How I Met Your Father's Charlie makes a grand gesture to prove his love to Valentina, which copies Barney burning The Playbook for Robin.


How I Met Your Father’s character Charlie makes a grand romantic gesture that repeats Barney Stinson burning The Playbook in HIMYM. Aside from his blog and many catchphrases, HIMYM’s Barney Stinson was particularly notable for his extensive Playbook, which was later revealed to be a physical book full of his elaborate ideas for picking up women. In HIMYM season 8, Barney makes the most significant sacrifice to his playboy routine when he burns The Playbook in a trash bin for Patrice, though this is really done to prove to Robin his womanizing days are over.


Although How I Met Your Father is a spinoff repeating the original show’s narrative setup, the series’ characters don’t particularly align with the personalities of HIMYM’s protagonists. Because of this, How I Met Your Father doesn’t necessarily have a womanizing anti-relationship character like Barney Stinson, with each character in the spinoff focused on pursuing a romantic partner. However, How I Met Your Father has repeated some of Barney’s arcs in putting his playboy persona behind him, particularly with the character of Charlie (Tom Ainsley).


While Charlie and Barney are completely different characters, How I Met Your Father episode 6 reveals that Charlie has a Casanova past with many women. However, Charlie bouncing around different whirlwind relationships with women wasn't about conquest or sleeping with them like it is for Barney, as Charlie actually falls for his significant others. Charlie’s How I Met Your Father story began with him moving from London to New York City to be with Valentina, though she discovers this isn’t the first time he’s left the comfort of his wealthy family for a girl. Valentina discovers that Charlie’s passport stamps typically represent a different girl for whom he moved to another nation to be with, which makes Valentina believe she’s just another girl in his string of quick romances. Proving How I Met Your Father's Valentina is different, Charlie burns his passport in a trash bin, thus telling her he doesn’t need to travel around for other women. This romantic gesture repeats Barney’s Playbook burning, in which told Robin he no longer needed elaborate strategies to pick up women.


In both cases, Charlie and Barney are proving to their significant others that their playboy days are behind them and will be loyal to the relationship. In a situation Robin never thought would come, Barney burning his Playbook was stipulated by the notion that it was part of his last play, which would end in him getting engaged to Robin. Charlie burning his passport in How I Met Your Father similarly allowed Valentina to tell him that she loved him, with Charlie returning the sentiment. Although Charlie isn’t a playboy in the same fashion as HIMYM’s Barney Stinson, it took an act of literally burning the tool with which they accomplished their past romances in order to finally move into a fully committed relationship.


While The Playbook and passport burnings proved Barney and Charlies’ love for Robin and Valentina, Barney’s future suggests Charlie’s romances also aren’t completely over. Barney actually had a second copy of The Playbook when he burned the first one, thus making it a fairly empty gesture. Similarly, Charlie will have to get another passport in the future if he ever wants to leave the country - especially since he’s not a citizen. Charlie is still far more emotionally mature in How I Met Your Father than Barney was in HIMYM, so it does still stand to reason that he and Valentina can make their relationship last longer than Barney and Robin.