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‘The Boys’ Santorum Reference Is The Perfect Mix Of Politics And Grossness

Tek Knight The Boys Santorum Meaning

On this week’s episode of The Boys, we’re getting a slew of political commentary and over-the-top gross humor, as usual for the series. But a quick line about halfway through the episode brings it all together in a nice, simple way that points to exactly what works about the series. That’s when Tek Knight (Derek Wilson) drops the word “santorum” while yelling at his butler.

So, here’s the context, before we get to the meaning of santorum. In Season 4, Episode 6, “Dirty Business” Tek Knight is holding a soiree for some elite guests, with the secret goal of selling the billionaires and political movers and shakers on Homelander (Antony Starr) and Sage’s (Susan Heyward) plan to take over America via the 25th Amendment. However, as much as Tek Knight loves money and power, more than anything he loves… Well, to put it plainly, having sex with holes.

That’s specifically because he has a tumor in his brain that makes him sexually attracted to holes, something established during his appearance on the spinoff series Gen V. In this week’s episode, though, we discover that just like Batman (the character he was based on in the comics), he has a Tek Cave. Except unlike Batman, his Tek Cave is a sex dungeon, complete with the show’s version of Robin, Laddio (Reid Millar) chained up in a red gimp suit. He also has a butler, a la Alfred Pennyworth, named Elijah (Tyrone Benskin) who raised him after his parents were killed.

When Tek Knight and Hughie (Jack Quaid) dressed as Spider-Man-esque Supe Webweaver enter the cave, they see Elijah hosing down a cage… Which is when Tek Knight says, “Jesus. You didn’t get all the santorum off the gibbet cage!”

A lot to unpack there, so let’s explain.

What Is Santorum? Santorum Meaning, Explained:

The Boys Santorum Gibbet Cage

So, here’s the deal. “Santorum” is a term created by columnist Dan Savage specifically to target anti-LGBTQ+ politician and former US Senator Rick Santorum. In 2003, Savage, disgusted by Santorum’s homophobic comments (he compared homosexual sex to bestiality) and attempts at legislation, created a contest to try and redefine the word “santorum.” Basically, Savage challenged people to twist Google’s search results in order to make whatever they wanted Santorum to mean would be the first search result, instead of Rick Santorum’s name.

Here’s what they came up with, per Wikitionary:

“A frothy mixture of lubricant and fecal matter as an occasional byproduct of anal sex.”

Savage promoted the “contest” in his Savage Love column, and then set up a website which I won’t link here as it’s since been taken over by spam. But in the intervening years, Savage was successful. He offered to take the website down if Santorum (the man, not the substance) would donate $5 million to Freedom to Marry. Santorum declined, and the definition above was used dismissively towards Santorum by talk show hosts, potentially leading to the end of his prospective Presidential campaign in 2015.

So yeah, long story short Tek Knight, who is a racist right-wing billionaire dropping the term “santorum” in the middle of an episode of The Boys is yet another example of the show’s left-wing politics. It’s 2024, and they ain’t gonna let Rick Santorum off the hook, even years later.

What’s A Gibbet Cage?

In case you were curious, the cage in the screenshot above is a Gibbet Cage. It’s not a slang term like “santorum.” It’s a cage that was used for executions and the display of criminals dating back to biblical times. The Gibbet Cage is still used in some countries today. Though here I’m guessing Tek Knight is using it as a sex cage.

It’s also nowhere near as gross as santorum. And fingers crossed that after Google changed their algorithm to downplay what Savage called the “campaign for neologism” definition around 2012, The Boys will successfully bring the “correct” definition back to the top.

The Boys Season 4 Premiere Dates And Episode Guide:

The Boys season 4 will officially premiere on Prime Video on Thursday, June 13 at 3 am ET / 12 am PT. The season will be eight episodes long, with three dropping on premiere day.

Here’s the full list of episodes in The Boys Season 4, with expected premiere dates:

  • Thursday, June 13, 2024: The Boys, Season 4, Episode 1 – “Department of Dirty Tricks”
  • Thursday, June 13, 2024: The Boys, Season 4, Episode 2 – “Life Among the Septics”
  • Thursday, June 13, 2024: The Boys, Season 4, Episode 3 – “We’ll Keep the Red Flag Flying Here”
  • Thursday, June 20, 2024: The Boys, Season 4, Episode 4 – “Wisdom of the Ages”
  • Thursday, June 27, 2024: The Boys, Season 4, Episode 5 – “Beware the Jabberwock, My Son”
  • Thursday, July 4, 2024: The Boys, Season 4, Episode 6 – “Dirty Business”
  • Thursday, July 11, 2024: The Boys, Season 4, Episode 7 – “The Insider”
  • Thursday, July 18, 2024: The Boys, Season 4, Episode 8 – “Assassination Run” *Season Finale*

Where To Watch The Boys:

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