Only two episodes into its six-episode run on Disney+ and Marvel Studios' Loki is already a viral internet sensation. Not a total surprise there — the insanely popular MCU brand generates a ton of fan buzz that manifests itself as a deluge of theories, breakdowns, and most importantly, memes.
One such trend making the rounds on TikTok is a parody of the Miss Minutes monologue from the season premiere ("Glorious Purpose"). Upon entering the Time Variance Authority, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is treated to a breezy educational film about the Sacred Timeline hosted by the agency's happy-go-lucky mascot (voiced by the prolific Tara Strong).
Started by TikTok user bobthuggins, the meme involves the presentation of everyday scenarios that might get someone arrested and put on trial by the TVA for breaking the intended flow of space-time (such as winning an argument with a significant other or successfully talking to a crush). You can check out two more examples from coolguygarett and kwenginzler.
It's pretty hilarious and SYFY WIRE had the honor of bringing it to the attention of Loki's head writer and executive producer, Michael Waldron, during a recent Zoom chat. "That’s amazing," he said. "No, I didn’t [know about it]. Geez, I feel like the oldest person in the world now. That’s incredible."
Watching the Miss Minutes sequence, it's hard not to be reminded of Mr. DNA's spiel about cloning dinosaurs in 1993's Jurassic Park. And that's exactly what Waldron was going for. "For sure. Yeah, of course," the writer says, confirming that the Steven Spielberg classic was indeed an influence on the animated rundown of what happens when you mess with the Time-Keepers' master plan.
Getting back to the fans, Waldron declined to comment on the accuracy of audience speculation thus far, but did concede that "There are some great theories" making the rounds. "I’ll tell you what, I love the theories. I love em’," he added. "Keep on speculating. There’s no such thing as a bad theory. That’s what I always say." There are no wrong answers, people... except Mephisto. Please don't guess Mephisto ever again. "If Mephisto showed up at this point, everybody would just laugh," Waldron continues. "I don’t even think it’d be cool … He’s just a meme character at this point. We ruined him."
One theory that did turn out to be completely true was Loki being the infamous airplane bandit known as D.B. Cooper, which explains why the perpetrator was never found. The Asgardian deity, who has a history of forcing people to do his bidding, was himself coerced into the robbery after losing a bet to his brother, Thor (played in the MCU by Chris Hemsworth).
"That was just me writing the first episode and I needed a cool, historical example that’s basically like, ‘What about a time that you’d think the TVA would’ve interfered, but they didn’t?’" Waldron recalls. "That felt like the sweet spot of a historical event that somebody might recognize, but it isn’t so ubiquitous that it feels uninteresting and also, I just love it. That was just a great story from history and a cool little mystery to nod to. So now everybody knows Loki was D.B. Cooper."
So, what were the specifics of the bet? "That’s a fun one to consider, isn’t it?" Waldron teases. "I think it’s best left to fans’ imaginations — or for another story down the line."
And if you're still wondering why the TVA hasn't intervened in any other temporal event throughout the MCU (like, say, the Time Heist in Avengers: Endgame), Waldron concludes that you shouldn't dwell on it for too long. "I think the canon that’s important right now is what Loki is experiencing and what our audience… the ride they’re along for with him right now."