HIMYM: Why The Fake Barney & Patrice Relationship Was Insulting To Fans

how-i-met-your-mother-the-over-correction-barney-patrice
You all know that I love How I Met Your Mother. I have my issues with the show, though, and my main annoyance continues to be the metric ton of fat jokes that they’ve put out over the seasons. I covered this in my first in-depth HIMYM post, titled “How I Met Your Mother (And How I Know She Won’t Be Fat)”. So I’m not going to go into all that again, but everything there factors into my current dissatisfaction with season 8, episode 10 “The Over-Correction”.

Here’s what it comes down to: Barney would NEVER date Patrice seriously. NEVER. Beyond that, there is NO possible way that Ted, Lily, and Marshall would have actually believed that he was actually involved with Patrice. Therefore it is ridiculous that they were presented as falling for what is SO OBVIOUSLY a play. It was abundantly clear to fans that Patrice had to be a plot device to get Barney closer to Robin. He might act nice to her, or maybe even like her in a platonic way, but we all know that Barney regards “fatties” as permanent manatees (see S6E11 “The Mermaid Theory”). It is insulting to expect fans to buy this idea, even for one episode, given Barney’s well-documented distate for overweight people. 

This Patrice plot would have perhaps been clever, or at least plausible, if not for the show’s history of hating on fat people. Barney’s denigration of fat people is an established character trait that he would not stray from. This episode was contrived to give Robin a chance to doubt his intentions, and seem crazy for doing it, and then the farce continues out until Robin’s jealousy makes her realize her true feelings for Barney. Robin is eventually given an intervention for her involvement in Barney and Patrice’s “relationship”, but she was in the right the whole time.

If Barney really were dating Patrice, seriously, he would want and need an intervention. Don’t believe me? Let’s jump back to just last season, when Barney forces all of his friends to swear a “broath” on the Bro Code (his personal equivalent to the Bible). He makes each of them promise not to interfere with his life, UNLESS:

“It’s an issue of health, national security, or he’s about to get up on a fatty.”

-S7E19 “The Broath”

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In “The Over-Correction” it is clear that Ted, Lily, and Marshall are in direct violation of their sworn upon broath to Barney, because they didn’t attempt to interfere with the most heinous of scenarios: Barney hooking up with an overweight woman. The broath that Barney drafted clearly shows that getting “up on a fatty” is on the same level as a potential threat to his health and/or our national security. Hooking up with a fat chick is, to Barney, as taboo as contracting an STD or banging a terrorist. And if he won’t even “get up on” a fatty, can you really imagine him dating – or marrying – one?! The answer is no.

“Over 200 women, spanning six continents, 17 nationalities, 74 sexual positions, and not a single fatty. It’s impressive.”
-Jim Nantz via Barney’s imagination, evaluating his whoring around stats

-S5E102 “The Perfect Week”

“I am Mr. Charity. I frequently sleep with sixes, chubsters, over thirty’s. I am the Bill and Melinda Gates of the sympathy bang.”
-Barney, presumably lying, unless he has changed his standards drastically to allow for such charitable contributions.

-S6E124 “False Positive”

Barney’s abhorrence of fat women is so well-known that those two quotes are presented on some fan sites as contradictory errors in continuity. A later episode prompted even more confusion – season 5, episode 23 “The Wedding Bride”. At the end of this episode, we see a visual representation of the emotional baggage that people carry around with them. Various pieces of luggage were labeled as “MOM STILL DOES LAUNDRY”, “ONLY DATES GUYS IN A BAND”, etc. One hit particularly close to home for me (CUBS FAN) :) Three were labeled “SLEPT WITH BARNEY”; one among those three was carried by an overweight woman.

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Fans were seriously thrown by this; how could it be??? The How I Met Your Mother Wiki page listed this scene under the “Goofs and Errors” for the episode:

“In Perfect Week, Jim Nantz claimed, that Barney never slept with a fatty. However in the last scene of this episode, one fat woman in the back carries a baggage called “Slept with Barney” (as some other women in this scene). One possible explanation is that the woman got fat after her encounter with Barney, allowing the statement to remain true.”

http://how-i-met-your-mother.wikia.com/wiki/The_Wedding_Bride

The issue was also addressed on the fan site Be Awesome Instead. Comments for the article discussing “The Wedding Bride” episode noted:

Sharone: Hey did anyone else notice how in the end with the ‘luggage’ some fat chicks had ‘slept with barney’ as theirs…i mean it was funny…but did anyone else remember how barney has never, and will never sleep with a fat chick…

…it dissappointed [sic] me…but still a good episode.”

Aaron: “Maybe they are fat now… seeing as girls seems to loose [sic] a lot of self respect after Barney…”

Sharone: “I guess I could believe that, it is quite a stretch[if you saw them]. But at least it’s somthing [sic] to think about… haha thanks.”

http://www.beawesomeinstead.com/how-i-met-your-mother/2010/the-wedding-bride-season-5-episode-23-discussion/

Redditors weighed in on this confusion in several different posts:

1sfaO

Post:

I always thought Barney said no fatties (Screenshot from the Wedding Bride episode)
submitted 1 year ago by MDevonL

Comments:

[–]synaesthetist 28 points 1 year ago
Sounds terrible, but maybe he slept with her when she was at a lower weight?

[–]kattrinee 0 points 1 year ago
Barney.. the fattymaker.

[–]maip23 1 point 11 months ago
That’s possible, or it was
*to complete his sex list,
*he was super drunk and forgot
*she borrowed the bag from her hot roommate

[–]BigGreenYamo 5 points 1 year ago
She might have started binge eating after Barney broke her heart.

http://www.reddit.com/r/HIMYM/comments/nggrk/i_always_thought_barney_said_no_fatties/

S3uj4

Post:

Must have really let go… (self.HIMYM)
submitted 7 days ago by Akumakei

Was watching some old episodes (Wow, when did I start thinking of season 5 as being ‘old’?) and noticed this in ‘The Wedding Bride.’ I’m pretty sure that earlier in the same season, in ‘The Perfect Week,’ Barney mentions having slept with “no fatties.”
I can’t bring myself to think Barney would lie.
-_-

Comments:

[–]TheSecretExit Farhampton 19 points 7 days ago
Perhaps sleeping with Barney caused her to lose all self-esteem and thereby letting herself go.

[–]wrwight 3 points 7 days ago
But he is the Bill and Melinda Gates of the sympathy bang, including, among others, chubsters. Maybe this was a charity case. I wonder if you can write that off on your taxes..

[–]FromDaHood Self-five! 3 points 7 days ago
My assumption has always been that he slept with her years previously and never talked to her again. Seems pretty plausible considering the character.

[–]ZheK 2 points 7 days ago
He says he never slept with fatties. He might be lying.

[–]NeonCookies 2 points 6 days ago
Could be he slept with her while she was skinny and she has gotten fat since. Or he slept with her in between the two episodes.

[–]Tom_Foolery1993 1 point 5 days ago
Well Barney is a pathological liar. But he wouldn’t lie about some strange would he? Oh but he would. The perfect week, he says he hooked up with some French hairdresser or something but he then reveals it was an Applebee’s waitress or something.

[–]chef2deaf Seriously, don’t sleep on the gouda 2 points 3 days ago
in ‘False Positive’ in season 6 he says “I am Mr. Charity. I frequently sleep with sixes, chubsters, over thirty’s. I am the Bill and Melinda Gates of the sympathy bang.”

http://www.reddit.com/r/HIMYM/comments/1680nd/must_have_really_let_go/

The only plausible conclusion that people have reached is of this woman gaining weight after sleeping with Barney. This was analyzed to such a degree precisely because it’s so contrary to Barney’s character.

Some will note that Barney burned the Playbook, and he has obviously changed his views on marriage and long-term relationships. Yes, that’s all true. But those changes took literally years to pan out, and we saw a ton of development leading up to his new perspective on such things. It took human interactions – with Robin, with Nora, with Quinn, and with the rest of the group – for Barney to progress into someone capable of commitment and monogamy.

Michael Arbeiter of Hollywood.com sums it up nicely:
It was interesting to see Barney adjust his ways for a few episodes in his involvement with Patrice. Even if we knew he’d be taking up with Robin ultimately, the ability to abandon his fixation on the supermodel figure was a welcome exhibition of growth for the character. But no such luck, no such growth — Barney adheres just as vehemently to his adolescent ideals about women and how to trick them into being with him. Unfortunately, Barney isn’t made out to be a villain here: How I Met Your Mother celebrates these elements of the role, rewarding him with a union with Robin that is meant to feel touching and triumphant.

We haven’t seen anything to indicate that Barney has reconsidered his stance regarding overweight women. Patrice could well be a starting step towards that, but she has always been presented as the butt of the joke. I think the scenes with Robin screaming at Patrice are hilarious. Seriously, I have been known to shout “NOBODY ASKED YOU PATRICE!!!” and then collapse into giggles. But those jokes were making fun of her for being naive, for being clingy, for being sweet to an annoying degree. I was comfortable laughing, because those are obviously fictional traits attributed to this character.

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This episode, though, was a mockery of her size. They had to find someone who Robin wouldn’t believe Barney would date, and they did it in the most efficient way possible. The only other choices would have to be a really, really ugly girl (which would be a shitty plot in its own right), a senior citizen (but we have to remember that Barney has in fact slept with an old lady), or I guess someone who is super, super into commitment and marriage right away and that’s all she ever talks about.

Let’s be real here – if Patrice were thin and hot, Barney would have already tried to get up on her. She is a beautiful woman, and I think Barney would be able to see that if she were in a smaller package. Her gullible personality is practically begging for Barney to at least try to run a play on her, but it never happens. Why? Because she’s fat, of course. In the world of HIMYM, fat people like Patrice are not worthy of love or sexual interest.

Later, Arbeiter asks:

Why is that out of the question? Why can it only be optioned as a joke or a trick? Why do the people behind How I Met Your Mother have the same attitude on Barney dating Patrice as Barney himself, or his equally shallow friends Ted, Marshall, and Lily? “Of course Barney would never date Patrice,” How I Met Your Mother assures us. “Of course he can only see her as a cog in his process to win the prize that is Robin.” And what’s worse than the show’s insistence on this as the certainty is how unapologetic it is about the ordeal. How little an explanation it seems to feel is warranted for Patrice’s sole purpose as a means to an end.

Patrice is basically the female equivalent of Randy (S3E18 “Rebound Bro”), in terms of personality. They’re both obsessed with their cool co-workers, they’re both awkward and trying too hard to connect with others, and they’re both seemingly immune to direct insults. They are both rebound bros – they are both backup friends. They are the people you only hang out with – the people you use – when there’s absolutely nobody better around, or when you’re tricked into it. Their character similarities are striking, and I really want them to get together. It would be nice to see two underdog characters find love.

My point, though, is that even Randy is presented as a viable sexual prospect for women. Barney puts effort into getting him laid, and Robin considers him as a prospect when she’s feeling especially lonely. Patrice isn’t afforded the same treatment – because no one would believe that anyone on the show would see her as attractive.

It makes me wonder…if Patrice knew how Barney talked about fat people, would she still have wanted to help him? Probably yes. Robin is continuously horrible to her and Patrice is never deterred. But it seems mean to the character and actress to have her pretend to be a legitimate love interest for Barney.

I’ve made my peace with Barney as a fat hater. It’s part of his character, and his humor. I don’t love it, but I at least understand that the jokes are there because they represent an integral part of his personality. It bothers me more when someone like Marshall makes a fat joke, because he’s supposed to be a nice guy. Barney is supposed to be an asshole about these things, but now the writers have added insult to injury.

The only way these fat jokes aren’t a total dick move is if they are essential to Barney’s character. When you try to play it so that Barney is suddenly a-ok with fat chicks, you make all of his past comments even more insulting. Suddenly all those mean fat jokes that were dubbed necessary to his character are just mean fat jokes. If Barney had actually changed, it would be a perfectly acceptable (if distasteful, at least to some) method of showing character development. But Barney isn’t presented as having changed. Barney does not actually like Patrice. He does not actually love Patrice. He is using her, plain and simple.

Yes, Barney has evolved into a nicer, more sympathetic version of himself. But no, he has not evolved to the point where he is suddenly opening his dating pool up to the fatties. We know this for sure, because he immediately returns to making fat jokes in the next episode “Ring Up!” Barney has not changed, the show has not changed, and fat people are still there to be used. So why spend a whole episode pretending that anyone in the group would buy that?

Fuck that. It’s an insult to the characters, to the actors, and to the fans. Trying to make us buy this impossible concept pushes fans to disregard everything they know about Barney up to this point. Everything – EVERYTHING – that Robin says regarding this couple is absolutely true:

Robin: That Barney and Patrice thing is so bogus. He’s clearly trying to get back at me for rejecting him.

Robin: But seriously, what other reason would Barney have to date Patrice?
Ted: It’s an over correction.
Robin: How dare you! What is that?
Ted: Barney was engaged to Quinn, a stripper he never really trusted so he over corrects by dating her opposite, warm and nurturing Patrice.
Robin: Okay. Barney is so not for real about Patrice. Today he did the craziest, most clearly staged for my benefit thing ever.
Flashback to Robin’s work:
Barney: Hey Patrice, you ready for lunch?
Patrice: Sure!
Return to present
Robin: Right? Right? I mean, What’s next, birthday gifts? Wake up people, this is not an over correction, it’s fraud, and we need to keep trying to stop this.
Robin: She can’t see that Barney is using her, and it breaks my heart. You know, I love Patrice, we’re like sisters.
Ted: You’ve never gotten through even one exchange without screaming at her.
Robin: (screaming) Sisters fight Ted! But the bond is always there.
Lily: What are you doing here?
Robin: I came to get the Playbook so I could show Patrice who Barney really is.
Lily: Why can’t you just let them be happy?
Robin: Because they’re not really happy Lily!
Barney: Sometimes you fall for someone you’d never expect but that doesn’t make it wrong. Doesn’t everyone deserve to be happy?
Lily: I guess none of us thought of it that way.
Barney: Next rounds on me (walks away)
Robin: Wow.
Lily: I know.
Robin: Barney’s lost it, he needs an intervention.
Lily: Robin, after everything we’ve seen, do you still think Barney’s faking this?
Robin: No, but we have to stop it, Barney is not Barney anymore.
Ted: People change.
Robin: But not this fast and this drastically. This is a cry for help, okay. If I was out of control I would want you guys to help me. So what do you say, intervention?
Arbeiter’s conclusion is thought-provoking:
It’s unfortunate that How I Met Your Mother, a show that prides itself on being a celebration of love, is so restrictive with not only the achievement but the very pursuit of love. So disingenuous with its attitude on the idea of love. “It can only exist between people who look like this,” the show insists. “Everyone else in our universe is here to make sure those people get their love.” It’s not only Patrice who suffers here. The mentality propagated by this idea, and all of the multitudes of TV shows and movies that uphold the same themes, is dangerous. We can’t be left to forgive Barney and How I Met Your Mother, to subjugate and marginalize Patrice. The fact that we’re asked to do this so cavalierly is frightening. And the fact that many of us comply with this request is horrifying.
It is really sad that a show about serendipity, about the right time and the right place, about true love above all else, is so intentionally mean-spirited towards many of their fans. How can we lose ourselves in the love story if we are constantly reminded that we don’t deserve the same in our own lives?
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23 thoughts on “HIMYM: Why The Fake Barney & Patrice Relationship Was Insulting To Fans

  1. Pingback: Clues To The Mother, The Carly Theory Disproved, & The Wedding Band Theory – How I Met Your Mother (HIMYM) « CorinaWrites

  2. I’ve never been a fan of Barney so his whole fake relationship with Patrice didn’t surprise or shock me ! I mean coming to women, the guy has always been a jerk. His character is funny sure, but i’m not always ok with his ways with them. The Patrice thing only emphasized for me how he’s clearly not my favorite himym character.

    • Yeah I am very conflicted regarding Barney. I don’t want to ever find him funny be he is funny, so often. I know it’s his part of his character to be such a jerk, but I wish his character development would have led him to being nicer by now. Like he’s supposed to be so different, but he’s still horrible when speaking of any woman he doesn’t find hot enough to hook up with. I would like the show so much more if it went in that direction. It’s a tiny step but given how every season has a plethora of fat jokes I’m not holding my breath.

  3. I agree with much of what you’ve said here. But I do have some qualms to address.

    I think they were very positive at the end of the episode with Barney juxtaposing his “relationship” with Patrice and Marshall’s mom and Lily’s dad hooking up and just wanting to be happy. It was perfect.

    Robin comes off as a complete bitch when it comes to Patrice.

    I thought they showed Barney as reaching a real life moment where he was truly reflecting on his previous escapades. Of course, this was shown to be false a couple episodes later, but Patrice was shown positively and wanting to help.

    As to whether Barney hooked up with “fatties”? Yeah, the dude is a liar. While he may say he wouldn’t f a fatty, we’ve seen him hook up with an old woman and a female body-builder. Barney’s nailed plenty of “fatties” but the show, unfortunately, doesn’t address it directly, IMO.

    • I think you are right about Barney and his lies. You can’t really trust anything he says regarding who he did or did not hook up with. Poor Patrice was excited to help, and I can’t decide if that makes it better or worse. She’s either oblivious to the insults or totally undeterred by them, I guess.

      You are right in that Patrice is portrayed as a positive character, despite her weight. Maybe that’s why I feel like it is even more offensive…because they pretend they are all of a sudden cool with and respectful of overweight people even though they never have been before.

      I’m not sure, I’m still considering this one.

      Thank you for your comments, you have great insights and I hope to read more!

  4. Robin wasn’t being mean about Patrice being overweight, she was saying she knew BARNEY enough to know that he wouldn’t be interested in her… and from what I remember she never even made it about Patrice’s weight, she made it about the fact that Barney also knows that Patrice bothers Robin a lot.

    Also, Patrice being a nice and sweet and positive character should not and does not make it more offensive. If she was overweight and made fun of and shown in a bad way for no other reason than being over weight.. THEN it would be offensive.

    This was about a “friend” of Robin’s helping her out by going along with Barney’s plan. Would you have been offended with this same scenario if it was Robin’s plan and she enlisted Randy to help and pretend they were in a relationship?

    I am an overweight women. But I don’t understand why people are taking this as offensive.

    I agree with some of your points, but the fact that Robin was showing that dating Patrice was so out of character for Barney should not be an offensive thing… everyone who watches the show knows Barney is a total jerkw ehn it comes to women. This was not surprising at all.

    Also when I watched it I did not at all assume this was some grand play to get Robin. I am a huge fan and I DID think there was a chance that he really had changed. But i’m not offended that he didnt. And it’s definitely not offensive in my opinion that Patrice is shown as willing to help. Randy would have done the same if the roles were reversed.

    • I feel that Robin KNOWS Barney wouldn’t be interested in Patrice – BECAUSE she’s fat. It doesn’t have to be said for us to understand it. Pretty much any woman is fair game to Barney, but he always shows his disgust when the woman isn’t traditionally beautiful (the old woman he slept with to ditch his overalls, the female body builder, etc). Patrice is traditionally beautiful, except for that she’s overweight.

      Barney doesn’t care all that much about personality, but he is actively against being with a woman that he doesn’t consider attractive. He’s slept with stalkers, dumb girls, literally crazy women, etc. Patrice’s personality quirks aren’t the problem here. Everything he has said and done in the past 7 seasons indicates that he would consider Patrice a “fatty” that he wouldn’t be seen in public with.

      I get what you’re saying, though, and I understand that not everyone interpreted it this way. I am honestly amazed that any long term fan would believe that Barney would actually be into Patrice, but I give you credit for being more open-minded about it than I was.

      Randy would have done the same, true, but it would be different, because it has already been proven that the gang would believe Robin was actually with him. Now, obviously the actress playing Patrice doesn’t take issue with this. She did the scenes, so far be it for me to say that it’s unfair to her. It just sucks that they took basically the only female plus size character and used her solely as a device for Barney to get a skinny woman. And Patrice is so nice, and sweet, that it was easy to take advantage of her towards that end.

      It’s like a bad 80s movie where the hot girl pretends to be into the dorky guy, but really she’s using him to get closer to some popular guy. The difference is that those movies usually end with the hot girl realizing how awesome the dorky guy really is. In this case, Barney didn’t have any discernable change of heart regarding fat women – he used Patrice, and then continued on with his fat jokes immediately afterwards.

      I look at it like this – if I was friends with a very attractive woman, and her very attractive ex wanted my help to get her back, I would be glad to help. I’m a nice person, just like Patrice. But if I knew that the guy constantly mocked fat people, I wouldn’t be on board. Because it would be effing embarassing to pretend that I was his girlfriend when everyone that knows him is aware that he is disgusted by women like me. And I wouldn’t be so inclined to help someone that had been such a dick about all that. Patrice, much like myself, might still go along, for the sake of her friend. But that doesn’t just make it okay.

      If they had made Barney change just a tiny bit more, into someone that perhaps doesn’t like looking at fat people but can refrain from talking shit about them, I think it would have worked. With all of his character development, it wouldn’t have been so hard. Imagine if Barney told Patrice, hey, you know what…I used to be really mean to women with your figure, but you’ve reminded me that they’re still actual people, so I’m going to try to be a nicer person from now. Or he could even be Barneyish and say, I never thought I could date a fat girl, but spending time with you has opened my eyes to how awesome you are.

      That’s it. He doesn’t need to fall in love with her, but some acknowledgement would be nice. And Patrice is SO nice (and naive?) that she would probably have thanked him and given him a hug. I would have liked that type of ending better, but hey, to each their own.

      Seriously, thank you for commenting. Not many people want to talk about this stuff and I love getting thoughtful comments to consider and respond to!

  5. We all obviously knew that this was a ploy from the beginning. However, the fact that Barney is the one character who (arguably) has seen the most changes since the show began, it could just be a reflection on who he is becoming. All the things that past-Barney said don’t matter to him anymore. We slowly see him becoming more emotional and less shallow. We see that though Patrice is not an ideal match for him, he is able to cope well enough that it could seem plausible. This is just as much a way for Barney to break one rule than to break another, getting married. Barney is really the most mysterious character. He undergoes changes both drastically and dramaticallly. The way he is constantly becoming a better person is why we love him so much! His antics keep us guessing, and that is exactly how it should be.

    • I considered that when writing this article. The part that I can’t reconcile with, though, is that Barney continues making fat jokes post-Patrice. So it is clear that spending quality time with a nice plus size woman has not at all moved him towards being more respectful. I was really hoping her character would be presented as a foil that helps Barney to see what a jerk he is, but it didn’t really pan out like that. Maybe it is still to come, idk. I guess I’m just ready for that character change, or at least for less of an emphasis on the random shots at fat people. But he is now and always will be Barney, and hating on fat chicks might just be a core element of his personality.

  6. Who the hell over analyses a show this way? Shut up, and enjoy the most fantastically, hilarious show on television! It’s petty and sad that you’ve taken that much thought and time into producing an essay on this one detail of the show. I think it’s great. It’s mixed things up so that it’s not just ‘same old, same old’, it’s unexpected and you, unless you’re a show writer which i highly doubt, have no idea what will come of it. Fyi people, it’s a show, it’s a fictional character, grow the hell up.

    • I won’t argue that I have spent a lot of time analyzing the show – but it’s not just for one essay “on this one detail”. I analyze EVERYTHING on this show. Seriously, if you spend any time on this blog it should be pretty obvious that I’ve analyzed the ever loving hell out of this show. Because it’s fun for me. I’m not sure why that upsets you so much – unless you’re a show writer, which I highly doubt… :)

      I don’t think there’s anything immature about actually thinking while enjoying a show. Some people just want to watch without putting thought into it, and I get that. But I’m not one of those people, and that’s ok. I think part of being a true fan isn’t just accepting everything they put forth – if I don’t like it, or don’t understand it, I’m going to say something on this little platform I’ve created for myself here.

      You do know you don’t HAVE to read my posts if they bother you, right? That being said, I’m glad that you commented. (Honestly!) Differences of opinion are what make the internet go round, so to speak, and your comment is a part of that. Isn’t it fun to be a part of this fascinating discourse?

  7. At first, I wasn’t happy to find out that Barney was just faking a relationship with Patrice to get closer to Robin. I too thought a real relationship with them would’ve been good because it would’ve been a great step forward for Barney’s character.

    Look at the growth that he has gone through with each woman in the series:
    -Barney started out as a notorious womanizer who would never consider a serious commitment.
    -In his first run with Robin he realized it’s okay to have feelings for someone, and picked up the courage to be with her.
    -Then with Nora he learned to be vulnerable around someone he loves.
    -And with Quinn, he finally began to consider settling down and getting married.

    I think a real relationship with Patrice would’ve been a great way to prove that Barney is finally putting his shallow ways behind him, and truly does desire a relationship that is not just based on looks or sex.

    In the end though, I’m okay with idea of their fake relationship. It made for an amazing plot-twist in “The Final Page (Part 2)” when we found out it was just a play all along. And in the weeks leading up to it we were able to see Robin try to prove her love for Barney because ever since they broke up, it was always Barney who was making the moves to try and get them together.

    I’m not sure how a real relationship with Barney and Patrice would have worked out, but I like to think if Barney really was going to propose to Patrice instead of Robin, and Robin tried to break it up, then Patrice would reject Barney and Barney would be upset at Robin leading to a period of awkwardness between the 2. I don’t know how the writers would have Barney ultimately propose to Robin, but under this scenario something would need to happen for the both of them to realize that they are perfect for each other.

    But I’ll give the writers the benefit of the doubt because coming into season 8, we all thought it would be the final year for the show. Even the writers said themselves that they were writing the season as if it were the last. So by getting Barney and Robin engaged right away, they were just trying to tie up a loose end because the renewal for season 9 didn’t come until during the holiday break.

    • Those are all fair points about Patrice. I would have been satisfied with some conversation between her and Barney, or perhaps just Barney reflecting later to Ted, about how he usually treats women that look like her. Since it’s Barney, it could have been as straightforward as him saying, you know what Ted, I never thought fat chicks were worth anything at all. But it turns out they’re real people and you can actually be friends with them! And then Ted can be like, yes, congratulations on becoming slightly less of an evil monster.

      Character progression, but still staying in line with the core elements of his personality, and a way to show some respect to a key player in Barney and Robin getting together.

      Did you really think it was real, ever? I never did, and I just assumed other fans wouldn’t either. But, then again, I’ve had quite a few people find this post by searching for things like “why would Barney marry Patrice she’s so fat” and “fat girl Patrice as Barney’s wife wtf”.

      That made me feel like my whole article was justified, in a way. :) I don’t want to give the writers a pass on this, because it’s consistent with how they’ve portrayed and discussed average looking women throughout the entire show. But I do accept that the question of a season 9 led to some weird placement and filler episodes.

      • “Did you really think it was real, ever?” *shamefully* yes. -____-

        i fell for the trap haha! even though it was considered a questionable pairing by most fans, like i said in the first comment, i thought they were using patrice for barney and robin’s character growth. i was expecting barney to prove he wasn’t shallow anymore, and i thought it was a good idea to have robin try to break them up. because that was her turn to prove her love for barney.

        • Don’t be ashamed, that just means you are perhaps less cynical about this sort of thing than I am. And it would have been an awesome way to show Barney’s character development, if it had been real. I know some people say that him working with Patrice shows he has matured, but I don’t really buy it. Barney has always been great at seeming nice when he is using someone towards his own end. I do think that Barney seemed to have an honest sense of affection for Patrice, but I don’t think that has impacted his actual character. I would guess that Barney still thinks all fat chicks are gross and useless, except maybe Patrice, but still he wouldn’t date her. Know what I mean?

  8. You’ve made some valid points, but I have to be honest: I never really thought of Patrice as a “fatty” until you mentioned it. I recognize that she’s not supermodel thin or anything, but she’s certainly not THAT large. I always thought it wasn’t believable that Barney was with her because of her obnoxious, clingy (although funny) nature. Plus, considering her history with Robin, it didn’t make since for him to start a relationship with Patrice unless it was a fake one with the intention of winning back Robin. However, I agree that fat jokes aren’t funny. People shouldn’t be put down for their weight. Whatever the case may be, this storyline wasn’t HIMYM’s finest moment. Still, I loved the show and enjoyed your insights! :)

  9. Actually, you’re pretty stupid if you don’t have the sense of humour required to get those jokes. I myself once was a fat guy and I lost weight by starting a career in sports and I can strongly say I don’t like fat people, so I found all the HIMYM jokes hilarious.

  10. who cares about fat jokes really ? the real annoyance is that this is not robins character at all she is a completely different person from the beginning of the show it’s obvious that the writers were lazy and didn’t want Ted with robin so they made her unavailable to him even though she was always disgusted with his actions and neither Barney nor robin should have ever pursued anything because it’s entirely disrespectful to Ted who was always in love with robin and then the final episode shows robin avoiding the gang because she is jealous and can’t bear to watch Ted the person she even says she should have ended up with after she says she didn’t love him , either the writers are extremely lazy or robin is a typical crazy woman who has no idea what she really wants. Also Barney is extremely messed up towards Ted by throwing it in his face that robin is marrying him and not Ted and that Ted should butt out even though Ted is nothing but a push over allowing his friends to do that to him , I just don’t think anyone would ever be that way , it was bad enough watching desperate Marshall fall for the only girl to ever sleep with him especially after she always tried to run away if things were tough he always took her back, I love the show but the writers changed the characters personalities so much that they would all be on medication for being so imbalanced

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