The origin of the phrase and Barney's suiting up is explained in Game Night. After his break up with Shannon, Barney found a suit store flyer bearing the slogan "Suit Up!". Feeling depressed, he took the flyer's advice (and the advice given to him earlier by the man who stole Shannon from him) and suited up for the first time, creating the Barney we know today. In Single Stamina, Barney explains why he and his brother James suit up; "to distinguish ourselves from the millions of T-shirt and jeans lemmings out there". In Girls Versus Suits, Barney performs a musical number detailing his love for suits and suiting up.
Barney mentions Suiting Up on many occasions; his friends so associate the phrase with him that, when Dr. John Stangel says "scoot up" to Lily in Bad News, she is convinced that he is Barney in disguise. Barney is frequently frustrated by Ted's reluctance to ever Suit Up with him (although, on rare occasions, such as the Pilot, Third Wheel, and Moving Day, Ted does Suit Up at Barney's request).
Episodes Where Barney Didn't Suit Up
- Okay Awesome: Barney didn't wear a suit to the night club.
- Zip, Zip, Zip: Barney didn't wear a suit when he played laser tag with Robin on their "Bro's Night"
- How Lily Stole Christmas: Barney is sick and wears something more comfortable.
- Monday Night Football: Barney does not suit up to go to the funeral. This is because he says that suits are supposed to celebrate happy events, unlike funerals.
- Lucky Penny: Barney runs NY Marathon in a tracksuit. This is open to interpretation, as to whether a tracksuit counts as a suit.
- Stuff: Barney does not suit up when he does his one-man-show.
- We're Not From Here: Barney doesn't suit up when posing as a tourist.
- The Yips: Barney suits down after learning that his first time with Rhonda was a lie.
- Murtaugh: At the rave and when TP-ing the laser-tag battle field, Barney is wearing neon hipster clothes. He then pays Ted double ($30) for his finest suit.
- The Sexless Innkeeper: Barney only suits up half, wearing sweatpants after Lily and Marshall "dumped" him and Robin. However, he says that the sweatpants were Armani.
- The Playbook: Barney had to adorn a variety of non-suit costumes to trick women into sleeping with him, like a scuba suit.
- Girls Versus Suits: Barney didn't wear a suit to get with the hot new Bartender.
- Doppelgangers: Disguised as a cab driver and a street performer, Barney did not wear a suit.
- The Slutty Pumpkin Returns: Barney goes to the Halloween Party wearing only shorts.
|Barney "flight suit[s] up" for Halloween in Slutty Pumpkin.|
|Barney "Penguin Suit[s] Up" in Slutty Pumpkin.|
|Barney wears a special green suit to the club in No Tomorrow.|
|The suit Barney uses while he sleeps, until the episode The Front Porch when he started to wear a nightgown instead.|
|Barney "snow suits up" in Sweet Taste of Liberty, when building an igloo in Central Park. He unsuccessfully tries to get Ted to join him.|
|Barney decides to use his Christmas bonus from GNB in False Positive to buy himself a suit lined with actual diamonds known as "The Dibiase".|
- There are several fake history lessons that Barney tells where he is not actually suited up in.
- Despite saying he doesn't suit up at funerals in Monday Night Football, he wears a suit to Marshall's father's funeral, possibly out of Brospect.
- The phrase, "suit up" may actually come from the popular children's show, "Barney and Friends", where Barney the purple dinosaur uses it in the episode "Play with Friends".