How I Met Your Mother: How Old Each Character Is Supposed To Be

Summary

  • Ted Mosby was 27 at the start of How I Met Your Mother and met Tracy when he was 35. He eventually ends up with Robin when he is 52.
  • Robin was 25 in HIMYM season 1 and got married to Barney at the age of 33. She is 50 when she gets back together with Ted in the series finale.
  • Barney was the oldest of the group at 29 in HIMYM season 1. He married Robin at 37, became a father at 44, and is 54 in the future timeline.
  • Lily and Marshall are the same age as Ted on How I Met Your Mother.

Although How I Met Your Mother presented multiple timelines, thankfully, enough details were uncovered to ascertain every main HIMYM character’s age — but how old are the characters in How I Met Your Mother? The sitcom heavily focused on Ted Mosby as he told his two children, Penny and Luke, the expansive tale about how he met their mother. This story was the driving force behind the entire series while Ted from 2030 narrated the show, which was initially set in modern-day 2005. It then followed big events surrounding Ted and his closest friends: Marshall, Lily, Barney, and Robin.

Throughout How I Met Your Mother, these characters’ birthdays were revealed, with the series even airing a few birthday-centric episodes. From this, it’s also possible to deduce how old the main characters were during some of their most important moments. For those rewatching old episodes of the original sitcom or following the ongoing story of How I Met Your Father, here’s the answer to “how old are the characters in How I Met Your Mother?” – including their respective ages in the spinoff’s two separate timelines.

How Old Is Ted?

The most Googled person in terms of HIMYM‘s character ages, Ted Mosby’s birthday is April 1978, which made him 27 at the start of How I Met Your Mother. The series seemed to spend about one calendar year per season early on, as Ted celebrates his 30th birthday in How I Met Your Mother season 3, episode 17, “The Goat.” Ted ended up meeting Tracy, a.k.a. the “Mother,” on the night of Robin and Barney’s wedding, the HIMYM season 5 premiere, when he was 35 years old.

Ted was in his mid-to-late 30s when the couple had their kids whereas Tracy was in her early 30s. By the time they got married in 2020, Ted was 42 and Tracy is around 36. Unfortunately, Tracy and Ted’s romance is short-lived, and she eventually succumbs to her illness in 2024, when Ted is 46 and Tracy was 40. Ted’s children give their father their blessing to begin seeing Robin again in the 2030 timeline. The Ted and Robin relationship begins again when Ted is 52. In terms of the question “how old are the characters in How I Met Your Mother?”, Ted is the same age as Lily and Marshall.

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How Old Is Robin?

Composite image of Ted and Robin in HIMYM

Out of HIMYM‘s character ages, Robin was the youngest in season 1 at 25 years old, with a birthday in 1980. Robin’s birthday was revealed in How I Met Your Mother season 5, episode 3, “Robin 101,” as Barney is taking “classes” on Robin via Ted. Robin and Barney got married in May 2013, making her 33 years old at the time of their wedding. Though Robin doesn’t get any birthday-themed installments on HIMYM, somewhat confusing the question “how old are the characters in How I Met Your Mother?”.

Unfortunately, Robin and Barney’s relationship doesn’t work out and in the HIMYM season 9 flashforwards, the couple is shown getting a divorce. Barney couldn’t cope with Robin’s career and the pair separated for good in 2016 when Robin is 36 years old. In How I Met Your Mother‘s future timeline, which is set in 2030, she’s 50. This means that when she and Ted get back together for good in the series finale, Robin is 50 years old and Ted is 52. Robin was notably the first original main cast member to appear in How I Met Your Father.

How Old Is Barney?

How I Met Your Mother Barney Playbook

The highest number among HIMYM‘s character ages, Barney was the oldest of the group in season 1 since he was born in 1976, making him around 29 when the show began. Barney’s actual birthday is never revealed on HIMYM, and he wasn’t given a birthday episode, adding confusion to the “how old are the characters in How I Met Your Mother?”. Nevertheless, Barney revealed in HIMYM season 5, episode 19, “Zoo or False” that he was born seven years after the 1969 moon landing. When Barney married Robin, he was 37, and Barney became a father at the age of 44 in 2020.

Barney and Robin sadly divorced in 2016, during which time Barney would’ve been 40 years old. In How I Met Your Mother‘s future timeline, Barney is 54 years old. Due to the character’s penchant for keeping secrets, Barney Stinson’s real age was, for a time, a mystery in the show, until his birth year of 1976 was confirmed following reveals about his early life. Apart from Barney’s cameo in the spinoff, in which he is 46, the HIMYF fan theory about Barney being Sophie’s dad shows how Barney’s legend lives on.

How Old Is Lily?

Lily getting married on How I Met Your Mother

The easiest characters to answer for in terms of “how old are the characters in How I Met Your Mother?” are Ted, Lily, and Marshall, as they all met as freshmen in college and were born the same year. Lily was 27 years old in How I Met Your Mother season 1 and got her own memorable birthday episode. In HIMYM season 5, episode 18, “Say Cheese,” Lily celebrates her 32nd birthday, showing how the series timeline begins to slow down during seasons 3-5. Marshall and Lily got married in HIMYM season 2, episode 21, “Something Borrowed,” making her around the age of 29 at the time of the ceremony.

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Out of all the main character’s relationships on How I Met Your Mother, Lily and Marshall’s was the strongest from the start, and stayed that way until the end of the series. Lily gives birth to their first child, Marvin Jr., in the HIMYM season 7 finale, meaning she was pregnant when she was around 33 and had her first child at 34. In the future timeline and by the end of the series, HIMYM‘s Marshall and Lily were still happily married at the age of 52, with three kids.

How Old Is Marshall?

Marshall smiling on How I Met Your Mother

In terms of “how old are the characters on How I Met Your Mother?”, Marshall’s birthdate is quite easy as he’s born in 1978 like Ted and Lily, and is 27 years old at the start of the series. It’s revealed in HIMYM season 7, episode 10, “Trilogy Time,” that Marshall began law school at Columbia in 2004, at 26 years old. When Lily and Marshall get married in HIMYM season 2, he’s 29 years old.

The couple spends a few years in marital bliss before Lily gets pregnant in the HIMYM season 6 finale. She gives birth in season 7, making Marshall 34 years old when he becomes a father for the first time. In the controversial How I Met Your Mother series finale future timeline, Marshall is 52 years old and happily raising his family with Lily.

How Old Is Tracy?

Ted and Tracy smiling at each other with a yellow umbrella on How I Met Your Mother

When it comes to “how old are the characters in How I Met Your Mother?” the titular mother is the youngest. Tracy’s birthday is revealed to be September 13th, 1984, consequently with her birthday occurring on the same day as the pilot episode is set. Tracy would’ve been 21 years old in How I Met Your Mother season 1, but she wasn’t introduced until Barney and Robin’s wedding in 2013 during HIMYM season 9. She and Ted meet there, when Tracy is 29 years old. They begin dating shortly after.

Tracy’s time on How I Met Your Mother was unfairly short-lived, and many weren’t happy with her ending. It’s unspecified when she and Ted had children, but it can be guessed that Ted was in his mid-to-late 30s when the couple had their kids whereas Tracy was in her early 30s. Tracy and Ted got married in 2020 when she was 36 years old, and the pair get four short years together before she tragically passes away in 2024, being 40 years old at the time of her death. Had Tracy lived, she would’ve been 46 years old at the end of the How I Met Your Mother future timeline.

Ted’s Aging Creates Timeline Problems

Josh Radnor as Old Ted in How I Met Your Mother

How I Met Your Mother confirmed that Future Ted was narrating the tale from the year 2030. It’s assumed he was around the age of 52 while Ted’s kids Penny and Luke were 15 and 13. (Unfortunately, after much speculation, it was revealed that Tracy passed away six years prior, at the age of 40). But it presents something of a timeline issue that “old Ted” is the character’s iteration by 2030, whereas he came across as much more youthful only ten years prior – either time was not kind to Ted Mosby, or the character wasn’t aged up consistently.

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This considerably confuses the answer to the question “how old are the characters in How I Met Your Mother?”. However, there are several reasons why this timeline plot hole could exist. It could have been that the series never intended to run for as long as it did and explore Ted’s life so far down the line. However, it’s actually been confirmed by the series’ creators that the ending to How I Met Your Mother was planned from the beginning. In the end, Ted’s age timeline problems will remain a bit of an unsolved mystery.

How Old Are The HIMYM Characters During How I Met Your Father

Robin sitting at the bar booth in How I Met Your Father

Figuring out HIMYM character ages during How I Met Your Father is a matter of adding 17 years to account for the gap between How I Met Your Mother‘s pilot and the spinoff. As Ted was 27 in 2005, Ted Mosby’s age is 44 during How I Met Your Father’s main 2022 timeline. The same goes for Marshall and Lily who are also 44, while Robin is 42, and Barney is 46. The same strategy goes for figuring out the age of these characters in 2050. Adding 28 years to his age in How I Met Your Father‘s 2022 timeline, in 2050, Ted Mosby’s age is 72, and so are Marshall and Lily who share Ted’s birth year.

Meanwhile, while Sophie herself is 58 years old in Future Sophie’s HIMYF 2050 timeline, Robin would be 70, Barney would be 74, and Tracy would be 73. As both Robin and Barney already made their respective cameos in How I Met Your Father‘s 2022 timeline – along with Carl the bartender from MacLaren’s and The Captain and Becky from the Pineapple Incident – it’s likely just a matter of time before the rest of the main How I Met Your Mother cast appears in the spinoff as well. When that happens, this guide will come in handy in determining their respective ages for context, whichever timeline they may appear.

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