You've Got 'Ted Lasso': A Guide To The Rom-Com References In The Latest Episode

The latest episode of Ted Lasso makes the case for Roy Kent, romantic lead.

Just kidding — every episode makes that case, and we've been sold from the moment Roy (Brett Goldstein) and Keeley (Juno Temple) exchanged their first nod. Since then, our favorite foul-mouthed footballer has been proving his penchant for romance with each passing scene. His "don't settle for fine" speech in the season premiere was topped just an episode later by his, ahem, sexy expression of gratitude. By now we know better than to let his gruffness and scratchy beard scare us away. Beneath it all, Roy's a big softie... at least when it comes to Keeley and Pheobe. Or so we thought.

As it turns out, Roy's romantic side isn't just reserved for his girlfriend — at least not when Lasso's on the loose! "Rainbow" proves that all along, the true love story was between Roy and Ted (Jason Sudekis). And that means romantic comedy references. So many romantic comedy references.

Spoilers for season 2, episode 5 of Ted Lasso follow.

When Lasso Met Kent

In the very first episode of the series, Ted singles Roy out as the team's captain and one of the first players he'll have to make an impact on. But when he pulls Roy aside to offer some kind words of praise, he's met with a pricklyy response as Roy dubs him "Ronald F***ing McDonald." Never deterred, Ted tells his assistant coach Beard, "He thinks he's mad now, wait till we win him over."

Ted turns out to be 100% right, Roy is furious. And not just because that's his default personality trait. He is actively irritated as he realizes that Ted is right about his leadership role, and his need to step it up for the rest of the team. Just like Ted's eventually right about Roy wanting to coach.

Much to Roy's annoyance, Ted spends most of "Rainbow" courting him.  Almost like he anticipated Lasso trying to get into his head, Roy has spent most of the season avoiding the football coach at every turn. He's refused to attend Richmond games and once even sped away when Ted approached his car. But once he's cornered in the Kabob shop, everything comes crashing down. Not at first of course. When asked point-blank to rejoin the team as a coach, Roy refuses. Taking a backdoor approach, Ted then asks for a simple favor — help Isaac (Kola Bokinni) get out of his own way.

The clever scheme sees Roy coaching without even realizing it. Sooner than we could've hoped, the retired player has been wooed. Roy doesn't even realize this until he's back with the other football pundits, listening to them rattle off nonsense. Think of that scene in any rom-com, when the protagonist returns to their initial romantic partner. Staring across the table at them, they realize there's no real magic. So Roy does an epic rom-com run towards the true love of his life: Ted Lasso... I mean, football. Or maybe both.

Enter Rom-Communism

Surprising absolutely no one, football coach and biscuit baker Ted Lasso is a romantic at heart. In a rousing speech to the team, he tells them that he is a staunch believer in communism. And after a suitably awkward pause, he clarifies that he's referring to ROM-communism. Which is obviously a term we've always been familiar with.

If Lasso's adorable new phrase isn't already in your personal dictionary, you're missing out! Rom-communism is exactly what the world needs right now. As Lasso tells the team:

"Romcommunism is all about believing that everything is going to work out in the end."

"Rainbow" is a love letter to the entire rom-com genre, making romantics like myself swoon with references. It's clear where the episode is going from the very beginning of Ted's speech. Jumping straight into meta-territory, Richmond starts listing off their favoring romantic leads, getting all the classics like Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Julia Roberts, Hugh Grant, Drew Barrymore, Drew Barrymore, Matthew McConaughey, the "three Kates" (Beckinsale, Hudson, and Winslet), Renee Zellweger and — never a beat too late Dani! — Jennifer Lopez.

But if you think that's all the rom-com love Lasso has in store for you, you're fooling yourself. He has plenty more up his sleeve, including cleverly used famous lines and those classic rom-com beats. Most of it's pulled out by Ted himself when trying to woo Roy into the world of coaching. But, eventually (when the prickly former player gives in), he embraces the genre himself and pulls out all the stops with his own romantic gestures.

Since there's so much to keep track of, here's a handy guide to all the rom-coms referenced in the latest Ted Lasso episode.

When Harry Met Sally

The overall winner of the episode, When Harry Met Sally gets more than a few shoutouts in the script. It's first referenced when Ted joins Roy in the Kebab shop and declares, "I'll have what he's having." It's early on and subtle enough that you could almost miss it – unlike the very noticeable fourth wall break near the end of the episode. A married couple turns to the camera and shares the story of their love, talking to the audience exactly like the couples scattered throughout Rob Reiner's classic film.

When Harry Met Sally follows two characters whose lives keep intersecting, from college to adulthood, until they eventually become friends and realize their love for one another. Ted decides the story pretty neatly parallels his feelings about Roy and steals the speech from the film's romantic finale, declaring, "When you realize you wanna spend the rest of your life coaching with somebody, you want the rest of your life to begin ASAP."

Notting Hill

Thrown into Ted's grand, romantic speech is a quote from the most famous moment in Notting Hill. Ted starts to say, "I'm also just a coach, standing in front of a boy, asking him if—"

Sadly, we'll never know if Ted was going to ask Roy to join the staff or simply declare his undying love, because this is where he is cut off. Much like Hugh Grant's Will in Notting Hill, Roy is afraid of being hurt. He turns Ted down because the pundit gig is easy, but soon realizes that his heart isn't in it. Because as we all know, true love always finds a way.

The Princess Bride

After Roy turns him down, Ted smiles and waves. Like Cary Elwes' Westley in The Princess Bride, he believes in their love and most of all, that Roy will eventually come around. So he proclaims, "as you wish." In this beloved fairy-tale fantasy, those words were a secret way of declaring "I love you" and promising commitment. Ted has almost certainly seen the movie a hundred times and knows this for himself. And deep down, Roy knows it too.

Jerry Maguire

Also quoted in Ted's speech is the famous line, "You complete me." Except, for his purposes, Ted tells Roy that he completes the team. But the best reference to Jerry Maguire comes when Roy finally gives in to Ted's love.

Not only does he complete a trek across the city — running, taking a cab, jumping on a bike, then running again — he approaches Ted and shuts him up before he can continue blabbing on about winning him over. Fully giving in, he quotes the movie back to Ted, saying "You had me at Coach."

Sleepless in Seattle

Sitting with the other pundits and trying to speculate on how players will perform, Roy realizes that his current job is nothing like the magic of coaching with Ted. Helping Isaac rediscover his passion for football lit a fire in Roy that he never gets from providing commentary on the matches. So he rips off his mic, stares Jeff in the face, and says, "Jeff, I have to go."

Just like when Meg Ryan realized her love for Tom Hanks in Sleepless in Seattle, Roy abandons the relationship that he already had doubts about for the one he truly loves.

You've Got Mail

References to You've Got Mail are a lot sneakier. Nora Ephron's 1998 rom-com is about two people who begin an online relationship, oblivious to the fact that they've met in real life — as business rivals.

In "Rainbow" Rebecca has fully embraced Keeley's dating app, Bantr, where she happily flirts with user LDN152. The name harkens back to Tom Hanks' character, who goes by NY152 online. Similarly, Rebecca goes by BossGirl, which is close to Meg Ryan's ShopGirl. But these hidden references are nothing compared to the question of who Rebecca's mystery suitor even is.

Right after showing Rebecca's giggle as she flirts, the episode cuts to Ted, smiling at his phone before pocketing it. Could Ted be Rebecca's new romantic interest? It fits pretty well with the You've Got Mail tagline, "someone you pass on the street may already be the love of your life."

Alternatively, if Rebecca is actually flirting with a rival, LDN152 might be her ex-husband, Rupert. That would definitely be a darker twist than expected but would fit the movie pretty well — because Rupert, like Tom Hanks' character, is a villain. Then again, Rupert definitely hasn't seen You've Got Mail and isn't clever enough to reference the movie with his username. But we know for a fact that one man has both seen and memorized more rom-coms than anyone else in London... Ted Lasso.