Neil Patrick Harris Set to Return as Barney Stinson in How I Met Your Father

Apr 4, 2023

How I Met Your Mother fan favorite Barney Stinson will soon be back on the small screen. Played by Neil Patrick Harris, Barney has long been one of television’s most popular characters because of how the actor hilariously brought the role to life over the course of the original TV show. Barney made a special appearance with Harris reprising the role at the start of the second season of Hulu’s follow-up series How I Met Your Father, and it was expected that he’d pop up again at some point. Per Variety, it’s now been confirmed that Harris will be back as Barney in the upcoming two-part mid-season finale of the sitcom, premiering on Hulu on March 28th.

Season 2 of the show premiered in January. The opener saw Harris as Barney showing up when Sophie (Hilary Duff) accidentally crashes into his vehicle because of distracted driving. None other than Barney turned out to be the driver of the other car, as came out and surveyed the damage before letting out an exasperated, “Dude!”

At the time, How I Met Your Father creators Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger teased that the storyline involving Barney would have a “major” effect on the plot. We’ll have to see exactly how that comes to be in the episodes to come, though Aptaker suggested it would have as much of an impact as the return of Cobie Smulders’ Robin Scherbatsky in season 1.

“Whenever we talk about bringing back a member of the original crew, you want it to serve two purposes: You want to give some tidbits about what is going on in their lives, where they’ve landed and where they’re at, but it’s also about how they impact the How I Met Your Father story, and how they send one of our characters in a new, unexpected direction,” Aptaker told TVLine. “Similar to Robin last year, we’ll learn some more about where Barney’s at, but it’ll also have a major impact on the trajectory, and main narrative, of our season.”

Related: How I Met Your Father’s Messy Moments Were Inspired By Real Life Scenarios

How I Met Your Father Brings Back Fan Favorites from Its Predecessor

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Berger has also teased that there are creative plans already in place for everyone from the original show to potentially get involved in with How I Met Your Father. She said in a separate interview with Entertainment Weekly that it was just a matter of finding the perfect time to bring these characters into the sequel series, as they all need to happen in a way that’s organic and makes sense creatively.

“We truly have discussed plot lines for all of the original characters,” she said. “Now it’s just a question of parsing them out and hoping that people are available and want to do it when it’s the right time to ask. But yes, we think it’s so much fun, and it makes our world bigger, and it satisfies fans on a really deep level, so we love to do it, and we have the ideas.”

The mid-season finale of How I Met Your Father will premiere on Hulu on March 28th. Hulu will bring back the show for the latter half of season 2 after taking several weeks off for a hiatus. You can currently stream past episodes of the series on Hulu.

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