It’s not often that characters from a comedy show undergo drastic character transformations in two short seasons but that’s exactly what happened in Ted Lasso. The sports comedy series seems to be the exception to every comedy show rule by winning praise from critics and audiences alike for its well-developed characters.
With a massively talented ensemble cast, it’s no surprise that the show was able to give both major and supporting characters amazing storylines. What’s even more impressive is that the stories all felt earned and authentic, with such popular figures like Ned, Keeley, and the titular coach Ted changing in realistic, and often surprising, ways from how they started out in the pilot episode.
Dani Rojas (Cristo Fernandez) joined A.F.C. Richmond halfway through season one as a summer transfer. When he arrived “football was life” and Dani’s only priority was getting playing time. However, his mentality took a turn during the opening episode of season two when Dani accidentally killed the team’s mascot during a penalty kick.
Thanks to the help of Dr. Sharon (Sarah Niles), Dani was able to work through his guilt over killing the mascot. However, it wasn’t until the end of season two that he got the chance to redeem himself by taking another penalty shot.
Jamie Tartt (Phil Dunster) was a full-fledged egotistical jerk during season one of Ted Lasso. He viewed himself as the best player on the team and regularly hogged the ball. Things started to change for Jamie towards the end of season 1, when it was revealed his father was one of the main reasons why Jamie was the way he was.
After getting voted off a reality show during the start of season 2, Jamie returned to A.F.C. Richmond determined to improve his life. This time, he actually listened to Ted (Jason Sudeikis) and the coaches and became a player devoted to helping the team rather than advancing his own career. Jamie dispensed with the selfishness that defined him in the first season and became one of the show’s most empathetic characters.
Ted Lasso once again subverted everyone’s expectations by making Keeley (Juno Temple) a well-rounded female character instead of just a trophy girlfriend. Fans quickly learn that’s not the case with Keeley when she breaks up with Jamie because of the way he treats her. Though Keeley does end up in another relationship, her story is so much more than simply supporting another male character.
In fact, Keeley becomes the team’s head of PR and did such an amazing job that by the end of season 2, she was given money to start her own PR firm. She also began a healthy and honest romance with Roy and found a best friend in Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham), two of the best relationships in Ted Lasso. Keeley proved that she had the intelligence and thoughtfulness to not only be a key part of the team, but also one of the most dynamic characters in the show.
Issac (Kola Bokinni) didn’t get a lot of screentime during season 1 but he surely made an impression with the time that he did get. After throwing a chair at Jamie on TV, Issac is given the captain position by Roy (Brett Goldstein).
Though that could have been it for Issac, season 2 opened with Issac struggling with his captain duties. Instead of demoting him, Ted and Roy helped Issac reconnect with why he wanted to play soccer in the first place: to have fun. From that point forward, Issac became a fun captain who encouraged his teammates to believe in themselves and each other.
Nate (Nick Mohammed) might not be everyone’s favorite character after the season 2 finale, but there’s no denying that his character transformation is one of the best. During season one, Nate is the overlooked kit manager who has a hard time speaking up. At the end of season 1, Nate gets promoted to a coaching position and it’s all downhill from there (for fans at least).
By the end of season 2, Nate becomes the villain of the story by selling Ted out to the tabloids and taking a job with Rebecca’s ex-husband. While the change might have seemed odd considering Nate was largely portrayed as loyal and meek, it’s actually appropriate for him, who was shown as quietly aggressive throughout season 1.
During season 1, Rebecca is still reeling from her divorce which has left her feeling petty and bitter. This prompts her to try to destroy A.F.C. Richmond to get back at her ex-husband. However, her goals begin to shift as she gets to know Ted and the rest of the team on a deeper level.
Season 2 continues Rebecca’s redemption arc as she dedicates herself to making sure the team gets promoted at the end of the season. She cares so much she even turns down any attempt at buying the team from her, making her one of the best TV bosses on television. She also sheds her “love sucks” mentality by getting back into the dating scene.
Roy might have undergone one of the more obvious transformations over the first two seasons of Ted Lasso, going from a star athlete to a sports broadcaster to eventually a coach but his journey is so much more than that.
On an emotional level, Roy let himself get vulnerable with himself and others which allowed him to start a relationship with Keeley. He also learned to appreciate Jamie as the talented soccer player he is and even cut back on swearing to be a better influence on his niece, even though some of Roy’s best quotes in Ted Lasso involve a plethora of expletives. While Roy still contains a gruff, stubborn streak, he’s more emotive and caring by the end of season 2.
Sam (Toheeb Jimoh) has a quiet transformation that is easy to miss if viewers aren’t paying close attention. At the start of season 1, Sam is still adjusting to being a member of the team. He’s missing home and isn’t performing his best.
However, he begins to slowly bond with the team and proves that he’s a worthy member. That continues in season 2 as Sam becomes one of the best players on the team. He even confronts his homesickness by deciding to open his own Nigerian restaurant at the end of the season.
It might not have seemed like Ted would undergo a major transformation when the show started but there was a lot hidden under his sunny disposition. Unlike some of the other characters, Ted’s transformation happened exclusively on a personal level.
With the introduction of Dr. Sharon, Ted reluctantly began therapy which allowed him to confront not only his feelings about his divorce but also the pain he’s carried with him over the death of his father. Confronting his past let Ted be a better and more open coach and person. It also made him change his opinion about the usefulness of therapy, which has fans hopeful that his plotline with Dr. Sharon will continue in Ted Lasso‘s next season.
Trent Crimm (James Lance) from The Independent is one of the more popular supporting characters in Ted Lasso. As a journalist, Trent is extremely hard on Ted in the beginning, criticizing him every step of the way. However, after Trent spends the day with Ted, he begins to see why everyone is so kind to him.
During season 2, Trent continues to be critical of Ted’s coaching but does so in a respectful manner. His respect for Ted runs so deep that Trent puts his career in jeopardy when he gives Ted a head up about the anxiety article and also reveals his anonymous source. Now that Trent has given up his journalism career, he’s sure to continue his transformation in season 3.