How Barney’s ‘How I Met Your Father’ Cameo Teases Connection to Sophie


Who is the father of Sophie’s son? That has been the question on everyone’s lips ever since How I Met Your Father (HIMYF) first began, much like how the identity of Ted Mosby’s future wife was the focus in How I Met Your Mother (HIMYM).

The Hulu show is a spinoff of the hit CBS sitcom, which ran from 2005 to 2014, and it has had several links to How I Met Your Mother in its first season, including the surprise appearance of Cobie Smulders as Robin Scherbatsky.

Season 2 of HIMYF kicked things into high gear by bringing back another of the original show’s iconic cast: Neil Patrick Harris as Barney Stinson.

How Barney’s ‘How I Met Your Father’ Cameo Teases Connection to Sophie

Neil Patrick Harris and Hilary Duff
In this composite image is Hilary Duff as Sophie in “How I Met Your Father” Season 2, and Neil Patrick Harris with the cast of “How I Met Your Mother” on The Talk in 2014. Harris reprises his role as Barney Stinson the spinoff, making a cameo in the first episode of Season 2.
Patrick Wymore/Monty Brinton/Hulu/CBS

Harris and Duff previously spoke together about How I Met Your Father in an edition of the former’s newsletter “Wondercade,” in which Duff said she believed Barney would be in jail by 2022, which is when the show is set.

When asked which new character she felt was most like Barney, Duff said: “To avoid trying too hard to keep up with the magic of the original, I would say we try not to recreate characters.

“But you’re twisting my arm, Neil, so … it’s possible the show’s Valentina character [played by Francia Raisa] is the most Barney-esque. There, I said it.

“I’m not sure how you feel about this, but I’m pretty sure Barney would possibly be in jail in 2022, haha! Since we’re living in the world of females coming into power, I’m assuming that’s why they made her a woman!”

Harris said of his character: “As for coming on your show (insert joke here), I worry. Barney’s antics, his overt delusions of grandeur, would likely get everyone in trouble. So, unless he’s changed his ways or joined a nunnery (insert an insert joke here), not sure if it’s in anyone’s best interest.”

However, this proves to not be the case as Barney does make a cameo in HIMYF’s second season, at the end of the first episode.

While speaking with her son, older Sophie (Kim Cattrall) says she reached rock bottom in her romantic life “later in the year” from the point the episode ends, and a flash-forward scene shows Duff’s Sophie telling her mom she’s concerned she was accidentally dating her father, only to crash into the back of a car.

When the driver exits the car he is revealed to be none other than Barney Stinson, still dressed in his best suit and saying “dude” to Sophie, in much the same way the character would have done in HIMYM.

But, when Cattrall’s Sophie is pressed to explain who Barney is, and what his connection to the story is, she remains coy and says that she’ll explain everything to her son when the time comes.

There are several potential ways in which the Barney cameo could turn out, for example the character could well turn out to be Sophie’s father, the one that she told her mom she was worried she might have accidentally been dating.

Barney was a promiscuous character in HIMYM, and the show ended with him learning that one of the women he had slept with had a daughter. It seems reasonable to believe this woman wasn’t the only one to father a child with Barney after his many exploits, so it is possible that Sophie turns out to be his daughter.

On the flipside, Barney could also be a contender as the father of Sophie’s son. While HIMYF has had some small connections to HIMYM there hasn’t been a direct link between the two, and having Barney end up being Sophie’s future husband would certainly rectify that.

However, Barney was never able to settle down over the course of HIMYM, and although he tried to do so with Robin their marriage did not last long. Therefore, it seems unlikely that the character would be chosen as Sophie’s baby daddy, especially when she has so many other characters vying for her heart.

Why Barney is part of Sophie’s life at all will likely be revealed later in the second season, which will have 20 episodes in total.

How I Met Your Father Season 2 airs Tuesdays on Hulu.


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