Throughout the nine seasons of How I Met Your Mother, fans have seen Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) engage in a lot of hook-ups. Other than Robin (Cobie Smulders) and Quinn (Becki Newton), there has been no other woman Barney has wanted to commit to. He usually prefers to live the bachelor lifestyle.
Barney comes across as sleazy when it comes to his hook-ups. Why? Because of the way he has a playbook and manipulates the women into falling for his schemes. From the naked man to identity theft, here are the 10 worst things Barney did to get a woman.
10 ‘The Scuba Diver’
“The Scuba Diver” is quite a manipulative play that abuses Barney’s relationship with his friends. In the aftermath of his first break up with Robin, Barney announces that he is returning to his bachelor ways and introduces the gang to his playbook.
Lily (Alyson Hannigan) is disgusted that Barney has manipulated one of her friends and attempts to sabotage his next hook-up. When the gang confronts him over his treatment of women and Robin, Barney appears sincere in his apology. However, it soon turns out this was another manipulation designed to make his friends talk him up. He doesn’t even seem to realize how much more this would hurt Robin.
9 Pretending to go blind
Barney crossed a line when he pretended to lose his sight to seduce a woman. In the episode “The Bracket”, Barney is upset to find that someone is sabotaging his chances to pick up several women. He reveals to the gang that every woman has slapped him at the end of every encounter.
One of the examples being when Barney pretends to be blind, telling the woman he was trying to absorb the beauty of the world before he lost his sight. He then proceeds to walk into other people and objects to keep up the charade. It just appears offensive and twisted that he misleads these women into sympathizing with his condition so he can sleep with them.
8 Stealing Ted’s identity
In the episode “Ted Mosby, Architect”, Robin and Lily are seen to chase Ted around New York after hearing he and some woman headed off to a party together. Robin and Lily are led to believe that Ted is going to cheat since he followed the girl back to her apartment.
However, they soon find out that Barney was the hook-up. Barney tells his two friends that he had borrowed Ted’s identity for the night, using ‘the architect’ arc to get in with a girl. He has also used this play many times, to the point that he’s giving Ted a bad reputation. He’s lucky that Robin found him because he could have started a real fight between the couple.
7 Picking up a lesbian
One of the plays that didn’t even make sense was when Barney tries to pick up a lesbian. In the episode “I Heart NJ,” Barney walks into MacLaren’s, wearing a feminine outfit. He says that he will try to pick up a lesbian even though he has already failed the challenge twice.
No one is really surprised that it hasn’t worked as the plan is not very well thought out. It is quite offensive too as Barney makes out that he would be able to persuade a woman into changing her sexual preference. If a woman is not interested in you, respect her answer and move on. He has no right to manipulate anyone because he wants to sleep with them.
6 The Robin
The Robin was a play Barney used to propose to Robin. It was revealed that Barney planned the romantic gesture after speaking with Tracy (Cristin Milioti). In several stages, Barney reveals his feelings for Robin before he drives her crazy by rejecting her advances. He also leads her to believe that he intends to marry Patrice (Ellen D. Williams).
Even though Robin accepts Barney’s proposal, the play he makes is quite dangerous and could have backfired. Instead of being honest with Robin, he messes with her feelings by blowing hot and cold. Barney loves Robin one moment, then he’s letting her go. He wants to marry Patrice, then it’s Robin. The emotional whiplash would make anyone want to throw in the towel.
5 Mrs. Stinsfire
From the play’s title, it’s obvious this is a spoof of the film Mrs. Doubtfire. Barney reveals that this involved him posing as a maid at a Kappa house; here, he would be able to spy on the college girls and creep on them in the bathroom.
Thinking back on it, it’s surprising that no other member of the gang pulled Barney up on how creepy this is. It is disrespectful to the women in the house and he’s taking advantage of his role to get pleasure. It’s hard to see him as a good guy when he can be so voyeuristic and disgusting.
4 The perfect week/month
This is one of the challenges Barney sets that is quite disgusting. Barney tries to take home seven different women, one for every night (and later thirty-one for the month). The first time, the friends are all supportive of his challenge as it helps to distract them from their problems.
However, they are creeped out by the second challenge. Barney is shown to have regressed to his former bachelor ways after his divorce, calling the women by a number instead of their name. He doesn’t even learn his child’s mother’s name, who becomes known to fans as “number 31”. It’s also disrespectful to Tracy and Lily, who ask for her name a few times.
3 The Naked Man
Although this cannot be credited to Barney, ‘The Naked Man’ is downright sleazy. ‘The Naked Man’ first appeared in the episode of the same name, where Ted walks in on Robin’s date naked. When Barney and Ted find out that the move worked on Robin, they go out to test it themselves.
Since the move is deemed to work 2/3 times, evidence proves that some don’t like it when a stranger strips in their home (shock). When Barney tries the move, he ends up getting kicked out of the woman’s apartment after he gets called a creep. It’s quite satisfying to watch him fail for a change.
2 ‘Two can play that game’
Another terrible play Barney makes is called ‘The Two Can Play That Game’. This involved Barney making a list of several promiscuous acts and knocking on doors all over New York. He would then proceed to tell a married woman that her husband is having an affair with his “wife” and proposes they get back at them by sleeping with each other.
There are several things wrong with this. For one, Barney doesn’t seem to care that he could be breaking up a marriage with his play. Two, when fans see the play in action, one woman suggests that they should kill their spouses instead. He doesn’t consider the destruction he could leave behind.
1 ‘Don’t Drink That’ play
The ‘Don’t Drink That’ is one of the worst plays Barney ever came up with. This involves Barney going up to a woman and telling them to not drink their beverage as he saw someone slip something into the drink. The woman would then potentially accept a new drink from Barney.
However, this backfired terribly. When Barney tells the woman someone slipped something into his drink, she wants to know who it was. Barney then points to Ted, where the bartender then proceeds to tackle him to the floor. Ted could have ended up severely injured or arrested because of these accusations.