Daddy won’t be coming home.
In the latest installment of his Wondercade newsletter, Neil Patrick Harris interviews How I Met Your Father star Hilary Duff, who asks him if he’d consider reprising his Emmy-nominated role as ladies’ man Barney Stinson on the How I Met Your Mother sequel series. That’s when Harris suggests that the Barnacle’s “antics” wouldn’t fly in the #MeToo era, and the show would be better off without him.
“As for coming on your show (insert joke here), I worry,” Harris says. “Barney’s antics, his overt delusions of grandeur, would likely get everyone in trouble. So, unless he’s changed his ways or joined a nunnery (insert an insert joke here), not sure if it’s in anyone’s best interest.”
Duff, meanwhile, theorizes that every scam, con, hustle, hoodwink, gambit, flimflam, stratagem and bamboozle that Barney ever used to wine, dine and score with women would land him in serious legal trouble.
“I’m not sure how you feel about this, but I’m pretty sure Barney would… be in jail in 2022,” she says. “Since we’re living in the world of females coming into power, I’m assuming that’s why they made [Barney-esque character Valentina] a woman!”
Original series creator Carter Bays previously lamented the Mother-ship’s creative missteps in a Twitter thread last summer. “I won’t go into specifics,” he said at the time, “but I’ll just say I would love to go into an edit room and go George Lucas on this thing, and remove certain stuff I really wish wasn’t in there and I bet nobody would miss.”
Bays indicated that his commentary followed a viewing of Season 3’s 18th episode, “Rebound Bro,” in which Barney helped sad sack Randy Wharmpess (recurring guest star Will Forte) pick up women at MacLaren’s. In order to improve Randy’s small talk, Barney enlisted the help of a reluctant Robin, threatening to leak a sex tape of the two of them if she didn’t comply.
Prior to How I Met Your Father‘s debut, fans of HIMYM theorized that Barney could be the titular father (highly unlikely). Theories have since shifted, with some now believing that he’ll be revealed as father to Duff’s Sophie (sliiiightly more likely).
So, what do you think? Are you holding out hope that Harris will appear on How I Met Your Father? Or do you agree with his statement that the sequel series would be better off without Barney?