How I Met Your Mother (2005–2014)
5 user 2 critic

The Playbook 

When Barney hooks up with a woman Lily had been saving for Ted, she gets revenge by stealing his "playbook," which contains all the moves he uses to pick up women. But will Barney have the last laugh?


Pamela Fryman


Carter Bays (created by), Craig Thomas (created by) | 4 more credits »




Episode cast overview:
Josh Radnor ... Ted Mosby
Jason Segel ... Marshall Eriksen
Cobie Smulders ... Robin Scherbatsky
Neil Patrick Harris ... Barney Stinson
Alyson Hannigan ... Lily Aldrin
Benjamin Koldyke ... Don (as Ben Koldyke)
Raquel Alessi ... Roberta
Eva Amurri Martino ... Shelly (as Eva Amurri)
Sarah Wright ... Claire
Jannel-Marie Diaz Jannel-Marie Diaz ... Chris (as Jannel Diaz)
Kim Knight Kim Knight ... Tricia
Katie Malia ... Christy
Jaime Taite Jaime Taite ... Christina
Nicole Foster Callahan Nicole Foster Callahan ... Girl (as Nicole Foster Tomlinson)


In the aftermath of Robin and Barney's break-up, Robin states that she wants to take a break from being in a relationship. Ted and Marshall are certain by this statement that she'll soon find her next long term boyfriend. Barney, on the other hand, is all set to go back to his womanizing ways, and turns to his "playbook", where he's written all the scams he's used to pick up women in the past. When he uses the scam he calls 'the Lorenzo Von Matterhorn' to pick up Shelly, a friend of Lily's, who Lily has been "saving" for Ted for three years, an angered Lily takes her revenge by staging her own elaborate scam to steal Barney's playbook. She vows to post the playbook on the Internet. But curiosity may get the better of Lily, and Marshall, Ted and Robin when Barney starts to stage the scam he calls 'the scuba diver', the scam that was on the last page of the playbook before he tore it out prior to the book being stolen. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | Romance


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

16 November 2009 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


One of the articles for Lorenzo Von Matterhorn has Barney dressed like a doctor. Neil Patrick Harris played a kid doctor in the tv show Doogie Howser (1989) See more »


Girl: [the play SNASA] Wow! You're an astronaut?
Barney Stinson: 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 Stinson: Well, not the moon you're familiar with. Though I have been to the smoon.
Girl: Wow, the smoon.
See more »


References Star Trek: The Original Series (1966) See more »


Rondo Alla Turca
Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Funny dating techniques by Master B, almost no Marshall, twisted story but predictable writing, too many poor jokes, neglected supporting cast and no heart nor soul
19 November 2009 | by igoatabaseSee all my reviews

A special Barney episode ? It could only be funny. I feared the writers would decide to throw in the usual dumb Marshall arc but they didn't. They were wise enough to focus on Barney's dating how-to book. In fact the story reminded me of Game Night, season 1 15th episode, because it's one of the only dedicated to him. However considering how bad the show has apparently evolved I wasn't expecting The Playbook to be as interesting and sad. But in the end I have to admit that it was at least funny. Of course all jokes weren't good but some should make you laugh enough not to make you feel like you've just wasted twenty minutes of your precious life. In fact the best thing about it is that it should encourage you to be more original and daring when it comes to dating.

The twisted idea behind the story was creative but the execution was almost a failure. I think the writers mistake was to not focus on the best and most important joke. In fact the end reminded me of "Ted Mosby : Architect", season 2 5th episode, but it wasn't as surprising and hilarious. So when you could watch that one over and over to appreciate all its awesomeness I don't think you'll want to go back to this one. Beside the relatively linear and riskless writing I also blame the poor use of the supporting characters because their role was quite anecdotic. I think it's a mistake because the story would have been far much more entertaining if it involved more Ted or Robin for example. Why didn't they viciously switch profiles in a crazy fashion ? What about revealing the story was just a dream at the end ? It's already the 96th episode but it doesn't mean you can just sit back and relax instead of challenging yourself. Of course it's easier to review other people's work than to get things done but I can't help thinking that some talent is desperately wasted.

To sum things up it was a decent installment but not a match for the great episodes I mentioned. It's almost scary because The Playbook is actually the highest rated episode on I think its creators should just make the wise decision of finally answering The Question no one really cares about anymore. Maybe the wake up call they need will come from viewers disappointed by a show that didn't meet their expectations. It will be so sad if they decide to cancel How I Met Your Mother once it jumps the shark. Let's hope it won't happen because the people who worked on it deserve better. Cobie Smulders is beautiful and her acting talent can only improve. Neil Patrick Harris is legendary as Barney. Last but not least Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, the sitcom creators, successfully served us with a few excellent episodes.

12 of 132 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 5 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Recently Viewed