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- “I was scared. When my mom left it crushed my dad… So I swore I’d never be so dumb to fall in love myself... but... you’re just so dumb you made me fall in love with you anyway.”
- — Lainey, declaring her love for Barry.
Barry loved Lainey as a child, and even when he had a crush on another girl Lexi Bloom, he admitted to finding Lainey attractive. Lainey initially did not return his feelings, but being Barry the younger brother of his best friend, he ended up getting to know him better and become attached to him. To help Barry conquer Lexi, she kissed him during a party, but from that moment on, Barry lost interest in Lexi and began trying to conquer Lainey.
Barry lets in Lainey and Erica in the rock band he formed with his brother Adam. After a concert for Barry and Adam's parents the first declares his love for Lainey. She politely refuses him, but the boy does not lose heart and decides that he will continue to woo her. Barry asks Erica to persuade Lainey to give him an appointment, but she refuses to do so. When Barry ends up in the hospital due to an intestinal obstruction, Lainey goes to see him with great joy of the boy. Eventually Barry managed to break into Lainey's heart, and the two began dating.
Barry- "Let me stand in the shadows. Let me only talk to you through your locker vent. Let me be your secret shame".
Lainey- "God, you're annoying".
Barry- "I know.Come on.Let's dance.We can still hear the music out here".
Lainey- "No. Let's go inside".
Barry- "Then everyone will see us".
Lainey- "That's the point, dummy".-Barry and Lainey make their report public.
Lainey was initially ashamed of her relationship with Barry (Lainey was very popular at school and Barry and no) and decided to keep it a secret. At one point Erica accidentally discovered their relationship and was not at all happy about it. Barry hoped that Lainey would invite him to Sadie Hawkins's dance, but she refused to do so.
Erica decided to take advantage of the situation to separate Barry and Lainey, and asked their mother Beverly to get a dame for her brother for the dance, which she did. Lainey obviously didn't like it, and left Barry; however Erica, in seeing the sadness of her brother, repented of what she had done and convinced him to try to clarify things with Lainey. Barry rushed to the dance and told the girl that if he wanted to keep their secret relationship, it was fine for him. Lainey moved and decided to make their report public and kissed him in front of everyone.
Official couple/forbidden love
Lainey- My dad hates your guts. Oh, my God.He hates you so much. He forbid me from ever seeing you again.
Barry- Well, thanks for delivering that message in person.
Lainey- Don't you get it? He forbid me. Forbidden love! That is so hot!
Now that Barry is officially her boyfriend Lainey wants their fathers to meet (it's the only rule set by Mr. Lewis). The two initially seem to get along but Barray's father Murray is a Philadelphia Eagles fan while Lainey's father is a big fan of the Dallas Cowboys. Out of love for his son Murray, he comes almost to humiliate himself in front of Mr. Lewis, denying his favorite team, but Barry won't let him, so Bill forbids the two teenagers to hang out; fortunately, Lainey excited by the idea of forbidden love, decides to start seeing Barry again in secret. Barry marches the school, and when his mother finds out he puts him in punishment, preventing him from going to the parade in which Lainey is the protagonist having been elected queen of the school. Spurred on by Erica, he escapes and goes anyway, giving a serenade to the girl.
In short, the two fall in love more and more, to the point that they begin, to neglect their respective friends, spending all their free time together. Erica is hurt and irritated by the fact that her best friend prefers her brother to her and manipulates JTP (Barry's group of friends) trying to split them again, failing miserably. When she admits that she did it because she missed Lainey, she and Barry forgive her and help her convince the JTP to stop courting her. Then they return to spend time with their friends.
When Erica and Lainey get to participate in the television program Dance Party USA, Barry tries in vain to join them; however, Erica takes conjunctivitis and Barry takes dance lessons from Coach Mellor, impressing Lainey very positively to the point that the girl decides to take only Barry; in the end, however, the couple changes their mind and still bring Erica with them. When it was Lainey who took the conjunctivitis, her appearance got worse, and she told Barry that if she didn't want to be seen with her, she understood, but Barry wasn't ashamed of her and stayed by her side.
End of prohibitions
Barry and Lainey kiss continuously in public at school, to the point that the headmaster summons their fathers to talk about their behavior. Unexpectedly, the two become friends after discovering that they have a lot in common; however, Murray, annoyed by Bill's talk of his divorce, tries to avoid him with anger, and this fact also upsets Barry and Lainey who see the renewed rivalry of their fathers as a threat to their relationship. Eventually, Bill and Murray reconcile and become friends again, much to the delight of their children.
During a conversation Barry inadvertently tells Lainey that he loves her. When she does not respond, since she is a cheerleader Barry becomes the school mascot to approach her, unaware that a rival team is planning to beat the mascot. Eventually Lainey, worried about him, tells him she loves him: she hadn't made it before because she saw her father with a broken heart after her mother left him and she was afraid of ending up like him. Barry is overjoyed to having received the declaration of Lainey.
Lainey is annoyed because Barry constantly tries to impress her (because of Erica who constantly tells him that a girl like Lainey is too much for him), so she asks Erica to stop him, but she, to have fun behind him, tells her brother that he must be more like Boy George to be with Lainey. Barry then dresses like the famous singer and calls himself "Boy Barry", but, having discovered the joke, he gets angry with Lainey and breaks up with her.
Lainey is devastated and discovered her friend's responsibility requires her to help her recapture Barry, coming to apologize by dedicating a rap of her own creation (as he did while he was courting her), in front of the whole school, but people think that she's making fun of Barry and his passion for rap and the situation gets even worse. In the end it is Erica who, sorry for what she did, convinces her brother to go back with the girl, since if Lainey chose him she loves him as he is. Barry runs in the rain, to Lainey's house to declare his love and the blonde is visibly very happy.
When the Christmas holidays come, Barry spends all his time with Lainey, completely ignoring his little brother Adam; seeing that the latter is not injured Lainey leaves with an excuse and the two brothers clarify their differences. Subsequently, Adam and Barry include Lainey in their festive traditions.
Lainey doesn't want Barry to do something exaggerated for Valentine's Day, and he tries to think of something small, but romantic; inspired by the music video for Hello, by Lionel Richie, Barry tries to sculpt a clay bust depicting Lainey, though only getting gruesome gouges. Lainey, however, appreciates the attempt, and is moved by the fine words Barry addresses to her, and the two profess their love again.
Later, Barry tries to impress Bill, Lainey's father. His father Murray tells him that all fathers despise their daughters 'boyfriends and tries to help Barry ignore Mr. Lewis' poor opinion of him, but when Barry sees that Bill has a good relationship with Lainey's ex-boyfriend, he depresses and decides to earn Bill's approval in every way. In the end, he succeeds thanks to Murray's help.
Despite his father's imposing on him, Barry has no intention of taking the aptitude test for college, and is very disappointed to learn that Lainey and all three of his JTP friends are planning to take the test, and that they have given up their dreams . In the end he admits to everyone that he is afraid to take the test because he thinks he will fail and that he is afraid his friends and his girlfriend, will go on to great things, leaving him behind. Murray reassures his son and he then begins to study for the test, to the satisfaction of Murray and Lainey who have always believed in him. Frustrated by the fact that Barry always wears the same shirt as the Philadelphia Flyers, Beverly and Lainey agree to accidentally ruin him while he is in the washing machine. Barry, however, asks Adam and Erica to investigate, and Lainey confesses to Erica what happened and when Barry discovers he breaks up with Lainey, getting angry with Beverly too.
Lainey and Beverly, realizing that they destroyed Barry's favorite thing and lost his mutual trust, hold a funeral for the shirt. Eventually Barry returns with Lainey and buys a new shirt.
Erica fell into depression, for having lost her chance with Geoff Schwartz has no boyfriend who wants to accompany her to the Halloween party. Lainey tries to make her a date with her cousin Nate, but he refuses because Erica has taken to neglecting her appearance, becoming considerably ugly. In order not to make a fool of her friend who had already announced to everyone that she would go to the dance with Nate, Lainey convinces Barry to go to the party with his sister, after having made him wear a costume that prevents him from being recognized. Unfortunately at the dance Barry loses his balance and the costume head slips off, showing everyone that Erica has had her brother accompany her. Shortly thereafter, Lainey and Barry ask Geoff to console Erica, and he succeeds.
On Valentine's Day, the depression of Erica for losing Geoff, reaches its climax. Lainey, tries to console her by telling her that even if Barry didn't give her anything, she doesn't care ... but right at that moment Barry brings her a Valentine's gift and makes her a beautiful declaration of love too. Despite the bad timing Lainey is very happy, and hugs Barry.
Barry decides he wants to spend Thanksgiving with Lainey, so Beverly invites Bill and Lainey to lunch with them, but the two adults fight over how to cook the turkey and he leaves with Lainey. At that point Barry tells Beverly how much Thanksgiving means for Bill and Lainey since Lainey's mother abandoned them, so Beverly apologizes for her behavior and asks the Lewis to come back, so Barry and Lainey manage to celebrate together. When Adam's acting teacher, Mrs. Cinoman, changes the annual school play from The Wizard of Oz to The Phantom of the Opera, most of the student body wants to be involved, including Adam and Lainey. Barry is surprised that everyone is in love with the musical and angry that the part of Adam requires him to kiss Lainey, so he tries to sabotage the scene, but ends up hurting Mrs Cinoman. The play is then canceled due to lack of permits.
Lainey's departureHaving Barry is one year younger than Lainey, and wanting to study medicine the two had decided that Lainey would have taken a sabbatical after graduating, to wait for him to graduate and then they would go to college together. However, Lainey applied to be admitted to a fashion design school in Savannah, Georgia, without saying anything to her boyfriend. When he finds out, Barry decides to give up his dream to follow Lainey and become a designer. Beverly not wanting her son to give up his inspiration convinces Lainey, to do what is best for Barry or allow him to pursue a medical career, even if it means that their relationship may end. Lainey doesn't have the courage to leave Barry, she dresses in the shirt of a football team that he hates, and insults all the things he likes ... but Barry tells her that she is the most important thing in his life and that for to please her, he is willing to give up all his passions. Moved the girl confesses the truth to him, and asks him to follow her, but when Adam gets hurt and Barry tries to cure him, Lainey understands how great his passion is, and declares that he must try to become a doctor, convincing Barry not to go with her.
Despite Barry, he cares a lot Lainey doesn't want to go to the dance with him, seeing it as a painful reminder that their time together is ending; Barry finally understands and decides to simply take her out to dinner. The two then decide that they will try to make the most of the period before the departure of Lainey.
Barry plans a great summer for him and Lainey, though both are very sad about the girl's imminent move. However at the graduation ceremony, Bill lets slip that his daughter will not stay for the summer, but that she will leave after a couple of days. Obviously Barry gets very angry about the girl's second omission, and makes a scene in front of everyone, in the middle of the ceremony.
That evening Lainey joins him, at the place where they had their first real conversation. Barry feared that she hated him, for the ugly figure he had made her do, but Lainey replied that she could never hate him. However, if they love each other then at that point they understand that their relationship has now come to an end.
Barry and Lainey decide not to keep in touch even by phone. It is clear that Barry is very hurt and angry from Lainey's departure, and vents himself by mistreating his little brother Adam. To make him leave him alone, Adam tries to get another girl for Barry, but fails. Barry admits that he just wanted to prove he could be loved, and that Lainey hadn't fallen in love with him just luckily, and apologized to Adam. Later he is sadly seen staring at a photo of him and Lainey, a sign of how much he misses the young Lewis.
- Lainey – “I came back to say this face-to-face. I'm in Georgia now. I've move on. It's time for you to move on, too.”
- Barry – “You're right.”
- Lainey – “Thank you for being so mature and understanding... because... I love you and I want you back now! Say yes, or I will literally die!”
- Barry – “I knew it again! Yes!”
- — Barry and Lainey fail to separate.
Despite their decision, when he learned that Lainey had gone to see Erica, Barry tried to call her, but her sister prevented him from talking to the girl. Lainey, however, could not resist the desire to see Barry again, and left her friend rushed to him. Initially the girl simply wanted to say in the face of the ex that turning the page was the best thing for both, but in the end she admitted that she loved him and that she wanted to resume their relationship, to the great joy of Barry who immediately accepted.
Barry and Lainey then went to a party together, and showed they were very happy to have found each other. However, reality comes in the form of Erica which makes them understand how difficult it is to make her relationship with Geoff work, and the two live three hours away, while Barry and Lainey live twelve hours apart from each other now .
The two admit that Erica is right and after confessing once again the mutual love they decide to separate definitively, even if they are devastated.
Barry then states that he wants to move on and try to woo a girl named Jamie Weisman, but it's clear he's just trying to replace Lainey. After some time Erica, argues with her roommate Erica Coolidge, and decides to invite Barry to annoy her; unexpectedly the two show signs of mutual attraction, and not wanting the two to become a couple, Erica also invites Lainey. The latter is hurt and irritated to see Barry interested in another girl, and Barry, in front of his ex, feels guilty and embarrassed while he's with Erica (though technically, he's not doing anything wrong). In the end, however, the anger passes, and Lainey admits that it was nice to see Barry again, and he is happy about it.
Barry- "Did you ever think we'd come back here again? "
Lainey - "I really didn't. But I'm really happy we did".
Barry- "Happy enough to marry me?"
Lainey- "For sure".
Barry- I"s that a "yes"? You never say yes".Lainey- "I'm saying it this time. Yes. I'll marry you, you big dummy".
- Barry's marriage proposal to Lainey
When he finds out from Erica that she, Lainey and the other Erica have left college to form a band, Barry immediately thinks he can resume his story with Lainey, and he rushes to his house to invite her to the prom. Lainey however refuses because she is too worried about her future, and suggests to Barry to bring us another girl. But the young Goldberg does not want to, and if he went alone he would make a fool of himself, so he decides to make a big joke, to make a good impression and lose the right to go to the ball.Barry therefore destroys the principal's car, and he declares that he will cancel the dance until the culprit is discovered. Barry goes back to Lainey, who welcomes him well and apologizes for having paid him little attention; the girl is in seventh heaven because her band got her first gig ... to play at the year-end concert. The blonde gets depressed again, when Barry tells her that the dance has been canceled, but for not hindering her, the boy decides to confess as much as he risks being arrested for damage. Fortunately the headmaster, thanks to the insurance money, bought a new and beautiful car, so he just forbids Barry to go to the ball. Adam then tells the whole story to the girls openly telling Lainey that Barry took the blame for her and the girl is impressed. During the party, Lainey joins Barry who is listening to music from the football field, and tells him that despite everything he is really happy to be back home and to see him again. Barry, who has now realized that he cannot live without her, asks her to marry him and she accepts. At the height of joy, the two newlyweds rush to the party shouting that they will get married.
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Barry x Lainey is probably the most popular ship in The Goldbergs franchise. It could be seen as the representative couple of the show, being present in all seasons, and having evolved through them. It is a ship appreciated by fans, who dedicate them GIF, video and fanfiction.