Prior to the creation of How I Met Your Mother, Bays and Thomas wrote for a number of television shows including Late Night with David Letterman. They also wrote part two of the American Dad! episode "Stan of Arabia". In 2013 they created the TV series The Goodwin Games. In 2014, the two were working on the pilot episode of "How I Met Your Dad", which was not picked up by CBS.
Bays lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their two young daughters. Bays graduated from Wesleyan University in 1997. One of his daughters appeared at the end of Trilogy Time, another one at the end of Unpause.