Anthony Starr as Homelander drinking milk in The Boys
(Amazon Prime Video)

Antony Starr Reveals the Real Reason for Homelander’s Milk Obsession in ‘The Boys’

There are many bizarre elements in The Boys, but one that raises the most questions is Homelander’s (Antony Starr) strange milk obsession.

Recommended Videos

Across four seasons, the show has steadily explored Homelander’s strange and somewhat creepy obsession with milk, especially breast milk. Season 1 subtly laid the foundation for his milk fetish through his unhealthy relationship with Madelyn Stillwell (Elisabeth Shue). Homelander viewed the Vought executive as a sort of motherly figure and developed an Oedipus Complex with her. Stillwell had an infant son, Teddy, who Homelander expressed jealousy of, especially when the baby was breastfeeding. By season 2, Homelander tastes some of Stillwell’s refrigerated breast milk. As weird and disturbing as the scene was, his milk fetish has only grown stronger, much to viewers’ discomfort.

In one scene, he drinks freshly squeezed cow’s milk from a bucket in a barn. His milk supply never seems to run out, as he is frequently seen with a carton or glass of it. Whenever he’s “celebrating” something, he does so with a glass of milk or a milkshake, even trying to rub his obsession off on Ryan (Cameron Crovetti). However, his milk obsession reaches peak weirdness in season 4, when Firecracker (Valorie Curry) reveals that she has induced lactation to breastfeed him. The development has once again renewed questions about what is going on with Homelander and milk.

Why is Homelander obsessed with milk?

Homelander’s milk fetish isn’t a part of The Boys‘ comics, so the obsession isn’t a lore aspect. Instead, The Boys TV show created the obsession for humor. While speaking to Rolling Stone, Starr confirmed the reason behind Homelander’s love for milk. He acknowledged that the whole thing started with Homelander and his bizarre relationship dynamic with Stillwell, stating, “So my memory is it came up in the scripts — full credit to the writing team on this because it was so weird. It started with X-ray visioning my Oedipal mummy figure while she was breastfeeding, and me pining like that and having a jealous relationship with the baby.”

By season 2, the writers included the wild scene where Homelander drinks her reserved breast milk, and Starr and showrunner Eric Kripke immediately realized they could capitalize on the sheer absurdity of the whole thing. Starr explained, “And it was so funny and weird, and I think I sent Eric an email after that scene going, “Dude, we gotta get as much milk in this show as possible. This is gonna be like a little motif or a signature thing. Like, we have to do it. And he was like, ‘One step ahead of you, brother. I’m putting it in everything.'”

Essentially, it was just a bizarre scene that the cast, crew, and fans of The Boys really latched onto. Starr even admitted that the show doesn’t “have to do anything with it.” It’s largely an ongoing gag that gets viewers laughing and uncomfortable whenever they glimpse milk in the show.

However, viewers still interpret it differently. Many have theorized that his milk obsession is how his childhood trauma manifested. Homelander was raised in a lab where he was treated as a dangerous experiment and never had anything remotely close to a mother. Hence, many assume his obsession with milk is the manifestation of the part of him that still yearns for a mother.

The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.