In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022), Dr Strange saves Wong from octopus demon:

Dr Strange: You're welcome.

Wong: You know it's ancient custom to bow in the presence of the Sorcerer Supreme?

Dr Strange: Yeah, I'm aware of the customs.

How is Wong’s reply relevant to Dr. Strange’s words even though Wong didn’t bow to him?

  • 4
    Strange isn't Sorcerer Supreme, Wong is. Wong's telling Strange that Strange is supposed to bow.
    – DavidW
    Sep 27 at 6:49

2 Answers 2


A significant point of contention between Wong and Strange is that in Strange's absence (as a result of getting 'blipped' out of existence for 5 years) Wong became Sorceror Supreme by default.

Peter: Wait, I thought you were the Sorcerer Supreme.

Strange: No, he got it on a technicality because I blipped for five years.

Spider-Man: No Way Home

Strange evidently feels that as he's the more puissant wizard, Wong should abdicate and give him the title. Wong disagrees and periodically reminds Strange that certain forms apply, notably that Strange should bow to him.

In return, Strange says that it's not that he's not aware of the customs, it's that he's aware of them and refuses to follow them.

With the additional context, the conversation should go something like this

Dr Strange: You're welcome You should be thankful that I saved your life, in yet another demonstration of my superior powers to yours.

Wong: You know it's ancient custom to bow in the presence of the Sorcerer Supreme? I recognise that you're powerful, but I was chosen as Sorceror Supreme and by the rights and customs of the Religious Order to which we both belong, you should acknowledge that fact by bowing to me.

Dr Strange: Yeah, I'm aware of the customs. I am perfectly well aware of the custom but choose not to acknowledge your role as I feel that it is rightfully mine, noting that I was not raised in your Order but joined at a later date.

  • 1
    That's some excellent dialogue. I should be a professional scriptwriter, me.
    – Valorum
    Sep 27 at 7:18
  • 1
    The 'I'm aware of the customs' is similar to my standard response to a lame joke, a deadpan serious 'i understood the joke'.
    – dna
    Oct 12 at 9:05

Essentially they are having a friendly competition as to who is more impressive and deserves more respect.

This conversation from Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness can seem odd without the context of the meaning behind their words.

When Dr Strange saves Wong from octopus demon he says “You're welcome” as if to say “I’m amazing. You should be thanking me right now. I’m the best”.

Wong however pushes back against this idea, reminding Strange that since Wong is the Sorcerer Supreme technically Wong could insist that Strange bow before him. It’s a playful way to tell Strange not to get too full of himself.

Many superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe use this sort of banter to make friendly jabs to tease or compete with their colleagues.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.