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The Strange Real-Life Story Behind The Red String Exercise In Ted Lasso S3 Episode 7

Contains spoilers for "Ted Lasso" Season 3 Episode 7, "The Strings That Bind Us"

"Ted Lasso" episode names often carry a hidden meaning or three, but rarely do they dig as deep as Season 3 Episode 7, "The Strings That Bind Us." After the last episode's Amsterdam excursion managed to provide a much-needed charge to the club's collective battery, AFC Richmond spends Episode 7 implementing Ted Lasso's (Jason Sudeikis) vision of the classic Total Football strategy. As Trent Crimm (James Lance) excitedly explains after the Arsenal game, the bonds Ted has created during his time with the club are instrumental in the new tactic's success, but the episode also takes a far more literal meaning to the whole binding strings thing. 

Even for a comedic drama, "Ted Lasso" deploys a vast array of comedy tactics in its arsenal, from verbal acrobatics to sheer absurdism. Halfway through the episode, "The Strings That Bind Us" brings a large scoop of slapstick into the mix when Ted forces the team to practice while wearing red string that, well, binds them to each other. The shenanigans that follow — and Roy Kent's (Brett Goldstein) sheer delight at witnessing them — are enough to provide some of the season's biggest belly laughs, but as Ted briefly mentions before the beginning of the exercise, the method is actually based on a very real and ancient belief: the Red String of Fate

The Red String of Fate is the ultimate form of connection

The Red String of Fate — aka the Red Thread of Fate — is an ancient Asian myth that, as Ted Lasso explains, is based on the belief that people with a deep soulmate-level connection are bound to each other with an invisible red thread. In some versions of the legend, the thread is tied to their pinky fingers, while others depict it as being attached to the soulmates' ankles. Ted uses the pinky finger version depicted in Japanese legend, which incidentally may out the AFC Richmond manager as a bit of an Anime fan. After all, the Red Thread of Fate is a common Anime trope (via CBR). 

Though it's often used in a romantic context, the Red Thread essentially means that the people it binds are fated to connect deeply, in one way or another. Granted, Roy Kent's decision to tie the red string around a very particular part of the male anatomy is a bit of a deviation from the mythology ... but hey, the episode would hardly provide as many laughs if they used the pinky or the ankle, would it?