The LEGENDARY Barney Stinson High-Five Playbook

1340
Barney high five HIMYM

Updated 4/5/21

Barney Stinson was truly the most unique character in How I Met Your Mother. Running on a combination of testosterone, Red Bull, and pure bursts of manic energy, his enthusiasm and personality very quickly won over fans everywhere.

I could make a case that Barney Stinson is Neil Patrick Harris’ greatest work (aside from Doogie, of course).

Along with his zany schemes and fake history lessons, Barney also taught us that there is a high-five for all occasions. He dished out 25 epic ones during the course of the series’ run, and they are hilarious and unforgettable.

Here is a guide of ALL the legendary high-fives given by The Man in the Kickass Suit. So without further dudes, let’s dive in!

25 Barney Stinson High Fives We’ll Never Forget

#1: The Hypothetical High-Five

Source: We Heart It

High-Five Context

After Lily leaves Marshall to pursue her dream of becoming an artist in San Francisco, Barney insists on taking Marshall out to meet some ladies. Marshall does his best, but Barney continually steals the ladies for himself every time he and Marshall go out.

At one point, Barney tells Marshall how great he was with the girl the night before. Marshall replies bitterly that Barney had gone home with her. Barney says to Marshall that the girl had told him that Marshall would have had a shot with her if it weren’t for Barney.

Therefore, in hypothetical terms, Marshall did score with her. Barney then calls for a Hypothetical High-Five.

What it Was

Barney waits for a moment, then says, “Nice!”

Episode

The Scorpion and the Toad

#2: The Freeze Frame High-Five

freeze frame five himym
Source: We Heart It

High-Five Context

Barney and Robin start hanging out, with Robin serving as Barney’s “bro” in Ted’s absence. Robin makes a funny joke about Ted’s lack of a sex life with his girlfriend, Victoria. Barney laughs and calls for a Freeze-Frame High-Five.

What it Was

Barney and Robin (with huge smiles on their faces) go in for a high-five, and freeze at the peak like the epic ending of a TV show.

Episode

Zip, Zip, Zip

#3: The Self-Five

Source: Meme Generator

High-Five Context

In The Broath, when the gang is at Ted’s apartment for one of their many, many interventions (though this one is about Barney’s new girlfriend Quinn- making it a “Quinn-tervention”) Barney brushes off their concerns that Quinn is just using him for his money.

Quinn then appears behind him, having heard part of it, and asks Barney what’s going on. Although reluctant to tell her what the intervention is about, he is talked into it by the gang.

An irate Barney says, “Fine, I’ll fill her in. And I am so angry I’m not even gonna make a joke about ‘filling her in’. Which I did three times last night, self-five!”

What it Was

The simple act of Barney high-fiving himself in a self-congratulatory manner.

Episodes

Slutty PumpkinThe BroathThe Stamp Tramp, and Last Forever – Part Two

#4: High-Two

High-Five Context

During game night, with the gang and Ted’s new girlfriend gathered at the apartment, Barney begins to tell the story about his humiliating breakup with his ex-girlfriend, Shannon.

The story is told via flashback scenes, which show Barney as a long-haired hippie working at a coffee shop with Shannon. An arrogant asshat in a suit comes in, is impressed to learn that Shannon is Barney’s girlfriend, and offers him a high-five.

What it Was

Barney informs him that he only gives “High Twos”, which he then demonstrates by raising two fingers to show the classic “Peace” sign.

Episode

Game Night

#5: The Phone-Five

Source: Meme Center

High-Five Context

Barney is in a cab, talking to Ted on the phone and trying to persuade Ted to join him for a night out of picking up chicks. He declares the night is going to be legendary and calls for a Phone-Five.

What it Was

Barney slapping the receiver of his phone to pass the Phone-Five to Ted. Unfortunately, Ted doesn’t return it, prompting Barney to say, “You didn’t Phone-Five did you? I know when you don’t Phone-Five, Ted.”

Episode

Sweet Taste of Liberty

#6: The Arthritis-Five

Source: Fandom

High-Five Context

Barney has gotten carried away, keeping on the disguise of an old man he had used in an earlier gambit. He is determined to prove to the gang that he will still be as awesome as he is now when he is in his 80s.

What it Was

Barney (in full-character and speaking in an old-man voice) calls for an “Arthritis Five”, raising a shaking arm and extending only two of his five fingers.

Episode

Intervention

#6: The Solemn Low Five

Source: Meme

High-Five Context

When the gang makes their annual plans to watch the Superbowl together, their plans are put on hold when they’re told a bartender at MacLaren’s has just passed away, and they are expected to attend the funeral (instead of watching the Superbowl).

Ted suggests to the gang that they’ll stop in, pay their respects, and watch the game the next night to keep their tradition alive. Barney enthusiastically agrees, calling for a high-five.

Ted sternly reminds Barney that they’re at a wake, to which Barney responds, to suit the occasion, “Oh, ok…Solemn Low Five.”

What it Was

Barney lowers his voice and his hands so that the gang can give him a low-five.

Episode

Monday Night Football

#7: The HIGHEST of Fives

Source: BeBee

High-Five Context

Barney is excited to be closing in on his goal of sleeping with 200 women. When he tells Ted this, he requests “The Highest of Fives”.

What it Was

Barney basically lifting his hand way higher than usual. A higher-five than he customarily gives. The High-EST Five, in fact. Regretfully, however, Ted didn’t give it to him.

Episode

Right Place, Right Time

#8: The Condolence-Five

Source: 9 Gags

High-Five Context

Barney has been dating a stripper named Quinn for a little while now, and while he tries to bask in the fact that he’s dating a stripper, he struggles every night with the knowledge that Quinn is out doing God-knows-what with God-knows-who until her shift ends the next morning.

As he is explaining this to Ted, Barney says that most people would give him a high-five for dating a stripper. But if they knew how much he is struggling with insecurity and jealousy, “those high-fives would be high-fives of condolence.”

Ted insists that Condolence Fives are not a thing, with Barney rebutting that it is totally a thing.

What it Was

The scene then flashes back to a time Barney had to fire someone at Goliath National Bank. Barney tells the man that they’re going to have to let him go. He then softly says, “Up top!” with his hand raised for a Condolence-Five.

Later, when Ted makes a joke to Barney about seeing Quinn’s breasts, he immediately realizes he went too far and raises a hand, saying softly, “My condolences”. Barney hesitates for a moment, before accepting Ted’s apologetic Condolence-Five.

Episode

Good Crazy

#9: The Mental-Self-Five

Source: Pinterest

High-Five Context

Marshall and Lily have been so preoccupied taking care of newborn baby Marvin that the rest of the gang hasn’t seen them in a long time.

When they do finally return to MacLaren’s Pub to meet up with the gang and do a brief catch-up, Barney and Robin hide their true feelings when asked how their love lives are going, answering, “Everything’s great”.

At the same time, interior monologues in Barney and Robin’s heads can be heard, expressing their real thoughts.

Barney flashes back to his latest night of amore, with his inner voice saying, “Not an eight. At best, she was a six, six and a half. More like a four by the time I was done with her. Mental self-five!”

What it Was

The sound of a slap within Barney’s interior monologue indicated that he mentally self-fived himself.

Episode

Who Wants to Be a Godparent?

#10: The Relapse-Five

High-Five Context

Ted and Robin have been keeping their distance from each other for a long time, following their breakup the year before.

When Robin invites the gang over to her apartment to help her make pies on the eve of Thanks (Slaps) giving, Ted arrives only to find out that Marshall and Lily won’t be able to come because they’re swamped preparing to host everyone the next day.

Ted is therefore stuck in Robin’s apartment alone, where he eventually tries to clear the air with her about them avoiding each other. Robin reciprocates, and the two of them hug.

This somehow leads to a kiss, which leads to the bedroom, which leads to Ted and Robin having sex.

Barney laughs as Ted tells them the story of what happened at Thanksgiving the next day, and gleefully calls for a “Relapse Five”.

What it Was

As Barney explains, the Relapse Five is “where we high-five, then it’s awkward for a little bit…and then we high-five again!”

Episode

Slapsgiving

#11: The Almighty-Five

Source: Pinterest

High-Five Context

When Barney overhears Lily and Marshall mention a website that could help them find a potential new nanny to take care of their son Marvin, he is overjoyed to hear that so many pretty nannies are that easily accessible.

With a declaration that “the big Bro in the sky had answered my prayers”, Barney is so grateful that he offers a high-five to God Himself.

What it Was

Barney reverently lifts up a hand with a whispered, “Almighty-Five”. A second later, Barney’s hand is seemingly struck by an unseen force that makes him wince and say, “Ow”.

It is implied that “The Big Bro in the Sky” answered Barney’s request for the Almighty-Five. Unfortunately for Barney, it would appear that God accidentally chose to use his Smiting hand for that particular bout of social contact.

Episode

Nannies

#12: The Retraction-Five

High-Five Context

When Ted begins seeing a girl much younger than him, he can’t resist bragging to Barney about it just a bit. Barney, whose engagement to Robin is still fresh, is struggling with “withdrawal symptoms” (the result of not having sex with random women for a prolonged period of time).

He eagerly tries to live vicariously through Ted and is extremely interested in the accounts of Ted’s sex-capades with the girl- until Ted shows him a picture on his phone of the girl, and Barney realizes Ted has been sleeping with his half-sister Carly Whittaker.

Barney briefly loses himself for a second, high-fiving Ted seemingly involuntarily as Ted tells him more of his sex-capades with Carly. Barney immediately regrets the high-five, so he initiates the retraction-five.

What it Was

Immediately following the first high-five, Barney is horrified with himself and attempts to take back the high-five by bringing his hand back up to Ted’s and then withdraws it quickly, while making a sound that mimics backward speech.

Barney has therefore taken back both the physical high-five and his verbal initiation of the high-five.

Episode

Ring Up

#13: The Angry Self-Five

Source: Pinterest

High-Five Context

When Robin is showing “The Fortress of Barnitude” to prospective buyers, she says, “If you’ll follow me into the bedroom, I’ll show you some beautiful woodwork.”

Barney, fuming about Robin bringing people to look at his apartment, responds with, “I am way too upset right now to point out how many women have seen some beautiful woodwork in there. Angry self-five!”

What it Was

Barney self-fiving himself, combining it with an angry roar.

Episode

The Fortress

#14: The Prayer-Five

Source: Pinterest

High-Five Context

When Robin and Barney are sitting in the office of a stuffy, short-fused minister who is due to perform the marriage ceremony, the Reverend begins listing off the long-winded list of rules he has for anyone who wants to attend his church.

Barney turns to Robin in the middle of it and whispers, “Reverend? More like Never-end.

What it Was

Barney and Robin discreetly move their hands in a motion replicating the Sign of the Cross (up, down, left, right) before making contact with the backs of their hands. Nicely choreographed!

Episode

Knight Vision

#15: The High-Six

high six how I met your mother ted and barney

High-Five Context

While Ted is sitting in MacLarens Pub, he is stunned by the beauty of a young lady sitting by the bar. He deliberates the best way to make his move, until his ex-girlfriend Cindee shows up and begins talking with the girl.

It is clear that Cyndee is the person with whom the girl is meeting. Cyndee then sees Ted, pulls him aside, and apologizes for the way she had initially handled their breakup a few years before.

She offers Ted the chance to meet one of her friends, and tells him to come to say goodbye before he leaves.

When Ted relays this information to Barney and Robin back at his booth, Barney is ecstatic that Ted might actually meet and land the beautiful girl, so he offers Ted a “High-Six” because “you are so in, a regular high-five doesn’t cut it”.

What it Was

Barney and Ted raise the five fingers on one hand and one hand on the other so that the five fingers and one finger meet. It does not have the effect Ted and Barney were hoping it would, however.

Ted: She didn’t see us High Six did she?

Robin: No.

Barney: Good. That was pretty lame.

Ted: Yeah, let’s never do that again.

Episode

Big Days

#16: The Mushroom Cloud-Five

Source: Pinterest

High-Five Context

Once Barney and Robin become engaged, Robin initially persuades Barney to sell his beloved penthouse apartment, “The Fortress of Barnitude” so that they can get a new place together.

Barney is not pleased about this, and when Robin does an open house for prospective buyers, Barney enthusiastically shows them different cool features he has installed in his apartment.

One of these features is “The Room With a View”, a fake window designed to display a variety of different locations, depending on the girl he is trying to get to sleep with him.

There is a setting on there that shows footage of a mushroom cloud explosion, which is designed to scare the girl into thinking it’s the end of times and get her to have sex with him because she believes she has nothing to lose.

What it Was

After Barney explains this feature to the prospective buyer, he makes rumbling explosion noises while moving his hand slowly upward (emulating the physics of the mushroom cloud explosion) until his hand reaches the prospective buyer’s hand. He then ends the high-five with a feigned final explosion and withdraws his hand.

Episode

The Fortress

#17: The Get This Over With Quickly So We Can Move Past How Awkward It Was That I Just Said That-Five

Source: Parada Temporal

High-Five Context

Barney and his mother Loretta are having a conversation over breakfast the day before his wedding, about the bad blood currently happening between Robin and Loretta.

Barney tells Loretta that all Robin wants to do is “put this whole thing behind her, so that she can get married and put THIS whole thing behind her” (referring to himself, of course).

What it Was

Normal high-five, whose name derives from the shock factor of Barney having just said what he said to his own mother. Luckily, Loretta (who got around quite a bit herself back in her heyday) grudgingly reciprocates the high-five.

Episode

The Lighthouse

#18: The Tiny-Five

Source: Acid Cow

High-Five Context

When Barney makes a joke during Career Day in Lily’s kindergarten class, he high-fives the nearest kindergarten student.

What it Was

Normal high-five, but with a kindergartner whose hands are much smaller than Barney’s.

Episode

Nothing Good Happens After 2 A.M.

#19: The Bondage-Five

Source: Buzzfeed

High-Five Context

Barney says that marrying Robin frees him from “the shackles of having sex with lots of different women”. He then follows that up with, “Although Robin and I still use the shackles.”

What it Was

Barney tries to high-five Robin, but can’t do it because his hand is restrained by an imaginary chain. Also, he feigns garbled mouth noises, implying that his speech is impaired by an imaginary bondage muzzle in his mouth.

Episode

Coming Back

#20: The Door-Five

Source: Fandom

High-Five Context

When Barney and Robin (who both are stubbornly avoiding commitment and labels as much as they can) are locked in a bedroom and ordered by Lily to “define the relationship”, Barney makes a clever joke from the other side of the door.

What it Was

Since Ted is on the outside and out of high-five range when Barney makes his joke, Barney is forced to resort to a door-five (which consists of slapping his palm against the door and hoping Ted’s hand is waiting on the other side to receive it).

Ted did not, in fact, receive the door-five, though he told Barney he did just to get it over with.

Episode

Definitions

#21: The Motility-Five

High-Five Context

Barney finds out from Marshall that after weeks of worrying that his sperm didn’t work to get Lily pregnant, he was told by the doctor not to worry because he in fact has some “strong swimmers”.

What it Was

Barney imitates the slow wavy ascension of a sperm cell with his hand, until his hand reaches Marshall’s.

Episode

Bad News

#22: The Wordplay-Five

High-Five Context

Barney says to Marshall that on “Not a Father’s Day”, he’s sure to get a “Thai” he would actually wear.

What it Was

Normal high-five, right after making clever wordplay.

Episode

Not a Father’s Day

#23: The High-V

Source: Fandom

High-Five Context

During one of Barney’s fake history lessons (this one about “Desperation Day”), the scene has Ted and Barney in Ancient “Bro-man” Times. Barney makes a clever sex joke, to which Ted says (to fit the time period’s use of Roman Numerals), “High V.”

What it Was

Normal high five

Episode

Desperation Day

#24: The Claw-Five

claw five himym
Source: Blogspot

High-Five Context

Marshall and Barney are in the office of “Toy Guy”, a coworker at GNB who earned his nickname by having an obscene amount of toys in his office.

Toy Guy appears to be the head of Human Resources, because during this scene, he is reading the new overtime policy for GNB.

Barney and Marshall don’t even notice how much worse the new policy is, because the energy is high and they were given Wolverine Claws to play with.

What it Was

Essentially a freeze-frame high-five, using the Wolverine claw on Barney’s and Marshall’s hands.

Episode

Mosbius Designs

#25: The High INFINITY

high infinity himym
Source: Barney Stinson Blog

High-Five Context

As Ted prepares to leave Barney and Robin’s wedding for a new start in Chicago, Barney wonders aloud who he’s going to high-five if “I see a pack of lions fighting a tyrannosaurus. Or better yet, what if I see boobs???”

Ted suggests “a high five to echo throughout eternity.” Barney agrees, adding that in this high five, “will be all the high-fives we’ve ever high-fived”. Ted adds “and all the high-fives we could ever POSSIBLY high-five”.

Thus, the “High Infinity” was born.

What it Was

Barney and Ted each ran to opposite ends of the Farhampton Inn’s patio, then ran at each other and landed the most epic high-five of all time!

As this high five truly would be the last of the special high fives before How I Met Your Mother ended, it would resonate not just in Ted and Barney’s hands, but in the hands and hearts of all the fans that had come to love the gang so much over the years.

Episode

Last Forever- Part One.