Skip to Content

‘Ted Lasso’s’ best life lessons: A guide to living as told in three seasons

<i>Apple TV+</i><br/>(From left) Juno Temple
Apple TV+
(From left) Juno Temple

By Dan Heching, CNN

(CNN) — Quickly becoming the soccer coach America didn’t know it needed, Ted Lasso is making his final appearance on the pitch after three uproarious seasons, when the Apple TV+ series of the same name comes to an end this week.

Emmy-winning “Ted Lasso” was more than just a feel-good series, it was rather a full-on demonstration of the power of positive thinking, with Coach Lasso – played by star, co-executive producer and co-show developer Jason Sudeikis – delivering credos and idle observations that bettered our view of the world and people around us.

And while Lasso himself – the down-home American football coach who suddenly found himself across the pond coaching English football to Richmond AFC – became famous for his folksy insight (there’s even a Twitter dedicated to his inspirational/aspirational mustache), those life lessons ultimately came from all the wonderful players of “Ted Lasso.”

A brief summary of some of the series’ most insightful lines follows below.

Meet a “challenge” head on, but with the willingness to grow

“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,” Lasso said of coaching. That’s not to say he wasn’t encouraging as well, like when he once remarked to his team, “Taking on a challenge is a lot like riding a horse, isn’t it? If you’re comfortable while you’re doing it, you’re probably doing it wrong.”

“You say impossible, but all I hear is ‘I’m possible.’”

One of his simple and cheeky phrases – almost as simple as his most famous one-word line, seen below – Ted’s delivery of little nuggets like this, with a nod and smile, could make anyone melt just a little and do their absolute best. Even the terrifyingly gruff Roy Kent.

Make whatever your passion is your “life”

Dani Rojas, the perpetually smiling Mexican striker on the Richmond team played by actor Cristo Fernández, immediately became known for this trademark motto, “Football is life.” And while it was the simplest of phrases, both it and Rojas came to exemplify an unshakable, eternally optimistic commitment to the pursuit at hand – whatever it may be.

“Don’t you dare settle for fine!”

Speaking of Roy Kent, the moment in Season 2 when Rebecca’s date leaves her for the evening, and she asks Roy and Keeley what they think of him, Kent shows his true colors when he dismisses Keeley’s opinion of the guy in question as being just “fine.” “You deserve someone who makes you feel like you’ve been struck by f—ing lightning,” he exclaims, in true Roy Kent fashion. The moment also gets a lovely little smile from Keeley, who indeed has that kind of effect on him.

Make sure you have your own “Diamond Dogs”

With the state of men’s and boys’ mental health slowly becoming part of the conversation – and a recent study on how many men tend to be loners – the sight of Lasso and his best buddy Beard, along with Leslie, Nate and later Roy and Trent Crimm taking time to share with each other about their struggles in love and life was something to behold. Creating a stable forum for sharing and support among friends should be par for the course for anyone. Minus the silly howling.

“If you just figure out some way to turn that ‘me’ into ‘us’…the sky’s the limit for you.”

It might be hard to remember at the end of the series, but star player Jamie Tartt started out the show as a rather obnoxious prima donna who didn’t have the faintest concept of what it meant to work constructively with a team member. He was one of Lasso’s earliest challenges, and the coach’s advice and approach was crystallized in a remark that was useful to us all: “Jamie, I think that you might be so sure that you’re one in a million, that sometimes you forget that out there, you’re just 1 of 11. And if you just figure out some way to turn that ‘me’ into ‘us’…the sky’s the limit for you.” It’s advice well worth heeding, and heed it Jamie does over the course of the rest of the series.

“Unless you make thoughtful amends, you will stink forever”

The Christmas episode from Season 2 – which has quickly become a classic Christmas staple – showed Roy and Keeley helping his adorable but dentally-challenged niece Phoebe (the brilliant, scene-stealing Elodie Blomfield) with her unfortunate and rancid breath. The end of the episode takes a nod from that other Christmas classic “Love Actually,” and during the sequence in which Phoebe forgives the boy who bullied her about said “medically bad” breath via cue cards outside his door, this valuable piece of advice is included.

Breathe through a panic attack

It of course takes a lot to be a guiding light and a stalwart of positivity, as seen with Ted Lasso and his struggle with the onset of panic attacks. Much like the extremely vulnerable scene in last year’s “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” watching a character deal with a scary situation like a panic attack can be upsetting, but informative. When he feels one coming on, Ted sits and does his best to breathe, and later makes sure to seek help in the form of the team’s therapist, Dr. Sharon.

“I hope that either all of us, or none of us, are judged by the actions of our weakest moments, but rather the strength we show when and if we’re ever given a second chance.”

One of the central plot points in “Ted Lasso” Season 3 is Nate’s estrangement from the team, and how his grudge is not reciprocated by Ted, but by Beard. In last week’s episode, Ted took Beard aside to highlight the importance of second chances, and it’s a speech for the ages – one which later causes Beard to make a stark revelation about his own life, thereby thawing things out between him and Nate and setting the stage for a teary reunion in the series finale.


Never has a show managed to grab one single word and make it evoke so much, becoming an actual plot device upon which a whole season hung (there’s Nate again, ripping up the beloved and famous “Believe” sign on camera – and then waiting hours and hours to make a clean getaway). The word “believe” is now synonymous with the show, but also with what it stood for – having faith and being open and courageous enough to remain so, even in face of impossible odds. In the words of Ted himself: “I think it’s the lack of hope that comes and gets you. See, I believe in hope. I believe in belief.”

Some other golden Lasso-isms:

“Point is, a lot of times, the right idea is just sitting behind a couple of the wrong ones.”

“I shouldn’t bring an umbrella to a brainstorm.”

“The idea behind every trick play is to have chaos rain down upon your opponents and stun them. Much like the lava did to those poor folks in Pompeii.”

“What I can tell you is that with the exception of the wit and wisdom of Calvin and Hobbes, not much lasts forever.”

“I believe in Communism. Rom-communism, that is. If Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan can go through some heartfelt struggles and still end up happy, then so can we.”

“Boy, I love meeting people’s moms. It’s like reading an instruction manual as to why they’re nuts.”

™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - Entertainment

Jump to comments ↓

CNN Newsource


News Channel 3 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content