Well it seems like the world might be in need of some positivity so why not look at one of the most wholesome series: Ted Lasso? For those unfamiliar, this is a show about an American coach who takes charge of an English team: AFC Richmond. While this may seem like a recipe for disastrous cringe comedy, Jason Sudeikis manages to make Ted’s utter obliviousness charming. So charming that both he and Richmond are in FIFA 23….. But anyway before I get into the list properly here is some history about the show.
Ted Lasso first debuted on Apple TV in 2020 and has currently concluded its 2nd season. Also, besides being critically acclaimed by fans and reviewers alike, Ted Lasso has hoovered up just a whole bunch of awards which only reinforce its success. Anyway, as mentioned above the show follows Ted Lasso, an American coach, as he takes over a fictional English football team AFC Richmond. This is obviously designed to play into the whole idea that Americans don’t know about football and this leads to some very funny moments I might touch on later in the list. Also if you don’t watch Ted Lasso for Jason Sudeikis then watch it for the fact that one of Jackson’s mums from Sex Education is AFC Richmond’s chairwoman. Also, SPOILERS will be discussed. So without any further ado, here are the best episodes of Ted Lasso.
10: Man City (S2, E8)
Kicking off the list of the best Ted Lasso episodes is Man City. Now anyone who knows anything about football knows that Man City are one of the best teams in the world so this was always going to be an uphill battle for Richmond. Episode highlights include Sam and Rebecca realizing they’ve been messaging on a dating app and Jamie hugging Roy. Anyone who’s seen the series knows how unlikely the latter one seems. Also, the really emotional scene of Ted finally opening up to the team’s psychologist about his father’s death adds some more emotional depth to the episode.
9: Do the Right-est Thing (S2, E3)
So what makes Do the Right-est Thing such a good episode? Well one of AFC Richmond’s players, Sam, takes a dislike to the team’s new sponsor. Now that’s understandable given the fact it’s Dubai Air who were linked to oil spillages in Sam’s home village in Nigeria. So naturally he and the rest of the team cover the sponsor with black tape. Considering the fact Jamie isn’t exactly the most humble player, it really does show just how unified Richmond is as a team. Also the fact this episode shows how much power players can have in political activism is definitely a positive as well.
8: Rainbow (S2, E5)
Now if there’s one thing that Rainbow does as an episode it’s using rom com homages to describe Roy’s love of the beautiful game. After helping Isaac to become a better captain, Roy realises his love for the game is playing it rather than commentating on it. Cue a hilarious scene of Roy literally running to the stadium. This honestly puts any actor who’s been in a rom com to shame. Honestly props to Brett Goldstein who plays the tough guys with a heart of gold so well in this episode. This performance fully allows the audience to become immersed in this episode’s brilliance.
7: Tan Lines (S1, E5)
Now while Ted Lasso is arguably one of the most positive shows on any streaming service, its episodes like Tan Lines which allow the positive affirmations to shine through. Why do I say this? Well because Ted’s wife and kid come to visit him in London and we slowly see the end of the marriage. This is in spite of the fact they do seem to still care for each other a lot. Also Tan Lines is a great episode as we finally see some cracks in Ted’s boundless optimism and how his life’s philosophy works. Also the episode hints at an underlying theme: that Ted’s outlook maybe isn’t compatible when you are living with someone else. Furthermore, this episode succinctly explains why Ted moved to London away from his family.
6: Carol of the Bells (S2, E4)
Now if there’s any holiday which seems tailored made for Ted Lasso, it’s Christmas. This is what makes Carol of the Bells so good. This is because it shows how various members of the AFC Richmond team celebrate Christmas. So let’s start with Ted and Rebecca who decide to dress up and deliver presents to kids. Also, what about everyone’s favourite player: Roy Kent? Well he and Keeley go to visit his niece, Phoebe. Meanwhile, Higgins invites everyone over for dinner which shows that Ted has a lot of people who care for him while his family are still in America. Honestly it’s so wholesome that it kind of makes you emotional.
5: The Diamond Dogs (S1, E8)
Bringing up the halfway point of the best Ted Lasso episodes is The Diamond Dogs. Now what makes this episode so good? Well Ted accompanies Rebecca to a pub where they meet other team owners. Now that seems nice enough until Rebecca’s ex husband, Rupert, turns up. It gets even more awkward when Rupert announces he’s going to be attending all of Richmond’s games. That is until Ted challenges him to a game of darts where if Rupert loses he doesn’t come to any of Richmond’s games. Needless to say that’s a great hook to get audiences invested and also Jason Sudeikis is just brilliant here as usual.
4: Inverting the Pyramid of Success (S2, E12)
So why is the Season 2 finale such a good episode? Well, firstly AFC Richmond gets promoted back to the Premier League. That’s already guaranteed positive vibes. Also, the underlying story between Ted and Nate leaves a fantastic point for the third season. This is because Nate, during halftime of the final game of the season, has an emotional breakdown. What follows is a fantastic emotional response from both Ted and Nate. Oh also the final scene of Nate being confirmed as a coach for West Ham, the team owned by Rupert. Damn, Ted Lasso can yank your heart around like a yo yo.
3: Make Rebecca Great Again (S1, E7)
Don’t worry this isn’t anything to do with Donald Trump but instead it’s a fantastic episode of Ted Lasso. Now this episode sees the introduction of Rebecca’s friend, Flo, or as she’s also known Sassy. Firstly we all know a friend like Flo. Secondly, this episode sees Rebecca and Ted’s friendship develop when after a win over Everton the team go to a karaoke bar where Ted suffers a panic attack. Up steps Rebecca who gets him through the ordeal in a genuinely really sweet moment. Oh also Nate’s brutal pre game speech about how the players are terrible actually makes the players realise they can be so much better.
2: No Weddings and a Funeral (S2, E10)
Remember when I mentioned Ted Lasso was partially to a musical homage? Well this episode’s title is enough proof of that. Anyway, after Rebecca’s father passes away, the whole team arrives at the funeral to support her. After struggling to find anything positive to say about her father, Rebecca starts singing a portion of Never Gonna Give You Up. Yes really this episode Rick rolls you. Anyway, there’s also plenty of relationship developments as Jamie reveals he’s still in love with Keeley while Rebecca breaks off her relationship with Sam.
1: The Hope that Kills You (S1, E10)
And the best episode of Ted Lasso is….. The Hope that Kills You. Why is this the best episode? Well it offers an emotional and brilliant climax to Season 1. This is because AFC Richmond face relegation to the Championship if they lose. Oh and they are also coming up against ex player Jamie Tartt so there’s even more drama heading into the game. Anyway, despite fighting hard AFC Richmond are relegated from the Premier League. Though the episode ends on a high point when Ted and Rebecca promise to get the team back in the Premier League the following year.
What are your favourite Ted Lasso episodes? Let me know in the comments below!