One of the best parts of Schitt’s Creek — a series which began as a bit of a slow-burner before becoming one of the most popular shows around by its fourth season — is the sweet, complicated, and nuanced relationship between Alexis (Annie Murphy) and Ted (Dustin Milligan) (via The New York Times).
The pair certainly experience a lot together on the show. They first meet in Season 1 and begin dating, even though Alexis is actually more interested in Mutt at the time. After two failed engagements, the pair break up, and Alexis ends up working as Ted’s secretary. In Season 5, the couple finally get to be together. However, in Season 6, the couple have to deal with long-distance when Ted gets his dream job in the Galápagos Islands. Their relationship ends with one of the most heartbreaking break-up scenes in TV history.
Fans of the show probably remember this bittersweet timeline — but what about those little details you may have missed? So, read on for things you probably missed about Alexis and Ted’s relationship in Schitt’s Creek.
Schitt’s Creek’s Ted is the polar opposite to Alexis’s previous boyfriends
After watching all six seasons of Schitt’s Creek, it’s hard to remember that there was a time when Ted actually seemed completely wrong for Alexis. In the first season, Alexis is spoiled and unaware — the sensitive, pun-making, small-town vet doesn’t seem like the right fit.
Unsurprisingly, Ted is completely different from Alexis’s previous boyfriends. Throughout the show, Alexis reveals little details about her previous relationships. Stavros was the man she was dating before coming to Schitt’s Creek. Stavros is a wild party boy who clearly doesn’t care about Alexis at all. As Alexis says, "He’s broken up with me five times already" (via ScreenRant). And, one of these times involved her getting arrested, and another time involved him leaving her abandoned in Rio.
Other previous flings include Prince Harry, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jared Leto, a famous soccer player, all three Hanson brothers, Adam Levine, Josh Groban, Sean Penn, and Harry Styles, amongst others (via Bustle). Wow, Ted really is a breath of air for Alexis when he arrives on the scene — as she would say, we love that for her!
Ted on Schitt’s Creek is unbelievably forgiving to Alexis
In the early days of their relationship, Alexis wasn’t quite as emotionally intelligent and, well, kind, as she grew to be by the end of Schitt’s Creek. In fact, on a few occasions, she was pretty awful to sweet little Ted. Alexis broke off their engagement not once but twice. We have to say, it’s pretty rare that you find someone willing to forgive this kind of behavior — but Ted was willing to give Alexis a second and a third chance. As Advocate put it, "He was willing to forgive and love Alexis no matter how many times she broke his heart."
According to a study in the Journal of Family Psychology, being able to offer forgiveness in a relationship makes a long, satisfying romantic relationship more likely. No wonder, this pair ended up being so perfect for each other — even if things didn’t work out in the end.
In the beginning, fans were rooting for a totally different guy for Alexis on Schitt’s Creek
Schitt’s Creek fans were devastated when Ted and Alexis didn’t end up together, it’s pretty weird to think back to a time when this couple weren’t exactly #couplegoals, but, in fact, back in Season one, plenty of fans were Team Mutt rather than Team Ted. Even though Mutt ended up being the wrong guy for Alexis, back in the day, he and Alexis were a pretty steamy pair.
Alexis was instantly attracted to Mutt — Alexis and Ted, on the other hand, didn’t exactly have the same physical chemistry. Mutt and Alexis also had the whole "friends first" thing going on, which made the relationship feel a little more interesting.
Mutt was an important relationship for Alexis, but, in the end, it wasn’t quite right. Some fans were even disappointed. As Den of Geek noted, "Alexis has grown and Mutt has helped her do so, but in doing so she’s grown out of Mutt."
This might be why Schitt’s Creek’s Alexis and Ted didn’t work the first time around
Ted and Alexis definitely seem perfect for each other at the end of Schitt’s Creek — but at the start, they seemed like a mismatched pair. In fact, Alexis wasn’t that interested in Ted for anything other than a tool to make Mutt jealous. It’s a little strange that Ted and Alexis are a great match the second time they date, but not the first. What’s going on there?
Well, as one fan mused on Reddit, both characters are to blame. As the fan wrote, "Alexis was wrong to emotionally cheat with Mutt and to lead on Ted. However, Ted was also forcing the relationship." Looking back on the early days of Ted and Alexis, it’s clear that the relationship was pretty one-sided — and Ted probably should have picked up on it. The truth is, Alexis simply wasn’t ready to be with someone as stable and kind as Ted, so the relationship would never have worked. And it definitely wasn’t anyone’s fault.
However, by the time Alexis and Ted got back together, Alexis had grown up a lot, and the relationship was no longer one-sided.
Ted is practically reborn when Alexis sees him on that motorcycle on Schitt’s Creek
One of the all-time best moments of Schitt’s Creek is Ted’s dramatic return in Season 2. He appears in a leather jacket on a motorcycle looking more like James Dean than Ted Mullens. Ted’s mini-transformation gives Alexis the chance to see him through new eyes. In fact, it’s probably the first time Alexis is visibly attracted to Ted. As Dan Levy told Entertainment Weekly, "With more confidence, Ted becomes the man Alexis wanted him to be, complicating her romantic life yet again."
As Dustin Milligan revealed to Entertainment Weekly, there’s another reason why he looks so different in that scene. "Believe it or not, it wasn’t me driving up on the motorcycle," Milligan explained. "They had a professional do it."
Most fans probably didn’t catch it, but there’s something hilarious that happens in the scene. "You sort of see the operator… of the motorcycle getting off, but … he’s enjoying the ride. … there was definitely some thrusting going on against that leather seat, and Annie [Murphy] and I were dying watching it," he said. Sounds like that stunt double really got into character for his role as "Hot Ted!"
Ted was an amazing friend to Alexis before they got back together on Schitt’s Creek
After Ted and Alexis broke up on Schitt’s Creek, she got the chance to see just what a great guy he really was. Instead of holding a grudge against Alexis, Ted became one of her best friends. He gave her her first job as his assistant, and he helped her get rid of lice. He even showed up at her high school graduation.
While fans may have felt disappointed that the couple was no longer together, it was great to see what a great friend Ted could be. His acts of kindness gave their relationship a little more depth and a stronger foundation. Their friendship also gave Alexis a chance to pursue her own interests without being under the shadow of a romantic partner. As Annie Murphy told The TV Junkies, "Loyal Ted is always around but Alexis chooses to take a few steps back romantically from everyone and pursue what she wants to pursue." Looking back, it’s lovely to see how supportive Ted is during this part of Alexis’s life, even though they aren’t together romantically.
Watching Schitt’s Creek’s Alexis realize she loves Ted is heartbreaking
One of the most touching, relatable moments in Alexis’s journey on Schitt’s Creek is when she begins to fall in love with Ted. Throughout Season 4, we watched as Alexis develops deep feelings for Ted and as Ted moves on and finds someone new.
In the "Behind the Episode" for the episode "RIP Moira Rose," Dan Levy and Dustin Milligan discussed Alexis’s growing feelings for Ted. The relationship was especially complicated, as Ted clearly still had a connection with Alexis. As Milligan said, "It’s obvious that there is still something there." Levy added that he wanted the audience to feel for Alexis by showing her coming to terms with Ted’s new relationship. "You want to give a hint to the audience that he’s uncomfortable with Alexis knowing that [Ted’s new] relationship is as stable as it is," he explained.
As audience members, we certainly did feel uncomfortable! There was probably nothing worse, or more relatable, than watching Alexis pine for someone who was out of reach.
Alexis confessing her love for Ted shows how much she’s grown on Schitt’s Creek
Alexis’s journey over the course of Schitt’s Creek is pretty remarkable. As actor Annie Murphy explained to Elle, "The writers were so good at layering her over time … She starts to show aspects of her personality that were always there, but were suppressed by the lack of need to show them." Two of these qualities — courage and honesty — become clear for the audience when Alexis makes the mature decision to tell Ted about her feelings in order to find some closure rather than to win him back.
It turns out, the cast got just as emotional as we did. In the "Behind the Episode," Milligan gushed, "I love that scene so much. Annie, I thought you were so good in that." Milligan added that he genuinely felt angry at Murphy during the filming of the scene "because we had this whole history that we had." Dan Levy added, "My dad was sitting behind the camera sobbing and was very moved by the scene."
Ted and Alexis on Schitt’s Creek have a totally balanced relationship
Schitt’s Creek’s Alexis and Ted initially seemed too different to work as a couple. Ted was a sweet, innocent, naive guy, while Alexis was a wild, globetrotting party girl. However, over time, their very different personalities complement each other perfectly.
As Annie Murphy explained to Refinery29, during the fifth season of the show, "They’ve changed for each other and not in an Olivia Newton John at the end of Grease kind of way." She added, "They’ve both grown into their new selves after having been influenced by each other."
Murphy made a great point — when Alexis and Ted get together for a second time, they really begin to work well together. As Vulture noted, Alexis learns to be selfless. At the same time, Alexis helps bring out Ted’s more adventurous, wild side. And, as Dustin Milligan put it to Entertainment Weekly, while they have their differences, they also have some key similarities. "Seemingly, they are like oil and water," he said. "There’s something, as much as Alexis is very selfish with an edge a lot of the time and Ted is the antithesis of that, both of them have this inherent sweetness."
Some of Ted and Alexis’s kisses on Schitt’s Creek might look awkward the second time around
Fans of Alexis and Ted on Schitt’s Creek probably loved seeing the romantic kiss when they finally get back together or the steamy kissing scenes when the pair get it on in David’s store. However, it turns out, these intimate moments weren’t exactly as romantic as they might have seemed to viewers.
As Dustin Milligan explained to Entertainment Weekly, filming the kissing scenes could actually get pretty awkward. "Alexis is always wearing … super-tall platform shoes," Milligan said, "so she’s usually taller than me by the time it all works out." Milligan went on to explain that because Alexis was so tall, he was either "looking up at her" or standing on a box. "So, not only am I craning my neck forward like some kind of ungodly giraffe trying to kiss her, but also I’m propped up because, not actually tall enough for that to be even," he said.
Wow, it turns out those Alexis and Ted kisses weren’t really as romantic as we thought.
Schitt’s Creek’s Ted and Alexis give a realistic look at long-distance relationships
In Season 6 of Schitt’s Creek, Ted moves to the Galápagos Islands for a temporary job. Alexis initially plans to come with him, but she eventually decides to stay in Schitt’s Creek to pursue her own career. Suddenly, their relationship became long-distance. As Dustin Milligan explained to Entertainment Weekly, the show’s portrayal of a long-distance relationship was actually pretty spot-on. "With Ted and Alexis, this is a real-life moment that people can really relate to." He went on, "It’s something that a lot of people have faced and a lot of people have struggled with, and I think, with Ted and Alexis, to actually have them be like, ‘Yeah wait, can we do this? Are we strong enough to do this?’"
The relationship plays out in a series of Skype calls, and, as Advocate noted, the show does a great job of portraying all of the tough things that can come with this kind of relationship, including cybersex, anniversary dates, and even getting a pet to fill the void.
The Ted and Alexis break-up scene from Schitt’s Creek is just about perfect
By the end of Schitt’s Creek, many fans were disappointed when Alexis and Ted didn’t end up together. Whether you like the ending or not, you have to admit that the break-up scene between Alexis and Ted is one of the best scenes of the entire show.
In the documentary Best Wishes, Warmest Regards: A Schitt’s Creek Farewell, writer and star Dan Levy explained that the scene was pretty special. "The scene, between the writers and I, probably did about seven drafts," Levy said. "It’s really hard to tell the story of a love story that in the end is still a love story."
The scene itself is definitely close to perfect. Alexis says, "You can’t move back here Ted. You’ve just been offered the job of your dreams and there’s no turning back now." She adds, "This might come as a shock to you, Ted, but I can’t move to the Galápagos." Ted replies, "I wouldn’t have let you even if you tried." As the documentary shows, just about everyone on set was weeping during this touching scene — and it’s probably safe to say that most audiences were, too!
The Ted and Alexis breakup on Schitt’s Creek is actually a good thing — even if it made you weep
While it probably didn’t seem like it at the time, the breakup between Schitt’s Creek’s Ted and Alexis was the best possible ending for these characters. As Dan Levy explained in Best Wishes, Warmest Regards: A Schitt’s Creek Farewell, "It didn’t end because they stopped loving each other, it ended because circumstance stood in their way and that circumstance was their own growth and that’s a wonderful thing." And as Annie Murphy put it to Gold Derby, "It really is, I think, the right place for both of those characters to end up. It’s such a beautiful example of the end of a relationship not being a failure, but being an incredible moment of love and respect and gratitude."
As Esquire noted in its review of the final season, the decision to end the show with this breakup was both brave and inspired: "Schitt’s Creek‘s choice to not write a fan-driven final season takes the series from a cult favorite to a masterpiece."