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YMMV / Barney & Friends

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  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • Multiple episodes have B.J. becoming Captain Pickles, who proclaims to make the world "safe for pickle lovers everywhere."
    • 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.
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    • The Israeli adaptation’s opening song translates to this in English, likely thanks to different word definitions in Hebrew:
      Barney is a sort of dinosaur
      In our imagination;
      When he's big, then he can
      Touch all of us.
  • Accidental Nightmare Fuel:
    • Barney, BJ, Baby Bop and Riff's mouths are completely black, they have no tongues, Baby Bop's mouth never moved in the first two seasons, and Barney has human-like eyes and teeth.
    • 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!"
    • 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.
  • Accidental Aesop: In "Falling for Autumn", Shawn "wins" the peanut race at the Fall Festival by using peanut butter.
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  • Adaptation Displacement: The Barney & The Backyard Gang videos are more obscure than the TV show that succeeded it. While the videos continued to sell well in the 90's because of the success of Barney & Friends, not many knew that these were what the TV show was based on rather than the other way around.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
  • And You Thought It Would Fail: Prior to the TV series and videos becoming hits, Barney's producers were faced with this exact trope on a number of occasions.
    • Connecticut Public Television executives felt this way when they couldn't see the series' appeal after watching a Barney video. After they showed the video to kids and saw their reactions, however, the tides turned and CPTV immediately got a TV contract for the Barney series.
    • Song writers Lory Lazarus and Stephen Baltes, who wrote songs for the initial three Barney & The Backyard Gang videos, were told by friends to leave the company for this reason. They came back to write for Barney & Friends' third season, once the character's popularity took off.
    • When asked whether Barney would ever take off during the Backyard Gang era, Bob West shrugged.
  • Archive Panic: Barney & Friends alone has 268 episodes, which would take about six days to finish non-stop. That's not counting the home video releases note  nor the movie.
  • Awesome Music:
  • Broken Base: Some fans consider the first three seasons to be the best of the show, with Season 4-6 (along with earlier HIT produced seasons note ) the Bronze Age and the later HIT seasons (especially Seasons 10-13) the Dark Age. Others consider Season 4-6 to be as good as, if not better than, the first three.
  • Critic-Proof: Despite being despised by most over the age of 3 (most critics were divided on it, quite a few treated it on a scale from "good for the whole family" to So Okay, It's Average), the series became one of the biggest merchandising successes of the '90s and 2000s. Hell, one of the reasons why it survived for 17 years was because of its popularity with parents and educators (that and its hatedom slowly shrank into a Vocal Minority as time went by).
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Professor Tinkerputt, even among the show's few remaining haters, for his silly, over the top behavior. Stella the Storyteller also gets this because of her calm personality and whimsical approaches she takes to situations.
    • For the tiny fanbase, BJ gets this due to anyone relating him to.
    • Baby Bop also gets this from the older fanbase due to being the Plucky Girl of the series and her "cutesy" way of speaking, as well as for her banter with BJ.
  • Everyone Is Satan in Hell:
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Just Here for Godzilla: The official Barney YouTube channel embraced this trope by uploading a compilation of the episodes with Selena Gomez's character Gianna.
  • Mandela Effect: In the episode "Playing it Safe", many adults remember Derek controversially saying "A stranger is just a friend you haven't met yet". In reality, Baby Bop asked why you shouldn't talk to strangers and Derek replies saying "They might be bad people".
  • Memetic Badass: Barney occasionally gets this due to being a magical Friend to All Children who never raises a fight because he loves everybody regardless of who they are.
  • Memetic Loser: Barney was once a common victim of this trope thanks to the show's once-incredibly vocal hatedom.
  • Memetic Molester:
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • If you were alive after 1988, chances are you or someone you know can never, ever clean up without someone else singing "Clean-up! Clean-up! Everybody, everywhere!"
    • The show's hatred with older demographics became memetic during The '90s, to the point that an entire Wikipedia article exists on the subject, which makes the similar memetic hatred for newer works such as The Emoji Movie seem tame in comparison.
  • 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.
  • Never Live It Down: For better or for worse (mostly the latter), the Tyrannosaurus rex will forever be associated with Barney in popular culture, which doesn't help his extreme unpopularity at all among adult dinosaur enthusiasts. Nearly every fictional T. rex or other therapod under the sun, be it Godzilla, Rexy, Megatron, Deviljho, Anjanath, Tyranitar, Tyrantrum, Greymon, Tyrannomon, or countless others (but surprisingly not the dinosaur-based Zords from Power Rangers), has been mockingly associated and parodied with Barney in some way.
  • Older Than the Demographic: The series is squarely aimed at the 5-and-under crowd but Barney is an adult. Most of the child actors are also older than the demographic.
  • 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. Songwriter Lee Bernstein and her daughters had heard the song on a show note  back in 1991. They solved the mystery a year later after one of her employee's kids sang the song, noting it was from Barney. Lee contacted the show's producers and both parties reached an agreement where she'd get credit for the song in future episodes (and would initially receive royalties). 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 out of court later that year and "I Love You" has remained part of the series.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: Barney's Hide & Seek Game is so ridiculously easy that the game will literally beat itself if you don't press any buttons.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • Ron the Death Eater: Many, many forms of media depict Barney as evil or a child murderer in some way.
  • The Scrappy: Riff is this to pretty much everyone who stopped watching Barney before he was introduced in 2006.
  • So Okay, It's Average: Once you get past the anti-Barney humor, the show pretty much boils down to being just another preschool show that was ever so slightly innovative and groundbreaking.
  • Special Effect Failure:
    • In the original three Barney & The Backyard Gang videos, Barney would close each video winking. Unfortunately, the eyelid was very blatantly drawn on. The Pooh doll at the ending of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh was also done using an animated eyelid, only the Pooh doll's eyelid was better animated in comparison to the Barney doll's winking. In later videos, the wink was now downgraded to 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" in the Backyard Gang tape, "Three Wishes". Emphasis on attempt. They just took photos of Barney laying down from different angles, and the end result is less than convincing since the frames would crossfade to each other instead of moving rapidly, to say nothing of the weird sound effect accompanying the "breakdancing".
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: The Hit Entertainment seasons provide quite a few points of contention for folks who grew up on the older Barney seasons from Dean Wendt's portrayal of Barney and the park set to the introduction of Riff and more conflict-driven plots.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The season 1 episode "My Family's Just Right For Me" could have had Michael's sister Amy mentioned in passing during it (even though she was not able to appear due to her actress Becky Swonke falling ill, as mentioned on the main page).
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • The Moon's face in the Season 12 episode "The Misbegotten Moon: A Space Adventure" and the bear who appears out of the darkness of the woods in "Barney's Campfire Singalong".
    • The winking baseball during "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" in "Three Wishes".
    • The winking Barney dolls and the winking donkey statue in "Rock With Barney", the latter which is sometimes said to give the Pooh doll from The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh a run for it's money.
  • Values Dissonance: The early years of the show. These days, no kid would be allowed to hang around their school outside of school hours unless they were in an after school club (which the theme song implies, to be fair) or at another after school activity (under adult supervision) due to safety concerns. As such, starting in the early 2000s, the kids meet at a local park instead.
  • "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.
  • The Woobie: Baby Bop in the episode "Pot Full of Sunshine" after her flower dies.
  • 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
      Holding hand in hand, no one here will be alone.
      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 (even if Israel has a railroad network). Another example noted on the main page is "London Bridge", which became "Yarkon Bridge" to connect with Israeli audiences.


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