Since Barney Stinson spent his days pulling so-called “plays” from his “Playbook” to trick women into bed, hardly any fans of How I Met Your Mother expected him to settle down into a long-term relationship. But by the end of the series’ nine seasons, we’d seen him date more than a few women, despite his many rules and codes decreeing otherwise.
During his character arc on the show, he matured a lot, emotionally (and occasionally de-matured and went back to his old ways between relationships). So, How I Met Your Mother enthusiasts, here are All Of Barney’s Major Love Interests, Ranked.
Shannon is the reason why Barney wears suits and objectifies women. He used to be a hippie who preached love and was headed to Nicaragua to do charity work with the love of his life, Shannon. But then a corporate suit came into the coffee shop where they both worked and Shannon left Barney for him.
So, Barney vowed to become a heartless, suit-wearing womanizer like that guy and got a job working for him. Except he wasn’t working for the guy; he was colluding with the feds to gather information and bring him down. It’s a great revenge story, but Shannon was a terrible person.
8 Wendy the Waitress
When Barney slept with Wendy the Waitress, he assumed that she’d go crazy and start poisoning his drinks and his friends’ food. As it turned out, she was actually pretty amicable about the situation.
She was happy to leave it as a one-time thing and didn’t want to pursue a relationship with him, with no hard feelings, but Barney was still convinced that she was just saying that to get him to let his guard down. As we saw in a flash-forward episode, Wendy would end up falling in love with a guy over their shared hatred of Marshall and marrying him.
Abby, played by Britney Spears, was Stella’s secretary. She was even engaged to Barney at one point, as she had a crush on Ted and wanted to make him jealous. When Barney finally got to sleep with her, he never called her again.
She was so hurt by this that she went around New York telling every girl he tried to hit on that he was a terrible guy and they shouldn’t sleep with him, so they end up slapping him in the face. At first, Abby is shown to be very naive, but this diabolical plan proves just how cunning she really is. Barney underestimated her.
Karina only appeared in one episode, but she still made an impact, because that episode was “Girls Versus Suits,” the 100th episode of the series. It was a celebration of all things How I Met Your Mother, and Karina was at the center of the conflict as a girl that Barney wanted to sleep with who refused to date guys who wear suits.
So, Barney had to choose between Karina and suits. The fact that he didn’t instantly choose suits and at least attempted to wear a t-shirt and jeans to the bar shows dedication. It culminated in an unforgettable musical number.
5 Crazy Meg
“Crazy Meg” is what the gang calls Barney’s on-and-off fling Meg, played by April Bowlby. They first got together in Marshall and Lily’s new apartment, with Barney’s plan being that if she sleeps with him there, she won’t know where he actually lives. So, he confesses his love for her and declares that he wants to spend the rest of his life with her.
Then, he takes off with no intentions of ever seeing her again. But she doesn’t leave, and instead invites her parents over to meet the love of her life. She’s not so “crazy” after all, because Barney did tell her he was in love with her.
4 Number 31
We never got to meet Number 31, or even learn her actual name. The nickname “Number 31” came from the fact that she was the 31st girl in Barney’s attempt at a perfect month. So, she’s not really significant enough to be remembered as a great character (in fact, she’s hardly a character at all).
However, she was the mother of Barney’s baby daughter Ellie, who was born in the series finale. Following his divorce from Robin, Barney had reverted back to his old bachelor ways. But the second he held his baby and looked into her eyes, he changed completely. He became a loving father who would do anything for his daughter.
3 Quinn Garvey
Right before getting engaged to Robin, Barney was engaged to Quinn, a stripper at the Lusty Leopard who he fell for because she was the first girl not to fall for his tricks. She could see right through his attempts to woo her and that intrigued him. He couldn’t stop thinking about her, so he eventually started dating her.
At first, he loved the fact that he was dating a stripper, but then he found himself emotionally tormented during her work hours, imagining what she was up to. So, he proposed to her and she quit her job. Sadly, they didn’t stay together.
Everything about Barney and Nora’s relationship was like a storybook romance. His heart skipped a beat when he saw her enter a room, he genuinely changed his ways and was honest with her, and he was willing to meet her parents. Their relationship would’ve been straight out of a fairy tale if Barney hadn’t made the stupid mistake of cheating on her with Robin.
And even that didn’t lead to him rekindling his romance with Robin, because she decided not to tell Kevin about the affair and kept seeing him, leaving Barney depressed, alone, and filled with regret. Barney and Nora had a great relationship with a tragic ending.
1 Robin Scherbatsky
Many fans discount the series finale episode “Last Forever” as an ending for the Barney character, because he already got the perfect ending in the second-to-last episode, “The End of the Aisle.” He finally realized that Robin was the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with, and vowed never to lie to her again, even telling her the truth about Ted getting the locket and the ringbearer being a bear.
If they got married and stayed together forever, it would’ve been the perfect ending. But the writers had to go and divorce them and force Ted and Robin to get together and give Barney a second emotional ending with his new baby.