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HIMYM Fans Agree This Season 6 Moment Shows Barney At His Realest

One of the most beloved sitcoms of the 2000s, "How I Met Your Mother" immediately drew audiences in with its unique plot, relatable characters, and of course, the antics they got into on their quests for love, happiness, and excitement. Following Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) as he recounts the story of how he met the mother of his children, fans were invested in each relationship he had on his way to find his would-be wife, as well as the stories of his friends, Lily Aldrin (Alyson Hannigan), Marshall Eriksen (Jason Segel), Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris), and Robin Scherbatsky (Cobie Smulders). Though the ending left many viewers dissatisfied — in fact, "The Last Forever" is often considered one of the worst series finales of all time — they look back on the series and its colorful group of characters with fond memories.  

Barney has been seen as the show's breakout star. This womanizing and suit-loving New Yorker can be over-dramatic and cartoonish — especially when he's scheming to land a date — and this leads to some of the most hilarious moments on "How I Met Your Mother." However, fans believe that Barney is at his best when he is able to show who he truly is. Though there are several instances of this — particularly considering his relationship with Robin — his most real moment doesn't come until the 6th season.

Barney confronts his father

One thing that fans know about Barney Stinson is that he was raised by a single mother, and spent his childhood, and most of his adulthood, pretending that Bob Barker from "The Price is Right" was his real father. 

In the Season 6 episode  Barney joins his biological father (John Lithgow) — whom he had previously believed to be his fun "Uncle" Jerry Whittaker — for dinner after his friends push him to make the effort. He finds out that Jerry has another family, including a son who is named after his father, and he angrily storms out. Jerry follows him, and Barney expresses his resentment that Jerry  is a "lame, suburban dad." When Jerry questions why this makes him upset, Barney explodes with, "why couldn't you have been that for me?" 

u/chickachickabowbow pointed out that the reason this Barney scene is so powerful is that audiences are used to the character being so overdramatic concerning the smallest issues, such as his suit being ripped. When his voice cracks as he confronts Jerry, it's "as if all the other stuff he does is just hiding the actual sadness underneath, and this is the only time in the run of the show that it actually bubbled to the surface." Other viewers had similar opinions about the scene, including u/Ndmndh1016, who said that this moment proves how good of an actor Neil Patrick Harris is, and that "you feel everything Barney has ever done summed up in this one line." 

Barney thinks about his own future

For viewers, the identity of Barney's father can seem like the second-greatest mystery, next to the reveal of the Mother. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times"How I Met Your Mother" co-creator Craig Thomas spoke about the official introduction of Jerry Whittaker. When asked if this would be a positive experience for Barney, Thomas replied that it wouldn't be easy to resolve anything between Barney and Jerry. "Barney has a very specific image in his head of who his dad is going to be," he said. "His dad shows up, and it's not quite what he was picturing. The episode is definitely about Barney wrestling with 30 years of buildup of who this guy is going to be."

Given Barney's reaction to learning that his father is a family man with a son named after him, it is clear this build-up is not what he was hoping for. If his father had been a womanizer who loved partying and drinking, it might have been much easier for Barney to swallow. To find out that Jerry made the choice to be a loving father is heartbreaking for Barney, who can't help but wonder why he wasn't enough.  

Furthermore, Thomas said that this big chunk of Barney's life will complicate the way he sees his future. "It really unlocks some different emotions in Barney that he wasn't expecting to feel," he expressed. Barney wonders if he will give up his current life to become more grounded and mature, and this revelation allows Barney to show audiences that, through his resentment and anger, he sees a new and different future for himself.