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Series / Loki (2021)

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https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/loki_28.png
Loki’s time has come.note 

"We protect the proper flow of time. You picked up the Tesseract, breaking reality. I want you to help us fix it."
Mobius M. Mobius
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Loki is a superhero Science Fantasy thriller / Fantastic Noir series spinoff of the Thor film franchise, based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. The series is the 26th overall entry of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the 3rd installment of the MCU's Phase 4, and the 3rd live-action series to be developed by Marvel Studios for Disney+. Michael Waldron serves as showrunner, while Kate Herron (Sex Education) directed the entire first season with Tom Hiddleston himself serving as an executive producer.

Set after the events of Avengers: Endgame, the series follows the Alternate Timeline Loki (Tom Hiddleston) note , who escaped with the Tesseract/Space Stone after the Battle of New York. He gets arrested, then forcibly recruited, by the Time Variance Authority, an organization that exists outside of the flow of time and is dedicated to preserving the Sacred Timeline, to help them stop another version of himself that’s creating various alternate timelines that could threaten reality itself if left unchecked. If that sounds a little confusing, don't worry: Loki's just as confused. But he'll be damned if he doesn't turn this to his advantage.

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Other cast members include Owen Wilson as Mobius M. Mobius, Gugu Mbatha Raw as Judge Renslayer, Sophia Di Martino as The Variant, Wunmi Mosaku as Hunter B-15, Tara Strong as the voice of Miss Minutes, Sasha Lane as Hunter C-20, and Richard E. Grant.

A second season has reportedly been greenlit, which would make it the first live-action Marvel Studios series to have a multi-season run. note  The series premiered on June 9, 2021.

Previews: Teaser. Trailer 1.


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Loki contains examples of:

  • All Crimes Are Equal: The TVA enforces the continuity of the timeline with no regard to intent or scale. Loki making off with the Tesseract is treated with the same seriousness as whatever some trust fund kid did. Miss Minutes' presentation even states it doesn't matter what the variation is, whether it be causing a war or just being late to work.
  • Alternate Self:
    • The series opens on the Avengers: Endgame scene where the Avengers inadvertently set the Alternate Timeline Loki free when looking for the Space Stone at the time of the Battle of New York, with him using said Infinity Stone to escape. It then shows that Loki landing in the Gobi desert, where he is apprehended by the Time Variance Authority. They label him Variant L1130.
    • Another iteration of Loki is the Big Bad of the show, ambushing TVA squads and stealing their Reset Charges, which they use to bomb the Sacred Timeline.
    • Apparently alternate Loki Variants are, if not the single most common Variant the TVA encounters, it's pretty close. The Loki Variant that the TVA is hunting turns out to be a female version of the God of Mischief, for example.
  • Alternative-Self Name-Change: To distinguish the rogue Variant of Loki that the TVA has been hunting for from all the other Loki Variants (including the main character of the show), this rogue Variant is simply referred to as "The Variant". They later would reject being called "Loki" and instead ask to be called "Randy" after seeing a nametag from a person they possessed, although that doesn't seem to stick. The foreign language versions of the end credits list their name as "Sylvie", instead, indicating that the Variant could be Enchantress.
  • Ambiguously Human: The TVA's staff certainly look human with no alien characteristics to them, but their civilization is beyond the universe's timeline, they have access to science and power that nullifies magic and renders Infinity Stones useless (to the point where they use them as paperweights). One of their minute men is capable of fighting Loki hand to hand (who, as a Jotunn, is stronger than non-enhanced humans) and one of their desk jockeys doesn't know what a fish is, having spent his whole life behind a desk.
  • And Starring: "Tara Strong as Miss Minutes" / "and Owen Wilson".
  • Art Shift: The video hosted by Miss Minutes is done entirely in retro-style 2D animation, similar to the title sequence of the second episode of WandaVision.
  • Aspect Ratio Switch: The series is mainly presented in cinematic widescreen. In "Glorious Purpose", Miss Minutes' informational film is presented in 4:3 fullscreen while Loki's leap from N467US as D.B. Cooper is presented in 1.85:1 to show more of the sky.
  • Background Halo: In the first poster for the show, a golden clock frames Loki's head like a halo, while glowing hour and minute bars and multiple clock hands act as rays. Loki is a Norse god, but not a benevolent one, so he also sports a Kubrick Stare and a smirk.
  • Badass Boast: Loki makes one while fixing Mobius's tie:
    Loki: It is adorable that you think you could possibly manipulate me. I'm ten steps ahead of you.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit:
    • Loki wears one of the TVA's brown government suits, complete with the word "VARIANT" written on the back in big orange letters.
    • Loki sports a business suit, complete with Sinister Shades, when he's playing the role of D.B. Cooper. He was forced into it after losing a bet with Thor.
    • His "Vote Loki"-inspired outfit from the end of the first trailer also qualifies.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Mobius says that what the Time-Keepers allow in the timeline isn't based on moral approval or disapproval but does not elaborate further.
  • Boxed Crook: Mobius M. Mobius recruits Loki to stop an alternate version of himself that's been killing TVA agents across time.
  • Casting Gag: This is not the first time that both Tom Hiddleston and Owen Wilson have both starred in a film involving a protagonist who steps out of his own time and meets real, historical characters. Wilson was the time-traveler there, but Hiddleston also played another historical figure in that film (F. Scott Fitzgerald).
  • Celestial Bureaucracy: The TVA is a combination of agents, hunters, and office workers who protect the Sacred Timeline. Those who deviate from the Sacred Timeline, "Variants", are brought before them and have to undergo a long bureaucratic process before they can receive judgment and either be "reset" (returned to their timeline) or "pruned" (killed).
  • Central Theme: Determinism. While it is established that Earth-199999 operates on a Multiple-Choice Future system with spontaneously generating alternate timelines, the TVA's job is to enforce a Hard-Deterministic single timeline by "resetting" alternate timelines and arresting whoever is responsible for spawning them, or "variants". Loki, being an agent of chaos and mischief maker with ambitions of godhood, finds the TVA's show of force and the alleged Time Keeper's omnipotent authority to be inherently offensive, believing that he and he alone is the master of his own destiny, a sentiment that his alternate counterpart seems to share with him with her acts of temporal terrorism.
  • Character Title: The series following the character Loki is also named Loki.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Loki's history of constant betrayals gets lampshaded in the first trailer.
    Loki: You can trust me.
    Mobius: Loki, I've studied almost every moment of your entire life. You've literally stabbed people in the back like fifty times!
    [beat]
    Loki: Well, I'd never do it again!
  • Chronoscope: The TVA has a device that projects an image of a person's timeline, past and future, which Mobius uses to show Loki glimpses of his prime self's future. Loki then uses it to see further, up to witnessing his own death at the hands of Thanos in Avengers Infinity War.
  • Clarke's Third Law: Upon seeing a grand view of the sheer scale of the TVA's home dimension, Loki confusedly states that he thought there was no magic here. Mobius just smiles and states "There isn't". Loki is disbelieving that the TVA could build and maintain everything that they have without any magic.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The TVA's employees all wear brown government suits to make it easier to identify them. Meanwhile the inside of their headquarters is illuminated with bright orange and gold colors.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The shot of Loki twirling his daggers is similar to a shot of him doing it which appeared in the trailer for Thor: Ragnarok but was cut from the film itself.
    • In Avengers: Endgame, the Ancient One warns Professor Hulk that making any dramatic changes to alternate timelines will cause reality to branch off down a darker path. This series establishes that the TVA exist to prevent precisely this from happening, and Loki is one of those branches that they show up to cut off.
    • When Mobius acknowledges that Loki doesn't trust very many people, the latter retorts "Trust is for children", much like Natasha Romanoff responded to Loki's quip that she was in love with Clint Barton in The Avengers.
    • Loki receives glimpses of future events from Mobius detailing what becomes of him in Thor: The Dark World, Thor: Ragnarok, and Avengers: Infinity War via the TVA's Chronoscope. The moment when he realizes that him leading Malekith and Kurse to where the Aether is would lead to Frigga's death, he isn't pleased with the end result in the slightest. At the same time, however, he's also touched by Thor's and Odin's comments of him in Ragnarok, even smiling in the process. Naturally however, he's also terrified that he's really destined to die at Thanos' hands.
  • Cop Killer Manhunt: The main plot of the series revolves around a rogue Loki Variant killing TVA Hunters and Minutemen. Agent Mobius recruits Loki to help find the killer.
  • Creative Closing Credits: The show's end credits show different things within the TVA, such as their propaganda, equipment and case files. When each text of credits appear, they are briefly shown out of order and sometimes have its letters flipped or enlarged, before reasserting itself back to normal. The TVA logo is also included alongside it, often as an outline. The only thing that changes between episodes is a poster in a locker during the "Costume Design" credit.
    • Like WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier the section showing the show's starring cast only shows the names of the actors whose characters appeared in that episode and like in the latter, the names only show in the respective sections (i.e. Sophia Di Martino's credit being shown in the section with the water cooler in the second episode)
  • The Cretaceous Is Always Doomed: Invoked by The Variant, who, as our main Loki deduces, is able to avoid attracting TVA attention by hiding at apocalyptic moments in time — you can't alter the timestream enough to make a difference if everyone you're affecting is already about to die regardless. Loki and Mobius test this by visiting Pompeii just as Mount Vesuvius erupts.
  • Cut-and-Paste Note: The logo for the series is presented in this way, using various typefaces for each letter rather than a single one as a nod to either Loki's abilities or to the show's concept of Variants. This also applies to the title logo at the end of the trailers and within the show's episodes; in the trailers, each letter cycles through different typefaces and colourations at random intervals before they settle on the 'official' forms, while in the episodes themselves, the letters cycle through various typefaces and letter-like symbols simultaneously, and only in the opening version do they settle on the official letters (albeit in stylized forms). Of particular note is that, in the official logo, the 'O' and 'I' come from the same typeface and that the latter is actually a lower-case 'L' in that specific typeface (though in the episodes themselves it is modified to look like a capital 'I') .
  • Darker and Edgier: Loki has a much more unsettling, downbeat, and bleak tone than the rest of the MCU, with some nice undertones of cosmic horror to go with it.
  • Deadly Euphemism: "Pruning", which obviously alludes to the TVA's practice of trimming off variant timelines like they were pruning a tree, but can extend to anything from disintegrating people to bombs that "reset" the timeline and presumably wipe realities.
  • Dutch Angle: In the first trailer, frames revealing two different locations are tilted to the side, with the camera slowly rotating. Both locations look alien and uncanny.
  • Expendable Alternate Universe: The TVA, in order to maintain a single timeline, regularly "reset" the new timeline from existence, thus eliminating trillions of lives in an instant. The individuals who are deemed responsible for the alternate timeline are deemed "Variants" and are treated as time criminals. They are arrested and put through an humiliating processing before being put before a judge to be declared guilty and get executed, if they're not already vaporized, AKA "pruned" before that point for not cooperating. And not a single tear is shed.
  • Flaming Sword: In an ad by Disney+ Hotstar Premium, Loki is wielding a flaming sword.
  • First-Episode Spoiler: Loki is recruited to stop another version of himself antagonizing the TVA.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In one of the scenes briefly shown in the teaser, letters "LXXIX" are written on the wall behind Loki. This means "79", the year when Mount Vesuvius erupted and destroyed the Roman city of Pompeii.
  • The Future Is Noir: The TVA locations, such as the courtroom, the time theater or the endless corridors, are all submerged in half-shadow.
  • Historical In-Joke: In the first episode, it is revealed that Loki was D.B. Cooper, or at least Earth-199999's version of him, the infamous mystery man who hijacked a plane, got two hundred thousand dollars in ransom money, and parachuted off the plane, with only a few stray burned bills ever found. As he jumped out, Loki was picked up by the Bifrost, at which point some of the bills in his bag were scattered and singed by its heat.
  • Hand Blast: The trailer shows Loki shooting a blast of green energy in combat. He hasn't used this ability in any of his previous appearances.
  • Heroic BSoD: For...a certain definition of 'heroic' that might fit Loki at least. Finding out that the TVA casually neutralized Infinity Stones to the point of many rank-and-file clerks using them as paper weights hits Loki hard. It's when he realizes just how powerful and significant the TVA is and how little power he has there.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: In episode 1, despite his claims of wanting to rule the Nine Realms, Loki breaks into Tears of Joy after seeing his future in Thor: Ragnarok where both his father Odin and brother Thor acknowledge him and tell him they love him.
  • In the Hood: At the end of the first episode an eerie figure in a dark cloak with the hood drops a lantern at night and starts a fire, killing another TVA team. The identity of the figure remains concealed by their hood, but is implied to be a Loki Variant. In the second episode, she takes her hood off, revealing her to be a female variant of Loki.
  • Insult Backfire: In the first episode, Loki ends up being more offended by Mobius's amusement at his insult of the TVA than Mobius is of the insult in the first place.
    Loki: The Time-Keepers have built quite the circus. And I see the clowns are playing their parts to perfection.
    Mobius: Big metaphor guy. I love it. Makes you sound super smart.
    Loki: I am smart.
    Mobius: I know.
    Loki: Okay.
    Mobius: Okay.
  • Internal Deconstruction:
    • The first episode rather quickly establishes that the events of the entire MCU are dictated by a trio of godlike Time Keepers in order to keep a single, predetermined timeline of events. This means that every action and event seen in all previous MCU films and shows has simply occurred as a means for the Time Keepers and TVA to keep the timeline stable. The TVA is on such a level of existence that even the previously thought all-powerful Infinity Stones are considered nothing but literal paperweights to them.
    • Loki's own character is also ruthlessly deconstructed when he's caught and confined by godlike entities far more powerful than he is. The TVA tortures him with visions of his own future and death at the hands of Thanos, showing him just how insignificant he is in the overall big picture.
  • Ironic Echo: In episode 1, after seeing that only after abandoning his Anti-Villain ways did he get anything he ever really wanted, and even then he's "destined" to get Stuffed into the Fridge in front of his brother Thor, Loki ruefully repeats his Motive Rant line from The Avengers (2012) about being burdened with "glorious purpose."
  • Join or Die: In episode 1, Mobius presents Loki with the choice of either helping the TVA to catch "an even greater threat", or being found guilty of crimes against the sacred timeline and being deleted from reality.
  • Kangaroo Court: Judge Renslayer's trial. Sure, you could plead not guilty... but the fact that the TVA has apprehended you, when they know how the timeline is meant to go and how you didn't align yourself with that, means they've already made up their minds.
  • Laughing Mad: Upon witnessing his movie timeline in the first episode, Loki breaks into uncontrollable laughter (while also appearing to be on the verge of tears).
  • Logo Joke: The usual Marvel Studios logo at the beginning of each episode is tinted green and gold on a black background instead of the usual silver on red background, a nod to Loki's colour motifs.
  • Medium Blending: Miss Minutes is evidently a CGI-character. In episode 1, she appears in her own little hand-drawn 2D cartoon to explain the existence of the TVA and the Time-Keepers; in this appearance, she has a cel-shaded look to blend in with the 2D animation). In the second episode, Miss Minutes actually appears as a holographic projection that actively communicates and interacts with Loki as he's studying up on the TVA's work terms, before jumping into a computer of sorts to avoid being hit by Loki's magazine.
  • Mundane Utility: The TVA has an assortment of Infinity Stones from different timelines, which have no power in their realm. They sometimes use them as paperweights.
  • Musical Nod: In the "Introducing Agent Mobius" clip, Franz Schubert's String Quartet No. 13 in A minor is playing in the elevator, which was also played in The Avengers during the scene where Loki attacks a gala in Stuttgart.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • In the teaser trailer, Loki wears an outfit that has him resembling the cover of the Vote Loki comic series.
    • In the first episode, Loki discovers that the Infinity Stones are completely powerless in the TVA's plane of reality, to the point of being used as paperweights. This may be a nod to the comics, which state that the Infinity Gauntlet can only function in its native dimension.
    • When Loki says "This is a nightmare!", Mobius responds "That's another department."
    • Mobius's observations about it being in Loki's nature to lose and make others achieve the best version of themselves through his villainy borrows from Loki's discussion with Odin about how he feels Odin only adopted him so through his villainy he could make Thor's heroism shine even brighter from the Loki (2004) comic mini-series.
    • Episode 2 "The Variant" takes place in a mega store called Roxxcart. This is a nod to the comic super conglomerate Roxxon, an Amazon expy, who has their thumbs in everything from normal online shopping to dimensional wars between god like beings.
  • Narnia Time: Mobius M. Mobius explains that time works differently in the TVA compared to other dimensions. Since their goal is to keep the flow of time, it makes sense.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The trailers imply Loki's recruitment is to fix the damage he caused by stealing the Tesseract and creating a new timeline. In fact, that aberration is fixed within two minutes of the TVA catching him, and the actual threat is another version of him that is maliciously causing aberrations in the timeline and has thus far proven beyond their ability to track.
  • The Nudifier: In the first episode, as he's being processed by the TVA, a huge creepily smiling robot tries to remove Loki's Asgardian garb. When he protests, it vaporizes the outfit right off him, leaving him completely naked and distraught.
  • Omniglot: The TVA know every language throughout all of time, a most necessary skill when their job requires interacting with beings from every conceivable time and place in existence. When Loki gets recruited into the TVA, he seems to get this ability as well, if him speaking Latin in Pompeii is any indication.
  • One-Word Title: The title of the series is just the given name of its main character: Loki.
  • Order Versus Chaos: Loki, the God of Mischief, is forced to work with the TVA, a Vast Bureaucracy tasked with keeping the timelines in check.
  • Our Time Travel Is Different: The TVA use glowing portal doors for Instantaneous Time Travel.
  • Police Brutality: The Time Variance Authority's actions can come across as this, at least to those they handle. The people they arrest are subdued with little explanation or warning, they go through some humiliating processing, and are soon taken before a judge listing their crime. Oh, and if the arrestees don't cooperate with all this, the Hunters will just prune them (as they do the errant timelines).
  • Portal Door: The TVA can create portals through time and space that look like glowing doors.
  • Portal to the Past: The TVA's portals can go anywhere in time and space.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: The French dub calls the TVA "Tribunal des Variations Anachroniques" (Tribunal of Anachronistic Variations) in order to keep the acronym intact and give it a similar meaning to the original.
  • Protagonist Title
  • Psychological Projection: Many of Loki's criticisms towards humanity and others are revealed to be projections on how he feels about himself.
  • Recruiting the Criminal: The Time Variance Authority captures Loki after he escapes with the Space Stone in Avengers: Endgame, put him on trial for violating the sacred timeline, and then recruit him because they need his unique perspective in dealing with another version of himself killing their agents.
  • Regional Riff: Natalie Holt's score uses among others Nordic instruments, specifically a Nyckelharpa and a Hardanger fiddle, to reflect Loki's ties to Norse Mythology.
  • Reset Button: The TVA possesses this as an actual, physical device that resets a timeline to its natural course after arresting the variant responsible for the divergence. The Big Bad Loki Variant has been stealing them from TVA squads and modifying them to bomb the whole Sacred Timeline.
  • Retro Universe: The TVA's headquarters is a separate reality unmoored from time, with cutting-edge technology that allows agents to travel through time and space or watch someone's past or future like a movie in a theater. However, it looks like The '70s with their geometric patterns, brown and orange hues and dated-looking devices.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: While at his trial, Loki speculates that the Avengers went back in time in order to subvert his rule over Earth, assuming that he emerges victorious after the events of The Avengers. He's entirely correct that they've gone back in time to change their timeline, but it's primarily to undo Thanos's work than anything that's really related to Loki (since he's, y'know, dead).
  • San Dimas Time: While the TVA can normally go to any point in the Sacred Timeline freely, variant branch timelines are unstable enough that they are limited to the "present" there.
  • Scenery Censor: When the TVA robot removes Loki's clothes, Loki's groin region is covered by the robot's arm.
  • Shameful Strip: Having captured Loki, the TVA employs The Nudifier robot to remove all his clothes, save for the prisoner collar they've put on him. Loki is not happy about it, but before he has time to react, the floor under his feet collapses and he falls down into another room. Fortunately for him, a TVA prisoner jumpsuit appears on him when he stands back up.
  • Shoulders-Up Nudity: As part of their routine, the TVA vapourize Loki's clothes, leaving him completely naked, but only seen from the waist up.. In previous appearances, as a side character Loki has barely shown any skin, but as the main character in his series, he delivers the Manservice the franchise is famous for.
  • Sinister Silhouettes: The teaser gives us a shot of a mysterious redheaded woman sitting on a rock, staring at a dark purple sky. The first official trailer gives us that same shot, but with Loki sitting next to her.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Richard E. Grant's character is completely absent from both the teaser and the trailer and remains a mystery until the series release.
  • So Last Season: The Infinity Stones were the running thread of the MCU for years, being the most powerful objects of any singular universe. This series, which segues into the wider multiverse, casually dismisses them when Loki finds that they're powerless in the TVA's realm, to the point that countless copies from deleted timelines are used as colorful paperweights.
  • Southern Belle: Miss Minutes definitely has the accent for a lady from the American deep south.
  • The Stinger: The first episode has an audible stinger (without any visuals) right at the very end of the end credits. Miss Minutes thanks those visiting the TVA and asks them to not forget to share their feedback on the service.
  • Stock Footage:
    • The series opens on the Avengers: Endgame scene in which Loki escapes with the Tesseract during the bungled time heist. However, eagle-eyed viewers will notice that some parts of the scene actually use deleted takes, particularly with Loki's impersonation of Captain America and his wave towards an enraged Hulk.
    • During "Glorious Purpose", footage from Thor, The Avengers (2012), Thor: The Dark World, Thor: Ragnarok, and Avengers: Infinity War is used to illustrate Loki’s past and the correct order of the timeline to him.
  • Stock Unsolved Mysteries: How and why did D.B. Cooper collect a ransom of $200,000 and just disappear shortly after? Turns out that Loki himself was Cooper, who collected that cash due to losing a bet with Thor and used the Bifrost to return to Asgard and pay up.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: When Loki uses the Tesseract to escape and lands near a village in the Gobi Desert in Mongolia, he tries get the people bow down to him, only to learn that the villagers don't speak or understand English so they have no idea what he's saying.
  • Temporal Mutability: As explained by Miss Minutes, deviating from a set course of events creates Branching Timelines, but the Time Variance Authority act as Time Police. They enforce time immutability and cut off the branches as soon as they emerge. However, time travel is allowed if it was supposed to happen. The Time Keepers, heads of the TVA, decide what should happen and what should not.
  • That Liar Lies: When Loki says he doesn't like talking, Mobius retorts (while mimicking a mouth with his hand), "But you do like to lie, which you just did. 'Cause we both know you love to talk. Talky, talky."
  • Theremin: Natalie Holt's score prominently features a theremin. Both her and director Kate Herron independently from each other decided that it should be included in the score because of its inherent sci-fi sound. In "The Variant", Clara Rockmore's theremin cover of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's 18 Morceaux, Op. 72: No. 2 "Berceuse" appears when Mobius talks to Ravonna Renslayer in her office.
  • Tick Tock Tune: The opening theme and end credits theme incorporate the sound of clocks ticking, which ties in with the show's time-travel themes.
  • Time Police: The TVA's (Time Variance Authority) job is to "protect the proper flow of time", and Loki escaping with the Space Stone was an aberration that the TVA has to fix. It's also explained that the Time Keepers founded the TVA to protect a single, unified timeline after a devastating multiversal war. Interestingly it's not time travel itself that is considered a crime — the Avengers' time travel shenanigans are considered to be perfectly fine — it's not following your predestined fate that is considered the crime, even though there's no way for a being not aware of the timeline to know they've deviated from it.
  • Time Rewind Mechanic: Prisoners of the TVA are fitted with Time Twisters, restraining collars that allow the one holding the remote to wind the prisoner backward or forward in their relative timestream, up to the present. This has the effect of teleporting the victim to whatever location they were at the selected moment, without affecting their memories or anything else they interacted with along the way. They primarily use it to yank back prisoners that attempt to run during processing.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: The second episode has an extended scene in Alabama in 2050. Apart from some holographic advertising, the future nearly 30 years from now curiously doesn't look anything different from today, and could potentially even have taken place in the past decade or two.
  • TV Head Robot: The robot that undresses Loki has a screen as a head with changing facial expressions.
  • Unflinching Walk: A variant. Loki keeps looking at Mobius, smiling, arms wide open, as a giant ash cloud from a volcanic eruption comes flying up behind him.
  • Unnecessarily Creepy Robot: Loki faces a huge robot that protrudes from a wall and reminds one of a bathysphere with four mechanical arms. It frowns at Loki for resisting, then aims something at him that makes Loki's clothes disappear, to which the robot smiles.
  • Unusual Euphemism: TVA agents who go into the field call their work "pruning", both to refer to the act of clipping branching timelines and vaporizing variants.
  • Urban Legends: In The Stinger of the teaser, Loki has the Polybius machine, a fictitious arcade game claimed to cause Brown Note and Mind Manipulation effects to those who played it, in his ramshackle lair.
  • Vast Bureaucracy: The TVA is a very large organization. Its staff is watching the timelines, maintaining enormous archives and doing the much-needed paperwork, like printing out everything a person has ever said and making them sign it. When Loki finds a window, the organization's headquarters are shown to be so massive that one can't even see where it ends.
  • Weapon Twirling: In the trailer, Loki is shown casually flipping his daggers.
  • Wham Shot: In-universe. After Casey gives Loki the Tessaract upon threat of death, Loki's gaze wanders to the open desk drawer it was previously stashed in, only to freeze... because he sees dozens of Infinity Stones just laying there. Casey casually tells him that they get a lot of those, and some of the guys even use them as paperweights, indicating that the TVA is on an entirely different level note  and shakes Loki's being to his core.
  • World-Healing Wave: When we finally see a reset charge in action in episode 2, we see that they send out a wave of energy that restores the timeline.
  • World-Wrecking Wave: In episode 2's climax, the Loki Variant uses repurposed reset charges to mass-bomb the Sacred Timeline, creating numerous branch timelines that the TVA is scrambling to try and fix.
  • You Are Number 6: TVA's Hunters are only ever referred to by their designated letter-number code (Hunter B-15, Hunter C-20, Hunter D-90, and so on).
  • You Can't Fight Fate: According to the members of the Time Variance Authority, the wise Time Keepers dictate the proper flow of time, and thus the fate of all living beings. Loki with his Screw Destiny attitude calls it absurd. Played with in that it's entirely possible for people to deviate from the proper timeline, without even realizing they've done so, but the TVA is quick to stamp such variants out so the timeline continues along its predetermined path.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Loki realizes at the end of the first episode that he can't return to his own timeline. It's already been reset and another version of him is living it.
  • Your Magic's No Good Here: Loki is quite dismayed to discover that his powers don't work in the TVA's dimension, and neither does the power of the Infinity Stones. Mobius implies that this holds true for all magic.
  • Zeerust: The TVA's aesthetic leans on it hard, and the shot of the greater complex would not have been out of place in a movie from the 70's.

"Thanks for visiting the TVA! Don't hesitate to let us know how we're doin'!"

Alternative Title(s): Loki

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