"How I Met Your Mother" The Playbook (TV Episode 2009) Poster

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Best episode of the season
emul0c17 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This is my personal favorite of the season. I reckon there has been a couple of slobby episodes in season 5, but this one definitely lives up to the real HIMYM standard of season one and two. This episode is about Barney's "Playbook", which contains every scam, con, hustle, hoodwink, gambit, film-flam, stratagem and bam boostle he has ever used or intends to use to get a girl in bed. We see Barney in this episode as he always has been, a big player who wants nothing else but girls. Also in this episode, Ted and Marshall picks on Robin - they are convinced that she will meet a new guy with the argument that if she is not looking for something, she will find it, just as if you are looking for something, you will not find it.
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Possibly My Favourite Ever Episode
slightlymad2213 January 2015
I don't believe it.... In my last review of this show, "The Bagpipes" I said I liked Barney and Robin as a couple, much more than Ted and Robin, due to the chemistry between Neil Patrick Harris and Cobie Smulders. Then the TV channel I'm watching the reruns on, skips the next episode, and goes straight to this one, with Barney and Robin broke up!! What the hell??

That said this episode is hilarious, and not surprising as it focuses on Barney and Neil Patrick Harris is brilliant.

Plot In A Paragraph: Following Robin and Barney's break-up, Robin states that she wants to take a break from men and focus on her career Ted and Marshall are certain by this statement that she'll soon find her next long term boyfriend. Meanwhile Barneybis 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.
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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
igoatabase19 November 2009
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 TV.com. 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.
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The Playbook (#5.8)
ComedyFan201023 July 2015
Warning: Spoilers
And after the break up w get this awesome episode to present the great Barney in all his glory. The whole episode rotates about his playbook by which we are introduced to all his tricks. And of course they are absolutely hilarious!.

He also makes Lily mad by hooking up with the woman she wanted to introduce to Ted and she goes to reveal his last trick to the woman he wants to hit on. And then comes the twist. It is actually a very fun one. I must say I kind of guessed it, but it was still fun to see how he tricked everybody. And Barney's little wink was present through the whole episode.
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