*Warning: The following article contains spoilers for all three seasons of Ted Lasso.*
There’s no doubt about it, the 30+ Ted Lasso episodes currently available on Apple TV+ have melted and mended hearts around the world. The quirky workplace comedy follows a folksy, optimistic American football coach named Ted Lasso, who takes on the daunting task of coaching a struggling soccer (*cough real football cough*) club based outside London.
What begins as a comical fish-out-of-water story quickly evolves into a complex and layered series, expertly handling sensitive issues like mental health, toxic masculinity, racism, coming out, and generational trauma. But through it all, Ted Lasso still manages to be a heartwarming boost of serotonin that never feels cheesy or preachy, even as it delivers hard-hitting lessons to its characters and viewers.
What are the best Ted Lasso episodes?
Born during the dark days of a relentless global health crisis in 2020, Ted Lasso was—and is—exactly what the world needs. Over three seasons, its positive and endearing messages have resonated with viewers worldwide. It reminds people of the bits of humanity that we as a society seem to have lost, and that we have the power to be the change we want to see.
The show, created by stars Jason Sudeikis and Brendan Hunt, along with Bill Lawrence and Joe Kelly, is among the best on television. The show’s 40 Emmy nominations and 11 wins across its first two seasons don’t lie. But when it comes to Ted Lasso episodes, which ones stand above the rest?
Go bake some biscuits, grab a pint from Mae (Annette Badland), and brush aside all the poop-eh in your life with our look back at the most memorable Ted Lasso episodes.
Season 1, Episode 7: “Make Rebecca Great Again”
In one of season one’s strongest outings, our favorite underdogs at AFC Richmond find themselves in Liverpool to square off against a team they haven’t beaten in six decades. Ted (Jason Sudeikis) struggles to deal with the idea of signing his divorce papers, while Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) and Keeley (Juno Temple) enjoy a delightful girls’ night out with Rebecca’s childhood bestie Sassy (Ellie Taylor).
But the episode’s highlight comes as the weight of Ted’s stress and anxiety crashes down on him as Rebecca delivers a stunning rendition of Idina Menzel’s “Let It Go” at a karaoke bar. Sudeikis is sublime at portraying the intense terror and disorientation that comes with having a panic attack. It’s downright devastating, and Rebecca coming to check on and console him as he crouches, sobbing on the street, still brings a tear to my eye.
Season 1, Episode 8: “The Diamond Dogs”
This season one gem features both Ted and Roy (Brett Goldstein) seeking the help of The Diamond Dogs (the male support group among the coaching and administrative staff at AFC Richmond), as well as the beginnings of Roy and Keeley’s romance. But the meat and potatoes of the episode falls squarely on Rebecca’s vile, good-for-nothing ex-husband, Rupert Mannion (Anthony Head).
Rupert announces his engagement to his new girlfriend Bex (Keeley Hazell) during a club owner meeting, as well as his scheme to use Bex to help him reclaim ownership of the club. It’s Rupert at his oiliest and most repugnant, but his own arrogance does him in. Ted and Rupert play a game of darts to determine whether Rupert could approach Rebecca’s box or control match line-ups. In one of the best Ted Lasso episodes, Ted smokes him, all while pointing out Rupert’s hubris. It’s glorious.
Season 1, Episode 9: “All Apologies”
By the time this late season one episode aired, viewers had spent months grappling with their love and empathy for Rebecca while knowing she purposely set Ted up for failure at Richmond. Things come to a head after Rupert announces he’s having a baby with Bex. Rebecca marches down to Ted’s office and finally reveals her motivations for bringing him to Richmond.
And in true Ted fashion, he forgives her without a second thought. Elsewhere, Roy deals with being benched and Coach Beard (Brendan Hunt) takes Ted to task for downplaying the importance of winning. But Ted’s willingness to forgive Rebecca is the standout moment. Not only is it among the most stirring Ted Lasso episodes, but it also epitomizes the biggest theme in the entire series.
Season 2, Episode 1: “Goodbye Earl”
After the lovable Dani Rojas (Cristo Fernández) accidentally kills the team mascot—a greyhound named Earl—Richmond hires psychologist Dr. Sharon Fieldstone (Sarah Niles) to help him. Roy is newly retired and coaching a girls’ football team, while Jamie Tartt (Phil Dunster) seeks fame on a reality dating show.
But the episode’s biggest highlight comes from two characters who have had limited time together thus far: Rebecca and Roy. Roy and Keeley go on a double date with Rebecca and her painfully average new beau. After asking Roy and Keeley what they think of him, Richmond’s gravel-voiced curmudgeon tells a stunned Rebecca that she deserves better.
“You deserve someone who makes you feel like you’ve been struck by fucking lightning. Don’t you dare settle for fine!”—Roy Kent in Ted Lasso season 2, episode 1
It’s a powerful, chill-inducing moment that makes the season two premiere one of the best Ted Lasso episodes and one of Roy’s most memorable.
Season 2, Episode 8: “Man City”
Another series highlight, “Man City” sees AFC Richmond play against Manchester City at Wembley Stadium. Dr. Sharon is hit by a car, and Roy learns that his niece Phoebe is emulating his colorful language at school. Elsewhere, Rebecca and Sam (Toheeb Jimoh) finally learn that they’re each other’s secret matches on Bantr, and Ted reveals to Sharon that his father took his own life.
But the heart of this episode is Jamie Tartt. The symbol of toxic masculinity in season one, Jamie tries to be nonchalant about getting his abusive father James (Kieran O’Brien) tickets to the Man City match. But after the elder Tartt verbally abuses his son in the locker room after their loss, Jamie loses it and punches him in the face. Beard shoves Mr. Tartt out as the team watches awkwardly.
Roy then puts his contentious past with Jamie aside and embraces the shell-shocked hotshot, who dissolves into tears in Roy’s arms. This is the first of many Ted Lasso episodes that made me love and empathize with Jamie. His arc since has been nothing short of spectacular.
Season 2, Episode 10: “No Weddings and a Funeral”
This Ted-and Rebecca-centric episode is the one everyone waited for in season two. Rebecca’s father passes away, and the entire team attends the funeral. The show establishes earlier in the season that Rebecca harbors harsh feelings toward her father, which resurface in this episode.
Meanwhile, the thought of attending Mr. Welton’s funeral triggers another panic attack for Ted, who finally schedules his long overdue therapy session with Dr. Sharon. In a devastating sequence, Ted Lasso reveals the root cause of Rebecca and Ted’s childhood traumas. Rebecca hates her father because she caught him cheating on her mother as a teenager.
Ted reveals to Dr. Sharon that he was not only at home with his father the day he took his own life but that he discovered his dad’s body. A tearful Ted recounts how that day made him more empathetic to others because everyone is going through something. As far as Ted Lasso episodes go, this one is nearly perfect. No notes.
Season 3, Episode 6: “Sunflowers”
In this entry, the team loses a “friendly” match in Amsterdam, and Ted tells his players and staff to enjoy a night out with no curfew to lift their spirits. Nearly every main character gets to shine in this jam-packed hour. After downing tea spiked with (dud) magic mushrooms and heading to an American novelty restaurant, Ted comes up with a new strategy for the team to employ on the football pitch.
The majority of the team debates what to do with their free night. Half of the team wants to party all night. Others want to attend a live sex show. Dani just wants to see a tulip. While the team debates, Roy continues training Jamie, which leads to a hilarious and heartwarming montage of Jamie teaching Roy how to ride a bike.
Rebecca falls into a canal and enjoys the company of a friendly mystery man (Matteo van der Grijn) on a houseboat. And finally, a closeted Colin (Billy Harris) visits a gay bar, only to run into Trent Crimm (James Lance), who confesses that he’s gay as well. The two have a beautiful heart-to-heart, and Colin makes a new friend and support system. One of the finest and most heartwarming Ted Lasso episodes.
Season 3, Episode 7: “The Strings That Bind Us”
In this mid-season gem, Keeley becomes uneasy regarding new lover Jack’s (Jodi Balfour) extravagant gifts after a talk with Rebecca. Nate the Great finally plucks up the courage to ask Jade (Edyta Budnik), the hostess at Taste of Athens, out on a date.
But the heart and soul of this episode belongs to one of AFC Richmond’s most lovable members, Sam Obisanya. After he sends a bigoted politician a kindly-worded Tweet asking her to rethink her refugee policies, she responds with a Laura Ingraham-esque “shut up and dribble.” The following day, his restaurant is vandalized.
What follows is an acting tour de force from Toheeb Jimoh, who portrays Sam’s heartbreak and sadness with as much ferocity as his anger and fury. It’s a visceral performance that hit home for me and spoke to my own lived experience. It touches on the racism Black footballers deal with, as well as the bigotry Black people and POC often face when they stand up and speak out. Ted Lasso episodes like this remind me why it’s one of the best shows on TV right now. Superb in every way.
Season 3, Episode 10: “International Break”
In this late-season Ted Lasso episode, several Richmond players temporarily leave to play for their national teams. Sam learns that, despite a stellar season, he’s been left off the Nigerian team—thanks to a bribe from volatile businessman Edwin Akufo (Sam Richardson). In the wake of her breakup with Jack, the funding for Keeley’s firm is pulled, but Rebecca invests to keep it open.
Meanwhile, Nate quits his coaching gig at West Ham after Rupert tries to rope him into cheating on Jade. He goes back to his childhood home, where he has a much-needed conversation with his toxic and overbearing father. Rebecca, Rupert, and other team owners meet with Edwin Akufo about joining a Super League, but Rebecca blasts the idea of taking football away from everyday fans for the sake of making more money.
After Akufo throws a temper tantrum (and food), Rupert reminisces with Rebecca and tries to kiss her. In yet another rewarding moment in Rebecca’s development, she rebuffs him and walks out. In more marked growth across recent Ted Lasso episodes, she notes that she no longer wants to beat him. Boss. Ass. B*tch.
Season 3, Episode 11: “Mom City”
In one of the most powerful Ted Lasso episodes yet, two characters who struggle with generational trauma from their fathers finally speak with their mothers. Ted’s mom, Dottie (Becky Ann Baker), makes an unannounced visit, leading to several uncomfortable scenes where it’s evident that Ted’s frustration is more than just annoyance. Later, Ted angrily confronts her, calling her out for pretending to be okay after his father’s death and for making him think he had to do the same.
Elsewhere, a depressed and anxiety-ridden Jamie spirals as a match against Manchester City looms. Jamie hasn’t seen his abusive, drunk father since punching him at his last Man City match, and he’s worried he’ll be in the stands, rooting against him. After breaking down in Roy’s arms—again—the Mancunian star seeks out his mother, who tells her son that his father is who he is and that he won’t change. Little does Jamie know that his father is trying to change for the better, and cheers his son on from a rehab facility.
Nate wrestles with the idea of returning to coach at Richmond after his contentious exit at the end of season two. He is visited by Beard, who referred to Nate as “Judas” earlier in the episode. Beard tearfully recounts the shocking way Ted supported him and gave him a second chance during a self-destructive time in his life. Beard now grants Nate the same grace Ted showed him.
In a shocking moment, Bex and Rupert’s former assistant Ms. Kakes (Rosie Lou) pay Rebecca a visit, presumably to discuss the toxic workplace at West Ham alluded to in recent Ted Lasso episodes. And finally, Rebecca comes to Ted with no emotional bomb to drop on him for the first time in the series. But in a heart-wrenching twist, Ted says he has one to drop on her.
Season three has hinted numerous times that Ted wants to go back home to Kansas, and it seems this is the news he’s ready to share with Rebecca. I wept no less than three times during this episode, and the last few scenes left my jaw on the floor and my tear ducts empty.
Watch Ted Lasso episodes on Apple TV+
Those are our favorite Ted Lasso episodes thus far in the series. To be fair, nearly every episode could qualify, as there are no bad episodes of this show. With next week’s entry possibly serving as a series finale (we’re not ready, either), we invite you to look back and tell us your favorites.
Did we miss any of your favorite Ted Lasso episodes? Hit us up on our socials with all your Ted Lasso thoughts. You can watch all Ted Lasso episodes now on Apple TV+.