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WMG / Barney & Friends

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The school is a human trafficking front
It would explain why the kids are always changing. Barney, Baby Bop, and Bj represent those who run the human trafficking ring. I think it is a well-disguised front so that's why they can have visitors and no one notices.

Barney is the result of the kids finding some mushrooms and eating them
The kids like to play at or near different schools. They frequently like to pick things they see in nature. Barney, Baby Bop, and BJ are all hallucinations that occur because of mushroom intoxication. Any real person they meet is real, they are just seen through the eyes of a child high on magic mushrooms.
Barney is a pedophile
More specifically the events of Barney and the Backyard gang are meant to show actual pedophile acts. Barney gets caught and thrown in jail at the end of this series. The actual Barney and friends show is just him "using his imagination" in jail. First, with the same kids, he molested. He later gets bored with them and starts imagining new kids. His kids are paroled briefly in the movie "Barney's Great Adventure" However, sometime during the duration of this movie his old ways catch up to him and he is thrown back in jail for violating his parole.

The Barney from Barney's backyard gang is an evil doppelganger
It seems a lot more creepy and demonic than the actual Barney we see later.

BJ stands for "Barney Junior."
BJ and Baby Bop are Barney's children... somehow. Hey, if a protoceratops and a triceratops can be siblings, there's no reason why a tyrannosaurus can't be their father.
  • Then who's the mother? Did Barney eat her? And how did Riff get on the show? Adopted? Illegal dino immigrant snuck on for pay? Meh.
    • This raises the implication that Barney has had intercourse at least twice, and I don't know if I want to think about that...
      • Or Dorothy the Dinosaur could be Baby Bop and BJ’s mom. Even though she's Australian and Barney is American.
  • Isn't at least Baby Bop being his daughter confirmed? The Barney and the Backyard Gang episode "Barney in Concert" had Barney magically make-believing her into existence.

The real reason Barney wants children to grow up safe, happy, and healthy... so he can eat them later. He's a Tyrannosaurus rex, what would you expect.
  • Barney states on the show multiple times that he only eats vegetables. Also, kids from previous seasons have guest-starred on the later seasons.
  • I don't know. The cast of kids changes each season, so I wouldn't be surprised if he DID eat them. Then again, who says he ate ALL of them? (If he didn't, that explains why some of them were able to make guest appearances in later seasons).
Stella the Storyteller is a Time Lord (Really, Time Lady).
Obligatory time lord theory, but with backup. Due to a Doctor Who style chameleon circuit malfunction, her TARDIS split into 2 parts, with the travel functions being a door and the suitcase being the TARDIS interior proper. She knows the ending of Barney's story (And the book containing it being old and used despite its appearance relatively early) despite the fact it was still running: She just time traveled. She was also there for several of the stories she recounts. She uses the TARDIS interior primarily for prop storage and probably has a second entrance, indicating how she was able to go to different countries using the door without having the suitcase. Barney probably is in on this, somehow, because he knew that Stella was still in the same period when they went around the world. Possibly the Barney Bag and/or the hammerspace closet behind trees and how the dinosaurs teleport has something to do with it? Most of the recurring characters not shown explicitly to have a function outside events where Barney, Stella, Mr. Boyd, or someone similar is there probably are in on it. I guess the kids are fine with this, considering their parents have been shown to have known Barney was there and at some points seen him directly.
  • She even mentions finding a number for a clock "on top of a mountain in Illinois." Considering the lack of The Mountains of Illinois right now, she probably time traveled to when there ARE mountains.
  • Her baseball team of 12 cousins may be her regenerations. Stella is likely on her last by now. The clock of the same episode was possibly a time synch device that allowed them all to interact to the point of baseball games without messing up anything.
So if this is true, does that mean Barney is an alien?
  • Well, Barney Goes To The Doctor did pop up whenever I looked up Doctor Who on Netflix after it was removed, so...
Barney is MAGIC!
Seriously, how else can all that imaginary stuff be perfectly congruent on several children, some of which have not met?
Nope. The real reason why Barney tries to help kids in every way he can is that:
All he wants is to have a family of his own. Barney is the embodiment of imagination itself and therefore gets to see a lot of families in his 200 million year-long career. But he also sees a lot of kids who are sad and one could argue that he sees kids who are suffering from neglectful families. Barney appears to children because he wants to let them know that someone loves and cares. This goal though very hard to achieve as there are so many suffering kids in the world. So BJ and Baby-Bop are created within the minds of children whenever Barney isn't available. But once they were created, the imaginations of children started to imagine all three of them together. Even though this means that the three will be constantly busy entertaining children from around the world, Barney is okay with this because he finally has a family of his own to love.

Barney is the Guardian of Imagination who left the others to do his own thing.
All of my yes.
Barney is a dinosaur... to those who imagine him to be.
Since Barney is a figment of children's imagination, he can turn into any shape or form. We just see him as a dinosaur because the show only revolves around the kids who imagine him that way.
  • This is why on a few episodes Barney forgets that he's a dinosaur and admits that he's scared of them. He visits so many kids that it's hard to keep up with what form he's in.
    • From "Barney's Magical Musical Adventure" after the kids hear a scary noise.
    Tina: "What if it's a giant?"
    Derek: "What if it's a scary monster?"
    Barney: "OR WHAT IF IT'S A DINOSAUR?!? NOOOOOO- hey wait. I'm a dinosaur...

The show takes place during a time when the universe is shrinking.
The children never leave the schoolyard, except with their "imaginations." That's because the schoolyard is all that is left of the universe. They don't go home or talk about their families, because they've been erased from existence, and by extension, the children's memories. With the universe contracting, it is not only space but TIME that is folding in on itself. This causes the age of the dinosaurs to be squashed into the age of humans, throwing Barney, Baby-Bop, and the other dinosaurs into the schoolyard with the kids. Barney distracts the kids with fun games, while other dinosaur scientists work furiously in the school's basement to save the universe.
  • The kids' parents (and sometimes grandparents) appear in some of the episodes. Also, the original Backyard Gang series (and some of the direct-to-video Barney and Friends episodes) don't take place at the school, but in the kids' actual yards.

Barney is an evil demon.
The little toy is an idol, which the kids chant and dance around to reveal the true form. Barney only acts nice to convince the kids to give him their souls.
  • Alternatively, he is a demon but he has slowly become the mask. Eventually, he will have to eat some to survive but he will greatly regret it.

Backyard Gang reunion
2018 will be the 30th anniversary of Barney, and there will be a special with the original backyard gang, clips from the early years, and the introduction of some of their kids onto the show.
  • Jossed, but we might get that for another anniversary soon.

What happened to Baby Bop’s and BJ’s parents?

Barney ate them. That’s right. Baby Bop and BJ have unwittingly befriended their parents’ murderer. It’s possible that Barney ate Riff’s parents as well.

  • Jossed, Barney clearly magic-ed Baby Bop into existence in Barney in Concert.

Stella the Storyteller was originally part of an aborted attempt by Lyrick Studios to license Doraemon
My theory is that Stella the Storyteller was intended to be a part of the wrap-around for a Doraemon dub Lyrick was planning. Her door was intended to be an Anywhere Door, and the suitcase was originally intended to contain Doraemon's gadgets. When Lyrick couldn't agree with TV Asahi in time, the plan was scrapped and Stella was imported into Barney & Friends with all the Doraemon references either eliminated or changed.

The school is owned by the grandparents from Barney's Great Adventure, one of which is a powerful figure in a crime syndicate
The children get to have a lot of things, and some props just appear without Barney magic-ing them into existence. Whenever their parents need to show up, they appear out of thin air. Grandpa from the Great Adventure film is a crime lord who has Barney, Baby Bop, BJ, Riff, the kids' parents, Stella the Storyteller and her cousins, and even a NASA astronaut on his payroll to please the children at the school (plus he might also be a wizard or warlock who created the Barney doll for that reason). Barney and co. distract the kids with fun games (like in the "Barney's universe is shrinking" theory) whilst Grandpa and the other crime syndicate members use the school as a Totally Not a Criminal Front while organizing various criminal activities in the school's basement. In addition, Grandpa had some grunge kids on his payroll to start the anti-Barney humor thing just to distract people from learning the truth about Barney. Also, Grandpa and Grandma are the parents of the mom from the early Backyard Gang videos, and she too is a powerful crime figure.

Barney suffers from depression
It's not obvious, because he focuses so much on everyone else. But there are enough slip-ups in his behavior where he doesn't quite feel right, where his cheer seems forced, to imply that it's an act he's putting on for the benefit of everyone. The reason he hangs around and encourages kids so much is that it helps him avoid depressive thoughts.

Either Baby Bop or BJ is adopted
It's the only explanation as to why 2 dinosaurs of 2 different species are siblings. Riff was also possibly adopted as well to explain how he is their cousin.

Barney & Friends takes place in an alternate dimension where society has collapsed
This is why the kids and adults seldom leave (depending on the season/video) their backyards, the school, or the park without using their imaginations, and why the kids are imagining Barney, Baby Bop, B.J., and Riff (and Stella the Storyteller, and Professor Tinkerputt) in the first place. Barney and his friends distract the kids with fun games to take their minds off the madness occurring in the ruins of society nearby.

Professor Tinkerputt works for Gizmonic Institute.
Would explain why he always invents crazy toys and magical contraptions.

The entire show is an experiment being conducted by the Gizmonic Institute.
The school (and park later on) is a daycare for the children of Gizmonic employees/people sent up to the Satellite of Love. Barney is a reformed demon / well-intentioned reality warper whose idol form was subjected to a previous experiment and is trapped in the Gizmonic daycare facility. Like with the "Joel broadcast the show to Earth to try and get help" theory for MST3K, Joel, just before being shot into space, hacked the Cambot in the school/park with the ability to interfere with television broadcasts, and every time the kids arrived at the daycare Cambot automatically turned on and broadcast the goings-on of the experiment to the public in an attempt to get the kids and Barney rescued. The Mads, like with Joel on the Satellite of Love, discredited Barney's silent pleas for help by convincing the public that it was all the creation of a group of mothers from Texas, and they added musical numbers and a theme song to the show to reassure PBS viewers that the program was normal.
The Barney reboot would feature LGBTQ+
Make sense if you think about it since Barney is trying to encourage diversity, heck, there's a song called Everyone is Special.

  • Maybe they'll introduce a kid with two moms or two dads, or a kid who's transgender. Speaking of "Everyone is Special", they'll have to update the song since there are more pronouns than just "his or her". Maybe they'll change it to "their own unique way" to keep in time with the beat.

The new Barney movie will portray Barney as a murderous psychopath.
Daniel Kaluuya is known for making horror films and has confirmed that the new movie would be Darker and Edgier compared to the rest of the series. The film will take a turn similar to The Banana Splits Movie as a horror film and will reveal Barney as a self-centered child murderer, similar to how he is often portrayed as by Barney-haters.

Barney is a time traveler.
We find out in Barney's Night Before Christmas that Santa has known Barney practically all his life.