12 Ted Lasso-like TV mentors we love

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Leslie Knope, "Parks and Recreation"
With quotes like "What I hear when I'm being yelled at is people caring loudly at me," Leslie Knope, played brilliantly by Amy Poehler, may be the one television character more relentlessly positive than Ted Lasso. Knope's can-do spirit, work ethic and optimism make her a loveable leader worth following.

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Updated 1345 GMT (2145 HKT) July 24, 2021

Leslie Knope, "Parks and Recreation"
With quotes like "What I hear when I'm being yelled at is people caring loudly at me," Leslie Knope, played brilliantly by Amy Poehler, may be the one television character more relentlessly positive than Ted Lasso. Knope's can-do spirit, work ethic and optimism make her a loveable leader worth following.

Colleen Hayes/NBC/Getty Images

Everyone needs a warm-hearted mentor to guide us through life's troubles. These loveable TV characters are just that.

Eric and Tami Taylor, "Friday Night Lights"
Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose: Coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler) is a football coach actually coaching football, and his wife Tami (Connie Britton) serves as the high school's guidance counselor. The pair not only teach the kids in their football-mad Texas town how to play, but how to live, in a show that never became a major ratings hit but nevertheless remains among the best series of the 2000s.

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Miranda Bailey, "Grey's Anatomy"
Miranda Bailey has a reputation for tough love, but her heart is always in the right place as she molds the most talented surgeons of tomorrow. And she's never above admitting when her students teach her something, too.

Christopher Willard/Walt Disney Television/Getty Images

Jack Pearson, "This Is Us"
Jack Pearson might not have the charm of Ted Lasso, but this dad shares something much more meaningful with Ted — a heart of gold. Both men have a passion for bringing the best out of those around then and challenging all us to do and be good. And like all good mentors, they're the voice in your head in tough moments. Now, Ted, don't go running into any burning houses, ya hear me?

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Daniel LaRusso, "Cobra Kai"
When opening Miyagi-Do dojo, Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) made his message clear: All are welcome. Not only do we think Ted Lasso would endorse this inclusive message, but he'd root for these underdogs at the All-Valley Tournament.

Guy D'Alema/Netflix

Abuela, "Jane the Virgin"
As the mom of a daughter who gave birth as a teenager, the title character's grandma Alba (Ivonne Coll), a.k.a. Abuela, provides the CW dramedy's moral backbone, teaching life lessons plucked from faith and telenovelas, and dealing with her own challenges in terms of her immigration status and a late-in-life romance.

Kevin Estrada/THE CW

Marvyn Korn, "Big Shot"
The championship-winning basketball coach's temper got him booted all the way from the pinnacle of the NCAA to a girls' high-school team in California, so he's a bit of a fish out of water. But despite the fact that Korn doesn't want to be there, John Stamos has made the character into a disciplined but caring mentor for the teens in this Disney+ series.

Gilles Mingasson/Disney+

Uncle Phil, "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air"
Philip Banks, played by the late actor James Avery, guided Will Smith's character, along with a generation '90s kids, through their teen years with integrity. While occasionally stern and a little gruff, Uncle Phil is also hilarious -- like that time Will accused him of finding pleasure in making him miserable and Uncle Phil responded, "That's not true. I have my wine collection." Well, cheers to you, Uncle Phil.

Joseph Del Valle/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

George Feeny, "Boy Meets World"
Though their methods may differ, George Feeny (William Daniels) and Ted Lasso share a guiding principle: If someone's willing to learn, they're available to teach. For Feeny, his role is both formal — via his gig at John Adams High School — and informal, as frequent mentor to brothers Cory and Eric Matthews (Ben Savage and Will Friedle) and their friends. Even for those who grew up without a Feeny of their own, a whole generation grew up with Mr. Feeny.

ABC Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television/Getty Images

Rupert Giles, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"
Like Ted, Rupert Giles is a man who found himself living and working on the opposite side of the pond. Admittedly, this British librarian's order is a little taller than Lasso's; he is helping guide a vampire slayer and save the world from multiple apocalypses. It is a matter of life a death — of course, British soccer fans may say the same.

Alamy

Lydia Grant, "Fame"
We're pretty sure Debbie Allen put the F in "Fame" with her Fabulous Lydia Grant. More than a dancer/teacher/lycra goddess, Lydia is a life coach who leads by example and reminds her students that success must be paid for in sweat. Want people to remember your name? Move over and give Ms. Lydia Grant -- who lives forever -- the floor.

Everett Collection

Dr. Mark Greene, "ER"
The halls of County General Hospital are filled with people who could teach good medicine, but Dr. Greene wants to teach his students how to be good doctors. He shows those under his guidance how to see the people behind the patient — similar to how Ted always sees the person behind the player on the pitch.

Warner Bros. TV via Hulu

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