The best version of Chris Traeger is the vulnerable Chris Traeger, and I will fight you on that. His struggles with mental illness just felt so real, and I could identify with that, not his Perfection Incarnate version. I think that’s why Ann had such a hard time dating him; he put on such a great performance with his dedication to fitness and impeccable features and wardrobe that it was so hard to see below the surface.
When that facade is taken away, however, both Ann and the audience (e.g. me) are able to see the human side of him, and that’s why the following is my favorite Chris moment:
Humanizing Chris in Season Three’s “Flu Season” was the best thing the show could have ever done for the character, and I love that they continued this trend, including his struggles with depression and then his self-doubt concerning fatherhood. I almost picked the scene from Season Six where he admits his anxiety over becoming a dad has kept him awake for over 50 hours, but this one won out because I spent nearly ten minutes laughing over his commandment to himself to “stop pooping.” I am mature, I promise.