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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

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. The woman who hired him, Rebecca Welton, is deeply resentful of her ex-husband Rupert's infidelity; since AFC Richmond is the one thing that Rupert truly loved, she's hoping that Ted's coaching will cause the team to tank just so she can spite him. Despite this, Ted is undaunted by his lack of experience, and 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 from 2013 to 2014, 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.

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.
  • All There in the Manual: All of the background players on the team have names and backstories found in Arlo White's commentator notes, though some of them fall under Schrödinger's Canon as outlined below.
  • Always Someone Better: Jamie's fall from grace among his Richmond teammates coincides with the arrival of Dani Rojas, an equally talented and far more likeable player.
  • And Starring: "With Juno Temple".
  • Arc Villain: Rebecca, through most of Season 1, actively attempts to ruin AFC Richmond because she wants revenge on her ex-husband, since he cared more about the team than her. Towards the season finale, Ted's genuine kindness and determination win her over, along with Rebecca admitting that seeing the team fail hasn't made her happy.
  • 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. The most obvious example of this is the various British footballers, reporters and fans who say "tie" instead of "draw".
  • Artistic License – Sports: While it gets The Beautiful Game mostly right, there's a few things about the Premier League that are either done incorrectly or changed for the sake of drama.
    • 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 Black Comedy, a Real Life referee would order a penalty kick to be retaken if the shot were inadvertently saved by a dog running onto the pitch.note  Granted, Dani probably would've been too traumatized to successfully score on the retake, considering that he kicked the ball so hard that the dog died from the impact.
    • 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, commonly a 50% cut to every payment or bonus, if the team gets relegated, thus avoiding this exact scenario. note 
    • The club itself doesn't seem to suffer at all from the relegation. Unless a club has a billionaire super owner who doesn't care about the profit/loss sheet, a top level club being relegated cause a massive internal shock to the organisation, with staff being fired, other staff being cut to part-time, wages in general being reduced, significant cost savings having to be found and being faced with angry fans, or fans who lose interest and subsequently spend less money with the club, which extends to reduced ticket sales because marquee matches are lost & lowered merchandising and sponsorship revenue. This is somewhat mitigated by the fact that clubs receive parachute payments the first season after being relegated and Richmond gets promoted back to the Premier League on their very first try, so the financial blow wouldn't be quite as dramatic in the long term.
    • 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. Granted, waiting an entire year to try again would certainly be disappointing, but it wouldn't be AFC Richmond's last chance.
    • In a non-association football example, Ted is depicted as being the head coach of Wichita State University's American football team before being hired by Richmond. In real life, the school's football program was discontinued in the 1980s.
  • 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.
  • Beta Couple: AFC Richmond's Director of Football Operations, Leslie Higgins, has been married to his wife Julie for almost 30 years. They're raising five sons and by all accounts are a loving and happy couple who welcome their home to the team. This is in contrast to recent divorcees Ted and Rebecca, Beard's toxic on-and-off with Jane, and new couple Roy and Keeley. Lampshaded when Rebecca is considering meeting with her dating app match and complains that Keeley and Leslie are comfortable telling her to go for it because they're both in annoyingly perfect relationships. The show rebuts that claim about Keeley and Roy (since he isn't giving her any space) but not about Leslie and Julie.
  • 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.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The first two seasons both end this way:
    • Season 1 ends with Richmond getting relegated after a Hope Spot where it looked like they might be able to stay in the Premier League, while Roy has suffered a Career-Ending Injury and Jamie is back at Manchester City with his every move being criticized by his abusive father. However, thanks to Ted's influence, the team is overall much happier and emotionally healthier, Rebecca is now fully supportive of Ted and the club, and Ted expresses optimism that they will bounce back and ultimately "win the whole fuckin' thing."
    • At the end of Season 2, Richmond wins promotion back to the Premier League, but Nate has betrayed Ted and gone to work for Rupert, and Roy and Keeley's relationship is on uncertain ground.
  • Bonding over Missing Parents: Spouse variation. Ted and Rebecca help each other cope with their respective recent divorces.
  • Book Ends:
    • 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, Beard points out that 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. Justified since Ted's coaching style was developed for lower-division college students, who face different types of pressure than professional players do.
  • 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.
  • Brits Love 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. Subverted by Dr. Sharon, who is revealed to hate tea, immediately endearing Ted to her.
    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!
  • 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.
  • Character Development: A big focus of the show is how Ted's positive attitude doesn't just improve the team, but helps the various players become better versions of themselves. Jamie loses his It's All About Me attitude, Roy finds healthier ways of managing his anger, etc.
    • Kind of horrifically subverted with Nate's arc, where his inner Jerkass tendencies come to the fore over the second season.
  • Children as Pawns: Although Rebecca deeply wanted to be a mother, Rupert always claimed he didn't want children and so they didn't have any. Soon after their divorce, he gets his new girlfriend pregnant and gloats that he just didn't want to have children with her. Later, he takes his baby daughter to Rebecca's father's funeral knowing it will upset her.
  • Christmas Episode: The show has two of them:
    • "Carol of the Bells" 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.
    • "The Missing Christmas Mustache" is a noncanonical claymation short set during "Carol of the Bells" that features Ted trying to recover his missing mustache before his Facetime with Henry.
  • 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.
  • Country Matters: Notably averted. Plenty of characters swear a lot, and while said word is considered less vulgar in Britain, it's the only swear word explicitly forbidden by the show's network.
  • Deconstructed Trope: After Season One demonstrates that Ted's relentless positivity is genuine and has positive effects on most people, Season Two starts to show some of the issues with it. Ted himself is a bit of a Stepford Smiler, repressing his own negative emotions and being scared of going to therapy. Worse, the revealed motivation for Nate's Face–Heel Turn is that he was so bowled over by that kind of positive attention that he felt abandoned when he stopped getting it after his promotion, something Ted seemingly didn't even realise had happened.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: A big part of the first season is Ted and the team breaking down Rebecca's walls and making her part of the family, helping her overcome the trauma of her abusive relationship with Rupert. She wanted to destroy the team, but finally came to understand that she'd just be hurting a lot of innocent people and not really doing anything to Rupert.
  • Did Not Think This Through: It visibly occurs to Nate halfway through the team's calls to find and beat the living daylights out of whoever leaked the news of Ted's mental health that it was probably a bad idea messing with the Team Dad of two dozen athletic, excitable men.
  • Disappointing Promotion: The first half of Season 2 deals with Roy looking for a new career post retirement from football. He initially takes a job as a pundit on Sky Sports at Keeley's insistence. While popular with viewers because of his profane and straightforward nature, Roy finds he's miserable because he prefers have his head in the game, not looking at it as a spectator. Roy ultimately leaves the pundit gig after realizing he has a better opportunity as an assistant coach for Richmond.
    Roy: I told you, I dunno! All we do is sit around here and guess what a bunch of little pricks are gonna do out there, then we come back at halftime and complain because they didn't do what we thought they'd do! We don't know. Course we don't know. We're not in the locker rooms with them! We're not on the pitch with them! We can't look 'em in the eyes and encourage them to be better than they ever thought they were capable of being! We're just... we're just on the outside. Looking in. Judging them.
  • 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.
    • Jamie's father screams at him and throws a shoe at his head for passing the ball to a teammate instead of making the game-winning goal himself.
  • 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.
  • Everybody Has Lots of Sex: Zig-Zagged. Keeley, Roy, Jamie, and many of the AFC Richmond players are shown or implied to Really Get Around, but they also have a much easier time attracting willing sexual partners than the average person due to being wealthy celebrities, while more "normal" characters like Ted, Nate, and Beard don't seem to have sex all that frequently. Rebecca also has a fair amount of sex in Season 2, but it's played as her trying to "get back out there" after her divorce over a year prior, and she ultimately realizes that she needs to be on her own for a while longer.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Fast-Food Nation: Invoked. Before warming up to Ted, Roy frequently insults him and his American background by making references to McDonald's (i.e. "I hope you choke on a Big Mac").
  • Fauxshadow: 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.
  • 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 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.
  • Fictional Social Network: Season 2 introduces Bantr, a newly-released dating app that Keeley arranges to sponsor Richmond. The idea is that unlike most dating apps, it doesn't have the option to upload pictures, so people can only connect through conversations.
  • 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.
  • Foot-Dragging Divorcee: Downplayed, because Ted signs his divorce papers relatively quickly, but he spends a whole episode angsting about it and it hits him really hard, so much so that he starts having panic attacks.
  • 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.
  • Found Family: With Ted at its heart. The second season Christmas Episode tells us that the Higgins household has had an open invitation for any players unable to have dinner with their own to come and have Christmas dinner with them every year, but that virtually no one ever took them up on it. This year, every international player shows up, forcing the family to hastily improvise seating for twenty. No one minds.
  • 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.
  • Hard Truth Aesop: Ted learns one in each of the first two seasons:
    • Season One: While having a "winning isn't how we measure success" philosophy works well with amateur sports, in professional sports, particularly ones with a promotion/relegation system like the Premier League, winning and losing does matter because the players' and clubs' careers and livelihoods depend on success. Therefore, you have to prioritize the team's success over individual players' feelings.
    • Season Two: Positive thinking can't fix all of your personal issues and there are times when you need to be a little selfish and vent some of your negative emotions so you can be mentally healthier.
  • 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.
  • Heterosexual 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.
  • 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.
  • Meaningful Echo: Trent Crimm always announces himself as "Trent Crimm, The Independent". Toward the end of the Season 2 finale, the line is altered a bit during his talk with Ted because Trent was fired from his reporting job for revealing an anonymous source. But now he's "looking for something different. Deeper." He's now "Trent Crimm. Independent.".
  • Moving Right Through: After Jamie scores the go ahead goal during AFC Richmond's FA Cup match against Tottenham Hotspur, Nate turns to Ted expecting a celebration embrace. Instead, Ted rushes past him to embrace Roy, because it was Roy's coaching that led to Jamie scoring the goal.
  • Multinational Team: Realistically so, as this is a Premier League football team. The AFC Richmond lineup includes Sam Obisanya, Tommy Winchester, and Babatunde from Nigeria (Isaac McAdoo also has Nigerian ancestry but is a native Brit), Dani Rojas from Mexico, Richard Montlaur from France, Thierry Zoreaux from Canada, Colin Hughes from Wales (could be considered both international and not), Jan Maas from the Netherlands, Tyler Shannon from Bolivia, Robbie Roberts from Zimbabwe, and Declan Cockburn from Jamaica.
  • 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.)
  • Mythology Gag: In Season 2, after Ted sees the tension between Jamie and the other players during training, he decides to introduce the players to his alter-ego he calls "Led Tasso". Cue the next training session where Ted comes out acting like the same Drill Sergeant Nasty he was originally depicted as in the original commercials.
  • 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 Javier "Chicharito" Hernández, another joyfully exuberant Mexican striker. The production team even gave the character number 14, Chicharito's number, in his honor.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • The story of the best concert Ted ever attended (The Beastie Boys) somehow involves the O.J. Simpson trial, but Ted gets cut off before he's able to explain.
    • 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 again, Rebecca cuts him off as she's too busy to hear it.
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: In season one, Rebecca hired Ted to ruin the club so she could get back on her ex but Ted keeps being so kind to her, bringing her sweets every morning and all, that she has a harder and harder time believing in her plan. It eventually leads her to undergo a Heel–Face Turn and root for the club herself.
  • Odd Friendship: Rebecca and Keeley.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: When Ted snaps and yells at Jamie, or when he pulls out Led Tasso, everyone is shocked In-Universe and out. He's always positive and supporting, so when he pulls out the asshole, it's pretty shocking. In the first case, it was largely because of his failing marriage, but also because Jamie needed an attitude fix.
  • Opposites Attract: The bubbly, cheerful, blonde Keeley with the surly, hot-headed, dark-haired Roy.
  • 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.
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • In Season 1, just as Jamie is starting to come around to Ted's coaching and the lessons he's been trying to teach him, Rebecca terminates Jamie's loan and gets him sent back to Manchester City as part of her efforts to sabotage the team. Rebecca lies to Ted and says it was Manchester City's request. Jamie, knowing it was Richmond who terminated the loan, thinks it was Ted's doing and reverts back to his Jerkass behavior until the beginning of Season 2.
    • 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; 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 the coaching team failing to nip Nate's increasingly mean behavior 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. However, teasers show that Nike will be producing the team's kit for Season 3.
    • 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.
  • Rage Against the Reflection: a subtle, Downplayed example; Rebecca encourages Nate to find his own private psych-up ritual to increase his confidence. What he settles on is sizing himself up in the mirror, aggressively spitting on his reflection, and walking away. It doesn't project real confidence as much as self-loathing.
  • 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.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Nate's character arc was planned out well in advance, meaning it's possible to go back through the series and see how his descent into cynicism and betrayal of Ted was seeded from the very beginning.
  • Running Gag:
    • After giving up his office to Dr. Sharon, Higgins is seen doing his work in various ridiculous and undignified places throughout Season 2, such as a janitor's closet or the players' conditioning room. Usually accompanied by him knocking over his pen cup as he insists the awkward accommodations are no problem.
    • Ted's hatred of tea and sparkling water.
    • In the first season, Roy being called old. It stops in Season 2 because he's retired and is no longer being compared to his much younger teammates.
  • Schrödinger's Canon: Arlo White posted a series of tweets in character with commentary notes on the Richmond players towards the end of Season 1. Its canon status is ambiguous because Season 2 confirmed some of the notes as canon (Isaac being the official locker room barber and Colin knowing every word to every Drake song) but contradicted others (Bumbercatch's first name is different, and several of the international players Higgins hosts in "Carol of the Bells" are listed as being from England).
  • 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. She herself goes by "Bossgirl", similar to the female love interest's screen name, "Shopgirl".
    • 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.
    • In "Beard After Hours", after luring away a private club's check-in woman with a false story about her apartment burning down, Beard quotes Fight Club: "Tomorrow will be the most beautiful day of [her] life". The elevator music playing while he recites the quote is also taken from the film.
      • Another scene in that same episode, which features three angry soccer hooligans walking down a starkly lit alleyway intent on violence, shares its framing and cinematography with a similar scene from A Clockwork Orange
    • In "Tan Lines", Beard gives us his Doc Brown impression from Back to the Future.
    • In "Goodbye Earl", Ted makes a reference to Tom Cruise's ponytail in ''Magnolia and later that episode we hear the theme song of that movie playing when Rebecca breaks up with her date.
  • 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.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: The show leans very much on the idealistic side.
  • 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. Coach Beard, similarly, never disdains the sport, and is shown doing his own research on it.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Superficial Suggestion Box: Ted starts a suggestions box when he becomes AFC Richmond's manager. Aside from one serious suggestion to fix the water pressure in the locker room showers, most of the players just use it to anonymously insult Ted (except Roy who signed his).
  • 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.
    • For all his support of his coaching style, Coach Beard finally has to spell out to Ted in "All Apologies" the realities of their new situation when Ted claims he doesn't care about winning or losing, just improving the players: The players in question here are not college students playing football before they graduate and go on to normal lives but professionals whose careers and livelihoods will be affected by Ted's decisions and Ted has to start thinking more like a professional coach than a mentor.
    • 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.
  • 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 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".
  • Title Drop: Episode titles frequently show up in the episode.
  • Toy-Based Characterization: Ted's son Henry sends him a collection of his army men toys to "keep him safe" while he's away coaching in England. This shows Henry and Ted's relationship to be a strong one. He also keeps one of them nearby when he's particularly stressed (i.e. when he has to sign finalize his divorce). Ted later gives individual army men to certain people he meets in order to give them similar support, showing Ted's ability to reach out and care, and how Ted feels about the person in question:
    • Rebecca receives a rifleman to protect her in the divorce papers separating wake of all the bad publicity around her divorce. It also symbolizes that she herself is on the attack, as she is secretly trying to sabotage the team to get back at her ex-husband.
    • Sam receives a machine-gunner kneeling and taking aim to protect him as he transitions to a new country, symbolizing thoughtfulness. Sam's polite refusal to take the toy, since as a Nigerian he doesn't have a great history with the U.S. Army, shows he has a strong moral code, foreshadowing his protest of the team's sponsor in Season 2 for its direct role in polluting his country.
    • Jamie receives a scout with binoculars, symbolizing that Ted is still looking out for Jamie, even when he's playing for another team.
    • Dr. Sharon receives the radioman in the Season 2 finale, showing how Sharon got Ted to talk about his issues and that even though Sharon is moving on to another job, Ted wants to keep the lines of communication open.
  • 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.
  • Unseen Pen Pal: In Season 2, Keeley encourages the team and management staff of UFC Richmond to join Bantr, a dating app based solely on anonymous text-based communication. While Rebecca initially scoffs at the idea and is having a fling with someone in real life, she develops a bond with user LDN152 note , who turns out to be Sam Obisanya, a star player and her employee who is nearly 30 years younger than her (but still above legal age). When the two decide to meet in person and realize the truth, Rebecca initially shuts it down due to their professional relationship, but the two find their chemistry too intense to ignore. She later breaks it off because she realizes she is not ready to get hurt again after her messy divorce.
  • "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.
    • Nate's desire for his parents (but particularly his clearly more withholding father) to be proud of him drives a lot of his ambitious behaviour in Season 2. When he draws attention to the fact that he got his photograph in the paper his father scolds him for a lack of humility. It's no wonder that he responded so badly to what he perceived as Ted not noticing or praising him any more after previously being so effusive about it.
  • 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.
  • 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.


Video Example(s):


Here, There, Everyfuckingwhere

"He's here, he's there, he's every-fucking-where! Roy Kent! Roy Kent!" Legendary but aging football captain Roy Kent is cheered by the crowd and fans watching elsewhere as he gets off the pitch for what might be the last time.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / CrowdChant

Media sources: