‘How I Met Your Mother’: Neil Patrick Harris Once Shared the Funny Origin Story of the Phrase ‘Suit Up’

Actor Neil Patrick Harris played one of the most popular characters on How I Met Your MotherBarney Stinson. Since the beginning, Barney has captivated fans with his interesting sense of humor and hilarious way of looking at the world.

He also has a number of catchphrases on the show, one of which is “Suit up.” Harris once opened up about the origin of the phrase and how it came to be a famous line on HIMYM.

Neil Patrick Harris smiling in a vest
Neil Patrick Harris on the set of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ | Michael Desmond/CBS via Getty Images

Barney Stinson had many catchphrases on ‘HIMYM’

Barney has uttered many iconic phrases throughout the course of the show’s nine seasons.

One of the earliest ones we heard was “Have you met Ted?,” which came about during the pilot episode when Barney was being Ted Mosby’s (Josh Radnor) wingman. Since then, Barney has used this phrase constantly when he wanted to introduce Ted to a potential love interest.

Another catchphrase many fans know is “Legendary.” Barney also likes to split it up, such as in “Legen—wait for it—dary.”

In addition to describing people or things as “legendary,” he might also switches to “awesome” on some occasions. For example, one of his famous lines goes, “When I get sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead.”

Neil Patrick Harris shared the origin story of ‘Suit Up’

Neil Patrick Harris as Barney Stinson, singing in the street
Neil Patrick Harris on the set of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ | Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images

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“Suit up” is another catchphrase Barney uses often. Barney wears a suit almost all the time (even when he is sleeping), and this phrase symbolizes his belief in dressing smart for every occasion.

In an interview with The Back Label, Harris revealed that Bob Saget, who played the narrator on HIMYM, actually coined the phrase. However, Saget first said the phrase in 1991—almost 15 years before HIMYM aired.

“I turned 18 that summer, and I got an invitation to a party at Bob Saget’s house,” Harris explained. “And I walk in…and there in the middle of this giant great room, under a crystal chandelier, surrounded by a hoard of topless girls, just absolutely stunning women, tons of them, is Bob Saget wearing nothing but a pair of women’s thongs on his head and the biggest…smile…I’ve ever seen.”

He continued, “So I’m standing there and I’m sure my jaw was on the floor, and Saget turns toward me, and I’ll never forget this, he says, ‘Harris, don’t just stand there. Suit up!’ And he points to this blonde bombshell and she immediately yanks off her underwear and hurls it at my face.”

Harris shared that, many years later, he uttered the phrase “Suit up” at a HIMYM rehearsal. One of the creators, Craig Thomas, liked it, so Barney ended up adding it to his vocabulary.

Neil Patrick Harris confirmed that Barney is not as much of a womanizer as people think

Neil Patrick Harris dancing with Katy Perry
Neil Patrick Harris with guest star Katy Perry on ‘How I Met Your Mother’ | Sonja Flemming/CBS

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Barney is best known for picking up women and getting into bed with them. He even has a playbook dedicated to the different ways he could charm women.

However, some fans have put forth a theory that Barney might not be as much as womanizer as people think. The theory states that, because HIMYM is shown through Ted’s point of view, it’s possible Ted might have exaggerated Barney’s personality.

Harris agrees with this. He told Digital Spy, “I think that that’s very accurate. Given the story structure, and with [Ted] telling the story to his kids, everything was able to be overdrawn.”