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The 10 Best ‘Ted Lasso’ Characters, Ranked

I wish they were all my best friends

Brendan Hunt as Coach Beard being the best

This post contains spoilers for Ted Lasso seasons 1 and 2.

Apple TV Plus’s Ted Lasso is currently filming its third and final season, and we can’t wait to see the return of its weird and lovable cast. Each character in Ted Lasso is a blend of emotional nuance and laugh-out-loud humor, so it’s hard to choose a favorite. Nevertheless, here are our picks for the ten best characters in the series!

10. Jamie Tartt

Jamie Tartt starts out as a self-centered jerkwad who also happens to be the team’s best chance at avoiding relegation. Although, by the end of season 2, he’s still a self-centered jerkwad, we do know a little more of his backstory: a lot of his bluster comes from trying to please his abusive father. Ted gradually steps in as a kind of surrogate father, though, allowing Jamie to let down his guard a little. Plus, Jamie shows some maturity when he learns to work with the team instead of hogging all the glory for himself.

9. Dr. Sharon Fieldstone

I know Dr. Fieldstone is a relatively minor character, but she’s fascinating whenever she’s on the screen. At the beginning of her time as the club’s psychologist, she seems aloof and almost phantom-like, to the extent that she seems to get closer and closer when Ted’s not looking. Then there’s that weird moment when she’s riding her bike to work and yells at a random guy for no reason. There are layers to Dr. Fieldstone that we may never see, but it’s heartwarming to watch her and Ted slowly grow close and learn to trust each other.

8. Dani Rojas

Dani Rojas is three golden retrievers in a trench coat. He’s the boyfriend who pays a pizza place extra to get you a heart-shaped pizza on your third date. He says it himself: he loves to give away joy for free! Normally I would hate someone who goes around singing his own name, but as far as I’m concerned, Dani can do it all day.

Of course, Dani finds himself at the center of some drama more than once. He gets injured not once, but twice in his early days at Richmond, sparking fears that the team is cursed, and then he gets a case of the yips when he accidentally kills Richmond’s mascot Earl. Dani always comes out on top, though.

7. Roy Kent

Ted Lasso enjoys no end of comic relief from the world’s grouchiest football player, Roy Kent. I’d love to see an episode where Roy is played by a frowning muppet. You can see it, right? All the other characters are human and no one comments on Roy’s muppet-ness? Like, it would work. Barring that, I hope Roy busts out another Ted impression in season 3.

Like all Ted Lasso characters, though, what makes Roy a compelling character is his emotional arc. Roy is the oldest member on the team, and when he suffers an injury at the end of the season, he’s forced to admit that it’s time to retire. Roy reluctantly takes a job as a sportscaster, but finds that it’s frustrating to sit around trying to predict what’s going to happen in a game when the whole point is that you never know what the outcome will be. Eventually, Roy admits that what he really wants is to be close to the game, and he comes aboard as Richmond’s fourth coach.

Plus, there’s that super sweet thing he does for Keeley when he finds out that she gets turned on by a video of him crying. What a mensch!

6. Sam Obisanya

Sam starts off as one of the players in the show’s ensemble, but he gradually rises to prominence in the series as a warm and stouthearted guy. He demonstrates remarkable bravery multiple times throughout the series, leading a protest against the team’s sponsor Dubai Air and turning down a lucrative offer from a billionaire forming a new club.

Perhaps Sam’s most interesting turn, though, is when he and Rebecca get matched on an anonymous dating app. When they meet in a restaurant and realize that each one is the blind date the other is waiting for, Sam suggests that they go through with it. That’s a ballsy move to make with your boss, and both Sam and Rebecca enjoy a furtive romance because of it.

5. Keeley Jones

Many of the characters in Ted Lasso go through transformations, becoming better (or worse) versions of themselves over the course of the show, but with Keeley, you get the sense that all her best qualities were already there, and the show just gives her an opportunity to reveal them. Keeley starts off as a stereotypical football player’s girlfriend, picking Jamie up from practice and enjoying a modeling gig. As Keeley herself puts it, she’s “famous for being almost famous.”

But, as the series shows us, there’s way more to Keeley than we see at first. She has a talent for PR, leading Rebecca to hire her as Richmond’s Head of Marketing. From there, Keeley eventually gets recognition from Vanity Fair as a “powerful woman on the rise,” which she’s able to springboard into a PR firm of her very own. Keeley is a smart and savvy businesswoman, and at the end of season two she gets some well-deserved success—even though it comes at the cost of her love life.

The best thing about Keeley, though, is her huge heart and high emotional intelligence. Throughout the show, she’s one of the kindest and warmest characters—and, for a show that’s all about kindness and warmth, that’s saying a lot.

4. Rebecca Welton

Rebecca, the owner of AFC Richmond, kicks off (ha!) the series by hatching a devious and kind of nonsensical plot to get revenge on her ex-husband Rupert by taking over his beloved football club and running it into the ground. Of course, if anyone can melt Rebecca’s icy heart, it’s Ted, and sure enough, Rebecca’s inner kindness begins to come out even while she’s hell-bent on destroying the team. As we learn more about Rebecca, we begin to see the wounded, brokenhearted person beneath the ruthless exterior—and we really feel for her when Rupert continues to harass and bully her even after their divorce. At the end of season 1, Rebecca decides to abandon her scheme, come clean to Ted, and take on the role of team owner in earnest.

3. Coach Beard

Coach Beard seems quiet on the outside, but on the inside he’s psychedelically weird. He can whip out a Doc Brown impression or a cool ecology fact on the fly, and the episode devoted to his misadventures, “Beard After Hours,” we see just how bizarre his life can get when he doesn’t have his work to ground him.

2. Nate Shelley

Nate is an absolutely fascinating character. At the beginning of the series, he’s a hesitant kit man who gets bullied by Jamie Tartt and the other players. But he soon reveals that he has a keen eye for strategy, and Ted starts using his plays even before Nate is promoted to manager. As he grows more confident in his new role as assistant coach, Nate revels in his newfound fame and recognition.

But the dark side of Nate reveals itself so gradually that it takes you awhile to realize what’s happening. In the first season, Nate gives a pep talk to the players that’s actually just a string of insults. Well, you might think, maybe that’s par for the course in pro soccer. Besides, it does motivate them! But as Nate grows increasingly obsessed with his image and begins to take out his insecurity and frustration on the new kit man, you begin to realize that something is deeply wrong. Nate’s hair gradually going grey is a superb touch. It starts so subtly, you almost doubt what you’re seeing. By the end, though, after Nate has thrown all of Ted’s support back in his face and defected to West Ham United, the change is unmistakable. Nate has gone to the Dark Side.

1. Ted Lasso

I know it may seem boring to list the main character of a show as the best character in the show, but in this case it’s 100% warranted. Ted Lasso started out as a jokey short on NBC called “An American Football Coach in London,” but once the concept was developed into a full-length series, Jason Sudeikis turned the bumbling coach into a lovable, unforgettable character.

Ted is beloved as a coach because of his empathy, compassion, and optimism, and his charm begins to win over Richmond fans even as they chant “wanker!” from the stands. That charisma hides a heartbreaking past, though, and we eventually learn that Ted is dealing with not only the grief of his divorce, but the trauma of losing his father to suicide. Is Ted a natural empath, or is he a people-pleaser with a fear of abandonment? Probably a little of both, and that’s what makes him so relatable. Ted’s endless quips and observations are hilarious, but what makes him such a great character is his depth.

Who’s your favorite Ted Lasso character? Is there anyone you think should have been on the list? Let us know in the comments!

(image: Warner Bros.)

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Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and covers film, television, and books for The Mary Sue. When she's not making yarn on her spinning wheel, she consumes massive amounts of Marvel media, folk horror, science fiction, fantasy, and nature writing. You can check out more of her writing at, or find her on Twitter at @juliaglassman.