How I Met Your Mother’s Best Character Is Back For The Spin-Off

Neil Patrick Harris is back as Barney Stinson in the How I Met Your Father mid-season finale airing March 28th on Hulu.

By TeeJay Small | Updated

neil patrick harris how I met your father

Neil Patrick Harris is renowned for playing some of the most iconic characters in television, currently starring in Uncoupled on Showtime. His roots as a child star on Doogie Howser, M.D. and his absurdist portrayal of himself in the Harold and Kumar film series made the star a household name for many, though How I Met Your Mother fans will always know Neil Patrick Harris as the iconic Barney Stinson. According to a report from Deadline, fans will have the chance to see the character again, reprising his epic ladies’ man role in a two-part midseason finale of Hulu’s How I Met Your Father.

Hulu has given us our first look at the exciting midseason finale, set to air later on March 28th, with an image of Neil Patrick Harris as Barney Stinson sitting beside series star Hilary Duff. Barney Stinson first appeared in the season two premiere of the spinoff series in a brief flash-forward scene that showed Duff’s character, Sophie, getting into a fender bender with none other than the bro-code author himself. In the scene, Barney exits his vehicle and sighs a frustrated “Duuuuuude” before the show rapidly flashes back to the matter at hand.

Neil Patrick Harris and Hilary Duff in How I Met Your Father

This is quite characteristic of the iconic CBS original, How I Met Your Mother, which frequently used narrative framing devices such as flashbacks, flash-forwards, and even the occasional flash nowhere, to turn a 30-second long tale of bumping into your spouse at a wedding into over 9 years of fatherly stories. The stories in question were delivered by Josh Radnor’s Ted Moseby, as voiced by Bob Saget in voiceover segments from the future, as he walks his children down memory lane, contemplating friendships, relationships, and his eventual meet-cute with their mother. In every episode of the original series, Neil Patrick Harris appeared as Ted’s second best friend, Barney Stinson, prompting an outpouring of memes and references from his many catchphrases and humorous asides.

Neil Patrick Harris’ cameo as Barney Stinson in How I Met Your Father will be the second of the main gang to appear in the series, though many side characters such as Alexis Denisof’s Sandy Rivers and Joe Nieves’ Carl have popped up in the Hulu series as well. The first appearance of a major player came in the season 1 finale, where Cobie Smulders’ Robin Scherbatsky appeared to offer Sophie some guidance on decision-making. Of course, Robin famously married and promptly divorced Barney, so any advice she provides should be taken with a grain of salt.

Smulders has gone on to portray Agent Maria Hill in a host of MCU films and Disney+ series, while other How I Met Your Mother alumni such as Jason Segel and Alyson Hannigan have dominated the television landscape in series such as Fancy Nancy and Shrinking. While Neil Patrick Harris has a laundry list of acting credits, many fans will always know him as Barney Stinson, making his cameo appearance in next week’s midseason finale of How I Met Your Father a monumental moment for many viewers.