YMMV / Barney & Friends

  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • An episode has B.J. becoming Captain Pickles, who then goes to protect the world for pickle lovers everywhere. If not for the fact that this is Barney and Friends, one would think that it was really getting it past the censors.
    • Nevermind the name "B.J."...
    • There's also the ending theme, which encourages hugging and kissing children.
    • One song in the show is about brushing your teeth. Unfortunately, the hand gestures that are being made... do not look exactly like tooth brushing. Can be seen in this video.
      • The show's producers likely noticed and changed the choreography for "Brushing My Teeth" in future episodes. In the same season, in fact.
    • The Israeli adaptation’s opening song had these troublesome lines:
    Barney is a sort of dinosaur
    In our imagination;
    When he’s big, then he can
    Touch all of us.
    • Many people who have reviewed Barney's Great Adventure have pointed out the absurdity and Unfortunate Implications of this line early in the film:
    Cody: What's your hurry? They're dumping us for a whole week.
    Cody's dad: Aw, come on, Cody, you're gonna have a GREAT time. You can help Grandpa with the farm chores, like, uh... milking the chickens!
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: All that needs to be said is that Barney is a T-Rex and the cast of kids changes every season.
    • Or that he's a fully-grown adult dinosaur who spends a lot of time around kids and cuddling them.
    • Cody from the movie. To a little kid whose the show's target age, he's seen as a Jerkass kid whose rude to Barney and his sister. To anyone older whose watching the movie for whatever reason (babysitting, high, for a review, etc) he's seen as an only sane kid trapped with two roughly ten-year old girls, who actually still find a singing happy purple dinosaur and songs like "Do Your Ears Hang Low?" enjoyable. And did he really do a Heel–Face Turn at the end, or was he brainwashed into being as dumb as them?
  • Art Evolution: BJ had a more realistic-looking face with a larger snout in his first appearances, teetering on the Uncanny Valley. This was re-designed into a more cartoonish form in season 3.
  • Audience-Alienating Premise: No prizes for guessing why Barney's Great Adventure didn't sell tickets at the box office.
  • Author's Saving Throw: Who remembers that "Never Talk to Strangers" song?
  • Critical Backlash: Believe it or not. See just below.
  • Critical Dissonance: Despite being despised by most over the age of 3, the series became one of the biggest merchandising successes of the 1990's.
  • Ear Worm: "I love you, you love me, we're a happy family..." It may have been mocked and ridiculed to death, but you'll never forget it.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Professor Tinkerputt for his silly, over the top behavior. Even some Barney haters admitted to liking him.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: There are some instances which may give the false impression that cheating is okay. In "A Splash Party, Please," when Barney and the kids are having a tug o' war, Min helps the other kids win by tickling Barney. Later, in "Falling For Autumn," Shawn participates in a relay race with a peanut stuck to his spoon with peanut butter. Proponents states that it's safe to assume that these "cheating" ways were just thrown in as jokes (and the characters playing them off as such), while opponents state that children of the target demographic pick up from mimicking and may copy the action because they do not understand that it's supposed to be a joke (Sadly, in some countries - particularly corrupt ones, this Aesop is Truth in Television).
    • What's next? "It's okay to throw barrels of oil into the ocean"? ...wait...
  • Memetic Loser: Barney, due to massive amounts of Anti-Barney Humor.
  • Memetic Molester: Unsavorable Urban Legends and playground myths come up about Barney and his actor(s) often. He's also the namesake of the Barney Bunch, Speakonia videos on Newgrounds and YouTube based on its characters visiting various places and doing disgusting things.note 
  • Moe: Tina (in the early Barney & the Backyard Gang videos), Kathy (in Season 1), and some other kids. One girl, Linda, seems to make a connection with Kathy in a reunion special.
  • Narm: Sandy Duncan singing "I Love You" at the top of her lungs, when she's by herself in "A Day at the Beach."
    • One could argue the acting of the early child cast members is pure narm as well.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The Barney theme song...BACKWARDS.
    • To some, the original Barney costume from the Backyard Gang videos looked pretty creepy. Particularly, in the first three videos, in which he was dark purple, skinny, had giant eyes, and a red mouth.
    • The end of the Backyard Gang video "Waiting For Santa", with Santa looking at the camera and whispering almost menacingly "Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!"
    • According to several Youtube comments, many children were scared by the bear in "Barney's Campfire Singalong" due to the sheer Uncanny Valley factor of his appearance and because he appears out of the darkness of the woods.
    • There's also the winking baseball during "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" in "Three Wishes".
    • There's also the donkey at the end of "Rock With Barney". From its heart-freezing braying to its creepy wink to the camera. Winnie the Pooh, eat your heart out.
      • As if that wasn't enough, it re-appears at the end of the credits and winks again.
    • Some of the endings with the Barney doll winking are very creepy as well, mainly from season 2, which, unlike most seasons, had the camera pan up very close to Barney's face in a several episodes. To top it all off, any episode from this season (except for "A Very Special Delivery") that ends in the classroom usually has one of the kids turning off the lights, adding more to the creepy effect of Barney's winks. (Season 3 also had those two treatments as well, but they were done a lot more tamer). Notable examples from season 2 include "The Dentist Makes Me Smile", "Grown-Ups for a Day", and "Having Tens of Fun". The creepiest ending from this season, however, has to be from "May I Help You?", which follows very similarly to the "Rock with Barney" donkey ending (i.e. a much quicker pan-up to his face than usual).
    • Also counts for the wide-eyed stare of the 1st season's Barney doll, unless you'd prefer that over season 2. (Unlike season 2, at least the endings consisted of a slow pan to the purple guy, rather than fading or cutting right to him, therefore, allowing us viewers more time to react until it's over.)
  • Nightmare Retardant: "Barney's Halloween Party," which avoids going the scary route altogether, and instead focuses on the opportunity that Halloween provides for dress-up and pretend play.
  • Nostalgia Filter: Among others, this is one reason that the show has fans older than the target preschool audience.
  • Older Than They Think: The "I Love You" song first appeared in the Backyard Gang videos, but the song was written in a 1983 children's book prior to its usage on Barney. In 1992, the show's producers made an agreement with songwriter Lee Bernstein where she'd get credit for the song in future episodes (and was paid $6,000 for use of the song). This didn't stop said book's publisher from suing both Bernstein and the producers of Barney & Friends in 1994 over the song's lyrics. The lawsuit was settled later that year and "I Love You" has remained part of the series.
  • Painful Rhyme: This oddity from the original "Backyard Gang" videos. A rare example of the "painful rhyme" preceding the desired word:
    Jason is in Barney's club, and Adam has a ticket; Our mom has never seen him, 'cause she doesn't know our secret.
  • Periphery Demographic: The series has genuine fans who enjoy the show for what it is.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Michaela Dietz, who voiced Riff is now voicing Amythest on Steven Universe. Many SU fans were surprised when they found out. Surprised, and then highly amused.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Barney himself, especially during The '90s. As the face of the show, he was (and still is) often viewed as the most obnoxious character, and was the main target of most anti-Barney humor.
    • Riff is this to pretty much everyone who stopped watching Barney before he was introduced in 2006.
  • Snark Bait: Where do we even begin? As stated on the main page, anti-Barney humor was a borderline fad in The '90s, to the point of getting an entire article on Wikipedia (which is roughly as long as the article for the show itself). In parodies, the simplicity of the show is often played up and used to demonstrate a lack of intelligence in characters such as Homer Simpson and the Pointy-Haired Boss from Dilbert.
    Barney: (singing) Two plus two is four! Two plus two is four! Two plus two is four!
    Homer Simpson: Hehehe. I can see why this is so popular.
  • Special Effect Failure: In the original three Barney & The Backyard Gang videos, Barney would close each video winking (with a crudely drawn eyelid). In later videos, he would wink with a sparkle in his eye, which continued in the television series.
    • There was also an attempt to animate a breakdancing Barney for the first usage of "Mr. Knickerbocker."
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: One of the largest targets of this criticism...there are bullies in real schools, dammit!
  • "Weird Al" Effect: People are generally more familiar with the opening theme and the closing theme "I Love You" than the songs they were based on: "Yankee Doodle" and "This Old Man", respectively.
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit!: The intro to Season 14 (which in turn has been the last season so far, even though it is just a recopilation of previous episodes). Enough said.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: How do we know that the kids didn't just take way too much LSD before the show started and hallucinated the Barney doll coming to life?
  • Woolseyism: "I Love You" in the Israeli co-production. The song was rewritten to be about togetherness and friendship:
    For me, for you
    There's a friend, so there is joy
    We will love each other forever.
    • The show's other songs in the same production became Woolseyisms, though ones mostly true to the originals. One of the more dramatic examples "I've Been Working on the Railroad", which now talks about working at a sea port and watching ships. Another example noted on the main page is "London Bridge," which became "Yarkon Bridge" to connect with Israeli audiences.