How a Forgotten ’90s Soda Became a Recurring Gag on ‘Loki’
Just two episodes in, Loki has already drawn us into its perplexing, utterly bizarre world. The Time Variance Authority has a familiar yet troubling feel, a purgatory-like space where time seems to have no meaning. Loki (Tom Hiddleston) finds himself trapped in the bureaucratic headquarters of the Time Keepers, where every worker is occupied with keeping the Sacred Timeline on track. There, he meets the sympathetic Mobius (Owen Wilson), a TVA agent with a penchant for jet skis and ... Josta?
Agent Mobius is seen chugging the unusual drink in the first and second episodes of the series, which causes us to wonder if his favorite beverage reveals anything about his character. As it turns out, Josta soda was a real product back in the 1990s, a failed PepsiCo creation that was only on shelves for a few short years. Launching in 1995, Josta was the first energy drink produced by a major U.S. drink company. By 1999, it was gone for good. For a beverage that had such a short life on the Sacred Timeline, Agent Mobius seems to enjoy it a lot.
In addition to its fruity taste, Josta's key ingredient was guarana extract, which was derived from a caffeinated plant found in South America. Guarana has been used for hundreds of years as a stimulant, appetite suppressant, and aphrodisiac. However, PepsiCo branded Josta less as a miracle tonic and more as a party drink. The first ad campaign involved a series of elderly men reminiscing on their past, wishing they would have partied harder when they were younger. Josta’s slogan? “Better do the good stuff now.”
(You don’t have to be a time traveler to drink Josta, either. Sometimes old cans show up and people try them.)
Maybe this ties into Mobius' hope for Loki to correct the Sacred Timeline, instead of continuing to cause chaos with no thought of the consequences. Maybe he literally wants Loki to “do the good stuff now.” Or he could simply be indulging his nostalgia for a past era, one that flashed by all too quickly. Of course, there’s one other possible explanation — he just really likes the taste.
New episodes of Loki arrive every Wednesday on Disney+.