When 2008 introduced the movie Iron Man, few could have guessed the impact it would have on pop culture. Besides being a great movie, it also set in motion Marvel's plans to create a franchise out of its superhero team, the Avengers. That dream was achieved in 2012 with Marvel's The Avengers, the movie that brought Thor, Iron Man, Captain America and the Hulk together on the big screen for the first time. It also rocked pop culture with its humor, great characters and eye-popping action sequences. Suddenly, Black Widow and Hawkeye went from virtual obscurity to household names, while Captain America and Iron Man became icons.
As with everything in pop culture, the Avengers also became a source of humor on the Internet. Gags about the superheroes and the world they live in are all over, and they've also been a part of meme culture, where photos and screencaps from Avengers have become an endless source of comedy. Considering Avengers: Infinity War is coming in 2018, we would expect a lot more memes to come in the future. As a tribute to the anonymous comedians who have brought laughs to millions online, here are 15 of the funniest Avengers memes on the Web.
15 CSI: AVENGERS
CSI: Miami was known for its gritty crime stories and cool investigative technology, but it was also known for the tendency for the main character Horatio Caine to make one-liners in the cold open of every episode. It wouldn't be CSI: Miami if David Caruso's character didn't slip on his sunglasses and say a bad pun while standing over a dead body.
This meme asks what would happen if the Avengers were in CSI: Miami mode with sunglasses and everything. As you can see, there are plenty of gags to be had with their names, and all of them chime in except for the Hulk who probably would say he was…"green with envy." The only thing missing is for there to be a loud voice yelling, "YEEAAAHHH" at the end. You can draw it in if you'd like.
In one tense scene in 2012's Avengers, the heroes clashed with each other as a result of the unnerving presence of Loki and his powerful staff. Captain America ended up taunting Tony Stark as being nothing more than a man in a suit. When he asked Stark what he was without the suit, Tony Stark replied, "Genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist." It was a great moment that showed how Stark was more than just a guy in a suit, but what if it had gone another way?
In case you didn't get it, the meme is a reference to Robert Downey Jr.'s other big role at the time as Sherlock Holmes in the titular 2009 movie, a role he reprised in 2011 with Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. RDJ is currently working on a third movie, so we'll see more of him soon.
In Avengers, Black Widow and Hawkeye had a close bond as the two non-powered Avengers who were also government agents. Black Widow was played by Scarlett Johansson, and it's no secret that she's a beautiful and more importantly talented actor who makes Avengers more fun to watch. Apparently, she had the same effect in person as we see from this meme where we learn the real reason Hawkeye got his name.
This probably isn't really what it looks like, which is Jeremy Renner staring at Scarlett Johansson's chest. We're sure he was just checking out something else entirely... something we can't quite see... yeah, okay, this is exactly what it looks like. In later movies, Hawkeye turned out to have a wife and kids so his eyes have turned to someone else. Black Widow has also turned her attention to Bruce Banner, probably impressed by his huge brains.
12 NO STRINGS
One of the most memorable speeches in 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron was the part where the robotic supervillain Ultron said he was no puppet, adding "There are no strings on me." There was truth to that as he turned Stark's other armored suits against the Avengers and created copies of himself, puppets under his control. There's also an in-joke in that Disney owns the Avengers franchise, and created the song in their movie, Pinocchio.
As for the second panel in this meme, that's a reference to Captain America's cluelessness thanks to being frozen since 1943 during World War II, so he didn't get a lot of jokes and pop culture references the other Avengers were making. When one character made a joke about flying monkeys, Cap got it because The Wizard Of Oz came out in 1939. The same could be said for Pinocchio, which came out in 1940.
11 LET'S SAVE THE CITY
When it comes to superheroes and saving the world, a certain amount of collateral damage comes with the territory. After all, you've got huge supervillains and monsters rampaging through the city, and the hero's goal is to stop them at all costs, regardless of how much gets smashed along the way. If you need to hit a green alien with something and there's a shiny new car nearby, you're gonna grab that car, right?
Well, the damage we saw in Avengers was pretty bad with giant aliens smashing buildings, and the heroes themselves crushed a lot of stuff, too. That, along with the damage we saw in 2013's Man of Steel, makes people think that superheroes should be a little more concerned about keeping the city they're saving intact. Of course, at least the Avengers made it a point to try and evacuate citizens, unlike a certain Man of Steel.
10 STARK NAKED
In Avengers, when Captain America challenged Tony Stark about what he would be without his suit, it was a memorable clash between the heroes. In the original scene, Stark listed how amazing he was in other ways: billionaire, philanthropist, playboy and a genius. It could have gone another way, of course, with the meme shown above.
There are two jokes here. One is that, apparently, Stark doesn't wear clothes under his armor. Thinking of him flying around in his underwear or less is pretty disturbing on its own. The other is that Stark is his last name. Get it? We're sure he gets that a lot. The meme even makes it look like Stark is naked by taking that scene from Iron Man where he was shirtless to take out his ARC reactor.
9 AVENGERS VS. SUPERMAN
Who's better, Superman or all six members of the Avengers? That's the idea behind the meme we're featuring here, where we see Henry Cavill's Man of Steel up against the iconic Avengers standing in a circle in their movie. Superman asks the question because he was able to defeat the Kryptonian invasion of Earth single-handedly while the Avengers struggled to beat the Chitauri.
This one is a meme about a meme. The original meme ended with Superman going "Seriously" at the fact that it took all six of them to stop the invasion. This one gives the Avengers the upper hand. It's a reference to the fact that Superman has worn red briefs on his costume since his inception, only changing in 2012 to blue, matching the rest of his costume.
8 NICK FURY 3D
Watching movies in 3D has been a gimmick for decades but never really caught on because of older anaglyph technology that relied on red and blue glasses, which didn't give a full range of colors and gave some people headaches. Newer movies use a better technology that retains colors and is easier on the eyes, leading to an explosion of 3D movies. One of those movies was Marvel's Avengers.
Unfortunately for Nick Fury (the director of the super-secret agency S.H.I.E.L.D.), the 3D effect requires two working eyes and Fury only has one working eye. It's never been said in the movies exactly how Fury lost his eye, but in 2014's Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Fury said he lost it by trusting someone. In the comics, the original Nick Fury lost his eye from a grenade blast, so MCU Fury is probably close to that.
7 ALL THE AVENGERS
This meme is an offshoot of another one where a cartoon character yells, "Clean all the things!" except "clean" and/or "things" are replaced by something else. The original meme was based on a cartoon by Allie Brosh in 2010 called "Why I'll Never Be An Adult" where she illustrated how she starts out with enthusiasm on cleaning her house and tapers off as her excitement wanes.
What would each of the Avengers (and their nemesis Loki) do all the time if they could? That's what we see here. As you can see, it's a varied lot but they all have their favorites. The final panel is a reference to the shawarma mentioned by Iron Man, in case you missed it. Good thing Thor decides to do other things besides hammer stuff.
This meme is kind of outdated since it was made before Spider-Man's introduction into the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2016's Captain America: Civil War, but it's still funny. Before that movie, Sony held the rights to Spider-Man and had its own movies separate from Marvel's. That bothered some of the hardcore fans because Spider-Man has been a part of the Avengers in the comics for some time now.
Yet in 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron, two new characters were introduced: Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. The two of them started out as sidekicks for Ultron but eventually turned to the right side and Scarlet Witch joined the Avengers. Imagine the frustration of Spider-Man if he'd been trying for years to get into the Avengers and these two got in on their first movie. The struggle is real.
5 TESTING ATTITUDE
By design, the Avengers are a group with very different personalities. Thor is hot-headed, Banner is analytical, Hawkeye is military, and Black Widow is pragmatic. The official leader of the group is Nick Fury, but two served as unofficial field leaders: Captain America and Iron Man. The two have famously butted heads due to their different styles.
This meme is for the school or college kids out there who have a test coming up. Some of you might be like Iron Man who's famous for his arrogance and confidence and would never worry about a test. He probably wouldn't even study. Others might be like Captain America, who is humble and hesitant and would study until two minutes before the test. Just don't face the test like Bruce Banner, who would get stressed, turn into the Hulk and smash the classroom.
4 SUPERMAN VS. IRON MAN
Another popular meme online is one where Superman challenges the Avengers for taking six people to stop the Chitauri invasion while the Man of Steel was able to stop an invasion all by himself. Some audiences complained about how much damage Superman caused to Metropolis while fighting General Zod and his forces from the Phantom Zone as they smashed buildings and crushed cars.
Still others argued that the Avengers caused just as much damage while trying to stop the Chitauri invasion and no one complained about it. Here, Stark points out that the Avengers actually worked as a team, coordinating their actions to minimize impact. It's true that Iron Man spent most of his time drawing the Chitauri forces into the center while Thor and Hulk would take out the massive Leviathans, even while Hawkeye and Black Widow fought the foot soldiers.
3 LEGO AVENGERS
In the comics, the battle-cry of the Avengers is "Avengers Assemble." We could also say "LEGOs Assemble." Lots of kids like playing with LEGOs as kids, building intricate worlds with unique characters they can pull apart and assemble into almost anything they can imagine. Even before Marvel's Avengers movie, LEGOs and Avengers went great together with several licensed LEGO sets for Marvel's Avengers along with LEGO-inspired video games.
This meme shows the problem with LEGO Avengers when someone has to put the team together after it's been taken apart. Worst of all, the one left to assemble the team is the Hulk, who isn't known for his patience or skill at complex construction. He'd probably smash them more than put the pieces together. Earth is doomed.
2 JESUS IN THE AVENGERS
One thing that the Marvel Cinematic Universe hasn't really gotten into is the god-like status of Thor and his people, the Asgardians. While acknowledging the fact that the Asgardians are considered gods, no one actually worships them. They're treated more like aliens with weird powers... which they kind of are. It's just strange how in a world where people worship Jedi knights no one would bow to a god thousands of years old throwing lightning around New York City.
That's a stark contrast to Jesus Christ, who's supposed to have performed miracles but never threw thunderbolts and isn't around today. This meme imagines an alternate reality where those ideas are reversed. We can only imagine thousands of churches around the world where they bow down to a mighty hammer while Jesus charges into battle against Loki.
1 MJOLNIR CAME TO HIM
This one is more of a Thor meme than specifically about the Avengers, but it's too good to keep. Thor's greatest weapon is his mystical hammer, Mjolnir. In the movies, it was said to be forged in the heart of a dying star and has powers gifted by Thor's father, Odin.
It can throw lightning, create storm clouds and fly, making it truly the hammer of the gods, but it's also forever tied to Thor himself. If Thor drops the hammer, no one can pick it up other than someone who's "worthy" (usually Thor or the Vision). When Thor is separated from his hammer, he can call to it mentally, and the hammer will fly from wherever it is to his hand. It will even smash through walls in its path. If only we could do that with our lost phones.
Which is your favorite Avengers meme? Let us know in the comments!