|“||Once upon a time, there was a little tiny Riley, and she was given a bear.||”|
Barry The Bear was a stuffed teddy bear owned by Riley Matthews. She continued to cherish him even after her little brother, Auggie, bit his face off in a fit of childish jealous rage. Riley considers Barry a source of joy, comfort, security, and love, as well as the symbol of her childhood.
Prior to Girl Meets WorldOnce when a young Riley was too sick to leave the apartment, in addition to arranging to have Mrs. Svorski look after her, the Matthews also gave their daughter something else to keep her company, a stuffed teddy bear named Barry. They assured Riley that having Barry around was almost the same as if they stayed with her, as he would watch after her as they would, and hugging him would be like hugging them. After her parents left, a skeptical Riley initially placed Barry at the far end of the couch, but could not stop herself from steadily moving the bear closer. Ultimately, Riley could not help giving Barry a tentative hug, and was delighted by the unexpected squeak of joy the bear made as she did so, cementing their bond of eternal devotion. Sometime later, as Riley sat in the bay window in her bedroom with Barry and Violet (her stuffed purple cat) singing softly to herself, the lonely girl's secret hope of finding genuine human companionship came true, as Maya Penelope Hart, the person destined to become Riley's best friend, climbed through her bedroom window and into her life. A few years later, as Riley and Maya were playing with Barry in the living room, Auggie suddenly appeared, demanding that Riley spend some time with him. Maya placed the stuffed bear directly in Auggie's face and asked why should they pay him any attention when they had Barry to play with. In response the angry boy opened his mouth and (much to Riley's horror) leaned forward and savagely clamped his teeth over Barry's nose. Jerking away, Auggie spat out Barry's freshly detached face across the room. Unfortunately, all subsequent attempts to fully restore Barry failed, and while Riley eventually lost track of Barry's face, she continued to love what was left of her beloved bear for the remainder of her childhood.
Girl Meets the Forgiveness Project (first appearance)When her father assigns her History class a "forgiveness project" the first transgression from the past Riley can think of to attempt to forgive, is Auggie's attack on Barry, the results of which she displays to the entire class. Later, Auggie apparently accepts Riley's show of forgiveness, but refuses to thank her for claiming to forgive him. This would anger Riley until her father advises her to uncover the reason why Auggie struck at Barry in the first place. Upon asking Auggie that question, her brother confesses that he was jealous of her attention, and claims he would have bitten Maya as well, if she hadn't been so much stronger than him. An understanding Riley finally and sincerely forgives her brother.
When Riley decides the time has come to redecorate the area around the bay window, her mother gently suggests that it might also be time to place treasured items of her childhood away for safekeeping. Distracted by dealing with the strong resistance Maya expresses to the very idea of any kind of change to their favorite talking spot, Riley leaves Barry to her mother's care. However, after the alterations have been made to her bay window, Riley ultimately decides to change her mind, and asks her mother for her bear back, and Barry resumes his prominent place in Riley's bedroom.
On the eve of Paco's Tacos 25th anniversary "Taco-palooza" a day in which, for as long as supplies last, all tacos will only cost a quarter, an excited Maya convinces Riley that they should sleep with their shoes on to ensure the earliest possible arrival time.at Paco's. As they settle into the bay window for the night, Riley places Barry down by her feet. However, in the morning, while Maya in anxious to go to Paco's, a distraught Riley discovers that Barry has disappeared, and refuses to leave until her bear has been found. Calling a family emergency, Riley gets her family to begin searching their apartment. Farkle, Lucas, and Zay, are recruited when Maya lures them with the false promises of tacos. The search proves fruitless, and Riley is ready to give up, but her uncle Josh (who has dropped by to have his clothes laundered) urges her to keep trying. Ultimately, Riley does accept that Barry has been lost, and buys tacos for everyone.
In a reality in which Auggie was never born, a fully intact Barry the Bear remains Riley Mathews' most cherished possession and best friend, as her friendship with Maya Hart never developed. With Riley now in High School, Barry's place in the girl's life has become even more prominent, serving as her constant companion. With Halloween soon approaching, Riley, as is her wont, plans to incorporate Barry into her costume, that of being a "good girl with her teddy bear."
- Barry was apparently named by Riley's parents.
- Riley's last words to Barry were, "I wish you were a slinky."
- Riley was known to carry Barry to school in her school bag.
- Although Barry’s disappearance was not explained, Maya seemed to imagine Barry being taken away by the younger versions of Riley and herself.
- Barry is among the props the male cast interact with as they explore the prop room in World Meets Girl.
| The image gallery for Barry The Bear may be viewed here.