There haven’t been many characters on television that have been smoother lady’s men than Barney Stinson, Player King of New York City. But while Barney may have been the best at picking up chicks on How I Met Your Mother, he wasn’t without help, thanks to his handy-dandy Playbook.

Some people like to keep journals, some people like to write for content websites (cough), but others like to write books on how to pick up girls. That’s exactly what Barney did and he tested out dozens of his plays on unsuspecting women throughout the series. Here’s a list of the top 10 playbook moves Barney ever used on How I Met Your Mother.

10 The Call Barney Stinson

The best part of ‘The Playbook’ isn’t the episode or the various attempts that Barney makes to hit on women – it’s the fact that the playbook was turned into a real published novel and gives a detailed analysis of over one-hundred different plays.

And thanks to the published version of the Playbook, audiences know that the move Barney pulled at the Super Bowl by holding up his phone number for girls to call him was actually taken right from the pages of his self-written volume. It’s not exactly elaborate, but it definitely worked. Magic phone.

9 The Cheap Trick

One of the shortest plays that audiences got to see play out on the show (though, we’re positive that it worked) was one Barney brought up to justify that none of his ploys were cheap tricks. During the episode that fans were introduced to the Playbook, Lily accused Barney of using all of the stunts as a means of simply trying to avoid using any actual feelings, calling the plays themselves, “cheap tricks.”

Barney retorts back by saying that none of the plays are cheap tricks, except for the aptly named “The Cheap Trick” where Barney dresses up as the bass player for the band called Cheap Trick. That’s a lot of cheap tricks, but the plays certainly aren’t.


8 The Lorenzo Von Matterhorn

Let’s be honest – this play would be a heck of a lot easier to pull off today. The entire premise behind The Lorenzo Von Matterhorn is that a person creates a bunch of fake personas and websites displaying all of their fake achievements, making it seem like they’re a celebrity.

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Then the person finds a woman, drops some hints about their name and accolades, leaves while the girl does a quick internet search, and comes back to gather their newly acquired data. However, this episode came out in 2009 and required a girl to have a phone capable of searching the internet back then, and a person capable of creating a bunch of fake websites. Again, this would be way easier to pull off nowadays.

7 The He’s Not Coming

The absolute brilliance behind this play is that it can be done at virtually any spot where long-lost lovers have agreed to meet up in the future. There weren’t many women that Barney considered off-limits (unless The Playbook had a rule about it) and that included women that might have been waiting for their significant other atop the Empire State Building.

Instead of leaving the potential fairy-tale couples alone, Barney walked up to every single woman on the platform and informed them that the man they were waiting for wasn’t coming. Lily may have sabotaged this one, but we’re sure it would’ve worked eventually.

6 The Two Can Play At That Game

This play is even more diabolical than The He’s Not Coming because at least Barney was trying to find a woman who wasn’t technically with the other man yet. However, Barney just flat-out tried to scam married (or taken) women with this play by knocking on random doors and informing the woman who answered that her husband had been cheating on her with Barney’s wife.

Naturally, Barney would then suggest that the two get revenge on their spouses by sleeping with each other. Unlucky for him, the first woman he tried it on suggested they kill their spouses instead, so it’s not exactly a sure-fire play.

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5 The Jim Nacho

While the example the show used was probably more for comedic effect, the undeniable fact is that this play could probably work in real life if you chose the right product.

The Jim Nacho is a fairly simple idea: sit near a girl and her friends and wait for her to mention something that she likes, then inform the girl that your last name is the thing that she said she liked (nachos, beer, television, etc). From there, you simply convince the girl that you’re the inventor of the product she loves, and the girl takes care of the rest.

4 The My Penis Grants Wishes

Cards on the table, there isn’t a woman on earth who’s stupid enough to fall for this one (or maybe we just hope there isn’t), but that doesn’t take anything away from its comedic value. How I Met Your Mother was a sitcom after all, so they probably weren’t trying to come up with plays that would work, but this one was just hilariously outlandish.

The premise is pretty simple as a person walks into a bar donning ethnic attire and informs a girl that a genie will come out of their penis – remember, though, it’s only if you rub it hard enough.

3 The Naked Man

Barney might not have come up with this play (or succeeded at it) but it’s still one of the best plays simply because it’s guaranteed to work 2 out of 3 times. It was never in doubt that Barney was proud of his physique and ability to pick up women, but it took a brave man named Mitch to inform Barney that his physique was all that was necessary.

Again, it might have worked out better for Ted and Lily than it did for Barney, but we’re willing to bet that this wasn’t the last time Barney tried such a bold and confident move.

2 The Robin

It wasn’t the funniest or the most entertaining play, but it was arguably the best one that Barney ever pulled since it was easily the most elaborate and romantic. Seriously, talk about preparing for the endgame since this play involved months and months of planning and strategy (not to mention dating Robin’s arch-enemy which could easily have backfired if this weren’t a television show).

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But in the end, Barney got the girl (for a few more years) and did so by concocting the most thoughtful and malicious play of all time.

1 The Ted Mosby

This particular play was as clever, but a tad mean since there was no reason that Barney needed to name it after his best friend. The premise of the play is beyond simple as a person merely walks up to a woman and informs her that they got left at the altar, causing the woman to immediately shower the person with affection.

It’s as horrible as it is cunning and is even more comedic since Barney added insult to injury by dressing up in a flannel and getting a fake diamond ring for the bit. But Ted didn’t find much of an issue with the play since he tried it out himself – and for those keeping score, it worked.

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