An earnest 'WandaVision' line about grief has turned into a joking meme online

An earnest 'WandaVision' line about grief has turned into a joking meme online
"WandaVision" has been releasing new episodes on Disney+ since mid-January.Disney Plus
  • Warning: light spoilers for episode eight of Marvel's "WandaVision" ahead.
  • A viral line about grief in "WandaVision" sparked a flurry of memes on Twitter.
  • The meme cycle plays into a larger debate about Marvel media as art.

"WandaVision," the ambitious Disney+ series about Wanda Maximoff and Vision, has been making waves since it premiered in January 2021. The show is raising theoretical questions that could have major implications for the Marvel Cinematic Universe all while referencing TV shows and hiding Easter Eggs for fans to spot.

But it's a line of dialogue about grief from the most recent episode, "Previously On," that's currently gripping the fan base.
Though the line from Vision - "But what is grief, if not love persevering?" - was tweeted about on Friday when the episode premiered, it appears to have been a Saturday tweet from writer and actor Madison Hatfield (@madhat31) that sparked an ironic meme cycle poking fun at people's earnest reactions to the series.
Hatfield tweeted a screenshot of the line on Saturday with the caption, "Do you hear that sound? It's every screenwriter in the world whispering a reverent 'F---' under their breath."What started as praise for a line, and the way that it articulated the complex emotions at the core of the series, quickly spiraled into ironic memes about a Marvel property. The tweet became a copypasta - a text that people repeatedly copy-paste across the internet as a meme - on Twitter, with many applying it to other less sincere lines.
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Others began to replace the grief line with other, more nonsensical, statements.

Still, others defended the line and people's reactions to it, pointing out that it came after a year of death and grieving.

The polarizing nature of the line itself says more about online discourse (particularly surrounding the Marvel Cinematic Universe) than "WandaVision" itself.As The Daily Dot's Gavia Baker-Whitelaw reported, the line deals with one of the central themes of "WandaVision," which is how people, Wanda Maximoff specifically, cope with trauma and grief. As Baker-Whitelaw wrote, however, the response to the tweet speaks to larger attitudes towards Marvel fans, who are often made fun of for earnestly praising the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

That's due in part to the characterization of Marvel superhero movies as a kind of antithesis to the art of cinema. Comments made in an interview with Empire, and later elaborated on in a New York Times op-ed, from director Martin Scorsese brought the issue to a peak in 2019 after he stated that Marvel movies weren't cinema. As Vox's Alex Abad-Santos wrote at the time, that kind of debate seems to conflate the impact some filmmakers fear Marvel is having on the film industry - perhaps pushing it towards less daring and more formulaic films - and the movies themselves, many of which have received positive reviews and are obviously beloved by fans.

That context means that earnest positive statements about Marvel, like in Hatfield's tweet, are almost guaranteed to incite some kind of backlash if they reach a certain level of viral fame.

But before you feel too bad for Marvel, don't worry - they're doing just fine.