How I Met Your Mother’s Barney Stinson has aged rather poorly due to his horrible personality traits, but the womanizer does have redeeming qualities.
If there is one word that could sum up all of Barney’s pursuits and attributes, it would be relentless; if he wants something or wants to do something, he goes and he does it, and whether that thing is despicable or not, his determination should be admired.
When Barney grows as a person, the determination he puts into his sexual pursuits seep over into his love for Robin, his care for his friends, and his want to make his family happy; while he sometimes misses the mark, he puts in the effort.
On the surface, How I Met Your Mother presents Ted and Barney as two very different guys, ONE NICE AND SWEET, the other sociopathic and evil, but in reality, it goes far deeper than that, and in many ways, Barney is a far better guy than Ted.
As well as actually undergoing personal growth, Barney is self-aware. While Ted is massively deluded about himself and his life and pretty much always thinks he is in the right and is a good guy, Barney makes clear on many occasions he knows how damaged he is, how he is a liar, a cheat, and treats women awfully. He even understands many of the familial issues that he experienced in his childhood that shaped his broken nature.
Undergoing personal growth got mentioned earlier in comparing Ted and Barney’s merits as ‘good guys’ and ultimately that is the factor on which any pro-Barney argument hinges, Ted’s almost unbelievable lack of growth and Barney’s huge development.
While he does tend to easily revert back to his old ways quickly, THROUGH MATURING, various romances, marriage, and having kids, Barney shows himself to be a grown man, someone who has a purpose and a reason to live beyond the bedrooms of strangers and the comfort of MacLarens.
Neil Patrick Harris’ performance as Barney was incredible for all nine seasons of the show and really drew audiences into loving the character despite his heinous ways, using a charisma that was unmatched on the show.
As the show progresses, Barney’s true temperament unravels as his character is explored at a deeper level than him just being awesome. One of the most significant aspects of his character that gets explored is the love and care he has for the people in his life.
First off his love for his mother and brother is immense, adoring the pair and wanting to make them happy at all costs. Then there is the rest of the gang who, while he does hurt and make out that he does not necessarily have more layers to him, he proves time and time again that he adores and would do anything for, like go to San Fransisco to save relationship of marshall and lily.