How I Met Your Mother was one of the most popular and well-regarded sitcoms of the 21st century, and it had a massive, passionate fan base. For years after the show premiered, those same fans fought tooth and nail to figure out who Ted would eventually end up with.
Even though, like most programs, the show is definitely more about the journey than the destination, there was always the looming question of when exactly the mother would walk across our television screens. We saw her ankles, we waited for her to eventually retrieve her signature yellow umbrella, and we were finally rewarded when Cristin Milioti bought a train ticket at the end of season 8.
Ted’s adventure was a collision course destined to align with the Mother's at some point, and even after that happened, people debated whether Robin was still Ted’s “one”. The show, and even the show’s creator, made it distinctly clear that Tracy was the woman of Ted’s dreams. There are so many reasons why Ted and Tracy are absolutely perfect for each other, and Ted and Robin were not, and this list will highlight those.
Without further ado, here’s How I Met Your Mother: The 15 Reasons Why Ted and Robin Weren’t Soulmates.
15 Robin Chose To Marry Barney Over Ted
One person who has just as much to say about Ted’s future with Robin, as Ted himself is, of course, “Aunt Robin.” Throughout the course of the show, Robin is constantly struggling with her passion for advancement in her career, and her longing to find love in New York.
Ted is enamored with Robin right from the pilot episode of the series, but they both soon realize they’re looking for completely different things from their respective future partners. Robin and Barney begin dating at the end of season 4, and they actually end up being darn near perfect for one another. They’re both looking for something serious, but not "commit the rest of their lives" serious, and more importantly, they both have similar feelings when it comes to the future (namely, not starting a family).
Robin is also against the idea of marriage from the beginning, but she falls in love with Barney, who proves to her that he understands what she needs and understands from a partner. Ultimately, Robin marries the person that she wanted to, and that person wasn’t Ted.
14 The Biggest Love Symbol In The Show Is Tracy's Umbrella
Throughout How I Met Your Mother, Ted slowly but surely builds to the reveal of the mother by explaining little instances of their nearly missed encounters. In the episode “How Your Mother Met Me”, we see Tracy’s experience in New York, and how she was always one step away from running into Ted.
The most important memento that is consistently shown throughout the show is the Mother’s yellow umbrella. In the same episode, we see that Tracy brought the umbrella with her to a club on St. Patty’s Day, but she leaves it behind when she meets Mitch (the naked man), and they both go to her apartment so that she can give him her cello to help out the kids that he teaches. Ted, of course, picks up the umbrella, and leaves it behind in the amazing episode, “Girls Versus Suits”.
Tracy's yellow umbrella is so synonymous with Ted’s search for love, and with the show's very title, that its significance can’t be undermined.
13 Tracy Is The Mother Of Ted’s Children
This entry is an obvious one, but it’s also necessary. Ted is obsessed with the idea of starting a family, and being a good husband and father. He’s always searching for “the one” to spend the rest of his life with. Ted originally ignores the fact that Robin doesn’t want kids because he’s in love with her, but its importance is always hanging over both of their heads.
Ted eventually finds his soulmate in Tracy, and of course she also wants children. They eventually have a boy and a girl together. It’s hard to argue that the person you originally choose to spend the rest of your life with, and the mother of your children is not your soul mate. It may be a simple reason, but with a longing for family being one of the most important characteristics of Ted’s personality, the fact that he starts one with Tracy is hugely significant.
12 Ted Chose To Marry Tracy
The fact is that Ted, above everyone else he’s ever met (including Robin), ultimately chose to marry Tracy. Ted is led throughout a twisting, turning love story that sees him fall in and out of love with the wrong women, but it all comes to a head at the end of the series. Every little chance encounter, and every one of Ted’s personal items on his “perfect woman” checklist lines up with Tracy, not Robin.
It’s also important to note that the show puts a great emphasis on timing, and Ted and Tracy meet at the perfect time for both of them to get together. Robin and Ted could never get the timing down, and in HIMYM, destiny (and Ted) dictate that pieces will always fall in line for you when they’re supposed to.
11 The Title Of The Show Is About Tracy
The title of some shows may be mere semantics, but when it comes to How I Met Your Mother, it's absolutely vital. The title is directly referring to Ted’s initial encounter with Tracy.
The show moves at a snail’s pace toward the two finally meeting, and throughout the series, Ted grows into the man that Tracy needs and wants when they meet at the train station. Tracy is everything that the show's narrative focuses on, and Ted spends years (and nine seasons) explaining to his children every little element of his life that led him to their mother.
Tracy is the love of Ted’s life, both before and after them eventually meeting, and Ted’s entire life story is based around meeting her and marrying her, regardless of the fact the show doesn’t focus heavily on their relationship past their first run-in.
10 Ted's divorced parents are compared to Robin and Ted
In the season 2 episode, “Brunch”, Ted’s parents come to visit and the entire gang goes out with them for dinner one night, and brunch the next day. When they all go out to brunch, Ted finally finds out, months after it actually occurred, that his parents got divorced. At brunch, Ted is wearing a red shirt and Robin is wearing a blue dress, which match up directly to his parent’s respective wardrobes.
Ted’s parents also give Ted a speech about how they believed they would be perfect for each other but later found out they had too many differences to stay together. Not to mention that their reasons for their eventual divorce line up directly with Ted and Robin's problems-- Ted’s mom didn’t want kids but his dad did. It’s pretty obvious foreshadowing, but it does help the argument that Robin and Ted wouldn’t last long.
9 Robin Saw A Very Different Future For Herself
Robin has her own individual views on the importance and distinction between her work life and her personal life, and those views couldn’t be further from Ted’s own. Robin wanted to become a world renowned television journalist, and her interest in relationships exists second to that priority.
Of course, like people in the real world, her aspirations change as she evolves throughout the program. She falls for Barney, and does eventually settle down with him.
Ted’s soulmate was someone who liked his quirks, wanted the same things out of life, and who fell for him as hard as he fell for her. All of those aspects add up to Tracy, not Robin. The fact of the matter is, Robin was not Ted’s soulmate, because they were never truly meant to be.
8 Tracy’s Quote About Love
In the 19th episode of season 9, “Vesuvius”, Tracy gives the first indication that she might not be in Ted’s life forever when she gives him an amazing speech. Tracy states, “You're the love of my life, Pooh Bear. I just worry about you. I don't want you to be the guy who lives in his stories. Life only moves forward."
It’s one of the most raw and emotionally revealing moments in the entire history of How I Met Your Mother, and it sums up the “why” of the final moments of the series. Sure, Ted does eventually end up going back and stealing the French horn for Robin, but it’s only because the love of his life was gone. They were perfect for each other (more on that later), and there’s no disputing that Ted loved Robin, but she definitely wasn’t his soulmate.
7 Tracy Settled For Someone That Wasn’t Her Soulmate Before
The story of Tracy’s life, as it relates to the overall narrative of How I Met Your Mother, is pretty sad. She does eventually end up meeting our favorite Cleveland-born Washington Generals fan, but before she was able to fall for her soulmate, she had to let go of someone she loved.
In the 200th episode of the series, it’s revealed that Tracy was once in love with her boyfriend Max, until he unfortunately passed away in an accident that she found out about on her 21st birthday. Tracy was devastated by this occurrence, and swore off love, believing that the love of her life had passed. But she ends up later finding Ted, the real love of her life, and father to her children. The realization that she could move on from Max helped to inform her speech from the previous entry.
6 Ted And Tracy's Lives Continually Crossed
A soulmate, by very definition, is someone who ideally fits and is suited to be with you, and How I Met Your Mother continually talks about destiny, and how destiny put Ted in the right place at the right time to be with Tracy.
Tracy was a regular at a second MacLaren’s Pub; the Mother is present the day that Ted confuses an Economics class with his Architecture class; he was in her apartment while dating her roommate; her band is booked for Barney and Robin’s wedding; she sees Darren’s ad for a replacement bass player; and Ted eventually hears her for the first time as she sings “La Vie en Rose” on her balcony.
It’s ridiculous to claim that all of these missed encounters are mere coincidence. Clearly their paths were fated to cross, and the universe was constantly pushing them toward each other.
5 Robin Was Willing To Settle Down With Barney, Not Ted
Barney is a pretty convincing character. Okay, so Barney is probably the most convincing character in television history. He is always tricking women with his gigantic array of plays and disguises, and he’s always trying to get the upper hand with his friends. It took Barney's greatest play ever, “The Robin”, to finally convince her that he was the one for her.
Barney and Robin’s relationship did eventually crumble, but that’s because they changed as time went on and wanted different things as they got older-- or because the writers felt compelled to break them up so that Ted could end up with Robin.
Barney and Robin were perfect for each other at the time of their engagement. They were both madly in love, and Barney was able to do something for Robin that Ted never could. He showed her that even someone who is strictly against marriage could give in for the right person. For Barney, that person was Robin, and for Robin, it was Barney.
4 Ted Let Robin Go
A person’s soulmate is something ineffable. It’s a person who, no matter what happens, you’ll end up with; someone that you’re meant to be with. It’s certainly not someone who you could let go of, and Ted eventually got to a point where he could say goodbye to Robin.
In the 17th episode of the 9th season, Ted finally agrees to let Robin go as The Bangles, “Eternal Flame” plays in the background. Ted even says, “I have to let go now” to her. This appeared to be the final romantic interaction that we would ever see between the two, as the dramatized scene perfectly illustrated Ted’s struggle to forget about his feelings and move on. And Ted did manage to forget about her, because he fell in love with the woman he was meant to be with-- Tracy.
3 Robin Wanted Ted To Give Up On Their Romance
Robin fought to convince Ted to give up on his feelings for her throughout all nine seasons, because they weren’t right for each other. Robin was he one who could see that they needed to go in different directions, and that fact only got clearer as they got older and the show kept running.
Ted needed to hear it, because the constant denial that he received eventually made him realize who his perfect woman truly was. Though Robin developed strong feelings for Ted throughout the course of the series, unlike him, she always kept her feet firmly on the ground.
Robin never needed to convince Barney that they shouldn’t be together, and Tracy never told Ted that they didn’t belong together. If Ted were Robin’s sou mate, she would be fighting to keep him around, not fighting him to let go.
2 The Creator Explicitly Said That Tracy Is Perfect For Ted
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, co-creator of How I Met Your Mother, Carter Bays was asked whether they had originally planned to have Robin be the mother at the end of the series. Carter Bays responded with: “No. We’ve heard that question a lot. What always made the show interesting to us is that Ted meets the perfect woman, and it’s [still] not his final love story.”
Note the wording here with “perfect woman”. And what’s said following that basically just reaffirms what everyone already thought; Tracy is Ted’s soul mate, and after she passed, he moved on with Robin. The very basis of the show from the beginning, from the perspective of the creators, was to tell a story about moving on after loss. Even though the finale wasn’t what fans were necessarily expecting, it is a message that most can get behind.
1 If Robin Were Ted’s SoulMate The Show Would Lose All Meaning
Picking up from where the last entry left off, Tracy being Ted’s soulmate actually gives the show meaning beyond being a simple love story. The fact that Ted found everything he was looking for in Tracy, ended up losing her, and then was still able to find love after tragedy is rather beautiful.
If Robin were Ted’s soulmate, then the story of How I Met Your Mother would be sick and tragic; Ted spent forever telling his children about how he was never truly complete with their mother. When considering Tracy as Ted’s soulmate, the entire show is actually seen as a request for his kids' permission to chase after love for a second time. What makes How I Met Your Mother interesting is that it’s a hilarious yet delicate program that shows loss as it affects actual people in the real world.
The children that Ted talks to throughout the show know about Ted’s marriage with their mother, but the tale that he tells them highlights his growth through adulthood, and it comes from a genuine moment of Ted’s life. He never hides the fact that their mother was his “one”; he’s just telling them of the love he had for someone else who they’re already so close to.
So there you have it, undeniable proof that Ted and Tracy were soulmates in How I Met Your Mother. Did we convince you? Sound off in the comments!