Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man, was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, making his debut in Amazing Fantasy #15 in August, 1962. Today, Spider-Man is one of the most recognizable and popular comic book characters, who's made numerous on-screen appearances. Nicholas Hammond was the first person to portray Spider-Man in live-action way back in 1977. In 2002, Tobey Maguire took over as the web-slinger and portrayed Spidey in the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy. There was supposed to be a fourth movie, but the franchise was canceled. However, Spider-Man didn't stay away from movie theaters for long. In 2012, Sony and Marc Webb rebooted Spider-Man in The Amazing Spider-Man with Andrew Garfield in the titular role. Garfield did two movies before the Spider-Man franchise was canceled once again. Finally, in 2015, Marvel and Sony reached an agreement over Spidey's character rights and Peter Parker joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In Captain America: Civil War, Tom Holland made his debut as the wall-crawler.
In the span of 12 years, we've had three different actors playing the same character, which has led to a lot of discussions, competition and confusion. Poking fun at poor Spidey who seemingly can't keep the same actor around for more than five years has resulted in tons of hilarious memes. Generally, there is a surprising number of memes about Spider-Man and the actors who portrayed him in his many movie adaptations. So, we took the liberty of gathering the funniest Spider-Man actor memes from all around the internet.
24 EVOLUTION OF SPIDER-MAN
In 1977, Spider-Man made his live-action debut in the made-for-television movie Spider-Man, portrayed by Nicholas Hammond. In 2002, Tobey Maguire took on the role of Peter Parker in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy. And in 2012, Spider-Man was rebooted with Andrew Garfield in The Amazing Spider-Man.
All three of these actors were in their late twenties when they took on the part of the web-slinger. However, when the MCU rebooted Spidey, a nineteen-year-old Tom Holland got the part and some fans thought he was just a tad too young. Well, we beg to differ.
23 SPIDER-MAN MEETS SPIDER-MAN MEETS SPIDER-MAN
If you derive pleasure from "stalking" your favorite actors on social media you probably love seeing your heroes hanging out with other heroes. You know what we’re talking about -- the Arrowverse meets Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the DCEU meets Gotham, and so on and so forth.
And, frankly, who doesn't want to see a photo of the DCEU Flash and the Arrowverse Flash? Or, a photo of all three Spider-Man actors? Well, apparently there’s a fan out there who wanted to see this ultimate Spider-Man photo so badly that they made one.
22 SPIDER-MAN: THE REACTION VIDEO
Reaction videos have for some unknown reason become unbelievably popular. People are actively watching other people react to movie trailers, videos by other Youtubers and Twitch streamers, episodes of popular TV shows and pretty much anything that can evoke any kind of reaction from a human being.
Yes, there are even videos of people reacting to other people reacting to something. Laughable as that concept may be, here’s an interesting idea for a reaction video to a reaction video that will most likely never happen.
21 THE SPOILER-MAN
Tom Holland has become the butt of every joke when it comes to accidentally revealing spoilers. He’s so bad at keeping secrets that Marvel actually had to appoint him a babysitter, in form of Benedict Cumberbatch, to sit with Holland during all of his interviews. Watching Cumberbatch constantly stopping Tom from spilling his guts is hilarious.
It’s worth noting that Benedict Cumberbatch is doing an excellent job as Tom's babysitter. Unfortunately, Marvel forgot to appoint a babysitter to the other spoiler brother, Mark Ruffalo. Perhaps, Ruffalo's science bro could step in.
20 THE FULL PACKAGE
In a way, playing a superhero is much like playing two different characters -- the civilian identity and the superhero alter-ego. So, to be truly good in a superhero role, an actor needs to be both an excellent ‘Clark Kent’ and an excellent ‘Superman’.
And, according to many, therein lies the main reason why Tom Holland is the best Spider-Man we’ve ever had. Maguire wasn’t quite convincing as Spider-Man, Garfield wasn’t the perfect fit for Peter Parker. But, Tom Holland proved to be excellent as both Peter Parker and Spider-Man.
19 YOU SURE ABOUT THAT?
In Spider-Man 2, Tobey Maguire made a very bold claim. After rescuing Mary Jane, Peter explained to her that the reason the two of them can’t be together is because he will always be Spider-Man and Spider-Man will always have enemies. Well, although, he wasn’t entirely wrong, Maguire’s Spidey did make one false statement.
As we all know, Maguire’s run as Spider-Man lasted for one more movie. In 2012, the role of the wall-crawler went to Andrew Garfield and currently Spider-Man is portrayed by Tom Holland. Sorry, Tobey, you're out.
18 SEEING DOUBLE
If you spend a lot of time on the internet, you have no doubt come across a list or two about celebrity doppelgangers. Bryce Dallas Howard and Jessica Chastain are often confused for one another, Zooey Deschanel looks more like Katy Perry than like her biological sister Emily, and The Dark Knight trilogy’s Robin and Joker kinda look like they could be brothers.
Well, someone dug up an old photo of Stan Lee: the man, the myth, the legend, and as it turns out he’s got a doppelganger too. Are we sure Tom Holland isn’t related to Stan Lee?
17 INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE LIVE ACTION
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse animated movie dropped an amazing trailer recently and it has us all extremely hyped for its upcoming release in November, 2018. We got to see the Miles Morales Spider-Man teaming up with the Peter Parker Spider-Man, and we even caught a glimpse at Spider-Gwen. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that the movie looks absolutely gorgeous.
However, if what you wanted was a live-action Into the Spider-Verse movie, we can’t exactly give you that. But, we did find a fan-made poster for such a film with Maguire, Garfield and Holland playing the three live-action Spideys.
16 THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE
J.K. Simmons made history with his excellent portrayal of J. Jonah Jameson in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy. Despite being a schmuck, J. Jonah Jameson became a fan-favorite because he was a major source of comic relief.
His obsession with Spider-Man has become a meme, much like J. Jonah Jameson himself. And since we’re always arguing about who’s the best Spider-Man, someone decided to call in the leading expert on Spider-Man to help us make the difficult decision. Who do you think Jameson would choose?
15 SAVE THE GIRL, SAVE THE WORLD
The ‘damsel in distress’ is a trope often used in the superhero genre. “Save the cheerleader, save the word” and that type thing happens in superhero movies and TV shows all the time.
In Spider-Man 2, Peter Parker successfully rescued his love interest, Mary Jane Watson. In The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Peter wasn’t as successful when it came to saving the life of Gwen Stacey. Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield seem to be having some kind of a Spider-Man competition, and Maguire might have delivered the lethal blow.
14 SPIDER-MAN VS. BATMAN
Actors going back and forth between Marvel and DC is not uncommon. Just recently, Zachary Levi went from playing Fandral in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to starring in DCEU’s Shazam! as the titular hero. Michael Keaton did something similar, going from portraying Batman to playing the Vulture in the MCU.
Apparently, Keaton can’t let go of his time as Batman and keeps reminding people that he was once Gotham’s Caped Crusader. Spidey thought he had the perfect response to Keaton’s bragging, but as it turns out, Keaton’s a sly fox.
13 THE HAIR-SWAP
In the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy, starring Tobey Maguire, Spidey’s best buddy and arch nemesis, Harry Osborn, aka the Green Goblin, was portrayed by James Franco. In The Amazing-Spider Man 2, Dane DeHaan played Harry Osborn opposite Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker.
What many fans have pointed out is how the two characters seem to have swapped hairstyles -- with Peter going from emo hair to unruly quiff and Harry doing the reverse. It will be interesting to see what kind of hairstyle the MCU Harry Osborn will sport.
12 WE CARE
Whenever the part of a superhero is re-cast there is a lot of talk on the internet. Before the actual announcement is made, fans make predictions about who could or should be cast in the role. Once a decision is made, discussions on whether the right actor was chosen usually swamp the internet.
And finally, upon actually seeing the new actor in the role, we inevitably start comparing them to their predecessor. Yet, Spidey seems to think we don’t care that he keeps getting re-cast. Don't worry Peter, we do care. Maybe even a bit too much.
11 THE CURIOUS CASE OF PETER PARKER
When it was announced that Spider-Man was finally coming home, to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the fans were absolutely thrilled. But, the excitement turned into disbelief when Marvel announced that the 19-year-old Tom Holland will be taking over as Peter Parker and that Marisa Tomei will be playing his aunt May.
The argument against the casting of these actors was simple -- too young. Memes that poked fun at hot aunt May and baby Spider-Man spread like wildfire, and predictions like this one became very popular.
10 PRIORITIES CHANGE
In the original Spider-Man trilogy, Peter Parker’s priority was his girlfriend Mary Jane Watson. In The Amazing Spider-Man movies, Peter’s love interest and priority was Gwen Stacey -- you know, until she fell to her death from the clock tower.
When it comes to the MCU Spider-Man, he hasn’t started a serious relationship yet. He sort of dated Liz -- or whatever the kids are calling it these days, but that's over. Peter also has chemistry with MJ, but we have yet to see how that relationship will unfold. At the moment, Peter’s priority seems to be joining the Avengers.
9 AMAZING TOBEY MAGUIRE
Spider-Man has been many things -- spectacular, sensational, superior -- but, most importantly, Spider-Man is amazing. Marc Webb’s Spider-Man franchise, starring Andrew Garfield, borrowed its title The Amazing Spider-Man from the Spidey comics. However, Garfield’s predecessor, Tobey Maguire, did not have the honor of being called amazing.
When poor Maguire saw the poster for the Spider-Man reboot he broke down in tears. As if being replaced with a newer model wasn’t enough to make anyone miserable, Maguire had to deal with the fact that no one ever called him amazing.
8 I’VE GOT YOU BUDDY
When Tobey Maguire got the news that Andrew Garfield will be the new Spider-Man, he had already had five years to get used to the idea that he’s not Spidey anymore. On the other hand, when Garfield heard that he was being replaced, the news hit him a lot harder because just one year ago he was Spider-Man.
Even though he probably knew the day would come when another actor would take over as Spidey, he probably wasn’t expecting that day to come this soon. It’s a good thing he has a friend to help him through these hard times.
7 THE JOB-STEALER
Being a teenage superhero sure has its perks. Provided you don’t have homework you can do all kinds of stuff -- like, go to Germany and fight in a civil war. If you also happen to be the adopted son of Tony Stark, you might even get a cool new suit with all kinds of gadgets.
But, most importantly, you get to hang out with all the other superheroes. As well as former superheroes, such as Andrew Garfield, who was Spider-Man before Tom Holland took over the mantle. However, you don’t have to go around bragging about it Tom.
6 JUST GO WITH IT
The “Afraid to Ask” Andy is an incredibly relatable and exploitable advice animal meme used to confess one’s deepest darkest secret, i.e. one's ignorance of current events or pop culture common knowledge. As we all know, not being informed about absolutely everything happening around the world is the cardinal sin of the 21st century.
Here we see the poor Andy reluctantly admitting that he has no clue why on Earth we need to have a new Spider-Man actor only four years after the previous one had been cast. At this point, the best thing to do is to go with it.
5 LET ME GIVE YOU SOME ADVICE, KID
When Tom Holland was handed the part of Peter Parker in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, all anyone seemed to be interested in discussing was his age. Born in 1996, Holland had just turned nineteen, when he was cast as the wall-crawler. In contrast, his predecessor Andrew Garfield was 29 when he made his debut as Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man.
The ten-year age gap inspired the creation of hilarious memes. For example, Garfield giving the young Holland advice on how to be the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. And hey, look Tom Holland likes the meme.
4 STOP BEATING AROUND THE BUSH
“With great power comes great responsibility” -- the iconic line credited to Peter Parker’s uncle Ben that has become Spidey’s tagline. In the 2002 Spider-Man movie, uncle Ben gave Peter a speech about responsibility and used these exact words. In the 2012 The Amazing Spider-Man, Peter got uncle Ben's lecture about responsibility too, but without the iconic line.
So, when Peter Parker in Captain America: Civil War, also made herculean efforts to avoid saying the line, without completely ignoring its significance, Tobey Maguire got a little bit upset.
3 MR. LONELY
When Tobey Maguire was Peter Parker he had Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson, Spidey’s most well-known love interest. In Marc Webb’s reboot, Andrew Garfield’s Peter also had a love interest -- Gwen Stacey played by Emma Stone.
However, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Tom Holland’s Spidey has yet to find true love. In Spider-Man: Homecoming, Peter spent some time pining after Liz, but given the whole ordeal with her dad, it’s safe to assume their relationship is over. So, for the time being, Holland is a pretty lonely Spider-Man.
2 THE MOVIE BUFF
In Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man used his knowledge of that old movie called Star Wars to take down Giant-Man. Similarly, in Avengers: Infinity War, Peter came up with the idea to dispose of Ebony Maw the same way Ripley disposed of the Xenomorph in that other really old movie Alien.
While this gives all of us hope that our useless knowledge of movies will be put to good use somehow, it also makes us wonder what other movies Peter will reference. The ferry scene in Homecoming was perfect for a Spider-Man 2 reference, but perhaps some other time.
1 TOM HOLLAND’S PET FROG
Apparently, someone on Tumblr took a gander at a bunch of pictures of Tom Holland and arrived at the conclusion that the Spider-Man actor must be hiding a frog inside his mouth. And now that this has been pointed out to us, we can’t help but imagine a frog jumping around inside Tom Holland’s mouth as he struggles to keep his lips sealed shut.
Luckily, Tom Holland came forward on Instagram, admitting that the rumors are true, sparing us all the agony of not knowing.