How I Met Your Mother

Season 5 Episode 8

The Playbook

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Nov 16, 2009 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
560 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Barney dusts off his "playbook" to help him back into the dating scene following his breakup with Robin, incensing Lily in the process.

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  • A classic How I Met Your Mother episode

    Finally, we've got a classic, really well-made How I Met Your Mother episode again! It focuses on Barney, now getting back to his normal, promiscuous single life, and introducing The Playbook, out of which he gets the tricks to pull girls.

    This episode very amusingly shows us a lot of absolutely odd lessons to pick up girls and following an actual story in which Lily tries to stop him from doing so for a couple of reasons. Neil Patrick Harris is, at last, the Barney as we know him again and he is really great at doing so. Every other character had his funny moments as well and I want to add that rather unknown guest actress Sarah Wright was doing really good in this episode as well.moreless
  • The first play

    As you know Barney has been someone who has been with his fair share of women. He has used different methods and names to get women. In this episode, you found out why. The best part of this episode lead you to believe how something was going to happen and it ended up being something else. Classic storytelling from this show and also a little bit how Barney tricks women.

    The reason why Barney tricked his latest victim was the playbook. This was the first appearance of it. This is something is an actual book and available online or book stores. I respect Barney for doing this. On other people it would not nearly be as good. I did enjoy how everyone but mainly Lilly tried to stop Barney. I don't want to spoil the ending but the first time I saw this it was a surprise. Another staple of this show is showing you something that would later appear on the show. Yes you find out about Don. If you think this was the last play from the playbook from Barney turn the page. If you are watching up until this point you won't find that answer to season 8.moreless
  • Lily steals Barney's playbook.

    "The Playbook" is an entertaining How I Met Your Mother episode. This episode is all about Barney being a single man again. I love how Barney is sitting in the bar in a scuba suit and Lily warns a woman about him and the gang explains what lead to that moment. In turns out that Lily tried to set Ted up with her teacher friend, who Barney uses the "Lorenzo Von Matterhorn on her. I love how Lily steals the playbook and threatens to publish it online. Anyways, I don't remember how it happened but in the end Barney fooled everyone. I give this episode a 8.5/10.moreless
  • I loved it, and as somebody else before me said, clearly the best episode of this show in quite some time!

    This was quite an episode, and it was very entertaining. Seeing Barney back at his best was absolutely epic and all the scenes of the various tricks were highly enjoayble, and I was laughing a lot throughout this episode.

    Overall, the sensational storyline was exceptionally funny and I highly enjoyed it. Lily was great in this episode as well, and seeing Barney back felt like gold, to me!@

    I would recommend this episode very highly, as it was packed in with great scenes, exceptional moments of great humour and quite simply, it was the best episode of How I met Your Mother in quite some thim!moreless
  • Entertaining.

    This episode didn't have much development, and I thought it was part of the aftermath of Barney & Robin's breakup. But this episode was basically letting us know that the good old Barney is back. He's turning tricks up his sleeve and in his playbook. The playbook is a book in which he has plans to get girls, ridiculous plans that often work. Lilly is completely against the playbook so she basically sets Barney up, in a battle of wits. Meanwhile Robin is trying to get over the breakup by swearing off guys completely and dedicating all her time to work. Ted & Marshall think that's when she is going to find a guy, when she isn't looking for one. Robin begs to differ. I enjoyed seeing Lilly & her manipulating ways. Her hiring that actress, just so she can steal the playbook, and Barney creating the scuba diving game when actually there was more to it. It was happening since the very beginning and Lilly was a part of it. Barney gets the girl in the end, and as he winks at the screen, we know good old Barney is back. We get to see that Robin is going through a hard time seeing Barney bounce back so fast, and Barney exposes fake feelings. This is all part of the play. Nothing much else to say, except I enjoyed the Lilly/Barney interaction since we haven't seen that since season 4, also enjoyed the minor development since Robin met a guy in the end, loved her last lines: "Dammit Marshall," hilarious.moreless
Sarah Wright (VII)

Sarah Wright (VII)


Guest Star

Eva Amurri

Eva Amurri


Guest Star

Raquel Alessi

Raquel Alessi


Guest Star

Bob Saget

Bob Saget

Voice of Ted, 2030

Recurring Role

Benjamin Koldyke

Benjamin Koldyke


Recurring Role

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (4)

    • ("The My Penis Grants Wishes")
      Girl: Really? A genie comes out of it?
      Barney: Only if you rub it hard enough.

    • ("The Cheap Trick")
      Barney: I'm the bass player from Cheap Trick.

    • ("The SNASA")
      Girl: Wow! You're an astronaut?
      Barney: Shhh! I'm actually in a top-secret government space program called Secret NASA, or SNASA.
      Girl: Wow. SNASA? Do you go to the moon and stuff?
      Barney: Well, not the moon you're familiar with. Though I have been to the smoon.
      Girl: Wow, the smoon.

    • ("The Don't Drink That")
      Barney: Whoa! Don't drink that! I saw some guy slip something in there.
      Girl: What?! Who?
      Barney: (points to Ted) Um, that guy.
      (Ted gets tackled by bartender)
      Girl: Thank you.

  • NOTES (3)

    • The Italian episode title is "Strategie di rimorchio", meaning "Towing Strategy".

    • International Airdates: Australia: April 8, 2010 on Channel 7; United Kingdom: July 15, 2010 on E4; India: October 11, 2010 on Star World; Czech Republic: December 15, 2010 on Prima COOL; Germany: January 26, 2011 on ProSieben; Slovakia: November 21, 2011 on JOJ Plus

    • The various web pages Barney created for his Lorenzo Von Matterhorn alias that were shown in-episode all were actually created and viewable on the Internet. Additionally, there was a wikipedia article available on him as the show aired, but by morning wikipedia had discovered the hoax, and "Lorenzo Von Matterhorn" was redirected to their page for the episode. Additionally, the name was Google's most popular search term for the day this episode aired.