Top 10 Best Neil Patrick Harris Movie and TV Roles of All Time NPH is a multi-faceted performer with an endearing stage presence.

Neil Patrick Harris is an American treasure who has been delighting us on screen ever since he was a child actor. Scratch that – he was a child star, and he’s one of the rare ones whose star shines even brighter with age. Remind yourself why NPH captured our hearts with these classic movie and TV roles.

10. The Smurfs

Smurfs Neil Patrick Harris

Character: Patrick Winslow

NPH brought heart to the first two Smurfs movies as an ad executive in modern-day New York City. He leads an all-star cast that includes Alan Cumming, Katy Perry, Fred Armisen, and Hank Azaria through two of the best family-friendly movies of the 2010s. Also there are little blue things that apparently taste good, but I’m more of a red fan than blue flavors.

9. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs


Character: Steve

This 2009 Sony Pictures Animation cartoon centers around the romance of Sam Sparks (Anna Faris) and Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader). But NPH’s Steve (Flint’s pet monkey) easily steals the show with his thought-reading Speak-and-Spell device. This adorable movie (and its sequel and animated series) is well worth watching. Though it should be noted NPH was replaced in the show.

8. Doogie Howser, M.D.

Doogie Howser

Character: Dr. Doogie Howser

NPH’s breakout came as the titular character in this 1980s/90s ABC medical drama. Doogie aced the SATs at six, graduated from Princeton at 10, and by 14 became the youngest licensed medical doctor in the country. He’s the dream child of every Southeast Asian parent.

7. Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore


Character: Lou

NPH replaced Tobey Maguire as Lou in the standalone 2010 sequel to the popular Cats & Dogs movie. Kitty Galore has much more of a focus on the eternal battle between good (dogs) and evil (cats).  I’m a cat guy myself, but the movie is enjoyable nonetheless.

6. A Series of Unfortunate Events


Character: Count Olaf

Jim Carey is a tough act to follow, but NPH pulls if off with ease in this visual Netflix black dramedy based on Lemony Snicket’s series of children’s novels. Count Olaf is a villainous character who’s constantly making life terrible for the Baudelaire Children. It’s a stylized tale with three easy-to-watch seasons from 2017-2019.

5. Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog

NPH Dr Horrible

Character: Billy/Dr. Horrible

This 2008 superhero musical comedy was created and written by Joss Whedon and his brothers during the 2007-2008 Writers Guild of America strike. it’s a brilliant, must-watch miniseries featuring NPH as the titular supervillain vlogging about his experiences with nemesis Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion) and their mutual love interest Penny (Felicia Day).

4. A Million Ways to Die in the West


Character: Foy

NPH nails another villain role in this 2014 musical comedy western from the mind of Seth MacFarlane, who also plays the lead. He’s not as bad a guy as Liam Neeson’s Clinch Leatherwood, but he’s still a massive ass who can’t help but rub in Albert’s face that he’s dating his ex, is richer, more sophisticated, and has amazing singing chops.

3. How I Met Your Mother

NPH Barney Stinson

Character: Barney Stinson

Every network was trying to capture the magic of Friends after series ended in 2004, and HIMYM pulled audiences in the best and longest. The success can be attributed to the charisma of the ensemble cast and likability of their characters, especially NPH’s Barney, a serial playboy who’s constantly trying to seduce woman to have meaningless sex with them just like Joey used to do. If only Louis C.K. looked like NPH, amirite?

2. Starship Troopers

NPH Starship Troopers

Character: Carl Jenkins

This 1997 science fiction classic is produced in the style of a propaganda film and NPH stars alongside hot actors of the era, like Casper Van Dien, Jake Busey, and Denise Richards. Somehow it works, and they all fight bugs together, with everyone on the frontlines with teh Roughnecks, except Doogie, who becomes a high-ranking Colonel and only comes out to perform important psychic research on the hive queens.

1. Every Harold and Kumar Movie

NPH Harold Kumar

Character: Neil Patrick Harris

NPH’s best roles are his cameos as an amped-up version of himself in the Harold and Kumar movie franchise. This stoner comedy has so many zany twists and turns that it’s hard to believe someone can stick head and shoulders above the talented crowd as the best reason to see a movie. NPH does that here because he is a living legend.

Long live NPH…


Dr. Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer. You can find his work in Cracked, High Times, HuffPost, Lifewire, Forbes, Fast Company, and dozens of other places, although much of it is no longer under his name. Dr. Penny loves annoying fake media.

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