Movies Reviews

How I Met Your Mother Girlfriends Who Were So Much Better Than Ted

How I Met Your Mother is, above all, a mystery about the woman who will later become Ted Mosby’s wife and the titular “mother” of his children. The sitcom does follow the careers, relationships, and downfalls of Ted, Robin, Lily, Barney, and Marshall, but Ted’s future marriage is what drives the show forward. At times, the search for “the one” can be exhausting, not just for Ted but also for viewers. When Ted does finally happen upon his future fiancé, he has already gone out with nearly 40 women.

If you’ve watched the series, then you already know some of these women were way too good for Ted. Ted can be immature and easily distracted. Despite his displays of affection, he often messes up his relationships through miscommunication, dishonesty, and impatience. On the other hand, the women Ted dates are at times ambitious, loving, and passionate. Here is every girlfriend that was so much better than Ted.



Cathy and Ted Mosby in How I Met Your Mother
20th Century Fox

In season three, we meet Ted’s girlfriend Cathy. Cathy is very chatty, to say the least, and Ted quickly breaks up with her because of this annoying habit. Like another ex-girlfriend Royce, Cathy is problematic but not outright terrible. Years after they break up, Ted is excited to learn that Cathy has married a deaf guy, but he ruins this too by signing to the husband that Cathy talks too much.


Victoria and Ted Mosby in How I Met Your Mother
20th Century Fox

Victoria is one of the more obvious choices for girlfriends that were better than Ted. She is beautiful, friendly, funny, and a baker! Victoria and Ted have great chemistry from the get-go, and she could have been “the one” for Ted. During their relationship, Ted is happy with Victoria, but when she goes away to culinary school he cheats on her with Robin.

Related: The Similarities Between Friends and How I Met Your Mother

They break up, and we don’t see Victoria again until season eight. They try dating again and Ted even proposes, but Victoria insists that he end his friendship with Robin. Ultimately, they break up once again because Ted is too attached to Robin.


Anne Dudek as Natalie on How I Met Your Mother
20th Century Fox 

Natalie is one of Ted’s early love interests in season one and a girlfriend that Ted treats especially poorly. She is an old flame of Ted’s that he remembers fondly; however, the relationship ended badly because he broke up with her on her birthday. In the episode “Return of the Shirt,” Ted gets back on Natalie’s good side and then again breaks up with her on her birthday. This is unfortunate because Natalie is funny and good-hearted, but Ted’s poor behavior sends her over the edge. And Ted is supposed to be the protagonist…


Trudy on How I Met Your Mother
20th Century Fox

Trudy is another early love interest that Ted goes out with briefly. Trudy spends a wild drunken night with Ted in the episode “The Pineapple Incident” and in the morning, Ted must piece together what happened. Trudy is a funny, confident character and Ted’s insight into the previous night comes from her. However, Ted later tries to use Trudy to prove to Robin that he has moved on, and Trudy leaves before he can do so.


Zoey in How I Met Your Mother
20th Century Fox 

Ted’s relationship with Zoey is a rocky one but worth mentioning. Although Zoey is intense at times and her fight for the preservation of The Arcadian threatens Ted’s job, Zoey is passionate about her activist work and develops a genuine friendship with Ted. Ted ultimately leads Zoey to get divorced with her husband, but he then chooses his job over her. It’s not surprising considering they started out not liking each other and there were indicators that the relationship might not work (like Zoey being married, yikes). Is Ted a monster?


Cobie Smulders as Robin in How I Met Your Mother
20th Century Fox

The most well-known girlfriend of Ted’s and a constant character on How I Met Your Mother, Robin is a funny, quirky woman who is passionate about her career as a news anchor. Although Robin makes it clear she is not ready to settle down, she and Ted date anyway. At the end of Season Two, Ted’s motivation to secure a life with “the one” and Robin’s unpreparedness for marriage lead them to break it off.

Like many of Ted’s other girlfriends, Robin seems to know what she wants, but Ted convinces her otherwise and ignores early red flags. In addition, Ted is dishonest with her about breaking it off with Victoria.


Ted Mosby and Royce in How I Met Your Mother
20th Century Fox 

In the season five episode “The Wedding Bride,” Ted takes a new love interest, Royce (played by the great Judy Greer), to a new movie. To Ted’s dismay, the film is based on him and his previous relationship with Stella, who left him at the altar. Ted feels he is depicted poorly in the movie but does not tell Royce that the story is based on him. Instead, Royce concludes that Ted simply has baggage and tries to comfort him. When she reveals that she is going to see the film a second time, Ted walks out on her.

Related: How I Met Your Father: How the Series Learned From the Problematic Moments in How I Met Your Mother

In the end, Ted tells Royce that “The Wedding Bride” is about him and kisses her in the theatre. However, when Royce shares her potentially problematic baggage, including her gambling addiction and being left at the altar three times, Ted throws her out of his apartment. While Royce wasn’t the most stable, she certainly treated Ted with kindness, and revealed his hypocrisy yet again.

Tracy McConnell

Cristin Milioti plays the mother Tracy McConnell in How I Met Your Mother
20th Century Fox 

If you’ve watched the show, you know that Tracy is “the one;” while she is the titular “mother,” there’s a strong argument that, more than any other girlfriend, she was way better than Ted. Tracy is probably one of the most likable people on How I Met Your Mother for her friendship, advice, and independence (and because she’s played by the amazing star of the woefully canceled HBO show Made For Love and the film Palm Springs). Like some other girlfriends of Ted, Tracy knows what she wants and prioritizes things that are important to her.

She is a good fit for Ted, but is Ted good enough for her? Unlike Tracy, who is very decisive, Ted continues to have unfinished business during and beyond the show. He handles many relationships poorly and leaves many of his girlfriends in the dark. But is this simply a part of his process of growing, or is this his settled disposition? You decide.

How I Met Your Mother is a series about the search for love and failing along the way. While Ted certainly isn’t the best boyfriend, he has his fair share of bad girlfriends and heartbreak over the course of the show. Overall, his failures lead him to grow and meet Tracy, bringing an end to his long dating career.

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