Movie Reviews

Zendaya Deserves An Apology After The Boys Season 4's Unbelievably Grim Joke

Warning! Contains spoilers for The Boys season 4, episode 6.


Summary

  • The Boys season 4 pushes boundaries with humor and shock value.
  • The show lampoons Marvel and DC with superhero parodies.
  • The Zendaya joke in season 4 is hilarious but near-the-knuckle; a cameo in season 5 could add another layer of meta-humor.


The Boys season 4 has been pushing many boundaries with its humor and gore, but it might have gone a little too far with its unbelievably grim Zendaya joke. After starting off a little slowly in its opening episodes, The Boys season 4 has been featuring one memorable episode after another, with each raising the bar in terms of shock value. The season’s episode 6 does something similar by walking through several bizarre moments, including the one where Firecracker wins Homelander’s heart in the strangest way possible.

Like its predecessors, The Boys season 4 also continues to lampoon Marvel and DC by portraying some of the most hilarious parodies of their superhero characters. Episode 6 even takes a jab at Batman by showing how Tek-Knight’s version of the Batcave is a weird underground dungeon where he and Ashley Barrett fulfill their wildest BDSM fantasies with Webweaver (a Spider-Man parody). However, in all of these provocative moments, The Boys season 4 almost crosses a line with a Zendaya joke.


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The Boys Season 4’s Zendaya Joke Is Hilarious (But Very Near-The-Knuckle)

The Boys Season 4 Plays With Fire With Its Zendaya Spider-Man Reference

In The Boys season 4, episode 6, Hughie (Jack Quaid), disguised as Webweaver, ends up in Tek-Knight’s “Batcave,” where Ashley Barrett gets off while tickling his feet. When Hughie screams in agony, and Ashley consequently stops the tickling, Tek-Knight reminds her that Webweaver has his own little “safe” word that he will use if he wants her to stop. Tek-Knight later even hints that the safe word is something he “loves most.” Although Hughie never guesses the safe word, Tek-Knight’s Butler eventually reveals it is “Zendaya.


Since Webweaver is supposed to be a mockery of Marvel’s Spider-Man, and Zendaya has played MJ in MCU’s Spider-Man movies, the joke is undoubtedly hilarious. However, the fact that “Zendaya” is Webweaver’s BDSM safe word when he is in Tek-Knight’s strange dungeon almost borders on being too edgy and inappropriate. The Boys season 4’s episode 6 plays it off quite well by presenting it as a quick throwaway line. However, since the joke nearly flirts with the line of tastefulness, the show must make up for it in a creative way.


Zendaya Needs A Cameo In The Boys Season 5 To Make Up For S4’s Joke

A Zendaya Cameo Could Add Another Layer To The Joke

Tom Holland's Spider-Man and Zendaya's MJ swinging in Spider-Man No Way Home

The Zendaya joke’s subtle execution prevents it from being disrespectful, but The Boys season 5 could still do some damage control by perhaps featuring a cameo by Zendaya or giving her a better shoutout. A cameo would be great because it would assure viewers that the actress has been in on it and even add a layer of meta-humor to the joke. However, even if getting Zendaya involved in The Boys season 5 is not possible, the show could drop a better and more explicit reference to her long line of work instead of only drawing a reference to her Spider-Man role in passing.


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