney's perspective.
  • Barney is the most well-known (the second is Lily Aldrin) character in HIMYM as Harris had received numerous awards and nominations for his appearance as Barney .
  • Barney said in one episode that he has a shrink for narcissism, a mental illness where you are physically or sexually in love with your appearance.
  • Robin called Barney's Stormtrooper a Barbie wearing a diaper.
  • He is the only character who never moved out of his apartment during the course of the series. All the other characters moved at least once out of their places.
  • Young Barney was portrayed by Tanner Maguire in Showdown, The Yips and Right Place, Right Time and by Riley Thomas Stewart in Cleaning House, Hopeless and Noretta.


  1. 1.0 1.1 The precise date of Barney's birthday has never been revealed. In Natural History, Barney claims he was six years old on July 23, 1981. This puts his birthday somewhere between July 24, 1974 and July 23, 1975. However in Zoo or False, Ted says Barney was born seven years after the 1969 moon landing, meaning his birthday is in 1976. Until an exact birthdate is confirmed, it is accepted that his birthday must fall somewhere between 1974 and 1976.
  2. Zoo or False
  3. In Arrivederci, Fiero Ted started to teach Barney to drive during theMTATransit strike which was in 2005.

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