Neil Patrick Harris
Source: getty

Will Neil Patrick Harris Come Back for 'How I Met Your Father'? Wait for It...


Feb. 3 2022, Published 1:49 a.m. ET

Ever since How I Met Your Father star Hilary Duff teased fans that one of the members of the original How I Met Your Mother cast would perhaps be appearing in the spinoff's freshman season, all eyes turned to Neil Patrick Harris's Barney Stinson.

Hilary, who plays the female protagonist equivalent of HIMYM's Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor), describes her character, Sophie, as someone who "wholeheartedly believes in love" and whose journey of "figuring herself out" we'll get to see in the series.

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But as far as who and what else we'll get to see in the How I Met Your Mother reboot, audience members are wondering what the chances are that Barney will return to the on-screen universe.

So, will Neil Patrick Harris be on How I Met Your Father?

himym original cast
Source: getty

the original cast of 'How I Met Your Mother': Neil Patrick Harris, Cobie Smulders, Josh Radnor, Alyson Hannigan and Jason Segel

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Will Neil Patrick Harris be on 'How I Met Your Father'?

Neil Patrick Harris's Barney Stinson was one of the five main characters in the original CBS sitcom. Fans will remember Barney as a sex-obsessed womanizer who experiments with a number of lengthy seduction techniques, many of which are rather mean-spirited, until he falls for Robin and the two have an on-again, off-again relationship.

Since he was a character whose romantic antics kept fans laughing for the nine seasons of the original show's run, many have been clamoring for Barney to make his return. "Just bring Barney in and the show is saved," one person mused on Twitter. "The problem with How I Met Your Father is that it lacks a Barney-type character," wrote another. "Someone who will do the most ridiculous thing while still being funny."

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But Neil Patrick Harris himself addressed the possibility of an appearance in his newsletter, Wondercade, where he interviews HIMYF star Hilary Duff (per TV Line). "As for coming on your show (insert joke here), I worry," he told the former Disney Channel star. "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 and insert joke here), not sure if it's in anyone's best interest."

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"I'm not sure how you feel about this, but I'm pretty sure Barney would... be in jail in 2022," she said to Neil, alluding, at least in part, to the "Playbook" he kept to get with women on the series. "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!"

How I Met Your Mother certainly was not without its problematic moments, many of which came at the expense of its female characters, as TV Line notes. After rewatching the Season 3 episode "Rebound Bro," in which Barney threatens to leak a sex tape of him and Robin if she doesn't help another character pick women up at the group's local bar, series creator Carter Bays took to Twitter to express he'd now do some things differently.

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"I won't go into specifics 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," Carter tweeted at the time.

Despite the fact that we won't be seeing the return of Neil's Barney on screen, the Doogie Howser, M.D. star has nothing but good things to say about the reboot.

"We're kind of in an interesting sort of spinoff world or redo worlds, right?" Neil said in a 2021 interview with Insider. "There's Wonder Years that's happening again. And there's lots of different shows that are sort of remounting in different iterations. They had tried to make a How I Met Your Father a couple of times before and so it's nice to see that this one's sticking. I hope it lands."

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