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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." If not for the fact that this is Barney & 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.
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    • 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!
  • 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:
    • 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. Or worse, both at the same time.
    • 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?
  • 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.
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  • Audience-Alienating Premise: No prizes for guessing why Barney's Great Adventure didn't sell tickets at the box office.
  • Critical Backlash: Believe it or not. See just below.
  • Critic-Proof / 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.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Professor Tinkerputt for his silly, over the top behavior. Stella the Storyteller also gets this from the same group of haters because of her calm personality and positive approaches she takes to situations.
  • 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...
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • 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 
  • 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, or countless others, has been mockingly associated and parodied with Barney in some way.

  • Nightmare Fuel: Even a show as friendly and sappy as this one has moments that can be a tad off-putting to some viewers.
    • The Moon in the Season 12 episode "The Misbegotten Moon: A Space Adventure".
    • To some, the original Barney costume from the Backyard Gang videos looked pretty creepy. ESPECIALLY the first design in the first three videos, in which he was dark purple, skinny, had giant eyes, and a red mouth with a tongue.
      • His original plush counterpart at the time is also unsettling (compared to the subsequent dolls used on the show), considering it almost looks nothing like its costumed counterpart. The fact that it's wink looks more realistic (despite being clearly drawn on, just like in the case with the Pooh doll in The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh) compared to the other Barney dolls does not help one bit.
    • 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.
    • The winking baseball during "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" in "Three Wishes" is a subtle example.
    • The donkey at the end of "Rock With Barney". It isn't much creepy during its first appearance in the "Tingalayo" song (even when it briefly gets turned into a real donkey). It doesn't appear again until the ending, where Adam's mother hears a braying noise and turns around to see it back in statue form, but she shrugs it off and leaves the studio. We cut back to the donkey statue, and after the camera zooms up really close to its face, the statue gives off a rather creepy wink.
      • As if that wasn't enough, it appears one more time at the end of the credits to wink again!
    • Some of the endings with the Barney doll winking are very creepy as well, mainly with the season 2 design, which, unlike most seasons, had the camera pan up very close to the purple guy's face in several episodes.
      • To top it all off, any episode from that season (except for "A Very Special Delivery") which 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 treatments as well, but they were done a lot 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 the season, however, has to be from "May I Help You?" (seen here), which follows very similarly to the "Rock with Barney" donkey ending (i.e. a very quick and VERY close pan-up to his face than usual).
      • Some could argue that the wide-eyed stare of the 1st season's Barney doll is creepier, unless you'd prefer that over the season 2 redesign. (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.)

  • 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. 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.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • Ron the Death Eater: Many, many forms of media depict Barney as evil or a child murderer in some way.
  • 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. 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, 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." 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.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: One of the main criticisms of the show is how downright saccharine it is, even by children's show standards, and that Barney's always unfailing chipper and upbeat mood is a main contributing factor in making him coming across as genuinely disturbing and creepy to older viewers.
  • 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 be 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).
  • 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 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.
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit!: The intro to Season 14 (which has been the last season so far, although it's just a recompilation 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?
  • 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. Another example noted on the main page is "London Bridge," which became "Yarkon Bridge" to connect with Israeli audiences.


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