What is the meaning of Flipping Straights in Ted Lasso?

Paul Fogarty

Ted Lasso’s latest episode features the phrase ‘flipping straights’ as Rebecca tells a story about Freddie Mercury but what is the term’s meaning?

AFC Richmond may be a fictional team in the world of Ted Lasso but over the course of three seasons of the Apple TV+ series, the club has been fleshed out and feels as if it should belong in the real-world Premier League.

Ted Lasso’s most recent episode revealed that Queen frontman Freddie Mercury once owned the fictional team back in 1980, to which Rebecca responds by saying that the legendary singer’s biggest talent was “flipping straights” – but what exactly is the meaning of the phrase?  

Freddie Mercury used to own Richmond

Episode 11 of Ted Lasso season 3 sees AFC Richmond travel to Manchester for an away fixture against Pep Guardiola’s fearsome Manchester City.

As the match is about to get underway, the City supporters begin singing the club’s anthem, Blue Moon, to which Keeley says that Richmond should have their own song for their fans to sing.

Higgins responds by revealing that they did, in fact, have an anthem when Queen’s Freddie Mercury briefly owned the fictional team in 1980 – similar to how the real Elton John owned Watford across two spells, firstly between 1976 and 1990 and secondly between 1997 and 2002.

He explains that the singer tried to make Fat Bottomed Girls the club song but reveals that it didn’t work out. Incidentally, the song does feature in the Ted Lasso soundtrack as the Richmond team returns home from Manchester later in the episode.

After this brief exchange, Rebecca chimes in on the conversation by revealing that her late father went to art school with Freddie Mercury.

“Everyone always talks about his amazing four-octave vocal range,” she begins. “But my father always insisted that if you actually asked Freddie what his greatest talent was, he would’ve said ‘flipping straights.’”

Juno Temple as Keeley Jones, Hannah Waddingham as Rebecca Welton and Jeremy Swift as Leslie Higgins sitting together in Ted Lasso season 3
© Apple TV+

What is the meaning of Flipping Straights in Ted Lasso?

The phrase flipping straights in Ted Lasso means that a person is so attractive that they are able to turn straight people gay.

To put it a slightly different way, flipping straights could be described as a person being able to appreciate the attractiveness of someone of the same sex, rather than literally changing someone’s sexuality.

In the context of Ted Lasso, Rebecca is saying that Freddie Mercury was so beloved that even straight people would say that they loved him or found him attractive.

A recent real-world example could be Pedro Pascal who has become a huge fan favorite in the past few months, with even straight male fans being able to appreciate his looks and personality as well as gay or female fans.

Freddie Mercury of Queen performs on stage at Live Aid on July 13th, 1985 in Wembley Stadium, London, England
Photo by Pete Still/Redferns | Getty Images

Ted Lasso fans have their own example of flipping straights

While Rebecca may say that Freddie Mercury’s biggest talent was flipping straights, Ted Lasso fans have quickly pointed out similarities between the Queen singer and Rebecca’s actress, Hannah Waddingham.

One fan on Twitter explained: “Hannah Waddingham and Freddie Mercury both having an amazing four-octave vocal range and both having a knack for flipping straights. So true.”

While another noted the same point: “Four-octave range and flipping straights? That’s Hannah Waddingham, thank you very much.”

“Pretty sure that’s also Hannah’s talent as well,” wrote another fan. “Four-octave range and flipping straights.”

And finally, this fan also believes the flipping straights line is a little inside joke between the show’s creators: “I just know Jason Sudeikis made Rebecca tell the ‘Freddie flipping straights’ story because he knows that Ms Waddingham has all the gays in the palm of her hand.”

Hannah Waddingham as Rebecca Welton standing in Ted's office in Ted Lasso season 3
© Apple TV+

Season 3 of Ted Lasso continues weekly on Apple TV+ until the finale airs on Wednesday, May 31, 2023.

Related Topics