The Boys showrunner explains that Zendaya reference

Chris Tilly
Webweaver in Webweaver suit in The Boys.

Zendaya’s name popped up in the most unexpected way during this week’s episode of The Boys, and showrunner Eric Kripke has now explained how it came about.

Episode 6 of The Boys features heartbreak, twists, some casual murder, and shocks a plenty. So just a normal hour in the company of television’s most twisted superheroes.

But amid the action, Zendaya – of Dune, Challengers, and Euphoria fame – gets a mention during a particularly unusual sequence.

While speaking to Variety, showrunner Eric Kripke explained how and why it came about. So beware of The Boys SPOILERS AHEAD

In Episode 6 of The Boys, Hughie dresses as Webweaver to infiltrate Tek Knight’s party, but soon finds himself in Knight’s dungeon, being forced into doing weird sex stuff.

Hughie tries to put a stop to the perversions, but doesn’t know Webweaver’s safe word, which is eventually revealed to be… Zendaya!

When asked if any other safe words were suggested in the writer’s room, Kripke said: “No, it was Anslem Richardson, who is the brilliant writer of the episode – he just put that in the first draft. I don’t think we ever discussed it, and he just threw in that his safe word was ‘Zendaya,’ and I just laughed my ass off about that.”

Zendaya and Tom Holland in Spider-Man movie

But there’s also a meta connection, as Webweaver is a Spider-Man parody – albeit a sick and twisted version – and Zendaya appeared in the recent Spider-Man trilogy, and dates Peter Parker actor Tom Holland in real-life.

As Kripke put it when asked about that link: “Yeah! It’s the thing Spider-Man loves most.”

The Boys Season 4 Episodes 1-6 are streaming on Amazon Prime Video now. You can find out when the next episode drops with our guide to The Boys Season 4’s release schedule

We’ve also got guides on Starlight’s powers and originsThe Boys Season 4’s most shocking moments so farwhether Kimiko dies, and how the Gen V timeline fits in. And keep tabs on new releases with our guide to the TV shows streaming this month.