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"For me, success is not about the wins and losses. It's about helping these young fellas be the best versions of themselves, on and off the field. And it ain't always easy, but neither is growing up without someone believing in you."
Ted Lasso
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Ted Lasso is a live-action sports sitcom on Apple TV+, developed by Bill Lawrence, Jason Sudeikis, Brendan Hunt, and Joe Kelly. It stars Sudeikis, Hunt, Hannah Waddingham, Jeremy Swift, Brett Goldstein, Phil Dunster, Nick Mohammed, and Juno Temple.

The eponymous Ted Lasso is an American college football coach who is hired as the new manager of the fictional English Premier League soccer club AFC Richmond, despite having absolutely no experience with the beautiful game. Undaunted, he sets about bringing his unique style of coaching to the club and works to win over everyone he comes across.

The show was based on a series of adverts for NBC Sports' coverage of the Premier League, where Lasso instead coached Tottenham Hotspur. The series premiered on August 14, 2020. Before season 2 even began filming, Apple renewed the show for a third season; Bill Lawrence has indicated that the show will likely not continue past that point, due to Sudeikis's availability.

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Previews: First Look Trailer, Official Trailer.


The series contains examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: There are several allusions that doubles as a Shout-Out to Jason Sudeikis’s uncle George Wendt, whose most famous role is Norm in Cheers:
    • Ted entrance into Rebecca’s office in “Goodbye Earl” mirrors the Running Gag of Norm’s entrance into Cheers.
    • In “Rainbow”, the Kebab Shop has a signed photo of Wendt posing at the Cheers bar counter and it’s next to a photo of Roy Kent.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: In the original ads, Ted is portrayed as a stereotypical dumb, obnoxious American. Here, he's a sweet, dogged optimist with major Hidden Depths.
  • Always Someone Better: Jamie's fall from grace among his Richmond teammates coincides with the arrival of Dani Rojas, equally talented and far more likeable.
  • And Starring: "With Juno Temple".
  • Arc Villain: Rebecca, most of the Season 1.
  • Artistic License – Linguistics: The creators are upfront about the fact they don't always use proper British English vocabulary for the dialogue since Americans are the primary audience. In the very first episode, one of the British reporters says "tie" instead of "draw".
  • Artistic License – Sports:
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    • Richmond's last game of the season against Manchester City is played at night. In real life, all ten fixtures of the Premier League's final round of games simultaneously kick off at 3pm, well inside daylight hours.
    • While it's played for darkly comedic effect, a Real Life referee would almost certainly order a penalty to be retaken if the shot were to be inadvertently saved by a dog running onto the pitch. Granted, Dani probably would've been too traumatized to successfully score on the retake, but still...
    • In Season 2, Higgins mentions that because the players signed their contracts before Richmond was relegated, they're now stuck paying Premier League rates for a team that's only making a Championship income. In reality, football contracts almost always have clauses specifying that players will have to take a pay cut if the team gets relegated, thus avoiding this exact scenario.
    • In the Season 2 finale, AFC Richmond are stated to need a single point to secure promotion from the Championship back to the Premier League, with the show acting as if it’s their last chance to do so. In reality, the Championship grants automatic promotion to the top two sides, with a third team gaining promotion through a series of play-offs played amongst the next four highest placed teams.
  • Ascended Fanboy:
    • No matter how much the pub regulars complain to and about Ted, Jeremy and Paul at least acknowledge how cool it is that they're on a first-name basis with the manager of their favorite Premier League club.
    • By the end of the first season, Nate, when Ted and Coach Beard promote him from kit man to assistant coach.
  • As Himself: Real-life football commentators Arlo White and Chris Powell play themselves, providing commentary for all of Richmond's matches.
  • Author Appeal: The Richmond players' obsession with high-end sneakers likely comes from Jason Sudeikis being an avid sneaker collector himself.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Throughout Season 1 and the first half of Season 2, everyone wanted Nate to step up and be more confident: Roy demanded he stop reading his roast and do it face to face, Ted and Beard encouraged him to come out of his shell and share his football strategies with the team, and Rebecca and Keeley helped him learn to be more assertive. As a result, Nate went from kit boy to amazing coach... and then the praise went to his head and he turned into a complete asshole.
  • Big, Stupid Doodoo-Head:
    • Ted's son Henry employs this sort of language when he throws a tantrum, and Ted threatens to copy him if the Richmond team doesn't stop speaking cryptically around him.
    • So does Jamie in 2x05 in attempt to get Roy to coach him.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Particularly with Dani Rojas. In particular, his post-Earl shower in 2x01 has him frantically reciting the Ave Maria in Spanish.
  • Bookends:
    • The first season opens and ends with extreme close ups of Rebecca's face, and the second season does the same with Nate.
    • The second season also begins and ends with Dani taking a penalty kick.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: In regards to Ted's "winning isn't everything" and "teaching life lessons" coaching philosophy. On the one hand, giving Sam a birthday party and gifting him snacks from his home country of Nigeria helps the guy get over his home-sickness and he starts playing to his potential. On the other hand, Ted's blasé attitude towards the possibility of relegation blinds him to the fact that relegation has serious financial ramifications for both the club and players.
  • Breather Episode: "Beard After Hours", which follows the very heavy "Man City", is a (relative) trifle light on plot and heavy on dreamlike and surreal imagery.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: The players will sometimes needle Ted for being American. Roy mocks him by putting on a (dreadful) cowboy accent, and Jamie pointedly says, "who cares, it's just practice" (it's called "training" in the UK).
  • British Brevity: Though an American show, it takes place in Britain and is capped at only 10 episodes for the first season.
  • The Bus Came Back: George Cartrick, the AFC Richmond manager Rebecca fired in the first episode, returns in Season 2 as a recurring pundit for Sky Sports alongside Roy.
  • Call-Back
    • Roy and Keeley's reactions to Ted's antics
      • Keeley, episode 1: I never know how to react when a grown man beatboxes in front of me.
      • Roy, episode 9: I never know how to react when a grown man does The Carlton in front of me.
    • Jamie making the extra pass that he never would at Richmond, winning the game for Manchester City and relegating Richmond in the process.
    • Ted’s reaction to drinking fizzy water in the first and last episodes of the first season.
    • In season 2 episode 8, Sharon watches Lust Conquers All: All-Stars. One previous winner is Danthony, who Jamie got Voted Off the Island against in his reality TV stint.
    • In season 1 episode 9, Ted starts telling Beard a joke “What does a British owl say?” but Beard is deliberately ignoring Ted for...reasons. It’s not until episode 5 of season 2 that Beard reminds Ted that he never delivered the punchline. When Ted does deliver that punchline, Beard laconically deadpans “worth the wait”.
  • The Cameo:
    • Independent singer and busker Cam Cole plays himself and rocks the house in "For the Children".
    • Singer Fleur East appears as herself hosting Lust Conquers All a couple of times in season 2.
    • Referee Mike Dean officiates the FA Cup semifinal.
  • Christmas Episode: "Carol of the Bells" which focuses on Ted and Rebecca spending Christmas together, Roy and Keeley having to host Phoebe after her mother needs to work an emergency surgery, and Higgins and his family throwing their annual Christmas party for all of Richmond's international players.
  • Clothing Reflects Personality:
    • In Season 2, each of Richmond's coaches dresses differently for matches.
      • Ted dresses in business casual, opting for a sweater over slacks and a dress shirt rather than a full suit because he's easy-going and not coaching from a position of superiority.
      • Beard wears training gear as he's very laid-back and doesn't care too much about clothing beyond appearing presentable.
      • Nate originally wears a warm-up jacket over a shirt and tie. However, as the season progresses, he switches to a full suit because he wants to project an image of confidence and maturity. As his need for attention increases, the suits become tighter and flashier.
      • Roy wears training gear as he's still a player at heart.
    • Rebecca and Keeley's opposing senses of style highlight their different personalities:
      • Rebecca's clothes are always elegant, dressy, and somewhat conservative, reflecting her more reserved and formal personality.
      • Keeley, who is younger, bubblier, and less refined than Rebecca, tends to wear loud, fashionably offbeat clothing and frequently incorporates casual items like sweatpants into her wardrobe.
  • Cool Car: Quite a few, including Rebecca's Rolls-Royce, Sam's Tesla, and of course Colin's Lamborghini. A Justified Trope as most of the characters are extremely wealthy and can easily afford high-end cars, while less well-off characters like Higgins and Nate are shown driving more modest vehicles.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In response to Will giving him a custom Richmond kit that says "Wonder Kid" on the nameplate in what was meant to be an entirely friendly gesture, Nate confronts him privately and threatens to make his life a fucking misery if he ever does anything like that again.
  • Downer Beginning: Season 2 starts with Dani Rojas accidentally killing a dog that ran onto the field with a penalty kick, an incident that got him in need of professional help.
  • Downer Ending:
    • Season 1, episode 5, which ends with Ted realizing he needs to let his wife go and they agree to get a divorce.
    • Season 1, episode 6, when, after months of trying to get Jamie to become a team player, he finally gets through to him only for Jamie to be sent back to Manchester City the next morning.
    • Season 1 as a whole ends with Richmond being relegated after a game against the much better Manchester City, Roy with a potentially career-ending injury, and Jamie being screamed at by his father for making the extra pass to win the game instead of trying to score the goal himself.
    • Season 2, episode 7: Nate has seemingly resolved to stop bullying Colin and Will, only for a single rude tweet to cause him to backslide and threaten to make Will's life "a fucking misery" if he ever embarrasses Nate again.
    • Season 2, episode 8: The team suffers a crushing defeat against Man City, Jaime's father abuses him in front of the entire team in the locker room, and Ted tearfully confesses to Sharon that his father committed suicide when he was a teen.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • Rebecca's calm, poised, and scathing firing of Richmond's old coach.
    • Our first exposure to Ted occurs on his plane flight out to England and we see his determined optimism shine in his conversations with Coach Beard. However, when he first returns to his seat we see he is reading The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac, strongly suggesting some Hidden Depths to his character. His inability to sleep, which can easily be taken as excitement, is our first nod to his mental health struggles. His philosophy is more solidly laid out in episode 3 during his interview with Trent Crimm, a reporter from The Independent.
    • Roy's reaction to Ted's first press conference in which he angrily tells the team to be quiet and they all listen to him, as well as his colourful language during first practice.
    • Jamie Tartt's self-centered behavior during the first practice.
    • Nate switching from frantically yelling at Lasso and Beard while he mistakes them for intruders to apologizing in an extremely servile way after he realizes they outrank him. Doubles as Foreshadowing for his Character Development as he starts rising up the ranks.
    • Rupert crashing Rebecca's speech at her gala and making it about himself.
    • Dani Rojas's enthusiastic entrance.
    • Keeley's fun-loving yet media-savvy, responsible, and kind personality is established when she walks into the locker room to take Jamie to a waxing appointment to help with his brand, flirtatiously teases the team, and apologizes to Ted for interrupting him. It's cemented when she comes back to get Jamie's phone, during which she plays a couple of jokes on Ted, but also gives him a friendly warning to stay away from Twitter and sincerely welcomes him to England.
    • Dr. Fieldstone introducing herself as a Consummate Professional, but also demonstrating that her cool attitude doesn't make her mean or snobby by asking Ted, Nate, and Beard what their record is in their paper-tossing game and complimenting them on the impressive number.
    • Jan Maas bluntly telling Colin that he's the only one who played poorly, which Sam quickly explains is not Jan being rude, just him being Dutch.
  • Evil, Inc.: Richmond's former main sponsor, Dubai Air, is a shady company owned by an even shadier company. Cerithium Oil is responsible for major environmental damage in Nigeria and bribes the local government to look the other way. When Sam pulls out of an ad campaign after finding out about it, their executive casually demands that Rebecca oust him from the team.
  • Everyone Owns a Mac: This being an Apple TV+ show, all the characters are regularly seen typing away on Macs and using iPhones, often with the logo visible.
  • Expy Coexistence:
    • AFC Richmond is heavily based on Crystal Palace FC (with their stadium Selhurst Park even standing in for Nelson Road Stadium), but Crystal Palace still exists in the show's universe.
    • In "Do the Right-est Thing", Rebecca brings her goddaughter Nora by the "Dolls of England" shop. When Nora pokes fun at the brand (apparently, every character is an orphan), Rebecca concedes that "the Americans do the 'historical doll' concept better".
    • Dubai Air is a nod to Real Madrid sponsor Fly Emirates. Their parent company Cerithium Oil is a fossil fuel giant with an industry-typical history of environmental atrocities, very much like Gazprom, who have been involved multiple teams over the years, most notably Chelsea. Since both clubs exist in the show and are way out of Richmond's league, it's to be assumed their sponsors do too.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Has been building up through most of season 2 for Nate, with his treatment of Colin and Will in particular, his reaction to the match won with his tactics after Ted left midgame, building disdain for Ted always getting credit for the effectiveness of his tactics, and culminating in his reveal about Ted's panic attack, which he had tried so hard to hide, to Trent Crimm, The Independent.
  • Female Gaze: The show has much more male nudity than female, and very often for the benefit of the female characters. Although it has the excuse of being partly set in a men's locker room there are several scenes which call attention to the disparity:
    • Jamie keeps a topless photo of his model girlfriend Keeley in his locker, which we don't get to see until after Ted has already covered her bare breasts with masking tape.
    • Although we learn that there exist topless photos of Rebecca, which Keeley demands to see, they are hidden from the audience's view (although Keeley is very impressed by them).
    • Roy does not bother to put on a shirt as he dashes outside the stadium to look for Jamie, leading Keeley (who is arriving) to quite shamelessly leer at him.
    • Rebecca happens to head down to the locker room just as most of the players are changing, leading to several butt shots as they hastily get dressed. Notably, this is the only time we see explicit nudity in the locker room during the entire first season.
    • There's another butt shot in "The Signal" when Rebecca's booty call has gone into the kitchen without bothering to put on any clothes (meanwhile, Rebecca is wearing a nightie even though she's still in bed). He is seen by three women, including Rebecca's mother, who makes a comment about "biscuits" as the camera cheekily pans down to show his naked rear.
  • Fictional Counterpart:
    • AFC Richmond parallels with Crystal Palace FC, as both are London-based Premier League clubs with long histories but very little glory, and red-and-blue colour schemes. Ironically, Crystal Palace themselves still exist in the show's verse, as they are Richmond's first opponents during Ted's tenure.
    • Lust Conquers All, the trashy reality TV dating show Jamie winds up in as of season 2, is a very obvious knockoff of Love Island.
    • In addition to its similarities to Gazprom, Cerithium Oil is a clear stand-in for Shell Oil, both being oil companies with seashell namesnote  that have massively polluted Nigeria.
  • Fish out of Water: Ted's a Division II gridiron football coach from Kansas, who ends up working in the world's biggest league for the other kind of football.
  • Foreshadowing: Storylines are planned out quite far in advance, so the show often hints at future events through small lines and details:
    • The Reveal in "Man City" that Ted's father committed suicide is repeatedly foreshadowed. Ted mentions in season 1 that his father passed away when he was 16, while in the season 2 premier he tells Jamie that his father "was a lot harder on himself than he ever was on me" and noncommittally stays silent when Jamie tells him he's lucky for that; in that same episode Sharon says her favorite book is The Prince of Tides, which is also about a sports coach with a suicidal relative."Carol of the Bells" also shows him watching George Bailey's suicide attempt in It's a Wonderful Life with a mournful expression.
    • Nate has a few Played for Laughs outbursts in season 1 and early season 2 that actually foreshadow his Face–Heel Turn in mid-season 2. Notable examples include him furiously calling Rebecca a shrew when he thinks he's being fired, his joke that they should just show Dani his paycheck to motivate him to play better, and his micromanaging of Will, the replacement kit manager. According to his actor, Nate choosing not to get up to dance with the team at the gala in season 1 is also an early hint at Nate's more calculating, power-hungry side.
  • Greek Chorus: Commenters Arlo White and Chris Powell go far beyond merely commenting Richmond's games. Sometimes they share the honor with the pub regulars.
  • Haunted Headquarters: The club's treatment room is considered cursed, so players do their best to avoid going inside. Ted eventually leads a ceremony to rid it of bad spirits.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Everyone underestimates Ted when they meet him, but almost everyone also ends up liking and rooting for him. The show is a powerful advocate for positive thinking generally and also for a version of masculinity that provides loving and supportive relationships. Very nearly everyone in Ted's life is living a better version of their lives because of his unwavering support.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Rebecca, when she comes to realizes that her desire for revenge against her ex-husband will harm everyone who works for and loves the team.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Beard and Ted. Such that Beard is willing to follow Ted 5000 miles to England. And shows up out of nowhere with a beer when Ted and his wife decide to divorce.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: It's revealed that Ted and his wife are experiencing marriage problems and the reason he took the job in England was to move away and give her "space". Eventually, Ted realizes he needs to let her go for her to be happy, even though he is still in love with her and it hurts him deeply.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Nate's dad is shown to be a stern man who is very critical and difficult to please. However, he is completely right when he tells Nate that he's letting the praise he's gotten for his coaching in the FA Cup go to his head and he needs to keep his ego in check.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: When Jamie's abusive, possibly drunk father comes down to Richmond's locker room to taunt him and the team after their FA Cup loss to Manchester City, Jamie finally has enough and punches him right across the jaw. Mr. Tartt is then forced out of the room by Coach Beard, who deliberately hits his head against the door on the way out.
  • Multinational Team: Realistically so, as this is a Premier League football team.
    • Sam Obisanya and Tommy Winchester from Nigeria
    • Dani Rojas from Mexico
    • Richard Montlaur from France
    • Thierry Zoreaux from Canada
    • Colin Hughes from Wales (could be considered both international and not)
    • Season 2 adds Jan Maas from the Netherlands.
    • "Carol of the Bells" reveals that the team also has players from Zimbabwe, Jamaica, and Bolivia.
  • My Local: The Crown & Anchor Pub in Richmond, frequented by the staff and players of Richmond AFC as well as their fans. As with Cheers, it is "played" in exteriors by a real place, The Prince's Head in Richmond, but interiors (though modeled on those of the actual pub) are shot on sets. (The real-life pub has a Ted Lasso corner with pictures and memorabilia from the show.)
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The show was advertised as a goofy comedy spinoff of a popular ad. While it does have a goofy sense of humor, it's also a surprisingly insightful exploration of leadership, masculinity, and relationships.
    • The second season trailer offered this small but Hilarious in Hindsight gem: In the "butts on three" scene at the end of the trailer Roy has been digitally edited out of the scene, presumably because that would have revealed that Roy joins the AFC Richmond coaching staff which doesn't happen until the end of episode 5. What makes it particularly funny is that not long after, a bizarre conspiracy theory emerged that Roy Kent was a CGI character rather than played by an actual human being. Comedian that he is, Brett Goldstein responded in an entirely appropriate way.
  • Newscaster Cameo: Several sports announcers make appearances as themselves:
    • Sports broadcaster Arlo White appears as himself in several episodes as the lead commentator for AFC Richmond's matches.
    • ESPN's Scott Van Pelt appears in the pilot announcing Ted Lasso's hiring at AFC Richmond on a segment of SportsCenter.
    • Real life Soccer Saturday hosts Jeff Stelling and Chris Kamara play themselves.
    • Footballer-turned-pundit Ian Wright and sports presenter Seema Jaswal appear as themselves hosting a commentary show (Forza Love of the Game) in "The Signal".
    • Ex-England striker-turned-Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker makes an appearance alongside ex-France striker Thierry Henry during Beard's Day in the Limelight.
      Beard: Shut up, Thierry Henry!
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
    • Roy Kent is intentionally based on Manchester United legend Roy Keane. This emerged from writer/comedian Brendan Hunt's earlier days in the troupe "Boom Chicago" where he performed an imitation of Roy Keane. When Ted Lasso was developed, Roy Kent was created having a similar personality, role in the team, and style of play.
    • Dani Rojas is largely inspired by the early years of Javier "Chicharito" Hernández, another young, joyfully exuberant Mexican striker. The production team even gave the character number 14, Chicharito's number, in his honor.
  • No Guy Wants to Be Chased: At Rebecca's gala, Jamie attracts the attention of a wealthy and lusty older woman who informs him that she will be bidding for a night with him in the charity player auction. Jamie is put off by her assertive behavior so Roy and Keeley both tease him that, if she bids over £3,000, he will have to go all the way with her much to his chagrin.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Ted apparently has a great story about how he wore pajamas to his high school prom and ended up in jail for the rest of the night, but Rebecca cuts him off as she's too busy to hear it.
    • The story of the best concert Ted ever attended (The Beastie Boys) somehow involves the O.J. Simpson trial, but again, Ted gets cut off before he's able to explain.
  • Odd Friendship: Rebecca and Keeley.
  • Opposites Attract: The bubbly, cheerful, blonde Keeley with the surly, hot-headed, dark-haired Roy.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Ted and Coach Beard have this going on. They've evidently worked together a long time, have reams of inside jokes and word games, and often communicate with a single look. Plus the fact that Coach Beard seems to have happily uprooted his entire life in America to move to the UK with Ted, even while being unsure that it's a good idea. This chemistry is helped out by the fact that Jason Sudeikis and Brendan Hunt are long time friends and colleagues in real life.
  • Plot-Inciting Infidelity: It was the rage over Rupert's constant infidelity throughout their marriage that lead Rebecca on the mission to destroy AFC Richmond by hiring Ted. Most likely Rupert's cheating also led to her getting his football club in the divorce settlement.
  • Pokémon Speak: Dani Rojas alternates between this and his Catchphrase "football is life!"
  • Poor Communication Kills: Big time in season 2. In one season we have Ted avoiding therapy with Sharon until his anxiety struggles grow too great to handle; no-one (aside from Higgins) willing to warn Beard that his relationship with Jane was an unhealthy one; no-one warning Rebecca that her relationship with her 21-year old employee Sam might be inappropriate; Nate mistakenly believing that Ted no longer cares about him due to reduced communication between the pair all season (Word of Saint Paul notes that the pair deliberately had no one-to-one scenes together until the finale); and no-one on the coaching team bothering nip Nate's increasing Jerkass behaviour in the bud or investigating his own obvious mental health issues, leading to Nate's growing isolation and ultimately abandoning the club.
  • Product Placement:
    • Everyone uses Apple phones, tablets, and computers.
    • Defied when it comes to the team. Most company names associated with AFC Richmond are fictional, down to the brand that makes their kit.
    • Starting in Season 3, the show will display authentic logos and kits associated with the Premier League. It even has permission to use genuine archive footage.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: Many American viewers were unaware that Soccer Saturday is a real pundit show in the UK and believed the name was an example of the writers ignoring British English vocabulary.
  • Red Herring: Throughout season 2, Richmond owner Rebecca has a growing infatuation with a match on the new anonymous dating app, Bantr. There are several teases that it might secretly be Ted she's chatting with, such as when the scene cuts from her sending to a reply to Ted looking down at his phone (with the screen not visible), and the fact that she gets no new messages while AFC Richmond is playing. Episode 6 reveals it's actually Sam, whose protest against their previous sponsor's polluting subsidiary led to Bantr becoming their new sponsor.
  • Self-Applied Nickname: While conversing with José Mourinho over the phone in a promotional extra, Ted comments on Mourinho's nickname, "The Special One", asking how he got it. Mourinho says he gave it to himself. Lasso is impressed, and comments that in elementary school he tried to get his classmates to call him "Turbo". At the end of the call, Mourinho obliges Ted by calling him "Turbo".
  • Separated by a Common Language: Ted repeatedly struggles with the differences between US and UK English, with Coach Beard helpfully providing translations such as: coach/manager, practice/training, cleat/boot, trunk/boot, etc.
  • Sequel Hook: The first season ends with two of them. Roy's future as a player uncertain after his injury in the final match. Meanwhile, Rebecca refuses to accept Ted's resignation as manager and the two of them agreeing to win promotion back to the Premier League the next season, then win it all once the team is back.
  • Ship Tease: The show repeatedly teases us in Season 2 with the possibility that Rebecca's Bantr partner is actually Ted, as we occasionally move to him putting his phone away after a scene where Rebecca has been chatting with her real partner.
  • Shout-Out:
    • While at the bar in episode 1 of Season 2, Ted and Beard's banter from "Can I get real a second" to "Put down your beer and tell your buddy how you feel a second" is a spoof of George Washington's lines in "Right Hand Man" from Hamilton.
    • The same conversation also contains this exchange:
      Ted: [about the idea of bringing in a sports psychologist] It just kinda puts a little knot in my belly. I'm not sure why.
      Beard: Sounds like it might be your favorite Gin Blossoms song.
      Ted: "Follow You Down"?
      Beard: No, "Hey Jealousy".
      Ted: No, "Hey Jealousy" is their best song. My favorite song of theirs is "Follow You Down". You don't know that story?
    • Roy and Jaime each have their own Crowd Chant, Roy's to the tune of "The Quartermaster's Store" and Jaime's to the tune of "Baby Shark". Sam later gets one to the tune of "Seven Nation Army".
    • While pulling a Drill Sergeant Nasty on the team in season 2, episode 3 and having them run laps, Ted tells them they'll be so dehydrated, they'll look like trees from any Tim Burton movie, even Dumbo (2019).
    • Most of the Roy/Keeley/Phoebe plot in "Carol of the Bells" is this to Love Actually, particularly the group knocking on random doors to find a dentist and reenacting the cue card scene.
    • "Rainbow" contains a plethora of lightly altered iconic romcom quotes from When Harry Met Sally... ("I'll have what he's having.") to Jerry Maguire ("Shut up. You had me at coach."). Additionally, Rebecca's Bantr match has the username "LDN152", similar to "NY152", the male love interest's nickname in You've Got Mail.
    • There are a few references to A Wrinkle in Time; Roy reads it aloud to his niece Phoebe, Trent Crimm is revealed to be familiar with the book and its themes, and Sam is also seen reading a copy while he's on the exercise bike.
  • Shown Their Work: Brendan Hunt and several of the writers are big soccer fans and they show it by making several references and jokes based on the English Premier League's culture and history.
  • Show Within a Show: Lust Conquers All, the Love Island-esque reality show Jamie takes part in early in season 2.
  • Soccer-Hating Americans: Downplayed. As a dedicated American football coach, it's understandable that Ted has little knowledge about soccer and indeed that is the reason he's chosen to coach Richmond. However, Ted's personality is such that he never shows any disdain for the sport, he's just woefully ignorant.
  • So Proud of You:
    • Roy to anyone who breaks something, whether in rage or by accident. (Nate accidentally shattering the glass door with his elbow, Isaac throwing a chair at the TV in anger, Phoebe breaking Ted's nose...)
    • Ted pulls this on Jamie in the final episode for passing to his teammate, even though it cost Richmond the game and relegation. Jamie is visibly touched.
    • After doubting himself for half of season 2, Nate steps up during the Tottenham match and begins making calls to shift to defense. The team ends up winning, and Roy fucking Kent tells him he did a good job afterwards.
  • Spot of Tea: A point of contention between Ted and the British characters. He hates it and thinks it's a great big joke that the Brits are playing on the world.
    Ted: Be honest with me. It's a prank, right? The tea? Like when us tourist folks aren't around, y'all know this tastes like garbage.
    Roy: No. I love it!
    Ted: You don't love it. It's pigeon sweat!
  • Springtime for Hitler: The entire reason Rebecca hired Ted. She wanted to ruin the team as it was the only thing her ex-husband ever loved. Thus, hiring an American with zero soccer experience seemed just the way to do it, only for him to start winning and be incredibly difficult for her to dislike. Ends up subverted as at the end of the season, the team has lost but Rebecca has realized her plan would have harmed scores of people who worked for and loved the team. She thus turns down Ted's resignation and wants his help making the team into true winners.
  • Stiff Upper Lip: Many of the Brits, but especially Rebecca when provoked by reporters or Rupert.
  • Superstition Episode: "Two Aces" revolves around the team lifting a curse from the stadium's treatment room. When Dani gets mysteriously injured after previously visiting the treatment room, it's revealed that in World War I 400 young men underwent their physical there after they had been coerced into joining the army under the ruse of an open tryout for the club. To honor the fallen, each team member brought a personal item to burn and the curse was gone.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • In "Two Aces", the team prepares a sacrificial bonfire in hopes of ending the curse of the stadium's training room. The players all gather in the locker room and take turns placing personal items in a bin to light on fire. As Ted prepares to set the bin ablaze, Coach Beard suddenly speaks up and suggests it might be a better idea to light it on the pitch where it won't be a fire hazard. Everyone agrees and they move the ceremony outside.
    • In the season 1 finale the team is relegated to the English Championship League, but the players' contracts were negotiated while at the Premier League where teams get more revenue from TV and sponsor deals. Consequently, the organization is now under some financial pressure.
    • In season 2 episode 8 Richmond faces Manchester City in the FA cup semifinal. While they had previously held their own against the B-team, this time they faced the reigning champion at their full strength and suffered a 5-0 defeat.
    • In "Beard After Hours", Coach Beard does a Trash Landing to escape a man trying to beat him up. While he manages to avoid serious injury, he's still in serious pain because he just fell several stories and struggles to move.
    • Even though Trent Crimm telling Ted that Nate was the anonymous source who leaked the truth about Ted's panic attack was an incredibly kind gesture, he still loses his job over it, as revealing the identity of one's anonymous source is a huge violation of journalistic ethics.
  • Swear Jar: Roy has to pay his niece Phoebe £1 for every time he swears in front of her. As of "Lavender" (the second episode of series 2), he owes her £1,236 (and later in "Carol of the Bells", it's implied that this is a monthly tab).
  • Take That!:
    • When a reporter for The Sun introduces himself at a press conference, the rest of the reporters groan.
    • In the season 2 finale, Piers Morgan reaches out to Keeley after Ted's mental health issues became public and wants to milk some good TV out of it. Keeley is having none of it.
    Keeley: Fuck you, Piers Morgan.
  • There Are No Therapists: Strongly averted at the start of season 2, as AFC Richmond hires Dr. Sharon Fieldstone, initially for a one-time gig to help Dani following his traumatic penalty incident. However, the other players' strong demand for her expertise quickly shows that having a full-time psychotherapist should be as self-evident for a professional sports team as a full-time physician, which quickly lead to her becoming a permanent staff member. Played somewhat straight by Ted himself, as he spends the majority of the season avoiding scheduling an appointment with her, despite his divorce in season 1 being so traumatic as to cause him panic attacks. He eventually schedules one after having another panic attack during a critical game.
  • Titled After the Song: Several episodes are named after songs:
    • Season 1, episode 7 is "The Diamond Dogs".
    • Season 2, episode 1 is "Goodbye Earl".
    • Season 2, episode 4 is "Carol of the Bells".
    • Season 2, episode 5 is "Rainbow" after the The Rolling Stones song "She's Like A Rainbow", which plays several times in the episode.
    • Season 2, episode 11 is "Midnight Train to Royston" after Gladys Knight's "Midnight Train to Georgia".
  • Tough Room: Averted. Characters frequently laugh at one another's jokes.
  • Truth in Television: Gillette Soccer Saturday is an actual television show that airs on Sky Sports and features hosts Jeff Stelling and Chris Kamara. And, yes, it is called Soccer Saturday since, as Keeley explains to Ted, Brits love alliteration.
  • Unexpectedly Dark Episode: While the show has always featured some dramatic storylines, "Man City" in season 2 is basically a nonstop chain reaction of downers. Sharon gets hit by a car and Ted goes to pick her up from the hospital while Roy is busy dealing with Phoebe getting suspended from school due to his constant swearing rubbing off on her. Consequently, they both miss the last training session before the semifinal against Manchester City, and Ted is unhelpful and distracted during the match itself. Without proper leadership or preparation, Richmond stands no chance against Man City and loses the game by a humiliating 5-0, which leads Jamie's abusive father to rub the loss in Jamie's face until Jamie has a breakdown in front of the entire team, which leads Ted to call Sharon and tearfully admit that his own father killed himself when Ted was 16.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: A variation occurs with Jamie in that it's revealed in episode 6 that he became the type of player he is to avoid constantly being called "soft" by his estranged father. This led him to become a dominating Jerkass that had long since forgotten about his mother's wish to simply play the game and be happy doing so.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Season 1, Episode 6. After half a season of working with Jamie, Ted finally gets through to him, only to return to work the next day and find that Jamie has been sent back to Manchester City.
    • Season 1, Episode 10. After a season of having the specter of relegation looming over their heads, Richmond are indeed relegated during their final game.
    • Season 2, Episode 6. Where to begin... Jamie and Roy figure out a way to work together, Nate steps up as a member of the coaching staff, Richmond upsets the heavily favoured Tottenham Hotspur to reach the semi-finals of The FA Cup, we find out that Sam is Rebecca's mystery man (unknown to either of them), and Ted has a panic attack related to fatherhood that finally leads him to make an appointment with Sharon.
    • Season 2, Episode 8. Dr. Fieldstone gets hit by a car (she gets better though), Sam and Rebecca find out they're each other's mystery match and eventually hook up, Ted comes clean about his panic attacks to his coaching staff, Richmond suffers a crushing defeat at Wembley, Jamie has a major falling out with his father, and Ted reveals his father had killed himself.
    • Season 2, Episode 11. Sam gets an offer from an African billionaire to play for his team in Morocco, Keeley and Roy's relationship is at a critical junction after they reveal instances of other characters making moves on them, and Nate makes a full Face–Heel Turn by secretly going to Trent Crimm and telling him about Ted's secret panic attacks in a bid to ruin Ted's reputation and get more acclaim for himself.
  • Who's on First?: Briefly occurs when Ted is confused that they are playing Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.
    Ted: We play Sheffield Wednesday?
    Beard: Saturday.
    Ted: Oh, we're playing Sheffield Saturday?
    Beard: Sheffield Wednesday, Saturday.
    Ted: We gotta play 'em twice in the same week!?
    Beard: [deep sigh] The club is called Sheffield Wednesday. We play them on Saturday. They are called Sheffield Wednesday because they used to only play on Wednesdays. But nowadays they play on whatever day of the week they feel like, including, but not limited to, Saturdays, which again, is the day of the week we will be playing them.
    Ted: This Saturday? I can't, I got plans.
    Beard: I'm leaving.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: In Season 2, Higgins reveals that he and his wife have been married for 29 years. In the Season 1 finale, Mrs. Higgins revealed that her eldest (Lindsay) was born out of wedlock, which would make him at least 30. Not only does the actor who plays him look to be in his 20s, but there would be a 13+ year age gap between him and his next eldest brother.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain:
    • In the Season 1 finale, Richmond are down 1-0 when everyone learns that Crystal Palace has managed to defeat Norwich City by enough goals to force a scenario where Richmond can avoid relegation with a draw. The team quickly uses the "Ted Lasso Special" trick before stoppage time runs out and Dani manages to score the equalising goal. Unfortunately, while everyone is celebrating the goal, Manchester City quickly kicks off and takes advantage of the distracted Richmond team to score a last second goal that gives them the win and dooms Richmond to relegation.
    • In Season 2, Richmond manages to pull off an upset win against Tottenham Hotspur in the quarterfinals of the FA Cup, providing the main characters not only their biggest victory in the entire show but also the chance to prove themselves in a rematch against Manchester City. The very next match, Richmond once again loses to Man City, cutting their attempt at a triumphant comeback off at the knees. And just to twist the knife, it's not a close game like the last time the two teams faced off—Richmond gets thrashed in a devastating 5-0 loss.

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