Long, long ago, back in the ancient year of 1993, Brian Bull released a short Barney & Friends fanfiction (and we use the term fanfiction very lightly) known as Day of the Barney. To summarize it as simply as possible, Barney, who is being broadcast from the United States Capitol, sends thousands of children into an unstoppable killing spree when he tells them the adults are trying to take him away from them.
Unlike many Barney-themed hatefics, this one was extremely well written, darkly funny, deconstructed the idea of Barney being a lovable kids show host, and is even genuinely creepy. Despite its shortness, it even developed a cult following.
And then part two was released.
Although keeping some of the dark comedy the first part had, part two and three took a much more serious turn. Aside from being much longer and written in a novel format, it also expanded greatly on Barney and Baby Bop's characters, portraying them as demonic creatures who were born at (and caused) the very end of the dinosaur reign, as well as many historic disasters. Yes, really. Part two takes place about six years after the events of part one (known as "The Great Act of Love") in the apocalyptic wasteland that was once Washington D.C. Many adults have already been killed off and Barney rules as a God-like figure over the children. It's there we are introduced to our main characters, Jeremy and Fran Phillips, two thirteen-year-old twins who learn the horrible truth about Barney and his plans for the children and the world.
Author Brian Bull took down his website after receiving a cease and desist letter from the owners of Barney and Friends, but a mirror still exists, although it lacks the original website's illustrations. The mirror contains a fourth story that takes place in the same continuity, Son of Barney, as well as several other Barney-themed stories that don't.
This trilogy provides examples of:
- Adaptational Villainy: Barney and Baby Bop, big time. They go from saccharine kids' show characters to psychotic and murderous megalomaniacs.
- Adult Fear:
- Well, maybe not the whole "Barney is a demonic monster who kills adults and rules over children" plot, which is more like a corny horror film than anything, but in part three where Jeremy's children are kidnapped and turned against him might invoke this trope.
- After the End: Barney's reign has brought the world to ruin.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Maca'hzar isn't exactly loved by Barney and the other Loved Ones due to the fact that he's Fran's test-tube son. The only reason he was left alive was so he could be used as the Chew Toy.
- And I Must Scream: Quite literally Barney's ultimate fate, as Jeremy last sees him inside a crystal, frozen in a scream.
- Animalistic Abomination: Barney and Baby Bop look vaguely like dinosaurs, were seemingly born of dinosaurs, but are clearly not really animals at all. For one, they seem to be immortal.
- Artistic License History: In part 3, it features Adolf Schicklgruber making the decision to change his name to Adolf Hitler after having been befriended and corrupted by Barney. The basis of the "Adolf Hitler could've been Adolf Schicklgruber" meme is that his father was born with the surname Schicklgruber, but successfully changed it to Hitler. Adolf Hitler never bore the surname Schicklgruber at any time in his life.
- Asshole Victim: Thorton Marshall can be seen as deserving his death at Barney and his minions' hands because he blindingly believed Barney to be good and harmed many who tried to oppose him. Barney obviously deserves his final fate, given that he tried to take over the world, manipulated children into killing their parents, and did quite a few other repulsive things.
- Please note that the first person noted here will still shown to have some lingering humanity as he died (even dying by the other AH's hands as a result), so he may be a candidate for Redemption Equals Death instead.
- Ax-Crazy: Barney and Baby Bop will murder anyone who dares defy them.
- Back from the Dead: After being seemingly killed in the second story, Barney returns in the third and final story.
- Been There, Shaped History: Part 3 reveals that Barney and Baby Bop were alive and present at the extinction of the dinosaurs and are hinted to have caused it. The list of historical events they are shown to have caused is long. Since the extinction of the dinosaurs, they are revealed to have met and corrupted Caligula, caused the spread of the Black Death, saved the life of and met Adolf Hitler, and befriended Anne Frank, only to betray her and her family to the Nazis after learning that she is a Jew.
- Big Bad: Barney is the main antagonist, as the purpose of Jeremy and Fran's journey is to put an end to his reign over humanity.
- Big "NO!": Jeremy has one in part 3 when Barney tricks him into believing he killed his own children.
- Big Damn Heroes:
- The mother T-rex ends up summoned to kill Barney.
- And to a lesser extent, Lt. McKintyre and her troops.
- Bittersweet Ending: Part 2 has Fran and Jeremy defeat Barney or so they think, but a large number of adults and teenagers have been brutally murdered during the Purple Holocaust, which has also basically wrecked social infrastructure. Part 3 has Barney defeated once and for all, but Jeremy's children have been traumatized so badly that they need serious therapy.
- Black Comedy: Even when Barney is killing and maiming people, it is still really funny, especially when it is accompanied by an Ironic Nursery Tune. Also, who can't laugh at the idea of Barney being the one responsible for corrupting Caligula and Hitler?
- The Black Death: Barney is revealed to be responsible for this infamous disease.
- Blatant Lies: Barney tosses these out like candy. At the point Jeremy realizes what a monster Barney is, Barney even tries to lie that the other 13-year-old boy isn't dead and that he isn't going to kill Jeremy.
- Break the Cutie: Barney is such a cruel dinosaur. No child is safe from being harmed and/or traumatized by him.
- Car Fu: Adult Fran does this to Thornton Marshall in a Barney costume.
- The Chessmaster: Barney can pull of some pretty skillful gambits.
- Chest Burster: The Loved Ones are born by bursting out of the thirteen-year-old girls who are impregnated with them.
- The Chew Toy: Maca'hzar was incessantly abused by Barney and the other Loved Ones.
- The Chosen One: Maca'hzar sees Jeremy as the one destined to defeat Barney.
- Clone by Conversion: The basic premise of Son of Barney: a well-meaning teacher is transformed into a copy of the dinosaur by an evil cult. They plan to kick off another Purple Holocaust.
- Corrupt the Cutie: Barney entices all of his young fans to kill any adult they meet in the Great Act of Love and made Caligula and Hitler into the evil dictators we came to know them as by visiting, befriending, and corrupting them when they were young.
- Crack Fic: A shockingly well-done one at that.
- Crapsaccharine World: What the world turns into after the Great Act of Love for the remaining children. Life is great for them as Barney's Special Friends up until they turn thirteen.
- Crapsack World: If you are over the age of twelve, the world under the reign of Barney crosses over the border of Crapsaccharine World right into this. The social infrastructure has been destroyed, necessitating surviving teenagers and adults to forage for food and hide from Barney, Baby Bop, and the Loved Ones. Add to that the fact that the adults and children are afraid of each other. The adults and teenagers are afraid of being killed by children and the children have been taught by Barney to fear the Bad Ones, as he calls the teenagers and adults who survived the Great Act of Love. And if you have lived for any period of time as a child during the Purple Holocaust, you now have to hide from Barney, who you had come to love and trust, but now can't because he's out to kill you.
- Dangerous 16th Birthday: A dangerous thirteenth birthday, actually. If you are a kid, things are awesome for you during the Purple Holocaust. You are one of Barney's Special Friends, you don't have to go without food or affection, and when you turn thirteen, he gives you a "Special Gift" that turns out to be decapitation with a machete if you are a boy, or rape followed by impregnation with a Half-Human Hybrid that you die giving birth to if you are a girl.
- Dark Fic: Lord yes. This story involves the mascot of a sappy children's show turning out to be an Eldritch Abomination bent on conquering humanity and murdering everyone who opposes him.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Maca'hzar is a Loved One, but he isn't loyal to Barney and actually wishes to help humanity stand up to him.
- Darker and Edgier: Compared to the original Barney & Friends? Yeah, just a little.
- Death Fic: Eventually serves as a fic about the death of Barney. After a fakeout in the second installment, Barney is killed for real in the finale.
- Deadpan Snarker: Adult Fran has a few moments of expressing disbelief and contempt towards Barney's promises of good will.
- Death by Childbirth: The girls' "Special Gift" that they receive upon turning thirteen. Barney rapes them so that they end up pregnant with Loved Ones, which are then born by clawing their way out of their mothers' bellies.
- Devour the Dragon: Barney consumes Baby Bop in part 3 to replenish his power.
- Dissonant Serenity: This is what makes Barney so creepy. He constantly has that same smile on his face in spite of all the horrible things he does.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: In Part 3, certain young "skeptics" claim that Barney's reign of terror never happened, despite the fact that there are living survivors who can attest to the horrors of it by virtue of having lived through it. To make it more obvious, they call this period the Purple Holocaust.
- Do Not Adjust Your Set: Barney's master plan in part three. It ends up becoming part of his undoing, as the army was able to track on to his transmission and become Big Damn Heroes.
- Downer Ending: The first book ends with Barney successfully starting his empire, though Barney gets his comeuppance later...
- The Dragon: Baby Bop serves as the highest-ranking minion to Barney.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: In the end, Jeremy is severely injured, and his children are traumatized to the point of needing serious therapy, but they are all on the road to recovery, and Barney truly is dead this time.
- The End of the World as We Know It: The brutal murder of every adult and teenager Barney and his loyal crew of young fans could get their hands on is said to have taken place "across the country" so presumably, only the United States was affected. For the duration of the Purple Holocaust, there is certainly a Societal Collapse as Barney's Special Friends are left to forage for their own food in the fields of grain tended by the Loved Ones and every surviving teenager and adult presumably either practices subsistence farming or forages for food in abandoned places. If Jeremy and Fran hadn't defeated Barney, it would have most likely resulted in the extinction of the human race due to the adults having to hide from Barney and his followers and the children not reproducing with each other (or so we hope). Eventually, every full-blooded human being would die off, leaving only Barney, Baby Bop, and the Loved Ones.
- Faux Affably Evil: Barney. His whole modus operandi is manipulating the children to do what he wants and convincing them that he's the only one who loves them, but it is made clear that his intentions are, through and through, anything but good.
- From a Single Cell: Barney had the power to regenerate from the tiniest speck, so he can't be killed with conventional methods.
- Genre Blind: Do not trust Barney, regardless of how cheerful he may be.
- Genre Shift: Not too much, but parts 2 and 3 take a much more serious approach than part 1. However, if you're comparing the story to the Barney & Friends TV show... um... yes... very much so.
- Gorn: These stories have a lot of grisly violence and much of it is described in graphic detail.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Loved Ones are the offspring of Barney that he sired by raping teenage girls.
- More are created in Son of Barney.
- Hate Fic: Lord yes. You'd have to have stopped reading the original story midway through to possibly think that this was in any way a fan fic.
- Heel Realization: Thorton Marshall realizes his beloved Barney may not being a loving as he thought. Jeremy and Fran finding out may count too, although they never actually did anything harmful themselves.
- Historical Rap Sheet: Barney was responsible for, among others, the extinction of the dinosaurs, Caligula's depravity, the Black Death, the rise of Hitler and betraying Anne Frank.
- Hypocrite: oh dear god Barney, where to start? Spreads messages of peace and love, while butchering 13 year olds en masse with a machete? SERIOUSLY?
- The Immodest Orgasm: Thorton Marshall has one. To a Barney song.
- Ironic Nursery Tune: This story expands upon Barney & Friends's motif of Glurge-y lyrics to already-existing nursery tunes by having them sing these in horrifying situations as well as singing disturbing variations on the lyrics."I love you, you love me, let us join with Lord Barney...with a great big kiss and hug, from me to you....let's purge the world of adults too...."
- Kick the Dog: Barney and Baby Bop waste no opportunity to do cruel things just for the sake of doing so. The worst instant would have to be in the third and final story, where they trick Jeremy into thinking he killed his own kids.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Maca'hzar turns out to be Fran's test-tube son and Jeremy's nephew.
- Meatgrinder Surgery: Barney, Baby Bop, and a set of Loved Ones perform a variant of this on Thornton Marshall as they sing gleefully about how injured he is to the tune of "Old MacDonald""Thorton Marshall got run down,
And boy is he in loads of pain,
With a crushed rib there, a fracture there,
Here a break, there a break, everywhere a break-break!
Thorton Marshall got run down,
Thorton Marshall is a mess,
I doubt he'll be the same again,
He's lost some blood, his pulse is weak,
Here a clot, there a clot, everywhere a clot-clot!
Thorton Marshall is a mess,
- Medical Rape and Impregnate: Part of the "Special Gift" given to girls who turn thirteen during the Purple Holocaust. They are taken away, raped by Barney, and are impregnated with Loved Ones which they die giving birth to. Fran, however, turns out to have mothered a Loved One through in-vitro fertilization and it was only because Jeremy rescued her that she didn't end up having it in her body at all.
- Men Are the Expendable Gender: In-universe as part of Barney's plan, when it comes time to hand out the "Special Gift", the thirteen-year-old girls are taken away and impregnated by Barney, the thirteen-year-old boys have their heads chopped off.
- Morton's Fork: Yes, in this story, Barney is unquestionably evil and no one can doubt he is. He not only led multiple children to murder adults, including their own parents, indiscriminately and without mercy, and killed and raped them when they became teenagers, his evildoing is shown to pepper the course of history. He's also corrupted Caligula and Hitler and is responsible for the Black Death and the extinction of the dinosaurs. Wait, the extinction of the dinosaurs was one of the reasons why humans were able to evolve to the point that they did. So if Barney caused the extinction of the dinosaurs, we actually owe our existence as it is to him. He's evil and is a clear threat to the human race, and yet we have him to thank for the human race in its current form.
- Next Sunday A.D.: Even in the third story, where Fran and Jeremy are adults, things aren't as different from present day.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Barney delivers a vicious beating to Jeremy in Part 3.
- Not Quite Dead: Barney and Baby-Bop turn out to be alive after they were thought killed in the second story.
- Offing the Offspring: Jeremy uses a petrified shard of the egg Barney hatches from to summon Barney's mother, who kills Barney once and for all.
- Off with His Head!: What happens to all the boys who receive Barney's "Special Gift."
- One-Winged Angel: In part 2, when Barney sees his control over the children slipping away, he mutates into a much more dinosaur-like form with yellow eyes and sharp, jagged teeth.
- Patricide: At least some of those who were children at the time of the Great Act of Love did this. Maca'hzar helps along with bringing Barney down once and for all, so he counts as well.
- Psychopathic Manchild:
- Thorton Marshall is a devoted follower of Barney's even when it is clear that Barney is a cruel monster. Hitler is also implied to have been this, by virtue of having been the only person in history who was visited by Barney outside of childhood.
- Barney and Baby Bop to some extent, since they take over humanity, try to do away with anyone who opposes them, and have always been a bit childlike.
- Puzzle Boss: Barney in Part 3 cannot be killed by normal means. Thankfully, Maca'hzar's gift comes in handy...
- Really 700 Years Old: Barney and Baby Bop have apparently been around since the time of dinosaurs.
- Redemption Equals Death: Barry Clements in Son of Barney. He gets mutated into a clone of Barney and has his mind altered, but he eventually regains his memories, realizes that Barney's cult is a menace to society, and gives his own life to kill all of the cultists and their attempts at resurrecting Barney.
- Remember the New Guy?: The idea of resurrecting Baby Bop and BJ is mentioned in Son of Barney even though the latter was absent in the original trilogy.
- Released to Elsewhere: During the Purple Holocaust, all children receive a "Special Gift" upon turning thirteen. They are taken to the White House for a birthday party in the Oval Office. Then Baby Bop takes whatever girls are among the thirteen year olds away for their "Special Gift" while the boys stay behind so that Barney can give them theirs. Barney writes the number 13 on their foreheads, tells them to close their eyes and kneel and then he beheads them with a machete. It later turns out that the girls are taken away to be raped by Barney and subsequently die giving birth to the Loved Ones. The other children are told that the thirteen year olds have gone on vacation.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Or Sealed Evil in a Crystal. This is implied to be the final fate of Barney. Although it is entirely possible that the crystal is actually giving Jeremy a glimpse into Barney burning in hell.
- Self-Made Orphan:
- The Great Act of Love consists of Barney encouraging the children to kill off all of the adults. By default, at least some of those who were children at that time are these.
- Barney himself, since he offed his own mother.
- Soft-Spoken Sadist: Barney loves to hum twisted nursery rhymes while killing children.
- Stepford Smiler: Barney, is Type C. His cheerfulness belies his true murderous intentions.
- Subverted Kids Show: The very premise of this fic is about Barney, the host of a sickeningly sweet children's show, turning out to be a psychotic megalomaniac with murderous intentions.
- Sugar Apocalypse: The End of the World as We Know It caused by Barney. After all of the adults have been killed or driven into hiding, Barney creates an idyllic existence for his Special Friends where all of their needs are attended to by himself, Baby Bop, and the Loved Ones and they all sing songs and play games like on the original show. Then Jeremy and Fran discover that it is really a Crapsaccharine World, after which Fran shoots Barney and they lead the effort to set things right.
- Take Over the World: Barney's motive is to conquer all of humanity.
- Teen Pregnancy: Part of the "Special Gift" the girls get when they turn thirteen. Barney rapes them, impregnating them with Loved Ones.
- Time Abyss: Barney and Baby Bop are both over 65 million years old.
- Time Skip: Part 3 takes place twenty years after part 2, whereas part 2 takes place about 6-7 years after part 1.
- Too Dumb to Live: Thorton Marshall still thought Barney was to be trusted after all the horrible things he did in broad daylight.
- Also a few children have a few moments of this. Going back to the Ax-Crazy Barney isn't such a good idea....
- They may not have had a choice. Barney seemed to have them brainwashed. Even if they wanted to leave, and I suspect most of them really did, they couldn't because they were under the control of an evil Eldritch Abomination vaguely resembling a prehistoric animal. It does seem, however, that when Barney asks the kids to do something truly awful, the Great Act of Ax-Crazy (sorry, I mean Great Act of Love) aside, they can at least partially resist it.
- Token Heroic Orc: Maca'hzar is a good and helpful Loved One, partly because he was rejected by the others as Fran's test-tube son.
- Took a Level in Badass: Jeremy. He ends up smarter relatively quickly and becomes a Child Soldier. Fran somewhat too (she was the one who shot Barney in part 2), but she doesn't actually do much near the end.
- Trauma Conga Line: Fran and Jeremy suffer a lot in Part 3.
- Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: In the first story, Barney encourages his fans to kill any adult they can. We even directly see Jenny and Robby kill their mother with knives!
- The Watcher: Maca'hzar is presented as one, as he affirms that his magic wouldn't work on Barney, so he can only help Jeremy indirectly. However, the trope is subverted: Maca'hzar gives Jeremy the item he needs to defeat Barney, and frees him from his bonds when Barney has him in captivity, making him more active than your average Watcher.
- We Didn't Start the Führer: Downplayed in the prologue to Part III. Hitler is still human, but his life was saved and his plans encouraged by Barney.
- Wife Husbandry: Barney happily takes up responsibility of caring for the children after he entices them to kill all of the adults and then as soon as the girls turn thirteen, he takes them away and then rapes them at least partially for the purposes of impregnating them with Loved Ones.