The Main Characters, Ranked By Likability


How I Met Your Mother had a fantastic group of main characters. They were charming, funny, and for the most part, likable. But when looking more closely at each of the character’s actions and general behavior, it becomes more and more obvious that they’re not always great people.

RELATED: How I Met Your Mother: 5 Characters Who Got Fitting Endings (& 5 Who Deserved More)

That’s not to say that any of them are pure evil, but they each have certain flaws. And by taking these imperfections into account, certain characters start to seem less likable than others.

10 Zoey

In many fans’ eyes, Zoey is among Ted’s worst girlfriends. And it’s hard to disagree, as the pair have a turbulent relationship stemming from their differing opinions on what to do with the Arcadian building. The dislike for Zoey goes deeper than that, though. She’s underhanded, manipulative, and harshly judges those around her.

She’s not entirely awful, though, as she fights for multiple good causes. But even this doesn’t make her that easy to like. Perhaps if the show presented things from her side more often, fans would have more appreciation for her.

9 James

Screenshot James Stinson Playing Poker How I Met Your Mother

Barney’s brother James enters the show as a pretty decent guy. He treats people with respect, and he’s funny while he does it. Yet, in the last season, he reveals that he cheated on his husband multiple times. It’s an awful thing to hear that makes viewers see the character in a different light.

Compared to some of the things Barney does, it doesn’t seem like a major transgression, but James doesn’t show his honorable side as often as his brother, therefore, it’s harder to forgive him.

8 Barney

Screenshot How I Met Your Mother Barney Season Nine Finale

With his outrageous behavior and non-stop catchphrases, Barney Stinson brings a lot of laughs to the show. That being said, there’s no denying that he isn’t always the greatest person.

RELATED: How I Met Your Mother: 10 Worst Characters

In fact, he does a litany of truly awful things throughout the series – remember the time he sold a woman? In these moments, the popular ladies’ man becomes far less appealing, despite his entertainment value. Thankfully, he does enough honorable things during the series to avoid being a complete villain.

7 Lily

how i met your mother lily in rome italy

When looking back on the show, Lily doesn’t come off well. She initially seems like a caring and positive person, but underneath, she has some major flaws. One of her biggest is her manipulative side.

Just ask Ted, who gets his romantic relationships sabotaged by Lily simply because she feels they aren’t working. Who is she to decide that? Plus, while someone like Barney gets called out on his dishonorable behavior often, the same can’t be said for Lily. She’s always gets treated like a great person, which actually makes her more unlikable.

6 Ted

Self-centered, pretentious, and hypocritical, Ted has a lot of undesirable characteristics – something several fans are quick to point out. And throughout the series, he’s not always a great guy, despite the show trying to present him as one.

However, all of his bad moments shouldn’t overshadow his good ones. After all, this man creates a Christmas light show to cheer up Robin and consoles Marshall after Lily breaks off their engagement. Thus, he’s not completely hateable.

5 Victoria

While Ted has plenty of girlfriends throughout the show, Victoria is among the best. Their chemistry is amazing, and the duo shares some memorable moments together. During their first stint as a couple, Victoria is sweet, funny, and rarely does anything wrong.

RELATED: How I Met Your Mother: 10 Best Recurring Characters

Although, after she returns in the later seasons, she’s not quite as perfect. Her most notable misdeed is leaving Klaus at the alter without a note. She’s still a great person overall, though.

4 Robin

It’s easy to feel for Robin throughout the show, as she doesn’t always have an easy time. Her father forces her into being a boy, her love life is often difficult, and at one point, she finds out that she can’t have kids.

Despite this, she remains a badass and constant source of laughter throughout. Yes, she does make some mistakes and is occasionally mean, but it’s not often enough to make her a derided figure.

3 Patrice

Patrice in How I Met Your Mother

Most of Patrice’s scenes involve her getting screamed at by Robin. Yet, Scherbatsky is one of the only people not to like her. From her helpful nature to sunny disposition, Patrice is the most wholesome person in the show. She’s even continually nice to Robin, despite the vitriol she receives in return.

The only thing holding her back from being the most likable person in the series is that she’s not quite as entertaining as some other characters.

2 Tracy

Screenshot How I Met Your Mother Tracy Series Finale

Adding a major character in the last season of a show’s run isn’t always a recipe for success. Fans have already grown accustomed to the people they know, and they aren’t usually interested in seeing new faces. However, Tracy is amazing.

From her first episode, the character wins fans over because of her caring nature and incredible wit. In fact, it could be argued that she is too likable, as it made some fans want Ted to be with her instead of Robin, which soured people on the ending.

1 Marshall

how i met your mother marshall

Marshall Erikson is one of the show’s funniest characters, from his crazy superstitions to his hilarious physical humor. And he doesn’t need to be mean-spirited to make people laugh. The guy rarely hurts anyone’s feelings on purpose, as he is so nice.

Some of the characters even make fun of him for it, like when Robin teases him for not being able to ignore a call. His mix of humor and kindness makes him a character that’s easy to appreciate, and one most would want as a real-life friend.

NEXT: How I Met Your Mother: Every Secondary Character, Ranked By Likability

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Updated: December 5, 2020 — 3:00 am

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