Celebs Who Can't Stand Neil Patrick Harris

We know what you're thinking: Who in their right mind would have a problem with Neil Patrick Harris? Those sweet little eyes. That impish, devil-may-care grin! What kind of maniac would hate the cherubic child star who utterly thrived after mugging his way into our hearts playing a preternaturally perky prodigy on Doogie Howser, M.D.? What's more, after the hit series, Harris won us over again when he played lovable cad Barney Stinson on all nine seasons of How I Met Your Mother. Plus, Harris is a bona fide triple-threat entertainer — so hating him is like admitting you hate singing, dancing, and acting. 

Well, believe it or not, quite a few celebrities have taken issue with Harris, who is also affectionately known as NPH, over the years. From fellow Broadway legends, to fellow child stars, it seems not everyone is so smitten. However painful it might be, let's take a look at some celebs who seemingly can't abide NPH. There will be tears, but we'll learn a lot.

​Dustin Diamond called NPH an 'a**hole'

Call it The Battle of the Child Star Tell-Alls. In one corner: Saved by the Bell's Dustin Diamond. In the other: Former Doogie Howser, M.D. star Neil Patrick Harris. It's pretty clear who threw the first punch here: Behind the Bell, Diamond's 2009 grease fire of a memoir, included some highly salacious allegations involving Mario Lopez (womanizer) and Mark-Paul Gosselaar (steroids). The book — which apparently has enough repeat paragraphs, typos, and grammatical gaffes to kill a copy editor — giddily claims actor Ed Alonzo "used to get gay with Neil Patrick Harris while they talked about magic". He also reportedly accused Harris of being an "a**hole". 

Well, suffice to say Neil Patrick Harris didn't take too kindly to any of this monkey business. In his 2014 opus Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography, the actor doesn't have anything kind to say about Diamond, who he starred alongside in a little-seen 1988 kids movie called Purple People Eater (via Vulture). Harris calls Diamond one of the "more unpleasant people" he's ever had the misfortune of working with, and claims he "goes out of his way to offend pretty much every person he comes across." The story checks out.

As for those stories about Alonzo? Well, some quotes really can't be paraphrased: "It's a completely false story that propagates a vicious lie to the grand total of twenty-three people who buy his book, presumably ironically."

Rachel Bloom to Neil Patrick Harris: Remember me?

It was certainly one of the more controversial subtweets to come out of the 2018 Tony Awards. While Crazy Ex-Girlfriend co-creator and star Rachel Bloom was busy behind the scenes interviewing bigwigs and industry players, Neil Patrick Harris was apparently live-tweeting every passing thought, and he clearly didn't recognize one particularly sprightly theater aficionado: "Who is the woman in the top hat backstage at @TheTonyAwards?" he tweeted. "[My son] Gideon remarked that she says 'like' and 'oh my god' a lot. I'm confused..."

Well, Bloom subsequently saw that tweet, and it clearly didn't sit well with her. Electric awkwardness ensued: "I'm a big fan of yours," Bloom tweeted. "We've met numerous times." She reminded Harris that her husband Dan Gregor wrote for How I Met Your Mother for five years: "Notably, he wrote the episode where your character finally meets his father." (Eek.) 

In an interview with GQ, Bloom admitted she was "kind of devastated" by all this Twitter to-and-froing. She confessed she was tempted to tweet, "This makes me sad." Instead, she decided to make a rather passive-aggressive dig at Harris' sense of humor (and entitlement): "Look, he's not a writer, so his version of a Twitter joke is to just kind of... live-comment to Twitter followers." She ruefully added: "Fame does that to you." Shots. Fired.

For his part, NPH did apologize, tweeting that he "should have know[n] better." Bloom accepted, but we wonder if she thinks Harris ever escaped that fame bubble? 

​Scott Caan and Neil Patrick Harris took it outside

Go ahead and call it a one-two punch of fame and fisticuffs: As detailed in Neil Patrick Harris' autobiography, the young actor once got into something of a street fight with none other than Scott Caan, the Entourage and Hawaii Five-O star (via Vulture.) Prior to coming to terms with his sexuality, Harris was reportedly out on a date with Eden Sassoon (the daughter of hairstylist and businessman Vidal Sassoon) sometime in the early 90s. The next thing he knew, Harris was face-to-face with Scott Caan, who was ready to treat Harris to a good old-fashioned beatdown. 

Caan was allegedly upset because he'd formerly been a romantic item with Eden Sassoon. In fact, Harris claims Caan kept furiously bumping chests with him, and then threatened him (we think?) by barking: "What's up with the West Side, yo?" According to Harris, Caan reckoned he was in some sort of "gang" at the time. (Harris hilariously describes said "gang" as a "cadre of young stars who've grown up deprived of deprivation trying to transform themselves into street toughs.") The two actors subsequently left the club and took their issues outside. It looked like things really were about to come to blows, too: Harris admits being "terrified and confused" by the whole surreal scenario. 

Fortunately for fans of Harris' face, Caan apparently only got in approximately half a swing before ultimately being stopped by his "boys."

​Patti LuPone wasn't impressed with Neil Patrick Harris

During a 2011 production of Company, relations between Neil Patrick Harris and co-star Patti LuPone allegedly took a turn for the snarly (via Gay Star News). Harris had been cast in the pivotal role of Bobby, but he'd been so bogged down with How I Met Your Mother that he hadn't memorized his lines in time for the first rehearsal.

LuPone reportedly watched Harris fumble through a scene with Jennifer Laura Thompson and Jon Cryer, who were both already off-book. Afterwards, she told Cryer and Thompson, "You guys are unbelievably funny." Then she turned to Harris and treated him to her frostiest glare: "You're getting there," she allegedly told him, sauntering away meaningfully.

Harris allegedly lost it and stewed in silent turmoil for a solid half-hour. When LuPone finally asked Harris what ailed him so, he lashed out at her: "I'm failing at this at every turn, and you're telling everyone else they're awesome and you're saying, 'I'll get there!' It's not helpful! It's not funny!" Well, LuPone wasn't going to let him get away with that particularly hissy: "Oh, no, this is on you," she allegedly snapped back. "Don't put this on me, this is your thing, you..." What followed was, in Harris' words, "a colorful variety of Anglo-Saxon words." With that, LuPone grabbed her script, stormed off, and scene.

​James Woods to NPH: 'Nice try, though'

File under "Everything is terrible, but particularly James Woods": In July 2017, the Videodrome star took to Twitter to rail against a photograph of two parents and their cute kid. In the image, both parents hold signs emblazoned with messaging like "I love my gender creative son!" and "My son wears dresses & makeup ... get over it!!" Woods, however, didn't "get over it," and instead wrote a virulently nasty tweet about the family: "This is sweet," he wrote. "Wait until this poor kid grows up, realizes what you've done, and stuffs both of you dismembered into a freezer in the garage." We warned you it was terrible.

Neil Patrick Harris was quick to voice his outrage: "Utterly ignorant and classless, Mr. Woods," he tweeted. "I'm friends with this family. You know not of what you speak, and should be ashamed of yourself." As TheWrap reported, Woods made matter infinitely worse and "fire[d] back" at Harris in a subsequent sequence of Twitter bile bombs: "Using one's child as a social justice propaganda doll is tantamount to child abuse," he wrote. "This is not about homophobia. Nice try though." 

In a later tweet, Woods suggested that he has "more gay friends than Liberace. So let's stop the homophobia train." Beyond grim.

​Kevin Smith accused Neil Patrick Harris of 'baffling ignorance'

Back in 2008, Neil Patrick Harris managed to raise the ire of filmmaker Kevin Smith by going after his Jay and Silent Bob co-star Jason Mewes. While promoting Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, Harris suggested Mewes wasn't much in the way of an actor, telling Ain't It Cool News that he was basically just "this drugged out mess of a guy".

Needless to say, Smith didn't appreciate that sentiment even a little bit, but it took two years for him to finally make his feelings known. "Why say something like that?" he later tweeted (via Moveline.) "Dude essentially said Mewes isn't an actor. Wow...It's a snobby, reductive diss." Accusing Harris of displaying "baffling ignorance," Smith added that "it's a narrow-minded, ignorantly reductive sentiment."

Harris evidently agreed with the overall sentiment, as he later apologized to Smith, tweeting: "Didn't realize the upset my words caused. ... Ignorance on my part." Smith accepted, writing, "Classy, sir. Appreciate it. I'm sure @JayMewes appreciates it too. Doogie would right something learned about this in his diary. Thx." 

​Eric Braeden didn't appreciate NPH calling him a 'd-bag'

There's not much subtle nuance in Neil Patrick Harris' 2010 tweet about veteran actor Eric Braeden, a longtime star of The Young and the Restless. "Eric Braeden is a D-bag," Harris tweeted, matter-of-factly. The reason for the diss? Braeden rankled the usually unflappable Harris by reportedly dropping out of an episode of How I Met Your Mother. In fact, in the same tweet, Harris even reprimanded Braeden for "saying the part wasn't 'substantial' enough."

Well, Braeden — who had previously appeared on a 2008 episode of HIMYM as Robin Scherbatsky's dad — wasn't about to take any of these mean tweets lying down. Speaking to Deadline, he basically accused Harris of starring in The Young and the Rudeness, fuming that in his 50 years in showbiz, he's "seen so many actors come and go." He added caustically, "I suggest whoever this young fellow is that he enjoy his success and count his blessings." Braeden further elucidated that on account of his regular gig, which included chugging through up to 50 pages of soapy material a day, he was simply plum-tuckered.

As is the case with so many of these NPH beefs, the former child star slunk back to social media to apologize — sort of. "Now I feel bad for the D-bag comment," he tweeted, adding, "Don't know the guy personally. I'm just fiercely protective of our show." 

​Donald Trump thinks Neil Patrick Harris ruined the Emmys

The law of averages mandates that anyone with even a peripheral involvement in the world of showbiz will eventually be verbally tongue-lashed by Donald Trump. Since becoming President of the United States, Trump has used his Twitter feed to call Robert De Niro a "very Low IQ individual" and Meryl Streep "overrated." Obviously, these two examples are just the barest tip of an increasingly unwieldy iceberg. In that regard, Neil Patrick Harris can be considered something of a trendsetter, as Donald Trump set his sights on him as early as 2013. 

What did Harris do to inspire Trump's wrath? Well, not a whole lot, admittedly. Trump apparently felt Harris was simply given too much screen-time while hosting the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards in 2013. "Is it the Neil Patrick Harris show or the Emmy Awards?" Trump tweeted ruefully. "How was he ever put in this position to start with? CRAZY!" 

Well, two can play at that game. In recent years, Harris has gone ahead and returned the favor, taking to Twitter in 2016 to request that Trump release his tax returns "for Pete's sake." Harris also hasn't been shy about openly criticizing Trump in the press, particularly when Trump demanded apologies from the cast of Hamilton after they read a caustic letter to Mike Pence: "I do worry about a President-Elect demanding an apology from people speaking their opinions," he told Vulture.

​David Spade spoke volumes about NPH with a single tweet

Bu his own admission, it's unlikely Neil Patrick Harris will ever host the Oscars again. In 2015, he told Huffington Post, "I don't know that my family nor my soul could take it. It's a beast." Harris' reasoning primarily hinges on "the understandable opinionated response" that his performance at The 87th Academy Awards received. Despite demonstrating that he was up for anything and eager to please (even daring to step on stage in a pair of briefs), the corny material — which may as well have been penned by Bruce Vilanch's equally unfunny brother — really didn't do him any favors. 

As The New York Post reports, Harris' performance received quite the critical drubbing. The Guardian was quick to point out Harris' "very mediocre jokes", ultimately concluding that "he choked." Meanwhile, Family Guy scribe Julius Sharpe tweeted, "My Oscars party just shook hands and agreed to go their separate ways." Snidest of all? That honor goes to David Spade, who took umbrage with an interminable bit of ostensibly funny business involving a briefcase thrown into a locked box (which supposedly held Harris' Oscar predictions from earlier in the week.) With an admirable economy of language, David Spade simply tweeted, then later deleted (via UPROXX), "If great jokes are in that box, somebody open it." 

Unfortunately, it was Spade who dropped the mic in this case, and not Neil Patrick Harris.