How I Met Your Mother Spin-Off Just Got An Original Star Back

Neil Patrick Harris will be reprising his role as Barney Stinson in Hulu's How I Met Your Father.

By Zack Zagranis | Updated

Original How I Met Your Mother alum Neil Patrick Harris reprised his role as lovable playboy Barney Stinson on the season premiere of How I Met Your Father. Deadline reports that when the How I Met Your Mother spinoff returned to Hulu with a much anticipated second season, the show brought back one of the franchise’s most popular characters.

Neil Patrick Harris played Mother‘s incorrigible womanizer Barney Stinson for nine seasons from 2005 until the series finale in 2014. Stinson was an integral part of the core group of characters, often acting as the id to Josh Radnor’s Ted Mosby. Barney often clashed with the series resident meet cutes, Marshal and Lily, in plots from some of the best-known episodes of How I Met Your Mother, like the infamous “Slap Bet” from Season 2.

Harris showed up at the end of the Season 2 premiere of HIMYF in an all too brief cameo where Barney and Sophie get into a fender bender. Sophie is frantically trying to get a hold of her mother to tell her she might be dating her own father when she absentmindedly rear-ends a luxury SUV with a license plate that reads “LGNDRY.” Long-time fans of How I Met Your Mother will recognize “Legendary” as Barney’s catchphrase on the show.

It’s been confirmed that the cameo will not be a one-off and that Barney will play a larger role as the second season of the spin-off continues. The exact number of episodes is being kept a secret, as is what Barney’s role will be in the larger HIMYF story. Series co-creator Isaac Aptaker did confirm, however, that Barney is not Sophie’s father. “We’re not telling a teen dad story. I think, given Lori’s (Sophie’s mother, played by Paget Brewster) age, that’d become a pretty uncomfortable story,” said Aptaker.

This makes sense given that Neil Patrick Harris is only 14 years older than Hilary Duff, the actress who plays Sophie. What isn’t clear is if fans will get to see Barney’s actual daughter. The How I Met Your Mother series finale left Barney Stinson divorced from Robin and raising a daughter named Ellie as a single parent.

It’s explained in the finale that Barney’s daughter, the result of a one-night stand, was born in 2020. Given that How I Met Your Father takes place in the present, Ellie has to be somewhere between two and three years of age. A baby-toting Barney is something fans of How I Met Your Mother have never really gotten to see. Now that Neil Patrick Harris is reprising his most famous role, it’s the perfect time to show a more mature and responsible Barney Stinson.

how I met your mother

There is, of course, an even more titillating possibility for Barney’s return. Could he be the titular father of Sophie’s children? Barney’s most prominent character trait–if it can be called that–was sleeping with as many women as possible. One can only assume that in the years since Ellie was born, Barney has managed to work his single fatherhood into his pick-up lines. Could Sophie fall for Barney’s charms like countless women before her?

It’s probably a long shot, but the season premiere did begin with Sophie recalling the time she hit “rock bottom” only time will tell if that bottom wore a suit and asked her if she’s met Ted.