Barney Stinson is the witty womanizer from How I Met Your Mother with sympathetic and hateable moments in equal measure.
Mother focuses on a group of friends navigating their life in New York City. One of these friends is Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris), the loveable womanizer who is always in search of a good time.
This character is primarily remembered for his witty one-liners, magical abilities, insane pickup lines, and crazy antics, but there is more to Barney than meets the eye. This character has some truly deep moments, as well as some repulsive ones.
10.Felt Bad: Found Out His Backstory With Shannon
Barney wasn’t always the care-free smooth-talking womanizer many remember him to be. In fact, he used to be the complete opposite. Barney was a compassionate loving hippie who wanted to make the world a better place. He and his girlfriend Shannon were going to travel together and attempt to change the world.
Unfortunately, Shannon left him for a corporate rich jerk, breaking Barney’s heart and sending him on a downward spiral. After recording a video of him crying while professing his love and singing a song to her, Barney decided he was never going to be hurt again, transforming into the Barney we all know and love.
9.Hated: Cheats On Nora
Nora was one of the best women Barney dated. The had a solid relationship and Nora was one of the few deep, long-term relationships Barney maintained. Instead of remaining faithful to Nora, Barney cheated on her with Robin. At the time, Robin was also in a serious relationship with Kevin, one of the sweetest characters ever featured on the show making this situation awful all around.
8.Felt Bad: Robin Rejects Him
Following his affair with Robin, Barney confessed his true feelings to Robin. They both agreed to break up with their partners and meet at MacLaren’s at midnight to discuss their relationship moving forward. Barney told Nora the truth and ended the relationship, fully expecting Robin and him to move forward with their relationship.
The moment she walks into MacLaren’s with Kevin is a truly heartbreaking moment for both Barney, and those watching. While Barney chokes back tears and quickly exits the bar, fans at home couldn’t hold back theirs.
7.Hated: Treatment Of Women
Barney’s entire character was based on his awful treatment of women, but there were some times he went way too far. From his offensive jokes about fat women to his downright manipulative plays, Barney made it clear that he saw women as objects.
Barney violated many of the women he pursued, even taking and keeping videos the women didn’t know about. He even mentions in passing that he believes he sold a woman at one point. Yikes!
6.Felt Bad: Got Hit By A Bus
Barney and Ted’s friendship went through some troubling times. There were moments when their friendship came to a halt with the two not on speaking terms. During one such instance, Barney received a call from Lily saying that Ted had been in an accident. Although Lily attempts to tell Barney he is okay, Barney doesn’t heart this as he immediately hangs up and runs out of his office, skipping an important meeting and heading straight to the hospital.
When he is not able to hail a cab, he decides to run the whole way there. In his panicked state and desire to get to Ted as soon as possible, Barney makes a tragic misstep and gets hit by a bus. Though very injured, he does eventually recover and repair his relationship with Ted.
5.Hated: Throws Lily Out
When Lily returns to the United States, she has nowhere to go so Barney agrees to let her live with him temporarily. While this was originally supposed to be a short stay, Barney soon realizes that having Lily in the house is a great way to chase away his one-night stands. He makes a deal with Lily where she can stay as long as she agrees to pretend to be his wife.
The arrangement works well for a while, with them both very happy. One night, the two end up hanging out in the apartment, they both fall asleep in Barney’s bed. When Barney wakes in the morning and discovers the two have fallen asleep in the same bed without engaging in sexual activity, he is horrified and forces her to move out instantly.
4.Felt Bad: Confronts His Father
Barney long struggled with the absence of his father in his life. As an adult, he finally finds his father and decides to try to get to know him. Barney is devastated when he discovers that his father is remarried with a child and an active member of a loving family.
Completely crushed, Barney has a break down and tries to steal the basketball hoop from his house because he feels it’s the least of what he is owed. When his father comes out and attempts to speak to him, Barney yells “if you were gonna be some lame suburban dad, why couldn’t you have been that for me?”
3.Hated: Hits On Lily
It’s no surprise that Barney think’s Lily’s hot. He consistently hits on her, despite her constant rejections. Lily is one of his closest female friends but he doesn’t even respect her enough to take no for an answer. This treatment of Lily is representative of all of his interactions with women but feels worse due to how much fans love and respect Lily.
2.Felt Bad: Barney And Robin’s Divorce
Barney and Robin had many ups and downs throughout the series. It really seemed like these two were going to have a lasting relationship. The scene where Barney and Robin realize their relationship isn’t working anymore and decide to get a divorce is soul-crushing.
Both Barney and Robin care deeply for each other but aren’t getting what they need out of the relationship. Making the decision to end the relationship before the resentment builds is smart, but it doesn’t make this moment any easier.
1.Hated: Transphobic Remarks
There is a lot of transphobia in How I Met Your Mother. This is especially true during the earlier seasons of the show. While all of the characters participate, Barney is the worst offender.
He regularly tosses around offensive slurs and even plays an offensive game with the gang as they try to identify transgender people. This behavior is completely unacceptable and repugnant.