Watching the finale and realized that Ted is being a dick to his friends, leaving their wedding reception early.

You make a good point, but just because Ted suffered a lot, it doesn't make him selfless.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. With the exception of Marshall (who truly is the most selfless person on the show), How I Met Your Mother is basically a show of four selfish people, each trying to live their lives. This doesn't make any of them bad or good. It just makes them people.

For example, Robin constantly put her career in front of her loved ones, with very few minor exceptions on very rare occasions. Lily flat out ditched her fiancee in favor of an art career. She even would go to lengths to ruin Ted's love life if it didn't fit her agenda. Barney was a complete womanizer, taking advantage of countless women and sometimes even his friends to accomplish his goals. However, all Barney wanted, was to enjoy his time with his friends.

Like it or not, Ted is on this list as well. Ted constantly undermined and patronized Barney, disregarding just about everything Barney said. Then, when Barney finally reformed himself and got the girl, Ted still strove to steal Robin from him, believing Barney unworthy of getting anyone let alone the "girl of his dreams". The reason? Ted didn't think Barney deserved to have happiness before him. That's pretty selfish if you ask me. That's another thing, Ted only liked Robin again because Barney liked her, akin to a selfish child who hordes the toys to himself.

Citing " False Positive", all of Ted's friends made a change for the better once they heard Marshall and Lily were pregnant. Hell, Barney even donated to a church, even though they all went back on their words after they learned it was a false positive. Going back to Ted, though and what you said, all he wanted was for his friends to come together to eat a gingerbread house inside of a movie theater with him. (Let's gloss over the fact that it's pretty selfish of Ted to make a huge gingerbread mess in a theater for the employees) His friends were each in a state of crisis, but that didn't matter to Ted. He just wanted all of them to go along with his plans (Barney does the same thing, but gets more flack for it)

Taking into account for a second Ted's "feelings" for Robin. Ted may have "loved" Robin, but we never considered how Robin felt about the whole thing. Robin started off liking Ted as a simple attraction, but Ted, because of his selfish desire to settle down, forced his feelings onto Robin. He didn't consider at all for a second that Robin didn't love him the same way he did with her. Throughout the entire show, actually, he tried forcing his feelings on her, constantly putting her life in disarray and mixing her all up inside. It wasn't until an extremely cheesy moment on the beach, that Ted "finally let her go". I put quotes around that whole thing because, in truth, he didn't.

Finally, let's take Ted's kids into account. Ted spends the better part of 8 years of his life to explain to his kids a overly long and drawn out story that could have been, and was, shortened down. He deliberately wasted the time of his kids just to ask them for permission to go out with Robin again. When you think about it, his true intentions were never to tell a wonderful story, but to warm his kids up to the idea of him and their aunt Robin going out.

Ted was both selfless and selfish. He had many selfless giving moments, but he was also equally as selfish. That doesn't make him a bad or a good person. It just makes him a person, like all the other main characters on HIMYM

/r/HIMYM Thread