Barney the Dinosaur is the main character of Barney & Friends, a children's television series aimed at viewers aged 1 to 8, who was created by Sheryl Leach and is owned by HiT Entertainment. He is a purple anthropomorphic Tyrannosaurus rex who conveys educational messages through songs and small dance routines with a friendly, optimistic attitude. His show aired on PBS from April 6, 1992 to September 18, 2009, and will be rebooted soon. A stuffed-animal character who comes to life through children's imaginations, Barney is known for quoting many things as being "super-dee-duper" and for his signature closing song "I Love You," set to the tune of "This Old Man." Despite being a carnivorous-type dinosaur, Barney likes many different foods, from peanut butter and jelly to fruits and vegetables. As his show progressed, he was joined by fellow dinosaur characters Baby Bop, B.J., and Riff.

The first Barney balloon was introduced to the Macy's Parade in 1994. In 1997, he had his side cut open by a lamppost in Times Square, resulting in him being removed from the parade; however, he was not banned from making future reappearances, unlike fellow children's character The Cat in the Hat. He continued to appear in his normal version through 2002. A "Strike Up the Band" version, dressed as a bandleader, appeared from 2003 until 2005, when it was retired after an accident caused its foot to get ripped by a tree.