How I Met Your Mother: Season 5, Episode 8

The Playbook (16 Nov. 2009)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Drama | Romance
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 9.3/10 from 2,454 users  
Reviews: 2 user

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?



(created by), (creator), 6 more credits »
0Check in

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 21 titles
created 23 Jan 2011
a list of 28 titles
created 17 Aug 2012
a list of 24 titles
created 05 Nov 2012
a list of 40 titles
created 9 months ago
a list of 21 images
created 8 months ago

Related Items

Search for "The Playbook" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Playbook (16 Nov 2009)

The Playbook (16 Nov 2009) on IMDb 9.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of How I Met Your Mother.
« Previous Episode | 96 of 208 Episodes | Next Episode »





Episode cast overview:
Don Frank (as Ben Koldyke)
Shelly (as Eva Amurri)
Jannel-Marie Diaz ...
Chris (as Jannel Diaz)
Kim Knight ...
Jaime Taite ...
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 | Drama | Romance





Release Date:

16 November 2009 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Marshall mentions that an accountant in his office is named Matthew Blitz. Matthew Blitz is the name of one of the production staff for this show. See more »


Lily Aldrin: Can you believe that? He blames me! Oh, and by the way, Ted, I bet she'd still go out with you.
Ted Mosby: Hm. Let me think. Do I wanna go out with a girl Barney hooked up with? Guys, help me out with the harmonies?
Marshall Eriksen: Sure.
Ted Mosby: Hell no...
Robin Scherbatsky: Hell no...
Marshall Eriksen: Hell no...
Claire: Hell no...
See more »


References Romeo and Juliet (1968) See more »


Hey Beautiful
Written by The Solids
Performed by The Solids
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 (France) – See 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.

10 of 88 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The ending is the same as... gunwing
I'm just gonna come out and say it... jedi_knight05
Props to Cristin Milioti dhinsd
Was this show compared to friends a lot joekabye-253-101994
Hey, if Ted actually ends up marrying Robin... Polak_With_A_Gun
Series Finale Reaction film8622
Discuss The Playbook (2009) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: