How I Met Your Mother Wiki
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For one of Barney's many theories, see Platinum Rule.
The Platinum Rule

HIMYM episode 3x11 (55)

Platinum rule - barney and wendy.png
First aired:
December 10, 2007
Pamela Fryman
Carter Bays
Craig Thomas

Images (5)

Ted wants to ask out his dermatologist against the gang's advice. They take turns recounting tales of how relationships with people they saw on a regular basis have backfired.


Ted tells the others he is planning on taking out his tattoo removal doctor, Stella Zinman, to a movie. They all think it is a bad idea and Barney explains why. The Platinum Rule means you should never date someone you will see on a regular basis. Barney states that such relationships never work out in the end and lead to never-ending suffering as those involved would constantly see each other. Barney highlights the eight stages which this relationship inevitably goes through and applies his theory on three previous failed relationships: his dating of Wendy the Waitress in 2005, Marshall and Lily befriending their neighbors in 2006, and Robin dating co-anchor Curt Irons in 2007.

The stages are:

  1. Attraction
  2. Bargaining
  3. Submission
  4. Perks
  5. Tipping Point
  6. Purgatory
  7. Confrontation
  8. Fall Out
  9. Co-existence (added by Ted)


Future References (Contains Spoilers)

  • Ted's movie "date" with Stella appears in Ten Sessions, including her informing him that she is not allowed to date patients due to a rule from the American Medical Association
  • Marshall and Lily's search for couple friends appears in Perfect Week, Double Date, and The Sexless Innkeeper.
  • Ted argues that if his relationship with Stella "does is not going to be because of some rule." In Shelter Island, Stella leaves Ted at the altar because he violates the rule about never inviting an ex to one's wedding.
  • In Happily Ever After, Ted lets go of his anger at Stella for moving in with Tony after their break-up in the way Future Ted describes when proposing "Co-existence" as the ninth step of the Platinum Rule.
  • Barney's paranoia about Wendy the Waitress trying to kill him is referenced again in Sorry, Bro. In the same episode, Robin mentions having lunch with Curt after they break up.


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

Memorable Quotes

Wendy: Wow! That was an interesting use of the beverage gun!
Barney: Club soda can get anything off.
After having sex behind the bar

Ted: Well, I'm sick of all the rules! There's too many of them. The Hot/Crazy Scale, the Lemon Law, the Platinum Rule. If everyone in the world followed every one of your rules, the human race would cease to exist. Yes, chances are Stella and I are not gonna live happily ever after. The overwhelming odds have it ending badly. And when that happens, it'll be for one of a million possible reasons. But that doesn't mean I'm not gonna try. And when it does fail, so help me God, it's not gonna be because of some rule.

Notes and Trivia

Goofs and Errors

  • When playing charades with the Girards during the Tipping Point section both Girards are seen acting out the same clue which is not how you play charades.
  • Ted claims that the (real) Golden Rule, to do to others as you would want them to do to you, is from the Bible. However, the biblical verse that Ted is referencing is actually much closer to Barney's golden rule than Ted's (Matthew 22:39 "And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’"). Also, Barney's golden rule predates Christianity and can be found in almost all major religions, and was not actually named the "Golden Rule" until the 17th century.

Allusions and Outside References

  • While Robin is dating "the Ironman", she mentions he was able to get them into the hockey locker room, where she met Mason Raymond (who is an actual player).
  • When Barney says that he can't hit on women in his own bar, that he used to be a lion going in for the kill; Ted asks if he has a meat locker at home full of corpses, which is a reference to American Psycho.


Other Notes

  • It was the last episode to be aired before the 2007–08 Writers Guild of America strike, which lasted for 100 days.  Commentary for this episode was provided by Carter Bays, Pam Fryman (director), and Sue Federman (editor), and much of it focused on how the rest of the staff coped with Bays' and Thomas' absence due to the strike to produce this episode.  The commentary is available on the season 3 DVD.
  • Three nested flashbacks occur: During a 2007 flashback to Robin's story, a 2006 flashback to Marshall and Lily's story occurs, during which a 2005 flashback to Barney's story occurs, ending with him telling the others "Yeah, well, I think it'll be OK". After the flashback ends, Barney concludes "... and it was a huge mistake"; the others' stories end similarly.
  • The Girards seem to live in the same apartment as Mrs. Matsen.



  • Omar G at Television Without Pity gave the episode a B.[1]
  • Donna Bowman of the AV Club rated the episode B+. [2]
  • The St. Petersburg Comic Review gave this episode 7.5 stars out of 10. "Barney's classic eight steps."


External Links

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