How I Met Your Mother: 10 Saddest Things About Barney

Barney is actually quite a sad character in How I Met Your Mother, and these are the saddest things about him.

He Grew Up In A Dysfunctional Home

The saddest thing about Barney is that he grew up in such a dysfunctional home, it’s really no wonder he grew up into an insecure egotist. Who he grew up to be is not really his fault. His mother Loretta lied about who his father was and she always prioritized having fun over taking care of her own son. To make matters worse, he was bullied at school and Loretta lied to him about the reality of things in order to protect his feelings.

No one ever took the responsibility to raise Barney into a functioning adult. It’s actually pretty amazing that he finished his education and became financially independent.

His Happy-Go-Lucky Persona Is An Act

Barney always seems to be in a great mood. He is excited about everything he does, be it flirting, playing laser tag or getting Ted to bend to his will. As the series progress and we find out about his miserable past, it seems as if he has finally left his demons behind. He went from being a hopeless naive hippy to a confident business man that his college girlfriend dumped him for.

Barney probably told himself that he wants to be like that man as he seems to have it all: money, cars and women. He is really good at pretending he is happy and since we never see him alone without his friends around, it’s hard to know how he is when he ends up home alone, with no hook up to keep him company and to watch him pretend he is happy.

He Doesn’t Trust His Girlfriends

In the first few seasons, Barney is happy being a womanizer who doesn’t want to commit whatsoever. He sees women as objects, things to be conquered and bases his self-worth based on the fact that he has a way with the ladies. When he falls in love with Quinn, he starts considering settling down with one person one day. They have the same sense of humor and don’t judge each other for their life choices at all.

They ultimately break up because they confess that they don’t really trust each other. Why exactly they don’t consider each other trustworthy is never explored on the show.


He Is Awfully Private

Of everyone in the gang, Barney is the most private. For the longest time, his friends don’t even know where he lives or what he does for a living. In order for his mother not to find out the truth about his lifestyle, he even hires a woman and a young boy to pose as his family. His need to be private is highly correlated with his fear of being truly intimate.

While it is true he has no problem with having one night stands, he wants the girls to leave immediately in the morning and leave no traces behind in his flat.

He Often Resorts To Defense Mechanisms

Barney’s true personality rarely shines through as he almost solely communicates through his defense mechanisms, one of the most iconic and endearing being his quirky sense of humor and enthusiasm. He also resorts to magic tricks very often, especially when communicating a life-changing message. When he proposed to Quinn, he pulled an elaborate prank, making it one of the most memorable proposal but also really weird.


He Compares Himself To Others

Barney’s insecurity also shows when he keeps competing with Marshall when it comes to the title of being Ted’s best friend. It is absolutely tragic to see him struggle to win over Ted’s affection. It’s hard not to feel bad about him when Ted continuously tells him that it’s Marshall that is actually his #1 best friend and always will be.


A Portrait Of A Contemporary Consumer

Barney is obsessed with always looking stylish and has spent an entire fortune on his suits as well as his flat. He once bought a TV so big and shiny that it was impossible to watch. Obsessed with being up-to-date when it comes to other tech gadgets too, this is his way of trying to obtain happiness. He has convinced himself that money can buy him happiness. What else would his soul-sucking corporate job be good for if not for making bank?

Barney’s obsession with appearances and fashion is something that plagues all of us to some extent. While being financially secure is something we all desire, spending all that wealth on status symbols didn’t benefit Barney at all.

He Doesn’t Understand Friendships

Barney met Ted at the urinal and decided to teach him how to live. After Barney falsely thought that Ted helped him get a girl’s number, the rest was history. Barney needed a wing man and Ted just happened to be there. The group seems to be perfect  most of the time, but they also often wonder why exactly they are friends with Barney, which is understandable, but also cruel and dishonest.

Barney loves his friends and is extremely loyal to them. When Lily left Marshall, he went to see her in San Francisco and changed the course of the couple’s history, yet refused to take credit. Filming a resume for Robin and helping Marshall get a job were also some of the nicest things Barney has ever done  on the show.


The Father Complex

Barney grew up without a dad and that has wounded him in irreparable ways. He met his biological father when he was a kid, but was introduced to him as his uncle Jerry. He took him to the National History Museum. His last words to him were “Never stop partying” – which he probably took to heart. Barney lived in an illusion that Bob Barker is his real dad. Once he admitted to himself that that’s not true, he broke down.

He projected his own image onto the girls he had the most luck with.


He Got The Worst Ending

There is hope, though. One of the girls he hooks up with gives birth to his daughter Ellie. Meeting her, he declares her love for her and he surely won’t want any men like himself to come close to his baby girl. Hopefully, it means that he will stop treating women like garbage for good.

Author: Admin

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