Whether you’re Team Cap or Team Iron Man, there’s one thing everyone can agree on: the Marvel Cinematic Universe is kind of the best. With 16 films released so far, and at least eight more in development, the MCU really offers a little bit of something for everyone. Plus, if movies aren’t entirely your speed, there have been six TV series released on ABC and Netflix so far, with an additional six on their way in the upcoming year that bring Freeform and Hulu into the Marvel fold, too.
While most entries tend to follow the same formula, there’s no denying that many of these movies’ plots are incredibly emotional, even with all of the action mixed in along the way. So it’s no real surprise that, in order to deal with all of their feelings, and also to poke fun at some continuity errors and parallels, fans have taken to the internet to produce particularly witty memes for their own amusement.
If you haven’t seen every MCU movie and series so far (but really, what are you doing if you haven’t?), some of these memes might not be for you. But if you have, then you’ll definitely enjoy these 15 Hilarious MCU Memes Only True Fans Will Understand. And if you don’t understand some of them…well, consider this our way of letting you know where your MCU education needs to be expanded. You’re welcome.
15. Captain America: enemy of skin doctors everywhere
Everyone knows how hard it can be to have nice skin, not to mention a perfect body to go with it. But the right workout regimen and skincare routine definitely did wonders for skinny, sickly Steve Rogers in Captain America: The First Avenger, transforming into the standard Hollywood hunk in no time. The metric tons of cold compress at the end of the film probably helped, too.
Sorry. Still too soon?
When Steve agrees to be the subject of the Strategic Scientific Reserve’s trial of Dr. Erskine’s super-soldier serum, he’s given a whole new shot at being the hero, as well the hunky form to go with it. However, all of his hopes at having a normal life are literally put on ice when he downs his plane into the Arctic, only to be discovered perfectly preserved in a block of ice almost seventy years later.
It’s too bad that he lost out on everything he once had…but hey, at least he got to keep his looks, right? Dermatologists have nothing on him.
14. One does not simply
Samuel L. Jackson is basically your average, every day, larger than life hero. The man has squared off against Snakes on a Plane, Sith lords determined to take over the galaxy, robots, man-eating sharks, and terrorists, and so many more out of this world things than most actors could ever dream of facing. And all of this comes before even acknowledging Jackson’s intimidating on screen presence as the MCU’s leading superpower-less badass, Nick Fury.
So in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, when Fury finds himself the subject of an assassination attempt at the hands of The Winter Soldier, it’s really kind of ridiculous to even believe for a second that the masked assassin will be successful. Seriously, come on. He’s Nick Fury. And if that weren’t enough, he’s Nick Fury played by Samuel L. Jackson.
13. Luis Notes: like Cliffs Notes, but longer, and less useful
Don’t you just hate it when you ask someone for a simple answer, but they give you the most roundabout story possible instead? Something tells us that Captain America: Civil War‘s persistent (yet, honestly, pretty non-threatening) villain Helmut Zemo would have very little time for such behavior while pursuing the evidence he needs regarding the December 16, 1991 incident.
However, if he was interrogating Ant-Man‘s partner in crime Luis instead of former Hydra operatives, history tells us that’s precisely the outcome he would get. While Zemo is ruthlessly driven to reveal the tragic truth about what happened on that date in 1991, Luis’s knack for run-on storytelling would perhaps present the most impenetrable defense of all.
12. The Winter Soldier better watch his back…or arm
It’s a well known fact that raccoons are scavengers. In cities, they love to rummage through trash cans and make all sorts of messes and noise. They live on whatever it is that they can find, regardless of where they are.
Guardians of the Galaxy member Rocket Raccoon is certainly a bit different than your average, run of the mill raccoon, of course, and not just because he can talk, or that he’s an expert marksman. Rocket has a knack for scavenging and putting together plans, but the things he scavenges are a lot more…out there, like a prisoner’s prosthetic leg, or a Ravager’s cybernetic eye. Since he’s previously shown interest in acquiring advanced technology that doubles as a body part, it wouldn’t be surprising if he declared an interest in acquiring The Winter Soldier’s prosthetic arm.
And since Bucky isn’t exactly using it anymore, maybe someone should give Rocket a call.
11. Tony Stark: master of subtlety
It’s become pretty standard fare for most superhero films and series to have the protagonist struggle with keeping their true identity hidden from those they love.
Clark Kent dons the clearly excellent disguise of glasses and nerdy behavior to keep Lois Lane and the world none the wiser about his Superman alter ego. Bruce Wayne wears a completely concealing mask and suit in order to hide his identity, and that’s even before you take that ridiculous thing he does with his voice into consideration. Peter Parker wears a cheesy spandex suit and keeps his identity secret from those he cares about the most, whether it’s Mary Jane or Aunt May.
But Tony Stark? Tony Stark has no time for that. Tony Stark throws caution to the wind and tells the whole damn world exactly who he is. And…nothing really happens, besides an endless ego boost and even more fame for the self-proclaimed “genius billionaire playboy philanthropist.”
10. Thor & Loki, Nickelodeon’s next hit sitcom?
In a cinematic universe filled with dysfunctional families and antagonistic relationships alike, Asgard’s own Thor and Loki possibly take the cake in both categories. As adoptive brothers, Thor, the god of thunder, and Loki, the trickster god, escalate sibling rivalry to a godly level. The chaos that ensues is unlike anything else any feuding siblings could possibly imagine.
Except, perhaps, if those siblings’ names were Drake and Josh. Think about it: adoptive brothers who are constantly fighting and getting into trouble. One of them is a compulsive liar, and the other tries his hardest to do what’s best for everyone. Josh is always responsible for cleaning up Drake’s messes, and calling him out on it after the fact.
It’s not that hard, therefore, to imagine Thor and Loki recreating this iconic Drake & Josh scene. Honestly, it’s not even that far from canon.
9. Sad Ben Affleck’s Daredevil opinions
Poor Ben Affleck. It’s been a confusing few years for him, in terms of negative fan responses to his being cast as Batman. Rumors have been swirling about his feelings on and future with the franchise for quite some time now, and it’s pretty safe to say that the Sad Affleck meme is one with longer reaching impact than the usual meme has.
However, long before the days of Batfleck, there was the Ben Affleck of Marvel’s misguided first attempt at bringing Matt Murdock’s story to life on the big screen, 2003’s Daredevil. There’s really no way to put it other than this: everything that Netflix’s Daredevil gets right, Affleck’s Daredevil got completely wrong.
And even though the stars of Netflix’s successful adaptation have tried to defend the merits of Affleck’s version, there’s no denying that this meme gets it exactly right. A superhero is a lot more than just a man in a suit; he also has to be the right man for the suit. Sorry, Ben.
8. Captain Picard has no patience for fake Marvel fans
You know you’ve seen it happen.
You’re sitting in the theater. The latest MCU film has just ended and totally blown your mind in the best of ways. You’re already starting to reevaluate the way you order your Marvel movie preferences. The credits begin to roll. You inch closer to the edge of your seat, waiting, waiting, waiting…
And then the person next to you gets up, gathers their trash, and leaves without looking back. What?!
The fact that some people still don’t acknowledge the existence of Marvel post-credits scenes is, frankly, unacceptable. Not only do they frequently set up events in upcoming movies, thereby providing context and a tease, they’re also often all that people can talk about for days afterward.
7. Iron Man finally meets his match
Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for this evening’s contest. In one corner: a billionaire in a suit of metal. In the other corner: a man with the power to control metal however he wishes. Let’s get ready to rumble!
Yeah…no. This one would probably not even be a contest. Admittedly, there is some debate out there about whether X-Men baddie Magneto wouldn’t just be able to turn Iron Man into a trash compacted scrap heap in the blink of an eye, particularly due to Tony Stark’s own ability to manipulate metal with his technological genius.
6. Definitely not the worst thing Jessica has been forced to do
Jessica Jones is a series all about control—or, more precisely, what it’s like to not have any control over yourself, or to have complete control over everyone else. As our main character struggles to be a hero in Hell’s Kitchen, she’s also struggling with the demons of her past represented by the months of torture, brainwashing, and non-consensual romantic engagement she experienced at the hands of Kilgrave. With the ability to make people submit to his every whim, Kilgrave forces Jessica to act as though she loves him, and she loses her sense of self as a result of his villainy.
Since Jessica has a pretty no-nonsense personality when she’s in control, it’s only fitting that her final act of resistance against the evil mind manipulator is a way to screw with his head…and then snap his neck in a matter of seconds. Gotta love that irony.
5. Cap knows a thing or two about Disney movies
When you’re serving in World War II for a few years, and then spend the following seventy years as a human Popsicle, you kind of miss out on a lot of important cultural touchstones. Captain America: The Winter Soldier even acknowledged Steve’s need to catch up on all the culture he missed by giving Steve a notebook full of cultural references to learn about, which changed depending on the country in which you were viewing the movie.
So in the trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron, when Ultron himself sings along with a creepy cover of “I’ve Got No Strings” from the Disney classic Pinocchio, one might wonder: does Captain America know what he’s singing about? Pinocchio did come out in 1940, after all, so even if Steve hadn’t been frozen yet, it was unlikely he had seen the film in question.
The concept of Ant-Man allows Marvel to have a lot of fun with optical illusions, distorted realities, and, frankly, just a whole bunch of hilarious visuals. Whether it’s with Thomas the Tank Engine, a dramatic bathtub view, or recreating an iconic comic panel in Captain America: Civil War, Ant-Man’s ability to shrink down to minuscule sizes makes for some hilarious imagery and innovative storytelling.
But, at least according to this meme, it also creates quite the mind-blowing mystery. If Ant-Man can shrink down to such a small and almost invisible size, who’s to say he wasn’t part of Age of Ultron and no one noticed him?
Taking that line of thought even further, who’s to say Ant-Man hasn’t been in every movie so far?
3. It’s really just a matter of perspective
The ranking of villains in the MCU is a highly contested topic. No one can possibly agree on all of them, because there have been so many of them. But what can pretty much be universally agreed on is the fact that the villains in the Iron Man series have been far from equal with one another in terms of their quality and believability.
So it stands to reason then that, given the fact that Captain America: Civil War was basically Iron Man 4, if you look at it from Tony’s perspective, Captain America is the villain he’s been waiting for all along: someone he once believed to be a close, trusted friend who betrays him in the name of his own selfish interests. It doesn’t get more villainous than that.
2. Cap knows what you’ve been saying about Civil War
Not only is Captain America: Civil War basically Iron Man 4, it’s really hardly a Captain America movie at all. As one of the first Marvel movies to really go overboard on the cast list, and yet still maintain the standard two and a half hour run time, it was only natural that Steve would unfortunately receive short shrift within the third movie of his own trilogy.
Between multiple ridiculously choreographed fight scenes, and the introductions of future standalone film characters such as Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa/Black Panther and Tom Holland’s Peter Parker/Spider-Man, there wasn’t a whole lot of narrative space left for Steve to occupy with his own proper focus.
Sure, much of the film’s plot centers on his need to ensure his best friend’s safety, but even that, along with his burgeoning romance with Sharon Carter, feels out of place in a movie that’s come to be known as Avengers 2.5.
1. The real reason Civil War happened
As we saw it, the MCU’s version of Civil War was muddled at best: a betrayal of trust between two men who, until that point, really hadn’t been depicted as the closest of friends beyond exchanging barbed, witty banter. Nevertheless, even if Steve and Tony’s tried and true friendship from the comics never materialized on screen, the fallout of Civil War was clearly intended to have the emotional weight the comic counterpart merits.
However, when you look at what Steve and Tony had acted like together prior to Civil War, something like what this meme suggests seems like a far more likely cause for the rift between teammates. After all, world-renowned playboy Tony Stark would undoubtedly poke fun at the quite possibly virginal Steve Rogers.
And given how sensitive Steve is about any remotely personal affront, whether regarding himself or those closest to him, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he declared an all out war on Tony right then and there. Nor would it surprise us if that was what Tony, troublemaker that he is, had intended all along.
What are some of your favorite MCU memes out there? Let us know some of the best ones we missed in the comments!
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