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Ted Lasso Characters Ranked By Likeability

"Ted Lasso" is the feel-good television series that the early 2020s have desperately needed. Amid all the worldwide chaos and discord, at the very least viewers know that there is a show on Apple TV+ that reminds fans that people can be good and that bad people don't have to warp those around them. Evil can be undone and trauma can be overcome, but it isn't going to be easy and there will always be obstacles. 

A show like "Ted Lasso" relies on likeable characters that its audience can get behind, and this one, in particular, has chosen to juxtapose these figures against some truly despicable antagonists who act as foils for the heroes. Where Ted chooses to turn his pain into empathy, other characters turn it into bitterness or hatred and take it out on those around them. But of the many incredibly well-written characters in "Ted Lasso," who among them is the most and least likeable?

14. James Tartt

Of all the unlikeable people on "Ted "Lasso," none are as thoroughly irredeemable as Kieran O'Brien's James Tartt, the father of famed footballer Jamie Tartt. 

While the other characters at this end of the list all have some redeeming qualities or are at least polite to some degree during the show, James has none of this. He is first mentioned by his son in Season 1 when Jamie opens up to the team about how his father's verbal abuse shaped who he is today. Audiences see that dynamic play out onscreen in the Season 1 finale when James berates his son for passing the ball instead of scoring the winning goal against his former team.

This comes to a head in the Season 2 episodes "Man City" and "Beard After Hours." After Richmond loses badly in "Man City," James saunters into the team's private locker room and mocks Jamie to his face in front of the entire team until Jamie finally punches him in the face. Beard roughly escorts James out, and when the two cross paths in the next episode, James nearly murders Beard with a lead pipe in revenge until someone else stops him. 

If something pretty horrible were to happen to this character, it's hard to say if anybody would shed a tear. 

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.

13. Rupert Mannion

The main reason that Anthony Head's Rupert Mannion isn't at the top of this list is that he has yet to try to hit anyone over the head with a lead pipe. He's still thoroughly horrid, but if one had to be trapped in a room with him or James, it's far safer to pick Rupert. 

That's about the nicest thing that's possible to say about this man. Every decision Rupert makes in this series seeks to hurt those around him, especially his ex-wife, Rebecca Welton, whom he cheated on regularly before the series began. 

To hurt Rebecca, Rupert does several horrible things. Rupert MCs an auction that Rebecca is in charge of and donates £1 million to make her look cheap, begins dating a significantly younger woman whose name is also Rebecca, and eventually buys the minority share in Richmond so that Rebecca has to keep seeing him. Beyond that, Rupert has a child with the other Rebecca, something he refused to do with his ex-wife, and shows up to her father's funeral, all before he finally buys West Ham United and hires Nathan to be its manager in order to beat Richmond into relegation once again. 

This man is so horrid that many viewers likely cheered when Rebecca's best friend, Flo, tells him, to his face, that she can't wait for him to die, and that sums it up pretty well. 

12. Edwin Akufo

Sam Richardson's Edwin Akufo makes his first appearance in the Season 2 episode "Midnight Train to Royston" by landing his helicopter in the middle of Richmond's practice field, and this inconsiderate decision speaks pretty well to the quality of Edwin's character. He's described beforehand as a new billionaire that just inherited his family's vast fortune and is seeking to establish himself in the world of football. 

Edwin wants Richmond's right-winger Sam Obisanya to leave the club and play for his team instead, hosting several exuberantly expensive events to convince the footballer to return to Africa with him. These include buying out an entire museum, setting up a fake restaurant, and then filling both locations with actors to mimic a normal tourist experience. At one point, he even states that he is a billionaire in a world where he isn't sure billionaires should exist. 

It's a nice sentiment, but Afuko's whole persona immediately falls apart when Sam ultimately turns him down. His charm and wit dissolve into a childish, racist tantrum as he screams at Sam for wasting his time. It's safe to say that Sam dodged a bullet by deciding to stay at Richmond.

11. Nathan Shelley

Though he didn't take the lowest spot on this list, it's safe to say that Nathan Shelley is one of the show's most hated characters by the end of Season 2. Played by the incredible Nick Mohammed, Nathan started out as Richmond's bullied kit man, but after Ted Lasso joined the team, "Nate the Great" shows off his tactical brilliance and becomes one of Richmond's assistant coaches in the Season 1 finale. 

Nathan is a likeable character that goes through a relatable arc as he transforms from a defeated victim into a key part of Richmond's leadership — right up until Season 2 begins. From the first episode, "Goodbye Earl!," it is clear that something was off. He has no sympathy for his players' emotions and even bullies the team's new kit man, Will, in the exact same manner he had been pushed around by Jamie earlier. 

He grows more selfish throughout the season, bullying Will and the players ever more harshly, reacting aggressively to every perceived insult, and becoming so concerned with propping himself up that nothing else seems to matter. By the end of Season 2, Nate has torn down Ted's Believe sign and quit to join Rupert Mannion's West Ham United as its manager.

Nate betrays the very people who had helped him, and many audience members took that disloyalty to heart. However, despite everything he's done, he was once one of the show's most beloved characters, which ultimately keeps him from ranking any lower.

10. Jamie Tartt

As Roy Kent is quick to remind anybody who will listen, Phil Dunster's Jamie Tartt is a "prick," but he is one who can change, grow, and ultimately become a much better person. During the first season, Jamie is selfish and entitled. He bullies the team's kit man, refuses to pass to his teammates or listen to his coaches, and believes that he is the only thing keeping Richmond afloat. 

Thankfully, after a series of humbling events, Jamie chooses to work on himself. Richmond wins an impossible game only after Ted benches Jamie. Dani Rojas soon joins the team, quickly proving himself to be both extremely positive and just as skilled as Jamie. By Season 2, Jamie is let go by Manchester City after appearing on a reality television show, and he has to come crawling back to Richmond for help. From that point on, Jaimie does everything he can to make amends with everybody he hurt when he left at the end of Season 1. 

Surprisingly, Jamie succeeds and genuinely becomes a better person, helping Roy through relationship troubles, apologizing when he makes mistakes, and supporting his teammates through their hardships. When his abusive father, James, tries to berate Jamie for being soft in front of his teammates, the entire team rallies behind him, showing just how far they've all come. 

9. Flo 'Sassy' Collins

Played by Ellie Taylor, Flo "Sassy" Collins is Rebecca Welton's best and oldest friend, and though Rupert made sure the two never saw each other during their marriage, Flo still asked Rebecca to be her daughter Nora's godmother. The two reconnect in Season 1 after Rebecca's divorce, and Flo cements herself as one of the show's most likeable guest stars, but she earns her spot in this list with a single scene in the Season 2 episode "No Weddings and a Funeral." 

Rebecca's father has just passed away, and never one to pass up an opportunity to hurt her, Rupert shows up at the funeral with his new wife and child in tow. Though Rebecca and the other attendees feign politeness, Flo doesn't hesitate to let him know exactly how she feels about him when he tries to talk to her, and in doing so, allows the show to finally call out Rupert for his horrid behavior. It's an incredible scene, even if its language is too crude to quote here.

8. Dr. Sharon Fieldstone

After Dani Rojas accidentally kills Richmond's canine mascot during a goal-kick gone wrong, Higgins brings in a sports psychologist named Dr. Sharon Fieldstone to help him come to terms with the trauma. Played by Sarah Niles, the doctor does such a good job that Higgins hires her for the remainder of the season, and she successfully challenges every character she interacts with to grow and heal. 

After she helps Jamie figure out how to connect with his teammates, Ted is so surprised that she managed what the coaching staff couldn't that he becomes her client as well. Unfortunately, it doesn't go well, as Ted deeply distrusts her profession after a bad experience with a couples counselor before his divorce. However, Sharon stands firm in her compassion and professionalism, finally connecting with him by sharing her own trauma from being hit by a car while riding to work on her bicycle. 

Dr. Fieldstone's ongoing work with Ted Lasso forms a crucial part of the narrative for the show's second season, but she isn't a static character. She grows and changes alongside her clients, and watching her do her best to help others is a highlight of Season 2. Ted Lasso has a lot of trauma from his childhood and his recent divorce that he has ignored, and without Dr. Fieldstone, he might never have confronted it. 

7. Coach Beard

For a man of few words, Brendan Hunt's Coach Beard is one of the most complicated characters on this list. He is the quintessential best friend, following Ted all the way from the United States to join him at Richmond to become a key source of support at the football club. Beard is the one that actually learns the sport so Ted can focus on coaching the players as people, and the pair's banter is definitely one of the best aspects of "Ted Lasso." 

Beard is not without his struggles, however, as the Season 2 episode "Beard After Hours" makes clear. He has his own mental health struggles and is one of the only characters who doesn't seek out Dr. Fieldstone for support. Though it's unclear why, Beard struggles with intense feelings of self-loathing, going so far as to imagine that commentators on TV are specifically critiquing him. 

His self-worth issues are most consistently demonstrated in his toxic relationship with Jane, who constantly breaks up with Beard just to get back together with him. Beard is intense, and his philosophy of life seems fairly bleak and morbid, which is in contrast to Ted's, but he always has his friend's back, and this profound loyalty makes him one of the best characters on the show. 

6. Leslie Higgins

Jeremy Swift's Leslie Higgins is one of the sweetest characters on the show, but it takes him time to get there. As the director of communications at Richmond, Leslie is a wonderful person who helps his boss, Rupert Mannion, do horrible things by hiding his employer's many adulterous liaisons from his now ex-wife Rebecca Welton. 

After their divorce, the only betrayal Rebecca felt as keenly as Rupert's was Higgins'. She thought Leslie was her friend, and she doesn't let Higgins forget what he did, holding it over him throughout Season 1 as she blackmails him into helping her sabotage Richmond to get back at Rupert. However, By the Season 1 episode "The Diamond Dogs," Higgins has had enough. He's done helping others hurt those they claim to love, and his decision to quit helps Rebecca finally abandon her scheme and apologize to both Ted and Leslie. 

After this, Higgins is nothing but a light of hope and joy for the team. His beautiful relationship with his wife serves as a wonderful contrast to the more difficult romance arcs seen throughout the series, and he very clearly cares about every person he works with. When he sees the team hurting, he hires Dr. Fieldstone so they can receive professional help, and knowing that many of the players can't go home for the holidays, he hosts the entire team at his own home in one of Season 2's most comforting episodes, "Carol of the Bells." 

5. Rebecca Welton

Hannah Waddingham's Rebecca Welton is one of the best-written and most realistic characters on television. Destroyed by her recent divorce from serial adulterer Rupert Mannion, Rebecca is determined to do whatever she can to get back at the man who hurt her by destroying the football club he adores.

She manages to get ownership of the Premier League team AFC Richmond in the divorce, and she uses this position to hire the most inept coach she can think of — an American football coach named Ted Lasso, who knows nothing about "soccer." Rebecca's plan seems foolproof, but she doesn't take into account the fact that she will hurt everybody around her while trying to get back at Rupert. 

Much of Season 1 revolves around her forming deep, meaningful relationships with the very team she is trying to sabotage. It's not until that team discovers what Rebecca has done that her scheme reveals, as her best friend Flo describes it, that she is still just as trapped by Rupert's manipulative ways as she was during their marriage. She finally escapes, embraces real relationships, and moves on, doing her best to support everybody around her. It took her a season to get there, but she becomes without a doubt one of the show's most likeable characters. 

4. Roy Kent

When audiences meet him in "Ted Lasso," Brett Goldstein's Roy Kent is a football superstar whose best days are behind him. He's become too old to play, and his lack of leadership as Richmond's captain combined with his contentious relationship with Jamie Tartt leaves the team fractured and divided. 

However, things change when Ted Lasso and Keeley Jones enter his life. Under their influence, Roy steps up, ends the bullying against the team's kit man, Nate, and helps Ted unify the team for the first time in years. When he begins dating Keeley, Roy finds a way to express his softer side, and when Roy suffers a career-ending injury, Keeley is there to help him through it. 

This isn't why Roy is one of the show's most likeable characters, however. What makes Roy so endearing is that he grows and adapts when he is faced with challenges to his way of thinking. This is best shown in his evolving relationship with Jamie. The two hate each other, but when Jamie is abused by his father in front of the team, Roy immediately embraces Jamie and lets him cry it out. When the team's final game earns them promotion back to the Premier League, Roy and Jamie celebrate together, showing just how far the pair have come. 

3. Sam Obisanya

Toheeb Jimoh's Sam Obisanya is the purest soul in a show filled with them. He's kind, brave, loving, and courageous. Sam cares about those around him, and viewers can always trust him to do the right thing. 

Though Sam is a minor character in Season 1, he steps up in Season 2 to become a valued leader on the team. When he discovers that the team's new sponsor, Dubai Air, is responsible for mass pollution in his home country of Nigeria, he leads the charge in protesting the company, highlights what they've done on an international stage, and convinces Rebecca to drop the company as a sponsor. 

When Jamie Tartt, who bullies Sam in the first season, supports the protest, Sam is the first on the team to forgive him and welcome him back. When Sam finds someone he genuinely cares about on Bantr, the show's fictional dating app, he doesn't shy away from pursuing it, even when he finds out that it's his boss, Rebecca Welton. Sam makes it clear that he wants to pursue a relationship with her despite how difficult such a romance would be and doesn't want to do so secretly. 

Sam also cares deeply for his homeland and his family and supports them at every turn, but he isn't greedy. When Edwin Akufo tries to sweep him off his feet with money and shows of power, it doesn't work, and he decides to stay true to himself and his journey at Richmond.

2. Keeley Jones

Juno Temple's Keeley Jones is one of the most consistently lovely characters in the entire series. She's one of the first people to befriend Ted in Season 1, and she often demonstrates her wit, determination, and compassion throughout the show. Keeley sets healthy boundaries and loves those around her enough to hold them accountable when they mess up. 

Keeley doesn't let Jamie Tartt's immaturity drag her down when they date, but she also refuses to let their past keep her from guiding him towards the help he needs to become a better person in Season 2. She is honest with Roy about her past with Jamie when they begin a relationship and always strives to make amends when she hurts him. When Keeley discovers that Rebecca has been sabotaging Richmond and Ted Lasso's efforts, she confronts her, challenging her to be better, own up to her mistakes, and tell Ted what she's been doing. Once Rebecca has finally confessed, Keeley welcomes her back as her friend.

Best of all, Keeley does all of this while still taking care of herself. She gives a lot, but she consistently sets healthy boundaries, refusing to sacrifice her well-being for others or give up on her goals, which helps her found Bantr and create her own marketing firm by the end of Season 2. 

1. Ted Lasso

Jason Sudeikis' Ted Lasso is the heart of the show in more than just name. His optimism, humility, and genuine compassion for everybody around him help unify Richmond's fractured football team, and he encourages them to grow as athletes by improving as people. He seems to help everybody around him just by being himself, but what makes him the most likeable character on the show is why he does this. 

In Season 2, Ted reveals that his father committed suicide when he was young. His response to that traumatic event was to take that pain and turn it into empathy. He realized that life is hard for everybody else and vowed to go into every interaction knowing that the other person needs support just as much as he does. 

Ted isn't perfect, but his problems often make him even more likeable and relatable. Like his father, Ted struggles with alcoholism. He also has great difficulty letting other people, like Dr. Fieldstone, help him and often overlooks others' flaws to both his and their detriment. However, Ted isn't afraid to confront those failings head-on. 

He reacts to his aversion to therapy by attending sessions with Dr. Fieldstone and eventually letting her in past his walls. When Nate betrays him at the end of Season 2, Ted goes into the conversation with him by asking what he had done to hurt Nate. Ted models a positive way of living that doesn't shy away from growth and healing but instead seeks out personal flaws and addresses them.

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