From Suit-Up to Legendary: Barney Stinson's Life Lessons on How to be Awesome

Image credit: Legion-Media

How I Met Your Mother's playbook for a legendary life.

1. New is Always Better

In season six, history buff and romantic Ted gets the opportunity to design his own skyscraper, but this means the old Arcadian Hotel will be demolished. His love interest, Zoey, tries to protect the historical building by hook or by crook.

Barney Stinson doesn't give a damn about all things vintage, and to alleviate his friend's moral suffering, he shares with him the four words to live by: "New is always better."

Yep — the new Star Wars movies are better than the old ones because the first three "barely mention the intricacies of intergalactic trade law", Guns N' Roses' songwriter Axl has only wised up over the years, and surely, a glass of Jumbo Jim's Grape Scotch is better than a 30-year-old Glen McKenna. Because, remember, new is always better… Always!

2. The Possimpible

"Possimpible" is Barney's word to describe the nexus between the Possible and the Impossible.

In season four, when Robin faces deportation from America, she needs to concoct a perfect resume that would guarantee her a job in journalism. Barney, who's partial to Robin, takes the initiative. He is convinced that, in America, no one cares about an employee's actual skills, so a resume should show off one's creativity through fancy, nonsensical words.

"Possimpible" is just one of such fancy words that Barney comes up with — but it's the most memorable one.

3. The Three Days Rule

The "three days rule" is by no means a new concept. According to the unspoken laws of romance, you should wait at least three days after meeting someone before you can call or text them. Unlike Ted, who's willing to marry the "love of his life" at first sight, Barney is committed to the age-old wisdom.

In the episode devoted to the three days rule, Stinson also lectures his friends on the rule's origins: it was invented by Jesus Christ himself as he waited the "exact right number of days" before his resurrection. And, FYI, when he returned, the son of God also gave the first-ever high-five to his followers. True story!

4. The Chain / Circle of Screaming

After an emotionally difficult day at work when Marshall was yelled at by his boss Arthur Hobbs, Barney Stinson gives his friend a sound piece of advice: never raise your voice to a higher authority in response to their screaming. Marshall should get used to ruthless Corporate America where it's a common practice for people of a higher social standing to yell at those below them.

He goes on to explain the "chain of screaming" theory (which may as well be a circle, as Barney thought halfway through his speech): Arthur's boss yells at Arthur, Arthur yells at Marshall, Marshall yells at his wife Lily, who then yells at a kid in her kindergarten class, who yells at her dad, who happens to be Arthur's boss.

Boom! Stinson's theory is reminiscent of the law of the boomerang: "The harder and faster you throw something, the faster and more violently it comes back to hit you.”

5. The Date-Time Continuum

When Stella, the girl who dumped Ted at the altar, invites him to her sister's wedding six months before the event, Ten recalls another one of Barney's theories, dubbed the "Date-Time Continuum."

According to the theory, you can't make plans with your girlfriend (or boyfriend, for that matter) looking further into the future than the amount of time you've been together. The principle may spoil the romance, but it could definitely save Ted from another heartbreak.

6. The Platinum Rule

The Platinum Rule is pretty much the opposite of the Golden Rule and goes, "Never, ever, ever ever 'love' thy neighbor."

It's referenced when Ted is planning to ask his tattoo removal doctor out for a movie. But everyone in the gang thinks it's a bad idea, and Barney justifies the unanimous opinion with the Platinum Rule: one should never date someone that they see on a regular basis. There are plenty of known examples of failed relationships that support Barney's theory: Robin and her TV co-host, Lily and Marshall and their neighbor couple, and Barney and Wendy, the waitress at MacLaren's Pub. Needless to say, Ted's relationship with his doctor was no exception to the rule: his girlfriend was Stella who (you got it) dumped him at the altar.

7. Whatever You Do In This Life, It's Not Legendary, Unless Your Friends Are There To See It

This is perhaps the most poignant wisdom of Barney's — or maybe the entire series! The former womanizer turned Robin Scherbatsky's husband-to-be shares this rule with his "students" in the final season of How I Met Your Mother.

Even when doing his weird self-assigned challenges or pulling stunts to lure girls into bed, Barney Stinson could always rely on his friends for their love and support. Together with Marshall, Ted, Lily, and Robin, they lived through the silliest defeats and celebrated triumphant victories. It was the gang that made his whole life legend — wait for it — dary!