When Terry Woods and his wife Britt arrive in Emmerdale, no one is impressed by their brash attitude. As managers of The Woolpack, the couple have a pivotal position in the community but are unable to stay out of trouble with landlord Alan Turner. Although Terry dotes on Britt, it is clear their marriage is in trouble and when they are offered their own bar in New York, Britt goes alone. The marriage limps on but Terry discovers that Britt is having an affair and they divorce. Now single, Terry takes up ballroom dancing with Viv Windsor, wife of his best friend Vic, as his partner. After a while, they begin an affair and when Vic finds out, Viv and their daughter, Donna, move into the Woolpack with Terry. Terry and Viv's relationship does not last and she and Donna go back to live with Vic and his daughter Kelly.
Terry's job at The Woolpack comes to a violent end in 1998 when he sleeps with Alan Turner's granddaughter Tricia Stokes, only to discover she is also sleeping with Scott Windsor. When he exposes Tricia's lack of morals in front of the entire pub, Alan punches Terry and fires him. On Christmas Day 1998, Terry goes to visit Vic at the post office and discovers his body after he has been killed by Billy Hopwood during a robbery. In 2000, Terry starts working for Chris Tate. Terry is there for Chris when he needs someone to talk to and Chris knows he can trust Terry with anything, leading to a strong friendship between the two men. Terry is saddened when Chris commits suicide in September 2003.
Terry later develops feelings for Woolpack barmaid Louise Appleton but she is dating businessman Ray Mullan When Louise realises she is being stalked, she thinks Terry is responsible but it is actually Ray who is the stalker. When the truth comes out on Christmas Day 2002, Louise and Ray fight and she accidentally kills him. She calls Terry for help and they cover up Ray's death. Thinking their relationship had developed, Terry trys to kiss Louise but she rejects him and he goes on holiday to Spain and stays in a hotel owned and run by Bob Hope's ex-wife, Jean. Whilst there, Terry falls in love with Bob and Jean's daughter, Dawn, and she comes back to Emmerdale with him. They are soon engaged, horrifying Dawn's parents. Despite their objections, Terry and Dawn get married and in 2003, Dawn discovers that she is pregnant.
Terry's son, T.J. (Terry Junior), is born on 19th October 2003, but when TJ is just a few days old, his father suffers a stroke and nearly dies. He clings to life and Dawn helps nurse him back to health. However, with Dawn having to care for both Terry and TJ, their marriage came under strain and Terry was heartbroken when Dawn left him for Scott Windsor. After a brief custody battle, Terry and Dawn's relationship improves and their lives become more stable. In the meantime, Louise discovers that she has feelings for Terry after all and they get together and go into partnership to buy the B&B from Alan Turner. However, Louise is attracted to newcomer Matthew King and she is unable to resist when he makes it clear that he wants her. Soon they begin an affair behind Terry's back. It goes on for weeks and Terry finds out when Louise ends their relationship just as they are about to complete the sale of the B&B. Terry is furious and when Louise who had been dumped by Matthew, begs him for a second chance, Terry rejects her. He throws himself into work and takes a job as Tom King’s chauffeur. When Bob gets married to Viv for a second time, Terry finds himself spending the night with his former mother-in-law, Jean. They agree on it being a one off but they eventually get back together. Terry and Jean are both devastated when Dawn is imprisoned for benefit fraud and the trauma brings them back together. They begin a relationship and fell in love. Determined to keep their relationship secret, Jean flirts with her and Terry's boss Tom King to detract attention. But the relationship is exposed when Terry and Jean are caught having sex in public and are both arrested. After being sacked by Tom, Terry and Jean decided to buy the B&B from Alan Turner. Terry could not afford to buy the B&B alone when he and Louise split up as he needed a business partner and Jean agrees. She decides to sell her hotel in Spain so she can raise the money she needs. But it emerges that she could not afford to go into business with Terry after all but Louise jumps at the chance. She sells her share of the Woolpack to Val Lambert. Jean is not happy about this but she and Louise eventually come to an agreement. When Dawn finds out about Terry and Jean's relationship after her release from prison, she is furious and insists that they end it but Jean refuses. Dawn goes to Newquay to think things over and clear her head and when she returns, Dawn tells Terry and Jean that she and TJ are moving to Cornwall. Hurt at the prospect of losing contact with his son, Terry threatens to sue for custody but he backs down when he realizes that he is tearing the family apart. On the day Dawn and TJ are due to leave, Terry was looking after TJ for the day so Dawn could pack her bags. But Terry returns TJ later than planned, making him and Dawn miss their flight. While waiting for Terry, Donna, who is then Dawn's stepsister, persuades Dawn to go and see her and her husband Marlon's new home, along with the rest of the village. During the opening there is a huge gas explosion and the house collapses and Dawn dies after suffering internal injuries. Although Terry is sad Dawn has died, he is relieved not to lose his son and gains custody of TJ. Dawn's family, however, are devastated and Dawn's father Bob and brother Jamie begin a campaign to avenge the people who had died in the showhome collapse against the King family. Jean grows tired of Bob's obsession and asks Terry to talk sense into him. When Tom offers compensation, Jean accepts as she sees it as the Kings admitting liability and she plans to leave the country with TJ for a fresh start and when Terry finds out, he races to the airport to stop her. But he is too late to stop her and TJ boarding a flight to Morocco. Terry is devastated. Terry holds a grudge against Tom for losing him contact with his son and attacks Tom King on the morning of his wedding. When Tom is murdered on Christmas Day 2006, Terry is a prime suspect. Shortly after Tom's death, Terry disappears and returns with TJ a few weeks later after going to Morocco and persuading Jean to give him back to him. He is questioned by the police as a suspect in the murder investigation but is released without charge.
Terry's father, Duke, arrives in Emmerdale in June 2007. Louise had seen Duke Woods appearing as a guest on The Jeremy Kyle Show, speaking out against anti-social young men. Duke's friend, Andrea Hayworth, persuades Terry to ask Duke to visit for a while in the hope they would reconcile. They do not reconcile completely but learn to respect each other a little more. Duke hopes that Terry and Andrea will get together, as they are both being single parents. Andrea is keen to embark on a relationship but Terry is not.
Terry is scared when TJ is admitted to hospital in 2008 after food poisoning strikes the village and the surrounding area. TJ contracts E coli and a possible cause is Jo Sugden's organic goat cheese. Jo is later cleared and Environmental Health tells Jo and Terry that a local supermarket is responsible. Since then, Terry concentrates on looking after his son and his business. After his former girlfriend, Viv Hope is imprisoned for fraud, Terry and Jamie ask Bob and their twins to move in with them. Bob clearly needs company and the twins would be company for TJ, being his younger Aunt and Uncle. Terry later embarks on a relationship with Brenda Walker. TJ does not like her at first but comes round eventually. Brenda moves in with Terry and TJ. Brenda eventually convinces Terry to sell the B&B to Eric and Val Pollard. Brenda is later angry with Terry when she discovers that her adopted daughter Gennie had slept with Bob whilst Viv was in prison. Bob had told Terry but he did not tell Brenda or Viv. Terry lets Bob stay with him and TJ briefly after Viv throws him out. Terry then begins working as a limousine driver with Rodney Blackstock.
In December 2010, Terry becomes close to Viv again after the shop is burgled numerous times. He helps Viv install a new lock on the flat door and after injuring his hand he looks for a first aid kit and discovers items lost in the burglaries and an alleged mugging Viv claimed had occurred when she had been taking the money from the till to the bank. Terry confronts Viv and she tells him that she faked some of the burglaries and the mugging in order to get Bob's attention as she had been feeling lonely after their split. Terry reassures Viv and she promises never to do anything like that again. Terry later invites Viv over for drinks with him and Brenda and they get on well, much to Brenda's discomfort. After Christmas, Terry encourages Viv to move on from Bob and find a new boyfriend and take up salsa dancing classes again. Viv agrees and asks Terry to come with her as she felt he had been a good dance partner before. Terry agrees and decides not to tell Brenda for fear of her getting the wrong idea. Viv mistakes Terry's friendliness as a sign that he wanted to restart their relationship and on 11 January 2011, when he drops her off at the cafe, she kisses him. Terry hesitates at first then goes home. He later confides in Bob what happened with Viv and he tells Bob that he intends to set her straight and goes to visit her. Unbeknownst to Terry, Brenda sees him as he enters the cafe. Viv is waiting in the flat with a bottle of wine and Terry explains to her that they cannot be together as he is with Brenda. He also explains that she is a special friend to him and that he was trying to cheer her up. Viv accepts his explanation and Terry leaves and goes home. Brenda confronts him about his meetings and dance classes with Viv and accuses him of having an affair with her. Terry denies it but before he can tell her the truth, they hear Paddy knock on their door and are told the houses are on fire and that they should leave their home in case it spreads. Terry packs a bag and gets TJ ready but Brenda continues to pester him about Viv. Terry takes Brenda and TJ to Carl King's house and goes back to help with the rescue effort. Terry finds out that Viv is trapped in the shop with the twins and he and Bob go into the building to rescue them, despite Brenda begging Terry not to go. Bob gets out safely after rescuing the twins but Terry is not with him. The post office and shop explodes and Terry and Viv are killed. Brenda is devastated when the chief firefighter tells them that the ferocity of the blaze means that he had to remove his men from the building. Brenda breaks down as she comes to terms with the fact that Terry is dead and regrets arguing with him and Bob remarks that both his wife and his best friend have gone. Initially Brenda blames Andy Sugden for the fire and makes the village aware of her assumptions at Terry's funeral until she discovers it was Nick Henshall who started the blaze.