Oh, Ted. Teddy, Teddy, Teddy-Boy. Throughout nine seasons of How I Met Your Mother, series protagonist Ted Mosby repeatedly made a fool of himself in his shameless search for love. From the "Pilot" onwards, Josh Radnor's romantic architect had a stream of steady girlfriends, even a fiancée at one point, which gave him ample opportunity to do something incomprehensibly stupid.
Ted can be brilliant when he uses his head, but when he uses his heart, it's a whole different story. Lots of comedy gold stemmed from this dichotomy, but Ted's goof-ups can also teach us a few things. Here are 10 lessons we can glean from tv's biggest romantic loser.
10 Don't Be Friends With People Like Barney Stinson
As a character, the guy is hilarious. However, much of the comedy gold stems from him dragging Ted into some seriously awkward and embarrassing situations. Ted's life would theoretically run a lot smoother if Barney wasn't in it, albeit with fewer laughs.
Everyone in life needs a diverse group of friends, but Barney's sheer narcissism would prove a real-life disaster for someone who resembles Ted Mosby. In later seasons Barney proves to have something of a kind nature beneath the suits and scotch, but in reality, it's probably not worth all the stress and money he cost Ted to get there.
9 Don't Live With A Couple
As fun and charming as Lily and Marshall can be, living with a couple as a single man in NYC searching for the perfect woman might not be the most practical of options. Oftentimes, the show built gags around Marshall's instructions on Ted's dates, or Lily's snooping on the relationship details.
In this case, what's funny and endearing on the screen would prove to be a massive annoyance in real life. The problem is at its peak during the multi-season arc with Sarah Chalke's Stella characters, with Marshall's meddling becoming downright intrusive at times (a la "Do I Know You?").
8 Never Open A Bar
A tremendously silly mistake made by both Ted and Barney in 2012's "Tailgate," opening a bar in your apartment is never a good plan. Furthermore, doing so with the added stupidity of abolishing 'last call' is downright foolish. One of the seventh season's funniest episodes, "Tailgate" also gives the audience a valuable lesson in the "Puzzles" subplot with Ted and Barney.
As the two's idea of opening a mysterious bar for the hip Manhattan crowd, the antics go from bad to worse. Folks, it's a great fantasy, but never open a bar.
7 Designate A Drunken Tattoo Friend
Ted's drunken mishaps land him in a tattoo removal office after he gets a lower-back butterfly tattoo, otherwise known as a "tramp stamp." The first domino in the line that leads to Ted's ultimate heartbreak, the "tramp stamp" is forever a bad omen. As such, it is important to learn from Ted's mistake.
Whenever going out on the town with the gang, designating a close friend to make sure you don't wake up in the morning with a huge goof-up on your lower back is always recommended.
6 Let 'em Go
One of Ted's most consistently irritating traits is his inability to let people go. Robin, Victoria, The Slutty Pumpkin, Stella, etc., all weave back into Ted's romantic scope at some point in the show's run. Of course, at the center of it all was Robin.
What was initially a great will-they-won't-they dynamic slowly drifted into a dead horse the show continued to beat on all the way to the final scene of the entire series. An important romantic lesson is to be found in Ted's frustrating focus on Robin--let them go.
5 Make Sure You Actually Broke Up
In the third season finale, "Miracles," Ted gets into a car accident right after he breaks up with Stella. As it turns out, Stella had no idea it was supposed to be a break-up. What results is a series of misunderstandings and take-backs that ultimately lead to Ted's proposal to Stella.
When engaged in a break-up, it's probably a good idea to go ahead and confirm with your (ex?) partner that you did, in fact, just call it quits. Otherwise, you just might end up proposing to someone way too early in an arcade for children.
4 Never Live With Your Ex
This one seems so obvious that even Ted Mosby should've known better. But alas, never underestimate Ted's misguided romanticism. After Marshall and Lily move out, Ted invites Robin to live in the spare bedroom.
Though their roommate dynamic wasn't the worst, it certainly wasn't a healthy environment for either party. Living platonically with someone that you used to be intimate with is never going to be something that pans out well, especially if you still harbor feelings for them. Things got so awkward by the end of the arrangement that Marshall had to tell Robin to move out.
3 Never Say "I Love You" On The First Date
The OG Ted Mosby Slipup. Overcome with endorphins after his first kiss with Robin, Ted looks deep in her eyes and says the scariest three words that anyone can say on a first date. Robin's reaction is likely to be the reaction of any normal person hearing that from a virtual stranger.
Eventually, she friend-zones Ted before dating him throughout season two. Still, Ted's premature confession remains one of the cringiest moments on the show and would set the tone for Ted's further romantic mishaps.
2 "Nothing Good Happens After 2 AM"
Likely to be remembered as one of the better Ted-Robin episodes, "Nothing Good Happens After 2 Am" represents an instance when Ted was not only naive but kind-of downright sleazy.
After finding himself in Robin's bathroom with a real chance to take it to the next level with her, Ted neglects to tell her or his girlfriend, Victoria, about what is going on. Willing to cheat for his own sexual impulses, Ted's behavior in this episode is a prime example of everything NOT to do in that situation.
1 Never, Never, NEVER Invite Your Ex To Your Wedding
Without a doubt, Ted Mosby's biggest moment of self-sabotage came when invited Robin to his impromptu wedding to Stella. Even more mind-boggling was his decision to invite Stella's ex-husband Tony to the proceedings. Inevitably, Ted's nice-guy attempt at fixing things comes back to haunt him when Stella leaves him at the altar for Tony.
After this, Ted's character changes a bit, hardened by the way things went. If Ted Mosby can teach us anything, it's that it is always, always, always a mistake to invite your ex or your fiance's ex to your wedding. Don't do it.
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