Neil Patrick Harris Returns as Barney Stinson in HOW I MET YOUR FATHER Season 2

How I Met Your Father‘s second season began with a legend…wait for it…ary surprise cameo. How I Met Your Mother star Neil Patrick Harris returned to the franchise as Barney Stinson. He’s the second major character from the original show to appear on the spinoff series, but this isn’t a one-off event. And the creators of How I Met Your Father say Barney is set to have a “major impact” on Sophie’s own story.

Patrick Wymore/Hulu

If you didn’t suit up for How I Met Your Father‘s season two premiere “Cool and Chill” you weren’t dressed appropriately. Not that you could have known that before watching. Towards the end of the episode Hilary Duff’s Sophie told her kids about the time she hit rock bottom. That involved hitting an Audi belonging to none other than Barney Stinson. The character’s appearance follows Cobie Smulders’ own surprise cameo in season one.

That happened when Sophie met Robin at MacClaren’s Pub, so it was less shocking than Barney getting out of his car. Robin had some helpful advice for Sophie, but so far that was their only encounter. Harris’ Barney is going to play a bigger role on How I Met Your Father.

Patrick Wymore/Hulu

Show creators Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger talked about the how and why of Patrick’s return with TVLine. They (thankfully) confirmed he is not Sophie’s dad, a fact proven by simple math and show lore. We don’t yet know how Barney will influence Sophie’s love story. But it will be significant. He’s going to appear in more episodes during the show’s second season. Aptaker said that in addition to learning about Barney’s own life, he will “also have a major impact on the trajectory, and main narrative, of our season.”

Now that really does sound legendary. Too bad fans have to wait for new episode to see it.

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