How I Met Your Mother Wiki
How I Met Your Mother Wiki
For the episode, see The Playbook.
The Playbook
Playbook cover.jpg
Barney Stinson with Matt Kuhn
Jennifer Hendriks
Publication date:
October 2010
Published by:
Simon and Schuster
ISBN 978-1-4391-9683-0

The Playbook is a book authored by Barney Stinson that contains a collection of scams Barney uses for picking up women. The Playbook was first seen in the episode The Playbook. Following this episode, The Playbook was absent for a while, although Barney would still mention it and the plays it contained.  The next time we see The Playbook is season 8 episode 10 The Over-Correction where Robin breaks into Barney's apartment to reveal to Patrice (Barney's girlfriend at the time) what a player he once was and whilst doing so Robin gets herself, Ted and Lily trapped in Barney's apartment. Whilst trapped in Barney's apartment, they witness Barney burn The Playbook because Patrice said she could not date someone who had a playbook. But Barney being Barney has a spare copy even more "Legendary" than before, The Playbook makes a return but not in its full form in season 8 episode 12 The Final Page - Part Two​​​​ towards the end of the episode Ted tells Robin about Barney's proposal to Patrice on the top of the World Wide News Network. Robin, wanting to tell Barney she loves him, goes to the top of the World Wide News Network. She arrives at the roof to find that Barney and Patrice aren't there, all that is there is a page of The Playbook left on the floor. Picking it up Robin reads about Barney's long and complex plan to get her to marry him. The Playbook returns in season 8 episode 18 Weekend at Barney's​​​​ After Ted has a rough break up with crazy girl, Jeanette, Barney breaks out The Playbook to help Ted score a girl. At the episode's end, the backup Playbook is destroyed by Jeanette when she tosses all of Ted's belongings. In season 9 episode 17 Sunrise we witness the return of The Playbook near to the end of the episode. After Barney has taught two young men "how to live," training them in the ways of suiting up, he hands them a stack of napkins containing the the plays of the Playbook written in marker, passing on his knowledge to the next generation. Barney writes The Playbook II: Electric-Bang-a-Loo in 2019 in Last Forever - Part Two to achieve his goal of a Perfect Month.

An actual published version of The Playbook is also available.

Actual Published Version

The episode version is a large, leather-bound book. It contains various scams including:

  • The SNASA (page 3): Barney goes up to a girl and claims he works for a secret government agency called "SNASA", or "Secret NASA", and claims to have been to the identically-named "SMoon".
  • The Cheap Trick (page 86): Barney claims that he is the bass player of a rock band with the ironic name of "Cheap Trick" (a real-life band).
  • The My Penis Grants Wishes (page 31): Dressed as a genie, Barney claims that his penis, like a magic lamp, grants wishes if one rubs it hard enough.
  • The He's Not Coming (page 27): Barney goes to the observation deck of the Empire State Building (a rather romantic setting) and tells random women "He's not coming" until one breaks down in his arms with the realization that their boyfriend isn't coming for whatever reason.
  • The Don't Drink That (page 7): Barney stops a girl from drinking a drink, and then claims that Ted slipped something in there, resulting in Ted getting tackled by the bartender.
  • The Ted Mosby (page 52): Dressed like Ted, Barney says he was left at the altar.
  • The Mrs. Stinsfire (page 117): Barney poses as a maid at a school in order to see girls in the bathroom. This is a tribute to the film, Mrs. Doubtfire.
  • The Lorenzo Von Matterhorn (page 78): Barney creates several fake websites that make him look like an extremely famous and noble person named Lorenzo Von Matterhorn, then tricks a girl into seeing the sites and become interested in him.
  • The Scuba Diver (page 136; the last page, which was torn out of the book as part of the elaborate plot): Entire process is the episode The Playbook.
  • The Time Traveler (page 46):

Page numbers given above correspond to the published version.

Published version

The published version contains many more plays beyond those given in the episode. Some, like The My Penis Grants Wishes, have been refined.

The book is divided into five groups of plays for: The beginner, the amateur, chicks, the weekend warrior, and the advanced. It also includes troubleshooting and FAQ, an assessment to determine what group of the above the reader falls into, introduction and how to information and a history of the playbook.

The published version was announced in Barney's Blog in an entry entitled The Playbook!.

Plays featured in other episodes

Barney Stinson vte
Friends & Family Robin ScherbatskyTed MosbyMarshall EriksenLily AldrinLeslieLoretta StinsonJames StinsonEli StinsonSadie StinsonTomSam GibbsJerome WhittakerCheryl WhittakerJ.J. WhittakerCarly WhittakerEllie Stinson
Places MacLaren's PubBarney's apartmentGoliath National BankAltruCell CorporationLusty LeopardLaser TagStinson housePuzzlesTotal Rip Fitness
Phrases AwesomeSuit UpLegendaryHave you metTrue StoryWait for itChallenge AcceptedWhat UpPatent PendingThat's The DreamJust... O.K.?Stinson OutPleaseDaddy's home
Others Barney's Blog83Ted's best friendP.L.E.A.S.E.Barney's magicBarney's WeddingHigh FivesThe Bro CodeThe Playbook (book)The Threeway BeltDucky Tie (object)The Eight SlapsNothing Suits Me Like a SuitTuxedo NightBarney's Get Psyched MixParty School BingoPlatinum RuleLemon LawHot/Crazy ScaleThe Mermaid Theory (theory)Freeway TheoryThe Chain of Screaming (theory)The Ewok LineIntervention bannerThe International Date LineFive WordsFake History LessonFake listeningBarney's guysDibsBackwards perspective