‘Friends’ Fans Think Taylor Swift’s ‘Betty’ Is Inspired by a Phoebe Buffay Song

Taylor Swift
Photo: Anthony Behar/Sipa USA via AP Images.

If this Taylor Swift “Betty” Friends theory is true, then Folklore officially wins all the medals for best pop-culture-inspired album of the year. And no, that’s not an official Recording Academy category, but it might as well be.

Ever since Taylor, 30, dropped her eighth studio album, Folklore on Friday, July 24, fans of the star have been scanning the entire album for clues about her relationship with Joe Alwyn, 29, and any other hidden messages or Easter eggs that it may contain. When the album was first released, some fans were convinced from its opening track that it was written in response to a breakup with Joe. With lyrics like “”But we were something, don’t you think so? / Roaring twenties, tossing pennies in the pool / And if my wishes came true / It would’ve been you,” it’s hard not to see that. But that theory has since been debunked, with Taylor revealing that the album is, in part, a work of “fantasy” in an Instagram post.

Now, another fan theory seems to fall in line with Folklore mostly being a work of fiction, as some fans think Taylor based an entire song on a beloved television series: Friends. While we know that Taylor is 100 percent a Grey’s Anatomy fan, it’s perhaps a lesser-known fact that she likes Friends. But in a 2015 radio interview, the Miss Americana star opened up about her love for the sitcom. “I like Friends because I’ve seen every episode, so it’s like switching my brain off. I know exactly what they’re about to say,” she said. So, you can see why some fans are lingering on this tidbit after noticing that Track No. 14 on the album just so happens to share the same name as a character created on the show. But it isn’t anyone in the main cast.

“Betty” is a name that gets thrown around in a song by Phoebe Buffay, who Friends fans remember as always playing her (admittedly ear-grating) songs at the Central Perk. In one episode, back in the midst of Ross and Rachel’s confused love saga, Phoebe pens a song on the spot about their tricky feelings for one another. “This is a song, um, about a love triangle…between three people I made up. It’s called ‘Two of Them Kissed Last Night,'” Phoebe says in the episode, referencing Ross and Rachel’s secret kiss after Ross starting going out with a new girl, Julie, following his trip to China.

Phoebe kicks off the song with, “There was a girl, we’ll call her Betty.” Coincidence? Maybe. Or maybe, as fans are saying, Taylor took a nod from the episode to craft her own storyline for Folklore. It’s possible to see how the lyrics to “Betty” might be copying the same love-triangle format as Phoebe Buffay’s ditty. One thing’s for sure, though. We’re ready for a Taylor Swift and Friends crossover, immediately. HBO Max, take note!

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