This Iconic Star Returns for How I Met Your Father Season 2

The new season premiere ends with a big return.

by J.R. Waugh
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Image: 20th Television

How I Met Your Father debuted its second season recently, continuing Sophie Tompkins’ journey through dating and friendship in New York City. The season picks up directly where the last one left off, with her love life getting increasingly complicated by breakups, confessions, and surprising resurfaces of previous flames. But the biggest buzzworthy moment didn’t happen until just before the credits began to roll in a flash forward where Sophie bumps into an iconic character who returns for How I Met Your Father.

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Image: 20th Television

While the series has already shown a clear commitment to the legacy of How I Met Your Mother including returns such as a guest appearance from Robin, Barney came as a welcome surprise. The scene in question where this occurs is when future Sophie, played by Kim Cattrall, describes her rock bottom not happening until a short while later that same year in the past.

Sophie as she appears in the story, played by Hillary Duff, rear-ends another vehicle while frantically trying to tell her mother “I think I’m dating my dad.” Before she knows it, Sophie finds out that the car she hit belonged to none other than Barney Stinson, former Player King of New York City.

Will Barney Appear in Future Episodes of How I Met Your Father?

Much like Robin’s mentorship, Ted and Marshall’s old apartment, and the Captain, Barney is slated to have a strong impact on How I Met Your Father, especially for season 2. While we know very little about Barney’s ultimate role in the season, we know that Sophie goes through a bit of a rough patch this year, dating a much older man played by John Corbett. This is coupled with the fact that she never met her birth father, growing up without one and being raised by her single mom.

While the old Barney would see this as an opportunity, he cast aside his old ways with the birth of his daughter (2020) before the events of this series, which takes place in 2022. His behavior such as in the original series would also not fly with modern audiences, so this change is likely for the better. It’s far more likely he’ll act as a coach to help her find her way, knowing all too well what it’s like to grow up not knowing his dad.

Is Barney Sophie’s Father?

While this is a fun fan theory, the numbers don’t seem to add up. With Barney being on an unconfirmed date between 1974 and 1976, he would have had to have Sophie when he was a teenager, as she was born in 1992. Furthermore, aside from that being a problematic and tricky fan theory, Barney canonically lost his virginity at age 23, years after Sophie was born. When Barney returns for more episodes in How I Met Your Father, it won’t likely be about playing into that fan theory, but it’ll be a fun story with legendary new memories to be made.

How I Met Your Father season 2 premiered on January 24, 2023, and will air weekly every Tuesday on Hulu, or Disney Plus outside of the US.

- This article was updated on January 25th, 2023

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