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Live action television series aimed at pre-school and younger children that started airing on PBS in 1992. Created by Texan teacher Sheryl Leach in 1987, Barney started out as a regionally successful home video series called Barney and the Backyard Gang before being picked up by the network for a regular series. The inspiration behind the creation was the belief that Sesame Street was too complex for younger viewers, much of the accusation being leveled at the music. Starring the title character as a friendly authority figure, a surrogate for the young girls in the form of Baby Bop, two other dinosaurs named B.J. and Riff (introduced 2006), and an ever-shifting cast of young kids, its setting was once a elementary school, but now takes place in a local park. The story (such that it is) focuses largely on the importance of imagination and delivering Aesops suitable for very young children.

The show has a mammoth amount of merchandise in dolls, clothing, blankets, CDs, and virtually everything else a kid can use. There has also been a 1998 theatrically released film called Barney's Great Adventure, countless home videos, and a touring stage act. While the figures are undisclosed, it's not unreasonable to think that it makes somewhere in the range of eight or nine digits a year.

The show is infamous for not exactly being very well-liked among older kids, adults and teenagers, to the point that anti-Barney humor became a borderline fad in The Nineties. And we will say no more about it.

Tropes used in Barney and Friends include:
  • Art Evolution: In the first few shows Barney looked way different.
  • Alphabetical Theme Naming: Barney, B.J., and Baby Bop. Riff averted the trend.
  • And Knowing Is Half the Battle: "Barney Says".
    • It's just a recap of the episode that just played!
      • While it did recap the episode, it also reinforced the lessons taught on it. In addition, Barney would tell the viewer what they can do at home to learn about the episode's topic, especially in earlier episodes. For example, on a camping episode, he suggests that if the kids at home couldn't go camping in real life, they could make a pretend campground at home.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Baby Bop, though BJ is often an Annoying Older Sibling from season 3 onwards.
    • Carlos occasionally gave this report of his little brother, Juan.
  • Broken Aesop: In one episode, Barney preaches about healthy foods. Then later on, he sings about ice cream.
  • Call Back: Chip is on a baseball team. This is brought up a couple of times.
    • Tina's broken arm and Tosha's parents having a baby were referred to numerous times in Season 2. The latter was the plot point in the season finale when it was revealed Tosha's mom had twin boys.
  • Captain Color Beard: An early episode had Barney and co. find the treasure of "Rainbow Beard the Pirate," by using a Treasure Map filled with color and shape related clues. The treasure turns out to be a rainbow.
  • The Cast Showoff: The earlier cast displayed a range of talents. Min in particular did not miss an opportunity to dance, and aspired to dance professionally. Her actress actually did grow up to be a dancer.
  • Catch Phrase: "Super Dee Duper" - Barney
    • "Stu-u-u-pendous!" - Barney
    • "Ay-yie-yie" - B.J.
    • “Wowser” - Riff
  • Carnivore Confusion: Despite being a Tyrannosaurus Rex, Barney is mostly vegetarian, with his favorite snack being peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
  • Character Name and the Noun Phrase: Barney & Friends
  • Characterization Marches On: In most of the Barney & The Backyard Gang videos, Barney was more dinosaur-like with a more god-like voice. Beginning in Barney in Concert, he went from a lumbering t-rex to a jolly and energetic playmate. His kind demeanor was the only consistant trait between the original Backyard Gang Barney and his portrayal in the TV series.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe
  • Clip Show: A number of Direct-To-Video episodes, notably in recent years.
  • Colorful Song: The Rainbow Song, Colors All Around, and Colors Make Me Happy
  • The Complainer Is Always Wrong
  • Cool Old Guy: Mr. Boyd, the school janitor. He can play the piano quite well, and when Barney moved his meeting place to a park, Mr. Boyd took up a job there.
  • Couch Gag: Sometimes, just before leaving, a child will take a moment alone with Barney to thank him for his help, or to just be affectionate with him.
  • Cover Version: Various occasions:
    • Hi Neighbor (in the title episode)
    • I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream (also in Hi Neighbor)
    • Throw Your Hands Up, Move it Like This, and What I Like About You in Barney Live in Concert - Birthday Bash
    • We are Family for a 2005 controversial music video where Barney sings with Sesame Street characters, along with many other characters and celebrities.
  • Crossover: Not on the TV show per se, but in addition to the We Are Family cover, Barney and other popular 90's children's characters (as of 1996, when the video was released) team up to teach kids about the importance of character in Kids for Character.
  • Cultural Translation: In the Israel coproduction of the show, "London Bridge" was changed to "Yarkon Bridge," ironically filmed prior to the bridge collapsing. In addition, in an episode about music (known as "Practice Makes Music" in the original American version), the guest pianist plays traditional Israeli songs.
  • Dawson Casting: Some of the kids are well into their preteen years by the time they leave the show. Chip was a notable case. Luci looked a lot older than the other kids.
    • Of course, Luci was Tina's older sister, so it was semi-justified.
  • Dark Fic: Day Of The Barney (found here), which proposes an even ghastlier Alternate Character Interpretation for Barney than the above, on top of being a...
  • Death Fic: Hundreds of death fics... hundreds of them...
  • Distaff Counterpart: The point of both "The Sister Song" and "I'm Glad I Have a Brother" is that even though siblings may sometimes get on each other's nerves, they should be appreciated.
  • Don't Try This At Home: Why Barney lights his own birthday candles.
  • Dutch Angle: Used to simulate things such as airplane flights.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Carlos and Kathy were introduced on media besides TV. Other cast members have been introduced as guest characters, before becoming part of the show's main cast.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The Barney & the Backyard Gang video series has quite a few differences compared to the television series. In addition to I Love You being sung towards the beginning of the videos, Barney was also the kids' secret that they hid from their parents (at least, in the first three videos).
  • Eye Glasses: A number of characters have had them, but they didn't all start out with them.
  • Five-Token Band Tends to happen with groups of five or more children.
  • Fleeting Demographic Rule: Because the show's setup is contingent upon the presence of a child cast, said cast goes through wholesale changes about once every five years, creating an opportunity for plots to be reused.
  • Friendless Background: Derek, Tosha, and Kenneth, at first.
  • Friend to All Children: Barney is friends with all the kids who play with him.
  • Genki Girl: Baby Bop
  • Help, I'm Stuck!: In an early episode, Barney gets stuck on the school's playset and the kids pull him out.

Barney: [after being pulled out] Thanks kids! I'm not fat, I just have big bones.


Kids: *singing* Sunday Monday, Tuesday Wednesday, Barney's birthday... *music stops* Barney's birthday?!?

  • Named After Somebody Famous: Booker T. Bookworm in Season 5.
    • Miss Kepler, the school's science teacher, in a few of the Barney videos (named after Johannes Kepler)
  • No Antagonist: Generally, though Barney Live in New York City had a Harmless Villain Antagonist (The Winkster) who did a Heel Face Turn.
    • Cody in Barney's Great Adventure is also an aversion of this trope, but he too did a Heel Face Turn towards the end.
  • The Other Darrin: Avoided when new kids are cast to replace other kids who left the set, but with different names.
    • Played straight with Barney, who was initially voiced by Bob West, then Duncan Brannan and Tim Dever (Dever doing the dialogue, while Brannan did the singing). Dean Wendt currently performs his voice.
    • Wendt's portrayal of Barney is quite different from previous voice actors. For people who watched the show as a kid (pre-2002), the voice change usually shocks them.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: It is implied in "Barney's Campfire Sing-Along" that the Backyard Gang is transported to and from the campground in their sleep.
  • Pillow Fight: In "Imagination Island".
  • The Power of Friendship: Despite what the title says, the message of the ending song "I Love You" is more about friendship than love. In the Backyard Gang videos, it was towards the beginning and (in the very early videos) brought Barney to life.
  • The Power of Rock: "Good Manners."
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: A number of the songs sung on the show are in the public domain (only the arrangements are copyrighted)
  • Punny Name: Get it? Miss Etta Kette?! Like "etiquette"?
  • Reality Warper
  • Really Seven Hundred Years Old: Barney is over 200 million years old. It's justified as he's a t-rex, but how he's still light on his feet is a mystery. Averted with the other dinos, whose ages are in the single digits.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: There was a lawsuit over the lyrics to the "I Love You" song in 1994, so it was omitted from "Live in New York City" and "Imagination Island."
  • Rearrange the Song: A notable example includes a lullaby version of "Everyone is Special," used to accommodate newborn twins.
    • Through the show's run, most songs sung on the show have been rearranged, notably the show's theme and I Love You.
  • Salt and Pepper: Derek and Michael hang out together a lot. Kathy and Tosha are classmates.
  • Scenery Porn/Bizarrchitecture: Definitely Miss Goldfinch's garden and treehouse in the movie.
  • Serious Business: Lyons Partnership, the company that owns Barney, does NOT take kindly to any form of parody. They have been known to threaten people who parody Barney with lawsuits. After losing a 2006 lawsuit with EFF, Lyons seems to have backed down.
  • Sesame Street Cred: Children's author Tomie De Paola appeared on three episodes.
    • The Season 2 finale A Very Special Delivery had singer Ella Jenkins stop by. Barney in Outer Space had astronaut Ken Reightler make an appearance and teach the kids about NASA.
  • She's All Grown Up: After Min (who was played by Pia Manalo-Hamilton in all her appearances) left the Barney set, she returned for two specials.
    • Erica Rhodes (who played Kim) showed up at the 2010 American Idol auditions and Hollywood tryouts as well. It did not go over well.
    • Other cast members have reprised their character roles (most notably in Sing and Dance with Barney).
    • No Doubt The Years Have Changed Us
  • Shave & A Haircut: Played at the end credits of the first three seasons.
  • Show, Don't Tell: "I could tell you, but it would be more fun to show you."
  • Signature Laugh: Barney's (in)famous chuckle
  • Simpleton Voice
  • Sleep Mode Size
  • The Something Song
  • Something We Forgot: From "Look at Me! I'm Three!"

Kids: We forgot to make the (birthday) cake!

  • Strictly Formula: Barney is brought to life by the imagination of some children, they play around and/or address some issue, sing the infamous "I Love You" outro song, Barney goes back to being a doll, capping off the episode with a closeup of the doll and a twinkle in its eye (or in the case of the early Backyard Gang videos, a crudely drawn animated eyelid giving off a wink).
  • Sugar Bowl
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: Baby Bop received her name because she really likes the song "Mr. Knickerbocker".
  • Suspiciously Apropos Music
  • Tear Jerker: In the episode "Caring Means Sharing", Baby Bop having a tummy ache from eating all the "cookies from the cookie jar." She hides under her blanket and cries out in great agony until the others cheer her up with a song.
  • The Golden Rule: In the video Kids for Character, Barney and friends teach Baby Bop about respect through skits and a song (at the same time).
  • Theme Tune Rap: Season 14's intro... No, we're not joking.
  • Third Person Person: Baby Bop in the first season. Averted afterwards.
  • Time Lapse: Shows up in the "Backyard Gang" videos and occasionally in Barney & Friends episodes whenever the producers want to make Barney and co. appear to do something fast or speed it up for the sake of time.
  • Title Please: Unlike the earlier seasons, Season 9 don’t use title cards for any of its episodes.
  • Too Smart for Strangers: As noted in the Beam Me Up, Scotty reference above, a segment of safety episode Playing It Safe focused on how to deal with strangers.
  • Treehouse of Fun: In Seasons 3-6. Once the show switched sets, the treehouse was abandoned.
  • Trans-Atlantic Equivalent: In addition to dubs, the show has had co-productions in Israel and South Korea, both mostly following the plots of the original American episodes.
  • Trash the Set: The Season 3 episode "Classical Cleanup" has Baby Bop dancing in and wrecking the classroom.
  • Twin Tropes:
    • Theme Twin Naming: Tosha's twin brothers, Kevin and Kyle, as well as two school-age girls named Ashley and Alissa.
    • Making Use of the Twin: In their first appearance, Ashley and Alissa are introduced one at a time and are mistaken for each other, before they show up together and explain themselves. They also team up for a Mirror Routine in a talent show.
  • Verbal Tickety Tick: That's Riff, for you.
  • Vocal Evolution: Barney's voice sounded deeper and more mature in the early Backyard Gang videos. Then, over the years, he started to sound younger.
    • B.J. also had this effect, starting out with a huskier drawl, then beginning to sound a little higher and squeakier.
    • Baby Bop too has had some vocal evolution. She sounded much more infant-like in her early appearances, but by the third season, she began to sound more like a three year old.

The Movie provides examples of:

  • Accidental Hero: Baby Bop inadvertently saved the dream maker egg in the end, when she finally found her blankie. When Cody accidentally throws the egg in the barn, Baby Bop catches it in her blankie. When Barney and the gang congratulate her, she's oblivious to why.
  • Big Damn Movie
  • The Complainer Is Always Wrong: Cody.
  • Egg McGuffin: And the main characters have to chase after it.
  • Executive Meddling: According to writer Stephen White, the film had a ton of this done to its script. To this day, the film is an Old Shame for him.
  • Heroic BSOD: Cody's reaction to seeing Barney come to life. He at first gets startled, but then spends a couple of minutes frozen with his hand sticking out. Barney, oblivious to his shock uses his arm as a towel rack.
  • No Dinosaur Was Harmed
  • Road Apples: Cody steps in a cow patty in the Old MacDonald number.
  • Rousing Speech
  • Tempting Fate: When Cody steals the Barney Doll and hides it in the shower. He goads Abby and Marcella into using their imagination to find him. Big mistake because Barney appears in the flesh not long after, scaring the hell out of Cody.