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It's a pretty great theory, and could go some way towards explaining just why Barney was always just that little bit too extreme, especially considering it was never a secret that Ted wasn't exactly the most reliable narrator of all time.But still, there are a few holes in it – and they mostly prove that even if Ted was exaggerating some details, chances are Barney was actually (mostly) as jerk-like as he was portrayed.
"I think that that's very accurate," Harris told Digital Spy.
"Given the story structure, and with [Ted] telling the story to his kids, everything was able to be overdrawn." He even cited an example within the show – from season five's 'The Rough Patch' – where future Ted admits to exaggerating how badly Barney and Robin have let themselves go during a stagnant period in their relationship.
"There's the crazy things, like when Barney and Robin started dating, and they get tired of each other; in that episode, Barney had gained 75lb, and Robin had her hair falling out and had gaps between her teeth!
See more » During a flashback scene supposedly taking place in '2005' Barney uses his i Phone, which was not released until 2007, and which the character did not have until his 2007 Season 3 time line.
See more » Plot In A Paragraph: After Ted wakes up to discover that he got a butterfly tattoo on his lower back while drunk, he sees a dermatologist to have it removed.
So Ted's revisions of the characters are, for sure, proven." That said, Harris would like it to be known that he objects to his character being described as a jerk, however the 'real' Barney might have behaved...