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The Black Panther Line Fans Thought Was Way Too Cringey

It's the question that divides a fandom: What's the greatest movie set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe? You could make a strong case for any number of options, but at least somewhere in the conversation, you have to talk about "Black Panther." So far, it's the only MCU film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. It has a critics' rating of 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, one of the best scores ever for a superhero project. That's not even getting into the resplendent word of mouth the movie achieved, making a ton of lists as one of the best films to come out of 2018. 

Of course, there's no such thing as a perfect movie. Even the most magnificent masterpiece will have a flaw, and a truly exceptional piece of art can transcend said flaw to be held in such high regard. "Black Panther" is no exception, and while there's plenty to praise about the film, there's one line of dialogue that fans believe hasn't aged well. 

Meme lines are hard to get right

When T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) reunites with Shuri (Letitia Wright) in her lab, it's a fun scene between brother and sister. And seemingly to commemorate the occasion, Shuri needs to let her opinion known on the footwear T'Challa sports, namely some open-toed sandals. She does this in the only way a millennial knows how — by referencing a meme. She yells, "What are those!?" This was a meme back around 2015 and 2016 that originally consisted of a video of a man saying that exact line to a police officer about his work boots. It spawned a ton of remixes and spinoffs, but in "Black Panther," it just comes across as corny. 

It's worth mentioning that memes tend to have a short lifespan. The video initially came out in 2015, and "Black Panther" was released in 2018, a full three years after the fact. The meme had already come, gone, and died by the time "Black Panther" got around to it, so the joke already feels dated. Rewatching the scene today only highlights that fact. 

Plenty of fans have taken to social media to voice their displeasure at the line. In response to the question of the worst line in the MCU, one Redditor responded, "What are those?" Others chime in with agreement, such as u/myles__garrett writing, "Cringiest line in the MCU by far." On a separate thread, another user stated, "Black Panther is my second favorite MCU movie, but the 'what are those' joke never fails to make me cringe."

It goes to prove how exceptional "Black Panther" is as a whole that so many people can overlook the line and accept it was a relic of its time.