How I Met Your Mother’s Quinn Problem: Why Don’t People Like Her?
How I Met Your Mother has a Becki Newton shaped problem right now (though it's not actually Becki's fault). In-universe, Barney and Becki's character, Quinn, are oh-so happy together. They've moved in together after only the briefest period dating, and Barney even declared he wants to spend the rest of his life with her.
The problem? Many fans are not happy about the relationship. In a recent poll, only one third of our readers said they like Barney/Quinn, and the majority want them to break up soon. In general, the internet is a-grumble about Quinn's continued existence on the show.
Objectively, Barney and Quinn's rapid-fire relationship makes sense. Quinn seems like the perfect life partner for Barney: She's as crafty as he is, sees through his games, and is willing to have sex with him while wearing a Stormtrooper outfit. So why the hate?
The obvious answer is that devoted Barney/Robin shippers aren't willing to look beyond their ship. As shippers ourselves, we're willing to admit that part of the reason we're turned off by Quinn is our irrational attachment to the hope that Barney and Robin will one day get together and have a brotastic wedding (complete with laser tag, duh). But that's not the only reason we're rebelling against Quinn. And it's not the main one.
No. We've thought about it, and we've decided that it's because she's too perfect for Barney. Part of what made Robin and Barney so appealing is that their compatibility was a happy accident that didn't become clear until halfway through the first season (in Season 1, Episode 14: "Zip, Zip, Zip," which is when we hopped on board the love train) and didn't develop into more than an idea until Season 3. The ship makes sense, but it was anything but contrived.
Quinn, on the other hand, is so obviously molded to fit Barney that we can't help but feel the hand of the writers working. How I Met Your Mother is full of characters introduced solely as love interests, but none have ever seemed so carefully crafted to be, apparently, exactly what another character needs.
And that, combined with the rapid-fire pace of the relationship, leaves us, as viewers, in a weird place. On one hand, it's hard to judge this arc because we're in the middle of it. Maybe all of the cracks in Barney and Quinn's seemingly perfect shell of compatibility will start showing, and the relationship will implode spectacularly. Maybe we're supposed to feel like something's off, and we're jumping the gun by complaining.
But right now, it feelslike we're supposed to think Quinn is awesome for Barney. And, if this were the real world, she would be awesome for Barney. But it's not the real world, it's TV. In terms of being an interesting story, things have been far too easy for this couple — each issue that crops up is overcome in a single episode — which is especially jarring in light of Barney's seasons of commitment-phobia. Barney's a hard character to crack, a man who hides his inner pain in a never-ending string of women. Quinn, as a solution to his emotional problems — if she is, indeed, supposed to be a solution — is too easy.
We hope the writers know that. We hope this plotline is going somewhere interesting, that, whether it succeeds or fails, Barney's relationship with Quinn will eventually evolve into something more nuanced and complicated. Because right now, it's just not doing it for us.
What do you think of Quinn? Voice your opinion in the comments below.