While How I Met Your Mother’s Barney Stinson is synonymous with suits, he has gone suitless on occasion, with these being the most iconic examples.
Although it’s not the first time audiences see Barney suitless, the flashbacks of his pre-corporate-sandal-wearing-granola-munching getup in the classic first season episode “Game Night” are priceless.
A virginal Barney throws up a pair of deuces to the jerk customer who hassles him at his barista job, completely unaware that his girlfriend is cheating on him with the very same jerk.
How Lily Stole Christmas
In the season two episode “How Lily Stole Christmas,” Barney catches a nasty cold and tries to fight off the sickness, refusing to let his weakened immune system impede his fast-paced lifestyle. He eventually caves to his body’s pleas and hunkers down, Robin acting as his nurse.
He even comments on his attire: “I’m a Ted! I’m wearing elastic-waist fleece pants!
Monday Night Football”
One of most memorable times audiences see Barney “suit down” is when the gang attends their first funeral together in “Monday Night Football.” They discover funerals (of all events) happen to be one of the only times Barney wears regular clothing since he believes suits parallel celebrations.
We’re Not From Here
Ted and Barney concoct a silly ploy to pick up women in which they pretend to be from out of town so other New Yorkers will show them around, hoping to charm them with cluelessness and naïveté.
Barney decides to wear a plaid button-down shirt on their double-date, branding their “small-town Iowa farm boys” shtick. Things backfire when they realize their dates aren’t even from New York – they’re Jersey natives, an unforgivable offense!
Everything Must Go
Barney’s pride takes a serious hit when he waltzes into the bar with Abby, dressed in matching sweater sets that would make real Barney heave.
I Heart NJ
When Barney bulldozes his way into Maclaren’s wearing an elusive trenchcoat in the fourth season episode “I Heart NJ,” he reveals the last outfit anyone would expect him to be wearing underneath – one that allows him to pretend to be a lesbian.
The gang immediately gets pumped up, excited to finally watch Barney attempt his goal of successfully picking up a lesbian. He even asks to borrow Robin’s lipstick, tracing his lips as though he’s entering a battle.
The Front Porch
“The Front Porch,” the gang promise Robin they’ll finally watch her 4 o’clock morning show, which reveals each of their nighttime outfits. While Marshall proudly sports a nightgown, Barney dons a silky set of “suit-jamas,” AKA pajamas fashioned as a three-piece suit.
In the season four episode titled “Murtaugh,” Ted and Barney face-off in an epic battle of the ages after Ted challenges Barney to complete every item on his “Murtaugh list,” a compiled list of things Ted’s too old for.
When he and Robin return home from being up all night at a rave, Barney is wearing a ridiculous raver-esque outfit, complete with a fishnet shirt over a neon-green tank top and bubblegum pink hair!
Barney Stinson has more outfit changes in the fifth season episode “The Playbook” than any other episode of the series.
Barney goes through the different plays he makes when picking up women, demonstrated through instructional guides in The Playbook, AKA his prized possession and treasure trove full of ridiculous scenarios. This includes “Mrs. Stinsfire” and “The Scuba Diver,” which Barney continuously plays out as the episode carries on.
Girls Versus Suits
Last but not least, the season five episode “Girls Versus Suits” centers around the hot new bartender at Maclaren’s who happens to be turned off by suits, much to Barney’s dismay. In order to win her affection, Barney must ditch his beloved suits and cravats, which proves to be much more difficult than he originally anticipated.
The episode ends with a brilliant musical number (after Barney chooses his suits over the girl) where Neil Patrick Harris uses his Broadway chops to belt out: “Nothing suits me like a suit!”