Those familiar with the adventures of Peter Parker (in film or comics) know that the appearance of Norman Osborn is never good news: since 1964, the founder of Oscorp and alter ego of the Green Goblin has been determined to turn the life of our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man into a nightmare, and No Way Home has consolidated that norm.
Now, what if Osborn brought not only death and destruction to Tom Holland’s world, but also one of the most popular arachnid memes? Well, that is precisely the easter egg sneaked into his lines of dialogue by screenwriters Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers.
Let’s remember: when Spidey has the brilliant idea of helping the villains who have entered his universe, so that they don’t repeat their fates when they return to the world they came from, Osborn (Willem Dafoe) offers to help him by saying “I’m something of a scientist myself.” A line that can be funny (especially seeing the terrible criminal like a wreck and stripped of his memories), but has other implications.
It turns out that in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man (2002), that was the line Osborn said to the arachnid Tobey Maguire when they were introduced by Osborn’s son Harry (James Franco). And thanks to the power of social media, those words quickly became an internet joke.
The Know Your Meme website features 80 versions of the aforementioned moment, including “When you watch Rick and Morty,” “When the Lego set says ‘4-7 years’ but you finish building it in 3 days” and, of course, “When comic book writers put science into a comic even though they know nothing about what they’re writing.” Is this the ultimate tribute to Stan Lee, an expert in that kind of bragging?
According to the same source, interest in that meme is skyrocketing since No Way Home hit theaters. Thus, we can expect a second youth for it, either with images from the original film, or with those from the latest installment of the franchise.