‘Ted Lasso’: 5 Very Different Father-Son Relationships on the Apple Series

On the surface, Ted Lasso is a TV show about an American football coach who goes to England to coach a soccer team with barely any knowledge of the game. But as fans of the Apple original series know there’s much more to it than that. The Emmy-nominated program explores topics such as activism, divorce, mental health, and, of course, all types of relationships. Friendships, romantic relationships, working relationships, and, of course, father-son relationships. Here are five relationships between fathers and sons on the Jason Sudeikis-led comedy. 

[Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers from Ted Lasso Season 2 Episode 8: “Man City”]

1. Sam Obisanya and his father are close

Jeremy Swift, Toheeb Jimoh, and Hannah Waddingham in 'Ted Lasso' Season 1
Jeremy Swift, Toheeb Jimoh, and Hannah Waddingham in ‘Ted Lasso’ Season 1 | AppleTV+

Ted Lasso shows varying degrees of father-son relationships and Sam Obisanya’s (Toheeb Jimoh) relationship with his father is a good one. In Ted Lasso Season 2 Episode 3: ‘Do the Right-est Thing’ fans learned more about Sam’s relationship with his dad. 

Sam excitedly texted his dad about being the new face of the fictional airline, Dubai Air. Sam’s dad’s response? He said the airline’s parent company had been known to wreak havoc on the environment in Sam’s home country of Nigeria. Sam’s father expressed his disappointment and the AFC Richmond player decided to do something. 

Sam went to the team’s owner Rebecca Welton (Hannah Waddingham) and asked to back out of his promotional deal with Dubai Air. Then during a match he — and the rest of the team — went out on the field with the airline’s logo covered up. At the post-game press conference, Sam talked about the company’s activities in Nigeria. Later Sam found out from his father that what he’d done had made a difference. 

2. Ted Lasso has a long-distance father-son relationship with Henry

Jason Sudeikis watches as Gus Turner assembles a red double decker bus in 'Ted Lasso'
Jason Sudeikis and Gus Turner in ‘Ted Lasso’ | AppleTV+

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As for coach Ted Lasso (Sudeikis) his relationship with his young son Henry (Gus Turner) is strained by distance and later divorce. In Ted Lasso Season 1 Ted got a visit from his son and now-ex-wife. 

Ted and Henry did all sorts of activities together with the two of them sharing a sweet moment on the field that took inspiration from a real Premier League moment. But Henry eventually went back to the U.S. while Ted stayed in England. 

As Ted Lasso Season 2 has shown, it’s been difficult for Ted to be away from his son. In the Christmas episode, Ted planned on spending the entire day on a video call with Henry. As it turned out their call only lasted a few minutes because Henry was so excited to try out the drone Ted got him. 

3. Nathan Shelley desperately wants his father’s approval

Nick Mohammed smiles as he sits at a desk wearing a suit and tie as Nathan Shelley in 'Ted Lasso' Season 2
Nick Mohammed in ‘Ted Lasso’ Season 2 | AppleTV+

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Often called “Nate the Great” or Nate, it becomes clear in season 2 that Nathan Shelley (Nick Mohammed) wants to make his father proud. At one point he gets help from Keeley Jones (Juno Temple) and Rebecca on how to secure a coveted table at his parents’ favorite restaurant for their anniversary. 

And when Nate leads Richmond to a victory his dad puts him down for talking about himself in an interview. From there Nate’s behavior starts to change. He’s uncharacteristically mean to the players as he tracks what people say about him online.

4. Jamie Tartt can’t stand his father

Phil Dunster wearing a yellow vest under a gray sweatshirt as Jamie Tartt on 'Ted Lasso'
Phil Dunster in ‘Ted Lasso | AppleTV+

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Richmond’s star player Jamie Tartt (Phil Dunster) has a very complicated relationship with his father. In Ted Lasso Season 1 Ted saw Jamie getting yelled at after making an assist during a game. 

As the show continued viewers learned more about Jamie’s behavior and that it had a lot to do with his father. Finally, in the latest episode, Jamie and his father came to blows after a confrontation in the locker room. 

5. Ted Lasso’s relationship with dad is somewhat of a mystery

What about Ted and his father? The dynamic between the two is largely unknown with Sudeikis’ title character occasionally making comments about his father here and there. Thanks to that memorable darts scene in the pub viewers know when Ted was 16 his dad died. Up to that point, they’d played darts every weekend. 

In Ted Lasso Season 2 Ted’s opened up about his father more until a major piece of information was revealed after Jamie’s altercation with his dad. Ted left the stadium and called Dr. Sharon Fieldstone (Sarah Niles), the team’s sports psychologist, to tell her his father killed himself.

A new episode of Ted Lasso Season 2 drops every Friday on AppleTV+.