Barney Stinson is undoubtedly the most awesome character on TV. Played by Neil Patrick Harris on the hit show How I Met Your Mother, this womanizing, suit-wearing, story-telling, character can do it all.
But why is this character so awesome? What does the audience love so much about him? His ridiculous “true” stories? His mysterious life? His never ending skill set? His crafty schemes to get women? Or his constant happiness? I believe that all of these factors among others play important roles in making Barney Stinson the exciting, well received, “high functioning sociopath” that has captured the hearts of America.
Barney has many catch phrases associated with him that add awesomeness to his character. One of these: “True story” follows absurd, nonsensical, stories that somehow relate to picking up women or being a bro or doing something incredible in order to impress his friends. This is one of my favorite stories: Barney’s interpretation of Jesus’ Resurrection.
“Jesus waited three days to come back to life. It was perfect! If he had only waited one day, a lot of people wouldn't have even heard he died. They'd be all, "Hey Jesus, what up?" and Jesus would probably be like, "What up? I died yesterday!" and they'd be all, "Uh, you look pretty alive to me, dude..." and then Jesus would have to explain how he was resurrected, and how it was a miracle, and the dude'd be like "Uhh okay, whatever you say, bro..." And he's not gonna come back on a Saturday. Everybody's busy, doing chores, workin' the loom, trimmin' the beard, NO. He waited the perfect number of days, three. Plus it's Sunday, so everyone's in church already, and they're all in there like "Oh no, Jesus is dead", and then BAM! He bursts in the back door, runnin' up the aisle, everyone's totally psyched, and FYI, that's when he invented the high five. That's why we wait three days to call a woman, because that's how long Jesus wants us to wait.... True story.”
Who needs to tell actual history when changing history makes the story so much cooler and applicable to picking up women? That’s the Barney way. So ludicrous, yet so funny, and America naturally falls in love.
The effects of these stories are accentuated by Barney’s appearance. He always, always, always wears suits. As a few episodes have shown, Barney used to be a hippy, who enlisted in the peace corp and had a long term relationship. Then when a man in a suit took his woman from him, he “suited up” and the Barney we know today was born. These suits represent a very serious front for a very lighthearted man. Even though he does work at a huge suit-wearing corporation, what he does there has not been revealed in 8 seasons of the show.Who would want to know? It spoils the fun. We do not want to know that Barney actually has a serious job.
Two of his self-perceived greatest accomplishments are creating the BroBible and the Playbook. This playbook represents a strategy book for lying to women to get them in bed. These random, yet brilliant yet stupid strategies highlight Barney’s social life. Here is a clip with some of my favorites:
Barney is on a whole new level of absurdness. But these schemes and constant ridiculousness makes him, in my opinion, the most awesome character on TV today.