The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s highlights reel is filled with awesome moments, like Tony’s “I am Iron Man” scene, or the Avengers assembling in Endgame, but fans haven’t spared a thought for the small details that made the final movie possible.
In this list, we’ve brought together those instances where even the most minor detail changed would’ve meant that the events that led toward Avengers: Endgame wouldn’t have come to fruition. You’ll be surprised how these things didn’t seem like a big deal, but actually carried the most significance. In order to fully understand the concept behind this, you need to check out these 10 moments you didn’t realize led to Avengers: Endgame.
10 Scott Getting Fired From Baskin Robbins
It’s a good thing that “Baskin Robbins always finds out,” because the universe would’ve remained with half of its inhabitants dead otherwise. You’ll remember that, despite being very well educated, Scott had to work at a Baskin Robbins due to his criminal past, but was then fired when his manager found out about it.
Had that not happened, then Scott wouldn’t have considered going back to his life as a criminal. It was from there that he came under the radar of Hank Pym, eventually gaining the Ant-Man suit. By the climax, he entered the Quantum Realm and we got the means for time travel, which was what Avengers: Endgame circled around.
9 Stan Lee Drinking Soda That Contained Bruce's Blood
The struggle between the Hulk and Bruce Banner was essential for them to become one and for the “Professor Hulk” persona coming about, but this was an impossibility before The Incredible Hulk, since Bruce had controlled his rage in such a manner that he hadn’t turned into the Hulk in over a year.
However, it was Stan Lee’s character drinking a soda containing the blood of Banner that led Ross and Blonsky over to where Bruce was, resulting in the Hulk returning. Thereafter, Bruce never quite managed to control the Hulk again, which was how the Professor Hulk solution was reached by Avengers: Endgame.
8 Tony Saying "Nice Work, Kid"
The kid that Tony rescued from a Hammer drone in Iron Man 2 was a young Peter Parker, who we all know grew up to become Spider-Man. Despite getting his powers, the innate goodness in Peter was only possible because of Iron Man commending him for his bravery as a child.
We understood this when Peter admitted he wanted to be a hero simply because he idolized Tony, so we have this moment to thank for turning him into Spider-Man. In Avengers: Infinity War, had Spider-Man not held onto Doctor Strange while Ebony Maw took him on his spaceship, Iron Man wouldn’t have tagged along, and we never would’ve gotten the Battle of Titan that preceded Endgame.
7 Drax Not Spotting The Dancing Baby Groot
We were told that the potted Baby Groot would act stationary in front of Drax because the latter would’ve killed him since he wouldn’t have understood what Groot was, which means that the second Groot wouldn’t have been around for Avengers: Infinity War.
It was in this movie that Groot used his arm to create Stormbreaker, the weapon that saved Thor’s life. Thor would then use it against Thanos, where being impaled by it motivated Thanos to complete the Snap. Had Drax gone ahead and killed Baby Groot right there, then there wouldn’t have been Stormbreaker in the first place.
6 Tony Shamed By Charles Spencer's Mother
The consensus is that the Avengers would’ve been able to beat Thanos in Infinity War had they not been fractured because of the events of Captain America: Civil War. Contrary to popular belief, it wasn’t Zemo who began the friction, but Tony’s guilt that paved the way for it.
It began when the mother of Charles Spencer — who was a youngster that died in Sokovia during Age of Ultron — called Tony a murderer. This motivated Tony to agree to signing the Sokovia Accords, which meant that the Avengers were split apart. Had Charles’ mother not confronted him, then Captain America and Iron Man would’ve been on the same side and the Avengers wouldn’t have lost and disbanded when Endgame began.
5 Black Widow Shooting The Winter Soldier's Goggles
During their confrontation in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Black Widow had managed to best the titular villain when she shot him straight in the face. However, the Winter Soldier survived due to wearing protective goggles.
Had he not been donning these goggles, then there would have been no Bucky Barnes for Captain America to defend during Civil War, and that would mean no conflict to be escalated between Iron Man and Captain America at the end of the movie. This also would’ve led to them being united to fight Thanos, ergo Tony would never have landed on Titan and then stranded in space for Captain Marvel to rescue.
4 Phil Coulson Letting Nick Fury Go
It was Nick Fury who created the Avengers, so it goes without saying that Avengers: Endgame needed the Avengers Initiative to exist. As it happened, Fury was being pursued by S.H.I.E.L.D. because of the Skrull Talos impersonating Keller and sending agents out to apprehend Fury.
It was here when Phil Coulson found Fury and had the chance to deny him escape. However, Coulson decided to let Nick go because his instinct told him he wasn’t the bad guy in this scenario. Fury’s eventual adventures during Captain Marvel paved the way for the Avengers Initiative, which led us to Captain Marvel rescuing Tony.
3 Erik Killmonger's Death
The army from Wakanda, along with all the superheroes that had been there, were vital for the climactic fight against Thanos’ army in Avengers: Endgame, but that was only possible because T’Challa decided to open up Wakanda for the rest of the world in Black Panther.
This decision of his was made when he witnessed the death of Erik Killmonger, who wasn’t completely wrong in his plans to bring Wakanda out from the shadows. T’Challa opening up Wakanda for Captain America and the rest to arrive meant that they were ready for the fight when Doctor Strange opened up the portals to bring them for the Battle of Earth.
2 Star-Lord Retrieving The Orb At That Exact Moment
War Machine knocking Star-Lord out was one of the funniest MCU moments, but its repercussions would’ve been dire had it happened in the main timeline. That’s because Star-Lord retrieved the Orb just before Korath the Pursuer could catch him.
Had Star-Lord been even a fraction of a second late, then none of the Guardians of the Galaxy would’ve gotten together, and of course that would’ve meant that all of Avengers: Infinity War wouldn’t have happened. This significantly takes away the hilarity from the Morag scene in Endgame, now that you realize just how important it was for Quill to get that Orb.
1 Thor Being Called A "Princess"
Yes, everything that has happened in the MCU from this moment was only possible because a Frost Giant decided to taunt Thor by calling him a princess. It was here that Thor proceeded to cause a war with Jotunheim, which then led to Loki killing Laufey and then falling into space to where Thanos was.
The Avengers were formed to fight off Loki’s invasion, which then brought in Ultron due to the scepter, progressing over to the Civil War arc, over to Thor: Ragnarok, and Thanos attacking the Asgardians to get the Space Stone. We know Thor then missed hitting Thanos in the skull, paving the way for Avengers: Endgame, where we saw the culmination of the Infinity Saga.