Preteen Years. Barney was the most popular kid in the school in his own mind, but the least popular kid in everyone else’s. Despite this miscommunication, Barney’s confidence continued to skyrocket. Again, his mother told him fibs to get by, but whatever she said worked. If Barney was picked on, he thought of this bully as a new friend to mess around with. When a girl turned him down, he figured it was because she was intimidated by him. For those reasons and more, Barney remained at the top of the world. One day when being “bullied” by his “friend” Matthew, he convinced Barney that he had had sex with 100 girls. His overconfidence got the best of him, and Barney promised Matthew that he would one day sleep with twice as many girls. This bet would continue to plague him far down the road, documented during the years of How I Met Your Mother.
Barney Stinson is a complicated man. He wears suits like they’re t-shirts, finds himself in situations with women beyond his own knowledge and control, and has an unwavering infatuation with lazer tag–it is safe to say that Barney Stinson is still a little boy underneath an older facade. But what was it that stunted this man’s behavior from developing past that of a 17-year-old?
Childhood. From birth, Barney was raised by his mother without any sort of father-figure present in his life. He stayed by her side at all times, rarely seen detached from her hip. Although he likes to think of himself as a man, his underlying sensitive nature growing up is solely the result of none other than his mother shielding him from the rest of the world. Did Barney make the basketball team? “Yes,” replied his mother, “but you’re too good, so I will not let you play.” The truth of the matter? Barney sucked and did not even make the team.