The Marvel movies aren’t comedies, but they can be really funny. That’s the difference between Marvel and DC when it comes to film. That’s not say that there aren’t any funny moments in DC movies, but they don’t stand out the same way that Marvel’s humor does. Marvel has realized that by using humor, it humanizes the super-powered heroes.
Each movie uses humor in a different way. “Guardians of the Galaxy” (2015) used it to make it easier for audiences to grasp the cosmic setting, while “Ant-Man” (2016) used it to acknowledge the character’s place in the larger continuity. Even the upcoming “Thor: Raganarok” (2017) trailer focused on humor by having Thor excitedly shout about knowing Hulk when he finds him in the arena. Here are the 15 funniest moments so far from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
15. DRAX NOT UNDERSTANDING METAPHORS
When bringing characters to the big screen, changes sometimes have to be made. In “Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014), Drax is played by Dave Bautista. Unlike the comics, this Drax is an alien who hates Ronan the Accuser for killing his family, as opposed to the comics where he was a human whose family was attacked by Thanos. His look and general motivation for revenge remained, but he was also changed from a fairly serious and stoic character to the comic relief.
When Peter Quill first encounters Drax, he speaks to him using general metaphors. When he makes a reference to killing Ronan, he runs his finger across his own throat. Drax, however, doesn’t understand metaphors, and questions why he would touch his finger to his own throat. When Quill tries to explain that it means cutting someone’s throat, Drax responds that he would do more than just cut Ronan’s throat, he would fully cut his head off. Later, when it’s explained that metaphors go over Drax’s head, Drax responds by saying nothing goes over his head, because his reflexes are too fast.
14. IRON MAN CRASHING THOR AND LOKI’S ARGUMENT
After the events of “Thor” (2011), where Loki tried to steal the throne of Asgard after getting Thor banished only to be lost in the cosmos himself, Thor and Loki had some unresolved issues. Loki made his way to Earth to steal the cosmic cube, which apparently caught the attention of Odin in “The Avengers” (2012). Still trying to fix the Bifrost, he only has enough power to send Thor on his own to reclaim his brother, whom Thor finds in custody of Iron Man and Captain America.
After grabbing Loki, the two brothers have an emotional argument. This is the first time Thor has had a chance to truly confront Loki over his betrayal and his current actions. Thor tells Loki to listen, but is suddenly interrupted when Iron Man swoops in and tackles Thor, sending him flying. Loki’s response is perfect, as he simply stands there and announced “I’m listening” to nobody. If only Iron Man had just landed instead of tackling, Thor could have finished his sentence.
13. THE MANDARIN IS REALLY TREVOR
While the Mandarin twist in “Iron Man 3” (2013) was frustrating for fans, the reveal itself was actually very funny. The first half of the movie introduces the Mandarin as a terrifying terrorist, who claims to be responsible for several explosions that appear to be bombings. After each event, the mysterious villains releases terrifying videos explaining his actions. At one point, he even seems to hack the President’s phone and murder a man live on television.
Ultimately, however, it’s revealed that the Mandarin is just a cover for accidental explosions caused by Extremis Virus experiments. Tony Stark discovers this when he infiltrates A.I.M.’s headquarters and finds ‘the Mandarin,’ who is actually a very drunk British actor named Trevor Slattery. Seemingly completely unaware of what’s going, Tevor just wants to drink and watch soccer, and passes out in the middle of conversations. Even after Stark explains the reality of the situation to him, Trevor still can’t help but pay more attention to the soccer game on TV.
Being a man out of time, Captain America has a pretty old fashioned way of thinking. This often causes clashes with Tony Stark, whose snarky and cocky approach to things often conflicts with Cap’s views. In the opening scene of “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015), the team storms one of Hydra’s final stronghold’s near Sokovia. The base is heavily shielded and armored, so when Iron Man attempts to storm it, he gets knocked back by the force field. He yells out a curse word, to which Captain America immediately scolds him.
As the rest of the team attempts to figure out a plan to break the shield, Stark interrupts and asks if anyone else is going to acknowledge that Cap just yelled at him for his language. Cap tries to play it off by saying it just slipped out, but he spends the rest of the movie getting teased by Tony and the rest of the team for being sensitive to naughty words.
11. THOR RIDING THE SUBWAY
The events of “Thor: The Dark World” (2013) are based around the convergence, a cosmic event where all nine realms come into alignment. This weakens the barriers between worlds, creating portals that people and objects can travel through. The final fight between Thor and Malekith takes place right in the center of the event, causing them to jump from world to world while they fight. Unfortunately, one of these portals separates the two, leaving Malekith back in the center of the convergence, while Thor ends up in a nearby train station.
Of course, Thor was also separated from Mjolnir while jumping from world to world, so without his hammer, he has no way to ‘fly’ (or hold on to the hammer after throwing it). With no other options, Thor has to ride the subway back to battle, along with several confused passengers. Luckily, his public transportation trip wasn’t met with any delays, and he made it back just in time to stop Malekith.
10. ANT-MAN MEETS CAPTAIN AMERICA
After being introduced in the final Phase 2 movie, it was interesting to see how Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man would fit into the rest of the cinematic universe. “Ant-Man” (2015) had a much more comedic tone than the rest of the Marvel movies, and Scott Lang wasn’t a high profile hero like Captain America, Iron Man or Thor. He did get into a fight with Falcon while sneaking into the Avengers’ headquarters, which led to Falcon recruiting Lang for Cap’s team during the events of “Captain America: Civil War” (2016).
Unlike the other members of Cap’s team, Lang had was essentially just a regular guy. The other members were all S.H.I.E.L.D. agents or former special ops, so meeting people like Captain America wasn’t that big of deal. When Lang finally met Steve Rogers, however, he could barely contain himself. He had plenty of funny moments during the team-up, starting off with Lang getting tongue tied and saying “think you for thanking of me” to the World War II hero.
9. JANE HITS THOR WITH HER CAR AGAIN
The first “Thor” (2011) movie starts off Jane Foster, Erik Selvig and their assistant Darcy witnessing the opening of the Bifrost portal in desert in New Mexico. They drive into the phenomenon, where Jane accidentally hits a man standing in the middle of the event. Unbeknownst to them, this is Thor, who had just been exiled from Asgard for his arrogance. Disoriented and without his hammer, Darcy uses a taser on Thor when she mistakes his behavior for aggression.
After taking Thor to the hospital, Jane eventually realizes that he had been standing at the center of a wormhole, and might hold answers. When she goes back to the hospital, they find that he escaped his restraints. It doesn’t take her long to find him though, because as she backs out of parking space, she again hits him with her car. The first time she hit him was understandable; he had only just arrived on Earth. The second time, however, was all her fault because she wasn’t looking where she was going.
8. PEPPER WALKS IN ON TONY CHANGING
The first “Iron Man” (2008) film turned the traditional superhero origin story on its head by making Tony Stark aware of the fact that he was in the middle of his superhero origin story. One of the ways that this manifested was how Stark handled the concept of a ‘secret identity.’ At first, he tried to maintain one, but it seemed like every time he put on the suit, someone else found out that Tony Stark was Iron Man.
While the most impactful scene in relation to this was the final scene where Tony announces “I am Iron Man” to the press, one of the funniest scenes occurred earlier. After Tony returns from his first real outing as Iron Man, Pepper Potts walks in on him struggling to remove the armor. His secret identity was immediately compromised, and his only response was “let’s face it, this is not the worst thing you’ve caught me doing.”
7. TONY STARK VS JUSTIN HAMMER
The first “Iron Man” (2008) introduced Tony Stark as a snarky and egotistical yet also charming and lovable genius. He was a cool, confident ladies man who had his flaws, but was aware of them and generally wanted to do the right thing. Since nobody could ever out charm Robert Downey Jr, the sequel decided to introduce a villain who was the exact opposite. Justin Hammer desperately wanted to be Tony Stark, but was not, and watching him fail was one of the best parts of “Iron Man 2” (2010).
It wasn’t just that he failed, it’s that he so desperately wanted to be Tony’s rival, which he definitely was not. Stark was always quick to put Hammer down, but only in a passing way, making it clear that he found Hammer to be nothing more than a minor annoyance. He’s always able to one up Hammer, like during the opening hearing with the Senate, where Stark easily hacks into Hammer’s display monitors and hijacks the man’s presentation, revealing him to be a fraud. Instead of lingering, Tony exits, leaving Hammer to stew on his own.
6. SCOTT LANG WORKING AT BASKIN ROBBINS
One of the problems with the first phase of Marvel films was that the heroes were fairly un-relatable. Thor is a godlike alien, Steve Rogers is a super soldier from the ’40s and Tony Stark and Bruce Banner are both super geniuses. In Phase Two, Marvel fixed this by introducing Scott Lang in “Ant-Man (2015). After spending time in prison for a non-violent crime, the only legitimate job he could find was serving ice cream at a Baskin Robbins.
Just like everyone else who’s worked a job like that, Lang had to deal with obnoxious teenagers messing with him. He’s shown trying to keep his cool while some jerk keeps trying to order hamburgers and other non-ice cream items. Out of all the bad guys in the Marvel movies, this kid is the worst, because he’s just being obnoxious for the sake of being obnoxious. Even worse, Lang is fired in the next scene when his boss uncovers his criminal past.
5. ULTRON GETS FED UP WITH THE HULK
When James Spader was cast as Ultron for “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015), it was pretty clear that the villain would have a certain personality. Spader is known for delivery cocky performances, making characters that fans “love to hate.” Ultron was no exception, and throughout the movie, the robot showed that through all of the anger and disdain he had towards humans, he also had a sense of humor.
Director Joss Whedon knew exactly how to handle this dynamic, and there were several scenes where Ultron came across as hilariously annoyed by the Avengers. The villain could be dark and menacing, and even slightly heartbreaking (like when Wanda and Pietro abandoned him), but he worked best when he seemed frustrated. The funniest moment came during the final battle in Sokovia as Ultron tried to escape in a quinjet. Hulk is shown jumping from the city into the open hatch of the jet, and then Ultron can be heard offscreen exclaiming “Oh, for God’s sake!” He’s not angry, though, he’s just annoyed as Hulk throws him out of the jet to the ground below.
4. DOCTOR STRANGE IS “MISTER DOCTOR”
Unlike some other superheroes with the word “Dr” in their name, Stephen Strange really is a doctor. Before becoming the sorcerer supreme, he was a highly successful, yet egotistical surgeon. It was only after an accident mangled his hands, making performing surgery impossible, that he discovered the mystic arts. “Doctor Strange” (2016) was not only faithful to this origin, but maintained the character’s arrogance by having him correct anyone who referred to him as “mister” instead of “doctor.”
When Kaecilius first met Strange, for example, he asked his name by asking ” How long have you been at Kamar-Taj, Mister…?” Strange corrected him saying “doctor.” Kaecilius misunderstood and replied “Mister Doctor?” to which Strange once again corrected “it’s Strange.” Of course, Kaecilius once again misunderstood, replying “maybe, who am I to judge?” It’s hard to tell if Kaecilius was just trying to get under Strange’s skin or if he genuinely misunderstood, but the result is still hilarious.
During “Iron Man 2” (2010), it was made clear that Tony Stark didn’t work well with Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. So, when he finally boarded the helicarrier in “The Avengers” (2012), it’s not surprising that he didn’t take things seriously. As he walks onto the bridge, he starts shouting old-timey boat orders, which doesn’t get a laugh from the S.H.I.E.L.D. personnel present. In response, Stark shouts “that man is playing Galaga!”
At first, it seems like another joke, but it’s later revealed that one of the bridge members is sneakily playing the 1981 arcade game. Even after that, it just seems like a throwaway joke, but it was actually a nice bit of foreshadowing. In Galaga, the player takes control of a starfighter while an army of aliens swarms down from the top of the screen, just like the Chitauri would later swarm down on New York City from a portal located directly above it.
2. SPIDER-MAN TALKING TOO MUCH
In the comics, Spider-Man has always been known for talking a lot while fighting. Whether he’s cracking jokes or just running his mouth, he doesn’t shut up. It keeps his enemies from maintaining focus while simultaneously annoying his allies. To be honest, the previous “Spider-Man” and “Amazing Spider-Man” movies didn’t do the best job at representing this. Sure, Spider-Man would sometimes crack a joke, but he never came across as overly talkative.
Not surprisingly, when Marvel rebooted the character in “Captain America: Civil War” (2016), they nailed this aspect. While this version was more of a chatterbox than a wisecracker, it still felt like classic Spidey. While annoying Iron Man was fun, one of the best moments came during his fight with Falcon and Winter Soldier. Spidey asks Sam a question about the mechanics behind his wings, to which a clearly annoyed Sam just responds “there’s not usually this much talking.”
1. HULK SMASHES LOKI AND THOR
Going into “The Avengers” (2012), Hulk didn’t have a great track record at the movies. It was probably a combination of the audience’s low expectations for the green goliath and Joss Whedon’s handling of the character that made Hulk the breakout star of the film. Dr Banner appears fairly early on in the film, but the Hulk doesn’t appear until the midway point. However, the wait is definitely worth it.
After giving audiences a taste of the Hulk’s power, Whedon lets the character off the reigns for the final battle in New York City, and the result is two of the best scenes. First, Hulk and Thor team up to take down a giant Chitauri ship together. Once the ship crashes, and Thor stands triumphantly, Hulk sucker punches the hero, knocking him off screen. The second (and best) scene came when Hulk confronted Loki. The Asgardian begins to give a speech about how he is a god and should be treated with respect, but is cut off by the Hulk grabbing him by the legs and smashing him around the room like a rag doll. He follows up by muttering “puny god,” making it the perfect Hulk moment.
Tell us in the comments which moments from the MCU you found were the funniest!