Sex Education’s Hilarious 1917 Reference You Probably Missed

by : Poppy Bilderbeck on : 05 Oct 2021 09:43
Sex Ed and 1917 Reference - Netflix/Universal PicturesNetflix/Universal Pictures

When you were binge-watching Sex Education, you probably weren’t looking out for a reference to the WWI drama 1917.

However, the makers of the Netflix show got a reference to Sam Mendes’ Oscar-winning film in there nonetheless, and the similarity is hilarious and not to be missed. 


Sex Education has been a wake-up call to parents and teachers on how to best educate young people about sex, while also featuring startlingly funny songs which promote ‘f*cking the pain away’. But within the hilarious, touching and sometimes gross action, a subtle reference to the 2019 war film has emerged.

The war film, a work of genius in how it appears to take place over one continuous and flawless shot, follows two young soldiers as they make their way through the battlegrounds of the First World War on an impossible mission. Who knew that such parallels could be drawn between Otis and Lance Corporal Schofield (George MacKay) in Otis’s fight for sexual freedom?

Sex Education will return for season four. (Netflix)Netflix

The reference to 1917 was pointed out by The Film Zone, and shows a split screen of Schofield running through the battlefront and Otis running through a hockey pitch. Same, same, but different… right?


As Schofield sprints through a a literal warzone, dodging explosives, gunshots and other soldiers charging with their rifles, Otis runs at full pelt, with a face of similar determination. However, his treacherous journey is intercepted not by soldiers, but by raging hockey players and their sticks (believe me, you don’t want to get on the wrong side of them).

As Schofield is knocked over, and his life subsequently put at risk, Otis mirrors his movement, being floored by one of the vicious sporting students.

Both young characters then make quick recoveries, with almost identical timing, before continuing their conquests to the other side.


The post has since amassed more than a million views and thousands of responses, with users taking to the comment section in awe of the reference, which many hadn’t clocked onto before. One wrote: ‘Omg I didn’t even notice when I watched it!’

Another said: 

I recognized this scene ASAP. Truly an epic reference. Watching for similar references now.

A third commented: ‘Flawless.’


The parallels between the scenes may continue to paint Otis’s character as the hero of the tale, but not all viewers feel the same. Only recently, writer Brady Langmann expressed some pretty savage views of Asa Butterfield’s character, which led to even the actor himself taking to Twitter to respond.

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Topics: Film and TV, Film, Netflix, Sex Education


The Film Zone/Instagram
  1. The Film Zone/Instagram