- "Yankees Suck."
- -Tim Riggins, Pilot
Tim is described as a character "who has puppy-dog, lady-killing eyes under his scraggly bangs." He is the fullback/running back of the Dillon Panthers and the troubled best friend to Jason Street. He is the ex-boyfriend of Tyra Collette and Lyla Garrity, with whom he has an off and on relationship. Of course, both were stops in quite a long line of girls, as Tim is known as a womanizer. He copes with many of his problems through promiscuous sex and heavy drinking. He often shows up to practice and events drunk or hungover. Tim starts his relationship with Lyla behind Jason's back; she is still dating Jason when she starts hooking up with Tim. After Jason is paralyzed, both Tim and Lyla have a hard time coping and they turn to each other for comfort which leads to a sexual relationship. After Jason finds out, he punches Tim and their friendship becomes rocky for some time before Jason ultimately forgives Tim. The players even turn their backs on Tim for what he has done, but ultimately forgive him as well after Tim plays injured in a game. Tim is not very good at academics and often has the rally girls do his school work. Mrs Taylor finds this out and puts an end to it, and coach Taylor makes sure Tim knows he must do his work as well because if he doesn't pass he won't play. Tim has a rocky relationship with the Panthers running back Smash Williams due to the fact Smash has a big mouth. They end up becoming close friends as the seasons and years go on. Tim is based on Don Billingsley (Garrett Hedlund) from the film. Both Tim and Don have rocky relationships with their fathers. Both are very good players and heavy partiers.
In season 2 Tim does not get along with the Panthers new coach and walks off the field. When he goes to rejoin the team, the Coach works him so hard he passes out which leads to Coach McGregor's firing. After this he goes with Jason to Mexico where Jay wants to get a surgery not legal in the states to be able to walk again. With the help of Lyla, they ultimately talk Jason out of it and save his life. When he returns, Coach Taylor is the Coach of the Panthers again and he does not let Tim back on the team. It is only after he apologizes to every player and helps a friend of Lyla's get on the team that coach lets him back. He becomes extremely jealous when Lyla begins seeing another boy and does what he can to interfere with their relationship. After Lyla helps him pay back 3 grand he stole from a drug dealer, he tells her he loves her only to have Lyla tell him she does not feel the same. This changes at the start of next season.
Tim and Lyla officially starts dating in season 3 and it leads to Tim becoming more mature and applying to college. Although this is the case he has doubts and is uncertain about attending college. He is now the starting tailback since Smash has left which is a role he struggles to fit at first. He eventually steps up and helps the Panthers win several key games. He and Lyla date all season, but the Panthers come up just short in the State final which is his last game.
Upon graduation from high school, Tim went to fictional San Antonio State College for a short time where he played football before dropping out, realizing that it was never part of his plans. Tim goes from party animal to a mature caring friend doing what he can to help anyone out. He is still in love with Lyla but states they just had different paths. After returning to Dillon,Tim originally thinks he can live with his brother Billy and his new pregnant wife Mindy but soon learns that is not the case. He finds a trailer for rent from a lady he hooked up with and he befriends her daughter Becky and helps her through many hard times. The two actually become very close but Tim looks at her like a little sister and not a girlfriend which upsets Becky at first. Tim and his brother Billy open an autobody shop, "Riggins' Rigs," but business is very slow. With pressure mounting on Billy to provide for his pregnant wife, he agrees to turn his shop into a chop shop to earn more money. After Tim discovers Billy's secret operation, which he opposes, he agrees to help out to make enough money to buy a plot of land he had set his eyes on. He makes enough money to buy that land; however, the police discover their scheme and arrest Tim, the only person who had been in the shop that night. In the season four finale, "Thanksgiving," realizing that his brother needs to stay and provide for his wife and newborn baby, he turns himself in to the sheriff's office and takes full responsibility for the chop shop.
In season 5, Tim appears in the first episode with only 3 months left to serve thanks to good behavior. He isn't seen again until the last 3 episodes when he is let out. He struggles readjusting to everyday life and is angry at Billy and holds it over his head he went to prison for him. Prison clearly changed, Tim as he is much more quiet and angry then he use to be. He gets a job at Buddy's new bar but says he wants to go to Alaska to work. His old girlfriend Tyra comes back into town and helps convince him to stay. They seem to pick up their old relationship as well. The series ends showing Tim and Billy building a house on Tim's land which is something he always wanted to do. He says Texas forever to Billy which was always his motto as he said the same thing to Jason in the first episode.