‘Ted Lasso’: What Does “Flipping Straights” Mean? Explained

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The eleventh episode of ‘Ted Lasso’s‘ third season was an emotional roller coaster. Ted once again managed to provide us with some words of wisdom, his mother was in town, and Jamie left Etihad Stadium in a way he could only dream of. The show is known for having witty references to real-life famous people, and in this episode, we could not help but notice when Rebecca mentioned Freddie Mercury and his talent for ‘flipping straights.’ So, let’s explain what does that mean.

‘Flipping straights’ refers to when a homosexual or bisexual person makes a heterosexual person attracted. Rebeca uses this term, mentioning that Freddie Mercury had a real talent for that, which is funny because it’s true. Freddie was openly bisexual and led a distinctive life that involved ‘sleeping around’ in a big way.

This sums up what did the reference mean. However, Fred Mercury’s connection with ‘Ted Lasso’ show and AFC Richmond does not stop there. In the next few paragraphs, we’ll mention some more details about Freddie and his history with the club, so stay with us until the end.

Freddie Mercury briefly owned AFC Richmond in ‘Ted Lasso’

freddie mercury

Apart from being a football-centered show, what always fascinated me about ‘Ted Lasso’ was its attention to detail and subtle references to famous real-life persons. And sometimes not so subtle. The one person who was mentioned most recently was Freddie Mercury. I am sure everyone knows this, but Freddie was the lead vocalist of the rock band Queen and is widely regarded as one of the greatest singers in the history of rock music. However, this show created a made-up story that Freddie also owned AFC Richmond for a brief period of time.

In the episode titled ‘Mom City,’ just before the match between Manchester City and AFC Richmond, the ‘Cityzens’ are singing Manchester City’s anthem. Rebecca, Keeley, and Leslie are in the stands waiting for the match to start. At that point, Keeley suggests that AFC Richmond should also have a classic old song for its fans to sing.


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Leslie then mentions that the club had an anthem in 1980 when Freddie Mercury owned the club briefly. Freddie tried to make ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ the team anthem, but that did not work out as it offended certain women. The fact that Freddie owned the club did come as a slight surprise, but there were slight indications of that even before.

60 Minutes did a tour around ‘Ted Lasso’ set, and Jason Sudeikis explained how the show tried to mention Freddie Mercury in the pilot episode, but since they did not own the rights to post his picture, the reference was more subtle.

The show based many of its characters on real-life people, and the idea of Freddie owning AFC Richmond came from Elton John owning Watford in real life. In the show’s pilot, Rebecca shows Ted around the club, and when they get to the showcase, which tribute all the club’s previous owners, Ted points his finger and says, ‘Is that who I think it is?’

Ted referred to Freddie Mercury back then, but it perhaps was unclear. The show did not own the rights to post Freddie’s picture, so they put a microphone as a tribute to him. That aside, they did a funny thing for the club’s first owner. He was ‘a sack of potato’, so a bag of potatoes was put in the showcase.

Seasons later, Freddie got his reference more directly. Leslie informed us that Freddie was the club’s owner, and Rebecca revealed some more details.

If you asked Freddie, ‘flipping straights’ was his greatest talent

ted lasso flipping straights

After Leslie revealed how Freddie’s efforts to make ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ the team anthem failed, the conversation about the legendary singer continued. Rebecca revealed that her father went to art school with Freddie, and both Keeley and Leslie were very interested to hear that story. Rebecca also mentions that Freddie had an amazing four-octave vocal range.

The interesting fact is that Hannah Waddingham (the actress that plays Rebecca) shares some similarities with Freddie, so at some point, one has to wonder, did she perhaps talk about herself when she mentioned Freddie? Hannah also attended art school – she studied at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts in London and possessed a four-octave vocal range. It is amazing and showcases this lovely actress’s versatility and admirable talents.

Now – to ‘flipping straights.’ Rebecca continues her anecdote by mentioning that her father always insisted that if you asked Freddie what his greatest talent was, he would have said it was ‘flipping straights.’ After realizing what it meant, Rebecca, Keeley, and Leslie subtly decided it was time for a change of subject, so they started cheering for their beloved club.

In his glory days, Freddie was frequently seen in the company of both men and women. He never liked addressing his private life publicly, mostly because the ’80 were times when the world did not approve of homosexual relationships. AIDS was often described as a disease that gay people spread.


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Freddie had many lovers, both men and women. The most notable were Mary Austin and Jim Hutton. However, Freddie loved to ‘sleep around’ and had many flings and adventures with both men and women, regardless of their sexual orientation. He even mentioned once that he had more lovers than Elisabeth Taylor.

And while we all remember Freddie as a legendary singer that left a significant mark on the overall culture alongside his band Queen, he was also a topic of many controversial topics over the years. Nevertheless, Freddie will always be remembered as one of the great ones, and his creations will be passed down through many generations to come.

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