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Ted Lasso S3 Episode 4 Is Giving Us Major Friends Vibes

Contains spoilers for "Ted Lasso" Season 3, Episode 4 — "Big Week"

Whether AFC Richmond is winning or losing, "Ted Lasso" loves to make a good pop culture reference. Season 3 is proving no different than its predecessors, a fact made all the more evident last week when Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein) made an iconic "Princess Diaries" reference. Everyone knows that Ted Lasso (Jason Sudeikis) frequently uses humor as a coping mechanism, so in the face of Richmond's loss against West Ham United, it only makes sense that this week's episode seemingly pays homage to an iconic "Friends" scene.

Episode 4 definitely lives up to its title. It's a big week for Ted and the team as they approach their first match against West Ham. Tensions are high across the board and everyone's eager to beat Nate Shelley's (Nick Mohammed) team, but there's still plenty of room for a joke or two. Before the match, Roy and Coach Beard (Brendan Hunt) are explaining their game plan to Leslie Higgins (Jeremy Swift). Their strategy is based on nothing but convoluted reverse psychology, and the coaches are understandably frustrated when Higgins points out that it might not work to their advantage. It's a silly exchange, but Beard and Roy's desperate scheming feels reminiscent of the "Friends" episode where the gang finds out that Monica (Courteney Cox) and Chandler (Matthew Perry) are dating.

Did Ted Lasso just make a Friends reference?

There are a handful of "Friends" episodes that never get old, and "The One Where Everybody Finds Out" is one of them. Chandler and Monica have been dating in secret, but Joey (Matt LeBlanc), Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow), and Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) quickly realize that the pair are hiding something. Joey wants to get the truth out in the open, but Phoebe and Rachel decide it would be more fun to play a prank on Chandler and Monica. Against Joey's wishes, the ladies figure out a way to force Chandler to admit he's dating Monica. It's unnecessarily complex and indirect, similar to Roy and Beard's strategy for the game against West Ham. 

In the "Ted Lasso" Season 3, Episode 4 scene, Roy and Beard act as stand-ins for Rachel and Phoebe, while Higgins replaces Joey. The coaches are grasping at straws to find a way to beat West Ham, leaving Higgins as the voice of reason. They're trying to outsmart Nate, a tactic that's clouding their judgment. Even the dialogue of both scenes is vaguely similar. "So we gotta stop thinking like Nate and start thinking like Nate would think that we would think if Nate were thinking like us," Beard tells Roy and Higgins. It's in the same vein as what Phoebe says to Rachel and Joey: "They don't know that we know they know we know!"  Whether the moment is an intentional "Friends" reference is anyone's guess, though it definitely feels like a purposeful throwback.