Throughout nine seasons, with many ups and downs, and multiple rewatches since its end nearly a decade ago, fans of How I Met Your Mother have spent an awfully long time with the beloved characters, especially with the narrator and main protagonist of the show, Ted Mosby.
On the journey to meet the Mother, fans get to know Ted an insane amount, from his flaws to more flaws to even some redeeming qualities that crop up, particularly in the early seasons. Throughout those nine years, there are some major changes in Ted’s life, but also the ways in which Ted fails to change.
10 Same – Goals & Ambitions
At the start of the show, four of the five characters have high reaching career dreams, with Robin looking to be a news anchor and successful journalist, Lily looking to be an artist, and Marshall looking to save the world, all while Ted dreams of building a part of the New York skyline.
Ted is very architecturally ambitious, always looking for a big break in his career. Despite his love for being a professor, he still has that itch for architecture and successfully builds his skyscraper later in the show.
9 Changed – Became A Professor
Speaking of Ted’s time as a professor, that was a huge change in his life that came at a crucial time, after being left at the altar, with everything seemingly going wrong for him.
Helped out by the man Stella left Ted for, Tony, Ted becomes an architect professor, a job he absolutely adores, and which allows him to be as nerdy as possible about architecture and make good money while he is not designing skyscrapers.
8 Same – Love For Friends
For all of Ted’s flaws, and there are a lot, he has some redeeming qualities, one of which being the incredible love for his friends. While he oftentimes treats them pretty awfully, there is still no doubting his care for them.
He was the third wheel of Marshall and Lily for so long, but not – to them – in an annoying way, he just genuinely loved them both, then Robin speaks for herself, and while he and Barney have ups and downs, their downs do not last, and their ups are pretty high. He may be insanely self-centered and judgemental, but he does repeatedly show care for his friends.
7 Changed – Slew Of Heartbreak
Ted is on a quest for love for pretty much the entirety of the nine seasons of the show, always looking for the one, that woman to fall in love with completely and hopelessly, and build a white picket fence life with them off in the sunset.
However, this long and arduous journey takes a lot of bad turns. Ted undergoes a lot of heartbreak, a lot of which being from his own creation and some just being pretty awful, such as Stella. Either way, this heartbreak just pushed him further along in his journey towards the mother.
6 Same – Hopeless Romantic
But, just because Ted has undergone a slew of failed relationships and many heartbreaks, that does not mean he gives up; he is most definitely persistent in that regard.
From the first moments we meet Ted, he is shown to be a hopeless romantic, and through all of his relationships, from hunting down Victoria to the two-minute date with Stella, all the way to the blue french horn in the future with Robin, he retains this.
5 Changed – Buying A House & Leaving The Apartment
The main iconic setting in HIMYM, other than MaClarens, is the apartment in which Ted and Marshall move into after college, which is lived in by four of the main five gang members at one point or another, everyone except Barney.
Ted eventually buys his own house while living in the apartment, hoping to make it into a home. Ted eventually allows Marshall and Lily to move back into the apartment as he moved into another, and eventually, he moved into his forever home.
4 Same – General Personality
Ted is a Ross Gellar-esque figure in that he is a central protagonist of the show, but over the years, a large portion of the show’s audiences have come to hate him and his personality.
Unfortunately for those people, Ted never gets really changes in that regard. From the start of the show until the end, just like most of the main characters, Ted’s general personality traits remain the same, from his quirkiness to his interests to his pretentiousness, even his style and the way he dresses stays pretty consistent.
3 Changed – Found ‘The Mother’
Undoubtedly the most significant singular change in Ted’s life throughout the show, perhaps except for meeting Robin in the first few minutes, is when he finally finds the mother, Tracy McConnell, a character who, in her short time on the show, became beloved by fans.
Tracy coming into Ted’s life not only – temporarily – complete Ted’s quest to find the one but also gave him marriage, kids, a person to share his home with, and overall just a happier, more fulfilled life for a long time.
2 Same – Obsession With Robin
But then, there was Aunt Robin. The reveal that Tracy died and that the entire nine season’s worth of build-up to the mother was just a ploy by Ted to get his kid’s permission to go after Robin is the source of much anger directed towards the finale.
From the moment Ted meets Robin, he is smitten, admitting love for her on the first date. From there, Ted keeps a flame for Robin before finally letting her go so she can marry Barney. That was brief, though, and many fans feel like the more appropriate title to the show would be “How I Met Your Aunt Robin.”
1 Same – Has No Real Personal Growth
Earlier on, Ted’s personality got talked about, with it staying the same throughout most of the show, but far more egregious is the fact that Ted does not grow.
It is natural for the core personality to be the same, but from season one to season nine, Ted makes no significant growth as a person. He does not learn from his mistakes, from his past relationships, nor the persistent advice of his friends. Ted is the same guy at the end of the show that he is at the start, while Barney, Marshall, Lily, and Robin all grow in many different ways.
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