If we have to describe the ‘Ted Lasso‘ series in one word, it would be wholesome. This beautiful show is filled with popular culture references, from famous theater plays to notable rom-coms that impacted the 1990s decade. I’ve never experienced a show that references so many culturally impactful events, TV series, and movies in my life – and the best part is that it always makes sense in the show’s context. Since the first season, ‘The Wizard of Oz’ has been referenced multiple times, and the second to last episode of Ted Lasso seems to use the notable movie to conclude Ted Lasso’s story at Richmond, making the theory of him returning to Kansas even more probable. So how are ‘Ted Lasso’ and ‘Wizard of Oz’ connected?
‘The Wizard of Oz’ has been significant for the Ted Lasso series since it was referenced in the first season. The co-creator and producer of the show, Bill Lawrence, always put references to the Wizard of Oz in his projects, notably, The Scrubs, but in the context of Ted Lasso, it seems that the show wants to indicate that Ted will return to Kansas, as Dorothy was at the end of the Wizard of Oz movie. Ted is Dorothy and will find his way home, back to Kansas.
Ted Lasso referenced other notable plays, books, and movies, but Wizard of Oz seems like the most consistent one throughout the series. Ted came to England to escape his problems, changing so many lives around him, even the sports team and its bitter owner. We will mention some other theories regarding Wizard of Oz and another popular character trope we noticed in season three of Ted Lasso.
Why is ‘Wizard of Oz’ so important for ‘Ted Lasso’ show?
First, to fully determine the theory, we must remind ourselves what the Wizard of Oz is. In 1939, a production company Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer produced and developed a movie called ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ which was an adaptation of Frank Baum’s 1900 children’s fantasy novel ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.’
It follows a young girl Dorothy, who is taken from Kansas to the magical Land of Oz. With her dog Toto, Dorothy must find a way home; to do that, they must find a wizard to help them go home. Dorothy and her trusty Toto must follow the Yellow Brick Road to Emerald City, where the Wizard is located, but on her quest to do so, she meets Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion.
Scarecrow wants to have a brain, Tin Man a heart, and Cowardly Lion courage. When they meet the Wizard, he tells them they need to bring him the Wicked Witch of the West’s broom to help them, but the same woman wants to harm Dorothy since her house landed on her sister, Wicked Witch of the East.
The whole movie’s premise revolves around Dorothy trying to return home, who, during her adventure, realizes that “there is no place like home.” This famous quote has been quoted many times, but Ted Lasso seems to take this movie’s symbolism to a whole new level.
Frankly, the series presents the references blatantly at times, with the Wizard of Oz paintball machine being present in season one or Rebecca wearing red Louis Vuitton shoes on the date with Sam. However, the writers also want to tell us a story of a man who left his home in Kansas and went on a journey to England to remove himself from the tough situation with his family. In the show, Ted Lasso is a wholesome, positive man yet deeply hurt by the happenings in his youth.
The suicide of his father, hardships of life, the mother who doesn’t like showing feelings, and borderline toxic positivity heavily burden Ted. The way his journey in England starts is unbelievable – Rebecca Welton hires him to destroy her own club to spite her ex-husband.
Ted knows nothing about football and threads through unknown surroundings to find his way. That’s why Ted is Dorothy of Ted Lasso show – like Dorothy, Ted left Kansas and ended up in England, “somewhere over the rainbow.”
Yes, this notable song has been featured in many episodes of Ted Lasso, but it also symbolizes Ted’s arrival in England. Dorothy meets many people and creatures along the way, and frankly, Rebecca, Roy, Jamie, and Nate could easily be connected to Lion, Tin Man, and Scarecrow.
Of course, Nate and Rebecca are Cowardly Lions, people who want to be fierce but always show cowardice when they need to be brave – Rebecca in front of Rupert and Nate in everyday life. Jamie is Scarecrow because he is naive and sometimes stupid – he mispronounces words and behaves like a spoiled brat. Finally, Roy could be Tin Man since he barely speaks, is angry, and his career was ruined because he injured his left knee (like Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz movie).
These references and connections were identified by the fans, who closely followed the show, and compared them to one of the most referenced movies in cultural history.
The Wizard of Oz movie is extremely important for Ted Lasso, and these theories are one of few the show showcased over three seasons.
Ted Lasso is Dorothy and will return to Kansas
This theory has been discussed for years on Ted Lasso forums, and frankly, it seems that showrunners will fully bank on it. In three seasons, we saw Ted arriving in England and changing everyone’s lives.
Just like Dorothy, Ted helped supporting characters find themselves and help them realize true forgiveness and relationships with other people, one can prosper forever. In The Wizard of Oz, Cowardly Lion gets his courage, which is closely connected with Nate and Rebecca’s characters – Nate reported Rupert for sexual harassment, while Rebecca finally stood up for herself in front of her ex-husband and vicious media.
Jamie’s connections to Scarecrow couldn’t be more spot-on since he got his brain in season three – his character development has been beautiful and impeccable throughout the Ted Lasso show, and frankly, he is one of my favorite characters.
Roy is certainly a Tin Man since his gruff exterior hid his heart, and he definitely got one after three seasons of Ted Lasso – it was always there, but Roy Kent’s heart was hidden behind his gruff and angry behavior.
Finally, Ted is Dorothy since he will inevitably return to Kansas, one way or another. In the last episode, we saw Ted’s mother, Dottie arriving in England, which triggers Ted’s deepest feelings. After the “talk” with Dottie, where mother and son finally admit their overbearing positivity, most likely made their lives miserable at times, the woman finally tells Ted why she came to England – she tells him Henry misses his father.
Cue to Ted’s office and Rebecca arriving to meet Ted. As viewers, we know that the last two seasons of Ted Lasso ended with Rebecca telling Ted a “truth bomb” – the first season featured Rebecca telling Ted the truth about his hiring, while the second season finale saw the woman telling her coach that she was seeing Sam Obisanya.
The last episode sees Rebecca not having anything significant to say to Ted, but the manager will most likely be the one to deliver “the truth bomb” – like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, he will return to Kansas to be with his son Henry.
‘Ted Lasso’ show likes to surprise us even more, and some fans suggested that maybe Dorothy’s awakening from a dream at the end of The Wizard of Oz points to the fact that Ted might not need to leave London – just like Dorothy never left Kansas, she was dreaming the whole time, confirming that home is where the loved ones are.
Ted might stay and bring his son Henry to London, but if we look at the Wizard of Oz premise, Ted will return to Kansas.
Nora Ephron movies are heavily referenced in Ted Lasso, and even ‘You’ve Got Mail’ was watched by the whole AFC Richmond team. ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ is connected to Ted and his son Henry, like the movie, and ‘When Harry Met Sally’ is another one that is heavily connected to the ‘Ted Lasso’ show. There are so many cultural references in ‘Ted Lasso’ that we need a separate article.
Nevertheless, ‘Ted Lasso’ is ending this week, and my heart is broken. This wonderful show will probably end, and we will see Ted go home as Dorothy did in The Wizard of Oz. Ted wants to be with his son Henry, which is the most important thing. However, every viewer predicted this happening, and frankly, I have a lingering feeling that writers have so much more in store for us, which will most likely make us emotional and throw us off, as usual.