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The Barney Scene From How I Met Your Mother That Went Too Far

"How I Met Your Mother" is one of the most popular sitcoms of the past two decades. Premiering in 2005, the ensemble comedy seemed to fill the hole created by the ending of "Friends" in 2004. For nine seasons, Ted, Marshall, Lily, Robin, and Barney made their way into our living rooms and into our hearts. Despite a hotly anticipated gender-swapped reboot, "How I Met Your Father," starring Hilary Duff, the show has not aged well. Its shocking finale has been called one of the worst of all time and was overwhelmingly hated by loyal fans of the show, souring potential rewatches for even the most dedicated viewers.

However, it's not the show's unbelievable ending that has caused so many to review it harshly — it's the show itself. In the seven years since "How I Met Your Mother" went off the air, audiences have realized just how many of the show's jokes were simply thinly veiled (or oftentimes completely blatant) bigotry. The series has been criticized, too, for its rampant misogyny, often perpetuated by Barney Stinson, played by Neil Patrick Harris.

Barney is the ladies' man of the show, the one who never wants to settle down and brags about his sexual adventures. While Harris' comedy chops and charm helped make Barney seem like less of a jerk, there were some times where he went too far. 

Barney never respects women

Barney Stinson's entire personality consisted of lying to women, objectifying women, sleeping with women, and (horrifyingly) filming them having sex without their consent. His conquests were always treated as the butt of the joke, as foolish women for falling for Barney's charades and getting hurt, rather than rightfully blaming him for being deceitful.

Apart from his general misogyny, though, Barney had many schemes and tricks to get a woman into bed, which he outlined in his infamous "Playbook." While many of these schemes were quite funny, thanks largely to Neil Patrick Harris' showmanship, in retrospect, many of them are just creepy.

Barney often used his Playbook when he was trying to score a certain type of women. In Season 4, Episode 3, Barney takes this to a new level, deciding to "dress up" as a lesbian so he could "conquer" sleeping with a gay woman. Not only is this an offensive characterization of what gay women are assumed to look like, but it also reinforces the idea that lesbians are just going through a phase and that the "right" man will make them heterosexual again.

"How I Met Your Mother" never treated LGBTQ+ people very well, and it's disappointing to revisit a beloved show and see how problematic it truly was. While the series is still wholly entertaining and comforting in many ways, we're glad these kind of harmful jokes have less of a place on television today.