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[[caption-width-right:350:[[Music/{{Soundgarden}} We're insane, but not alone.]][[note]]Top: ''Film/AvengersAgeOfUltron'' Bottom, L - R: ''Film/AntMan'', ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'', ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy'', ''Series/AgentCarter'', ''Series/{{Daredevil 2015}}'', ''Film/{{Black Panther|2018}}''. [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters Not included:]] Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel, Spider-Man...[[/note]]]]

->''"You think you're the only superhero in the world? Mr. Stark, you've become part of a bigger universe. You just don't know it yet."''
-->-- '''ComicBook/NickFury''', in {{the stinger}} to ''Film/IronMan1''

The Marvel Cinematic Universe[[note]]dubbed Earth-199999 of the Marvel multiverse[[/note]] is a [[SharedUniverse combined setting]] produced by [[Creator/MarvelComics Marvel Entertainment and Marvel Studios]]. It was distributed by Creator/{{Paramount}} and Creator/{{Universal}} from 2008-2011, followed by Creator/{{Disney}} from 2012 on, with Creator/{{Sony}} co-producing some of their films from 2016 onward. Starting with ''Film/IronMan1'' in 2008, the setting has grown to include numerous film adaptations of Marvel's many comic book properties, with a main focus on Comicbook/TheAvengers and their various members.[[note]]Exceptions include the ''Film/FantasticFour'' and ''Film/XMen'' film franchises, due to the film rights being owned by Creator/TwentiethCenturyFox (though deals exist so both companies can use multi-series characters like ComicBook/{{Quicksilver}}). ComicBook/SpiderMan was added in 2015 after a deal between Marvel and film rights holder Sony.[[/note]] The setting also features secondary Marvel properties, such as the spy organization ComicBook/{{SHIELD}}, as common elements that tie the different films together.

Virtually every Marvel property is being considered in some capacity, with more scripts being written than could ever be used. Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, claimed in 2014 that they have MCU films planned out until '''[[CrazyPrepared 2028]]'''.

You can vote for your favorite film [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/crowner.php/BestEpisode/MarvelCinematicUniverse here]].
----
[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Films]]
'''Released films taking place in this setting''':
[[index]]
* '''Phase One'''
** ''Film/IronMan1'' (May 2, 2008)
** ''Film/TheIncredibleHulk'' (June 13, 2008)
** ''Film/IronMan2'' (May 7, 2010)
** ''Film/{{Thor}}'' (May 6, 2011)
** ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger'' (July 22, 2011)
** ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'' (May 4, 2012)
* '''Phase Two'''
** ''Film/IronMan3'' (May 3, 2013)
** ''Film/ThorTheDarkWorld'' (November 8, 2013)
** ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier'' (April 4, 2014)
** ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy'' (August 1, 2014)
** ''Film/AvengersAgeOfUltron'' (May 1, 2015)
** ''Film/AntMan'' (July 17, 2015)
* '''Phase Three'''
** ''Film/CaptainAmericaCivilWar'' (May 6, 2016)

'''Films officially in-development''':
* '''Phase Three'''
** ''Film/DoctorStrange2016'' (November 4, 2016)
** ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxyVol2'' (May 5, 2017)
** ''Film/SpiderManHomecoming'' (July 7, 2017) [[note]]a co-production between Sony and Marvel Studios[[/note]]
** ''Film/ThorRagnarok'' (November 3, 2017)
** ''Film/{{Black Panther|2018}}'' (February 16, 2018)
** ''Film/AvengersInfinityWar'' (May 4, 2018)
** ''Ant-Man and the Wasp'' (July 6, 2018)
** ''Film/CaptainMarvel'' (March 8, 2019)
** Untitled ''Avengers'' sequel (May 3, 2019)
[[/index]]

* '''Planned Installments''':
** TBA (2019)
** TBA (May 1, 2020)
** TBA (July 10, 2020)
** TBA (November 6, 2020)
** ''Inhumans'' (TBA)[[note]]was originally scheduled for the aforementioned unlabeled 2019 date; currently not on Marvel's official schedule, but planned for release in 2020 or 2021[[/note]]
** ''Guardians of the Galaxy 3'' (TBA)[[note]]confirmed by Kevin Feige[[/note]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:TV Shows]]
'''Creator/{{ABC}} series:'''
[[index]]
* ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'' (September 2013 -- present[[note]]For details on how episodes relate chronologically to other MCU works, see [[Recap/AgentsOfSHIELD the series recap page]].[[/note]])
* ''Series/AgentCarter'' (January 2015 -- March 2016)
[[/index]]
* ''Damage Control'' (TBA[[note]]Likely cancelled, as the ABC president pushing for it was fired and replaced, and DC is putting out a show with the exact same premise.[[/note]])
%%* Untitled Creator/JohnRidley-helmed project (TBA)
%%* Second untitled comedy (TBA)

'''Creator/{{Freeform}} series:'''
* ''Cloak And Dagger'' (TBA)

'''Creator/{{Hulu}} series:'''
* ''Runaways'' (TBA)

'''{{Creator/Netflix}} series:'''
[[index]]
* ''Series/{{Daredevil 2015}}'' (April 10, 2015 -- present)
* ''Series/JessicaJones2015'' (November 20, 2015 -- present)
* ''Series/{{Luke Cage|2016}}'' (September 30, 2016)
* ''Series/{{Iron Fist|2016}}'' (TBA)
* ''Series/{{The Defenders|2017}}'' (2017)
* ''Series/ThePunisher'' (2017)
[[/index]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:One-Shot Shorts]]
'''[[Film/MarvelOneShots Marvel One-Shot]] Shorts:'''
[[index]]
%%Do not remove the second link to Marvel One Shots. This is so the page actually indexes, since it has to be linked from a bullet point to do so.%%
* ''[[Film/MarvelOneShots The Consultant]]'' - included on ''Film/{{Thor}}'' Blu-ray
[[/index]]
* ''A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor's Hammer'' - included on ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger'' Blu-ray
* ''Item 47'' - included on ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'' Blu-ray
[[index]]
* ''Film/AgentCarter'' - included on the ''Film/IronMan3'' Blu-ray
[[/index]]
* ''All Hail the King'' - included on the ''Film/ThorTheDarkWorld'' Blu-ray
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic book tie-ins]]
[-Organized by the trade paperback they're collected in. For brevity's sake, we're skipping adaptations of the movies themselves, though they're included with the collections listed.-]
* ''Film/IronMan: Security Measures'' - Set during the first movie, Fury and Coulson have to figure out whether Tony's reliable or if the Ten Rings broke him and made him TheMole.
* ''Road to Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'' - A collection of ''Film/IronMan2'' tie-ins, plus the one for ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger''.
** ''Iron Man 2: Public Identity'' - A miniseries revealing the consequences of Tony Stark's decision to reveal himself as Iron Man, and the growing friction between him and the military.
** ''Iron Man 2: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'' - 3 digital comics involving Fury, Coulson, and Black Widow dealing with Iron Man, including how Black Widow established her "Natalie Rushman" cover.
** ''Captain America: First Vengeance'' - An {{Interquel}} for ''The First Avenger'', detailing backstories for each of the main characters via flashbacks.
[[index]]
* ''ComicBook/TheAvengersPreludeFurysBigWeek'' - Chronicles the events of ''Iron Man 2'', ''The Incredible Hulk'', and ''Thor'' from S.H.I.E.L.D.'s perspective, leading up to ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}''.
[[/index]]
* ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}: Black Widow Strikes'' - While tracking down Ten Rings operations, Natasha faces a woman who wants the title of "Black Widow" for herself.
* ''Film/IronMan3 Prelude'' - ComicBook/WarMachine fights the Ten Rings organization [[Film/TheAvengers2012 during the Chitauri invasion of New York]].
* ''Film/ThorTheDarkWorld Prelude'' - Follows the ''Thor'' cast during the gap between the original movie and ''The Dark World''.
* ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier Prelude'': Captain America, Black Widow, and Brock Rumlow try to stop a terrorist cell.
* ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy Prelude'' - A set of short stories focusing on: Nebula's childhood and relationships with ComicBook/{{Thanos}}, Gamora, and Korath; Rocket Raccoon and Groot pulling a heist; and how the Collector hired Gamora to get the Orb.
* ''[[Film/AvengersAgeOfUltron The Avengers: Operation HYDRA]]'' - A prequel set between ''Captain America: The Winter Soldier'' and ''The Avengers: Age Of Ultron'', focusing on Avengers hunting down HYDRA. (Not yet collected)
* ''Film/AvengersAgeOfUltron Prelude - This Scepter'd Isle'': Prequel set before the ''Captain America: The Winter Soldier'' [[TheStinger Stinger]], focusing on Loki's scepter and how Wanda and Pietro Maximoff gained superpowers.
* ''Film/AntMan Prelude'' - During the UsefulNotes/ColdWar, SHIELD wants the Ant-Man suit for a mission behind the Berlin Wall. But Hank Pym doesn't trust anyone else with his tech, so he volunteers for the mission himself.
** ''Scott Lang: Small Time'' - The story of how Scott Lang landed in jail.
* ''Jessica Jones'' - A prequel comic that serves as Jessica's first canonical appearance in the MCU; features Daredevil in a guest-starring role. (Not yet collected)
* ''Film/CaptainAmericaCivilWar Prelude'' - Flashbacks show how Bucky Barnes and Brock Rumlow dealt with the fallout of the events of ''Winter Soldier''.[[note]]Digital comic; not to be confused with the print comic by the same name, which is an adaptation of ''Iron Man 3'' and ''Winter Soldier''.[[/note]]
* ''Captain America: Road to War'' - Set between ''Avengers: Age of Ultron'' and ''Captain America: Civil War'', as Captain America and Black Widow lead the new team of Avengers (War Machine, Falcon, Vision, and Scarlet Witch) into battle against Ultimo. (Not yet collected)
* ''Film/DoctorStrange Prelude''
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Other Tie-Ins]]
[[index]]
* ''Literature/BlackWidow'' - A series of novels focusing on the exploits of ComicBook/BlackWidow in the aftermath of ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}''.
[[/index]]
* ''[[https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtJkDqZzoOFYbqwOIFn2Lng WHIH World News]]'' - A series of various fictional Fox News-{{Expy}} news segments reporting (often in the worst possible light) the actions of the various characters in the MCU. A batch of videos are usually released in the run-up to a movie release, starting with ''Ant-Man''. The ones relating to ''Ant-Man'' were included on that movie's Blu-ray.
[[/folder]]

----
!!Tropes present across the cinematic universe:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Tropes A - B]]
* TheAbridgedSeries: [[https://www.reddit.com/r/shieldsynopsis/wiki/index One is in progress on reddit, courtesy of user notacreepish]]. The series began specifically for ''Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'', but eventually expanded to the other shows, films and one-shots.
* ActionGirl: There are so many that it's more difficult to find the female characters who ''aren't'' action capable. A full list of examples can be found below.
** ComicBook/{{SHIELD}} agents Natasha Romanoff ([[RedBaron Black Widow]]), Maria Hill, [[Series/AgentCarter Peggy]] and Sharon Carter, [[Series/AgentsOfSHIELD Melinda May, and Bobbi Morse (Mockingbird)]]. [[Series/AgentsOfSHIELD Skye]] also gets in on the act from ''Agents'' Season 2.
** [[Film/{{Thor}} Lady Sif]]. In ''[[Film/ThorTheDarkWorld Dark World]]'', Queen Frigga also shows that she can be a LadyOfWar when she needs to.
** [[DarkActionGirl Ellen Brant and other female Extremis soldiers]] in ''Film/IronMan3''. In the same film, [[spoiler:Pepper Potts]] takes a go at it after [[spoiler:getting injected with Extremis]], but after the fight she makes clear it's only temporary.
** [[Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy Gamora and Nebula]] were trained to be thus by Thanos.
** Scarlet Witch is a LadyOfBlackMagic variant.
** [[Film/AntMan Hope van Dyne]] trains Scott Lang and gets to showcase her moves in actual combat, and will become the Wasp in the sequel. Her mother Janet also appears as one in a flashback.
** Marvel has [[http://marvel.com/news/movies/23549/captain_marvel_soars_into_the_marvel_cinematic_universe announced]] that the film adaptation of Captain Marvel will feature the Carol Danvers incarnation of the character that started in 2012.
** ''Series/JessicaJones2015'' is Marvel's second female superpowered individual, after [[spoiler:Skye/Daisy Johnson]]. Her foster sister [[ComicBook/PatsyWalker Trish Walker]] is also in training as (a non-superpowered) one.
** ''Series/{{Daredevil 2015}}'' season two features DarkActionGirl ComicBook/{{Elektra}}.
* ActionizedSequel: ''The Avengers'' was designed to be one as the finale to Phase I from the beginning because it brings all the superheroes of Phase 1 together. Naturally, such a team requires a suitable threat to counter.
* AdaptationDistillation: Takes elements from both the classic [[Franchise/MarvelUniverse 616 universe]] and the [[ComicBook/UltimateMarvel Ultimate]] one. For example, the Avengers are formed by S.H.I.E.L.D. like the [[ComicBook/TheUltimates Ultimate version]], to battle Loki like the [[ComicBook/TheAvengers 616 version]]. There's even elements of the much-hated ''ComicBook/HeroesReborn'' (Falcon having been in Air Force and [[OlderThanTheyThink technically]] it did have the whole "S.H.I.E.L.D. set up the Avengers" thing before the ''Ultimate'' line ever existed).
* AdaptationNameChange: Various cases; see the trope page.
* AdaptationalEarlyAppearance: Very common given that the storylines and versions of characters of the most recent comics have been used as the basis of the overall storyline the movies. Though particular mention should be made in regard to the Avengers films.
** The ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'' has both Comicbook/BlackWidow and Comicbook/{{Hawkeye}} as original members, even though both characters joined later rosters. Meanwhile, this is inverted in regards to Comicbook/AntMan and Comicbook/TheWasp, two founding members, are nowhere to be found until 2015's Film/AntMan.
** ComicBook/{{Ultron}} is the main villain of [[Film/AvengersAgeOfUltron the sequel]]. In the accepted comics canon Ant Man (Hank Pym) creates Ultron, but in the movie universe Stark creates Ultron before Ant Man is even introduced.
* AdaptationalHeroism:
** Iron Patriot for ''Iron Man 3'', who in the comics was ComicBook/NormanOsborn and in the film is Col. Rhodes (the comics briefly changed to match the movie).
** Garthaan Saul in ''Guardians of the Galaxy'', who is a Nova Corps officer in the film and a supervillain in the comics.
** Cal, known in the comics as [[spoiler:Mister Hyde]], is still a villain in ''Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.''; but one driven by love for his family and has the sense to feel ashamed of some of the darker actions he takes when he loses control. [[spoiler:He even makes a HeelFaceTurn at the end of the season for his daughter's sake.]] Similarly, Lash is revealed to be a good man whose powers are driving him mad, while his comics version is on a self-righteous quest to kill those he deems unworthy.
** Hope van Dyne, the villainous Red Queen in the ComicBook/MarvelComics2 universe, while estranged and distant from her father Hank is on his side against Darren Cross. [[spoiler:She eventually takes up her mother's mantle of ComicBook/TheWasp, as well.]]
* AdaptationalVillainy: A good few cases from Phase 2:
** Aldrich Killian was a humble scientist in the comics who killed himself out of guilt over selling Extremist to terrorists. [[spoiler: Here, he's the one behind the terrorists using Extremis, and he's stolen the Mandarin's mantle for his own purposes.]]
** Kurse was a manipulated AntiVillain who eventually repented and became the guardian of Asgardian children in the comics. In the films, he's Malekith's loyal [[TheDragon dragon]] turned TheBrute and he is responsible for leading the attack that [[spoiler: lead to Frigga's death and Odin's DespairEventHorizon]] and is also willing to end all life in the universe.
** Also from ''Film/ThorTheDarkWorld'': Among The Marauders, there is a GiantMook called Berserker, a specific unit composed of unknown members of a large, rock-like alien species. It looks much like Korg, a heroic gladiator in the comics who was Thor's first foe then later an ally of the Hulk.
** Thanks to the revelation that [[spoiler:S.H.I.E.L.D. has been corrupted]], many characters who were heroes are now [[spoiler:members of HYDRA. This includes Alexander Pierce (who was one of Fury's comrades in the comics), Jasper Sitwell (a loyal and optimistic S.H.I.E.L.D. agent), John Garrett (a colleague of Widow's), and the entirety of STRIKE (in the comics the British S.H.I.E.L.D. division, here more like the spec ops branch of S.H.I.E.L.D.)]].
** In the ''ComicBook/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy'' comics, Yondu is a member of the year-3000 team and a straight hero. In the movie, he's an AntiHero at best; a JerkAss who has to be talked into heroic actions with promises of monetary reward.
** Yellowjacket is a super-identity used by the villainous Darren Cross here, when it was one of Hank Pym's heroic identities in the comics (albeit the one he was using at the time he infamously punched his wife, which is probably exactly why this happened).
* AdaptedOut: Mixed with PragmaticAdaptation, but thanks to the order the films were made, certain characters had to be left out. ComicBook/AntMan and TheWasp were omitted as founding members of the Avengers, though ''Ant-Man'' reveals that they were superheroes working for S.H.I.E.L.D. before the formation of the Avengers. Hardcore fans were upset. Most either didn't care, didn't know, or [[TheUnfavorite thought the film was better off for it]].
* AgeLift: A number of characters have had their ages changed from the comics, usually for pragmatic reasons.
** Steve Rogers' year of birth in the comics is usually circa 1922, DependingOnTheWriter, making him about 20 years old at the start of WWII and 23 by the time he's frozen. The movies push it back to 1918, so that he's about 24 at the start of the film and 26 or 27 by the end.
** ComicBook/BuckyBarnes, a ComicBook/{{Robin}}-style KidHero in the comics, is depicted as a twenty-something soldier in ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger''. The Smithsonian exhibit in ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier'' lists his birth year as 1916 or 1917 in different places, while a deleted scene from ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'' has it as 1922 in his [=SSR=] file. So either he's a year or two older than Steve or (like their comic book counterparts) four years younger, but in both cases, he's depicted as an adult rather than a KidSidekick.
** Alexander Pierce, who was in his 30's-40's at the ''oldest'' in the comics, is played by 76-year old Creator/RobertRedford in ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier''.
** [[ComicBook/AntMan Hank Pym]] is a contemporary of characters like Tony Stark and Bruce Banner in the comics, but is played by 70-year old Creator/MichaelDouglas in the ''Film/AntMan'' movie. Going in the other direction, Scott Lang's daughter Cassie was nine when she was introduced and is 14 in the present comics, but is much younger in the movie.
** Donnie Gill is an adult criminal in the comics, but is played by 17-year old Dylan Minnette in ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'' He's also explicitly stated to be no older than 18 in the actual series.
** There's Eric Koenig and his "brothers". In the comics, Koenig is a veteran of {{World War 2}} and would have to ''at least'' be in his 80's, while in the show, he and his brothers are played by 46-year-old Creator/PattonOswalt.
** While not as noticeable due to being OlderThanHeLooks, Hawkeye is played by 43-year-old Jeremy Renner, while in the comics, he's generally depicted as being rather young, at least compared to characters like Steve, who he generally looks up to as an older brother or father figure. Given Chris Evans is ten years younger than Renner, it makes this kinda ironic in retrospect.
** The comics version of Yondu is in his prime, but the ''Guardians'' movie portrays him as a grumpy old man.
** Played with for Peter Parker and Jessica Jones. In the comics, they were in high school together, but Jessica wasn't introduced until they were both several years older. The MCU is staying true to the ages each one was at their respective debuts, meaning Jessica is now several years older than Peter.
** Aunt May is normally in her 70s, but Marisa Tomei (who is 51, and [[YoungerThanTheyLook has aged quite well]]) plays her.
** The Owl, who is usually middle-aged in the comics, played by Bob Gunton in ''Series/{{Daredevil 2015}}'', who is 70. This has led to a popular theory that the son he mentions a few times will become the MCU Owl.
** In the comics, both ComicBook/NickFury and Comicbook/BlackWidow were around during UsefulNotes/WorldWar2, but are OlderThanTheyLook thanks to the [[AppliedPhlebotinum Infinity Formula]]. The movies indicate they're roughly the same age as their actors, Creator/SamuelLJackson and Creator/ScarlettJohansson, with ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier'' explicitly giving Black Widow's birth date as 1984.
* AllOfTheOtherReindeer: The movie franchise as a whole plays with this:
** Averted with Iron Man and Thor, who are celebrities and have ways of attracting every woman within their radius (except for during Thor's original exile to Earth, when he was seen as insane and probably homeless - but still hot).
** The Hulk generally gets as much hate and fear as his status as a giant rampaging monster would logically warrant. Some people began to see him as a hero after the events of ''The Avengers'', but his rampage in ''Age of Ultron'' seems to have ruined that.
** As for Captain America, he struggled to gain respect even after becoming the pinnacle of human perfection. While things changed for him, he now has to struggle as a FishOutOfTemporalWater.
** This appears to be a running theme going into Phase Three, as public fear and mistrust of superhumans has appeared in ''Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'' Season 3, ''Ant-Man'', ''Jessica Jones'', and ''Civil War''.
* AllThereInTheManual: Some details that the movies neglect to explain are addressed in the comics or One-Shots:
** The ''Security Measures'' comic gives a reason why Coulson kept using S.H.I.E.L.D.'s full name in ''Iron Man 1'' instead of the acronym: Fury had apparently always used the full name, so Coulson thought Fury preferred it that way. Fury, for his part, was annoyed to find there was a perfectly good acronym he had been unaware of all this time. (Of course, it would also be in Coulson's character to intentionally try to screw with Stark for some reason, so take your pick.)
** TheStinger from the end of ''The Incredible Hulk'' (which was otherwise LeftHanging) is resolved in ''The Consultant''.
** Samuel Sterns' fate from ''The Incredible Hulk'' is revealed in ''Fury's Big Week''.
** War Machine's absence during ''The Avengers'' is explained in ''Iron Man 3 Prelude''. The book also shows where he got his new armor from, as well as what happened to the bulkier suit he wore in ''Film/IronMan2''.
** How exactly the Asgardians learned that Loki was still alive and working for [[ComicBook/{{Thanos}} a mysterious cosmic benefactor]] is revealed in ''Thor: The Dark World Prelude''.
* AllThereInTheStinger: A staple of movies, all of which have stingers, though not all of them are significant plot-wise. The ones that are are as follows:
** ''Film/IronMan1'' has Nick Fury showing up to talk to Tony about the Avengers Initiative.
** ''Film/IronMan2'' has Coulson locating Mjölnir in the New Mexico desert.
** ''Film/{{Thor}}'' had Selvig showing interest in the Tesseract, with a little push from Loki.
** ''Film/TheAvengers2012'': the first stinger gives us our first look at Thanos. (starting here, they tend to have two stingers, one party-way into the credits with a significant occurrence, and another more humorous or throw-away one at the very end.)
** ''Film/ThorTheDarkWorld'': The Aether being delivered to the Collector.
** ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier'': The first one we find out HYDRA has Loki's staff as well as Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, and the second one shows Bucky starting to piece together who he used to be.
** ''Film/AvengersAgeOfUltron'': Thanos saying, "Fine, I'll do it myself!" as he takes the Infinity Gauntlet.
** ''Film/CaptainAmericaCivilWar'': Bucky is placed back in cryo-freeze and T'Challa stands ready to defend Wakanda from foreign intervention.
* AloofDarkHairedGirl: Various examples; see the trope page.
* AlternateContinuity: The movies differ a lot from their comic counterparts and in some cases outright change things, so it's best to think of them as a separate story line, or alternate universe, than comic-to-movie adaptations. They are close enough to their comics, with plenty of references and cameos only they will get, that comic fans will have plenty to enjoy about them, while regular fans will also be able to enjoy the movies without knowing all the back story.
* AlwaysChaoticEvil:
** The Ice Giants from ''Thor'' are ''not'' this trope. In fact, part of Thor's character development is learning that they are not evil monsters that he can kill without a care. Their king even tries to talk him out of doing something rash.
** The Dark Elves from ''Dark World'' are all soldiers seeking to destroy all of "light" existence, so they are indeed this trope.
** The Kree are seen as this in the ''entire galaxy'' with most of them being belligerent warmongers and zealots who seek to either destroy or conquer other planets and generally have very poor relations with the rest of the galaxy. [[spoiler:Vin-Tak as seen in ''Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'' is the exception.]]
* AnachronicOrder: In Phase One, ''The Incredible Hulk'' takes place sometime during ''Iron Man 2'' (a news report of Hulk's rampage appears at ''[=IM2=]'''s end), and during ''Thor'', (the first half of which is occurring concurrently with the second half of ''Iron Man 2'' -- the overlap ending when [[TheStinger Coulson arrives in New Mexico]], and a freak thunderstorm is mentioned in ''Hulk''). The overlap is confirmed in ''Fury's Big Week'', which follows Fury, Black Widow and Hawkeye during the events of all three films.
** The first season of ''Series/{{Daredevil 2015}}'' is said to take place two years after ''The Avengers'', when the premiere dates of the two are much closer to ''three'' years apart. In general, a decent rule of thumb seems to be that the various Netflix series take place somewhere around six months before their release dates, give or take. The lack of links to the wider MCU beyond referencing ''The Avengers''' Battle of New York means that they can take place just about anywhere in or after Phase Two without causing continuity problems.
** There's also some of it within the Netflix shows. Claire appears in Season 2 of ''Daredevil'' with a cut eyebrow, which we then see her get in Season 1 of ''Luke Cage''.
* AnArmAndALeg: A motif in phase 2 - every movie has a character lose an arm or part of one. It started out as a coincidence, but later movies kept up the RunningGag.
** ''Iron Man 3'': [[spoiler: Aldrich has an arm cut off by Tony, but regenerates it thanks to Extremis]].
** ''Thor: The Dark World'': [[spoiler: Loki cuts off Thor's hand, but it's actually an illusion.]]
** ''Captain America: The Winter Soldier'': The Winter Soldier lost his arm before the movie, having it replaced with a cybernetic prosthetic.
** ''Guardians of the Galaxy'': Gamora chops off both of Groot's arms in their initial confrontation ([[GoodThingYouCanHeal they grow back]]). Later on,[[spoiler:Nebula removes her own robot hand near the climax in order to escape the battle]].
** ''Avengers: Age of Ultron'': Ultron cuts off [[spoiler: Klaue's arm]] after the latter compares him to Tony Stark.
** ''Ant-Man'': [[spoiler:Darren Cross]]'s arm shrinks into the Quantum Realm independently of the rest of him, [[spoiler:though the rest of him follows shortly after.]]
** Even ''Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'' gets in on the action in season 2, with two characters getting their hands cut off to save them from [[TakenForGranite Diviner petrification]]: [[spoiler:Izzy]] in the season premiere and [[spoiler:Coulson]] in the season finale.
* AndNowForSomethingCompletelyDifferent: After nine consecutive films focusing on the Avengers, either as a team or individually, the tenth entry into the Cinematic Universe is ''Guardians of the Galaxy'', a SpaceOpera about a RagTagBunchOfMisfits, which includes, among others, a [[Creator/BradleyCooper talking raccoon]], a GentleGiant [[Creator/VinDiesel tree creature]] who can only say five words to express himself, and a warrior with zero understanding of metaphors. ''Guardians of the Galaxy'' also has the distinction of being the first entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to be based on the creations of writers and artists other than Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. The original comic was created by Arnold Drake and Gene Colan.
** Same goes for the announcement of the {{Creator/Netflix}} shows, which focus on street-level superheroes operating out of New York City. This is in especially sharp contrast to the previous MCU show, ''Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'', which is light on superheroes and tends to feature a lot of globetrotting.
** It is rumored that ''Damage Control'' tv series will be {{sitcom}}, of all genres. That stays true to [[ComicBook/DamageControl the comic]], though.
* AntagonistTitle: Or subtitle, in the cases of ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier'' and ''Film/AvengersAgeOfUltron''.
* ArchaicWeaponForAnAdvancedAge: Seems to be common among the MCU's higher-tier cosmic characters, with the Asgardians and Kree especially favoring melee weapons. Aside from [[DropTheHammer Thor's Mjölnir and Ronan's Universal Weapon]], {{cool sword}}s are also quite common, and several characters use knives. Partially {{justified|trope}} by the fact that the characters who prefer such weapons are [[SuperToughness physically]] [[SuperStrength vastly]] [[SuperReflexes superhuman]] and many are {{Blood Knight}}s or from {{Proud Warrior Race| Guy}}s. {{Averted|Trope}} almost almost entirely with the squishier characters.
* ArcNumber: 12. See RunningGag below.
* ArtifactTitle:
** Increasingly becoming this as TV shows (as well as short films and comic book tie-ins) start to be included within the franchise, thus not making it exclusively ''Cinematic''. On the other hand, film is still the ''primary'' medium.
** In-universe, this becomes a DiscussedTrope after the ReTool midway through Season 1 of ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'': Team Coulson are left wondering whether they can really call themselves "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." any more, after [[spoiler:S.H.I.E.L.D. falls to HYDRA]]. Coulson is quite insistent that they are not "Agents of Nothing".
* AwakeningTheSleepingGiant: Earth is now CrazyPrepared to defend itself by the time of the ''Avengers''. Unfortunately, this draws unwanted [[ComicBook/{{Thanos}} attention]].
* BadassNormal: Despite the MCU being understandably superhero-heavy, this comes up surprisingly often:
** ''Iron Man 3'' has Tony and Rhodey unable to use their armor for much of the film, allowing them to demonstrate that they both (but especially Rhodey) have this in spades.
** Nick Fury has no superpowers, but still manages to run rings around anyone and everyone who does. Maria Hill gets this treatment later, too.
** Black Widow and Hawkeye are not innately super-powered, just very agile and highly capable fighters, though some of the tech they use to enhance their skills might mean they still qualify.
** Peter Jason Quill is also this in ''Guardians of the Galaxy'', relying on nothing more than a blaster, his guile, and his crack piloting skills. [[spoiler: It's revealed at the end of the movie that he's not completely "Terran", which allowed him to hold the Infinity Stone longer than anyone prior, and may give him other innate abilities.]]
** The whole premise of ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'' is that none of the main characters have superhuman powers, but frequently have to work with those who do. Early trailers for the show even used the tag-line "Not all heroes are 'super'". [[spoiler:Though Skye eventually gains superpowers.]]
** Peggy Carter and the Howling Commandos qualify in ''Captain America: The First Avenger''; being able to keep up with Cap and the Red Skull. In other works they're still just as badass, but disqualified from this trope on the technicality that there aren't any non-normals around to compare to.
** The Avengers Tower as seen in ''Avengers: Age of Ultron'' has a statue displayed prominently at the front of the building built in honour of the many examples of this trope during the events of ''The Avengers''.
* BadPresent:
** As always, Captain America uses shades of this.
-->'''Captain America:''' When I went under, the world was at war. When I woke, they said we won. They didn't say what we lost.
** It becomes more nuanced in ''Winter Soldier'' when he admits that the food is better in the present, and that medical advances and the internet have made things much better.
* BigApplesauce: Zigzagged. New York City is the most common setting, but unlike the comics is far from the ''only'' place where things happen. The only movies to feature major scenes in NYC are ''The Incredible Hulk'', ''Captain America: The First Avenger'', ''The Avengers'', ''Doctor Strange'', and ''Spider-Man:Homecoming''; and even then all those movies (barring ''Spider-Man:Homecoming'', presumably) spend most of their time elsewhere. Parts of ''Iron Man 2'' and ''Age of Ultron'' are also set in NYC, if not on the stereotypical city streets like the others (they're in Flushing Meadows Park and Avengers Tower, respectively). The first season of ''Agent Carter'' and the various ''Defenders'' shows play it straight, being mostly confined to New York; though the Netflix shows' DarkerAndEdgier take makes it the BigRottenApple.
%%** In ''Iron Man'', Tony Stark's main residence is near Los Angeles (where he lived for a few years in the comics of the Eighties) and his adventures have taken him to Afghanistan in the first film, Monaco in the second, and Tennessee and Miami in the third. The opening and climax of ''2'' are set at the Stark Expo in Flushing Meadows Park, in New York City's borough of Queens, however.
%%** ''Incredible Hulk'' starts in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and travels to Virginia before the New York climax.
%%** The portions of ''Thor'' set on Earth take place entirely in New Mexico in the first movie and London in the second.
%%** Although starting in New York, ''Captain America: The First Avenger'' then moves to the battlefields of Europe for the rest of the film. ''Winter Soldier'' takes place in Washington D.C.
%%** ''The Avengers'' features New York in the climax but visits several other places including New Mexico; Moscow, Russia; Kolkata, India; and Stuttgart, Germany. Some places (like the Helicarrier's location) are not identified.
%%** ''Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.'' globetrots everywhere and recurring locations are labelled "Classified".
%%** Apart from a brief origin scene before the opening credits, ''Guardians of the Galaxy'' isn't even set on Earth.
%%** ''Age of Ultron'' has scenes at the Avengers Tower in New York, but the major battles take place in Johannesburg, South Africa; Seoul, South Korea; and the fictional European country of Sokovia.
%%** ''Ant-Man'' takes place in San Francisco.
* BigBad: Being part of a superhero franchise, most of the films have a main antagonist for the hero to fight; the MCU even has [[BigBad/MarvelCinematicUniverse its own subpage]].
* BigGood:
** Nick Fury is the Big Good to both the Avengers (individually and assembled) and S.H.I.E.L.D. If any member of either group absolutely needs his help (even if they don't necessarily ''want'' it), he'll be there.
** The Nova Corps serves this role in ''Guardians of the Galaxy'' because they are SpacePolice.
* BigRottenApple: The Netflix series, where true to the comics Daredevil and Jessica Jones are set in the Manhattan neighborhood [[MeaningfulName Hell's Kitchen]] (which ironically has been more and more gentrified since the 90s, to the point Marvel had to film in parts of New York that still resemble the WretchedHive days).
* BittersweetEnding: Common across most of the movies and TV shows; see individual work pages.
* BloodierAndGorier: The ''Defenders'' shows display a great deal more blood than any MCU movie or ''Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D''.
* BreakoutCharacter:
** Agent Phil Coulson was a CanonForeigner who debuted as a minor character in [[Film/IronMan1 the first Iron Man film]]. His role expanded further in ''Film/IronMan2'' and ''Film/{{Thor}}'', and starred in a couple of the Film/MarvelOneShots that solidified his reputation as a BadassNormal. This led to a major role in ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'' culminating in a HeroicSacrifice. The outcry at his demise was just what the studio was hoping for, leading Phil to come BackFromTheDead to be the star of the MCU's first TV series, ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD''.
** Unlike Coulson, ComicBook/PeggyCarter was from the comics, created to be a TemporaryLoveInterest for Captain America during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII... but she debuted in TheSixties, [[RetCon long after Cap's wartime comics were over,]] ''and'' defrosted Cap got together with her younger relative, Sharon. As a result, she'd rarely been anything more than a SatelliteCharacter to Steve and Sharon in the comics. Since 99% of ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger'' takes place during the war, she had a much [[AscendedExtra bigger role]] in that film than she ever did in the comics. This led to her starring in ''Film/AgentCarter'', one of the Film/MarvelOneShots set shortly after the war, where she fought not just the bad guys, but [[DeliberateValuesDissonance the institutionalized sexism of the time]]. The popularity of that short led to her starring in her own TV show, ''Series/AgentCarter''. She went from being a SatelliteLoveInterest in the comics to the first female lead in the MCU. It's worth noting that the filmmakers have tried to use Peggy in every single (Earth-bound) MCU vehicle after ''The First Avenger''. Creator/JossWhedon wrote a scene for her in ''The Avengers'', and she has cameos in ''The Winter Soldier'', ''Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'', ''Age of Ultron'', and ''Ant-Man''. This character has ''seriously'' resonated with her audience.
** While Iron Man was already fairly popular, his movie was the catalyst which rocketed him to Batman/Spider-Man levels of popularity.
** In the wake of their 2014 movie, the Guardians of the Galaxy are quickly went from a group of B or C-listers to becoming one of Marvel's most popular teams.
** Cap's popularity '''exploded''' after ''Winter Soldier'', to the point that the marketing department moved him (and Chris Evans' name) front and center for ''Age of Ultron'' promotional material (though this meant that Evans went from second to fourth in the film's credits). Not bad for someone whose appearance in the first Avengers film official poster is in the background behind Iron Man and Thor.
** Claire Temple, originally little more than a love interest for Luke Cage in the comics, has essentially become the equivalent of Coulson for the Netflix shows, having become a CompositeCharacter with Night Nurse and appearing in them all as New York's go-to superhero hospital.
* BreakoutVillain:
** Loki has played a major part in three movies when most other villains don't even ''survive'' their films. Hiddleston even made an appearance as him in-character during Marvel's Comic-Con panel in 2013, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3R9g_VABesA which proves plenty of humans would gladly let him take over the planet]]. This led to him getting his own solo comic series, and upgraded to a much larger presence in the overall Marvel universe.
** [[spoiler:Ward]] becomes this in ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD''. WordOfGod hints that the original plan was to kill him off in the Season 1 finale, but because he was more popular [[spoiler:as a villain than he was as a hero]], and because the writers were having so much fun with his character, he was given a reprieve. He was finally killed midway through Season 3, and even then his actor stayed on for a while longer thanks to the corpse being claimed by a body-snatcher.
* BrieferThanTheyThink: Samuel L. Jackson's role as Nick Fury is one of the more famous roles in the MCU as he has appeared in many of the movies and in a few episodes of ''Agents of SHIELD''. Despite this, he is usually a OneSceneWonder, appearing in a single scene, some of which, are TheStinger for those films. He likely only has about one hour of screentime spread out throughout Phase 1 and 2.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tropes C - F]]
* CaliforniaDoubling:
** Played straight in many occasions (such as having Cleveland double for New York City in ''The Avengers'' and Washington, D.C. in ''Captain America: The Winter Soldier''), but averted in the four Netflix shows, each of which will be shot in New York.
** As a television show with a smaller budget, ''Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'' gets hit with this a lot.
** ''Series/AgentCarter'' naturally uses California back lots for New York in its first season, since filming period pieces in New York is extraordinarily difficult. When the series shifts to Los Angeles for season 2, they were able to do much more location shooting.
%%% Please do not group the cameo tropes. That is a violation of example indentation.
* TheCameo: Often, and it helps to establish a connected universe (such as Tony Stark appearing in ''Incredible Hulk'' and Nick Fury's brief scenes in ''Thor, Captain America,'' and ''Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'').
** There are minor cameos between this universe and the properties Marvel Studios doesn't hold; for example, there are Stark Industries-made machines in ''X-Men 2''. There were also talks of having the Oscorp building from ''Film/TheAmazingSpiderMan'' appearing in ''The Avengers'', but the latter was too close to completion by the time the idea was proposed.
** At one point, one of the people working on ''The Amazing Spider-Man'' claimed the cranes that lined up to help Peter reach Oscorp faster were repairing the destruction caused in ''The Avengers''. Similarly, Sony's pre-release marketing for ''Film/TheAmazingSpiderMan2'' included a [[http://thedailybugle.tumblr.com/post/81695364626/by-ken-ellis-in-an-unexpected-setback-oscorp ''Daily Bugle'' Tumblr feed]] to establish some minor aspects of the franchise and set up future films. One story states that Oscorp lost a contract for a [[Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier military]] [[ComicBook/TheFalcon flying harness]] to a "[[Film/IronMan Los Angeles-based conglomerate with offices in Manhattan]]", and implies that the lead engineer on the project, Adrian Toomes (the man who becomes the Vulture in the comics), is on the chopping block because of it. Clever way to tie in their own future film through back door crossovers at the least. Ultimately, any connection between the settings was rendered moot once Marvel Studios decided to reboot the franchise in a way that better suited the setting.
* CanonForeigner: S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Phil Coulson, and most of the human supporting cast in the ''Thor'' and ''Ant-Man'' franchises. For ''Thor'', this includes Jane's associates Dr. Erik Selvig, Darcy Lewis, Richard and Ian. ''Ant-Man'' features Paxton, the husband of Scott Lang's ex, as well as Luis, Kurt and Dave, Scott's prison friends who assist him in his heist. All the members of the lead cast of ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD''[='=]s first season are also original to the cinematic universe. [[spoiler:Subverted with Skye, who is eventually revealed to be the comics character Daisy Johnson AKA Quake.]]
* CanonImmigrant:
** Agent Coulson made his comics debut in the ''Battle Scars'' miniseries, which came right before the ''Avengers'' movie. The rest of the Season One cast of ''Agents of SHIELD'' were added in ''ComicBook/SHIELD2014'' (Agents May, Fitz and Simmons at launch, Grant Ward after a retitle to ''ComicBook/AgentsOfSHIELD''). The exception is Skye, who didn't carry over into the comics since [[spoiler:she was already there; she's ComicBook/DaisyJohnson.]]
** ''Thor'''s Dr. Selvig was added to the comics universe in ''ComicBook/AvengersStandoff''.
** Sometimes when the movie version of a character is sufficiently different enough from the comics, the comics will bring over the new version with a connection to the original. These include the JARVIS AI (modeled on the human character), Nick Fury (son of the original Fury), Yondu (distant ancestor to the year-3000 Yondu), and Wasp ([[spoiler:daughter of Pym and his first wife, appropriating the super-identity of his second wife]]).
** Series/{{Jessica Jones|2015}} and Trish Walker formed such a duo that the next Comicbook/PatsyWalker [[Comicbook/PatsyWalkerAKAHellcat series]] [[http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/c2e2-exclusive-leth-brings-patsy-walker-jessica-jones-together-for-the-first-time had to include them teaming up.]]
* CelebrityParadox:
** In ''Film/TheAvengers2012'', Clint is referred to as [[Film/TheLordOfTheRings "Legolas"]]. Both Creator/HugoWeaving (Red Skull) and Creator/AndySerkis (Ulysses Klaue) play major characters in the film trilogy, while Creator/RichardArmitage (Heinz Kruger), Creator/LeePace (Ronan the Accuser), Creator/EvangelineLilly (Hope Van Dyne), Creator/MartinFreeman (Everett Ross), and Creator/BenedictCumberbatch (Stephen Strange) all play major characters [[Film/TheHobbit in its prequel trilogy]].
** In ''Film/IronMan3'', Happy Hogan mentions that he loves watching ''Series/DowntonAbbey''. Creator/CharlieCox, who plays the titular ''Series/{{Daredevil 2015}}'', had a role there.
** In ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier'', Steve is seen holding a list of things he need to catch up on, one of which is watching ''Franchise/StarWars''. Both Creator/SamuelLJackson (Nick Fury) and Creator/NataliePortman (Jane Foster) were in the prequel trilogy [[note]]Creator/EwanMcGregor, another main cast member of the prequel trilogy, has played Creator/TomHolland's (Peter Parker) [[Film/TheImpossible first on-screen father]].[[/note]], while Creator/AndySerkis (Ulysses Klaue) plays the BigBad of the sequel trilogy. Spider-Man also references "that really old movie" ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack''.
** ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'' mentions ''[[Film/AnchormanTheLegendOfRonBurgundy Anchorman]]'', despite Creator/PaulRudd, who plays the ([[LegacyCharacter second]]) titular ''Film/AntMan'', being a major character there.
** Speaking of ''Film/AntMan'', ''Film/{{Titanic 1997}}'' and its male lead Creator/LeonardoDiCaprio were mentioned early in that film. Creator/BillPaxton, who plays The Clairvoyant in ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'', played a key character there, while Creator/PaulRudd and [=DiCaprio=] were in ''Film/WilliamShakespearesRomeoAndJuliet'' together.
** [[Series/AgentsOfShield Agents Fitz and Simmons]] are confirmed to be fans of ''Series/DoctorWho'', despite the fact that the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy and their ally, Agent Weaver, looks suspiciously like [[Recap/DoctorWhoS27E7TheLongGame a character]] from ''Series/DoctorWho''. Additionally, [[Creator/ChristopherEccleston the Ninth Doctor]] plays the BigBad in ''Film/ThorTheDarkWorld'', [[Creator/KarenGillan Amy Pond]] plays TheDragon in ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy'', [[Creator/DavidTennant the Tenth Doctor]] plays the BigBad in ''Series/JessicaJones2015'', Creator/TonyCurran plays an Irish mob boss in ''Series/{{Daredevil 2015}}'' and the list goes on...
* CityOfAdventure: A massive chunk of the MCU takes place in New York City, and virtually the entire Netflix catalog of shows takes place in ''one neighborhood'': Hell's Kitchen.
* CivvieSpandex: Both averted and played straight. Many of the characters wear something resembling their iconic comic book outfits, but there are exceptions. ComicBook/BuckyBarnes and ComicBook/TheFalcon wear military gear rather than a costume or DominoMask (though both do have comic roots), while Whiplash doesn't wear anything resembling his comic outfit.
* ClarkesThirdLaw: The films seem to be heading in a generally Sci-Fi direction, though ClarkesThirdLaw is quoted and specifically referenced in ''Thor'', with Thor saying that in Asgard science and magic are the same thing, rather than sufficiently advanced science passing as magic or magic taking the form of a complex science. Furthermore, the semi-magical Bifröst of Asgard is an [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wormhole#Schwarzschild_wormholes Einstein-Rosen Bridge]] that Jane and her team are studying at the beginning of the film. Loki on the other hand is referred to as "a master of magic" by an Asgardian, so the whole matter is rather unclear.
* ComicbookMoviesDontUseCodenames: Zig-zagged depending on the character; some have their codenames in widespread use, others only get a few token nods. Some characters, mainly in the ''Thor'' and ''Guardians'' movies, technically don't even ''have'' codenames.
** Parodied with Star-Lord, who insists on a codename even as everyone around him constantly lampshades how silly he sounds.
** The ''Ant-Man'' trailers had characters similarly riffing on how "Ant-Man" is hard to take seriously, but [[NeverTrustATrailer these bits don't appear in the movie]].
* ComicBookTime: Totally averted, the timeline is identical with the theatrical releases of each individual film (other than some AnachronicOrder in Phase One, but that's still not an example of Comic Book Time). Which is part of the reason why the MCU is so beloved, you get the chance of seeing real change and development, [[StatusQuoIsGod in contrast to]] the 616-verse.
* CompositeCharacter: Among various examples across the franchise, there's a notable ''inanimate'' example: as we learn in ''Film/ThorTheDarkWorld'', [[spoiler:the Tesseract is not only the comics' Cosmic Cube, but also one of the Infinity Gems]]. In ''Film/AvengersAgeOfUltron'' the same treatment is applied to [[spoiler:The Vision's Solar Gem and the Mind Gem.]]
* ContinuityLockout: This has naturally become an increasing possibility as the franchise goes on, though pains are typically taken to keep each character's series largely watchable on their own beyond the odd ContinuityNod. ''Civil War'' is the first place where it really comes into play, as Hawkeye and Ant-Man show up midway through with little-to-no introduction and audiences are expected to already know who they are.
* ContinuityOverlap: See below.
** One example of a ContinuityNod starts with ''Film/IronMan1''; Stane uses a portable device that, apparently, paralyzes via soundwaves, but was rejected by the military for some unspecified reason. It lasted for fifteen minutes, but could probably easily be scaled up somehow, for the new, heavier threats. And sure enough, they ''did'' have a similar Stark Industries device in ''Film/TheIncredibleHulk'', big enough to be car-mounted. Two of them stunned the Hulk for a while, but ultimately he was strong enough to get back on his feet and smash them both.
** Not surprisingly, the events of ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier'' impacted ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'' '''very hard,''' since the former resulted in [[spoiler:SHIELD being disbanded due to internal corruption by HYDRA]]. ''Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'' returned the favor in its second season, with a mid-season cliffhanger with [[spoiler:the release of the Terrigen Mists]], and ties into the announced ''Inhumans'' movie.
** It's subtly implied that Tony's father created the designs for the original arc reactor based on his studies of the Tesseract, which he had a chance to study once it was captured from HYDRA.
** Saint Agnes Orphanage in New York, where both [[Series/AgentsOfSHIELD Skye]] and [[Series/{{Daredevil 2015}} Matt Murdock]] lived for a time (though likely not the same time).
* ContinuityPorn: ''The Avengers'' is naturally this with references made to the past five films that preceded it! Phase Two has shades of this as well with Tony having PTSD-like flashbacks in ''Iron Man 3'' to his HeroicSacrifice in ''Avengers'', ''Thor: The Dark World'' has Loki shapeshift into Captain America while talking about Thor's "new friends" and Jane hits Loki for his involvement in the Chitauri invasion when they meet, [[spoiler:and the Tesseract from ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger'' and ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'' turns out to be an Infinity Gem/Stone in TheStinger]] and ''Captain America: The Winter Soldier'' has S.H.I.E.L.D. stepping up their defensive game as a response to what happened in ''Avengers''!
* ContinuityReboot: ''Film/TheIncredibleHulk'' ignores the events of Creator/AngLee's ''Film/{{Hulk}}'' (outside of Bruce being located in South America at the end), while the ''Daredevil'' TV show ignores the events of the Fox ''Film/{{Daredevil}}'' movie. Sony also appears to be abandoning ''Film/TheAmazingSpiderManSeries'' so that the MCU's Spider-Man will have no connection to it.
* CorruptPolitician: The United States government seems to be full of them. Vice President Rodriguez allies with A.I.M. to assassinate the president. Secretary of Defense Alexander Pierce is also the leader of [=HYDRA=] and plans to assassinate, among thousands of others, the president and the Avengers in order to subjugate the world. Senator Stern of Pennsylvania is also an agent of [=HYDRA=]. Senator Christian Ward of Massachusetts is an [[AbusiveParents Abusive Parent]]. Senator Randolph Cherryh of New York is a member of Wilson Fiskís crime ring. Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross previously attempted to capture Bruce Banner in order to weaponize the Hulk, and has no compunctions about imprisoning a number of the Avengers.
* CreativeClosingCredits: Each movie has either this, or an ArtisticTitle sequence.
* CreatorCameo: As is standard procedure for Marvel productions, Creator/StanLee always makes a cameo (even in the TV shows, though in both ''Defenders'' shows so far it's only a background photo). J. Michael Straczynski appears in ''Thor'' and Creator/EdBrubaker appears in ''Captain America: The Winter Soldier'', each of them having served as a script consultant on their respective films. Creator/WaltSimonson, perhaps the best-known writer of the comic, also appears in ''Thor''.
* CrisisCrossover: ''The Avengers'' for the movies; ''The Defenders'' for the Netflix series.
* DarkerAndEdgier: The Netflix shows take a far grittier and down-to-earth tone than any other entry in the MCU. ''Series/{{Daredevil 2015}}'' greatly plays up Matt's AntiHero traits, emphasizing the BlackAndGrayMorality of the series. At times it feels more like a CriminalProcedural with a definite FilmNoir influence, [[BloodierAndGorier and the violence]] is [[ViolenceIsDisturbing relentlessly brutal and horrific]]. The creators stated that along with the comics, the biggest influence was ''Series/TheWire''. ''Jessica Jones'' goes even ''darker'', with Kilgrave's CompellingVoice power explicitly compared to rape (and sometimes used for ''literal'' rape).
* DeadpanSnarker:
** Tony Stark, who snarks enough to make up for the characters that don't.
** While not very snarky in ''Thor'', Loki spends much of ''The Avengers'' playing catch-up, and takes it UpToEleven in ''The Dark World''.
** It's practically a job requirement to become a S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent. Just for fun, try to find a part in ''any'' film where S.H.I.E.L.D. ''don't'' take a moment to snark in the face of someone.
** The final battle against the Clairvoyant in ''Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'''s first season deserves note. 90% of it is Coulson and Fury snarking to each other while the BigBad gives his speech.
--->'''Fury:''' You didn't tell me he'd gone ''this'' crazy.\\
'''Coulson:''' He's really stepped it up a notch.
** Ultron in ''Age of Ultron,'' inherited directly from Tony Stark. Steve Rogers visibly groans when Stark and Ultron trade snark.
** This seems to be Foggy Nelson's natural state of being. He drops it only when things get really serious. Mostly.
** Jessica Jones thrives off of this trope.
-->'''Malcolm:''' You use sarcasm to distance people.\\
'''Jessica:''' And yet, you're still here.
* DecompositeCharacter:
** Nick Fury's many roles in the comics so far has been given to three different characters: Himself (Director of SHIELD, morally grey overseer of superhero activity, Maria Hill's boss), Coulson (also Director of SHIELD, Daisy Johnson's surrogate father figure and the overseer of the Secret Warriors, fights a personal war against HYDRA), and Peggy Carter (leader of the Howling Commandos and drinking buddy of Dum Dum Dugan, secret agent following War who eventually co-founds SHIELD).
** From the ''Comicbook/SecretWarriors'' comic, we have JT Slade's role which seems to have been split into three characters over in ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'': Grant Ward (romantically linked to Daisy Johnson, [[spoiler:TheMole who betrays her team]], eventually [[spoiler:killed by her father figure]]), Lincoln Campbell (superpowered member of the Secret Warriors, doesn't actually ''like'' working as a spy, and as above, romantically linked to Daisy Johnson), and James (has fire-based powers and the character's first name (possibly full name) and codename).
** Tony Stark's butler Jarvis was split into two; the JARVIS AI assists Tony in the ''Iron Man'' movies while Edwin Jarvis is a regular human butler who serves ''Howard'' Stark in ''Agent Carter''.
** Hawkeye also has some traits split off into another character, with Lance Hunter in ''Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'' getting his relationship with Mockingbird and being even more of a rebellious snarker than the movie Hawkeye is.
* DenouementEpisode: ''Ant-Man'' is this to Phase 2, respectively. It comes immediately after a flagship ''Avengers'' film, but features a lesser-known character in a comparatively smaller-stakes situation.
* DidntThinkThisThrough: ''Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'' shows the fallout from actions taken in one of the movies: [[spoiler:Steve, Nick, and Natasha's decision to destroy S.H.I.E.L.D. in ''Winter Soldier''. Sure it exposed HYDRA but it made life hell for all the other agents, if they weren't killed by the HYDRA sleeper agents, they ended being hunted down by the USA military and various intelligence agencies for interrogation (and possible incarceration) and if they don't give themselves up they go into hiding instead. That doesn't even go into the fact that there's more than one faction of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents claiming to be the true successor to the organization while being severely at odds with one another.]]
* DifferentlyPoweredIndividual: Due to Marvel Studios not owning the rights to the ''X-Men'', none of the characters are called mutants, instead being referred to as "gifted" or "enhanced". A specific type of powered people, who had latent potential for powers that has since been unlocked, are "[[spoiler:Inhuman]]".
* DisneyDeath: There's usually been [[OncePerEpisode at least one fakeout death per movie.]]
** ''Iron Man'': [[spoiler:Iron Man.]]
** ''The Incredible Hulk'': [[spoiler:Bruce Banner.]]
** ''Thor'': [[spoiler:Thor and later Loki.]]
** ''Captain America: The First Avenger'': [[spoiler:Bucky, as revealed in ''Captain America: The Winter Soldier''.]]
** ''The Avengers'': [[spoiler:Agent Phil Coulson, as revealed in ''Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.'', and Iron Man.]]
** ''Iron Man 3'': [[spoiler:Pepper Potts.]]
** ''Thor: The Dark World'': [[spoiler:Loki, again.]]
** ''Captain America: The Winter Soldier'': [[spoiler:Nick Fury.]]
** ''Guardians of the Galaxy'': [[spoiler:Groot.]]
** Both played with and averted in ''Age of Ultron'', as [[spoiler:J.A.R.V.I.S. is reborn as The Vision]] and [[spoiler:Quicksilver]] is KilledOffForReal.
** ''Ant-Man'': Downplayed. [[spoiler:Hank Pym]] is shot, but it's soon shown that it's not immediately serious as long as he gets medical attention quickly.
** ''Captain America: Civil War'': Also downplayed with [[spoiler:Rhodey after being accidentally shot down by Vision]]. He's in a bad way, but F.R.I.D.A.Y. determines he's still alive almost immediately.
* TheDragon: Many of the supporting villains play this role to the main villain including:
** Emil Blonsky spends most of ''The Incredible Hulk'' as General Ross' right hand man before going mad with power.
** Ivan Vanko is hired to be this to Justin Hammer, but he ends up being a DragonWithAnAgenda.
** The Other is Thanos' representative and acts as his go-between for lower ranking villains like Loki and the Chitauri.
** Wesley's job title is likely "Administrative Assistant" for Kingpin Wilson Fisk because he is always at the man's side, translating, giving advice or fixing his bowtie.
* DrunkWithPower: The nature of power and who is fit to wield it has been one of the consistent questions throughout the MCU movies. This applies even to the good guys: ''The Winter Soldier'' points just how powerful and all-seeing SHIELD is becoming. Sure, as it turns out, SHIELD has been thoroughly infiltrated by [[spoiler: HYDRA]], but as other characters point out, Nick Fury's obsession with secrecy and crafting SHIELD into an all-powerful agency shielded from oversight by outside entities, however well-intentioned, greatly aided [[spoiler: HYDRA's]] efforts.
* DVDCommentary: MCU movies from ''Film/TheIncredibleHulk'' onward each have a director's commentary on their [=DVDs=] and/or Blu-Ray Discs, which sometimes also features comments from other crew members and/or an actor. As of 2016, Marvel Studios stands as one of three Disney-owned studios (along with Creator/{{Pixar}} and Lucasfilm) to regularly include commentaries for their latest movies.
* EarlyBirdCameo:
** Often done to hype a future movie: Nick Fury in ''Iron Man'', Thor's hammer in ''Iron Man 2'', Hawkeye and the Tesseract in ''Thor'', Thanos in ''The Avengers'' and ''Age of Ultron'', The Collector in ''Thor: The Dark World'', Baron von Strucker, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch - plus a NameDrop for ComicBook/DoctorStrange - in ''Captain America: The Winter Soldier'', and Ulysses Klaue along with mentions of Wakanda in ''Age of Ultron''. Black Panther and Spider-Man are also slated to have supporting roles in ''Civil War'' before they get their own movies.
** ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'' did this to a place, name-dropping the Triskelion several months before it appeared in ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier''. There's also an appearance and name drop of the Kree.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness:
** The first two films weren't quite made to share a universe in the same way that the other entries have been once they proved successful, so a few things stand out, like SHIELD being treated as a brand new organization in ''Iron Man''. Though the others were mostly subjected to various patch jobs, like a One Shot showing that Tony Stark was sent to General Ross to deliberately fail to get his approval for the Abomination at the end of ''The Incredible Hulk''.
** On top of that, you can now be forgiven for not remembering Creator/EdwardNorton as Bruce Banner and Terrence Howard as Lt. Colonel Rhodes.
* EurekaMoment: According to the ''Building a Cinematic Universe'' documentary, when Marvel Studios was first created, one of the first meetings featured a discussion of which properties they still had the rights to. As they listed off the properties they couldn't use at the time (Franchise/SpiderMan, Film/{{Daredevil}}, Film/{{The Punisher|2004}}, Film/GhostRider, Film/FantasticFour, Film/XMen, Film/{{Blade}}...), they slowly realized they still had the rights to most of the various characters who formed ComicBook/TheAvengers.
* EventTitle:
** ''Film/AvengersAgeOfUltron'' - the age being the titular Ultron's EvilPlan.
** ''Film/CaptainAmericaCivilWar'' - the civil war refers to TheTeam being divided over the SuperRegistrationAct.
* EvilCounterpart: Many of the heroes go up against people that have similar powers [[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: but are evil! ]]
Examples include Iron Man and Iron Monger, Hulk and Abomination, Captain America and both Red Skull and Winter Soldier, and Ant-Man and Yellowjacket.
** Iron Man is also opposed by Justin Hammer who is his EvilCounterpart in business rather than superpowers; Loki is this to Thor as gods.
* ExtremelyShortTimespan: In Phase One, most of the movies take place almost at the same time even though they were all made years apart; in fact the tie-in comic ''Fury's Big Week'' specifies that ''Iron Man 2'', ''Thor'' and ''The Incredible Hulk'' all happened the same ''week''. Tony and Rhodey's fight took place the same day Bruce Banner crossed the border into the United States, which was also the same day Agent Coulson reported electro-magnetic disturbances in New Mexico to Nick Fury. Thor and Mjolnir arrived in New Mexico the day after the Stark Expo battle, while Hulk's fight at Culver University took place on the same day as Tony and Fury's conversation at the end of ''Iron Man 2'', which was ''also'' the same day Thor got his powers back. In relation, ''Iron Man 1'' was stated to have taken place six months earlier, ''Captain America'' took place mainly 70 years ago during WWII, and Cap's revival and ''The Avengers'' takes place at least a year later. Phases Two and onward have averted this, with their events occurring in roughly the same time span that the movies are released.
* {{Fanservice}}: The franchise tends to find excuses to portray its male heroes shirtless at least [[OnceAnEpisode once a film]]. Ironically, Black Widow, whose powers arguably include "[[FemmeFatale being sexy]]", is possibly the ''least'' sexualized Avenger, doubly so given that [[Creator/ScarlettJohansson her actress]] is generally accepted as being one of the most attractive women in the world.
* FeudingFamilies: The [[FreezeFrameBonus file on Ulysses Klaue]] in ''Age of Ultron'' reveals that the Klaue family and the Black Panthers of Wakanda have been going at it ever since the 19th century when Klaue's great grandfather tried to annex the country, and got killed by the Black Panther for his troubles. Later Ulysses is hired to kill TíChaka at the Bilberg Conference if the monarch refused to open up Wakanda's resources - i.e. Vibranium to international trade.
* FiveManBand: For the bulk of '''The Avengers'' movie there are only five Avengers because Hawkeye is brainwashed. They fit the archetype well until the final battle.
** TheLeader -- Captain America is the official Avengers leader due to his qualities such as tactics, cool-headedness and charisma. It takes him a while, but eventually he realizes his good heart and tactical knowledge are what is needed to bring the team together.
** TheLancer -- Iron Man. The total opposite of Captain America and the most resistant to being a team player. However, his loose cannon recklessness saves the day several times and conversely it is eventually he who benefits the most from having people watching his back.
** TheBigGuy -- Thor is a [[BoisterousBruiser boisterous]] ProudWarriorRaceGuy. Between his SuperStrength, [[DropTheHammer hammer]], and ShockAndAwe powers he's the strongest of the team. Bruce as the Hulk also qualifies. %%Tony is a normal human without his suit and Bruce better fits Smart Guy.
** TheSmartGuy -- Bruce Banner was reassured that he was recruited for his scientific expertise and that his purpose was to track the Tesseract. Aside from the climax this is his purpose. Stark, also being a super-scientist, is a secondary example but fits Lancer better. The two of them bond over TechnoBabble.
** TheChick -- Black Widow, by virtue of being the girl of the group, her ability to get to places where people don't want her to be, and her use of emotions to manipulate villains and also manage the Hulk. She's almost a heroic version of the DarkChick.
%%%%
%%%% There are only five members of a Five Man Band and these are the only archetypes.
%%%%%%
* FlatCharacter: A common criticism of the movies is that their villains are often underdeveloped, with the exception of Loki who is given almost as much screen time as Thor. The ''Defenders'' shows are other major exceptions since they focus on their villains as much as the heroes.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: There's been a bit of a trend of alluding to future Marvel heroes before they debut:
** In ''Iron Man'', Rhodey looks at one of the Iron Man armors and says "Next time, baby." He did indeed get to become War Machine in the sequel.
** ''Iron Man 2'' has a brief scene where Nick Fury shows Tony a map of metahuman activity throughout the world. One of the markers is located in the Arctic, where Captain America was frozen - speaking of which, a box of S.H.I.E.L.D. gear given to Tony includes a prototype of his shield. Another spot on the map is in Africa, which was later confirmed to be a nod to Black Panther, who will be joining the MCU in 2016.
** ''Thor'' had a line where Selvig mentioned that he had a friend named Hank Pym who had a run-in with S.H.I.E.L.D. years earlier, though this was cut from the final release.
** ''The Avengers'' has a deleted scene where the guard that Banner encounters asks him if he's a big guy who shrinks, alluding to Ant-Man.
** In ''Captain America: The Winter Soldier'', Sitwell name-drops Stephen Strange as one of the potential threats [[spoiler: HYDRA]] plans to eliminate.
** ''Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'' incorporated subplots involving Inhumans since day one[[note]]though they didn't reveal they ''were'' about the Inhumans until a season and a half in[[/note]], a whole year before their movie was even announced and ''five'' before it's to be released.
** ''Age of Ultron'' briefly visits Africa and introduces Ulysses Klaue, heralding the Black Panther, while Thor's visions warn of something terrible befalling Asgard in ''Thor: Ragnarok.''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tropes G - R]]
* GenreBusting: As described under FollowTheLeader on the Trivia page, the franchise changed what movie-goers and movie-makers alike thought was possible with crossover films, and along the ''Film/TheDarkKnightSaga'' redefined what the superhero genre could do. Every time it seems like one of their upcoming films will flop for whatever reason, they still find financial success, and the critical success is steadily increasing too.
* GenreRoulette: Though collectively under the "superhero" and ScienceFiction genres, each hero's movies skew towards their own genre:
** ''Iron Man 1'' and ''2'' are relatively [[MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness hard-scale]] MilitaryScienceFiction, plus Tony and Pepper's relationship in the first was noted to resemble a ScrewballComedy. The third movie [[http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/03/05/kevin-feige-talks-marvels-phase-2-movies has been described as]] a Political Thriller.
** ''The Incredible Hulk'' is a [[AttackOfTheKillerWhatever Monster Movie]].
** ''Thor'' is HighFantasy, with ''The Dark World'' blending in some SpaceOpera elements.
** ''Captain America: The First Avenger'' is a [[MilitaryAndWarfareFilms War Movie]], while ''The Winter Soldier'' is a ConspiracyThriller. ''Civil War'''s genre is harder to pin down; it has some political aspects but these are mainly the backdrop to a story about a friendship falling apart.
** ''Guardians of the Galaxy'' is both a SpaceOpera and SpaceWestern, with a large [[{{Comedy}} Comedic]] streak.
** ''Ant-Man'' is TheCaper.
** ''Doctor Strange'' is an UrbanFantasy. Judging by its crew's résumés, it's also apt to have heavy {{Horror}} elements.
** ''Spider-Man: Homecoming'' is a Teen Movie in the vein of ''Film/TheBreakfastClub''.
** Both ''Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'' and ''Agent Carter'' are Martini-flavored SpyFiction. A proposed spin-off of the former called ''Marvel's Most Wanted'' was being set up to be more of the Stale Beer flavor, with two ex-agents actively hunted and without support. ''Agent Carter'' also had some Stale Beer mixed into its first season, due to the constant sexism Peggy deals with.
** The ''Defenders'' series are generally some combination of CityNoir and FantasticNoir. ''Series/JessicaJones2015'' mixes the noir elements with a PsychologicalThriller. ''Iron Fist'' is also likely to be part {{Wuxia}} like his comics are, but ''Luke Cage'' will notably ''not'' be {{Blaxploitation}} like what ''his'' comics started out as.
** ''Damage Control'', if made, will be a {{Sitcom}}.
** ''Cloak and Dagger'' is described as primarily a {{Romance}}.
** ''The Avengers'' movies, throwing everybody together, fall under ScienceFantasy.
* GreaterScopeVillain:
** ComicBook/{{Thanos}} is involved in the first and third ''Avengers'' movies and ''Guardians of the Galaxy''. He is more powerful and more dangerous than the BigBad of the films (Loki and Ronan, respectively) but he does not take direct action. By extension, he is this for the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe given the scale of his villainy (galaxy wide).
** The Ten Rings in the ''Film/IronMan'' films are present in ''1'' and ''3'' ([[spoiler:though the Ten Rings from ''3'' are revealed to be impostors]]). A deleted scene from ''2'' shows the Ten Rings helping Whiplash get to Monaco. They are a big threat and provide support to the BigBad (Iron Monger and Whiplash) but they are not directly involved.
** [[spoiler: HYDRA the organization, independent of any leader. [[HydraProblem "Cut off one head, two more will take its place."]]]] They're primarily in the ''Captain America'' films and ''Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'', but have had an effect on ''Iron Man'' as well since [[spoiler:they're the ones who killed Tony's parents]], and ''Ant Man'' because [[spoiler: Darren Cross was planning on selling the Yellowjacket suit to them]]. ''Agents'' later reveals that [[spoiler:HYDRA is just the most modern incarnation of a much older AncientConspiracy]], making them an even greater evil than we first thought. However, they've taken sustained losses since their exposure and were supposedly wiped out shortly before ''Civil War''.
** ''Daredevil'' has [[spoiler:the Hand]]. While Matt deals primarily with relatively mundane threats like Fisk and the Punisher, they're quietly working behind the scenes to set up ''[[HiddenAgendaVillain something]]'' big. The scale of their goals means they could be this for the ''Defenders'' shows overall, but it's not clear yet.
* AGodIAmNot: Though Loki would dispute the claim, most appearances by Asgardians are accompanied by at least a line or two reminding the audience that they are HumanAliens and ''not'' gods.
* GodzillaThreshold: Best summed up by Tony Stark in four simple words:
--> '''Tony''': We have a ''' ''Hulk''.'''
** And Captain America in three:
---> '''Cap''': And Hulk? ''Smash!''
** Noted by Banner himself in ''Age of Ultron.'' "Is this a code green?"
* GovernmentAgencyOfFiction: S.H.I.E.L.D. in all the movies, and before their time during WWII, there was the Strategic Scientific Reserve, which is essentially the OSS to S.H.I.E.L.D.'s CIA.
* HeroOfAnotherStory:
** Many of the movies tease that there are other superheroes out there, Tony Stark pops up in ''The Incredible Hulk'', Nick Fury has appeared at least by name in every Phase One film, Hawkeye appears as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. in ''Thor'', etc.
** ''Captain America: The First Avenger'' features a blink and you'll miss it appearance by the original Human Torch at Stark's expo (doubles as a MythologyGag and ActorAllusion).
** ''The Winter Soldier'' offhandedly references [[ComicBook/DoctorStrange Stephen Strange]].
** Rhodey as War Machine is doing his own heroing separate from the Avengers. He has stories that are loved by civilians (but the Avengers don't find them impressive.)
** Hank Pym [[spoiler:and Janet Pym Nee Van Dyne]] spent up to twenty years fighting Soviets during the Cold War as Ant-Man [[spoiler:and Wasp]] but the audience only sees brief snippets of these missions.
* HumansAreWarriors: After repelling the Chitauri invasion, even their leader admits fighting them is "to court death." Unfortunately, this is [[BatmanGambit exactly what Thanos wants,]] being a literal DeathSeeker in the sense that he is in love with Mistress Death and seeks her favor.
* HyperlinkStory: The ''film franchise'' is set to come together for the ''Infinity Wars''.
* InCaseYouForgotWhoWroteIt: Beginning to be enforced as of the end of Phase One, with ''"Marvel's The Avengers"'', ''"Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."'', and ''"Marvel's Agent Carter"''. Sometimes it can get awkward; for instance the comic book tie-in collection ''"Road to Marvel's The Avengers"''.
* IntercontinuityCrossover: Sony made several attempts to tie ''The Amazing Spider-Man'' film series (which they hold the rights to, rather than Marvel Studios) into the MCU. First they tried to get the Oscorp building in the background of ''The Avengers'' (which was scrapped due to how late into production they were) and in 2015 offered to allow the character (or at least Peter Parker) to appear in ''Captain America: Civil War''. Ultimately averted, as Spidey in the MCU has no connection to the ''Amazing'' continuity ([[WhatCouldHaveBeen although Marvel initially considered it]]).
* LetsGetDangerous:
** Over the course of ''Thor'' and ''The Avengers'', Earth goes from being an insignificant backwater planet to being a [[AwakeningTheSleepingGiant potential rival]] on the galactic stage. It even gets the point where ''[[spoiler:Thanos]]'' takes an interest.
-->'''Director:''' Was that the whole point of this? To make a statement?
-->'''Nick Fury:''' [[HumansAreWarriors A]] ''[[HumansAreWarriors promise]]''.
** On a smaller scale example, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch in ''Age of Ultron'' began as nobodies living in a war-torn Eastern European country before getting enhanced by Loki's scepter and then receiving a DareToBeBadass speech from [[spoiler: Hawkeye]].
* LighterAndSofter: The MCU movies were and are still considered to be this in comparison to previous and concurrent non-Disney Marvel properties like the ''Film/XMen'' film series or even DarkerAndEdgier R-rated adaptations like ''Film/ThePunisher2004'', the ''Film/BladeTrilogy'', or ''Film/{{Deadpool|2016}}'', due to having less violence, gore, bad language and sexuality.
* LiveActionAdaptation: Of [[Creator/MarvelComics Marvel]]'s super hero comics, with certain films focusing on specific stories (for example, ''Film/CaptainAmericaCivilWar'' adapts the ''ComicBook/CivilWar'' CrisisCrossover).
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: When you take into account the various films, TV episodes, and tie-in materials, the main cast alone for the whole [=MCU=] is well into the dozens; counting supporting/recurring characters pushes it way higher.
** A specific example: ''The Avengers'' has ten of the main characters from various parts of the franchise in the film (six Avengers, three high-ranked S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, and Loki), plus minor characters. And ''Age of Ultron'' has even ''more''.
** Within the individual franchises, both ''Thor'' and Captain America have literal armies among the main cast, especially when you look at the number of actors with roles considered important enough to receive billing in the main credits sequence. Both ''Film/{{Thor}}'' and ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger'' had 14 actors billed in their credit sequences, which is one more than ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'' had with a "mere" 13 actors billed there. This was escalated in the sequels, where ''Film/ThorTheDarkWorld'' had 16 actors billed in the end credits, while ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier'' had ''18'' actors billed. (Although ''Age of Ultron'' manage to top either of those with ''20'' actors billed in the main credits sequence. This was amplified by several of these having very few lines and/or [[spoiler:only appearing in fear nightmares]], but they are important in the overall franchise.)
* MacGuffinTurnedHuman: The Vision is one of the [[CosmicKeystone Infinity Stones]] given physical form by a roundabout process.
* MagneticPlotDevice: The Infinity Stones gradually took on their own subplot between the various films, being responsible for the events of multiple films or fueling the strange powers and MadScience of the individual BigBad, leading into ''Film/AvengersInfinityWar''.
* MalignantPlotTumor: The Infinity Stones have been slowly growing in importance as time goes on, to come to a head in Phase Three.
* MassiveMultiplayerCrossover: The ''Avengers'' films act as this. The announced ''Defenders'' miniseries will do the same for the TV shows aired on Netflix.
* MegaCorp: The Roxxon Corporation, a massive conglomerate with interests in multiple industries. It is also deeply corrupt and has had its fingers in criminal and nefarious plots as far back as the as TheForties. Season 2 of ''Daredevil'' reveals that [[spoiler:by the 2010s it has become a front company for the Hand]].
* MetaOrigin:
** The films change the Hulk's origin so that the accident that created him was caused by an attempt to recreate the [[SuperSerum Super-Soldier Serum]], similar to the "Ultimate" comic line.
** ''Thor: The Dark World'' reveals that the Tesseract [[spoiler:is one of the [[ComicBook/TheInfinityGauntlet Infinity Stones]]. In the comics, the Cosmic Cube and the Infinity Gems are completely unconnected. The Aether from that movie is considered another "Infinity Stone", as is the Orb -- or rather, what's ''in'' the Orb -- from ''Guardians of the Galaxy'']]. Loki's scepter has also been stated to be connected to the Tesseract, [[spoiler:later revealed to contain the Mind Gem in ''Age of Ultron'']]. Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch's powers have also been tied to this origin, having come from the scepter; as do the origins of [[spoiler:Ultron and the Vision, granted sentience by the Mind Gem's power.]]
** The [[AllThereInTheManual supplementary materials]] for ''Captain America: The Winter Soldier'' heavily suggest that Sam Wilson's EXO-7 Falcon suit was designed by Stark Industries, presumably incorporating similar technology to what is found in the Iron Man armors.
* MilitarySuperhero: Captain America, the Falcon, and [[Comicbook/WarMachine War Machine/Iron Patriot]]. Presumably Captain Marvel as well, as her comics counterpart is an Air Force Colonel. Black Widow, Hawkeye, and the original Ant-Man are variants as they are/were secret agents.
* MoleInCharge:
** This was a great problem for Daredevil. He can not count with the police in his fight against the mafia overlord Wilson Fisk, because Fisk already have dozens of loyal cops within the force.
** It is also the big reveal in [[spoiler: Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier. Hydra has infiltrated SHIELD, and most of their members are double agents in disguise.]]
* MonochromeCasting:
** A frequent complaint, even from many fans of the MCU, is the abundance of {{White Male Lead}}s. If the list above stays accurate, Marvel will have 11 different movies[[note]]''Thor'', ''Captain America: The First Avenger'', ''The Avengers'', ''Thor: The Dark World'', ''Captain America: The Winter Soldier'', ''Guardians of the Galaxy'', ''The Avengers: Age of Ultron'', ''Captain America: Civil War'', ''Guardians of the Galaxy 2'', ''Thor: Ragnarok'', ''The Avengers: Infinity War, Part 1''[[/note]] starring one or more white men named "Chris" before they have a non-white or female lead. This had become even more pronounced when initial Phase 3 movie announcements only showed ''Doctor Strange'' and ''Ant-Man'' as new properties, while many were hoping for more diverse characters like ComicBook/BlackPanther, [[ComicBook/MsMarvel Carol Danvers]] or Black Widow. ''Guardians of the Galaxy'' also took some flack for not including Phyla-Vell and Moondragon, who are not only women, but non-heterosexual as well. Mantis, the lone non-white human member of the team, was also omitted. Things have been getting better, as [[http://www.themarysue.com/phase-3-marvel-event-photos/slide/10/ the Phase Three announcement]] announced Black Panther and Captain Marvel movies, the Wasp is being promoted to the title credits of the ''Ant-Man'' sequel, Mantis is joining the cast of ''Guardians Vol. 2'', and Feige has unofficially committed to doing a Black Widow movie eventually.
** Semi-averted with ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD,'' which starred Ming-Na Wen and Chloe Bennet (who's Chinese-American) from day one. However, the series didn't get an African-American lead until B.J. Britt joined halfway through the first season. Furthering averting this is the introduction of Mack in the second season.
* MoodWhiplash: Marathoning the various entries in the franchise can definitely lead to it with some properties having vastly different tones. Just try to comprehend that the Guardians of the Galaxy are blasting around the other end of the universe while Daredevil is beating the tar out of a guy who raped his own daughter.
* MovieSuperheroesWearBlack: Both averted and played straight in several different films.
** Captain America uses his classic red, white and blue color scheme (albeit with a more armored look and the buccaneer boots and head wings removed), but Hawkeye wears an [[UltimateMarvel Ultimate]]-style leather outfit instead of his iconic purple costume. He dons a much more muted color scheme in ''The Winter Soldier'', harkening to his comic counterpart's time as S.H.I.E.L.D.'s director where he wore a similar outfit. [[spoiler:Approaching the climax of the movie he breaks into the Smithsonian Museum to steal his World War II outfit, since his S.H.I.E.L.D. outfit is now stuck with them and he's on the lam]], allowing him to go back to a more vibrant color scheme. The HYDRA soldiers in both ''The First Avenger'' and ''The Winter Soldier'' also have black body armor instead of their green and yellow costumes from the comics.
** Thor's armor is a mix of blue, black, gun metal gray, and a red cape typically. While his comic book equivalent at one point wore an outfit that was blue with gold trim, since the movie he's had a similar color scheme so the movies just follow with that.
** Iron Man has for the most part stayed consistent (since the color scheme is fairly iconic to the character), always wearing red and gold armor.
** The Falcon wears combat fatigues with gunmetal wings like his Ultimate version rather than the red-and-white tights of the original. The metal parts do get a red-and-white paintjob later on.
** Black Widow and Black Panther wear black, but of course they do so in the comics as well. The same goes for War Machine's gun metal gray (barring his "Iron Patriot" paintjob in ''Iron Man 3'').
** Bobbi Morse[=/=]Mockingbird isn't exactly a superhero on ''Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'', but she still follows this trope pretty closely. Her outfit is mostly dark grey with some dark blue on the sides, which looks fairly black depending on the lighting.
** Daredevil splits the difference: his first homemade suit is based on Frank Miller's black redesign of his outfit, but at the end of the first season he gets a more professional-looking red one. He even calls the first one "A work in progress". In the second season, Elektra's pure-red comics outfit is exchanged for black with red accents. The Punisher also wears all black, but then again he did in the comics to begin with.
** Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch's outfit consistently includes a red coat but she lacks her comic book counterpart's rather gaudy headpiece. The rest of her outfit is always dark.[[note]]It's actually rather similar to her character's design from ''WesternAnimation/XMenEvolution'' but not as gothic.[[/note]] Her brother, Pietro/Quicksilver, basically wears runner's gear (with an appropriately silver tone).
** The Vision starts off as a red-skinned humanoid but quickly changes his skin to a kind of dark green-ish color with a gold cape, apparently taking his cues from Thor (he leaves his face in the red color). He sports some red highlights on his chest that appear somewhat like a breastplate.
** The Guardians of the Galaxy wear a dark red motif, which is mostly in line with their comic book counterparts.
** Scott Lang's Ant-Man suit has more dark pieces on it than the comic book character but whatever isn't gray is red, which evokes the original outfit.
** Dr. Strange's outfit is true to his comics incarnation, with red, blue, and gold.
* MythArc: The presence of [[spoiler:Thanos and the Infinity Stones]] is building to an adaptation of [[spoiler:''ComicBook/TheInfinityGauntlet'']].
* MythologyGag: Bound to be several considering their comic book origins. Details can be found on the individual works pages.
* AMythologyIsTrue: The ''Thor'' film series established that the gods of Norse myths were actually AncientAstronauts, who met the vikings and were worshipped as gods. AllMythsAreTrue at the Marvel comics, such as the Greek gods as well (and Hercules is a regular character), but so far there have been very few mentions of other mythologies: Skye pitched the idea of other pantheons being real in ''Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'', and Thor dismissed Greek mythology as mere myths in an ''Age of Ultron'' deleted scene.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: See [[NiceJobBreakingItHero/MarvelCinematicUniverse Its own page]]
* NotWearingTights: The general aesthetic of the ''Defenders'' shows, in comparison to the movies. All the superhero spectacle is downplayed, and Daredevil is the only one with any sort of traditional aspects like a costume (which he only gets at the end of the first season).
* NothingIsTheSameAnymore:
** While all four of the main heroes made big splashes, the coming of Thor made Earth aware of intelligent life on other worlds and made S.H.I.E.L.D. and the WCS realize how technologically outmatched Earth is.
-->'''Aldrich Killian''': Ever since the big dude with the hammer fell out of the sky, subtlety's had its day.
** As of ''Captain America: The Winter Soldier'', [[spoiler:S.H.I.E.L.D. was corrupted by HYDRA from its conception. HYDRA is still out there in some fashion, and Phil Coulson is tasked with rebuilding S.H.I.E.L.D.]]
** ''Age of Ultron'' ends with [[spoiler:the dissolution of the existing Avengers and formation of a new team consisting of Captain America, Black Widow, Falcon, War Machine, Scarlet Witch, and The Vision.]]
** As of ''Captain America: Civil War'', [[spoiler:only Iron Man and the Vision remain at the Avengers compound, with War Machine also there but grieveously injured. Captain America, Hawkeye, Ant-Man, Falcon, and Scarlet Witch are all fugitives from the United Nations; Winter Soldier (also a fugitive, but that's long been the case) is in cryostasis in Wakanda, inviting a war on Black Panther's people if discovered; and Black Widow has gone on the run apart from all her old comrades.]]
* OfficialCouple:
** Tony Stark and Pepper Potts from the end of ''Film/IronMan2'' onward. They are also the Official Couple in ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}''.
** Thor and Jane Foster become one at the end of ''Film/ThorTheDarkWorld'', when Thor [[spoiler:decides to stay on Earth with Jane rather than return to Asgard.]]
** Surprisingly, one of the healthiest and most stable romantic relationships out there belongs to Wilson Fisk and Vanessa Mariana in ''Daredevil''.
** In ''Age of Ultron'', [[spoiler: Hawkeye reveals that he has been married for years.]]
* OneSteveLimit: {{Averted}}, unsurprisingly, as this franchise has LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters.
** Major examples include Maria Stark and Maria Hill, Howard Stark and Howard [[spoiler:the Duck]], Peter Quill and Peter Parker (and Pietro Maximoff, if you consider that "Pietro" is the Italian form of Peter), Anthony "Tony" Stark and "Antony" the ant, Hope Van Dyne and Hope Schlottman (in ''Jessica Jones''), and Steve Rogers and Stephen Strange.
** Iron Man's best friend is James Rhodes, while Captain America's is James Buchanan Barnes, though they go by "Rhodey" and "Bucky" respectively. (And ''The First Avenger'' includes James "Jim" Morita, James Montgomery "Monty" Falsworth, and Jacques--that is, James--Dernier. James seems to be a popular boy's name in the [=MCU=].)
** ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'' has two characters named Agent Mack: the first a one-off character who appears in Season 1, the second a new member of Team Coulson introduced in Season 2.
** Two separate minor-but-notable S.H.I.E.L.D. agents have both been given the name "Cameron Klein". One was in ''Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'' as a Project TAHITI test subject; the other was in ''Winter Soldier'' [[spoiler:and ''Age of Ultron'']] as a Helicarrier technician.
** Played straight with Scott Lang's ex-wife who's name was changed to Maggie rather than share her name with the more prominent Agent Peggy Carter.
** There are three different unrelated characters (two of whom we see family members of) with the last name Thompson in three different TV shows: Hank Thompson [[spoiler:(real name Agent Cameron Klein)]] in ''[[Series/AgentsOfSHIELD Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.]]'', Agent Jack Thompson in ''Series/AgentCarter'', and [[spoiler:Kevin Thompson AKA Kilgrave]] in ''Series/JessicaJones2015''.
** Two characters exist with the surname Ross: Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross, who debuted in ''Film/TheIncredibleHulk'', and Everett K. Ross; both appear in ''Film/CaptainAmericaCivilWar''.
** On a meta level, the franchise features Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, and Chris Pratt. Evans and Hemsworth appear in the ''Avengers'' movies together and Evans and Pratt were involved in a Super Bowl bet that involved them visiting children's hospitals in costume. As of ''Ant-Man'', 7 out of 12 Marvel films have starred blonde white guys named Chris. Presumably someone at Disney is starting a collection.
* OriginsEpisode:
** {{Averted|Trope}} with ''Spider-Man:Homecoming'', which will still bring up Peter Parker's superhero origins without having the entire film be a retread of ground covered both by the ''Film/SpiderManTrilogy'' and ''Film/TheAmazingSpiderManSeries''.
** Various Marvel Studios executives have stated that the MCU is done with origin stories. This didn't stop ''Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'' from having origin stories for numerous superheroes (most importantly, [[spoiler:Quake]]) or the entirety of ''Daredevil'' basically being a 13-hour origin story for Daredevil and ComicBook/TheKingpin. ''Jessica Jones'' is also an origin story of sorts. [[note]] Marvel Studios is independent of Marvel Television, so when the above announcement was made, it was likely meant to refer to the movies alone. [[/note]]
* PhlebotinumDuJour: The MCU tends to draw from a few specific categories:
** GeneticEngineeringIsTheNewNuke: Captain America and the SuperSerum which made him who he is has been coveted ever since WorldWarII, and partially reproduced in modern times. However, as its effects are [[PersonalityPowers personality-based]], Cap is more or less unique. Cap himself, The Hulk, The ComicBook/RedSkull, the Abomination, and the Winter Soldier are all byproducts of this form of phlebotinum. ''Iron Man 3'' introduces an unrelated one, Extremis; and ''Jessica Jones'' involves another super-soldier program as a subplot.
** ILoveNuclearPower: While radiation does come up with other heroes, it's mainly exclusive to the ''Hulk'' franchise as its unique shtick.
** ImportedAlienPhlebotinum:
*** The [[spoiler:Infinity Stones]] manage to qualify as this even in settings that are alien to begin with. Besides the movies where they directly appear, it's also implied that Iron Man's Arc Reactor was reverse-engineered from [[spoiler:the Tesseract]] by Howard Stark.
*** ''Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'' has ongoing plots related to the alien [[spoiler:Kree]] civilization.
*** Asgardian and Chitauri objects have also popped up on Earth occasionally.
** The Pym Particles are of the "completely redefine the laws of physics" variety
** Season One of ''Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'' combines multiple Phlebotinum sources in Centipede's formula: alien (possibly Chitauri) tech, gamma radiation, knock-off super soldier serum ''and'' Extremis. And then they throw in [[HollywoodCyborg cybernetics]] as well to make Deathlok. Season Two introduces another combo Phlebotinum with [[spoiler:the Inhumans]], which is Imported Alien Genetic Engineering.
* PlotCoupon: Several are established, and they often make return appearances throughout the MCU. [[spoiler:And they're all houses for Infinity Stones, which are Thanos' ultimate goal across the whole franchise.]]
** The Tesseract, central to ''Thor'', ''Captain America: The First Avenger'', and ''The Avengers''. [[spoiler:Actually contains the Space Stone and is currently on Asgard.]]
** Loki's Chitauri Scepter, central to ''The Avengers'' and ''Avengers: Age of Ultron'' (with a cameo in ''Captain America: The Winter Soldier''). [[spoiler:Actually contained the Mind Stone, which is currently the Vision's forehead gem.]]
** The Aether, central to ''Thor: The Dark World''. [[spoiler:Actually the Reality Stone and in the Collector's possession, though its whereabouts are a bit up in the air after the Power Stone blew his shop up.]]
** The Orb, central to ''Guardians of the Galaxy''. [[spoiler:Actually the Power Stone and currently in the Nova Corps' possession.]]
** [[spoiler:The Soul and Time Stones are still unaccounted for.]]
* ProductPlacement:
** All three ''Iron Man'' films contain plugs for Audi cars. The first movie also has a very blatant scene where Tony munches on a sandwich from Burger King.
*** Though to be fair, [[http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/burger-king-helped-beat-addiction-robert-downey-jr-article-1.294756 there's a story behind the latter.]]
** The first ''Thor'' movie has some lingering shots of the local 7-Eleven during the Destroyer's rampage. Darcy also bemoans how the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents confiscated her [=iPod=].
** ''The Avengers'' is littered with plugs for Acura, and a Bank of America sign can clearly be seen during the Battle of New York.
** ''Iron Man 3'' has some very blatant plugs for Sun Oracle, Verizon [=FiOS=], and the Chinese electronics brand TCL. The special Chinese cut contains some additional shilling for Yili milk and the Zoomlion corporation.
** ''Thor: The Dark World'', a lot of it taking place in London, features real products from the United Kingdom such as [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shreddies Shreddies]], and a child throws a discarded [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vimto Vimto]] can into a portal.
** ''Captain America: The Winter Soldier'' has Cap riding a new Harley-Davidson and Black Widow driving a 2014 C7 Corvette. Both vehicles received some pretty heavy ''Winter Soldier''-themed promotion in the lead-up to the film's release.
** ''Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'' has had some product placement for Lexus.
** ''Age of Ultron'' continues to place some of the above (Beats, Audi) while adding some more. The tractor in Hawkeye's barn is a vintage John Deere; several Air Korea advertisements appear in the South Korea scenes; Under Armor provides custom "off duty" clothing for most of the Avengers; Quicksilver wears primarily Adidas clothing and shoes with a Hummel jacket.
** ''Ant-Man'' features Scott trying to get a job at Baskin-Robbins and a Thomas the Tank Engine toy features heavily in the climax. Additionally, every major character sports a Samsung smartphone, of which there are many lingering shots (except for the villain, who carries an iPhone in his briefcase. Natch.)
* ProtagonistTitle: Majority of the films and shows. The ''Film/IronMan'' film series, ''Film/TheIncredibleHulk'', ''Film/{{Thor}}'', ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger'', ''Series/AgentCarter'', ''Series/{{Daredevil 2015}}'', ''Film/AntMan'', ''Series/JessicaJones2015'', and the upcoming ''Film/DoctorStrange2016'' and ''Series/IronFist2016''.
* RaceLift:
** Creator/SamuelLJackson as Nick Fury, who was originally white in the comics. However, this is largely based on Fury's Franchise/UltimateMarvel incarnation, who was based on Jackson in the first place.
** In ''Thor'', the Norse God Heimdall is played by Creator/IdrisElba, an Afro-British actor.
** Hogun in the ''Thor'' comics seems to be Mongolian (with possibly some white ancestry thrown in), and is played by Japanese actor Tadanobu Asano in the films.
** S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Jasper Sitwell (who is a blonde white guy in the comics) is played by bald Latino actor Maximiliano Hernández.
** [[spoiler: Daisy Johnson/Quake is Anglo in the comics, but is half-Chinese]] in ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD''.
** Ben Urich, from ''Series/{{Daredevil 2015}}'', is Caucasian in the comics but African-American in the series, as is Malcolm from ''Series/JessicaJones2015''.
** In ''Film/ThorRagnarok'', Valkyrie (who is white and blonde in the comics) is played by Creator/TessaThompson, who is African-American.
* RealityIsUnrealistic:
** Right after Tom Holland was casted as the MCU's Spider-Man, a portion of fans and detractors denounced him as too young for the role, despite Holland was 19 and would play a 15-year-old Peter Parker.
** Marisa Tomei was cast as aunt May and Despite the actress being 50 at the time of her casting, thus perfectly possible to be an elder aunt to a 15-year-old, the image of an elderly aunt May has became so ingrained in the mind of fans that she too was denounced as too young for the job.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure:
** S.H.I.E.L.D., especially its director Nick Fury, stand above regional politics and screen the World Security Council's extremism. [[spoiler: ''The Winter Soldier'' doesn't show them as unreasonable, but merely infiltrated by HYDRA.]]
** At the galactic level, the Nova Corps. When they get a message that a madman with a superweapon is on his way and an ArmyOfThievesAndWhores intends to help stop him, they're willing to listen.
* ReedRichardsIsUseless: While the trope naming family isn't in this Marvel continuity, the trope is played with a bit.
** Tony invokes this in regards to the Iron Man armor since he doesn't want that readily available, but he averts with his arc reactor technology and wants it widespread.
** Hank also invokes this trope, as he doesn't trust anyone but himself and those he works with in regards to handling the Pym Particle, having been left bitter after S.H.I.E.L..D. tries to duplicate it without his permission.
* RemakeCameo: Lou Ferrigno makes another Hulk-related cameo, and in the same film, Bill Bixby makes a pseudo-cameo when Bruce is watching "The Courtship of Eddie's Father."
* ResetButton: Critics have accused ''Film/AvengersAgeOfUltron'' of being this for the entirety of Phase Two. For example, [[spoiler:Iron Man is back to using the Iron Legion and has plenty of new suits. Though ''Winter Soldier'' dissolved SHIELD and established an extremely powerful HYDRA, by the end of ''Age of Ultron'', Nick Fury has established a new S.H.I.E.L.D.-esque organization in the form of The Avengers and HYDRA has been knocked right back down several pegs. While it has regressed back to using older Helicarriers, the newer models were only introduced in Phase Two to begin with, so it's still like those earlier events never happened.]] [[note]]Series/AgentsOfSHIELD makes things a lot more complex than this.[[/note]]
* RestrictedExpandedUniverse: As of yet, the TV shows and other tie-ins have had no major impact on the movie continuity - the closest things have come is that ''Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'' filled in some non-essential gaps for ''Age of Ultron''. While Marvel is interested in bringing TV elements to the movies, they've given a couple explanations as to why it hasn't really happened yet:
** Movie audiences haven't necessarily watched the shows and will need to be brought up to speed, which could necessitate an InfoDump that may disrupt the story.
** TV production is much faster than movie production; either a movie has make a guess at where the shows' plots will be when it releases, or the TV writers could be constrained by what a movie script has already established. (See how ''Agents of SHIELD'' was considered to have been held back until the ''Winter Soldier'' plot twist hit.)
* RunningGag:
** As with all Marvel productions, Creator/MarvelComics co-creator Creator/StanLee being featured in most of the films in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it CreatorCameo. And Tony Stark never gets his name right.
** It's not a good idea for Asgardians like Thor and Loki to boast how powerful they are. They're not even going to finish the sentence. In the commentary on ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'', Creator/JossWhedon commented on how he found Norse guys getting knocked out of the frame hilarious.
** Thor has had his own [[ShockandAwe electric powers]] used on him twice: Darcy takes him down with a Tazer in ''Film/{{Thor}}'', and his lightning attack on Iron Man in ''The Avengers'' merely [[AttackBackfire supercharges]] Stark's suit.
** Women noticing how incredibly hot Thor is. Or Captain America, at least in the first movie.
** [[Series/AgentsOfSHIELD "Tahiti. It's a magical place."]] Later subverted.
--->'''Sitwell:''' "How was Tahiti?"\\
'''Coulson:''' "It sucked."
** In the Phase 2 films, a motif is emerging of running gags that eventually turn out to have a dramatic reveal.
*** Black Widow constantly bringing up eligible single women that Steve Rogers could date. One of them turns out to be [[spoiler:Sharon Carter, Peggy Carter's niece.]]
*** Groot saying nothing but "I am Groot" over and over, [[spoiler:until his HeroicSacrifice, when he tells his friends "We are Groot."]]
*** Peter Quill insisting people call him "Star-Lord", [[spoiler:which turns out to be a pet name his deceased mother gave him.]]
** {{Noodle incident}}s occurring in Budapest. [[Film/TheAvengers2012 Black Widow and Hawkeye]] had an assignment there that they remember very differently, [[Series/AgentsOfSHIELD Isabelle and her team]] where there on merc duty once, and [[Series/AgentCarter Jarvis]] met his wife there during the war.
** References to ''Film/PulpFiction'': Nick Fury's fake grave in ''Series/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier'' has "Ezekiel 25:17 - The path of the righteous man..." inscribed on it (an ActorAllusion to Samuel L. Jackson), a Season 2 episode of ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'' opens with a restaurant scene almost identical to the opening scene of the film, and the ''Series/{{Daredevil 2015}}'' episode "Cut Man" has Jack Murdock being told to "go down in the fifth" in a flashback. In the final episode of ''Daredevil'' season 1, Wilson Fisk realizes that he has misunderstood his role in his favorite biblical story, much like Jules Winfield's realization in the final act of the film.
** Every Phase Two movie involves someone losing an arm or hand at some point. Kevin Feige considers it an ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack'' reference. This is rarely played for humor though.
*** The television shows also follow suit with [[spoiler:the first and last episodes of]] ''Series/AgentsofSHIELD'' Season 2 having someone losing a hand ([[spoiler:both times by way of the hand being petrified by Diviner metal and cut off to save the victim's lives]]), ''Series/{{Daredevil 2015}}'' involving Stick cutting off a man's hand for questioning, and ''Series/JessicaJones2015'' having a character losing ''both their arms''.
** The number twelve appears frequently in the films:
*** Steve describes the individuals used to his Captain America show as being more twelve.
*** While discussing who should get the credit for Stark Tower, Tony insists Pepper can get twelve percent of the credit before realizing she plans on getting him back for the comment.
*** After Coulson arrives, Pepper tells Tony she was having twelve percent of a moment with him.
*** Once he meets Maya in the present day, Stark asks her not to introduce him to "the twelve-year-old waiting in the car I've never met".
*** Rocket calls out Quill on how little of a plan he has to stop Ronan from destroying Xandar, to which Quill replies he has the plan figured out twelve percent of the way.
*** Pietro reminds Wanda that he's twelve minutes older than her when she relays orders to him.
*** A security system in ''Ant-Man'' features twelve-point verification.
*** Sam says that a Falcon suit is locked behind a twelve-inch steel wall in Fort Meade.
*** The TV shows get in on it, too. Jemma Simmons notes that twelve seconds on the alien planet can mean the difference between life and death.
*** In the ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'' episode "The Magical Place", Skye is told that she has twelve minutes to get off The Bus before SHIELD agents come to collect her for debriefing.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tropes S - Z]]
* ScienceFantasy: Thor says that Asgard considers science and magic the same thing. Is it a "Quantum Field Generator" or a "Soul Forge"?
* SerialEscalation: Each phase gets progressively larger and more complex than the last one.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: Generally trending strongly to the idealistic side.
** A major part of the conflict in the Avengers' team stems from Steve Rogers' "outdated and irrelevant" idealism clashing head on with Tony Stark's hedonistic and materialistic cynicism. It's ironic, considering how Steve and Howard (Tony's father) got-along quite well in UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. (At one point in ''The Avengers'', Steve says that Tony "isn't the man his father was" to Tony's ''face''. Those are fighting words.)
** Lampshaded in the first-season finale of ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD,'' when [[spoiler:Nick Fury appoints Phil Coulson as the new director of S.H.I.E.L.D.]] because of his unwavering idealism.
* SecretIdentity:
** Black Widow and, to a certain extent, Bruce Banner are the only heroes who have them. [[spoiler:Widow abandons hers in ''Winter Soldier''.]]
** Tony Stark had one for a few hours. Then he outs himself. "I am Iron Man."
** Played with in regards to Thor, whose friends make an attempt at disguising him as a Dr. Blake in order to fool S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. It doesn't work.
** Steve may have had one as regards the general public - it's never made clear if he was ever known as 'Steve Rogers' during his USO days unless you worked with him. It's absolutely gone in the modern day, though; he even visits a Smithsonian exhibit about himself.
** Matt Murdock still has one intact except to a chosen few. His identity, however, was no secret to his trainer Stick [[spoiler:or to the entity Stick reports to at the end of Episode 8]].
** The first Ant-Man's very existence is questioned, let alone his exploits. The only people who know he's Hank Pym are his family, S.H.I.E.L.D. and Scott Lang. [[spoiler:Darren Cross eventually finds out as well.]] The second Ant-Man is still unknown to the public at large but Scott's friends and family are in the know by the end of his first outing.
** Peter Parker utilizes one - and considering that he's in high school, it's not hard to see why.
** ''Age of Ultron'' reveals that Hawkeye has one, to some extent; [[spoiler: the public likely know his real name is Clint Barton, as does everyone in SHIELD. However, they don't know about his secret farmhouse where his wife and kids live, as Fury arranged to keep this information off of SHIELD's databases as a favour to him; besides Fury, only Black Widow knows about it, until he willingly reveals it to the rest of the team]].
* SmugSnake: Loki straddles the line between this and MagnificentBastard. While he's far from incompetent, he is nowhere ''near'' as good as he thinks he is and ultimately, his arrogance is what leads to his downfall.
* SpyCatsuit: A number of female S.H.I.E.L.D. agents wear them when out on combat ops: Black Widow, Maria Hill, Melinda May, Mockingbird; even Skye gets one in Season 2 of ''Agents''. Hawkeye seems to have a variation of one as well. All of the bridge crew of the helicarrier also wear them, though most other agents don't.
* StateSec: S.H.I.E.L.D with its secret agents, myriad military forces, and various research labs fits the trope.
* TheStinger: Most of the movies have had one, so far. ''The Incredible Hulk'' and ''Captain America: The First Avenger'' are exceptions: The one originally planned for the Hulk (the Tony Stark scene) was edited into the film proper instead, and ''Captain America'''s stinger was more like a teaser trailer for the ''Avengers'' movie. (''Age of Ultron'' has one mid-credits instead of post-credits, but it's still a stinger.) ''The Avengers'', ''Dark World'', ''Winter Soldier'', ''Ant-Man'' and ''Civil War'' each have two stingers; one mid-credits and one afterward.
* {{Superhero}}: From the BadassNormal assassins to the guys in powered armor, to the heroic aliens, they fight against evil ForGreatJustice.
* SuperheroMovieVillainsDie:
** [[spoiler:Stane, Vanko, Killian and his Dragons, Malekith, Kurse, Pierce, Ronan, Strucker, and Ultron]] are all dead by the end of their movies, while [[spoiler:the Red Skull is a textbook case of NeverFoundTheBody and if Cross isn't dead then he's certainly suffering a FateWorseThanDeath.]]
** Averted by [[spoiler:Loki who survives all his three appearances so far, Blonsky who is spared from being choked to death by Betty's intervention, Zola and Zemo who are merely captured (but Zola maybe-possibly died in ''Winter Soldier''; BrainUploading is funny that way), and the Winter Soldier and Nebula who manage to get away]]. Played with by [[spoiler:Trevor Slattery, the fake Mandarin, who survived ''Iron Man 3'' but is marked for death by an unseen ''real'' Mandarin as of the ''All Hail the King'' One-Shot.]]
** Zigzagged in the TV shows; sometimes villains are killed off at the climax of an arc, sometimes they aren't.
*** In ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'', [[spoiler:only Big Bads John Garrett, Daniel Whitehall, Gideon Malick, and Hive have been killed over three seasons. The various Dragons and lesser recurring villains (Ward, Raina, Quinn, Agent 33, and Cal) have made it out alive and tend to continue to cause problems for S.H.I.E.L.D. Played straight by the end of Season 2 and by Season 3, which kill off most recurring villains.]]
*** [[spoiler:Averted]] in ''Agent Carter'': [[spoiler:Dr. Fennhoff is merely captured, Whitney Frost is depowered and committed to an insane asylum, and Black Widow gets away (twice).]]
*** Played with in ''Series/{{Daredevil 2015}}'', [[spoiler:where BigBad Wilson Fisk is sentenced to prison and Madame Gao disappears while minor villains such as Anatoly, Vladimir, Nobu and Leland Owlsley are killed off.]]
*** [[spoiler:PlayedStraight]] in ''Series/JessicaJones2015''. [[spoiler:Kilgrave was simply too powerful and depraved to leave alive.]]
* SuperheroPackingHeat:
** Captain America. But while Steve knows how to fire a gun and won't hesitate to use one if there's any need to, he still prefers not to as much as possible, preferring to use his shield over his [[CoolGuns/{{Handguns}} M1911A1]].
** The more militarized heroes such as Black Widow and Falcon play this straight. Hawkeye does as well, even if he prefers a more old-school weapon, and War Machine takes it to an extreme with a bunch of guns built into his armor.
** Star-Lord and ''especially'' Rocket Raccoon frequently use firearms.
* SuperheroParadox: The idea that the presence of superheroes encourages or creates super-threats is touched on in ''The Avengers'' and several other Phase Two films.
** ''Civil War'' discusses it extensively; especially considering Stark and Banner directly created a supervillain in ''Age of Ultron''. Vision specifically mentions it as a reason that he is pro-accords.
** In ''Series/{{Daredevil 2015}}'', it is shown that the Battle of New York gave way to the rise of corruption and criminal activity in Hell's Kitchen.
** ''Series/{{Daredevil 2015}}'' and ''Series/JessicaJones2015'' get hit hard with this trope in general, due to their dark and morally-ambiguous subject matter. In both series, the main characters' attempts to fight crime actively make things worse in many ways. For instance, Fisk's criminal syndicate gets thrown into chaos, and Fisk and his cohorts ''specifically'' begin harming and involving innocent people in their attempts to catch and kill the masked man. In Season 2, Fisk's fall left an EvilPowerVacuum; and characters wonder if Daredevil's heroics opened the door for more hardcore vigilantes like the Punisher. In ''Jones'', the fact that trying to catch Kilgrave will kill lots of innocents is discussed, but rationalized by the fact that if left to his own devices, Kilgrave will ruin a lot more.
* SupermanStaysOutOfGotham: Post-''[[Film/TheAvengers2012 Avengers]]'', a common question raised about many MCU movies is "why doesn't [insert protagonist] get help from the other Avengers?"
** ''Film/IronMan3'' had to address this, since the film takes place after ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'', and the director acknowledged in interviews that they'd have to explain why Tony couldn't just call his fellow superheroes or S.H.I.E.L.D. for help. ''Iron Man 3'''s justification for their absence is, to quote Rhodey, "It's an American problem" and America wants to show it doesn't need S.H.I.E.L.D.; later on, Tony is stranded in Tennessee for much of the film, with his remaining suit offline and lacking money, his cellphone, or wireless internet to contact anybody. Once Tony manages to reach his friends again, he's short on time and would be wasting it waiting for the Avengers to arrive.
** ''Film/ThorTheDarkWorld'' avoids this by setting large bulk of the story in other realms besides Midgard and the Earth scenes in London. Darcy mentions that she tried to contact S.H.I.E.L.D. after Thor showed up and whisked Jane away to Asgard but couldn't get anywhere; presumably, Thor or Jane would have more clout, but by the time they got back to Earth, they were low on time.
** ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier'' [[JustifiedTrope justifies]] it in regards to Steve and Natasha not contacting the Avengers for help. [[spoiler:They were branded fugitives and hunted down by S.H.I.E.L.D., who was keeping tabs on all communication channels. If they tried to contact Tony, Bruce, Thor, or Clint, they would've alerted S.H.I.E.L.D. to their whereabouts.]] [[ComicBook/TheFalcon Sam Wilson]] was the only one off the radar they could go to for help. Not to mention that, once again, they only had a few hours to stop the villains' EvilPlan after learning the extent of it.
*** ''Winter Soldier'' also retroactively makes S.H.I.E.L.D.'s absence in ''Film/IronMan3'' easier to believe by revealing that [[spoiler:significant elements within S.H.I.E.L.D. ''want'' chaos in general and the death of the president and Tony Stark (among others) in particular, so they had good reasons not to interfere with the Mandarin, at least not immediately]]; and its absence in future movies thanks to [[spoiler:being crippled and low on resources, barring extreme emergencies like ''Age of Ultron'']].
** The comic book ''Iron Man 3 Prelude'' was published to explain why Comicbook/WarMachine was not present during the events of ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'', which was a common fan question. The book reveals that he was fighting the Ten Rings organization in China during the Chituari invasion of New York, and was only able to return to America once it was already over. In turn, ''Age of Ultron'' begged a similar question - War Machine showed up for the battle, but where was the Falcon? Especially since Falcon ''was'' in the movie. (Based on the party scene, he was presumably off tracking down Bucky, but there's no confirmation of this.)
** Lampshaded and justified in ''Ant-Man'', where Scott suggests asking for help from the Avengers, but Hank shoots him down. He doesn't want Tony Stark to get his hands on the Pym Particle anymore than he wanted S.H.I.E.L.D's Howard Stark to have it; he also snarks about the problems the Avengers caused in ''Age of Ultron''. [[spoiler:Then averted when Scott unwittingly raids what turns out to be an Avengers facility and ends up fighting the Falcon; and at the end of the movie Falcon is actively trying to follow up and track Scott down.]]
** {{Invoked}} by Jessica in ''Series/JessicaJones2015''. Claire Temple offers to reach out to Series/{{Daredevil 2015}} and bring him in to fight Kilgrave, but Jessica refuses the help, saying that she can't risk anybody else falling under Kilgrave's control.
** Completely averted by ''Captain America: Civil War''. Not only is almost everyone related to the Avengers involved (the exceptions are Thor, who is offworld; and Hulk and Fury, who are underground) but the events pull in several who ''hadn't'' been tied to the Avengers until now (''Hulk'' antagonist Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross is the spokesman for the government, Black Panther steps in for personal reasons, and Ant-Man and Spider-Man are personally recruited by Falcon and Iron Man respectively).
*** ''Civil War'' then sets up a situation that justifies the Avengers not helping each other out until at least ''Infinity War'': [[spoiler:Captain America's team and Black Widow are now fugitives and in hiding, and War Machine is crippled; leaving only Iron Man and Vision on active duty. Spider-Man and Black Panther are also available, but not likely to stray far from their homes.]]
** Averted in ''Film/SpiderManHomecoming'', as Iron Man will appear as part of his mentorship of Spider-Man.
** In general, none of the heroes or agents from the TV shows (barring the ones who originated in the movies like Peggy Carter and Howard Stark) show up in the movies. Likewise, none of the superheroes from the movies show up in the TV shows, no matter how serious things get.
* SuperheroPrevalenceStages: Phase One is an early stage, with each hero treated as though they are the only ones of their kind, the villains never win, and the heroes are uncompromising in their morals and convictions. Phase Two is a middle stage, with groups of heroes now forming, along with groups of villains to counter them. Phase Three is the later stage, with heroes now policing one-another, villains becoming competent enough to score real and permanent victories, and many heroes begin dying or suffering other permanent harm while others compromise their convictions when faced with possible disaster.
* SuperSoldier:
** About half of the superhuman origins in this 'verse have their roots in trying to make better soldiers and peacekeepers, whether it's by bioengineering (Captain America, Red Skull, Winter Soldier, Hulk, Abomination, Extremis soldiers, Deathlok, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, [[spoiler:Will Simpson and possibly others, including the titular character herself, in ''Jessica Jones'']]), special equipment (Iron Monger, War Machine, Falcon), robotics (the Hammer drones, Deathlok again, the Iron Legion, Ultron, [[spoiler:Vision]]), or just good old-fashioned TrainingFromHell (the Black Widow program, [[spoiler:the Hand]]).
** The Kursed are these for the Dark Elves. Being super soldiers among a race of super beings, this makes them ridiculously powerful. [[spoiler:The Inhumans]] likewise originated as an alien supersoldier project.
* SuperWeight:
** Fragile Weight: Steve Rogers pre-treatment, Arnim Zola, [[spoiler:Trevor Slattery]], [[spoiler:Fitz post-brain damage]], Mrs. Urich, Leland Owlsley, [[spoiler: James Rhodes]] after ''Film/CaptainAmericaCivilWar''.
** Muggle Weight: Thunderbolt Ross, Betty Ross, Howard Stark, Tony Stark (before ''Film/IronMan3''), Obadiah Stane, Pepper Potts [[spoiler:without Extremis]], Jane Foster, Erik Selvig, Darcy Lewis, Leo Fitz, Jemma Simmons, Skye [[spoiler:pre-Terrigenesis]], Eric [[spoiler:and Billy and Sam]] Koenig, Rocket Raccoon, Claire Temple, Karen Page, Foggy Nelson, Helen Cho, Hank Pym, Trish Walker (though she's working her way up to Type 1), Everett K. Ross, Baron Zemo.
** Iron Weight: James Rhodes (sans armor), Agent Coulson, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Thor ([[BroughtDownToBadass as a human]]), Nick Fury, Maria Hill, the Howling Commandos, SSR soldiers, Emil Blonsky (pre serum), Peggy Carter, Chester Phillips, Heinz Kruger, Grant Ward, Melinda May, Antoine Triplett, Bobbi Morse, Lance Hunter, Alphonso Mackenzie, Batroc the Leaper, Brock Rumlow, Sharon Carter, Crossbones, Falcon (without wings), Star-Lord, the Nova Corps, Wilson Fisk, Scott Lang (sans suit,) Hope van Dyne, Hank Pym (with ant communicator), Will Simpson.
** Abnormal Weight: Captain America, Red Skull, Emil Blonsky (after serum), anyone armed with HYDRA weaponry, Whiplash (first suit), Chitauri soldiers, [[spoiler:Simmons (while infected with the Chitauri virus)]], [[spoiler:Ward and May when handling the Berserker staff]], Falcon (with wings), The Winter Soldier, Mike Peterson [[spoiler:pre-Deathlok]], Gamora, Nebula, Daredevil, Stick, [[spoiler:Nobu]], [[spoiler:Madame Gao]], the Ravengers, Iron Legion drones, Ultron Mk 1, Jessica Jones, [[spoiler:Will Simpson with IGH SuperSoldier pills]], Black Panther.
** Super Weight: Iron Man, War Machine, Iron Monger, Whiplash (second suit), Hammeroids, most Asgardians, Loki (during ''Thor''), Frost Giants, Extremis soldiers, [[spoiler: Pepper Potts with Extremis]], [[spoiler: Aldrich Killian]], Malekith [[spoiler: without the Aether]], both Deathloks: [[spoiler: John Garrett and Mike Peterson]], Drax the Destroyer, Korath the Pursuer, most starships, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Ultron Prime, Ant-Man (both versions), Wasp, Yellowjacket, Luke Cage, Kilgrave, Spider-Man.
** Hyper Weight: The Hulk, the Abomination, Thor, Odin, Loki (during ''The Avengers''), the Destroyer, Heimdall, Helicarriers [[AwesomePersonnelCarrier The Leviathans]], [[spoiler:Skye (post-Terrigenesis)]], Kurse, Groot, Ronan the Accuser, [[spoiler:Star-Lord and the other Guardians with the Orb]], Vision, Ultimate Ultron, The Hulkbuster Iron Man Armor, [[spoiler:Kilgrave after getting his abilities upgraded]], [[spoiler:Giant-Man]].
** World Weight: The Bifrost, Ronan [[spoiler:empowered by the Orb]], Thanos.
** Cosmic Weight: The Tesseract, the Aether, the Orb, the Scepter, [[spoiler: and presumably the other two Infinity Stones]], The Celestials.
* TheTeam: The Avengers formed a FiveManBand at the end of Phase I, but its grown past that as the films go on.
** TheLeader: Captain America overlaps all Types. He's level-headed but also inspiring and capable of pushing a plan through opposition.
** TheLancer: While RDJ may get top billing, Iron Man is a direct foil to The Leader. An egotistical [[TheAce Ace]] that doesn't value teamwork in The Avengers, and NumberTwo going forward.
** TheBigGuy: Thor, a PhysicalGod BoisterousBruiser looking down on the others as being "tiny."
** TheSmartGuy: The Hulk. As Bruce Banner he's the world's foremost expert in gamma radiation. In ''The Avengers'', once he gets curious enough, he picks up on a tiny clue and gets halfway to unraveling S.H.I.E.L.D.'s scheming without trying before the rest of the Avengers realize there's a puzzle to solve. The Hulk form is essentially just his [[BadassBookworm battle mode.]]
** TheChick: Black Widow, the most levelheaded and put together of the team, and is constantly trying to encourage them to work together. Also the most feminine by virtue of being the TokenGirl. In ''Age of Ultron'' she's responsible for using empathy and friendship to manage the Hulk.
** TargetSpotter: Hawkeye examines the battlefield and calls out targets for the other avengers to hit, while also picking ones for himself. He was also the SixthRanger in the plot of ''The Avengers'', being BrainwashedAndCrazy for most of it before making a HeelFaceTurn in time for the final battle. Age of Ultron plays him up as the OnlySaneMan TeamNormal, as the only one who has been able to have a stable life when he's not superheroing.
** It's changed up considerably at the end of ''Age of Ultron'' with [[spoiler: Hawkeye, Iron Man, Thor, and the Hulk all leaving the team, leaving Captain America as TheLeader and Black Widow as TheLancer to train a new team consisting of themselves, Falcon, War Machine, Scarlet Witch, and The Vision. How the new team shakes out remains to be seen.]]
* TeamTitle: ''Film/TheAvengers2012'', ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy'', ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'', and the upcoming ''Series/TheDefenders2017''.
* ThouShaltNotKill: Largely averted in a case of RealityEnsues. While the various heroes portrayed to date have different rules of engagement, only one of them so far follows the classic super hero idea of never ever using deadly force. The rest, effectively being superpowered soldiers will often have to kill to protect their own lives, and those of the innocent.
** Iron Man is perfectly willing to incinerate terrorists with flamethrowers, blow them away with rockets, put smart bullets between their eyes, pulp them with repulsors, or even just his armored hands. He makes the best weapons on Earth, and you'd better remember that.[[note]]''Iron Man 3'' shows he's also willing to let private security that are just doing their job and surrender in good faith walk away, so there's that.[[/note]]
** Thor is [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman quite willing to kill Frost Giants, Chitauri, Dark Elves, and Ultron drones]], but has managed to take down a whole S.H.I.E.L.D. security team without seriously harming any of them. It's worth noting that all the aliens were explicitly enemy combatants where the agents were neutral authority figures. In the opening battle of ''Age Of Ultron'', we see him hitting and zapping human HYDRA agents who likely don't live to talk about it and, at one point, uses Cap's shield to generate a massive shockwave that is strong enough to flip a tank (to say nothing of the poor guys in front of said tank).
** Captain America blows up, shield strikes and shoots up Nazis real good. He'll drop that to save a buddy.
** The Hulk restrained himself from using lethal force against a clearly evil opponent - he spared Blonsky at [[MoralityPet Betty's plea]]. In ''Age of Ultron'', Banner is clearly distraught with having to hurt people as the Hulk. When Thor lets it slip that Banner killed some HYDRA agents in the opening battle, he quickly backpedals.
** Black Widow and Hawkeye are referred to as "master assassins", and Natasha admits that there is a lot of "red in my ledger". In ''Winter Soldier'' and ''Age of Ultron'', they're shown killing a number of {{Mook}}s.
** While ''Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'' doesn't explicitly have a no-kill rule, Coulson's team regularly uses "Night-Night", and later "ICER", tranquilizer guns that keep casualties to a minimum. They still use regular lethal guns fairly frequently, and it's often not clear in any given scene whether they're using normal guns or tranqs.
** The cast of ''Agent Carter'' obviously don't have anything so high tech, so they all use lethal rounds.
** Being criminals, and including an assassin and a rampaging psychopath in their team (Drax), the Guardians of the Galaxy have little reservations about killing- but Peter at least chooses to knock out guards in some places.
** Daredevil is the first hero to make an explicit point about it, though he finds himself sorely tempted after a while and even makes attempts when his BerserkButton is pressed. Season Two makes a point to analyze this rule by contrasting him with two remorseless killers, the Punisher and Elektra.
** The Vision deplores violence and hates killing, but admits that sometimes it is necessary to stop beings like Ultron.
** Jessica Jones tried to avoid killing Kilgrave, partially for pragmatic reasons as she needed proof of Kilgrave's mind control to use in court to clear his victims. [[spoiler:Being traumatized by killing under Kilgrave's control undoubtedly also made her want to avoid doing it again.]] However, it becomes clear that [[spoiler:trying to find a non-lethal solution just allows Kilgrave to ruin more lives. Jessica [[NeckSnap snaps his neck]], which is treated as regrettable but necessary.]]
** Black Panther is less a superhero and more of a badass protector of Wakanda who just happens to wear a costume. He explicitly states that he intends to kill Bucky in ''Civil War'', and spends most of the movie trying to do so.
* TechnologyMarchesOn: In-universe with the Iron Man suit. In the first film, Stark isn't the most graceful flyer, and assumes an awkward looking pose before liftoff to maximize thrust. In ''Iron Man 2'', when Rhodey "steals" the Mark 2 suit, he assumes the same awkward stance and his flight is noticeably less agile than Stark's Mark 5 and later Mark 6 suit. In ''The Avengers'', Stark is incredible agile, fast, and confident while flying, even to the point of making his malfunctions look good. The weapons also progress similarly: he introduces the wrist-mounted laser in the Mark 6 suit, but it can only be used once before burning out, while the Mark 7 suit has reusable and functionally more powerful lasers (that also draw more power). By the time ''Iron Man 3'' rolls around, Tony had over forty different Iron Man suits, each with specific purposes and unique capabilities. The Mark 42 is one that [[spoiler:he can pilot with just a head-piece interface, while doing other things -- like working out. He also appears to have upgraded J.A.R.V.I.S. to the point that the AI can pilot multiple suits without Tony's help, though they are not as effective as when Tony is in direct control.]] Stark then takes it UpToEleven with his Hulkbuster armor in ''Age of Ultron,'' which is deployed from orbit and includes lots of replacement parts to account for Hulk tearing bits off.
* ThereAreNoGlobalConsequences:
** SHIELD already knew some things, such as [[AliensInCardiff the events in New Mexico]] during ''Film/{{Thor}}'', and Iron Man was already a celebrity, but the great [[TheUnmasquedWorld unmasking]] took place in the first ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'' film. There is an alien invasion for all the world to see, [[AMythologyIsTrue Norse gods such as Thor and Loki are real]], Captain America [[HesBack is back]], there's a superhero group in New York, etc. Yet, the only serious government attempt to manage any of that was with three helicarriers to keep all potential menaces under track ([[Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier which ended up becoming a menace itself]]).
** The third season of Agents of Shield shows a lot of global consequences, such as Terrigen spreading to cover all the world's oceans (at least) in seventeen months and Inhumans sprouting up all over the place. America created a new agency to deal with them.
* ToBeContinued: Most movies include the message "[The hero] will return" at the end of the credits.
* TokenGoodTeammate: As of mid-2015, [[Recap/AgentsOfSHIELDS2E12WhoYouReallyAre Vin-Tak]] is the only Kree to make an appearance in the MCU who isn't a complete asshole.
* TopGod: Odin, King of the Asgardians. Thor was about to be one in the begining of his film, but stayed as a free warrior. [[spoiler:Eventually, Loki replaced Odin, in some manner that is still unknown.]] The Marvel Universe has other similar gods (such as Zeus), but in the Cinematic Universe [[AMythologyIsTrue only the Asgardians seem to exist]].
* TrilogyCreep: Regarding the Phases:
** Inverted with Phase 1, which was originally meant to go on a while longer before culminating in ''The Avengers''. However, due to the Disney acquisition, plans changed and certain movies (such as ''Ant-Man'') were pushed back, leaving Phase 1 comprised of six films instead of one that encompassed at least seven or eight films.
** Phase 2 was originally five films long. However, ''Ant-Man'' was shifted over from Phase 3 to Phase 2, meaning that Phase 2 comprised six movies.
** Phase 3 is an interesting case. The original plan was for there to be nine films, but the total was bumped up to ten when Marvel Studios worked out an agreement with Sony Pictures to share the ''Spider-Man'' property and add a new movie to the schedule. Then ''Ant-Man & The Wasp'' was added to the schedule after ''Ant-Man'' did well enough to warrant a sequel, bumping the total up to eleven. Later on, it was established that ''Inhumans'' would be getting delayed and would not conclude Phase 3, meaning that the slate would consist of ten films.
* TruerToTheText: ''Captain America: The First Avenger'' is significantly more faithful to the source material than ''Film/CaptainAmerica1990'' was, to say nothing of the 1979 films starring Creator/RebBrown.
* {{Understatement}}: The people of New York City refer to the full-scale alien invasion their city suffered simply as ''"the incident"''.
* UnexpectedCharacter: The series is quite fond of these.
** Both the ''Guardians of the Galaxy'' and Ant-Man to the series overall. Did anyone ever expect the flippin' Guardians of the Galaxy (who mostly consist of C-listers and below, none of whom have ever been able to hold down a solo series, and have only existed as a team for about five years), or even Ant-Man for that matter, to get a multi-million dollar movie?
*** Even the choice of characters for Ant-Man itself is bizarre. Instead of Hank Pym, a long-serving Avenger with a rich historical background, the movie stars Scott Lang, who is not as controversial but also a lot less famous. The beloved Janet van Dyne is nowhere to be seen, instead replaced by Hope, an obscure, evil AlternateUniverse daughter of Janet's. Darren Cross, who boasts a single-digit count of comic book appearances, serves as the movie's BigBad.
** There are also some unexpected characters that show up in each movie. ComicBook/NickFury in ''Film/{{Iron Man|1}}'', [[spoiler:ComicBook/{{Thanos}}]] in ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'', [[spoiler:ComicBook/HowardTheDuck]] in ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy''.
** The same could also be said of the ''Series/JessicaJones2015'' Netflix series. Daredevil, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist are all fan favorites with decades of history, while Jones is a comparatively recent character.
** Kevin Feige has this to say:
--->'''Feige:''' I don't believe in the tiers. I don't believe in A-tier, B-tier, C-tier. It's up to us to make them all A. Because in the comics they are. You have characters that have been around 45-50 years that's an A character. That's an A-franchise and it's our burden to convince the rest of the movie-going public that that's the case.
** Since the introduction of Skye in the ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'' pilot, there were a lot of theories tossed around about which Marvel Comics character she would turn out to be. [[spoiler:Daisy Johnson/Quake]] probably wasn't at the top of most people's lists.
** ComicBook/SpiderMan was an unexpected addition to the franchise due to the [[ScrewedByTheLawyers tangled web of legal rights]] a deal with Sony would necessitate. Nonetheless, Marvel Studios pulled it off.
** Helen Cho is a footnote in the comics, but gets some screen time in ''Age of Ultron'' as the one providing medical support to the Avengers for the injuries they take and is heavily involved in creating The Vision.
** ''Agent Carter'' reveals that Kid Colt, from a Golden Age western series that was never made part of the larger Marvel Universe in the comics, was a real person in the MCU and even has his own comic book series like Captain America.
* TheUnmasquedWorld: Phase Two seems to have this as a theme, as ''The Avengers'' was the big unmasking. Killian mentions that "subtle" is a thing of the past, students eagerly take photos and videos of Thor's fight with Malekith, and Coulson's team regularly deals with supernatural or super-science items that have fallen into the wrong hands. To take it even further, ''The Winter Soldier'' ends with [[spoiler:Natasha having released every single S.H.I.E.L.D. secret onto the internet. Whatever S.H.I.E.L.D. knew, the whole world knows now.]]
* TheVerse: The MCU is designated Earth-199999 in the overall Marvel Multiverse.
* ViewerFriendlyInterface: Tony Stark's computers all use big, gesture-controlled holograms.
* ViewersAreGeniuses: The crux of the films' arc-heavy success. Before the MCU, a superhero series focused on one hero and a rotating pick of their traditional rogues gallery. With criss-crossing arcs, continuity nods, and eventually crossovers, the MCU proved the audience can not only handle juggling a vast superhero mythology spanning LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters but embrace it. The fact that every movie has a thread with the others means each film has a level of urgency to see it in order to avoid ContinuityLockout, so even [[Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy a movie with an obscure comic tie]] featuring [[ItWillNeverCatchOn a talking tree and raccoon]] can outgross [[Film/ManOfSteel a Superman movie]] (it helps when the movie is widely praised too).
* VillainDecay: HYDRA. They're a serious threat in ''The Winter Soldier'', but they are dealt severe blows in ''Age of Ultron''. In ''Ant-Man'' and ''Civil War'', [[spoiler:they have degenerated into a generic supervillain terrorist organization]]. After two years & three seasons of ''Agents of SHIELD'', their leaders are dead, & the [[Recap/AgentsofSHIELDS3E18TheSingularity organisation is (seemingly) effectively dismantled]].
* WhamEpisode:
** "T.A.H.I.T.I.", the episode of ''Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'' that revealed how Phil Coulson was resurrected: [[spoiler:with Kree blood.]]
** ''Captain America: The Winter Soldier'', with [[spoiler:the dissolution of S.H.I.E.L.D. due to HYDRA's corruption of the organisation being made public knowledge, Nick Fury faking his death and going underground in Europe, and the reveal that HYDRA recovered Loki's staff and have begun studying it's power]].
*** The subsequent ''Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'' episode that tied into the movie, "Turn, Turn, Turn", applied the movie's big plot twist onto Phil Coulson and his team. [[spoiler:Phil's old friend is the Clairvoyant, and Grant Ward is TheMole that works for him.]]
** ''Guardians of the Galaxy'' [[spoiler:explains the importance of the Infinity Stones, and properly introduces Thanos after his brief appearance in the credits of ''The Avengers'']]. Also, it shows that Howard the Duck exists in the MCU, so there's that.
** The final few episodes of the first half of Season 2 of ''Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'': [[spoiler:Inhumans.]]
** A meta example would be the announcement of ComicBook/SpiderMan officially joining the MCU, which is something that nobody thought would happen while Sony had the character rights. That two major film companies decided to ''share'' is quite frankly remarkable.
** ''Civil War'' ends with only two healthy Avengers still on duty [[spoiler: Iron Man and the Vision]], while one is crippled [[spoiler: War Machine]], and the rest [[spoiler: Captain America, Falcon, Hawkeye, Ant-Man, Scarlet Witch, and Black Widow]] are all fugitives on the run.
** ''Thor: Ragnarok'' is promised to be a WhamEpisode as well.
* WhamLine: Believe it or not, the biggest ones are delivered in TheStinger:
** The first one was all the way back in ''Iron Man''. Whilst there had been talk of Marvel ''wanting'' to make an ''Avengers'' movie at some point, this was the moment that it became a reality.
--->'''Nick Fury:''' I'm here to talk to you about [[Comicbook/TheAvengers the Avenger Initiative]].
** ''The Avengers'' has the second big Wham Line of the MCU; not so much for what's being said as who it's said ''to'':
--->[[spoiler:'''The Other:''' To challenge them is to court death... (''cue [[ComicBook/{{Thanos}} the guy who does this literally]]'')]]
** And then ''Thor: The Dark World'' reveals the MythArc:
--->[[spoiler:'''Volstagg:''' The Tesseract is already on Asgard. It would be unwise to put two Infinity Stones so close together.]]\\
[[spoiler: '''The Collector:''' One down... [[ComicBook/TheInfinityGauntlet five to go...]]]]
* WhereDoesHeGetAllThoseWonderfulToys: Averted. Everyone with gadgets has a good explanation for where they got them. More often than not, these weapons are built by a member of the Stark family or designed by S.H.I.E.L.D.
** To the point when the WrongGenreSavvy S.H.I.E.L.D. agents suspect the same of the [[{{Magitek}} Asgardian Destroyer]] in ''Thor''.
--> '''Agent Sitwell:''' Is this one of Stark's?\\
'''Agent Coulson:''' I don't know. That guy never tells me anything.
* WorldOfActionGirls: See ActionGirl above. The list of ass kicking female characters is very long.
* WorldOfBadass: ''The Avengers''. Thor warns Nick Fury that S.H.I.E.L.D.'s research on the Tesseract [[spoiler:to create a new generation of superweapons]] is letting extra-dimensional and extra-terrestrial beings know Earth is ready for a higher level of warfare, but Fury points out they felt they ''had'' to do it, because Earth is on the precipice of discovering at large they are not alone in the cosmos, and aside from anomalies such as the titular heroes, the rest of the human race is fairly freaked out at learning that, "Not only are [[UsefulNotes/FermiParadox we not alone]], but we are [[PunyEarthlings hopelessly, hilariously, outgunned]]."
* WorldOfHam: From a billionaire superhero who built his suit [[MemeticMutation in a cave with a box of scraps]] to some major HamToHamCombat between [[Myth/NorseMythology Norse gods]], there's plenty of ham to offer.
* WritingAroundTrademarks: As mentioned above, the writers developed the terms "gifted", "miracle", and "enhanced" to compensate for not being allowed to use the term "mutant" thanks to the ''Film/XMen'' movies. In Agents of Shield, the Inhumans were used as a substitute: anyone may have dormant inhuman genes and get them unlocked without warning, revealing unexpected superhuman powers; and also for the FantasticRacism thing.
* YouCantThwartStageOne:
** Averted in the series as a whole in that the heroes in the various film have been able so far to thwart [[spoiler:Thanos']] schemes of collecting the [[spoiler:Infinity Stones]] through minions to the point where he has to ditch that approach and collect them himself.
** Played straight in most of the films, where the heroes aren't able to stop the start-up phases to the villain's plan.
** Averted in ''Age of Ultron'', where the heroes not only stop Ultron's initial plan to [[spoiler:put himself in a new, synthetic body with the Mind Stone]], but turn it around into a way to defeat him.
[[/folder]]
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->''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2R1Zufvve2Y Don't forget to stay after the end credits for a super-secret-sequel-spoiler scene!]]''
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