Robin 101

HIMYM episode 5x03 (91)

First aired:
October 5, 2009
Pamela Fryman
Carter Bays
Craig Thomas
Barney's Blog

Images (13)

Robin thinks Barney is cheating on her, but instead he's been taking "Robin 101" classes from Ted. Meanwhile, Marshall tries to give away his barrel, but is upset that no one seems to want it.


It all starts when Ted overhears Robin complaining to Lily about Barney. It seems Barney is having a hard time adjusting to being in a real relationship. Robin is frustrated and tells Lily that she might have to break up with Barney if things don't change.

Ted relays all of this to Barney who scoffs at the idea of being more sensitive. Even so, he does start shaping up and begins to look like the ideal boyfriend. However, Robin sees this sudden change in behavior, coupled with the fact that he claims to be working late but can't be found at the office, as signs that Barney is cheating on her. Robin is determined to find the truth and presents to Lily Barney's briefcase which she breaks into in search of proof. There she finds a college notebook, in it is information about Robin. Marshall admits that the notebook is from a class that Barney is taking from Ted: Robin 101.

Meanwhile, Marshall found an old barrel while cleaning his stuff out of the storage space in the apartment building. The barrel, which he referred to as Mabel, served as his night-stand until Lily claimed to be allergic to barrel resin and which made him stop using it. He plans to leave it in the "Bermuda Triangle": the curb outside the building where he and Ted left things they wanted to give away. Items left on the curb would disappear almost instantly. However, Marshall is disappointed when no one seems to want the barrel.

Robin and Lily go through the notebook discovering a shocking amount of personal information about Robin including "surprising erogenous zones" and how to deflect arguments with her. Although, Ted did have to struggle to get through to the easily-distracted Barney, after dating Robin for a year, he is able to give Barney a wealth of information on her. He even explained that one knows Robin is in love when she smiles and says, "you're an idiot."  Other revelations include that Robin can be distracted by the topic of the Canucks' 2004 division title, proper gun cleaning (during which it is also revealed that she has an uncle whose thumbs were blown off), and emperor penguins. It's also revealed that no amount of success will be enough for her without six simple words from her dad: "Robin, I'm proud of you eh."

Robin and Lily head down to Ted's classroom where Ted is holding the "Robin 101" classes. Robin angrily confronts the two about the violation of her privacy and how she thought Barney was cheating on her. She claims that Barney is cheating by taking classes from Ted. Robin angrily storms out.

Back at the bar, Ted apologizes to Robin for divulging so much personal information that was between the two of them. Calmed down, Robin admits that she is touched that Ted remembered so much from when they were dating and she forgives him. Ted points out how hard Barney has been working at keeping Robin.

Outside, Robin meets Barney where he instantly apologizes and offers to ditch the notebook, tossing atop Mabel. He explains that he only did it because he was afraid she was going to dump him. She smiles, says "you're an idiot", and kisses him. Robin points out that they shouldn't leave the notebook lying around, as it contains a lot of personal information about her, but when they turn back to Mabel, they find it has disappeared. The barrel is still sitting on the curb.

Earlier, when Ted is showing Barney slides of Robin, a photo of the Flat Iron building is somehow mixed in with the slides. In the final scene, the same thing happens in Ted's architecture class, only this time an embarrassing photo of Robin (she is shown drinking a beer while sitting on the toilet) is mixed in with photos of buildings.


  • Lily mentions Robin having "guest starred in some confusing dreams" reminding her that "a woman's sexuality is a moving target", an example of Lily's bisexuality.
  • One of the topics that calm Robin down is proper gun safety and maintenance. Her being a gun nut has been referenced in many episodes, including Where Were We?​, Moving Day, and Little Boys.
  • Robin's angry glare described in the "Top Ten Robin Scherbatsky Facial Expressions and their Meanings" lecture was seen previously in Ted Mosby: Architect, when she decides to beat up "Ted" and Anna.
  • Robin has trouble saying "I Love You" in First Time In New York.

Future References (Contains Spoilers)

  • Another topic that can soothe Robin's temper is emperor penguins. In Say Cheese​, Ted mentions a fight between Lily and Marshall caused by Lily refusing to dress up as a penguin for Halloween, before Marshall adds that she also called penguins lame, appealing to Robin over this affront.
  • Future Ted refers to people flipping others off as "giving them a thumbs up". He has censored the story for his kids in numerous episodes, notably when he says "eating a sandwich" when he means smoking marijuana, which he first does in How I Met Everyone Else​.
  • The Vancouver Canucks being Robin's favorite hockey team was mentioned in Intervention, and is referenced again in Perfect Week.
  • The Bermuda Triangle is seen again in Something Old.


  • Barney becomes the perfect boyfriend
  • Marshall throws away his barrel, Maybel
  • Ted teaches Barney about Robin.
  • Robin's 'hungry' look
  • Ted breaks down Robin's angry look
  • Barney apologizes for Robin 101.
  • Barney's way of flipping Ted off.
  • Ted pissed that Barney is being a smart ass in class.
  • Barney and Robin giving Marshall a 'thumbs up'.
For a listing of all images on the wiki tagged as being from this episode, see Category:Robin 101 images.

Memorable Quotes

Robin: Boyfriend! Barney Stinson is my boyfriend! I've said it like a hundred times, it still sounds weird to say.
Ted: Well anything sounds weird when you say it 100 times... Bowl..

Lily: I guess in a lot of ways Barney doesn’t stack up. I mean you’ve had some pretty incredible boyfriends.
Ted: Bowl. Bowl. Bowl! Bowl. Bowl.
Robin: (looks at Ted) No, that’s not it. I don’t know. Maybe he just doesn’t have it in him. Maybe this whole thing’s a big mistake.
Ted: Bowl?

Barney: Can we have class outside?
Ted: Can you at least try to pay attention?
Barney: Sorry. My teachers said I have a learning disorder. A...D... Something-can we have class outside?

Ted: But the most important expression of all...(shows picture of a very angry Robin)
Barney: Whoa...
Ted: Flared nostril ridges, wide unblinking eyes. If you ever, ever, see this face, Barney, run. And don't take a picture of it, she will punch you... And you will cry... For the third time... That night.

Ted: Now, we all know Robin's not what you'd call "touchy-feely." She doesn't say "I love you,"like a normal person. Instead, she'll laugh, shake her head, give you a little smile and say, "You're an idiot."
Barney: You're an idiot?
Ted: If she tells you you're an idiot, you're a lucky man.

Robin: Well, since you know me pretty well... am I fooling myself with this whole Barney thing?
Ted: I don't know. I will say this, though. I've seen Barney work very hard to get women. I've seen him work very hard to get rid of women. I've never seen him work this hard to keep one around.

Notes and Trivia

Goofs and Errors

Allusions and Outside References

  • The classroom scene between Barney and Ted, references the films Dead Poet's Society, The Breakfast Club, and The Karate Kid.
  • The Bermuda Triangle is named after the supposed area in the western part of the North Atlantic called the Bermuda Triangle, where planes and boats frequently disappear without explanation.
  • Barney references sports commentator Andy Gray with the popular quote 'Take a bow, son' when congratulating Ted on his first class as a professor.
  • Ted mentions the names Barney has used in the past including the name "Barack Obama Jr." to imply he is the son of the President. Barney also says "and yes we can", referencing the catch-phrase of Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign.
  • Ted informs Barney that Robin has an erogenous zone at the back of her knee. This is the same as another fictional Canadian, Envy Adams, in Bryan Lee O'Malley's comic Scott Pilgrim and the Infinite Sadness.
  • Ted repeats the word "bowl" to test semantic satiation.
  • Marshall asks Robin and Lily "Have you two ladies lost some weight?". This is an in-joke reference to Cobie Smulders and Alyson Hannigan being pregnant during the show's fourth season.
  • Barney's notebook states that Robin is "age 29 but tells people she's 26". Smulders, who plays Robin, was actually 27 during the production of this episode (born April 3, 1982).


Other Notes

  • International Airdates: Australia: February 25, 2010 on Channel 7; United Kingdom: June 10, 2010 on Ee
  • When Barney says "If I wanted to become a better boyfriend to Robin, which I don't!" he turns roughly towards the cameras and nods as though he is trying to gesture to someone. In the past it has been confirmed that there is a wall there, making this joke way funnier.


  • Christine Tonnu - Sandy
  • Heather Nichols - Mandy
  • Sophie Simpson - College Girl
  • Olga Fonda - Candy
  • Kazu Nagahama - Shin-Ya


  • Donna Bowman of The A.V. Club rated the episode with a grade A-. [1]
  • Brian Zoromski of IGN gave the episode 8 out of 10. [2]
  • Cindy McLennan of Television Without Pity rated the episode with a grade B+. [3]
  • The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 8 out of 10 stars. "...Ted teaches a whole new course..."


External Links

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Robin 101
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