HIMYM: Neil Patrick Harris Says that Ted Invented A Lot of Barney’s Tales

On HIMYM, Neil Patrick Harris plays Barney, believes that many of the show’s Barney stories were made up. Throughout the sitcom’s nine seasons, Harris played the womanising friend of protagonist Ted (Josh Radner). The show received ten Primetime Emmy nominations during its run. With Harris receiving four nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.

Barney Stinson is the show’s breakout character. Portraying himself as an unapologetic playboy who employs increasingly convoluted strategies to sleep with women for the majority of the show. While the series does explore more serious aspects of his character.

Viewers are led to believe that certain aspects of Barney’s life are complete fabrications, but Harris suggests that they should be doubting even more than they already do in an interview with The Guardian. With Future Ted narrating the storey, Harris believes that much of what fans see of Barney is a projection of the protagonist’s single friend:

So, in my opinion, How I Met Your Mother was not entirely true. The show is structured around future Ted telling the storey to his children. He’s fictionalizing the storey by doing so, and he’s talking about his wingman, his buddy. The guy who was always wanting to party and have a good time and turn any experience into an event. As a result, I imagine Barney as a strange antihero who, when he fails, makes up a storey to make him succeed.

In the end, Harris’ remark is ambiguous about who is lying. Though it’s very possible that both Barney and Ted are guilty to some extent. Barney’s habit of embellishing his life storey to appear more impressive is a well-known feature of HIMYM. While the narrator could be making them up on his own. If, Ted’s image of his bachelor friend compelled him to believe them. And pass them off as true in his retelling. It’s possible that Ted’s image of his bachelor friend compelled him to believe them and pass them off as true in his retelling.

It’s an intriguing wrinkle for HIMYM fans to consider that many of Barney’s character’s. Heightened elements could have an in-world explanation rather than stemming from his being on a sitcom. Ted’s friends take on more symbolic meaning as a result of their roles in his life. With Barney offering a conflicting relationship philosophy to Marshall (Jason Segel) and Lily (Alyssa Hannigan). It’d be fascinating to speculate on how much of the show’s depiction of Barney’s life “actually happened.”  And what he might have looked like if another character were narrating instead.

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