Tom Hiddleston as Loki disguised as D.B. Cooper in 'Loki'

You Def Missed This True Crime Reference In Loki's First Episode

D. B. Cooper was a real person.

by Ani Bundel
Marvel Studios

Much like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki’s premiere episode on Disney+ took great pains to tie the new series back to the big-screen Marvel Cinematic Universe events. The cold open was a mix of footage from 2012’s The Avengers and then the re-conceptualized version of the same scene from Avengers: Endgame. Then, when recounting Loki’s (Tom Hiddleston) past adventures from the TVA files, Agent Mobius (Owen Wilson) pulled up scenes from Thor and Thor: The Dark World. But mixed into these easter eggs was a lost adventure of Loki’s, in which he turned out to be someone named “D. B. Cooper.” But who was D. B. Cooper, and what exactly was this adventure?

Warning: Spoilers for Loki Season 1, Episode 1 follow. Most of Loki’s past hijinks were recognizable to fans of the MCU films. But when it came to this Best of Loki: Great Escapes segment, Agents Mobius pulled out a brand-new film reel. In the flashback, an early 1970s-era flight attendant appeared, walking up to a clean-cut Loki. After asking “Mr. Cooper” if she could get him anything else, he flirtatiously passed her a note. The flight attendant began to walk away, only to have Loki stop her and tell her to read the note. As he leaned in toward her, he whispered, “I have a bomb.”

Smash cut to Loki being handed a giant bag of cash and strapping on a parachute. As the plane cruised at altitude, he headed for the door before jumping from the plane, at which point the rainbow bridge snatched him away and the scene reverted back to the present.

“I can’t believe you were D. B. Cooper!” Mobius yelled excitedly as Loki protested it was just a young man’s prank. But some fans were left perplexed. Did they miss something in the MCU movies?

It may seem shocking to consider now, but back in the 1970s, plane hijackings were a regular occurrence, to the point where they became a cultural punchline. The “golden age of hijacking” lasted from 1968 to 1972. Notably, none of these incidents resulted in fatalities; they were more or less annoying inconveniences. In nearly every case, the hijackers were arrested as soon as the plane touched down.

D.B. Cooper was one of the few exceptions. After hijacking a flight from Portland to Seattle, he forced the plane to touch down and hand over $200,000 in ransom. But when the plane took off, instead of staying on board, he strapped on a parachute, grabbed the money, and jumped.

He was never seen again.

The story of D.B. Cooper has remained one of the nation’s unsolved mysteries ever since. His story has appeared in numerous TV shows, including The Blacklist, Leverage, and 30 Rock. Drunk History did an episode on him, and there have been multiple documentary films, the latest of which aired on HBO in 2020.

Now Loki has finally solved the mystery (at least in the MCU canon). This is what happens when you lose a bet to Thor.