Neil Patrick Harris thinks Ted made up a lot of Barney HIMYM stories

Neil Patrick Harris, who played Barney in How I Met Your Mother, believes the show’s framing device is to blame for some of its craziest stories.

how I Met Your Mother star Neil Patrick Harris believes a lot of the Barney stories from the show were made up. Harris played protagonist Ted’s petticoat friend (Josh Radner) throughout the sitcom’s nine seasons, from 2005 to 2014. The series ended up winning ten Primetime Emmys in its run, with Harris being nominated four. times for best supporting actor in a comedy series.

Designed like the story Ted tells his children in 2030, how I Met Your Mother centers on her tumultuous love life, as well as the lives of her closest friends. Of these, Barney Stinson is seen as the escape character, positioned for most of the series as an unapologetic playboy who uses increasingly convoluted strategies to sleep with women. While the series explores more serious aspects of her character, her outrageous stories are most often played for comedy, as is her array of catchphrases.


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Viewers are tricked into believing that some elements of Barney’s life are pure fiction, but in an interview with The Guardian, Harris suggests they should doubt even more than they already do. When prompted by the idea that his character’s views of women haven’t aged particularly well, he says he thinks a lot of what has been shown hasn’t actually happened. and was rather a product of the framing device. With Future Ted telling the story, Harris thinks a lot of what fans see of Barney is the projection of the protagonist of his single friend:

Well my take on How I Met Your Mother is that it wasn’t all real. The structure of the show is the future Ted telling the story to his children. In doing so, he fictionalizes the narrative and talks about his friend who was the wingman, the boyfriend, the guy who always wanted to party and have fun and make every experience an event. So I think of Barney as that weird anti-superhero, who when he failed, just made up a story to make him succeed.

Ted and Barney with a baby

Harris’ comment is ultimately ambiguous about who is lying, although it is very possible that Barney and Ted are to some extent guilty of it. It is an established feature of how I Met Your Mother that Barney likes to spruce up his life story to make it seem more impressive, but these stories are usually brought up in the narrative, suggesting that Ted recognizes them as fake. While the narrator could certainly make them up himself, if Barney had lied about many of his escapades, it’s possible that Ted’s image of his single friend forced him to believe them and pass them off as real in his story.

The fact that many of the heightened elements of Barney’s character could have an explanation in the world, rather than stemming from being part of a sitcom, is certainly an interesting wrinkle for. how I Met Your Mother fans to consider. Ted’s friends take on more symbolic meaning based on their roles in his life, with Barney offering a conflicting philosophy of relationships to Marshall (Jason Segel) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan), which is often presented in terms of marriage. It would be interesting to imagine how Barney’s life depicted on the show “really turned out” and what he might have looked like if another character were telling the story instead.

Next: How I Met Your Father’s Perfect Crossover Character Is Barney

Source: The Guardian

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