Barney Stinson

Barney Stinson

    How I Met Your Mother
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew Up… in Staten Island with his single mother, Loretta, and his older brother, James. Both Barney and James pestered their mother about why they had different skin colors and who their fathers were, but she would simply change the subject. Eventually she told Barney that his father was “The Price is Right” host Bob Barker, something Barney believed well into adulthood. Despite his lack of a father, he had a relatively happy childhood.

Living… in “The Fortress of Barnitude” on East 84th Street and 3rd Avenue in Manhattan, equipped with two bedrooms (one for his suits) and two 300-inch flat screen TVs, as well as several booby traps in order to eject women from his apartment if they desire to spend the night. Still, Barney spends most of his time at McLaren’s Pub. That’s where he picks up women and hangs out with his best friend Ted – at least Barney is convinced they’re best friends – and the rest of their gang, which includes Canadian-born TV host Robin and married couple Marshall and Lily.

Profession… who knows? Whenever’s he’s asked what he does, Barney just laughs and says, “Please!” as if the answer should be obvious. What is clear is that Barney makes a lot of money and is quite powerful within his company, AltruCell.

Interests… sleeping with women who have “daddy issues,” playing laser tag, magic/illusions, his suits (“Suits are full of joy. They’re the sartorial equivalent of a baby’s smile”), “Star Wars,” “The Bro Code,” saying “Legen-... wait for it… -dary” and “challenge accepted,” offering advice where it isn’t wanted, and lying.

Relationship Status… single or taken or widowed or divorced, whatever it takes to seduce a woman. Using an elaborate system he’s codified in “The Playbook,” Barney creates a different persona for every woman he meets and goes to extraordinary lengths to get her to sleep with him.

Challenge… commitment. Having been hurt as a young man, Barney vowed to become a womanizer in order to never feel that way again: “When I get sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead.” By avoiding any emotional attachment to women, he can avoid getting his heart broken. But in the end, is such a shallow existence one worth living?

Personality… charming, charismatic, and caddish. Barney can be a selfish pleasure-seeker, and he's probably not a guy you'd want dating your sister. But somehow everything’s just more fun when Barney is around. He genuinely cares about his friends and when it comes down to the important stuff, he’d do anything for them. In his words, “Think of me like Yoda, but instead of being little and green I wear suits and I’m awesome. I’m your bro – I’m Broda!”  


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