Sex Education: Why Otis Has A Mustache In Season 3 | Screen Rant

Warning: this post contains spoilers for Sex Education season 3.

Sex Education season 3 opens with Otis Milburn having grown a mustache, one he’s very proud of showing off to people; but why does he have one to begin with? The Netflix series includes a time jump between seasons 2 and 3, with Otis having abandoned speaking to Maeve Wiley and who moved on with Ruby after hooking up with her at a party. And, despite no one liking the mustache, Otis refused to shave it off. 

While Otis followed in his mother’s footsteps, therapizing his classmates and helping them in their sex lives, he often struggled with what his mother did for a living. Throughout Sex Education season 2 especially, Otis became frustrated with Jean being up in his business and trying to give him advice. He wanted to be seen as an adult in her eyes and growing a mustache following his drunken monologue at his party and the shuttering of Moordale’s sex clinic — growing facial hair likely made him feel like more of grown man and not a teenager. It also gave him control over something in his life after things were seemingly falling apart. Growing a mustache was something he could do and be proud of despite everyone else thinking it looked pretty horrible. 

Related: Sex Education Season 3 Ending Explained: Do Otis & Maeve Get Back Together?

Otis’ mustache was also representative of a new chapter in his life, one in which he believed he was somehow above everyone else and their immature behavior. In many ways, growing a mustache meant he was unshackling himself from past actions in an attempt to show he was older, more mature than before. He didn’t need his mother or Maeve in his life to aid him with anything and he believed he could outgrow the sex clinic and leave all of that behind him. His wanting to be seen as an adult man comes to light after Jean has surgery after birth. Otis admits that he still needs his mother, though he tried to pretend he didn’t because he wanted to be seen as older. To that end, Sex Education season 3 is about Otis finding himself again after all the events of season 2. It’s something he leans into fairly heavily after shaving the mustache. 

The facial hair is also interesting considering he grows it after his falling out with Maeve. Granted, Otis is stubborn about it, thinking he looks good when everyone around him hates it and wonders what he’s trying to prove and why the mustache at all. While he doesn’t shave it off until Ruby tells him to, the mustache itself can be considered an extension of Otis’ attempts to move on from Maeve (in addition to everything else). For two seasons, Otis and Maeve were attached at the hip, running the sex clinic together and growing closer to one another. 

However, after not hearing back from Maeve following his love-declaring voicemail, Otis likely grows a mustache to separate himself from previous attachments and to start anew. That is indicated when he dates Ruby as well. Luckily, and despite the psychological reasons, Otis doesn’t spend the entirety of Sex Education season 3 sporting the mustache, shaving it off and allowing himself to grow and make amends to people by being open and honest. 

Next: Every Song In Sex Education Season 3

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