Ted Mosby

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Ted Mosby
How I Met Your Mother character
Josh Radnor - Sundance Film Festival 2013.jpg
First appearance "Pilot"
Last appearance "Last Forever"
Created by Carter Bays
Craig Thomas
Portrayed by Josh Radnor
Bob Saget (voice of future Ted)
Full name Theodore Evelyn Mosby
Nickname(s) Teddy Bear, Teddy Boy, T-Mos, Teddy West-side, T-Dog, Schmosby, Architect of Destruction, Professor Brosby, Senor Tedifier, El Ganso con la Riñonera, Teddy Westchester, Lady Tedwina Slowsby
Aliases Doctor X, Galactic President Superstar McAwesomeville
Gender Male
Occupation Architect (season 1-4 and season 6-present)
Professor of Architecture (season 5-present)
Family Virginia Mosby (mother)
Alfred Mosby (father)
Heather Mosby (sister)
Clint (stepfather)
Unnamed Grandmother
Spouse(s) Tracy Mosby (m. 2020–24) (deceased)
Significant other(s) Karen (ex-girlfriend)
Victoria (ex-girlfriend)
Robin Scherbatsky (girlfriend)
Dr. Stella Zinman (ex-fiancée)
Zoey Pierson (ex-girlfriend)
Jeanette Peterson (ex-girlfriend)
Tracy McConnell (ex-wife)
Children Penny Mosby (daughter, born in 2015, played by Lyndsy Fonseca)
Luke Mosby (son, born in 2017, played by David Henrie)
Relatives Jimmy Mosby (cousin)
Stacy (cousin)
Charity (cousin once removed, via Stacy)
Unnamed cousins once removed

Theodore Evelyn[1] "Ted" Mosby is a fictional character and the protagonist in the U.S. television sitcom How I Met Your Mother, portrayed by Josh Radnor. Ted also serves as the show's narrator from the future, voiced by Bob Saget, as he tells his children the "long version" of how he met their mother.

Character overview[edit]

Ted is the central character of the show. Born April 25, 1978, he is from Shaker Heights, Ohio (like show creator Carter Bays), a graduate of Wesleyan University (like Bays and show co-creator Craig Thomas),[2] an Eagle Scout,[3] and an architect. After his best friend Marshall Eriksen gets engaged in the pilot episode, Ted decides to try to find his soulmate. This quest informs the general direction of the show, and Ted's relationship with the other main characters Marshall Eriksen, Lily Aldrin, Robin Scherbatsky, and Barney Stinson.

Relationships with other characters[edit]

Marshall and Ted's relationship is an important aspect of the show. Marshall is Ted's only stable relationship throughout the entire show: Lily leaves the group briefly in Season 2 to go to San Francisco; Robin goes to South America and avoids talking to Ted after their breakup in Season 3; Barney and Ted have a falling out for a few episodes in Season 3 after Barney breaks the "Bro Code" by hooking up with Robin. Marshall, on the other hand, is there for Ted through every one of his break ups, and Ted is there for Marshall when Lily briefly leaves him in Season 2.

Ted and Barney meet in 2001 at MacLaren's, when Barney sits down next to him and announces that he will "teach him how to live". Throughout the series, Barney pushes Ted to live life to the fullest and do crazy things with him in order for every night to be "legen-wait for it-dary".

Lily is one of Ted’s closest friends and his voice of reason. Ted goes to Lily for advice on romance, while Lily is Ted's self-appointed protector, going so far as to break Ted up with girlfriends she knows are not "the one" - including Robin.

Ted meets and falls in love with Robin in the pilot episode, and their relationship alternates between friendship and romance several times throughout the series. Ted is Robin’s voice of reason throughout the show, and she always goes to Ted for advice or when she needs cheering up. He never quite gets over his romantic feelings for her, however; this is a major source of tension throughout the show's run. In the series finale, their relationship is rekindled.


Ted is prone to socially questionable romantic gestures; in the pilot episode, for example, he steals a blue French horn (nicknamed "The Smurf Penis") that was a topic of conversation in his first date with Robin, and then scares Robin off by telling her he is in love with her. In a similar vein, he dresses up as a "hanging chad" every year for Halloween, in the hopes of meeting "The Slutty Pumpkin," a woman dressed as a jack-o'-lantern (complete with strategically placed holes) whom he once met at a Halloween party. Despite these questionable romantic gestures, he is portrayed as sexually promiscuous and has many romantic partners throughout the show.[original research?]

Ted describes himself as "half-Jewish." He is seen cheering for the Cleveland Indians when they play the New York Yankees at a baseball game in the episode "Where Were We?". He and Marshall were randomly assigned as freshman year roommates at Wesleyan, and became best friends on a long, ill-fated road trip. This story was told in "Arrivederci, Fiero".

In several episodes Ted's claim of being "vomit-free since '93" is mentioned, although it is untrue. Ted knows French and sign language, and has a strong tendency to correct everything that people around him say. As a child, he had a detective club called "The Mosby Boys", which consisted of him and his sister, Heather. Ted also speaks and reads Spanish, albeit clumsily. Pablo Neruda is one of his favorite writers.

Relationship with other characters[edit]

Robin Scherbatsky[edit]

In 2005, Ted met Robin in a bar. They decide to be friends but do kiss twice during that time frame. Then they both develop feelings for each other and Ted invites her to a wedding which she accepts but can't make it in the end. Ted meets a girl who he begins to date, causing Robin to be upset. Eventually Ted and Robin make out and later they start dating. While they date, Ted opens up Robin as she reveals her biggest secret to Ted and tells him that she loves him which she has never done before. However the issue was that they wanted different things out of life and they break up. When Ted gets engaged, Robin becomes really upset and tells him not to get married. He ends up getting left at the altar anyway. They become roommates later and make a deal to get married if they are both single when they are 40. Later Ted tells Robin that he loves her and she makes out with him. However they don't end up together because she worries about losing him as a friend. A year and a half later Ted meets Tracy, his future wife; however, she dies in 2024 and the series ends with Ted bringing the Blue French Horn to Robin's apartment, after his kids give their support to him trying to start a relationship with Robin.

Tracy Mosby[edit]

Ted met Tracy in 2013 after Barney and Robin's wedding, being the last of the gang to meet her (Barney met her six months prior as described in Platonish, Lily meets her on the train to the wedding in The Locket, Marshall meets her on the way to the Farhampton Inn in Bass Player Wanted, and Robin meets her in the midst of a panic attack in The End of the Aisle). Their encounter ends Ted's plans to move to Chicago, his plan to address the feelings he still has for Robin. The following night, Ted calls Tracy and the two begin dating. This turn of events is much to the chagrin of Marshall, but Lily sees something special between them. Almost two years later, they get engaged and start to plan for a huge wedding. In 2015, they delay the wedding because she gets pregnant with their daughter, Penny; she gets pregnant again in 2017 with their son, Luke. They finally get married in 2020 and live together until Tracy dies in 2024. In the alternate ending, Tracy does not die from a terminal illness.[4]

Marshall Eriksen[edit]

Marshall is Ted's best friend. They met in college and he has always been there for Ted. They have been friends for 34 years. Marshall has always had faith in Ted's relationship with Robin encouraging to go after her knowing that she is woman of his dreams. They were roommates from 2001-2008.

Barney Stinson[edit]

Ted and Barney met at a bar in 2001 and he told Ted he was going to teach him how to live. They spend time together meeting girls, being each other's "wingmen". Barney's best friend is Ted, and he insists that he is Ted's best friend, despite Ted repeatedly saying that Marshall is.

Lily Aldrin[edit]

Lily has been friends with Ted since they went to Wesleyan together. For several years they lived with Marshall in the same apartment; Lily frequently gives Ted advice about his life. She does not believe Robin is the right partner for him.


Victoria is Ted's ex-girlfriend. They met at a wedding in 2006 and fell completely in love. They waited almost a month to have sex. After two months of dating she moves to Germany and they try long distance. They end up breaking up because Ted kissed Robin. In 2012, Victoria is referred to by Robin "the one that got away". Robin then urges Ted to call Victoria, which he does. Ted and Victoria start dating again, but break up when she demands that he can't be friends with Robin.

Stella Zinman[edit]

Stella was Ted's dermatologist who rejected him at first but, Ted being romantic got her to date him. They got engaged very quickly and she leaves him at the altar for her ex-boyfriend.

Zoey Pierson[edit]

Zoey is another ex-girlfriend of Ted. He really liked Zoey but she wanted to keep the building that he needed to be destroyed to build his new building. This made their relationship doomed even though they did love each other.

Luke and Penny Mosby[edit]

Luke and Penny are Ted's two children. He had Penny in 2015 and Luke in 2017. In the year 2030 he tells them the story of how he met their mother. They actually convince their dad to go after Robin after they lost their mom six years earlier.

Character arc[edit]

For a time in the first season, Ted dates a baker named Victoria, whom he meets at a friend's wedding. She accepts a culinary fellowship in Germany, prompting a long-distance relationship, which does not last, due in large part to his persistent feelings for Robin. Ted upsets Robin by implying that Victoria broke up with him when she didn't; Ted and Robin make out before both women realize they've been deceived. Ted and Robin ultimately reconcile as friends, and, in "Come On", Ted makes one last attempt to win her over, hiring a chamber orchestra with blue instruments to play in her apartment while he makes his appeal. She finally falls for him some time later when Ted apparently summons a storm with a complicated rain dance. They date throughout the second season, but break up in "Something Blue" upon realizing that they want different things from life.

It is revealed in "No Tomorrow" that at a St. Patrick's Day party he and Barney attended, his future wife was also present, although he (fortunately) did not meet her that night. Once he returns to the room of the party the morning after, he picks up a yellow umbrella which can be seen blowing in the wind in the season promo. Also, he becomes the second main character to actually own a car (a blue Toyota Camry Hybrid) after getting a raise at his job in "The Chain of Screaming." By the end of the episode, Ted decides to get rid of the car to help Marshall with his money problems.

At the beginning of the third season, an inebriated Ted gets a tattoo on his lower back (his "tramp stamp"). He goes to see Dr. Stella Zinman in order to have it removed, and goes on a date with her in "The Platinum Rule." In "Ten Sessions," he falls for her, and after the tattoo is removed, Ted takes her on a two-minute date. They begin dating, and at the end of "Miracles" Ted proposes to her. She says yes at the beginning of the fourth season. In "Shelter Island", Ted invites Stella's ex-boyfriend, Tony, to his wedding; Stella and Tony rekindle their relationship, and Stella leaves a devastated Ted at the altar.

Ted's life continues its downward slide during the fourth season. After being left at the altar, Ted has trouble getting back into the dating world, and his job becomes a source of trouble as well. After being hired to design a project for Goliath National Bank, he is fired after weeks of unsuccessful work. He attempts to remedy this by starting his own firm, Mosbius Designs, but it is largely unsuccessful. In the season four finale "The Leap", Ted ultimately accepts a job as an architecture professor offered to him by Tony as a peace offering, though Tony's movie The Wedding Bride, released in the next season, pits a caricature of Ted as its villain against a romanticized version of Tony and Stella.

He reaches a low point in his personal life in Season 7 and confides in Robin that he is beginning to believe he will never find "The One". This reaches a breaking point when he tells Robin he still loves her after she breaks up with her boyfriend Kevin. However, Robin does not reciprocate his feelings and moves out. Eventually Ted gives the apartment back to Marshall and Lily and moves into the apartment Barney's girlfriend Quinn used to live in. In the episode "Trilogy Time" it is revealed that by 2015, Ted's daughter will already be born.

After a few months, Ted decides to patch things up with Robin, and she helps him realize that Victoria was the only woman who has even come close to being right for him. When Ted calls Victoria, she shows up in a wedding dress and says she is ready to run away with him. Initially, he tries to take her back to her wedding, but after realizing how much he likes her he changes his mind and they ride off into the sunset. After dating for a few weeks, Victoria says she will only marry Ted on the condition that he end his friendship with Robin. Ted tells Victoria that although he is no longer in love with Robin, she is like family and an irreplaceable part of his life. Victoria wishes him luck, and breaks up with him.

After Victoria, in Season 8 episode "P.S. I Love You", Ted meets Jeanette Peterson, his final girlfriend before meeting The Mother. Ted and Jeanette meet on the subway after Ted notices they read the same book. Jeanette turns out to be obsessed with him: he finds out that she had been stalking him for a year and half (since his appearance on Time Magazine), bought the same book as him 10 minutes after him (the book they were both reading on the subway), and started a fire outside his lecture hall to meet him. while his friends are horrified, Ted finds this romantic and ignores the warning signs. In "Weekend at Barney's", Jeanette breaks up with Ted; she takes virtually everything he says and does as proof that he is cheating on her. Barney tries to set up Ted with other women to get his mind off Jeanette, although Jeanette finds him at the bar and they get back together. However, this does not last long: Jeanette finds Barney’s playbook in Ted’s apartment and destroys the place, locking Ted out and throwing his things out the window to the street below. At this moment, Ted decides he is done with the single life and ready to settle down.

Although happy for them, Ted is upset when Robin and Barney get engaged. In "The Time Travelers", future Ted fantasizes about seeking out The Mother weeks before they actually meet, so that he can tell her how desperate he is to meet her. He is supportive of his friends' engagement, but ultimately realizes his lingering feelings for Robin would make it difficult to be around them once they're married, and so plans to move to Chicago the day after they get married.

The series' final season revolves around the weekend of Barney and Robin's wedding, during which Ted wrestles with his feelings for Robin. He goes to extreme lengths to find a locket that Robin had buried in Central Park years before, which she wants as a "sign from the universe" that she should marry Barney. Moments before the wedding, Robin has cold feet and tells him that she should be marrying him instead of Barney. Ted swallows his true feelings and says that he no longer loves her in that way. He then stands by as Robin marries Barney, and bids an affectionate goodbye to his friends. The season also contains a number of flashforward scenes depicting Ted's life with the Mother, including their first date, the day he proposed and the birth of their second child.

In the final episode of the series, "Last Forever", it is revealed that Ted finally meets his wife, whose name is shown to be Tracy McConnell, at a train station as he is about to leave for Chicago. They hit it off immediately, and date for a year before getting engaged. They do not actually marry for another five years, during which time they have two children, Penny and Luke. Tracy dies in 2024.

Upon the conclusion of his story, his children tell him that it barely contained any mention of their mother and was more focused on Robin, who has by now divorced Barney. While Ted denies it, the children say that he is clearly seeking their approval to date Robin - which they grant. In the final scene of the series, Ted stands outside Robin's window, holding the blue French horn from their first date.

Future Ted[edit]

Future Ted, voiced by Bob Saget, narrates every episode to his children in 2030, framed as the story of how he met their mother. The mother was finally revealed in the season 8 finale "Something New," played by Cristin Milioti.

In the third season premiere, "Wait for It", Ted's children already know the "short version" of the story of how he met their mother, and that it was an incident involving her yellow umbrella. Some clues given are that Ted's future wife is a college student studying economics, as she was in the classroom on Ted's first day as a professor, where he initially went to the wrong room and started teaching Architecture 101 to what, actually, was Economics 305. It was also mentioned that she was at the same nightclub as Ted and Barney on St. Patrick's Day, 2008. In the first season episode "Belly Full of Turkey", Future Ted jokes to his kids that a stripper he meets named Tracey is the mother (the mother's first name also turned out to be Tracy in the finale). Future Ted told his kids that he met their mother "on the day of the wedding" which is later revealed to be the day of Barney and Robin's wedding, in which Ted is the Best Man. In the season premiere of the 8th season, Ted is reading a book while waiting at the "Farhampton" train station after Barney and Robin's wedding when "the mother" (indicated by future Ted's voiceover and the appearance of the signature yellow umbrella) is shown arriving at the same station via taxi cab, though whether or not they meet at that time is unconfirmed as the episode fades to credits with the two unaware of each other. In the Season 8 episode entitled "Band or DJ?" Future Ted reveals in a flashback that "the mother" played bass guitar in the wedding band that performed at Barney and Robin's wedding. Although the flashback shows that Ted does see the mother at the wedding, it is implied that they do not actually formally meet at the wedding. Ted and his wife are shown in a flashfoward standing outside a movie theater advertising The Wedding Bride III during the episode "No Pressure", although the wife's face is not shown nor is her identity revealed.

It should be noted that throughout the series, Future Ted always used past tense when referring to The Mother. This, among other clues, led many viewers to suspect that the mother had died by 2030, which was confirmed in the finale.


  1. ^ "How Lily Stole Christmas". How I Met Your Mother. Season 2. Episode 11. December 11, 2006. 
  2. ^ "Notable Alumni - About - Wesleyan University". Wesleyan.edu. Retrieved 2013-05-27. 
  3. ^ "Barney's Blog: The Ashtray". CBS. Archived from the original on 8 Mar 2013. 
  4. ^ Debnath, Neela (7 September 2014). "How I Met Your Mother alternative finale leaks online ahead of DVD release". The Independent. Retrieved 15 February 2015. 

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