If you’re plugged in online you may have heard of a certain Avengers: Endgame theory involving Ant-Man. Specifically, Ant-Man plunging into Thanos’ butthole and expanding his size in order to defeat the villain ... from the inside.
That’s basically the extent of the “Thanus” theory, which is a less a theory than the internet’s new favorite Avengers meme. Even though it probably ... OK, most likely ... OK, most definitely won’t happen in the actual film, a live-action version of what only existed in Photoshops and one-liners has now emerged on the internet for all of our viewing pleasure.
Though the Ant-Man-jumps-up-Thanos’-butt ending has reached new levels of buzz over the past few weeks, the theory first popped up before Infinity War even came out. According to KnowYourMeme, the joke started on Reddit, as loads of off-beat, shitpost tier theories oft do.
On a post suggesting various ways to defeat Thanos, users speculated about Ant-Man shrinking down in size, crawling up Thanos’ various orifices (Thorfices) and expanding (from mouth to urethra specifically, or just entering inside of Thanos someplace else) until the purple villain exploded. It was a post about Ant-Man crawling into Thanos’ ear that the realization that Ant-Man would have to crawl into a more intimate part of Thanos’ anatomy sprung forth.
Reddit user Rayhann specified “the one where you crawl up his ass and deeply violate his being.”
For the record, Squirrel Girl didn’t explicitly crawl up Thanos’ ass, but the panel showcasing her victory has Thanos in a particularly compromising position.
The concept of Ant-Man crawling up Thanos’ ass was out there, floating around far corners of the internet. But the theory made it to Twitter — the equivalent of emerging into the mainstream — just a few days after Infinity War.
Scott Lang’s jarring absence from the movie prompted Twitter user @filmgloss to theorize just why Ant-Man didn’t make it into the movie.
marvel saw the post about how ant man could defeat thanos by crawling into his ass and instantly growing in size and that’s why they didn’t put him in the movie, send tweet— c a t (@filmgloss) April 30, 2018
While this tweet did quite well, the screenshot of it on Tumblr did even better. Soon, other fandoms took notice and the meme proliferated throughout the internet. The theory culminated last summer when a reporter point-blank asked Paul Rudd about it.
But renewed hype in the weeks before Avengers: Endgame have stirred up this theory turned meme. Subreddit r/dankmemes began to share memes about Ant-Man crawling up Thanos’s butt, some with fake screenshots of the Russo Brothers weighing in. Like Powerful Shaggy before it, the meme exploded when it went off Reddit and Tumblr and to Twitter, bringing awareness and merit to this quite shitpost-y shitpost. A Brazilian petition dedicated to making this moment happen in Avengers: Endgame has amassed over 35,000 signatures at the time of writing.
With all the footage done, however, it isn’t super likely that the Russo brothers incorporate this outlandish theory, even in a post-credits scene.
Correction (April 1): A previous version of this story credited the wrong creator of the video. YouTube user HELLO THERE created the Thanos video. We’ve edited the article to reflect this.
That’s alright, though, as heroic internet denizen HELLO THERE created an incredibly accurate rendering of Ant-Man diving right into Thanos’ butt and expanding. We can rest easy knowing that some version of the scene exists in the world. Now we wait and see if Marvel incorporates it into the existing film.
We’ll find out just how much Ant-Man matters in the final plan when Avengers: Endgame comes out on April 26.
Update: Feeling gut pressure from the Marvel community, Josh Brolin, the actor behind Thanos, has weighed in a few times on the Thanus theory.
On March 28 he posted an Instagram video of himself sitting on a toilet and trying to “flush Ant-Man.”
Most recently, Brolin shared an explicit photo of Thanos on his Instagram. It’s a full nude from the back, with Thanos’ purple derrière on full display. Though it could easily be a tribute to how thicc Thanos’ ass is, Brolin made it clear that the Mad Titan’s voluptuous behind has something to do with Ant-Man.
“Powerlifting Ant-Man squish,” read the hashtags.