Taika Waititi Says 'Thor: Love and Thunder' Is Indebted to a Taylor Swift Meme from 2013

"A lot of people think it's me screaming. It's not"

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Jul 12, 2022

According to director Taika Waititi, there's an unlikely connection between Thor: Love and Thunder and Taylor Swift — and it's not merely alliteration, or the fact that the pop star has an album called Lover (which, incidentally, sort of rhymes with "thunder").

The latest Marvel film is being heralded for bringing the laughs, so perhaps it shouldn't come as a surprise that Waititi looked to a mood board of memes. In one case, he even dug into the archives for a cultural touchstone from 2013: the infamous goat remix of "I Knew You Were Trouble" from Swift's recently rerecorded 2012 opus Red.

Now, if the memory somehow eludes you, the gist of it is that someone (brilliant, ahead of their time) decided to edit the "I Know You Were Trouble" music video at the song's chorus, splicing it with clips of a goat standing behind a fence and screaming right after Swift sings, "Now I'm lying on the cold, hard ground." Where the music drops, so do some goat screeches — timed to hoot and holler exactly where the pop star sings the drawn-out descending ohs that constitute most of the song's chorus.

In a new interview with Insider, Waititi broke down his inspiration for the pair of goats who lead Thor's (Chris Hemsworth) chariot. The God of Thunder receives the animals as a gift of thanks near the beginning of the film, but there's a slight catch: they simply cannot stop screaming.

"They were never meant to be screaming," Waititi said of the comic relief-providing creatures. "The goats were always going to be in there because they are in the comics, but we didn't know how they would sound. Then someone in post-production found this meme of a Taylor Swift song that has screaming goats in it."

"I didn't even know that existed," the director admitted. "So I hear the screaming goats and I just felt it was awesome."

"I think one of the vendors that was making the CG goats, they just added the Taylor Swift song 'I Knew You Were Trouble,' but the fan-made one with the goat sounds," Waititi recalled. "We just thought it was so funny. So it was just a shot of how the CG creatures were coming along, it wasn't meant for the film or anything, it was just an update. And the screams were freakin' awesome."

​He added: "A lot of people think it's me screaming. It's not."

Take a time machine back to 2013 — and go ahead and scream along for catharsis, you deserve it! — below.

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