How I Met Your Mother celebrates its 100th episode January 11 with a massive musical number by Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) about how much he loves suits. Oh, and Ted (Josh Radnor) might meet the mother he's been searching for this whole time. But does anybody care about that anymore? For a long time, the "supporting" cast has left Ted in the dust, entertainment-wise, as their comedic chops have overshadowed snobby Ted's seemingly unending quest to find a wife. Is Ted even relevant to the show anymore? Is he the bad we have to take with the good? No. In fact, he's more awesome than most viewers might think. Here are ten reasons why he makes the show great, and why it wouldn't survive without him.
10. Everyone Loves a Snob
Granted, the entire gang has been known to be a little snobby (they do live in New York City, after all), but Ted is the king of all snobs. With his love of architecture and the Renaissance Faire and his habit of mispronouncing words in an attempt to sound superior, the otherwise average Ted is both identifiable and disagreeable, and he holds a mirror up to all of us, allowing us to see the snob within. Don't deny it -- you know there's one in there.
9. He's a Turn-On and a Turn-Off
Ted has the distinction of being the inspiration for both a pick-up line (The Ted Mosby: When you tell a girl you just got left at the altar to get them to sleep with you) and a break-up tool (The Mosby: when you tell someone you love them in order to turn them off and keep them from saying it to you). We think that nicely sums up the mixed feelings audiences have about Ted.
8. He Increases Web Traffic
The fake Websites created for the show are always hysterical, and while each member of the gang has one or two that are all theirs, Ted has the lion's share, with Ted Mosby is a Jerk, Ted Mosby is Not a Jerk, mysterious college-radio DJ Doctor X and now a page on Columbia's professor review site. Without him, where would we waste our time on Tuesday mornings?
7. Ted Brings In All the Single Ladies
Without Ted, what reason would we have for a constant stream of beautiful young actresses to parade in and out of this show? Barney doesn't stay with a girl long enough for us to catch her name, let alone get to know her, but Ted has provided paying gigs to Mandy Moore, Laura Prepon, Danica McKellar and now Rachel Bilson, which makes us all winners.
6. Ted Provides the Story Arcs
Nothing against stand-alone episodes of TV shows, where nothing ever changes day in and day out, but we like to see some development in our characters, and witness the consequences of their actions over the long term. And aside from Marshall and Lily's break-up and Barney and Robin's brief relationship, most of HIMYM can be broken up into periods of time when Ted was dating different girls. Robin, Karen, Victoria, Stella... each marks a new chapter in the continuing story of the MacLaren's Gang. Speaking of which...
5. Marshall Wouldn't Be Half as Cute without Him
Think about all the cute stuff Marshall does. Some of it is stuff he does with Lily, and some is stuff he does with his family, but the rest is stuff he does with Ted, because they're two man-children of a kind. Without Ted, Marshall would just kinda sit there and throw dinner parties for other couples.
4. Barney Wouldn't Be Half as Funny Without Him
Barney needs a wingman to help him score at the bar, and Ted always fills that role perfectly, setting up the ladies so Barney can knock 'em down in hilarious fashion. Sure, he could try to replace Ted, but that didn't work out so well the last time, and his disastrous relationship with Robin kinds took her out of the running. Barney's attempts to draft Ted into crazy adventures and his habit of turning casual Ted statements into bets are also always good for a laugh.
3. He's the Glue of the MacLaren's Gang
Sure, everyone is friends with everyone else at this point (some of them best friends), but they all met through Ted. If not for him, his school chums Lily and Marshall would never have met his ex-girlfriend Robin or his wingman/stalker Barney, and without him there would be a gaping hole in this group of friends, with no common denominator to explain their old war stories to the uninitiated.
2. He's the Group's Emotional Rallying Point
While the rest of the group has been there for each member in a time of crisis (Marshall and Lily's marriage, Barney's feelings for Robin, Lily's shopping addiction, Robin's career/smoking double-crisis), they've most often been there for Ted, because... well, he needs the most help. Helping Ted get over a girl or choose a career or make a tough decision is the one thing that constantly brings the gang together as a crack fighting unit.
1. We Really, Really Want to See What Happens.
See that "I" in How I Met Your Mother? That's Ted. Sure, it may not say How Ted Met His Wife, but pronouns count, and that means that this is his show. We wanna see who this sad bastard ends up with, and we want him to be worthy of her when he gets there. So as long as he can keep the douchiness under control, we'll stick by him.
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