As Black Panther breaks all-time records and the release of the highly-anticipated Avengers: Infinity War approaches, the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise is riding on an unprecedented roll of blockbuster movies and showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
It’s been ten years since the film that started it all – Iron Man – was released, and by the end of 2018, Marvel Studios will have released a total of 20 interconnected movies that have led up to 2019’s untitled Avengers 4 cinematic event. Though many other studios and franchises have attempted to imitate the MCU model (some more successfully than others), no other property has achieved numbers that are even close to being comparable to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The Internet loses its collective mind with every piece of news and cinematic release that has to do with the MCU, and from such madness come the hilarious memes that poke fun at Marvel movies, point out obvious storyline flaws, psychoanalyze fanboy emotions, and place these beloved characters in unlikely scenarios. Even though it’s all in good fun, some of these memes are pretty ruthless and punch the Marvel Cinematic Universe where it hurts.
These are 15 Marvel Memes That Will Ruin MCU Movies.
15 THOR HAS MISSED OUT ON A LOT
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Aside from meeting Doctor Strange and being reunited with Bruce Banner in Thor: Ragnarok, the Asgardian God of Thunder has missed out on quite a lot. Just like Hulk, Thor has been out of Earth since Avengers: Age of Ultron, meaning that he was never introduced to Black Panther, never met Ant-Man, has no idea who Spider-Man is, and is unaware of the Winter Soldier’s fate.
Ironically, though it is Thor who has been “living under a rock,” this meme shows the faces of the new MCU heroes placed under a rock that is supposed to be a home to Patrick, the starfish character from SpongeBob SquarePants. Like Patrick, Thor will certainly feel exasperated by the fact that some new people moved into his “home,” which in this case is the Avengers team.
14 T’CHALLA IS JEALOUS
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One of the most significant storylines in Black Panther had to do with W’Kabi changing his mind in the middle of the film to ally with Erik Killmonger as he arrived in Wakanda with Klaw’s body. In this meme, we can see the disappointment in T’Challa’s face as his former political ally switched sides. The extremely compelling Killmonger wasn’t entirely wrong, either, and W’Kabi had a right to be intrigued.
Many Marvel fans have agreed that Erik Killmonger is the best Marvel Cinematic Universe villain since Loki, which is quite something for a franchise that is consistently criticized for having uninteresting antagonists. This speaks to Black Panther’s success, a film that has been breaking all-time records and quickly becoming one of the MCU’s most profitable and beloved films.
13 TOLKIEN WHITE GUYS
Andy Serkis and Martin Freeman can now say that they have two things in common in their careers: they both played the only two major white characters in Black Panther, and they both were featured in The Hobbit trilogy, which was adapted from the J.R.R. Tolkien novel of the same name. Because of that intersection of works, this particular meme pointed out how Serkis and Freeman are the two “Tolkien” (a pun of “token”) white guys in Black Panther.
Of course, as it was with Lord of the Rings, Andy Serkis was unrecognizable in The Hobbit. He reprised his role as Gollum, a CG character in the films that was brought to life by the magic of motion-capture technology. In Black Panther, Serkis reprised his role as Klaw, a character that had first appeared in the MCU during Avengers: Age of Ultron.
12 UNDERWHELMING CIVIL WAR
Because he has missed out on so much, let's just imagine how the catching up between Thor and the Avengers will look. The whole point of Thor leaving Earth was to figure out where the other Infinity Stones were, which means that he probably assumed that the other Avengers were just as invested in this journey as he was.
Except… all they did while Thor was gone was fight in Captain America: Civil War. Since Thor left, the Avengers accidentally killed a bunch of people, signed the Sokovia Accords, trusted a high schooler to be Spider-Man and a former burglar to be Ant-Man, and rebranded Captain America as a political threat.
Thor is likely to be taken aback by all of this infighting among the Avengers, but it’s not like his mission to find other Infinity Stones turned out to be successful, either.
11 HE PREFERS TOBEY MAGUIRE
Director Tim Burton revolutionized the superhero film genre with 1989’s Batman and 1992’s Batman Returns, both of which had Michael Keaton in the lead role of Bruce Wayne. Much later, in 2014, Keaton played a different kind of superhero in a very different genre of film, Birdman, which won the trophies for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay during the 87th Academy Awards.
As Michael Keaton joined Spider-Man: Homecoming to bring the villain Vulture to life, superhero movie fans were already more than familiar with the legendary actor, and this meme is certainly a nod to his long history in the genre.
As an imaginary Tom Holland tells Michael Keaton that he prefers the DCEU version of Batman starring Ben Affleck, Keaton replies by saying that he also prefers a different version of Spider-Man… Tobey Maguire’s.
10 SO EXCITED, SO SCARED
If there’s one thing Marvel fans are mentally preparing themselves for, that is the death and trauma that will probably take place during Avengers: Infinity War.
Thanos is infamously one of the biggest threats in all of Marvel’s long comic book history, and in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he is certainly the most threatening villain the Avengers have ever faced in all three phases of the franchise. There are several rumors and speculations swirling around the Internet that surround the fact that the Avengers will most likely lose in Infinity War so that they can rise again in the yet untitled Avengers 4.
Major characters are expected to die – or at least get hurt very badly – which doesn’t often happen in the MCU. While fans are excited, they are also afraid.
9 THANOS > ULTRON > LOKI
In the previous Avengers installments, Marvel’s super-team of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes had to face threatening (but manageable) antagonists that can’t even compare to Thanos.
In 2012’s The Avengers, it was Loki who had to be stopped – a character that has been beaten time and time again by Thor alone. In 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, Tony Stark accidentally created Ultron, a menacing AI villain that didn’t really stand a chance to Vision.
In the case of Avengers: Infinity War, it definitely doesn’t look like Thanos will be bothered by any of the superheroes in the MCU lineup, which is a troublesome thought.
As pointed out by this meme, Thanos might just be the villain that the Avengers will not be able to beat quite so easily.
8 UPGRADE YOUR TORCH
A total of two actors who previously portrayed the character of Johnny Storm (the Human Torch) eventually made their way to the Marvel Cinematic Universe to play different Marvel superheroes.
Chris Evans played the Human Torch in 2005’s Fantastic Four and its 2007 sequel Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Though both movies performed sort of well at the box office, many fans were disappointed with the end result, and that franchise never even got to a third installment. By 2011, Evans was already starring in Captain America: The First Avenger, which launched his presence in the MCU as Steve Rogers.
In 2015, as Fox decided to reboot the F4 property, along came the new Fantastic Four film, which had Michael B. Jordan in the role of Johnny Storm. This time, the movie was both a commercial and critical disappointment. Only 3 years later, Michael B. Jordan joined the MCU in the role of Erik Killmonger, the main antagonist in Black Panther.
7 DARK EYESHADOW
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Speaking of coincidences in the Marvel Cinematic Universe… have you ever noticed how characters who wear dark eyeshadow can stop weapons that were previously considered unstoppable?
By the time Captain America: The Winter Soldier was released in 2014, Marvel fans had considered Cap’s shield as an overpowering weapon that no one stood a chance against. Then came the Winter Soldier - dark eyeshadow and all - who was able to stop the shield like it was nothing. Then, as established in Avengers: Age of Ultron, fans assumed that Thor’s hammer (called the Mjolnir) was an unbeatable weapon only he could handle… only to watch Hela – who also wore dark eye shadow – destroy it very easily.
With great dark eyeshadow, comes great power?
6 THE KNOWING SMILE
Black Panther ends with T’Challa revealing to the world that there’s more to Wakanda than they thought. As he says announces this, the other countries' representatives look dubious about what “a nation of farmers” could possibly have to offer the rest of the world.
This particular image mixes that Black Panther scene with the infamous meme where a man is giving a presentation with a knowing smile. In the film, T’Challa and Nakia seem to initially keep the details about Wakanda to themselves, but we all know that the nation has several groundbreaking Vibranium-made inventions to share with the world, and it’s only a matter of time until they become a powerful political force within the MCU.
T’Challa learned from Nakia and Erik Killmonger that Wakanda’s isolationist nature had no place in the 21st century, and Avengers: Infinity War will probably show what that means.
5 FAKE MARVEL FANS
You know those post-2008 Marvel fans who cannot even fathom how it is possible for someone to have a favorite MCU character that isn’t Iron Man or Captain America? This meme was made for them.
As the massive success stories of Guardians of the Galaxy and Black Panther came to prove, Marvel superheroes that are lesser known to mainstream audiences (who don’t read comic books) can ascend to A-list status nearly overnight. After the Marvel Studios pact with Sony (in regards to Spider-Man) and the announcement that Disney would buy Fox (and bring the rights for X-Men and Fantastic Four movies back to Marvel), the possibilities for favorite characters in the MCU are even more endless.
Of course, some hardcore Marvel fans have genuine reasons for picking Iron Man or Captain America as their favorite heroes, but at least they know that there are more characters out there!
4 CAP REALLY LOVES BUCKY
A recurring theme for Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been his profound love for Bucky Barnes (a.k.a. the Winter Soldier), his longtime best friend who was first introduced in Captain America: The First Avenger. In The Winter Soldier sequel, Bucky appeared as a major villain, but Cap stood his ground and protected his best friend even as they fought for their lives against one another.
As Bucky was stopped and sent to Wakanda to recover, T’Challa and Shuri took responsibility to watch over him, and this meme pokes fun at the fact that Captain America only paid Wakanda a visit when he heard that Bucky was back on his feet. For a man who lost so many along the way, it is understandable that Steve Rogers holds a special place in his heart for Bucky Barnes. But sometimes that affection is hilarious, too.
3 FANS VS. INFINITY WAR
Avengers: Infinity War hasn’t even been released yet, but fans are already feeling the kick in the face that the movie will most likely bring.
According to rumors, speculation, and scenes in the trailer, Infinity War will bring sadness, pain, and death to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as the Avengers will probably be no match for Thanos and his Infinity Gauntlet. This meme is a collection of shots from the airport fight scene in Captain America: Civil War, and it shows the exact moment when Spider-Man kicks Captain America in the face. Within that context, Cap represents the fans and Spider-Man represents the Infinity War movie.
Despite the fact that Captain America will regain his Vibranium shield and Spider-Man will fight in his brand-new suit made by Tony Stark, it certainly seems like MCU fans will see these heroes go through a lot of pain in the upcoming Avengers installment.
2 HOW TO DEFEAT THANOS
This meme explores the various strategies that Marvel superheroes could possibly employ in order to defeat Thanos during Infinity War.
Doctor Strange defeated Dormammu by bargaining in an infinite time loop, so maybe that could work on Thanos? Thor escaped Sakaar by carrying Loki and pretending that he needed help, so maybe that’s a good strategy, too. And how about Star-Lord, who challenged Ronan to a dance-off and ended up destroying him? Or, worst case scenario, there’s also Captain America’s most powerful weapon: linguistic purity.
Jokes aside, it will take more than a repetitive bargain, an S.O.S. distraction, a bad dance-off, or Cap yelling “Language!” for the Avengers to win the fight in Infinity War. The Infinity Gauntlet would overpower any of those strategies, and to be frank, Thanos doesn’t look like he came to Earth to play around.
1 AN ALTERNATIVE TEAM TO DEFEAT THANOS
Of course, if the Avengers themselves can’t defeat Thanos in Infinity War, there’s always the possibility of assembling an alternative team in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We can probably count on Thor: Ragnarok’s Korg to start a revolution and get together with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’s Baby Groot and Ant-Man’s Luis to challenge Thanos and his Infinity Gauntlet.
Luis’ fast mouth, Baby Groot’s attitude, and Korg’s enthusiasm don’t seem like a bad combination of superpowers, and they probably stand as much of a chance against Thanos as do the actual Avengers. We all know that they were the real superstars in their respective films, not Ant-Man, Star-Lord, and Thor, who were the so-called protagonists.
There’s only one team that can put a stop to the Infinity War, and this meme has found it.