Thor has never been a particularly boring character in the MCU, but he also wasn’t particularly interesting for the first half of his decade-long story arc. He was written as a vaguely Shakespearean character who made grand, sweeping statements and took everything seriously. But that was before Taika Waititi came along and turned him into a comedy character whose arrogance and naivety are played for laughs. Now, he’s one of the funniest characters in the MCU with increasingly unpredictable developments in each movie, culminating in Avengers: Endgame’s so-called “Lebowski Thor.”
10 “I knew it!”
One of the most breathtaking and surprising moments in Avengers: Endgame was when Captain America summoned Thor’s hammer Mjolnir, proving he was worthy. This was a spectacular payoff to a four-year-old teaser in Age of Ultron. All the Avengers sat around a party, trying to lift Thor’s hammer. Steve Rogers was the only one who came close to lifting it, and it genuinely worried Thor for a second. The Russo brothers have maintained that Rogers could always lift the hammer, but the reason he didn’t do it in Age of Ultron was that he didn’t want to hurt Thor’s feelings.
9 “The rabbit is correct, and clearly the smartest one among you.”
When Thor met the Guardians of the Galaxy in the first trailer for Avengers: Infinity War, fans went crazy. It was the first time that the Guardians had joined the wider MCU, which was fun, but they also did it in the perfect way: meeting the new, funny Thor from Ragnarok. Within a few minutes of meeting the Guardians, Thor had summed them up pretty simply by declaring that Rocket (who he mistakes for a rabbit and continues to do so to this day) is the smartest member of the team. Apart from maybe Gamora, he’s probably right about that.
8 “Everybody knows who’s in charge.”
Chris Hemsworth has said recently that he’d be totally open to playing Thor in the next Guardians of the Galaxy movie as he joins the wise-cracking cosmic heroes on their intergalactic adventures. It’s fair to say that fans would be open to that, too, and the end of Avengers: Endgame seemed to set it up. Thor boarded Peter Quill’s ship to hitch a ride into space and calls them “the Asgardians of the Galaxy.” Quill tries desperately to get Thor to acknowledge that he’s the one in charge of the team, but Thor subtly hints that it’s him now with vague statements like this.
7 “Looks like you’ve copied my beard.”
When Captain America and Thor are reunited in Avengers: Infinity War after a few years apart, they have some catching up to do. And they do it all in just two lines. Although Thor has lost his father, been forced to fight as a gladiator on a distant planet, and seen his home world destroyed by his long-lost sister, and Cap has taken on the U.S. government, been classed as a war criminal, and sought asylum in Wakanda, all they talk about is Thor’s new haircut and the fact that Cap seems to have copied Thor’s beard to get the grizzled look.
6 “Damn you, Stark. ‘Point Break.’”
When Thor finds the Quinjet on Sakaar during his escape from captivity as a gladiator, he tries out a few passwords: “Thor,” “God of Thunder,” “Strongest Avenger.” But they’re all incorrect. It’s the last one that really gets him, because he feels that he really is the strongest Avenger, although Tony Stark, who entered all the passwords, begs to differ.
Instead, he made the Hulk’s password “Strongest Avenger” and Thor’s “Point Break.” This is a callback to The Avengers, in which the pop culture-tinged nickname that Stark came up with for Thor was “Point Break,” based on Patrick Swayze’s character in that movie.
5 “I’m totally from the future.”
Fans weren’t at all surprised when time travel factored into the plot of Avengers: Endgame. Some of the actors had been seen in their 2012 costumes on the set and the Quantum Realm was set up to play a huge role in the story. However, one thing that was surprising is that Thor: The Dark World, thought by many to be the worst movie in the MCU, was one of the movies chosen to return to. It worked, though, because it gave Thor the chance to have one last conversation with his mother, Frigga, who could tell in an instant that he was a future version of her son.
4 “I like this one.”
Based on this moment alone, fans have been clamoring for Thor and Captain Marvel to team up in the MCU’s future. In just one look, Chris Hemsworth and Brie Larson proved that they share fantastic chemistry, and that their characters would make a good match for one another. Thor held his hand right next to Carol Danvers’ head and waited for Stormbreaker to come hurtling towards him. It was at the beginning of Endgame, right after Thor had failed to kill Thanos in time and was therefore feeling pretty down. When the axe came flying past Carol’s head and into Thor’s hand, she didn’t flinch. Thor was impressed.
3 “I went for the head.”
The first of many, many, many previous MCU moments that got paid off in Avengers: Endgame was planted quite recently. At the end of Infinity War, when Thor launched Stormbreaker at Thanos and it jammed into his shoulder, Thanos told him that he should’ve gone for his head instead, and with that, he snaps his fingers, wipes out half of all life in the universe, and then teleports away. This is paid off at the beginning of Endgame, as the Avengers head to Thanos’ farm, he tells them he’s destroyed the Infinity Stones, and Thor lops his head off in one fell swoop. He went for the head.
2 “He’s a friend from work!”
This is the line that Thor says as soon as he realizes that the Grandmaster’s undefeated champion in the gladiatorial arena he’s been forced into is the Hulk. There’s actually a really sweet story behind how this line ended up in the movie. A kid from the Make-A-Wish Foundation had been invited to the set of Thor: Ragnarok and suggested the line.
It was the scene where Thor sees the Hulk for the first time in years and the kid described him as “a friend from work” and the phrase ended up in the movie as one of its most memorable lines of dialogue.
1 “You take the small one.”
Thor slyly displays a feeling of inadequacy in the final battle scene of Avengers: Endgame. During the gargantuan skirmish, he finds himself next to Captain America. Cap is wielding Stormbreaker, Thor’s powerful axe forged from a dying star in Infinity War, while Thor has Mjolnir, his hammer. He decides to swap with Cap and give him “the small one,” so that he can have the bigger weapon and, thus, feel like a bigger man. It’s one of countless little character moments between all the Avengers in Endgame’s closing battle sequence that make it quite possibly the MCU’s finest battle scene.