Barney Stinson, Barney Whittaker
Also Known As:
Jack Package, The Commodore, Ted Mosby - The 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, Luigi, B-Nasty
Staten Island, New York
Provide Legal Exculpation and Sign Everything (P.L.E.A.S.E)
The Fortress of Barnitude
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"This is going to be legen... wait for it ...dary!"
~ Barney Stinson
Barnabus "Barney" Stinson (born 1976), is one of the five main characters in How I Met Your Mother, portrayed by Neil Patrick Harris. He first meets Ted Mosby in MacLaren's Pub in 2001 then initiates himself as part of the gang, fancying himself as Ted's best friend, despite Ted's protests. After being burned in his early twenties by a girlfriend who left him for a businessman, Barney reinvents himself as a "suit" and a serial womanizer, who viciously rejects any form of commitment. He conducts elaborate acts of seduction and regularly engages in casual sex. As the series progresses, Barney is revealed to have unresolved childhood issues, specifically with his absent father, who he reconnects with in 2011. Barney's life of debauchery wears thin as he matures and experiences several serious relationships, in particular his on-off relationship with Robin. His elaborate seduction techniques are a constant source of humor (typically for Marshall), amazement (typically for Ted), and disgust (typically for Lily) for the group. Though most of his seduction plays are cold and mean-spirited, he is extremely caring toward friends and family, often using his wealth to help them out of tight spots. He is a key player in helping Marshall and Ted find high-paying jobs at GNB, and helps Robin stay in the United States when her VISA is almost cancelled. As of Last Forever, Barney and Robin divorced after three years marriage (2013 - 2016), being unable to maintain their relationship while Robin's career went global. In September 2019, Barney finds out he will become a father, after a one-night stand. He speaks of happily raising his daughter when he attends Ted and Tracy's wedding in 2020.
- 1 Character Background
- 2 Joining the Gang
- 3 Show Outline
- 4 Personality
- 5 Career
- 6 Relationships
- 7 Notes and Trivia
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Barney was born sometime between 1974 and 1976 and grew up in Staten Island. In "Columns" set in 2007, Barney gives his age as 31 further confirming his birth year is 1976. In "The Drunk Train" Marshall states Barney is a Scorpio which places his birthday between October 23 - November 21, 1976.
Barney was raised by his single mother, Loretta Stinson, along with his older half-brother, James. As kids, James and Barney would often ask their mother why they were of different races (James is black), but she would lie or change the subject. Barney often asked who his father was. In a bid to get him to stop asking, she would claim it was TV show host Bob Barker, leaving Barney distracted by this possibility for years. On 23 July 1981, Barney's biological father, Jerome Whittaker, took Barney to the National History Museum, under the guise "Uncle Jerry". Then six-year-old Barney knocked down the blue whale hung from the museum's ceiling by throwing a triceratops' rib at it. When they returned home, Loretta was furious. Barney was told Jerry moved away permanently. The last words 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 knew Barney wasn't good enough for the team. Barney was not a popular child and was picked on. In seventh grade, Barney was bullied by Matthew Panning, who bragged 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 eventually fulfills, much to adult Matthew's disgust. As Barney grew up in the city, he never learned how to drive and was terrified to do so. It was revealed in The Leap, that Barney had confessed to Lily at some point that, in his early life, he'd wanted to become a violinist.
Early AdulthoodIn 1998, Barney had graduated college and was working with his girlfriend, Shannon, in a coffee shop. Barney had grown up to be a hippie. He had planned to join the Peace Corps and go to Nicaragua with Shannon. They reveal they planned to lose their virginity to one another only after they got married. After Shannon did not show up for their departure to Nicaragua, Barney returns to the coffee store. When she sees he's back, she tells 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 returns, he discovered she was cheating on him with a businessman named Greg, who Barney had previously served as a customer, and who humiliated him for being a hippie. Greg tells Barney the key to picking up women is to have money and suits. Heartbroken, Barney films himself singing a song to convince Shannon to take him back, but she and Greg continue to humiliate him. Barney runs from the coffee shop distraught. As he walks alone crying, he is given a brochure about a suit sale. He adapts his dress style and dating personality to match that of Greg's, the man who took Shannon away from him. At an unknown time between 1998 and 2001, Barney quits his job at the coffee shop and becomes an employee of AltruCell Corporation, a highly corrupt corporation, while secretly working as an insider for the FBI. His work as a plant leads to Greg being arrested. Barney goes to James for advice, sometime after losing Shannon. 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 actions affect the future of the entire gang in Pilot. Using his "Have you met Ted?" icebreaker, 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.
In Sweet Taste of Liberty, Barney convinces Ted to break the routine of going to MacLaren's Pub and instead takes him to an airport to meet women at baggage claim. After meeting two seemingly available women going to Philadelphia, Barney and Ted board the plane, only to find out in mid-flight the women they followed already have boyfriends. When they land, they are detained because they left their suitcase at the baggage claim, causing airport security to suspect terrorist activity. Eventually, they're released and they met a security guard that guarded the Liberty Bell, which gave Barney the idea he and Ted should lick it and be the only two people to have ever had licked the Liberty Bell. Barney explains that Ted has to do crazy things sometimes in order to achieve exciting things in life. Ted agrees and they lick the Liberty Bell. In a later bid to help Ted move on from Robin, Barney would take Ted to the Victoria's Secret Halloween party (Slutty Pumpkin). Another time he has Ted drink five shots rapidly, so he'll stop thinking about Robin and act on impulse. This leads Ted to hook up with Trudy in The Pineapple Incident.
After Ted gets into a relationship with Victoria, Barney no longer wants to be a wingman for Ted. In Zip, Zip, Zip, Barney chooses Robin to replace Ted as a 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 together. 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 is initially disturbed by the offer but agrees when Barney explains how much sense they make together. She becomes 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 her secret.In Game Night, the rest of gang and Victoria learn more about Barney's traumatic past after Lily runs into his ex-girlfriend, Shannon, and she is given the tape that Barney made Shannon to win her back. After telling his early adulthood story (as above), he tells the gang that after he ran out on them when they were watching his video, he tracked Shannon down. When he and Shannon met, Shannon told him her relationship with Greg didn't last and she now has 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 lifestyle, 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 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 bullied by his coworkers.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.
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.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, an 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. 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. 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. 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.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.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". 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. 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.
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 an 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.
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 boyfriendto 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 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 Super Bowl 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 an 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.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.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,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.
In the season premiere, it's revealed that the future wedding where Ted meets his wife is in fact Barney'swedding, 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 maybe 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.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.
Barney and Quinn spend the summer of 2012 happily engaged, but trouble is on the horizon when Arthur Hobbs gives Barney the idea of a Pre-nup. Due to this the couple realized they didn't trust each other, which caused them to break up, kicking off the Autumn of Breakups. Afterwards, Barney was coping with being single again, which led to brover and bro-bibs. In an Over-Correction, Barney started dating Robin's co-worker Patrice, while Robin kept throwing herself at Barney. in The Final Page, it is revealed that everything, starting from Robin's breakup with Nick, was Barney's final play to get Robin to marry him, to which she obliged. After getting engaged, Barney quickly adapted and let go of the single life for what seemed to be forever.
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.
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
More than once... Wow, that's... [clicking tongue] I guess if we're splitting hairs, then technically there was a plurality to the times I've lied to women for sex-having purposes.Barney
When trying to persuade Lily to paint a nude portrait of him, Barney says "We knew we could torture Marshall because he has shame. I do not. In my body, where the shame gland should be, there's a second awesome gland. True story." Robin (in Desperation Day), Lily (in Knight Vision), and Nora (in The Naked Truth) describe Barney as a "sociopath". He is an extreme womanizer, not content unless he is pursuing his latest conquest - not only that, but Barney extends his womanizing nature to everyone else he knows, considering Marshall to be unimpressive when they first met because he'd only slept with one woman in his life, and declared that he would make all of Marshall's decisions for him. Barney has no problem lying or using extremely ridiculous methods to charm women. Along with being proud and very open about the sex he has and 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. His stubbornness and will to succeed even includes things he does not like doing, such as being named Volunteer of the Year while doing court-required community service in Belly Full of Turkey, or suddenly singing backup to Marshall's song You Just Got Slapped, making his friends laugh, despite still feeling the pain from Marshall's slap.
Barney tells fake history lessons, complicated lies, and deceptions with total confidence, and stubbornly sticks by even if they are completely nonsensical and over-exaggerated. He expects his friends to believe everything he says, as most of the women he picks up are extremely gullible. When his friends do point Barney is lying, or obviously don't believe it he adds "True story". He also has a pathological and compulsive tendency to always know the truth, even if he has no care of the subject which he has to know about. For example, he pestered Ted and Robin at Lily and Marshall's wedding to tell him they were actually broken up and later the sex of their baby.
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 perform magic , 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 often shows himself to be somewhat inept of geography and the calendar. In Duel Citizenshp, Barney thought of Canada as being across the Atlantic. He has trouble figuring out how many days are there in certain months.
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". He frequently uses wordplays relating to sleeping with women, typically followed by wanting to high five someone or bump their fist, though it is often rejected. 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 ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder). Another odd habit that only Ted has pointed out is that whenever making up statistics or, 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". One of Barney's stranger quirks is a tendency to care for his clothing and accessories as if they were living people. For example, in Girls Vs. Suits when he accidentally ripped his suit, he treats the situation as if a live one had died, crying over his torn suit and "cremating" it in an urn. The same situation occurred again in Lobster Crawl where after getting a stain on his tie, Cornelius, he attempts to "revive" him even going as far to use mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
He has a lot of keys.Marshall
Prior to Unpause, almost nothing is known about Barney's career other than that he works for AltruCell Corporation, then Goliath National Bank. Whenever asked what it is he does for a living, he always shakes off the question by laughing and saying "Please...".
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)
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.
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.
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.
Oh, he's one of my best friends.Lily
Ted describes Barney as "a complete degenerate" in Third Wheel. His friends love Barney despite, or because of, Lily telling him in The Bracket that "You can not be more evil"; Ted in A Change of Heart encourages Barney to see a cardiologist by saying that "We need you around for a long time. Without you, we'd have to find some other sex-fueled, depraved animal to entertain us."
- Main article: 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 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 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 Francisco 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".
- Spouse: Robin Scherbatsky (ex-wife)
- Mother: Loretta Stinson
- Father: Jerome Whittaker; Barney grew up believing Jerome to be his "Uncle Jerry" until late 2010 (Natural History). Prior to that, he believed his mother's claim that his father was Bob Barker.
- Sister(s): Carly Whittaker (paternal half-sister)
- Brother(s): James Stinson (maternal half-brother), Jerome "J.J." Whittaker, Jr. (paternal half-brother)
- Daughter(s): Ellie
- Grandfather(s): "Papa" Sid (Last Time in New York))
- Grandmother(s): "Nana" who is deceased. Barney hooked up with a redhead at her funeral. (Glitter),Grandma Stinson/Gladys(The Rehearsal Dinner)
- Uncle(s): Vic (The Locket), Jacquez (The Locket), Mort (Last Time in New York)
- Aunt(s): Shelly (The Locket), Muriel (Last Time in New York)
- Niece(s): Sadie Stinson,Penny Mosby (future, honorary), Daisy Eriksen (future honorary), unknown third Eriksen child (future honorary)
- Nephew(s): Eli Stinson,Luke Mosby (future, honorary), Marvin W. Eriksen (future, honorary)
- Cousin(s): Leslie, Mitch (who is also an adopted cousin of Robin's)(The Locket), Pete (The Locket), Cecil(deceased)(The Locket), David(No Questions Asked))
- Other: Cheryl Whittaker (step-mother), Barnabus Stinson, who Barney claims was the Revolutionary War-era author of the Bro Code. (The Goat)
- In-law(s): Tom (half-brother-in-law), Katie Scherbatsky (former sister-in-law), Robin Scherbatsky Sr. (former father-in-law), Genevieve Scherbatsky (former mother-in-law)
- Barney is a nickname for Barnabus. Barnabus means "son of consolation". Barnabus is an alternate spelling of Barnabas (Greek variation of an Aramaic name).
- In Natural History, he tells the gang that when he was six years old he knocked down the blue whale exhibit. When the security guard later reviewed the record of the incident to Barney and Robin, he gave the date of the incident as July 23, 1981 meaning that Barney would've been born in 1974 or 75, as he possibly would've turned seven that fall.
- 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.
- He can speak Ukrainian, French, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and German.
- Barney did not learn to drive until at least 2005.
- 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, though this is later shown to be an elaborate ruse Barney has constructed so he can make a winnable bet with Marshall and Lily to see Lily topless. Essentially convincing the gang that he is inept with chopsticks and not fond of Asian cuisine, Barney conditioned Marshall to desire Shinjitsu whenever he heard Barney sneeze (á là Pavlov's Dogs) and subsequently going through the Shinjitsu training course secretly to learn to cook like their chefs. He then lured Marshall and Lily into a bet where if he successfully performed all of the Shinjitsu trademark feats, he would be able to see Lily topless for an extended period of time. This was ultimately thwarted when Lily flashed Barney while he executed the last feat, causing him to fail and thus he lost the bet.
- When he is nervous, he imagines 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 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.
- Barney is a fan of the hard rock band Van Halen, as shown in both The Perfect Cocktail when he considers wiring a fuse to Eddie Van Halen's guitar that would trigger the Arcadian's demolition when he hits the last note for their hit song Hot For Teacher. It's also shown in The Final Page - Part Two when looking forward at another rooftop Halloween party, Barney dresses as David Lee Roth, the lead singer through most of Van Halen's history.
- In World's Greatest Couple, it is implied that Barney's eyes are always hurting. When he shows Lily his 100" flat screen TV, Lily says "It hurts my eyes," to which Barney replies, "Yeah. That doesn't go away."
- Barney allegedly fist-bumped the Queen, though no one believes him. (Cleaning House)
- Barney’s favourite type is “Asian with some boob”. (The Stinsons)
- In Challenge Accepted, Barney wears a dolphin suit. This and the motivational poster with penguins on it in Barney's office both foreshadow Neil Patrick Harris' later role as the voice of Dr. Blowhole in the Nickelodeon series, The Penguins of Madagascar.
- 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. In Columns, broadcast in January 2007, Barney claims to be 31. Until an exact birthdate is confirmed, it is accepted that his birthday must fall somewhere between 1974 and 1976.
- Zoo or False
- How I Met Everyone Else
- In Arrivederci, Fiero Ted started to teach Barney to drive during theMTATransit strike which was in 2005.