How I Met Your Mother Episodes

2005, TV Show

How I Met Your Mother Episode: "Robin 101"

Season 5, Episode 3
Episode Synopsis: Robin thinks Barney's cheating, but she soon sees it's just the opposite: He's spending his nights getting lessons from Ted on how to date Robin.
Original Air Date: Oct 5, 2009
Guest Cast Lyndsy Fonseca: Daughter David Henrie: Son Olga Fonda: Candy Bob Saget
Full Episode
click to playclick to play
Season 5, Episode 3
Paid | iTunes
Length: 21:36
Aired: 10/5/2009
Also available on Amazon Prime and VUDU
play more info

How I Met Your Mother Episode Recap: "Robin 101" Season 5, Episode 3

In this week's episode, a clueless Barney taps into Ted's vast array of knowledge about all things Robin in order to be a better boyfriend. But how will Robin feel when she finds out about this arrangement?

Robin tells Ted and Lily that she's not sure this whole relationship thing with Barney is really working out. Out of habit, he still tries to sneak out in the middle of the night. And he's not really there for her during the tough emotional times. She's worried that Barney doesn't have what it takes to be boyfriend material.

Ted takes note of this, and later, at MacLaren's, he relays Robin's misgivings to Barney and encourages him to try harder to be there for her emotionally. Barney agrees, except: "This is just me, but I like my testicles attached to my body rather than rolling around next to some eyeliner in Robin's purse. Stinson out!"

Nevertheless, Future Ted tells us that over the next couple of weeks, Barney pulled a complete 180 and became a super-thoughtful and considerate boyfriend. So of course, Robin gets freaked out and thinks that Barney is cheating on her. She tells Lily that he's been "working late" a lot lately, but he's never actually at work when she calls. Robin is so convinced that Barney is being unfaithful that she wants to break into his briefcase and rummage around for evidence. Lily thinks this is a bad idea and very un-Robin. But the second Lily's distracted, Robin uses a sledgehammer (they keep a sledgehammer in their apartment?) to break open the briefcase. She finds a college notebook, and her first thought is that Barney is cheating on her with a college girl. But as she begins reading through it, she realizes that it includes very detailed notes about her. "Why would Barney have a notebook full of information about me?" Robin wonders.

And, as Future Ted tells us, it's because Barney is taking a class from Ted called "Robin 101." It's a win-win situation — Ted gets to practice teaching (and he dated Robin for a year, so he's an expert), and Barney gets to learn how to be a better boyfriend. Besides, they couldn't talk about Robin at the bar because Robin could drop in at any time, so Ted's classroom was as good a place as any.

The problem is that Barney is not exactly the world's greatest student. He's easily bored, distracted, whiny, and tweets on his cell phone when he thinks Ted's not looking. Ted gets straight with him: "I love you and I love Robin, and I want to make this work. So if you can give me two weeks of attention, I can give you a lifetime of happiness. Can you do that for me?"

Ted begins by going over Robin's facial expressions with Barney. The first involves unfocused eyes and a queasy expression, both of which signal hunger. If Barney sees that look, food is a priority if he doesn't want Robin to start laughing inappropriately or falling asleep in strange places. But the most important expression of all is Robin's Angry!Face. Ted flips to a slide featuring said Angry!Face and it is truly terrifying. "If you ever, ever see this face," Ted says, "run. And don't take a picture of it. She will punch you. And you will cry." Apparently crying in front of Robin is a huge no-no.

Ted moves onto the next topic: "Diffusing the Bomb." If Robin is displaying Angry!Face, Barney can keep her from progressing into shoe-throwing mode by distracting her with one of three topics:

  1. The Vancouver Canucks Division 2004 title
  2. Proper gun cleaning and maintenance
  3. Emperor penguins (Apparently they bow to each other before getting busy, and it's adorable.)

Ted drops some more Robin knowledge on Barney. "She doesn't say 'I love you' like a normal person," he says. "Instead, she'll laugh, shake her head, give you a little smile, and say, 'You're an idiot.' If she tells you you're an idiot, you're a lucky man. And if she does say 'I love you,' she's already broken up with you in her mind." Aww, Ted, are you sure you're not confusing Robin with Stella?

Moving on!

Top 5 things Never to Do Around Robin:

  1. Mention hockey's lack of popularity in the U.S.
  2. Cry
  3. Play the "Guess Who" game (Ted tried that once, and she freaked out and flipped him)
  4. Never show Robin a YouTube clip of an animal playing a musical instrument, unless you want to watch it over and over again.

We never do find out what the fifth thing is, because by now Barney has dozed off. Ted gets pissed and calls him out for his bad attitude. Barney gives him the thumbs-down, and asks, "Can you hear this, Ted? Well, maybe I should turn it up." And he flips it to a thumbs-up sign. (Future Ted implies that Barney was actually using a different finger, but we don't see it.) So Ted gives Barney a pop quiz, and Barney answers every question correctly. "I guess you're right," Ted says. "You haven't learned anything. I guess I've wasted your time." And he grabs his bag and starts to head out the door.

And then — and then — in a sequence that I will be re-watching over and over again until my DVR wears out, my favorite TV show gives a legendary shout-out to my favorite movie of all time. Barney stands on his desk and shouts after Ted: "Oh, Captain, my Captain!" They even use the music from the film, that's how awesome this scene is. Ted stops short at the door, turns around, and says, "How awesome was Dead Poets Society?" Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, if you're reading this, can I give you a hug?

Meanwhile, back at the apartment, Robin, Lily, and Marshall have been reading through Barney's notes. They realize that the class is currently taking place, and they rush down to Columbia so that Robin can confront Ted and Barney. Ted looks up from his Cover Hog lesson just as Robin storms in. It's Angry!Face Robin, in the flesh. Barney tries to diffuse the situation by using his newfound knowledge about emperor penguins, but Robin's too far gone. She's really kind of creeped out by the whole concept of this class. Especially when she finds out that another kid is auditing the class... and standing in for Robin during classroom role-play. Eww!

Robin takes Ted to task for presuming to be an expert on her. For one thing, her left knee is not an erogenous zone. And then she turns to Barney to say that her earlier suspicions were right: He was cheating. He wasn't being unfaithful, but he was trying to skip over the part of a relationship where you learn all about the other person just by being with them. Frustrated, she storms out.

Later, Ted apologizes to Robin for sharing so much personal stuff with Barney. He points out that it's a shame that when you break up with someone, all the personal trivia you've learned about them becomes useless, or "the emotional equivalent of an English degree." Robin voices her concerns about Barney, and Ted reassures her by saying that he's seen Barney work really hard to get women, and to get rid of women... but he's never seen Barney work so hard to keep one.

So Robin goes to talk to Barney, who immediately apologizes and says he's done taking classes from Ted. He explains that he's afraid that Robin will break up with him, and that's why he went to Ted. Robin laughs, shakes her head, gives him a little smile, and says, "You're an idiot." Barney smiles, they kiss, and I melt into a recapper-sized puddle of goo.

In other news, Marshall tried to give away a barrel. Seriously, that was just about it for Marshall this week.

Your turn! What did you love and not love about this episode? Did you think the Robin 101 class was sweet or just plain creepy? Are we getting too much Barney/Robin bromance at the expense of other storylines? Did you wish we'd gotten more story regarding Marshall and his barrel? Any other Dead Poets Society fans out there? Talk all about it in the comments!

show less

In this week's episode, a clueless Barney taps into Ted's vast array of knowledge about all things Robin in order to be a better boyfriend. But how will Robin feel when she finds out about this arrangement?
read more

Are You Watching?

Loading ...
Premiered: September 19, 2005, on CBS
Rating: TV-PG
User Rating: (1,937 ratings)
Add Your Rating: 1 stars2 stars3 stars4 stars5 stars
Premise: A man named Ted tells his kids how he met the love of his life, through flashbacks, years in the future. The bored kids sit on the couch and listen as dad regales them with tales of his pursuit of romance. The sitcom's secondary character, Ted's smarmy friend, Barney, is a real standout, often stealing the show.



Wait For It: The Legen-dary Story of How I Met Your Mother
Buy Wait For It: The Legen-dary Story of How I Met Your Mother from
From ECW Press (Paperback)
Usually ships in 24 hours
Buy New: $14.36 (as of 3:36 PM EST - more info)
How I Met Your Mother: Season 6
Buy How I Met Your Mother: Season 6 from
From 20th Century Fox (DVD)
Usually ships in 24 hours
Buy New: $13.88 (as of 3:36 PM EST - more info)

More Products

TV GUIDE Users' Most Popular