The Real Story Behind the ‘Luke Cage’ Swear Jar

Photo Credit: Marvel/Netflix
October 10th, 2016

Luke Cage premiered to a huge fan reception and critical acclaim when it was added to Netflix on September 30. In the very first episode of the show, fans will have noticed a “swear jar” fashioned from a coffee can in Pop’s Barber Shop. Cheo Hodari Coker recently revealed the story behind it on twitter.

The swear jar got quite a few different reactions from fans. In our Easter eggs, we pegged it as a nod to a swear jar used by Jessica Jones in the comics and the censorship that prevented the character from swearing when Luke Cage was introduced in the 70s. Those nods might have just been a happy coincidence though as showrunner Coker explained that there was another reason he wanted the swear jar in the first two episodes of the show.


Coker revealed to his followers, “the Swear Jar was for Prince. I was going to show him the first two episodes and convince him to play in episode 13.” Prince, who was a devout Jehovah’s Witness and abhorred the use of foul language on his estate, kept a swear jar on hand for visitors. The musician was not against appearing on television shows where he was a fan. He even popped up in an episode of New Girl. Tragically, he died in April while Luke Cage was still filming.

Luke Cage employed several musicians to appear throughout the series. In episode 13, where Prince would have appeared, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings performed instead. There were also appearances by Raphael Saadiq, Faith Evans, Charles Bradley, and more as they performed onstage in Harlem’s Paradise.

The entire first season of Luke Cage is now available to stream on Netflix. You’ll be able to see more Marvel on the streaming site when Iron Fist lands on Netflix in March.