For the episode, see The Chain of Screaming.
Chain of screaming - arthur screams.png
The Chain of Screaming, The Circle of Screaming, or The Pyramid of Screaming, is a theory devised by Barney Stinson, stating that once screamed at by a higher authority, one must scream at someone lower than themselves.

In The Chain of Screaming​​, after Marshall witnesses a work buddy get yelled at after handing in a report, he becomes paranoid that his boss will do the same to him after failing to complete a report on time. Barney gives him an example of Gary Blauman and what happened to him during a meeting. A guy yells at him in front of other people, but he interrupts him and tells him to "Kiss my ass!" since his cousin just had a website start up and was making money. He then stands on top of the conference table and tries to pee, but he gets performance anxiety and then eventually gives up. Barney tells him that the cousin's website eventually ended, Gary started working as a janitor, and then killed himself.

Barney tells Marshall that the moral of the story is to not yell at your boss because there is something called the "Chain of Screaming" and that it starts at the top. He gives an example of Artillery Arthur and tells everyone that Arthur's boss's boss screams at Arthur's boss, then on down the chain it goes until it gets to Lily who screams at a student who then screams at her father who turns out to be Arthur's boss' boss. Barney explains that Marshall shouldn't deal with it - the way that the Chain (or Circle) of Screaming works is that one person screams at someone "below" him, then that person screams at another person, and so on.

Notes and Trivia

  • A similar idea is behind this sketch by Danish caricaturist Herluf Bidstrup.
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