If you are looking for the bet featuring in this episode, see The Eight Slaps.

Slap Bet

HIMYM episode 2x09 (31)

Slap bet - young robin
First aired:
November 20, 2006
Pamela Fryman
Kourtney Kang
Barney's Blog

Images (4)

Ted tries to uncover a secret about Robin's past. Barney and Marshall have a slap bet riding on the outcome and Lily serves as the Slap Bet Commissioner.


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Ted, Marshall, Lily, and Barney find out that Robin does not want to go to a mall, and Robin doesn't want anyone to know why she's averse to malls. Ted tries to guess and in doing so reveals that he was trapped under a fake boulder at a mall in Ohio when he was nine. When the gang discuss it later, Marshall suggests that Robin was married in a mall in Canada, while Barney believes that Robin did porn. They agree to a Slap Bet (where the winner of the bet slaps the loser as hard as he possibly can) and appoint Lily the Slap Bet Commissioner. Ted thinks both ideas are ridiculous, but tries to find out if she had gotten married at a mall. Robin tells Ted that she did get married to a guy in a mall. Ted promises to keep it a secret, but then tells Marshall and Lily. Seeing as he's won, Marshall slaps Barney, but Barney still investigates the subject.

Shortly after that, Marshall tells Ted that Robin was never married. Ted, after asking Robin a bunch of questions, gets her to tell him that she lied to get him to stop talking about it. Marshall also tells Lily of how Robin was never married. Lily informs Barney and allows him to slap Marshall three times.

Barney then reveals that a man in Malaysia has found a video with Robin in it, and it will be posted on MySpace shortly. He refers to her as "Robin Sparkles", to which she is shocked and questions him as to where he heard that name. Ted is no longer interested in finding out Robin's secret, but Robin later insists that it is time for the secret to be revealed. Barney plays the opening part of the video, in which Robin (dressed as a schoolgirl) seductively pleads a teacher not to give her detention. Barney, for the sake of Robin's dignity, pauses the video and says that he has proved his point, and then slaps Marshall. Robin asks Barney why he slapped Marshall, and Barney tells her about the bet and that he thought that Robin had done porn earlier in her life. Robin plays the video, saying it was not porn. It turns out to be a stereotypically 80's music video where a young Robin (referred to as Robin Sparkles) sings "Let's Go To The Mall", Robin's minor hit in Canada as a teenage pop star.

Marshall points out to Barney that he did not win the slap bet. Lily then gives Marshall the right to slap Barney either ten times immediately in succession or five times available to Marshall for all of eternity, pending Barney's preference. Barney chooses the five slaps, which Ted refers to as a "horrible call", because Barney must now live in constant fear of being slapped. Robin tells Ted that she is actually glad Ted knows her secret now. They kiss and Marshall slaps Barney, proclaiming, "That's one". They all continue to enjoy the video, and Marshall menaces Barney.


  • Marshall suggests that Ted "lawyer" Robin.
  • Another videotape from the past shocks the group in Game Night. In this same episode, Future Ted states that "not every secret was told that night" while the camera is on Robin, foreshadowing the events of this episode.
  • The look that Robin gives in the music video is the look that Ted mentioned in Swarley ("Oh, and your biting your lower lip, shyly looking away and thrusting your chest out is natural?").
  • Robin mentions that Derek was the last person she slept with before Ted. She broke up with him in The Wedding​, and wasn't seen dating anyone (aside from one date with Sandy Rivers in Mary the Paralegal​) before getting together with Ted in Come On​.
  • Based on Aldrin Justice​, Barney has a different standard for women over 30 who are "cougars".

Future References (Contains Spoilers)

  • Marshall continues to dole out the other slaps, as per his and Barney's Slap Bet, throughout the series.
  • Robin's career as Robin Sparkles is referred to throughout the rest of the series, most notably in Sandcastles in the SandGlitter​, and P.S. I Love You; the last episode further depicts how touring affected her.
  • In Happily Ever After​, Robin reveals that she became Robin Sparkles after moving in with her mother, which she did after falling out with her father, who tried to raise her as a son.
  • The song "Let's Go to the Mall" is sung by Marshall at the Hoser Hut in Little Minnesota​, and is Ted's ringtone in As Fast As She Can​.
  • Ted and Marshall make a Slap Bet in Bagpipes​, but without a Slap Bet Commissioner.
  • Barney loves shopping from novelty stores; he purchases many items from the Sky Mall catalog in The Goat.
  • Barney notes in Right Place, Right Time that Robin is "suspiciously quiet during this conversation about number of sex partners".
  • One of the "Oh..." moments Barney mentions is a woman telling him she just turned 30. Barney's issues with sleeping with women over 30 come up again in Intervention, Zoo or FalseFalse Positive​, and Field Trip​.
  • When the gang watch the "Space Teens" tape in Glitter, Barney assumes from the name that it's porn, and goes to slap Marshall.
  • In Mystery vs. History​, Barney and Robin will be in favor of revealing secrets in a relationship while Ted, Lily, and Marshall will be in favor of being private.
  • Ted again imagines a woman he is interested in him being a man in Spoiler Alert​ and Mystery vs. History.


For a listing of all images on the wiki tagged as being from this episode, see Category:Slap Bet images.

Memorable Quotes

Ted: So, what's the deal with you and malls?
Robin: You said if I didn't want to talk about it, I didn't have to.
Ted: Yeah, with those people. I'm your boyfriend. Come on, what is it? Did you get arrested in a mall?
Robin: No.
Ted: Dumped in a mall?
Robin: Ted.
Ted: Found out you were Canadian at a mall?
Robin: Let it go.
Ted: Trapped under a fake boulder at the mall?
Robin: Let it go.
Ted: Mauled at the mall?
Robin: Let it go. And who gets trapped under a fake boulder at the mall?
Ted: Not me in Ohio when I was nine, that's for sure.

Ted: In order for me to get total closure on this whole my-girlfriend-has-a-husband thing, I think I'm gonna need a little bit more information. Like, what month did you get married?
Robin: June. We had a June wedding.
Ted: Ah, Canada in June. That's great... Sit down or buffet?
Robin: Um...
Ted: Woah. It's weird that you don't remember.
Robin: No, I just didn't know how to answer because we did butlered hors d'oeuvres in the atrium, but the actual dinner was a buffet in the food court featuring a filet mignon or roasted potato-crusted salmon with a lobster scallion beurre blanc.
Ted: Hm. Band or DJ?
Robin: String quartet played at the ceremony, but for the actual reception we had a seven-piece band. We paid extra for the sax 'cause I just love that smooth alto sound.
Ted: How many bridesmaids?
Robin: Seven.
Ted: Flowers?
Robin: Azaleas.
Ted: Color scheme?
Robin: Dusty rose and sienna.
Ted: Husband's name?
Robin: Uhm...
Ted: You were never married!

Notes and Trivia

Goofs and Errors

  • During the final scene while the gang is viewing the "Let's Go to the Mall" video, Marshall's soda is shown sitting next to the computer screen, but in the next shot it's not there. 
  • Barney's three slaps to Marshall clearly miss his face.

Allusions and Outside References


Other Notes

  • This episode was going to be called "Robin Sparkles", but then it was renamed "Slap Bet" to not give away the ending. In later reruns, it is sometime called "Robin Sparkles" in the guide on DirectTV.
  • The menu that Robin makes up when Ted questions her about her wedding was the actual menu at the wedding of writer Kourtney Kang, which took place two weeks prior to the writing of this episode.


  • Courtney Abbiati - Girl #3 ("I just turned 30")
  • Candace Kroslak - Girl #1 ("It's a promise ring...")
  • Wayne Nickel - Reverend Rob
  • Rachel Specter - Sara ("I don't have an eating disorder...")
  • Timothy Prindle - Mr. Johnson (uncredited)[1]


  • Staci Krause of IGN gave the episode 8.9 out of 10. [3]
  • Joyce Eng of TV Guide later called the episode "possibly the show's finest half-hour" and said, "nothing will ever be or beat Slap Bet. [4]
  • The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 9.5 out 10 stars. "What a great idea - the slap bet and Slap Bet Commissioner! ... And Robin's secret revealed ... who'd have guessed that?"


External Links

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Start a Discussion Discussions about Slap Bet

  • Slap Bet

    9 messages
    • I calculate basing on the [ the slapbet countdown] and ...
    • The creators said at Comic-Con that a whole episode of S9 will take place DURING one of the slaps! :)
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