The ‘Ted Lasso’ Fandom’s Push for Polyamory Just Makes Sense

Though Lasso cocreator and star Brendan Hunt (Coach Beard) says he doesn’t think connection should “automatically commute to throuple,” he’s thrilled people have become invested enough in the show to even have opinions about who should end up with who. “You just have to be happy that people give a shit,” Hunt says.

Phil Dunster, who plays Jamie, mostly concurs, saying that as far as he’s concerned, you can have intimacy with someone without a relationship becoming physical or sexual. As viewers, “we are so used to seeing intimate relationships go there, but it’s quite nice that they don’t necessarily in our show,” he explains. “One of the things in season one and season two that I really liked with Ted and Rebecca’s characters was that [the pair getting together was] never in the cards.” (Two thousand-plus pieces of Ted and Rebecca fan fiction would argue otherwise.)

Elizabeth says she warmed to the idea of the Roy-Keeley-Jamie throuple during the coffee shop scene in the season one episode “The Hope That Kills You.” “It seemed like the most obviously and narratively satisfying conclusion,” she says, “but at the same time, I knew that the average viewer wouldn’t see that, and I never imagined that the writers would go for it. Through engaging with the fandom, I found that there’s a whole bunch of people who see what I see, and that’s been really validating.”

Another Lasso fan, Dahlia von Dohlenberg, found others’ inclinations comforting as well. “It was very soothing and reassuring that I wasn’t just making things up out of thin air,” Dohlenberg says. “Because as a queer person I often feel like I’m projecting stuff onto characters because I want queer characters and their stories to be something that is visible, especially in mainstream media.”

Though the Ted Lasso fandom is smaller than, say, the universe of online fans who obsess over Supernatural, it’s fervent and mostly on board with the idea of the throuple. Gina, a Lasso fan and writer from Los Angeles, says, “Usually in a fandom, people are like ‘no, Roy and Keeley forever,’ or ‘I only ship Roy and Jamie,’ or like, ‘I don’t know if I like Jamie and Keeley.’ There are people like that in this fandom, but the majority of fans ship the three of them together, and I’ve never seen it so consistent across a fandom.”

Some of that could be attributed to the fact that a good portion of Ted Lasso’s online fans are women and gender nonconforming individuals, many of whom say they’re somewhere on the queer spectrum. A UK-based Tumblr user who goes by the name Lokiiied says that they think the show has spawned such a rabid queer fandom online in part because it’s a safe space for those fans to talk about a show that’s also loved in so many other communities.

“I know that there exists a more cishet audience for Ted Lasso, but I don’t really interact with those people,” Lokiiied says. “We have created a nice sort of bubble where it’s safe to talk about our ships and our theories, and we don’t really experience hate.”

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