Even though Ted Lasso is a football-oriented TV show, a big part revolves around the characters‘ personal lives and interactions. Most characters are grown-up people (physically, at least), but children also pop up in a scene here and there, providing the grown-ups with much-needed simple, straight-to-the-point facts. Phoebe is one of those kids, and we had to opportunity to meet her in the show on several occasions, but who is Phoebe in Ted Lasso?
Phoebe is Roy Kent’s niece and a recurring character in the show. After her parents split up when she was four, Roy decided to take care of Phoebe and help her sister out. Phoebe and Roy share a great connection as Phoebe is smart, witty, and unafraid to speak her mind. She is a student at Richmond Primary School and is around eight years old.
Phoebe is special in the show because she makes every scene she’s in interesting and funny. While Ted and all his friends and players in AFC Richmond are grown-ups, it is fair to say that they have no idea what they are doing for the most part. What they need sometimes are words of encouragement from a kid. For that, Ted has his son, Henry, and Roy has his niece Phoebe. So, let’s find out more about her.
Phoebe is Roy’s ”little princess”
We met Phoebe in the first season’s third episode titled ”Trent Crimm: The Independent”. Ted and Roy went to Richmond Primary School to talk about football and to greet the children, and Trent accompanied them. The children did not care for Ted being there but were thrilled to meet AFC Richmond’s captain, Roy, who decided to take the kids out on the playground so they could have fun heading the ball.
Ted was grateful that Roy decided to help him out, but Roy only did it because his niece, Phoebe, attended that school. And soon enough, we witnessed that she is a real little troublemaker, not unlike her uncle. It is enough to say that it took only a few seconds for her to bleed Ted’s nose as she kicked the ball in his face. Of course, it was an accident, and Roy seemed to like it. It was clear from the start that Roy and Phoebe have a great relationship, and he is a father figure in her life.
The funny thing is that even though Roy is the one who takes care of Phoebe, on most occasions, it seems like she is the one who guides him, even if he doesn’t always see it that way because of his grumpy and resolute personality. Roy has been a professional footballer for years, and as his career was ending, he was afraid that everyone would forget about him once it was over. He was also scared of feeling like a loser because of it. In all that personal crisis of his, Phoebe was the one who described his uncle as a funny person who buys her ice cream, has a beard, and swears a lot. She never mentioned her uncle as a footballer because that did not matter to her – he was her uncle, and she loved him.
Roy’s professional career eventually ended, and he started coaching Phoebe’s football team at her school. He never treated them as kids but called them pricks and cursed when they played lousy. The kids did not mind that and got used to it because they knew Roy wanted the best for them. His methods are never gentle and appropriate, making Roy interesting and fun. Phoebe looked up to his uncle and didn’t play soft, as she even got a red card on one occasion for punching the other girl in the neck with her elbow. Phoebe’s teacher often criticized Roy for cursing in front of the children, but the kids found that amusing. Phoebe also liked that her uncle cursed because she earned money that way for each curse she heard coming out of Roy’s mouth.
Roy is ready to kill anyone who hurts Phoebe, literally
When Roy and Keeley were still together, Phoebe spent much time with them. They hung out at Keeley’s house, went out for hot chocolate together, and listened to each other’s problems. One of the most interesting moments was when Phoebe was bullied in school for bad breath. Roy immediately wanted to kill the kid who was bullying his niece. The three of them spent the entire day looking for a dentist to help Phoebe with her bad breath, and after that, they copied the famous scene from the movie ”Love, Actually.”
Just like in the movie, Phoebe wrote a series of notes on poster boards and, alongside Roy and Keeley, went to Bernard’s house. Bernard was the boy who bullied her, and using the poster board, she made it clear that she hurt her, and if he didn’t apologize, he would have to deal with Keeley and Roy, who were growling at Bernard at that moment.
Roy’s behavior gradually influenced Phoebe to the point that she started cursing and calling other children names in the school. Of course, that was a problem, so Roy had to talk with Ms. Bowen again. After the teacher implied that she learned all the swearing from him, Roy was surprised but soon realized he might be the problem. And yes, he was.
Nevertheless, Roy talked with Phoebe about why she should not curse and was sorry if he influenced her in a bad way. But Phoebe never felt like her uncle’s influence was bad in her; she always saw him as a person who taught her nothing but the good things, and thanks to him, she developed enough courage to stand up for herself. They agreed that they wouldn’t curse anymore. But we all know that did not happen – in Roy’s case, at least.
Phoebe always felt safe around her uncle because she knew he would protect her from anyone and anything. She was never treated like a kid whose opinions did not matter, so she could tell Roy some hard truths when he needed to hear them. Phoebe liked Kelley and handled the breakup between her and Roy maturely, respecting their decision. Nevertheless, she tells Roy later that he’s being stupid to let Keeley go, so her true feelings are clear.
Phoebe is an important character because, through her, we see Roy’s softer side, a family man who will do whatever it takes to protect those he cares about. Beneath all the cursing and ”I don’t care what you think” attitude, the lies a responsible man ready to acknowledge his own faults, and we have Phoebe to thank for that. We hope to see her more in future episodes of the show.