How I Met Your Mother Wiki
How I Met Your Mother Wiki

Marshall and Barney argue about being Ted's best friend

The identity of Ted's best friend has been a controversial subject between Marshall, Ted and Barney. Barney and Marshall both claim to be Ted's best friend, and whenever someone comments that Ted's best friend is not them, they tend to act outraged and correct the person who said it.

This is one of the major recurring elements in How I Met Your Mother, dating right back to the Pilot.

The most common occurrence of this is when Barney will make a comment stating that he is Ted's best friend, and Ted will try to correct him saying that Marshall is actually his best friend, only for Barney to ignore him and continue on.

Episode Occurrences

The following are episodes where an argument/debate over the identity of Ted's best friend has occurred.


Ted makes a comment "your best friend gets engaged, you start thinking about that stuff", referring to Marshall as his best friend. Barney responds by saying "I thought I was your best friend... Ted, say I'm your best friend!", Ted concedes, calling Barney his best friend. Pleased, he introduces Ted to Yasmin.

Sweet Taste of Liberty

Ted and Barney try to pick up women in the airport and end up on a plane to Philly. While there Barney has the idea to lick the Liberty Bell. Barney has to remind Ted why he wants to hang out with him so much. "You're my best friend, alright!"

The Duel

When Ted calls Marshall "my best friend", Barney gasps; Ted quickly says "One of my best friends". Robin later tells Ted that Marshall is "your best friend"; Barney is again outraged, and an exasperated Robin adds "one of your best friends", causing him to smile.

Nothing Good Happens After 2 A.M.

It is revealed that Robin told Barney, but not Marshall, that she is in love with Ted. Barney claims it is because he is better friends with Robin than Marshall is, and Marshall retorts, "Well, I'm better friends with Ted than you are." This leads to a shouting match that continues until the cut to the next scene.

The Scorpion and the Toad

When Barney tells Marshall "I may be your best friend...", Marshall interjects "Ted's my best friend".

Atlantic City

Marshall, Ted and Barney argue over who is Marshall's 'best man'.

Bachelor Party

While Ted is planning Marshall's bachelor party, Barney can't help but interfere. When Marshall is pissed off at him for all the trouble they went through that night, he threatens to un-invite Barney from the wedding only to find out that Barney flew to San Francisco to get Lily back for him. Ted and Barney turn out to be BOTH Marshall's Best Man. Co-Best Men.

The Goat

Barney corrects Robin when she describes him as Ted's "really good friend".

Everything Must Go

Barney tells Abby that he was Ted's best friend for seven years. Abby retorts that Ted said that Marshall is his best friend and Barney loudly repeats "SEVEN YEARS".


When Ted and Barney reconcile after Barney's accident, they and Marshall tearfully hug and declare that all three are brothers. Barney insists on being Ted's "best brother".

Shelter Island

Barney, Ted, Marshall, and Lily are at Ted's wedding in Shelter Island, discussing how Stella doesn't want Robin at the wedding because she's his ex. Ted says that Robin is his best friend and Marshall and Barney both shout out "Heyyyy Wowwwww!!!!". Ted then rephrases that Robin is his best female friend. Lily tries to do the same reaction "Hey wow..." but then drops it and says "Nah. I don't care. Why fake it?"


Barney says that he and Marshall are in a competition for the title of 'Ted's best friend' and that will change when he tells Ted that he has recommended him to design the New GNB Headquarters.

The Stinsons

The gang and Loretta Stinson discover Ted kissing Margaret, the actress playing Barney's wife. While trying to preserve the deception, Barney states that he has been betrayed by "my best friend".

Old King Clancy

When Bilson fires Ted from designing the new GNB headquarters, he tells Marshall and Barney that Ted's best friend should tell him, to help lessen the blow. They both respond "I have to tell him?" at the same time. This results in one of the rare cases where Marshall and Barney argue against being Ted's best friend, as neither of them want to tell him he's been fired.

The Three Days Rule

Ted learns that the girl Holli he has been flirting with through text messages is actually Barney and Marshall having fun at his expense. To get back at them, he tells "Holli" that he has gay dreams about his best friend. Barney and Marshall both try and convince each other they are the one Ted is dreaming about, and try to convince Ted to tell them who it is.

The Rough Patch

In a past video to Ted, Barney refers to himself as Ted's best friend before turning to Marshall (who is also watching the video) and insolently adding, "That's right, Marshall, I'm his best friend, how does that feel?"

Big Days​​

After Barney says that he would be Ted's best man at his wedding, Ted replies that Marshall probably would be. Barney loudly repeats "As your best man..." Later, Marshall says that his father is his best friend earning a big "wow" from Ted and Barney.

Desperation Day

During Barney's fake history lesson, Saint Valentine (Ted)'s "best bro" is Saint Desperatius (Barney).

Weekend at Barney's

Barney prevents Ted from getting back together with Jeanette by making him perform some of his plays from The Playbook while communicating with him through an earpiece. In one of these plays, Ted wears a hospital gown and tells a girl he is donating his kidney to "my best friend Barney, not Marshall."

Bass Player Wanted

Barney learns from a 'troublemaker' who is at the hotel that Ted is moving to Chicago which opens up a tense conversation between the two.

Memorable Quotes

Ted: Thirty, right. You’re right. I guess it’s just, you’re best friend gets engaged—you start thinking about that stuff.
Barney: I thought I was your best friend. Ted, say I’m your best friend.
Ted: You’re my best friend, Barney.
Ted: Marshall, remember this night. When you’re the best man at our wedding and you give a speech, you’re gonna tell this story.
Barney: Why does he get to be the best man? I’M YOUR BEST FRIEND!

Ted: Why? Why do you need me?
Barney: Because, you’re my best friend, alright? You don’t have to tell me I’m yours. But the way I see it, we’re a team. Without you, I’m just the dynamic uno. You know what, fine. If you wanna go home… then we’ll go home.
Ted: Fine…we’ll go lick the Liberty Bell.
Barney: Good, ‘cuz we’re here!
Sweet Taste of Liberty

Barney: Okay, I got the veil. She wasn't ready to be married. All right, let's talk bachelor party. Are we thinking full-on strip club, or should we rent a room and have a private toy show?
Ted: What did you just say?
Marshall: Barney, no.
Barney: Marshall, I'm your best man.
Marshall: You're not my best man.
Ted: Right here.
Barney: And as your best man, I have to throw you a bachelor party. That's part of being a best friend.
Marshall: You're not my best friend.
Ted: Right here.
Marshall: Barney, I don't have time for a bachelor party. I've got, like, 18 minutes.
Atlantic City

Barney: So.. I just slept with my best friend's ex-girlfriend.
Robin: And I just slept with my ex-boyfriend's really good friend.
Barney: Best friend.
The Goat

Barney: I've been Ted's best friend for seven years.
Abby: Ted said Marshall was his best friend.
Everything Must Go

Barney: Marshall I want you to enjoy this moment.
Marshall: What moment?
Barney: The last moment of you and I are in competition for the title of 'Ted's best friend'.
Ted: Marshall is my best friend.
Barney: Exactly. It's a tie. But all of that is about to change. Is it correct that you are an architect?
Ted: My best friend would know that, but go on.

Ted: You know what? To hell with your dibs. I'm going over there right now and talking to her.
Barney: Oh, yeah, yeah? Be my guest. Fall in love with her. Get married. Just know this: When I step up to make my toast as your best man...
Ted: Actually, Marshall would probably be...
Barney: As your best man...
Big Days

Ted: It's not until...Monday.
Barney: Monday! So you are gonna just disappear the day after my wedding! After ten years of being best friends...
Ted: Well, actually Marshall is...
Barney: Dont even think about it!
Ted: Fair enough.
Barney: You are giving me one days notice?
Bass Player Wanted

External Links

Ted Mosby vte
Friends & Family Tracy McConnellRobin ScherbatskyMarshall EriksenLily AldrinBarney StinsonAlfred MosbyVirginia MosbyHeather MosbyStacyTed's kids
Places MacLaren's PubThe ApartmentWesleyan UniversityGazzola'sTed's houseGoliath National BankNew GNB HeadquartersColumbia UniversityTed's Architecture ClassTed's Second apartmentPuzzles
Phrases RidonkulousTed Mosby: Architect (phrase)Right? Right?
Others Yellow UmbrellaThe Threeway BeltBlue French HornTed's best friendSensory Deprivator 5000Naked Lady NoiseTuxedo NightTantrumTurTurkeyKeyIntervention bannerDoctor XRed Cowboy BootsThe SwordsFive WordsMock SalutesClassic ShmosbyThe Mosby BoysFun factsZitch dogCrosswordCalligraphy
Future Ted Future Ted's euphemisms (Eating a Sandwich) • Future Ted's liesFuture Ted's uncertaintiesFuture Ted's exaggerations

Barney Stinson vte
Friends & Family Robin ScherbatskyTed MosbyMarshall EriksenLily AldrinLeslieLoretta StinsonJames StinsonEli StinsonSadie StinsonTomSam GibbsJerome WhittakerCheryl WhittakerJ.J. WhittakerCarly WhittakerEllie Stinson
Places MacLaren's PubBarney's apartmentGoliath National BankAltruCell CorporationLusty LeopardLaser TagStinson housePuzzlesTotal Rip Fitness
Phrases AwesomeSuit UpLegendaryHave you metTrue StoryWait for itChallenge AcceptedWhat UpPatent PendingThat's The DreamJust... O.K.?Stinson OutPleaseDaddy's home
Others Barney's Blog83Ted's best friendP.L.E.A.S.E.Barney's magicBarney's WeddingHigh FivesThe Bro CodeThe Playbook (book)The Threeway BeltDucky Tie (object)The Eight SlapsNothing Suits Me Like a SuitTuxedo NightBarney's Get Psyched MixParty School BingoPlatinum RuleLemon LawHot/Crazy ScaleThe Mermaid Theory (theory)Freeway TheoryThe Chain of Screaming (theory)The Ewok LineIntervention bannerThe International Date LineFive WordsFake History LessonFake listeningBarney's guysDibsBackwards perspective

Marshall Eriksen vte
Friends & Family Lily AldrinTed MosbyRobin ScherbatskyBarney StinsonMarvin Eriksen Sr.Judy EriksenMarvin Eriksen Jr.Marcus EriksenAshley EriksenMartin EriksenMarvin W. EriksenDaisy EriksenUnnamed Eriksen Child
Places MacLaren's PubThe ApartmentWesleyan UniversityGoliath National BankMarshall and Lily's apartmentMarshall and Lily's houseAltruCell CorporationGazzola'sHoneywell & CootesNicholson, Hewitt, and West
Phrases LawyeredI'll Allow It
Others Ducky Tie (object)The Eight SlapsTed's best friendMinnesota VikingsYou Just Got SlappedMabelTantrumMarshall versus the MachinesBest Night EverMarshall MedleyIntervention bannerMarshgammonMarshall's punsThe Fish ListThe SwordsLong term betsFive WordsBig FudgeI'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)Singing habitRevertigo