Game Night

HIMYM episode 1x15 (15)

Game Night
First aired:
February 27, 2006
Pamela Fryman
Chris Harris
Barney's Blog

Images (12)

Marshall plans a game night with the gang and Victoria, which leads to each person revealing the most embarassing moment of their lives.


The group plays games on game night together. Marshall is unbelievably proficient at all forms of all games that they play. Therefore, they decide that Marshall should be the game moderator. Marshall takes this to mean that he is given the liberty to create fun new games for game night. Because Ted asked Marshall to not interrogate his new girlfriend, Victoria, Marshall creates a game called "Marshgammon", which has rules bent around the idea of getting to know her better.  Nobody really understands the game, beyond the fact that every time someone says "What?" they have to drink.

Lily mentions a girl named Shannon whom she ran into. Barney denies the existence of this girl, even after Lily says that she remembers him, and had a tape. Barney takes the tape in her hand and destroys it in the kitchen of The apartment. Lily tells him that the tape he just destroyed was Ted's graduation, and the real tape was hidden in her purse. The group watches the tape, and Barney steals the tape and runs out of the apartment.

Later, they all meet up in the bar where Barney eventually tells the group his most embarrassing story in pieces after they each tell embarrassing stories of their own. Barney reveals to the group his first, and supposedly only, relationship with another girl. Before he became "awesome", he intended to go to the Peace Corps with his girlfriend, Shannon. She describes being in the Peace Corps with him as "legendary". They were both very environmentally aware.

One day, a man in a suit enters the coffee shop where the two of them work and orders coffee. He and Barney talk about his girlfriend. Barney feels that the man is rude, stating, "Women aren't objects; they're human beings." They do not go to the Peace Corps. Shannon lies to Barney and breaks up with him, saying that her father does not want her to go. In reality, the man from the coffee shop hooked up with her, and she wants to move on from Barney. After seeing them kissing, and hearing her explain that he was a boyfriend, he loses his hitherto optimistic outlook on life. He composes a video cassette of him singing to her to get her back. Some time later, in the cafe, Shannon comes back to get her last paycheck. Barney is happy to see her, and runs up to talk to her. He asked if she got the tape, and her boyfriend replies affirmatively. The shock of discovering the identity of the boyfriend causes Barney to stumble, and he storms out the cafe in tears to avoid his teasing. He is walking down the street when someone shoves a flyer advertising suits with the slogan on the top "SUIT UP!" Barney then becomes "awesome" and transforms his appearance to that of the modern day Barney. He cuts his hair, shaves his face, and buys what is likely his first suit. In the present, after he storms out of the apartment, and before he tells the story, he goes back to Shannon, and catches up with her, then has sex with her.

Marshall tells his most embarrassing story first, recounting the time he went to the bathroom in Lily's Kindergarten class, not realizing it's a shared bathroom until a boy walks in on him.  He stumbles out and falls just as Lily and her class return.  Lily adds "And the kids still call him Funny Butt."  The next time Barney stops his story, Robin begins her story of falling in horse poop from Return of the Shirt, but Barney rejects it as he already knows that story.  Victoria then tells her story.  Ted refuses to repeat it for his kids, only saying it involves a hot tub and a squeeze bottle of marshmallow topping.  Next up is Lily, telling the story of the time she and Marshall were having "floor sex", not realizing Marshall's mom was still on the phone they'd forgotten to hang up and could hear everything.  Finally came Ted.  He begins to tell "the Green Testicle Story", but Barney interrupts, saying he wants the story of the Re-return. Ted explains that after the events of Pilot, he, Barney, and Ranjit were drinking at the bar.  Ted declares he's going to kiss Robin, but instead vomited on her doormat. Robin thinks it's sweet that he re-returned for her, but this puts some distance between Ted and Victoria, who had been previously unaware of Ted's feelings for Robin.


  • The episode depicts the origin of Barney's "Suit Up" catchphrase.
  • Ted's "Re-Return" story occurs immediately after the events of the Pilot.
  • Robin refers to her falling in horse poop on TV, as seen in Return of the Shirt, as her most embarrassing moment.
  • In Lily's story, she is unsurprised (and disgusted) when Mrs. Eriksen reveals that her cookies contain mayonnaise. Lily finds out about mayonnaise being a signature ingredient of the Eriksen family in Belly Full of Turkey, where she is similarly off-put by the Eriksen Seven Layer Salad's copious amounts of it.
  • Marshall is hurt by Ted's claim to being "vomit free since '93"  from The Pineapple Incident turning out to be a lie.
  • Future Ted mentions that not every secret was told while Robin is smiling at the new doormat Ted bought her, referencing how she likes him, as she reveals to Lily in Drumroll, Please and Barney in Zip, Zip, Zip.
  • Barney pretends to join the Peace Corps in Drumroll, Please.
  • Barney previously used the pick-up line "$100 says when you turn around I say "Wow"." in Zip, Zip, Zip.

Future References (Contains Spoilers)

  • Marshall's prowess at games and his love of creating them are demonstrated. The former is referenced again in several episodes, including Atlantic CityArrivederci, Fiero, and Shelter Island, and the latter is referenced again in Say CheeseNoretta, and Who Wants to Be a Godparent?.
  • Future Ted's comment that "not every secret was told that night" while the camera is focussed on Robin hints at the fact that Robin also has an embarrassing secret, which is later revealed in Slap Bet.
  • As Barney did not have sex with Shannon before breaking up, First Time In New York and The Yips depict when and how his first time happened.
  • In Little Boys, Marshall mentions his mother being on the phone once when he and Lily were having sex.
  • Barney's "pre-suit" life is revisited in The Yips. It is also referenced in Bagpipes, when Marshall argues that he is a better partner to Lily than Barney is to Robin because he was in a committed relationship when Barney "had a ponytail and was still playing Dave Matthews Band on [his] mamma's Cassio".
  • In The Front Porch Marshall again finishes a game by shouting the name of the game. "Bridge! I win!"
  • Barney has more blackmail material against his friends in A Change of Heart.
  • In Ducky Tie, Ted and Victoria reminisce about finding Barney's tape and playing Marshgammon, and Ted mentions still not understanding the game, despite having played it multiple times.
  • Barney reveals in Unpause that after Shannon dumped him, he "suited up", got a job at AltruCell from Greg Fisher, the guy she dumped him for, and used that job to sell Greg out to the FBI as part of an elaborate, 15-year revenge plot set to come together two months after his and Robin's wedding.


  • Barney's video, recorded by Barney to Shannon.
  • Shannon
  • The flyer that created Barney Stinson as we know him.
For a listing of all images on the wiki tagged as being from this episode, see Category:Game Night images.

Memorable Quotes

Marshall: It's called, "Marshgammon". It combines all the best features of all the best games: Candyland, I Never, Pictionary—
Robin: Backgammon, obviously.
Mashall: No, backgammon sucks. I took the only good part of backgammon, the "gammon", and I left the rest of it in the trash where it belongs.

Yahtzee!: Marshall

Barney: So Victoria, did you ever re-return to this guy?
Victoria: What?
Marshall: You said what, you got to drink!
Lily: Oh, Barney, by the way, I went to a party in that new building on 82nd, and the host said she knew you. What is her name? Sharon? Shannon?
Barney: (with a broken voice) Shannon?!(all the gang look at him with surprise) Shannon, Shannon No, don't remember any Shannon.
Lily: Really? Well, 'cause she gave me a videotape to give
Barney: (screaming)Where's the tape?
Lily: Fine. I'll go get it.
Barney: Cool, okay. You know, whenever.

Barney: How can...with your dad? I mean, I know judge not lest ye be judged, but gross!
Shannon: Barney, that's not my dad. His name's Greg. I've been seeing him for a few weeks. I was hoping you'd just leave, and we could avoid all this.
Barney: We're breaking up? But what about the Peace Corps?
Shannon: Yeah, all this granola business, it was just a phase. Greg's older. He's successful. He buys me all this cool stuff (In a way like a little girl with a new doll).
Barney: But I love you.
Shannon: But he has a boat.

Barney: But here's the real kicker: Shannon's a mom. She has a little kid named Max. That's crazy. That could have been my kid. But instead, what do I have? My whole life's some money in the bank, some suits in my closet and a string of one-night stands.
Lily: Hey. Come on.

I mean, just because her life went one way and yours went another, it doesn't make your life any worse.

Barney: My life rocks! Money, suits and sex. These are tears of joy! I could be cooped up in some tiny apartment changing some brat's poopy diapers. But instead, I'm out in the world being awesome 24-7, 365! You let me dodge a bullet, Big Guy. Plus, here's the mini-cherry on top of the regular cherry on top of the sundae of awesomeness that is my life.

After Shannon and I talked, I nailed her.

Lily: Nope.
Barney: Yeah.
Lily: Nope.
Barney: Yeah.
Lily: Sorry. Don't buy it. You're making it up. You're just trying to cover the fact that you actually had a profound moment of doubt about yourself and
Barney: (Barney show a video on his cellphone)
Shannon on phone: Oh, my God. Oh, Barney!
Barney: Video's pretty good on this phone, huh?
Shannon on phone: Is your phone on?
Barney on phone: Oh, no. It just takes a while to power down.
Lily: Ew, gross. Just stop it.
Barney: Ladies, gentlemen Ted. This has been a wonderful evening. I got great dirt on all you guys. I got Ted to tell the re-return.

I finally nailed Shannon! Told her I'd call her tomorrow. Yeah, right. And I rediscovered just how awesomely awesome my life is. Peace out, hombres!

Marshall: I think Barney just won game night.

Notes and Trivia

Goofs and Errors

  • In Ted's re-return flashback, Ranjit is shown wearing a red sweater. However, as seen in the Pilot, Ranjit was wearing a light-blue sweater.
    • In the vomit scene Ranjit is wearing a red shirt and carrying the blue sweater, but in the pilot Ranjit's shirt under the sweater does not appear to be red.
  • In the Pilot, Ted's tie didn't have stripes.
  • On the bookshelf in The Java Joint, when Barney confronts Shannon on making out with her 'father', there is a copy of Orson Scott Card's Shadow Puppets, a book published in 2002. The flashback is supposed to be in 1998.
  • Robin is seen taking a drink then a second later the bottle is back on the table and she is picking it up again.
  • When Ted recalls the places he looked for Barney he says the cigar club. However in Zip, Zip, Zip, Barney states that Ted has never been to the cigar club.
    • However, as Barney was not at the cigar club when Ted was, he was unaware of Ted ever being there.
  • When Greg first comes to the coffee shop and talks to Barney he asks for a latte. Barney gives him coffee, but does not appear to make a latte. A latte is topped with steamed milk.

Allusions and Outside References


"Off the Record" by My Morning Jacket

Other Notes

  • This is the first episode (other than the pilot) that doesn't start with the opening credits.



  • The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 8 out of 10 stars. "Each of the gang's most humiliating moments!"


External Links

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