How I Met Your Father’s big Sophie & Barney theory has been debunked by the showrunners, even after Barney’s cameo in the Season 2 premiere.

Warning: This post contains spoilers for the How I Met Your Father season 2 premiere.How I Met Your Father showrunners Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger have debunked the popular fan theory that Barney Stinson is Sophie’s father. While the main mystery of the series is who is the father of Sophie’s future child, there is also the mystery of who Sophie’s father is. How I Met Your Father season 1 with How I met your mother characters including Robin Scherbatsky and the Captain opened the door for more familiar characters to appear in the spinoff series, with their appearances having the potential to answer the mystery of Sophie’s parentage. This led to the theory that notorious womanizer Barney Stinson could be Sophie’s father.


While Barney makes an appearance in How I Met Your Father season 2 premieres after Sophie accidentally puts her car in reverse, showrunners Aptaker and Berger confirm in an interview with Weekly entertainment that he is not Sophie’s father. They explain that the theory doesn’t work because of the timeline established in both series. Sophie turns 30 in 2022, which means she was born in 1992. How I met your mother revealed that Barney didn’t have sex for the first time until 1999, which means he can’t be her father. Check out Aptaker and Berger’s explanation below:

APTAKER: Yes, we can disprove that, just based on the actual math. He would be something like a sophomore in high school. That’s not really the story we’re trying to tell.

BERGER: We never like to dispel a theory because we love a good fan theory, but because How I Met Your Mother fans are so die-hard and so good at tracking the timelines, and our fans are now, it’s safe to say , that it is not the case and he is not the father.

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Other ways Barney could fit into Sophie’s story

How I Met Your Father Season 2 Episode 1 Barney Stinson Cameo Neil Patrick Harris

Although Barney is not Sophie’s father, he still has an important role to play How I Met Your Father. In the interview with EWthat How I Met Your Father writers teased that they have ideas for everything original How I met your mother character to return. Spinoff cameos for each character are based not only on actor availability, but also on what makes the most sense for where Sophie is on her journey. Just like Robin appeared in How I Met Your Father season 1 finale to tell Sophie what she needed to hear at that specific time in her life, Sophie runs into Barney because he is the person she needs right now.

The biggest change in Barney’s life happened in 2020, a few years before How I Met Your Father‘s timeline in 2022. The How I met your mother the series finale reveals that 2020 is the year Barney’s daughter Ellie is born. The first moment Barney holds his daughter is a life changing moment where he decides to finally settle down and stop putting himself first as he realizes nothing and no one is as important as his daughter. Barney can give Sophie some much needed perspective as he helps her focus on the people she loves and become the best version of herself.

This is a fascinating point in the timeline to explore Barney’s character. Barney’s How I Met Your Father cameo can show what life is like for him as a changed man just a few years into fatherhood. As a womanizer and the most immature member of the original show’s core group of friends, it’s ironic to think that he could now be a voice of reason and wisdom for Sophie in How I Met Your Father. Like Sophie, Barney didn’t know who his father was until much later in life. Barney isn’t Sophie’s father, but he could be the father figure she needs right now.

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Source: EW

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