The How I Met Your Mother Character You Should Actually Be Worried About

By Charlene Badasie | Updated

On the surface, How I Met Your Mother, the popular sitcom from 2005 to 2014, tells an epic love story with a fairytale ending. But while the show brought laughter to millions, its central character, Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor), proved problematic throughout its nine-year run. Despite the charming facade, Ted’s character exhibited a range of issues that made him more of a bad guy than a hero.

Ted Mosby Is A Villain

The biggest problem with Ted is his relentless pursuit of Robin Scherbatsky (Cobie Smulders). Ted’s infatuation with Robin begins in the pilot episode of How I Met Your Mother when he meets her at a bar. He is immediately smitten and spends the rest of the episode trying to win her over. Despite Robin’s initial reluctance, Ted eventually convinces her to date him. Throughout the series, Ted and Robin’s relationship has many ups and downs.

Ted’s Toxic Pursuit Of Robin

They date, break up, and get back together. However, despite their deep connection, Ted and Robin ultimately realize they are not meant to be together. Despite this, Ted’s feelings for Robin never truly go away. Even after he falls in love with and marries Tracy McConnell (Cristin Milioti), the mother of his children, he still pines for Robin. The show’s frustrating ending ultimately reveals that Ted’s entire tale was colored by his feelings for Robin instead of his love for his wife.

Justice For Tracy

The culmination of How I Met Your Mother in its two-part finale, “Last Forever,” drew significant criticism from fans due to Ted’s treatment of Tracy. Ted spends the entire series recounting his journey to find Tracy, who is revealed to have passed away. While the intention may have been to provide an emotional arc, the narrative twist cheapens Tracy’s character, reducing her to a means to an end.

Ted’s Obession With Robin

Ted’s decision to pursue a relationship with Tracy, have children with her, and then return to Robin after her death implies that Tracy was merely a vessel for Ted’s desire for a family rather than a partner with her own agency and significance. Ted going back to Robin after Tracy’s death reinforces his inability to move on from his obsession. This behavior is not only disrespectful to Tracy’s memory, as the story was supposed to be about how he met the mother of his children, but it also shows him as a narcissist.  

Ted Was Horrible To Women

Instead of a heartwarming tale, Ted’s ulterior motive in seeking permission from his kids to pursue Robin again ruins the essence of How I Met Your Mother. And upon closer examination, Ted’s overall treatment of women has been a glaring issue throughout the series. With over 30 women dated, Ted consistently treated them poorly. From forgetting names to dumping partners on birthdays, his behavior towards women was far from stellar.

Barney Is The Real Hero Of The Story

Still, the most damning flaw in Ted’s character is his lack of accountability for his actions. Despite engaging in questionable behavior through nine seasons of How I Met Your Mother, Ted manages to escape unscathed. In contrast, Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris) is constantly chastised by his friends, Marshall Eriksen (Jason Segel) and Lily Aldrin (Alyson Hannigan), for his womanizing ways, even as his character grows and changes.