Movies & TV Shows

10 Horrible Deeds Ted Committed That Redditors Can’t Forgive

The upcoming film All Happy Families just announced that How I Met Your Mother‘s Josh Radnor would be joining the cast (via Digital Spy), a move that has made fans wonder what they can expect from his newest role. While there hasn’t been much information available about his character yet, fans can’t help but compare the little they do know to Radnor’s iconic character, Ted Mosby.


While the character was a champion for true love at the time, fans have since noticed how terrible some of his actions really were. The lens of comedy can only do so much to cover up just how bad his choices tended to be when he was lonely or upset. Put together, many of Ted’s worst deeds paint him as a thoroughly unlikable character, sabotaging the people around him in his quest for love.

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Controlling Stella

Stella at the arcade with Ted in How I Met Your Mother

Stella gets a lot of hate in the fandom for how she left Ted, but putting their full relationship in context tells a different story. As DaxDislikesYou said, “Ted essentially stalks her, consistently ignores her boundaries, tries to get her to uproot her self and her daughter, and then finally ignores her one request for the wedding and invites both of their exes and Stella’s the bad guy?”

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Stella told Ted repeatedly that she didn’t want to date him, but he refused to take no for an answer. Once they were dating, he swung wildly from one extreme to the other in regard to commitment. While she certainly could’ve handled things better, replies to this post agree that Ted didn’t give Stella much choice.

His Inconsiderate Behavior Toward Marshall

Marshall, Ted, and Lily hugging in How I Met Your Mother.

Ted and Marshall had been friends since their freshman year in college, but that didn’t mean that Ted was always the friend he needed to be. Redditor adri_doutora explained that they hated “Ted as a friend. The very first episodes he deliberately throws 3 parties in a row just to casually meet Robin when Marshal is trying to study for one of the most important tests of his life. And Ted clearly doesn’t care at all about it.”

While some comments were frustrated by how many fans dislike Ted, many more agreed, because this example was literally the second episode of How I Met Your Mother. Audiences had no reason to believe this was out of the ordinary, instead getting plenty of evidence that Ted put a crush before his long-time friend’s law degree.

Attempting To Convince A Married Woman To Sleep With Him

Ted sitting at McLaren's, looking upset in a scene from How I Met Your Mother.

On the same day that Ted found the Mother’s umbrella and really started down the path to true love, Malphrek points out a major low moment for Ted: “he hit on a married woman when he knew that she was married.”

Surprisingly, this was a controversial point, with many Redditors either arguing that only the married woman had moral obligations or that Ted being terrible was good for his character arc. Either way, Ted knew that he was putting another person’s relationship in jeopardy and didn’t care. Had he shown real regret for having done so, it might be understandable. But he didn’t.

Editing The Narrative

Ted's children sitting on the couch on How I Met Your Mother

A popular fan theory for How I Met Your Mother argues that Ted was an unreliable narrator, particularly when it came to Barney. Accepting that perspective, piratefire777 explained, “Barney is actually a great person. … [Ted] wants his kids to think the best of him and Robin and think badly of Barney, so he lies to them about the kind of person Barney is.”

Several Redditors agreed with this theory, characterizing Ted as an incredibly petty person for responding that way. He and Barney had been friends for years, but he rewrote the narrative to slander Barney simply because Robin chose him over Ted.

Reacting Violently

Ted glaring at someone on how i met your mother

Darren was an objectively terrible person, but just because he deserved payback doesn’t mean Ted was in the right. As Catterjune explains, “as far as Ted and the gang knew at the time he was just some guy, who didn’t know these subjects were taboo, and then he just accidentally bumped into them. As the audience… yeah he deserved it. But to Ted and the gang he was just some guy Ted punched for no reason.”

RELATED: 10 Facts In How I Met Your Mother That Were Later Contradicted

Other Redditors gave these comments negative votes, arguing that Darren deserved everything he got, but it really needs to be looked at from the outside. Ted was having a bad day and responded by knocking a guy out. It may have felt right at the moment, but it certainly shows a darker side of Ted.

Running Away With Victoria On Her Wedding Day

Ted and Victoria gazing into each other's eyes on How I Met Your Mother

Ted was so desperate for love that he was willing to hurt others to get it, which 84lele explained perfectly: “Ted was so broken up when Stella left him at the altar THEN proceeded to run off with Victoria! Not cool Ted, he knew how it felt and he still stole someone else’s bride!”

Victoria deserves her fair share of blame, but Ted didn’t have a right to be angry at Tony for running away with Stella and then be portrayed as the hero for doing the exact same thing. Others agreed, finding it surprising how a noted unreliable narrator still managed to look bad in his own biased account. It says a lot about how bad he must have been in the real sequence of events.

Mocking A Man Having A Heart Attack

Ted fires Druthers in How I Met Your Mother.

While Ted’s romantic misadventures were severely problematic, talktobigfudge finds another moment emblematic of Ted’s self-centeredness: “totally ignoring the fact that Hammond Druthers is having a heart attack, and being more concerned about cleaning house at the architecture firm.”

RELATED: 10 Arguments Every How I Met Your Mother Fan Has Been In

While another Reddit user added the context that Ted didn’t know Druthers was having a heart attack, many Redditors still agreed that the moment was irredeemable. On perhaps the worst day of Druthers’s life, Ted laughed at his health condition, seeing it as another inconvenience to him, rather than a series of traumatic events—actions that are unjustifiably cruel.

Acting Like He Owned Robin

Ted takes Robin to be with Barney.

While it can easily hurt a relationship for someone to date their friend’s ex, Ted’s controlling behavior rubbed some Redditors wrong. PersonWhoLikes2 explained, “When Barney and Robin have sex for the first time, the show acts like Barney had just done a big betrayal on Ted, and when Ted finds out he freaks out on Barney and severs their friendship.”

This perspective got a lot of pushback from other Redditors, particularly because in the real world, and in the show, it was considered a violation of the Bro Code. However, Barney had been friends with Robin as long as Ted had, making her way more than just “Ted’s ex.”

Controlling Robin (And Hurting Dogs In The Process)

Ted and Robin Fight About Robin's Dogs in HIMYM

There were many reasons that Ted and Robin didn’t work out their first few tries, but Mini_True sees one of their biggest fights as the worst thing Ted ever did: “He made Robin get rid of the dogs she loved.” Each dog came from an ex-boyfriend, but Robin clearly loved them and ended up getting five new dogs in the future because they were so important to her.

This point was actually heavily debated in the Reddit thread, as Ted making Robin give up the dogs was in response to Robin making Ted give up his gifts from exes. However, any animal lover will agree that these are not the same things. Dogs are sentient beings with strong bonds to their owners. Ted’s controlling attitude hurt Robin and those dogs.

Hurting Natalie

Natalie looking disgusted on How I Met Your Mother

There are a lot of terrible ways to break up with someone, but rodrigomoura may have found the worst way in Ted’s behavior from season 1 asking, “What about breaking up with Natalie twice on her birthday and the first one being on her answering machine with all of her friends listening to it while waiting to surprise her?”

Breaking up with her in itself isn’t that bad, but Ted didn’t know his girlfriend’s birthday either time he dated her (which would have certainly been something he should have learned the first time). This post got 62 upvotes, the highest of any comment in the thread. Ted treated Natalie like she was disposable, using her to curb his own sense of loneliness, and fans can’t see that and still think of him as a good guy.

How I Met Your Mother is available to stream on Hulu and Prime Video.

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