How I Met Your Mother: What Does Barney Do For A Living?
How I Met Your Mother: What Does Barney Do For A Living?
Kris De Leon
Kris De Leon
Staff Writer, BuddyTV
I've been a fan of How I Met Your Mother since the beginning of the series.  The show has established a level of unpredictability not usually found in comedies and has managed to effectively blend well-crafted stories with clever dialog.  How I Met Your Mother has also posed a lot of questions and like most fans out there, I'm also curious to find out who the mother of Ted's children will turn out to be, a mystery that will gradually unfold through the season and possibly beyond.  However, there's another mystery I'd like to get to the bottom of and it's all about the ambiguity surrounding Barney Stinson's (Neil Patrick Harris) job.

Lily's (Alyson Hannigan) a kindergarten teacher, Ted's (Josh Radnor) an architect, Robin's (Cobie Smulders) a news reporter, and Marshall's (Jason Segel) a lawyer.  Barney's occupation, on the other hand, has not been fully specified throughout the show.  I watched "Nothing Good Happens After 2 A.M." again and noticed that on Lily's Career Day for her kindergarten class, in which Robin and Barney also participated, Barney's job is the only one not mentioned on the chalk board. Instead, “not the purple one” was written behind his name.

It just seems kind of odd and funny that no one has ever mentioned what it is that Barney does. This reminds me of Chandler Bing, whose job has become a running joke on Friends since no one quite knows what he does.  But unlike Chandler, whose job as an IT procurement manager with the specialization of statistical analysis and data reconfiguration was eventually revealed, Barney's exact profession is still unknown.

All I know is that whenever Barney is asked about his job, he always replies with a laugh and a “Please.” But there are other hints and clues about his occupation.  He works for AltruCell Corporation, a large (and possibly shady) company that produces weapons, cigarettes and the "fuzzy yellow stuff" on tennis balls, though they want to keep the public focused on the latter.  It is also implied that his job is extremely lucrative, evidenced by his expensive apartment furnishings, high-stakes gambling, willingness to spend on his friends and sexual conquests alike, and his expensive tailored suits.  He can also pay Robin hundreds of dollars to say dirty things on the air.

Additionally, Barney knows a variety of languages and often says “I know a person…,” who has invariably helped him with his eccentric wishes.  Last but not the least, it has been hinted that Barney was involved with a work-related court case, where he committed perjury.

We may never find out what Barney does for a living but that's all part of the genius and appeal of the character.  Barney is undeniably one of the reasons why the sitcom has become a huge success and you can catch him when How I Met Your Mother returns with new episodes beginning Monday, January 12 on CBS.

-Kris De Leon, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of CBS)

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