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The Ned Line In Spider-Man: No Way Home With More Meaning Than You Think

Spoilers ahead for "Spider-Man: No Way Home"

Peter Parker always has a best friend, but never have they been as cool as Ned Leeds (Jacob Batalon) in the MCU series. For starters, Ned learned of Spider-Man's (Tom Holland) secret identity reasonably early on in his superhero tenure. It may have been by accident with Ned in Peter's bedroom when he came soaring through the window, but he still figured it out. Since that time, he's been Peter's "man in the chair," offering all kinds of support to Peter when he needs it most, such as giving him directions from a school computer so that he can track down Vulture (Michael Keaton).

Ned's such a nice, funny guy. It's almost hard to believe he's based on a character from the comics who ends up becoming the villainous Hobgoblin. Is it possible for the MCU version of the character to go down a similar path? Perhaps, but there's a line in "Spider-Man: No Way Home" that slyly hints he'll avoid such a fate.

Ned insists he won't become a villain

It's unclear if Ned will one day become the Hobgoblin in the MCU, but for the moment, he's as lovely as can be. That's evident from a scene in "No Way Home" when he speaks with Tobey Maguire's version of Spider-Man. He tells Ned the story of how he lost his best friend, Harry Osborn (James Franco), shortly after Harry tried to kill him. Betrayals of friendship are nothing new in comic book properties, but the story appears to shake Ned to his core. It's not long until Ned goes to Peter to inform him that he'll never go evil and try to fight him. Peter's confused but seems to appreciate the gesture.

There's really nothing in "No Way Home" to suggest Ned will go down a villainous path. He doesn't take all that much after the Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe), but who knows what will happen now that he and Peter aren't friends. For the film's climax, Peter insisted Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) perform a spell to make everyone in the universe forget who he is. The next time the two meet, Ned walks right past him without a second glance. Perhaps Ned will fall in with a rough crowd without Peter's guidance and go to the dark side.